The new health bill closely resembles the legislation written by Liz Fowler, former Vice President of Public Policy for Well Point, one of the nation's largest health insurance companies, as she served as Senator Max Baucus' chief Health Aid in 2009. Unfortunately, this bill tweaks the same failing non-system of healthcare in the United States and further entrenches the for-profit private health insurance, drug, and hospital industries diverting to them the resources needed to achieve high quality, universal, comprehensive healthcare. While some of the holes in the barrel have been plugged, the same problems that we currently face in the nation's healthcare crisis will persist: huge numbers of uninsured people, denials of needed care, deaths due to lack of care, bankruptcies by those who have insurance due to inadequate coverage, and the waste of a third of our healthcare dollars on things other than healthcare to prop up the private health insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital industry.
Let's look to the social movements of our nation's history to remember what we must do to keep fighting. We are building a movement for the healthcare we need based on equality and fairness. Fire doesn't burn from the top down, but from the bottom up. We do not have to negotiate or compromise, but rather create a movement that is confident, educated, and action-oriented that is ready to do the hard work of advocating for the needs of our people to be met and getting others to join us.
Many folks who share the same principles of the national single-payer movement have identified the public option as a worthy goal to fight for in a path to universal healthcare, and we admire the courage and tenacity with which that campaign was led. We hope that those who supported the public option will join with us to build a renewed movement for truly universal, publicly funded healthcare. A movement that learns from the past and doesn't start out by negotiating against itself or allowing our less than visionary politicians to define our agenda. The enemies of our ideas are the same, and they will fight us just the same. Let's go to battle for what we truly want and need.