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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Correct: the Dems don't deliver.

Yes, the Repugnants do nothing but lie, but theDems do nothing--nothing! The Dems do not have the guts to openly state or take a position as to healthcare, its problems, solutions and how to pay for it. There is nothing but hot air coming from the Dems. No wonder healthcare bills are stalled in Congress.

Here is where you find the major cause of our problem, its magnitude, the solution and how to pay for it. No problem.

John Saarikko

Sarasota, FL

Oct 2 2009 - 3:10pm

Web Letter

No, this is not healthcare reform. It is not healthcare insurance reform, either. The proper description is that of a healthcare insurance subsidy.

The Baucus bill, if made law, is likely to exempt those who would be forced to pay more than 10 percent of their income into healthcare. But the median income for a family of four is about $52K, according to the Census Bureau. This simulated median, of course, means that many families fall below it. How many families of four can get their insurance at an annual cost below $5,200, or even lower than that? My sister, who is a nurse and picks up her no frills insurance through the hospital she works for, pays out $8,500 for herself, her husband and my two nieces.

Which is where the president claims that "reform" will reduce costs. But the above exemption means that at least 3 million Americans are priced out of insurance. So those people being ignored by the president and the Senate are not only at risk of sickness or accidents but are a ready made scapegoat when costs fail to fall--they, and the people with pre-existing conditions the insurance providers are being so magnanimous as to allow to buy in. There are plenty of built-in excuses for the insurance companies not to clean up their act. And they won't. They will, however, gladly accept the subsidies.

The phrase "Potemkin reform" is apt. But then Obama is fast beginning to look like a Potemkin president.

Melinda Gonzalez

Upland, CA

Oct 1 2009 - 12:50am

Web Letter

Progressives, ambitious and forward-thinking as they may be, continue to live under the delusion that they are part of, and have any sway with, the Democratic Party. They are, in reality, standing outside a towering, soundproof wall, and banging a drum that no one on the other side can hear.

The Democrats are but one portion of the monied party of American corporateness, and they are tone deaf to the voice of the people who elected them, those very voters apparently somewhat naïvely believing they would get accurate representation.

The earlier letter which quoted the headlines about Democrats failing to deliver "again," should have added, "but worse".

Max Baucus, like myriad others, is a symbol and an icon of greed, disrespect for his (their) consitutents and a brazen disregard for their oath of office.

The members of Congress are commiting ideology and humanitarian murder, as regards healthcare, the defense department, and social programs in general. And they are getting away with it, while stuffing their bank accounts.

Any nonsense being uttered that claims the president is at fault for any of this completely overlooks the fact that the democratic process is and has been been in a sad state of decay and entropy for many years, and the fruit that is being brought forth on this tree of "liberty" is rotten.

Ivan Hentschel

Austin, TX

Sep 30 2009 - 1:48pm

Web Letter

Democrats as a party of The People is no more. They, like their fellow Republicans, are merely mouthpieces of the money that put them in power.

Their vote against a public option should surprise nobody, but where, I ask, are the fools that showed such disdain for Ralph Nader for suggesting that the two-party system was really only one party for the rich and well connected?

Nader was right.

B. Eliot Minor

New York, NY

Sep 30 2009 - 1:04pm

Web Letter

The so-called public option was dead on September 20, 2007, when the AARP-sponsored presidential debate in Iowa excluded candidates Gravel and Kucinich--the only two genuinely supporting public healthcare. AARP, the largest reseller of insurance in the US, stood to lose billions of dollars every year if this reform advanced, so they made sure it wouldn't by changing their requirements for inclusion late-on to guarantee that no one one would stand at a podium who wasn't for sale. And candidates Obama and the rest, along with most of the so-called public and mainstream media, stood silent, condoning the blacklisting to secure the sanction of this mega-lobbyist.

The Congresspersons who bungled the half-baked public healthcare option before their committee this week, continue to enjoy their luxurious single-payer care, even as they enjoy single-payer police and fire protection, single-payer libraries and single-payer education. Of course, many do take advantage of private resources for security, information and education. These public systems haven't diminished choice in the least; they've increased it, in fact, by utilizing economy of scale to make essential services affordable to every citizen, and so expanding demand for the ivy tier. The result has been the ascension of the greatest nation ever conceived. And now, America's standing is put at mortal risk by politicos who lack even the integrity to refuse for themselves the vital service they would deny the people.

If only Benjamin Franklin were alive today. Franklin invented the public library system in America, and he understood the proper role of private insurance as a way to supplement public services when he championed the first successful fire insurance company in the colonies. Surely, a Franklin in Congress wouldn't compromise away America. Sixty-two years before his death in 1790, Franklin composed his own mock epitaph:

The Body of
B. Franklin
Printer;
Like the Cover of an old Book,
Its Contents torn out,
And stript of its Lettering and Gilding,
Lies here, Food for Worms.
But the Work shall not be wholly lost:
For it will, as he believ'd, appear once more,
In a new & more perfect Edition,
Corrected and Amended
By the Author.
He was born on January 6, 1706.
Died 17

We are left to hope the same can still be said today of the America that Franklin lived for, its body food for Congressional worms, as always, but its final version in the hands of the Author.

(Nation readers might be interested in my blog.)

Kevin Parcell

St. Augustine, FL

Sep 30 2009 - 6:03am

Web Letter

Quote: "This group of senators is not only letting their constituents and the rest of the American people down--" Pardon me for seeking to introduce one basic point of rationality, please.

As a veteran of around forty years of "ward-and-precinct" work (and several times on the ballot for state representative and other positions,) I have a sneaky suspicion that these senators know their local voters a lot better than you do.

I noted this on a previous post, pointing to a Blue Dog with an extremely heavy concentration of pharmaceutical workers in his district.

I would love to know how many of your people who write such things have actually run for office in highly competitive constituencies. (Lopsided one-party areas are very different.)

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Sep 29 2009 - 8:23pm

Web Letter

For the past twenty years the editorials have read "Democrats Don't Deliver... Again."

We are witnessing the spectacle of a country in nakedly obvious need of massive reform of its healthcare provisioning system. The system has been gamed by insurance and pharmaceutical corporations, and as a result, the country is being bankrupted even as people are denied care they need. At this juncture in time, the public voted into power a complete Democratic administration, with the power to enact any legislation.

The headlines still won't change. It's time to grow up. The Democrats are not a party that can offer functional progressive reform on the national level. How many decades will it take before we--all of us "we"--can see this simple fact?

Seymour Friendly

Seattle, WA

Sep 29 2009 - 5:56pm