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The Progressive Economics Forum

Congress Passes Healthcare – I Told You So

This evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Obama’s healthcare bill.

Two months ago, I was the odd man out on a Business News Network panel (watch video). The day after the Massachusetts by-election, I was talking about Democrats redoubling their efforts and being more aggressive in putting forward a progressive agenda.

By contrast, one of my co-panellists said, “The resounding message here is that the healthcare initiative in the U.S. is dead.” The other suggested that Ted Kennedy’s death had also killed the cause of American healthcare reform.

Anyway, it is great that my more optimistic assessment has proved closer to the mark.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: March 21, 2010, 9:56 pm

I have been a bit active with some of my American left friends and I can say this, they may have passed a reform bill, but there are a whole lot of problems with this bill.

And if anything you will see the Single Payer crowd of the left feel as though they were railroaded by the centrist leaning blue dogs of the democrats. It has left the system mostly in tact, for profit with a handful of consumer protection laws. Many in the US left feel quite betrayed by Obama and the middling that is occurring under Obama.

However that said, you will see the republicans look to dismantle ever one of these consumer protections won by Obama’s bill.

I also realize it took 100 years and many presidents to actually get some form of legitimate health care reform.

Their are many questions, and I think Erin you only have to query a few within the Steelworkers to find out there is not a lot of unity on this bill and it has fractured the Democrats on several fronts.

Maybe once the dust settles there will be some healing, but discussing this tonight with a few progressive MDs and activists on the Single Payer Kucinich front, there will be a lot more activism pushing for a Canadian model.

Comment from Erin Weir
Time: March 21, 2010, 10:03 pm

I agree, but still think that the bill’s passage is good news.

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: March 22, 2010, 5:41 am

If the protections can be effective, then definitely it is better than nothing. It could have been so much more, and I think tha is what the left in the US is not too happy about. However, given the votes needed to pass it, many centrists dems would never have voted for single payer and hence the bind.

The hope is, this will eventually lead to more, once the shock and awe dissipates that the republicans have unleashed to create mass hysteria. Potentially these changes will warm up the awareness that public health care is not a sign that Stalin has come back from the dead!

Comment from Arby
Time: March 24, 2010, 9:37 pm

I watched the video. What a pile of spin. As Chomsky points out, in response to those talking about how Obama’s stock has fallen because he hasn’t done enough, blah, blah, Obama ‘wasn’t going to’ do enough. Obama wasn’t, and isn’t, what a lot of people want him to be. He’s a corporacrat, period. He’s a Republicrat. Republicrats and (here) Coniberals are the problem. As for the NDP, How are they a solution?

And if those citizens who buy into the idea that Obama is a white knight who just can’t conquer the continent despite his good intentions, continue to sleep through it all (the fake democracy and the fake health care reform), nothing will change. When progressives who lead continue to ignore the rotten electoral/ political system, and even switch sides suddenly (sometimes doing so while admitting that they are on the wrong side), the people who are following them won’t even know that they are going over a cliff. Although they won’t be happy. Reality has a way of biting you even if you ignore it.

Every day crowds are complaining about capitalism and the results of the implementation of capitalist policies. They just don’t mention capitalism. It’s all there in the dailies and on the news.

Then there are those who know better.

You disappoint me Erin.

Comment from keith Newman
Time: March 25, 2010, 10:03 am

For a very interesting and extremely critical take on the US health bill I recommend the following post:

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