How did James Clyburn lose it on health care?

Black Agenda Report

Clyburn is a longtime member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and back in April of last year signed on as a co-sponsor of HR 676, the Medicare-For-All single payer health care proposal advanced by Rep. John Conyers (D- MI) and endorsed by Physicians For A National Health Care Plan. Is Clyburn being forced to toe the White House line and violate Democratic campaign promises and his personal commitments? Or are he and the House leadership taking initiative on their own to violate those promises and commitments? Again, the silence from the White House makes the former the most likely. How many other co-sponsors of HR 676 just signed it because it made a good press release, but have no intention of seeing it ever brought to a vote? …

It is estimated that 18,000 premature deaths occur in the US each year because of lack of  medical coverage.  Fifty or sixty million Americans have no health coverage at all, and another hundred fifty million are grossly underinsured.  Democrats were able to pass SCHIP with a smaller majority under the Bush administration.  They did not run on promises of “incremental reform”.  They ran promising to deliver national, comprehensive, universal health care.  Clyburn himself is a co-sponsor of the single payer bill.  So why are the expectations of House Democrats and the White House, with a popular wind at their backs, so unconscionably low now?

Despite the Obama administration’s open phone lines and email boxes at www.change.gov, and its hypocritical encouragement of supporters to hold health care house meetings to voice their opinions, the Obama White House, and House Democrats – just like their Republican counterparts — are hip deep in campaign contributions private health insurance companies. These private insurers, according to Physicians For a National Health Care Plan, rake off thirty cents of every health care dollar under the present broken health care system, so they have an enormous financial stake in preventing universal health care, especially single payer health care. Their dollars apparently speak louder than our votes.

The deep and multilayered hypocrisy around the issue of whether Democrats, with huge majorities in the House and Senate, will even try to produce national health care legislation is only exceeded by that of the corporate news establishment, who won’t tell the story, and instead dangle the clownish Illinois governor before us. One supposes that in a week when Britney Spears has remained sober and Paris Hilton has avoided a public breakdown, this is the best and most important news they can find.

Bush is gone, but the Assault on Reason continues.

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