Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 167/365 Finally, Snowe on San Juan Hill

One of my favorite 20th century presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, Teddy to the public.

In addition to being the youngest president ever elected, and trying throughout his presidency to have "In God We Trust" removed from various pieces of our currency, he also campaigned vigorously for universal health care, which he regarded as a moral right for every human being, while insisting it be one of the major planks of the Progressive Party platform.

That was in 1912. Even though a national health insurance program was proposed again in 1943, and endorsed by Harry Truman,getting access to health care was harder than following Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders up San Juan Hill - the AMA threw a fit and started chanting it's mantra of "socialized medicine".

In the early 1960's under John F. Kennedy, elder health care in the form of the Medicare program was proposed. The AMA jumped up to chant again, however the sight of 14,000 seniors marching down the boardwalk to the 1964 Democratic Convention, passing out "facts" literature, trumped "socialized medicine", and Medicare was passed into law. Never mess with Grandma.

In 1974, even President He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named, the so-called Quaker and lover of all things wiretapped, the famous utterer of those words: "I am not a crook" - even *he* proposed national health care. Alas, even the Evil One was no match for the testy AMA, joined this time with the corporate health insurance companies.

And we all know the witchhunt that drowned out Hillary Clinton's attempt to bring health care to the masses in 1992.

So, today, October 13, 2009, with a huge THANK YOU to Senator Olympia Snowe, of The Great State of Maine, there was a vote on a health care reform bill that propelled it out of committee. It's not the last vote, or the final bill, and it's not all I wanted, but it's the closest we've ever been to any sort of health care reform since 1912.

What are those insurance companies so scared of, that they blocked discussion of health care reform for 97 years?

How many people died in those 97 years due to lack of access to health care?

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