What the Government did today..

There was a mood of general jubilation in my clinic yesterday as patients learned of the defection of Senator Specter to the Democratic Party. Most of them had been sleeping as the radio played the announcement and we all pictured the cat that got the canary face that Obama must have pulled when he learned of this coup.

To a person we all grocked what this would mean once the court cases finally finished in Minnesota and Franken takes his seat in the Senate.That magical number of 60 caused some extravagent emoting from yours truly as we all started to realise that this was that extraordinary once in thirty year opportunity to actually get moving on the agenda that Obama had been elected on and we could see some ending of that pent up longing for some real change in social programs in the US. Hey,.. we might even get us some Health Care!

My patients to a person want Health Care fixed and realise that this may be our last best chance to do so before the elections of 2010.It will take all our interest and input to drown out the Greek Chorus that is the health insurance industry and the medical industrial establishment and start to work on a system that really does make health assurance the birthright of all Americans , not just the wealthy ones . I am unequivacally for a single payer system with the government being the single payer! 

The experiences in most of Western Europe,Canada and Australasia show it to be the best way.They have worked out the kinks .We just have to cherry pick from all that they have learned .

I was reminded fondly yesterday of that feeling of jubilation and the heady mood of Australia almost 40 years ago when a liberal government was elected after 20+ years of conservative rule.The major daily newspaper”The Sydney Morning Herald” had a daily column on the first page titled”What the Government did Today”.The legislation came fast and furious.

Health Care became government run, the next day universities became free for those who worked hard enough to get in, and another day the provision of affordable quality childcare became something that the Government became involved in  ….you get the general drift.In the 40 odd years since then under many conservative governments these programs remain essentially intact because they work and the people want to keep them.

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Conference Keynote: Breaking the Ceiling

The theme for this conference is “Breaking Barriers”. You know, there are so many barriers to break in acupuncture that it was really hard to choose which ones to talk about for this speech. But since I’ve spent so much time talking about classism as a barrier, I thought it might be fun to shift gears a little and talk about numbers.

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  1. I have high hopes about this administration, too, but believe

    the way if littered with unexpected surprises.  Two things I believe in: that CAN can hope for but shouldn’t wait for legislation to create more equality in healthcare; that  Obama’s good intentions may not be strong enough to overcome the snake’s pit the election put him into.  I keep praying for him.  The second thing I believe in is “miracles”, like the Berlin wall coming down suddenly.  (It had been in the making for years, but we the public never knew the story behind it.  Most of us were just jubilant that this evil symbol had come down.)

    About Specter’s move, you might want to check out an opinion  at https://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/

    and scroll down until you reach

    Tuesday April 28, 2009 13:59 EDT

    What Specter’s switch says about him, the Democrats and our political spectrum

  2. Low hopes for government being the solution

    I too would love to see health care fixed.  I have very low hopes, however, of our government being the solution.  For one thing, President Obama and the Democrats are just as beholden to big business (insurance and big pharma) as the Republicans.  
    Also, when pointing to the successes of other nations who have implemented universal health care, I believe it’s important to remember that those nations aren’t running a global empire and thus might actually be able to afford it.  Obama and the Democrats show no signs thus far of changing our course as a nation in this regard.
    On a more positive note, I do think WE and other grassroots efforts will be the real change in healthcare – IF the government gets out of the way and lets it happen.