HEALTH CARE DEBATE:
PUBLIC SPEECHES/ARTICLES OFTEN SILENT ON MAJOR PLAYERS
September 24, CNN opinion piece: “Health Care Debate Turns Nasty”, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican, of Utah: CNN highlights: “He says Democrats are making same mistakes GOP made when it held power.” http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/24/chaffetz.joe.wilson.health.care/index.html#cnnSTCText?iref=werecommend
September 10, CNN opinion piece: “Time for Health Care Hardball”, Rep. Jared Polis, Democrat, of Colorado: CNN highlights: “He says he’s encouraged Obama clearly defined the issues.” http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/10/polis.health.care.hardball/index.html
Both writers (part of a CNN special on freshman congress representatives) speak to health care in these articles. The Polis piece follows the August recess, focuses on town hall meetings, and outlines features of a public option, which Polis supports. Chaffetz’s more recent article focuses on anger throughout the country, and suggests there is need to examine more ideas on what can be developed for health care reform without totally changing what exists.
The articles are not direct contrasts to one another. Neither, however, includes what I believe is consistently ‘missed’ (avoided?) in public statements about health care reform, what we have – what needs changing.
We do not hear open, leadership statements, about the role, historical and present, of emphasis on PROFIT by entrenched big corporate interest. We do not hear this about Health Care (except from those deemed “leftist”said to be “in favor of Big Government”). And we do not hear this generally about ‘what ails America”.
Those from the “right” especially seem to avoid acknowledging mega-corporate involvement with what becomes official policy – not only in Health Care Reform, but in diagnosing what ails the country. Those from the “left” do not offer much themselves, except as noted – those labeled ‘ultra left’.
Both tend to ‘leave the sleeping dog alone’. Polis describes “what is going on” in terms of citizen involvement, but does not “name” forces disinterested in citizen well-being, despite the huge influence of these forces. (Big Corporate push to see policies ushered in that do not overly strip them of power.) Chaffetz speaks in such a way as to draw a reader’s attention to “Big Government” as an exclusive agent of demise.
I read Chaffetz’s article today, Polis’s earlier. I hoped Chaffetz would reference “Big Corporate Power” in statements about “Big Forces” that ignore citizen interests. But he did not. I include Polis’s article to demonstrate that Polis, also, waxes on without ‘telling the people’ what we are ‘up against’. Following is a post (with only a few changes) I made today in an on-line discussion of Chaffetz’s article:
I agree in a very (very!) GENERAL way with Chaffetz’s remarks. I am greatly troubled he points to ‘big government’ as issue without reference to the other Big Power running away with our resources, our choices, our lives. Large Corporate Power, and Consolidation of this Power, is every bit as destructive as ‘Big Government’.
In fact, the two, at “Washington level” often work too smoothly together. Corporate Power pressures and schmoozes policy makers of all persuasions, who are inclined to “sweeten the deal” for Corporate Profits, with no regard to effect on ordinary citizens. High level government appointees are frequently interchangeable with high level corporate board members. This has been going on a long time, and appears not to be changing. Rather, it appears “settled in” as status quo.
Eisenhower cast the warning: “Beware the military-industrial complex.” This complex now is solidly in place. The complex is now expanded. ‘Military’ and ‘industrial’ are joined by banking, media, health care, and …?? more ??. Jefferson warned against large financial operations that had powers to function with monopoly or in cartel, (formal or informal — how does anyone prove informal cartel!).
Ordinary citizens have too-long functioned as “ATM”s for corporate interests. Not ‘ordinary enterprise making modest profit while providing goods and services’ — but Big Corporate ‘enterprise’ with total emphasis on PROFIT. Large corporate interest achieves this through public statement and advertising (we buy into this); they have also done this by massive and persistent lobbying for ‘advantage to profit and power’ in government policy. (They are, on the whole, very successful).
I strongly suggest there is much common ground for ordinary citizens, but confusion linking “large corporate enterprise” with “ordinary enterprise” must go. They are not one and the same.
The day I hear/read speakers/writers of Chaffetz’s view, and of Polis’s view, expressing strong, and clear, harm done by both “Big Government” and “Big Corporate Power”, I will believe we citizens are hearing what we need to hear. Corporate Power manipulation of population, and manipulation of Government (often too willing to go along), shows clearly in “Health Care Reform”.
As ‘ordinary citizens’ we seem all too willing to choose a ‘side‘. This divides us, leaves us unaware of one another’s well-being, of common interest. I also insist we are in different relationships to ‘government’ and ‘corporate’ powers. We own government, it is our device, our tool. It is up to us to make it work, using its “reach”, if it suits us, the citizens, to do so. Government players are susceptible to thirst to maintain power (re-election, benefits of service), but theoretically are trumped by citizen power. Corporate power is not available to us, an entire citizenry, as “democracy”. Even shareholders to not have full control of corporate policy.
Government has responsibility to fiscal intelligence and service; corporations have responsibility only to profit and maintaining power. Eisenhower recognized this difference. Jefferson was not fond of ‘party politics’; he promoted “individual enterprise and wisdom” with equal regard for “common weal’. His view was ‘government’ is the ‘agency’ to serve both (by direction given through independent, intelligent, individual vote – not ‘partisan fostered’ perspective.’)
To Common Interest Known! My Best To All! — MaggieAnn