In 1935, during a worldwide depression: the "Great Depression", Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a democratic congress enacted the Social Security Act without a single Republican vote.
At the time, there was no preexisting infrastructure upon which to build this Social Security System. America was experiencing a 25 percent unemployment rate, soup lines were everywhere and yet the government managed to institute this program.
Now, in 2009, with 9 percent unemployment, and a recovering economy in the richest country in the history of the world, we are being told healthcare reform is too difficult; too expensive; and that universal, single payer healthcare is unrealistic. Primarily, we are being told this by the GOP and the healthcare insurance industry.
The current GOP, the "just say no" to everything party of the minority, in conjunction with the healthcare industry [an industry busing in employees to town hall meetings to obstruct discussion of the issue], are telling the American people that it cannot be done.
Admittedly, the wealthier Americans amongst us, those with net annual earnings in excess of $250,000, will have to pay higher taxes to pay for this healthcare reform. Although, the higher tax rates proposed for this elite group of Americans will merely be a return to the rates they paid before the tax breaks given to them by George W. Bush during his tenure as president.
Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the house finance committee, states than in addition to the money raised by these reinstated taxes on the wealthiest Americans, tens of billions of dollars can be raised by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in military spending to fund healthcare reform. This issue was legendary during the Bush Administration and the revelations of the disappearance of billions of tax dollars in Iraq.
The question seems to be: If our grandparents/parents were able during a depression to find a way to create and fund an innovative program that now provides security for millions of elderly people, and if our parents were able to enact the Medicare Act of 1965, to provide healthcare for retirees and the disabled why can't we enact healthcare reform in 2009 that provides accessible, affordable healthcare for all Americans? The answer: We Can! We, the people can do anything we sent ourselves cooperatively to achieve.
The corruptive, corrosive effect of the profit motive in deliverance of healthcare has made our system sick. We need to completely eliminate profit from the healthcare industry. And we need more effective, efficient oversight of the healthcare to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in that system, too.
John A. Bond