Showing posts with label social legislation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social legislation. Show all posts

Saturday, August 22, 2009

*A Word- The Health Care Debate-Let’s Get Real-Free, Quality Health Care For All!

Click on title to link to my blog entry of August 12, 2009 concerning the use of worker defense guards to insure free expression at town hall meetings on the health care question debate.


Someone recently pointed out to me that, with the exception of a peripheral entry in this space commenting on someone else’s discussion (see link) on the question of worker defense guards in order to defend the right of free expression at the various healthcare debate arenas this summer threatened by right wing yahoos, I have not thrown myself into this little debate. That assumption is not quite true. I have spent most of my political career involved in the healthcare fight.

Maybe, to be sure, not in the narrow way posed in the specifics proposals put forth by numerous bourgeois politicians today but, if my adherence to the Marxist worldview is defined by anything, it is that struggle that Trotsky mentioned long ago about the tasks that Marxists had set for themselves concerning the three great tragedies of life- hunger, sex and death. We, as Marxists, have focused in on that first struggle but if one thinks about it solving that hunger problem will make the mysteries of the other easier to cope with. It is that more profound sense in which I have been knee-deep in the struggle for health care.

But that rather begs the question of today’s healthcare controversy. Where do leftist militants stand, as oppositionists to the norms of bourgeois, on this great swirling debate? Well, in short, as the title of this entry states-we stand for free, quality health care for all. For everyone. That, my friends, would seem to me to be almost a no-brainer. Society, as a collective enterprise, if it has anything going for it at all SHOULD want to assure that everyone is as healthy as the latest medical discoveries and procedures will permit.

I have to admit though that, after following this debate over the summer, there this is not actually the case. Something, although I should have been less surprised about it, is seriously wrong with assuming that a vast number of people stand for the proposition that their fellows should not be left in the winds to provide for their own medical care. That there are racial and class overtones to the debate is a given. However, the most startling anecdotal evidence of this phenomena was an interview I was reading about from a mass media publication where an unemployed, uninsured woman with no evident prospects of getting any insurance soon and who has a pre-existing health problem was railing against the public insurance option in the Obama that would seem to fit her situation perfectly. Why? Because the notion of a public program spells one thing in her mind. As she made clear, some medical assistance to minorities (that's was code for blacks in the context of her argument). So much for the notion post-racial society we have ‘entered’ into in the Obamiad down at the base of society.

Are we leftists, however, indifferent to the various proposals being put forth today, none of which even comes close to our very traditional and longstanding solution of free health care on demand? No. But let me pose a possible future scenario if we had a workers’ party oppositionist member in Congress. We would propose legislation to that effect and the funding for it and would fight, just as the various proponents today are fighting for and against the present proposals, around that free health care program in order to get the legislation enacted. Depending on the relationship of forces, the language of the legislation and the political climate we would have different types of responses to other kinds of legislation on the order of the types proposed today. From what I have read of the current proposals, as they get whittled down in the bourgeois legislative process, I think we would vote no straight up on the all the current plans.

That brings up a final point. We are certainly very interested in social legislation, that’s our whole reason for existence at some level. However, as noted above, our relationship to existing and proposed legislation by bourgeois forces is basically negative. Negative in the sense that we fight around our own program yet will defend any efforts to erode the social legislation in place. For example, on Social Security, with all its flaws we would fight efforts, and have fought against efforts in the past, to cut benefits and other attempts to destroy the public retirement system. In that sense, to come full circle, my entry on the question of worker defense guards mentioned in the first paragraph is in line with our thinking on this matter. But just to be on the safe side if YOU seriously want you to tackle the health care question then the beginning of wisdom is not to bandage the current system but to build a workers party that fights for a workers government.