By Nancy Churchill
A Progressive Visionary
From my in-box this morning: “50 House Republicans, led by Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin, just sent a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to make cuts to Social Security benefits before the debt ceiling is raised and our government re-opened. And yesterday, Paul Ryan published an op-ed asking for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in exchange for an increase to the debt ceiling.”
A wish list straight from the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan playbook. You remember, the guys who lost the election in 2012? So now, sore losers hold government hostage until the side that won agrees to decimate the population. Way to govern, guys! Our Founding Fathers would be proud!
In an ironic twist, my homeowner’s insurance carrier sent this today: “Coverage for acts of terrorism is included in your policy … [U]nder the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act … [t]he term “act of terrorism” means any act that is certified by the Secretary of the Treasury … the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General of the United States — to be an act of terrorism … [if it] is dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; to have resulted in damage within the United States … ; and to have been committed by an individual or individuals as part of an effort to coerce the civilian population of the United States or to influence the policy or affect the conduct of the United States Government by coercion. Under your coverage, any losses resulting from certified acts of terrorism may be partially reimbursed by the United States Government …”
I don’t know about the secretaries of Treasury and State, or the U.S. Attorney General, but this effort by a few lawmakers to shut down the government surely seems like coercing civilians, influencing policy, and affecting the conduct of the U.S. government to me. I’m not calling them terrorists … (don’t want to rile up the NSA here!) I’m just saying … judge for yourself.
Here’s an idea: Once we get our government back — if these terrori… er, legislators can be shamed into giving it back — I say we do away with Obamacare. No, no, not give them what they want — not turn health care back to the private insurers to continue wasting millions on executive pay and advertising, as they did before. No. Rather, let’s trade Obamacare for something way better: single-payer health care. If insurance were administered by the government, according to a study by professor Gerald Friedman of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Public Citizen News, September/October 2013), the U.S. could save $592 billion annually.
This would shut down private insurers and eliminate their waste. Congress could do this by adjusting Medicare eligibility age to begin at birth. We’d be covered cradle to grave.
After the next election cycle — after dispatching to the annals of history those who would shut government down — maybe then we citizens can “re-organize government’s powers in such form, as to us shall seem most likely to effect our safety and happiness,” with health care for all.
Nancy Churchill was raised in the D.R.C. (Congo), raced stock cars on short dirt tracks for 25 years, and is a proud, lifelong member of “We, the People.” She lives in Oregon, Ill.
From the Oct. 16-22, 2013, issue