Guest post by Maurice Peret.
It is so incredibly important for us to step back a bit from time to time to try and view our present circumstances in historical context. The current non-debate over universal healthcare is a case in point.
Consider what is among the most devastatingly destructive storms to make landfall in these United States. It is the proverbial perfect storm; the conflagration of Big Pharm, with its revolutionary introduction of OxyContin opening the floodgates of even more powerful and cheaper knock-offs, and the plummeting access to humane, affordable healthcare. It’s the most winning of business models, fueling an ever skyrocketing stock market and feeding a ravenous consumer/victim economy. Known colloquially as the opioid epidemic, it is manufactured, financed and swallowed right here in the Good Old US of A!
Prior to the New Deal reformist concession of Medicare, no programs existed, either private or public, to cover obscenely exorbitant medical expenses. In every industrialized country that has some form of national healthcare, private health insurance is nonexistent. Why should Americans decry the possibility of losing the right to pay a nonregulated fee for “protection” to local neighborhood mobsters? “Nice place you got here, it would be a shame if something bad happened to it.”
The Affordable Care Act was a failed insurance reform attempt that had nothing whatever to do with access to decent healthcare or reduced medical costs. The private insurance industrial complex, like the arms industry, is parasitic, meaning it adds no social or cultural value whatsoever. While I cannot support Democratic Socialists like Bernie Sanders, chiefly because of their historic betrayal of working-class movements, at least he possessed enough integrity to be honest when asked whether taxes will inevitably rise to pay for universal healthcare. It’s more than can be said about Elizabeth Warren.
Still, the ACA would amount to less than is extorted from us in premiums, co-pays and high deductibles. Health care is a human right. Not just for rich people.
Inequality is also embedded in our Social Security system. Most people are unaware that those who have incomes over $250,000 per year are exempt from Social Security tax deduction. They better not tell us there is no money left in the coffers when it comes time to collect! Then they’ll really have a revolution on their hands.
Or will they? The elites keep us divided, increasingly along generational lines. They want us to blame the baby boomers, our parents, for the shortfall in Social Security. It defies logic. If there are, by definition, more of them who paid into the system who are now collecting, then why is there said to be none left for us? The truth is that the capitalist representatives controlling the national treasury have treated it as their personal piggy bank, borrowing against other financial priorities.
We need to wise up and rise up! We need to think politically and act socially in our own interests. Under the banner of the Movement for a Peoples Party, let’s mobilize around our own priorities. Be it universal healthcare, access to equitable and quality public education, due process, racial justice, climate justice, housing justice, let’s enact deliberate and conscious policies that will ensure full and systemic inclusion and diversity into law.
For how many more elections will we be lulled into the same old rerun that a candidate from either major party will finally make the political and economic changes that will envelop the greater good?
The time is now for us to finally realize our authentic independent power to act in our own class interests.
Supporter, Movement for a People’s Party