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.