Too comfortable to complain?

“Protesting to lies and fraud is your right.’’

Iran’s supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that no protests of the recent voting in Iran would be allowed.  The response from Mir Hossein Mousavi, the moderate (understand he supported the Islamic revolutionaries who took over Iran in 1979) said, “Protesting to lies and fraud is your right.’’

The world watches Iran through Twitter and YouTube and blogs and the vast majority of the world protests in their hearts along with the brave Iranians who are taking to the streets in their homeland, speaking out against what is certaintly a rigged election designed to keep supporters of the theocracy in power.  Here in the United States, the home of democracy and freedom, outrage is powerfully felt.

And yet, I keep wondering where all this outrage and dismay disappears to when genuine need arises to protest lies and fraud in the United States.  We are in the middle of a health care crisis and the only option for solving that is off the table is a national, single-payer plan, because monied interests in the health insurance and pharmeceutical industry don’t want to lose profits.  Other, European and North American democracies with single payer systems spend less on health care than the United States and their people are healthier than we are.  It’s no brainer, but it’s not an option.  And protesting to lies and fraud is our right, so where’s the massive protest?  We can’t seem to muster it.  Maybe we’re just not sick enough yet.  It’s not surprising really, If we couldn’t muster it for an election, we won’t muster it for x-rays and prescriptions.

It was only nine years ago, that an election turned into a mess in Florida, and the candidate with the most votes didn’t win. The Supreme Court decided Bush v Gore 5-4 and effectively said no protesting was allowed.  Massive voting irregularities showed up again four years later in Ohio, and candidates complained again, but they were Libertarians and Greens, they could be effectively ignored. Protesting lies and fraud is our right, but one we don’t really like to exercise.  Exercise means admitting to ourselves we’re out of shape.

And if we’re out of shape, we’re most certaintly too comfortable to complain – about our own elections, about our own health care, about our own financial system.  All that street protesting is messy and could be dangerous, and things aren’t really all that bad here, right?  Besides, who side are you or they really on? Protesting against America is for the terrorists – see how easy it is to get out of shape.

Mr. Mousavi is correct. Protesting to lies and fraud is your right. And if you don’t exercise your rights, you get out of shape.   Get in shape

Sign Senator Bernie Sanders petition to Congress for a National Single-Payer System here. (hat tip to Tensegrities)

Supporting Single-Payer Health Care

  • 46 million Americans are currently without health insurance;
  • 60 million Americans, both insured and uninsured, have inadequate access to primary care due to a shortage of physicians and other health service providers in their community;
  • 100 million Americans have no insurance to cover dental needs;
  • 116 million adults, nearly two-thirds of all non-seniors, struggled to pay medical bills, went without needed care because of cost, were uninsured for a time, or were underinsured in the last year;
  • The United States spends $2.3 trillion each year on health care, 16 percent of its Gross Domestic Product;
  • Americans spend $7,129 per person on health care, 50 percent more than other industrialized countries, including those with universal care;
  • The U.S. does not get what it pays for. We rank among the lowest in the health outcome rankings of developed countries, and on several major indices rank below some third-world nations;
  • The number of health insurance industry bureaucrats has grown at 25 times the growth of physicians in the past 30 years;
  • In 2006, the six largest insurance companies made $11 billion in profits even after paying for direct health care costs, administrative costs and marketing costs.

And, whereas:

  • Medicare has administrative costs far lower than any private health insurance plan;
  • The potential savings on health insurance paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, is enough to provide comprehensive coverage to every uninsured American;
  • Only a single-payer Medicare-for-all plan can realize these enormous savings and provide comprehensive and affordable health care to every citizen.

Now, therefore:

  • We, the undersigned, urge the United States Congress to pass a single-payer Medicare-for-all program which will provide quality, comprehensive health care for all Americans.