Call me a socalist

Our Point of View, by MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver


Sept-Oct 2009

 

It is a complete puzzle to me that everyone does not know or admit the way we deliver health care in America has failed millions and millions of our fellow citizens—some of whom live next door, work down the hall, and send their kids to public schools—kids who may also be uninsured and thus denied easy access to health care. 

 

It puzzles me further that political leaders like our own Senator Max Baucus, who know the system doesn’t work, would arrogantly discard discussion of real reform and “fix” the system by subsidizing more of the same in part by taxing those who already have health insurance but who nonetheless worry without relief about the hyper-inflated, benefit sapping price they must pay to enjoy the privilege.

 

Generally speaking that would be unionized folks like you and me.

Like the American middle class—or what’s left of it.

 

Wrong debate


The debate we are suffering nationwide is all wrong. Instead of debating health care, we are debating health insurance.

Even the president is guilty of framing the wrong debate.

 

Apparently a toxic stew of political cowardice, high rolling special interests, myopic individual “I’ve-got-mine-Jack,” and raw partisan—if not racist—incivility has made it impossible for even the most charismatic politician in America to raise the health care debate to a higher level of social accountability.

 

Why should we expect more from Max, or the Gang of Six, or the Senate Finance Committee, or a super majority of U.S. Senators?

 

It’s about us


You know, it’s not about you.

It’s not about me.

It’s about us.

It is about what we do together to build our social compact.

 

If the health insurance debate only boils down to your particular health insurance costs and benefits and mine, then why wonder why so many me-firsters are bonding with fat cat insurance and health care providers to bombard our nation’s capitol, claiming political casualties left, right, and center?

 

Taxpayer funded


Twice in the last two years, the MEA-MFT Representative Assembly has embraced single payer health care reform. 

Surely this surprises no one. After all, almost all MEA-MFT members work in the public sector providing vital quality public programs and services.

MEA-MFT members teach our children and adults, nurse our ill, keep us safe from those who would do us harm, collect our taxes, preserve our history, and maintain and enhance our game animals and fisheries.

 

Taxpayer funded.

 

More recently, the president has opined that his proposed public option would no more threaten the bloated private health insurance industry than public colleges and universities.

Odd argument actually. Public higher education is far from free and accessible to all.

But if he wished to promote single payer, a taxpayer funded health care delivery system free to all, he would have a far more exact analogy: America’s elementary and secondary public schools—free to all.

 

Taxpayer funded.

 

If education in America had evolved as has our health insurance system, leaving millions of kids standing outside school room doors, could we today reform it well enough to provide free, quality elementary and secondary public education for all?

 

If we could, would we?

 

Call me a socialist.

 

Read previous Point of View from President Feaver.