On September 22nd, 1993, President Bill Clinton stood in front of congress with a speech on Healthcare Reform. That night he said “we must make this our most urgent priority, giving every American health security, health care that can never be taken away, heath care that is always there. That is what we must do tonight.”
After campaigning for years about Healthcare Reform, the American people were on the verge of getting what the Democratic Party had been fighting towards for over half a century, Universal Healthcare. On January 25th, 1993 President Clinton announced the “Task Force on National Health Care Reform” and that it would be chaired by his wife, the First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. “I am certain that,” writes the President in his statement, “in the coming months, the American people will learn — as the people of Arkansas did — just what a great First Lady they have.”
The problem is that Hillary Clinton has abandoned the concept that she and her Husband had sold to the American people and is now trying to convince people that it is unattainable. The main reason for the shift in position according to Clinton is that the fight would be a waste of time because legislation would be too hard to pass through congress. This flip for Clinton is not only against everything the Democratic Party has been fought for decades to enact but it goes against everything Progressives stand for.
On October 13, 2015 Clinton said on the debate floor that she is “a progressive, but I’m a progressive that likes to get things done”, but her record says otherwise. First Lady Clinton was quite successful in smaller situations when Bill was Governor, but even when the power of the Presidency was behind her, legislation failed in congress, breaking the promise that was made to the American people. In 1994 the idea that was supposed to give all Americans access to Healthcare or “Hillarycare” as opponents called it stalled in Congress after Democrats lost control; a bill had never even been proposed. The worst part is that she has become the protagonist she fought against in 1994.
How can we expect Hillary to get what needs to be done when she was unable to do so the first time? The biggest problem is the fact that she is now “in the pockets” of the insurance companies. “I think that both the process and the plan were flawed.” Clinton said in 2007 about her role as Chairwomen, “We were trying to do something that was very hard to do, and we made a lot of mistakes.” Clinton had received several hundreds of thousands in donations from Healthcare industry leaders in 2006.
Here is the deal with donations, studies have shown that “if rich people are in favor, the policy is significantly more likely to become law” says Martin Gilens, a professor of politics at Princeton in his book “Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America.” This is why we don’t see higher minimum wages and more progressive tax codes because those at the bottom of the pecking order aren’t listened too because they don’t have money to act as their voice.
Since studies show when a politician is given money that they will support the positions of the donors, it would be safe to assume that since Hillary Clinton takes money from Insurance companies that they will be getting some kind of favor in the future (i.e. not endorse Universal Healthcare?). To me, that is no different than a Cop or Judge taking money from a drug dealer so they don’t punish them; in this case it is the insurance companies monopoly and their stranglehold they have over the American people.
It is time for Healthcare Reform, the kind Progressives have been talking about since 1938 when FDR managed to get Medicare but didn’t live long enough to make it Universal. Then again in 1945 with Truman trying to get a 100% Universal plan through congress. It is time to continue that fight and finish it once and for all. Hillary Clinton is wanting to give up on this issue and build upon a program that is destroying America’s middle class. ACA was a step in the right direction but the good it did is far outweighed by the damage it is causing.
Joining Bernie Sanders and finishing the Progressive fight is the Political Revolution. William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that “all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.” Kennedy spoke those words too when talking about going to the Moon. He said in his speech “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
Progressives don’t give up and they don’t look at the “impossible” like it is impossible, they look at it as a challenge worth taking on; insurmountable odds are what keep American drives alive. Americans are descended from people who did what was deemed impossible and took on establishments in order to build the America the world knows today. That world today is being overshadowed by those oligarchs who are telling wage earners and politicians how to think and pushing what they think needs to be done to move our country forward; preferably in a way that benefits them.
Progressives stand together for Health Care Reform, Campaign Finance Reform, Minimum Wage Reform and Tax Reform; it is what the 2016 Elections are about.