Criticism of Barack Obama's backsliding on "change" has come mainly from the left, particularly from the alternative media and the blogs.
Here's one example which pretty well sums up Obama's ambivalence toward single payer national health care. Health care is one of the many pressing issues Obama has failed to address in any substantive manner.
Jerry Policoff, a Pennsylvania advocate for single payer, looks closely at Obama's response to a question about single payer at a town hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He then deconstructs Obama's rationale, point by point, for excluding single payer from the discussion.
- Single payer would be "too disruptive" to the system.
The system means "employer-based" health care, which Policoff calls a "total failure." Obama knows this. He knows that "18% of our workforce" is uninsured. And that the cost of providing health benefits places a huge burden on American business. He knows that employers would gladly forgo their roll in paying for employee health care.
Obama further knows that one reason Americans stay in jobs they hate is the fear of losing their health care insurance
That's hardly a system worth protecting from "disruption."
- American health care is too big a piece of the economy to "tamper" with.
Indeed, health care as currently delivered IS a big part of the economy. But Policoff says that's all the more reason to switch to single payer:
"What possible justification could there be to preserve a system that costs so much and leaves tens of millions of people without health coverage and tens of millions more underinsured?"
The answer to that is self-evident. The private health care industry pours hundreds of millions of dollars into political campaigns in order to protect its profits. In short, they literally buy off the legislators in charge of health care reform.
- It would be unfair to deprive people of their current health care if they are satisfied with it.
Policoff calls that "pure disinformation and fear-mongering," a parroting of the PR "talking points" of private health care interests. Policoff says,
(The number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States is catastrophic illness.)
Policoff maintains that with his high approval ratings, Obama could force Congress to enact true universal health care reform. Yes, he "could." But will he? All indications are that no, he won't.
And that calls into question Obama's commitment to real health care reform.
UPDATE: Apparently the health care industry has reneged on its pledge to take steps to drastically reduce the cost of medical care. And Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has produced ads attacking Obama's health care plan.
What excuses now remain for Obama's defense of the existing system? We shall see.