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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/20/10

Reform in America

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Message Dave Lefcourt
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In these United States of America, how is it presently possible to enact any legislation, make any real reforms and do what is best for the country and its people? On every issue there is no consensus. The compromises necessary to enact any legislation results in watered down, marginalized, and limited tweaking of problems instead of providing lasting and effective solutions.

Health care reform (which has been the primary focus of this president and this Democrat dominated Congress) is a prime example of the flawed process in action. Some type of health care "reform" package will be enacted shortly that will be called "major health care reform." But it will leave in place (and expand) the private health insurance system's dominance over health care in this country--the same private health care insurers' whose monopoly of the industry produced the unsustainable and runaway health care insurance costs that prompted (in the first place)the urgent need for reform of the industry. Yet nothing will be enacted that will curtail the rising cost of private health care.

Only a single payer, Medicare type system would provide the needed competition to the private health insurers that would reduce overall health care costs. Yet that basic reform measure has been rejected, leaving in place the same bloated system--albeit with marginal reforms. That is, coverage to some 30,000,000 presently uninsured's (out of 50,000,000) and eliminating the dropping of coverage for those with preexisting conditions. Thus a health care system that requires major reform will get limited reform at best, while the underlying problem of containing skyrocketing costs of health care remains in force.

The same can be said of enacting reform of the finance industry, those unregulated "masters of the universe" whose capricious excesses and mendacious ways of doing business has continued unabated with the same "business as usual" practices (no matter that they were the perpetrators who caused the financial crisis that led to the subsequent economic calamity in this country and around the world).

Sure some minor regulations and oversight will be enacted but if anyone seriously believes major reform and regulation of the financial industry will take place, they are living in fantasy land. The big banks are too entrenched (along with the other mega corporations, big health care, big Pharma, big military/industrial, big box store) and too interconnected and entangled in the legislative and electoral process to cede away any of its influence and dominance over the system where they reign supreme.

If it weren't for wary skeptics, grass roots activists, reformers and progressive watchdog groups and individuals who keep a vigilant eye on the mechanizations of the corporate behemoths and their henchmen in office, we would be in danger of being in complete submission to these all powerful corporate overlords.

For it is the progressive community of disparate voices who keep alive that ray of sunshine, that ray of hope of resurrecting and restoring our republic; the only entities keeping alive our ideals of freedom and democracy.

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