Bailouts for Wall Street, still no health care for all

One thing, among many that’s been on my mind during the bailouts of the mortgage industry and this week the collapse of insurance giant AIG, is why we can’t fund government health care in this country if we can pour billions of dollars into bailing out these financial structures.  Yes, these are instances of economic infrastructre, but so is a nation’s health care system.

We recognize health care to be basic societal infrastructure and a human right to the point of making it an Action of Immediate Witness at GA this past spring:

We call on Unitarian Universalist congregations to become informed advocates for universal access to nonprofit health care financing through social action and adult religious education. We call on individual Unitarian Universalists to urge our members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass HR 676, Medicare for All, or its successors, so that our people and our nation can have the excellent and affordable health care system we deserve.

Surely, if we can bail out Wall Street, we can fund national health care.  Thank you, Phil Klein, writing for the American Spectator, for letting me know, I’m not the only one thinking this lately:

My former employer, Reuters, estimates that when you combine all of the bailouts and other rescue deals orchestrated in the past year, taxpayers could be on the hook for up to $900 billion. Now, all of those people who are always clamoring for more regulation of the free market can argue that if taxpayers are going to come to the rescue anyway, why don’t we place more restrictions on private enterprise to protect taxpayers from huge market failures? On this, McCain and Obama both agree — regulation needs to be overhauled — there’s no stopping it now. The only question is how intrusive.

–Beyond that, liberals now can point to this huge rescue of Wall Street, and ask, what will we do for “Main Street”? They’ll argue that if we have hundreds of billions of dollars to dole out to Wall Street finance companies that mess up, how come hard working Americans can’t get government health care? They can fill in the blank for any government program that choose.

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