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Healthcare reformist TR Reid visits COS to say universal coverage not possible

The Healing of America: a Global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care.COLORADO SPRINGS– [UPDATED]
My question to TR Reid, who speaks tonight at CC’s Palmer Hall, is how can voices for health care rights get past the corporate media editors?
As Washington Post Denver bureau chief and NPR reporter, Reid’s answer will reveal his earnestness, because most clearly his editors have kept the upper hand. The Independent, which is sponsoring tonight’s event, has invited two respondents to offer rebuttals, but both represent the health care status quo, there is no one advocating for socialized medicine, automatically framing Reid’s centrism as the people’s best hope.

I remember a TR Reid interview on NPR, which left me with the distinct impression of a hobbled argument. Look at the subtitle of his Frontline documentary: Sick Around the World: Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health care system? They don’t say “what can the US learn” but can it. That’s the same false question the corporate media use to approach Global Warming. Though the answer is a multiplicity of affirmatives, the headline posed as a question leaves the viewer with the impression the conclusion is his to decide. The moon: is it there?

A follow-up Sick Around America was famously, in alternative media circles at least, altered to endorse insurance mandates. Reid broke away from the final product when PBS refused to mention his conclusion that health insurance should not be for profit. Reid chalked it up to a disagreement, not specifically a motive.

The book Mr. Reid will be signing is titled The Healing of America: a global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care. His own disjointed title reflects why he returned empty-handed. Can you imagine if it had read simply: a global quest for health care?

Better, cheaper and fairer are redundant qualifiers and load the theme with false perspective. “Better” assumes American care can be ranked on a scale, this book is obviously only for those getting care. “Cheaper” assumes health care must have a price — Universal health care is free. “Fairer” again assumes that our current equilibrium is in some measurable aspect fair, besides which, the concept is a fallacy. There’s unfair and fair. Moving from one toward the other, fairness is unfair until it is fair. Besides which, every schoolchild knows “fairer” is expressed as “more fair.” If Reid had been honest, he would have phrased it “less unfair.”

TR Reid applauds the health care available in other developed countries, but notes the other systems are not without their flaws. Is this some sort of psychological inducement to feed the American ego, that US reform can aim higher than the health care as a right provided elsewhere? I think it’s a loophole with which to scuttle his proposal.

It seems TR Reid is ignoring the chief obstacle to health care. It’s not reason, it’s not taxes. The chief obstacle is capitalist greed, it’s class warfare, and the social systems of our like nations are under attack as well. The shortcomings which TR Reid sees in Europe are the result of legislative meddling with systems enacted by the people.

Americans aren’t going to get health care by waiting on their legislators, or the benevolence of the corporations. The audience tonight may be impressed by TR Reid’s findings, but he’s offering nothing but placebo. Talking about health care, visualizing it, salivating at its proximity, is as much taste as TR Reid, the Washington Post and its corporate health industry advertisers will have us get.

UPDATE: TR Reid spoke to a standing room only crowd and received a standing ovation. As per usual for journalists, he provided his own disclaimer for venturing from objectivity when he posited that providing health care for all could be a moral obligation. But on the matter of The Politics of Health Care Reform, the topic of his speech, he had nothing to say.

Really, he threw the question back at the audience. Why won’t the USA provide universal coverage to its people. I’ve thought about it a lot, he told us, and I don’t have the answer.

When it came why some countries pay for Viagra, while others do not, TR Reid was humorously inquisitive. His rundown of the various medical systems throughout the world was decidedly comprehensive. But on the question of the hour, Reid was the customary incurious newspaperman which might explain his success in major media.

Not once, even at someone’s prompting, did Reid mention the for-profit worm in America’s medical system’s rotten apple. We’re told that Reid walked away from the second Frontline documentary for its whitewash of his criticism of the for-profit incentive which prevents payment systems from serving the public good. He’s excised the subject from his own presentation too. Instead, Reid focused on the millions of uninsured Americans, without a mention of the bigger population of victims, those insured who are denied care nonetheless.

Reid was pessimistic about the chances for near-term reform, based on anecdotal evidence of comments he’s received on the Frontline website. A year ago his documentary got mostly supportive comments. This year they are predominantly critical. Thus, Reid concludes, Americans do not want health care reform.

His audience tonight applauded every punchline about health care as a human right, yet Reid held that we did not want it badly enough. I hate it when the best of our spokesmen blame the audience.

4 thoughts on “Healthcare reformist TR Reid visits COS to say universal coverage not possible

  1. I know from experience that the problems getting coverage from Medicare and ‘caid and CHAMPVA are because Social programs are handed over to so-called “conservative” administrators.

    The Right Wing “conservative” freaks killed my wife like that. Supposedly death as a result of Multiple Sclerosis are extremely rare.

    Nursing care in the home, limited to 20 hours a week, that would be Home Health Aide, not “Nurse”. No transportation to physical therapy if you can’t sit up in a wheelchair, (Like with muscle and tendon contractures in the legs would prevent, and would require Physical therapy to correct) and no Physical Therapy in the home.

    A nursing visit every 3 months.

    Doctor visits? Paid, but not transportation, if the transportee can’t sit up in a wheelchair.

    Get Medicaid to pay for a home visit from a doctor? Nope.

    Who sets those rules, the Socialists? or is it the so-called conservative Right Wing Freaks who think poor people don’t have a right to health care in the first place? Then make long speeches about “Right To Life”. While consistently denying that life to anybody they don’t consider worthy.

    Like Martha.

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