Krugman asks a simple question, which we answer with two questions
Missed The Shrill One's column yesterday, where he asks this question:
Why has the Obama administration been silent, at least so far, about one of President Obama’s key promises during last year’s campaign — the promise of guaranteed health care for all Americans?
And his answer:
Finally — and this is, I suspect, the real reason for the administration’s health care silence — there’s the political argument that this is a bad time to be pushing fundamental health care reform, because the nation’s attention is focused on the economic crisis. But if history is any guide, this argument is precisely wrong.
Don’t take my word for it. Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, has declared that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Indeed. F.D.R. was able to enact Social Security in part because the Great Depression highlighted the need for a stronger social safety net. And the current crisis presents a real opportunity to fix the gaping holes that remain in that safety net, especially with regard to health care.
And Mr. Obama really, really doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of Bill Clinton, whose health care push failed politically partly because he moved too slowly: by the time his administration was ready to submit legislation, the economy was recovering from recession and the sense of urgency was fading.
One more thing. There’s a populist rage building in this country, as Americans see bankers getting huge bailouts while ordinary citizens suffer.
I agree with administration officials who argue that these financial bailouts are necessary (though I have problems with the specifics). But I also agree with Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who argues that — as a matter of political necessity as well as social justice — aid to bankers has to be linked to a strengthening of the social safety net, so that Americans can see that the government is ready to help everyone, not just the rich and powerful.
The bottom line, then, is that this is no time to let campaign promises of guaranteed health care be quietly forgotten. It is, instead, a time to put the push for universal care front and center. Health care now!
Well, my view is that the Obama administration's priority isn't, ya know, people getting sick and dying; it's Big Money, which is why Obama whipped to get TARP passed NOW NOW NOW with no accountability and no oversight. And whatever else the insurance companies' failed business model of denying health care for profit might be, it's definitely Big Money. I mean, that would explain the Harry and Louise ads*, right?
So, I would humbly ask The Only Reason To Read The Times two questions:
1. When are you going to abandon the weasel word "universal," which is code for keeping the insurance companies on the tit, and start using the words "single payer," which you and everybody else know is the best solution?
2. When you are going to stop being defeatist about what's "politically feasible," and help "make Obama do it"?
NOTE See, there are plenty of us who are "going naked" without insurance right now, as you point out, and very few of us are getting diagnoses, even for pain, because if we can't do anything with the result, why be unhappy in the time left? So, what I'm picturing is a sort of "Make a Wish Foundation" for grown-ups where, instead of dying as profit centers, drugged and hooked up to machines, we go to Capitol Hill, and die there -- and maybe accomplish something. Possibly that might get some attention?
NOTE * Which the Obama campaign, sorry, administration must regard as a great success, since they hired its creator to shill for the unqualified Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General.
UPDATE I wanted to put this column in the context of something Krugman wrote earlier this month, where the "politically feasible"MR SUBLIMINAL Sounds like weasel meme was all over everything like a cheap suit. But I can't find my post on it, or Krugman's original column or post. So, a mulligan? Not sure.