Monday, August 17, 2009

It’s Very Simple

Paul Krugman sees three things standing in the way of healthcare reform.

At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies.

It’s simple: get rid of those three elements and we’re home and dry. The problem is that just because something’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easily done. If it were, we’d have had universal health care in the 1930’s.

Of the three, the last two are the most intransigent. The right-wing machine is very good at their job, and the American people are more easily susceptible to an outlandish lie than they are to the simple truth. Remember, if you will, the horror stories spread in the 1960’s about how desegregation of the schools would lead to roving gangs of black hooligans terrorizing our innocent white children and that we’d have to change all the toilet seats in the bathrooms because that’s how they spread VD. I actually had a history teacher in high school who told us that.

I sometimes wish that the progressives would take the same tactic: that if we don’t get healthcare reform, grannies will be dying because the insurance companies and HMO’s will decide that she’s outlasted her deductible, or getting AIDS or hepatitis or diabetes is your own fault and therefore not worth covering, or that if you’re not good enough to keep your job, perhaps you’re not good enough to deserve decent insurance. But who in their right mind would believe that?