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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/27/17

Leading Democrats Are Way Behind the Public on Health Care

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60 percent of Americans support single payer health care. So why is the party leadership dragging its feet?

Medicare for All Rally
Medicare for All Rally
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Good news, people -- at last, congressional Democrats have gotten a clue, grown some spine, and are beginning to act like... well, like progressives.

In particular, a majority of Dems in the U.S. House are responding to the rising public demand that decent health care be treated as a right for everyone, rather than being rationed by profiteering insurance conglomerates.

Nearly six of 10 Dems in the House have now signed on to Rep. John Conyers' "Medicare for All" bill, which is being carried in the Senate by Bernie Sanders -- and 16 Democratic co-sponsors.

Hallelujah, progress!

But there are many speed bumps to overcome before the Democratic Party gets onto the moral high road of politics. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, for one.

When the leader of House Democrats was asked recently if the party should make health care for all a major issue in Congress and in the 2018 elections, she replied with a flat "no."

Pelosi says "the American people" aren't ready for it. Unfortunately, I think she really means that health industry executives, lobbyists, and campaign donors aren't ready.

Meanwhile, a good 60 percent of regular Americans are sure ready, telling pollsters that our government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone gets the care they need.

Let's be blunt: When it comes to the fiery leadership that America's grassroots people want and need, the Democratic Party establishment is weaker than Canadian hot sauce. When you've got 60 percent of rank-and-file congressional members ready to go, and 60 percent of the public is also ready to go -- it's time to go!

The national party's "leadership" must get going on health care for all, or the leadership itself must go.

 

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Jim Hightower is an American populist, spreading his message of democratic hope via national radio commentaries, columns, books, his award-winning monthly newsletter (The Hightower Lowdown) and barnstorming tours all across America.

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