On September 11, 2001, a gang of terrorists took advantage of lucky breaks and a government asleep at the switch to kill 3000 Americans. In response to that massive loss of life, we re-organized our intelligence and law enforcement into a massive new Cabinet-level department and waged two wars off-budget at a cost of one trillion dollars and over 5000 American soldiers' lives (and counting) over eight years.
Right now, as many as 22,000 Americans die each year because they lack health insurance. (Feel free to fact-check that number by reading the study by Stan Dorn of the Urban Institute, which updated a 2002 Institute of Medicine study that put the number at 18,314 deaths per year in 2000. Politifact rates the 22K claim as True.). That's maybe 50—fifty— 9/11 death tolls since 9/11 caused by our own economy and policies. The President recognizes the urgency of the situation. He and Congress propose reforms to make health insurance more available and thus save thousands of lives each year, with a price tag of perhaps a trillion dollars over ten years.
But Republicans tell us that, 15 years after torpedoing the last serious effort at health coverage reform, we mustn't rush to action.
After al-Qaeda killed 3000 Americans, it took us two months to pass the PATRIOT Act and invade Afghanistan. If President Bush had said, "It's only 3000 deaths; let's take some time and have some more town halls," he would have been impeached (or thrown out the window by Dick Cheney).
Now, as the lack of health insurance costs us another 9/11's worth of American lives every month and a half, opponents of health coverage reform seem to think there is no urgent need for action. 22,000 deaths a year? Who cares? We've got a President to break!
Hmm... sounds to me as if the only "death panel" in the house is the Republican Party....
p.s.: Norwegian professor Jill Walker comes to the BlogHer conference and is "horrified" by what she hears about the American health care system. Dr. Walker says, "I genuinely don’t understand how Americans can think that free or close-to-free, universal healthcare as most other Western democracies have is a bad thing." Neither do I, Dr. Walker.
Councilor Erickson says she is still considering a run for mayor on KSOO - This shouldn’t be a big surprise. Several months ago Christine told me she was keeping her ‘options open’ when it comes to running for mayor and she repeat...
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