Over the summer, Americans have gotten lost in a nightmarish alternate reality in which government-run health care is the enemy of Medicare and counselors helping people to make decisions for themselves about how they want to end their lives are death panels. Also forgotten this summer were the campaign promises of 2008, in which universal health care was the pledge that got many members of Congress re-elected.
Many members of Congress are now pretending those promises were never made, and are promoting the fall back position of a public option as if it were what they supported all along. This public option turns out to have been a compromise made too early, so that the anti-reform right wing now has many Americans convinced that it isn’t a compromise at all, and the original idea of single payer universal health care is no longer even recognized as on the map of possibilities for health care reform.
Jeremy Cloward, a candidate for Congress running in the special election in the 10th congressional district of California, has not forgotten the health care promises of 2008. He’s continuing them on in 2009. Cloward states,
“We propose universal health care coverage for every citizen of the United States. In the US we spend more money on health care, some $7,000 dollars per person per year, than any other country in the world. Canada, which unlike the United States does have universal health coverage, spends only $4,500 dollars per person for universal health care coverage. Thus, the money for universal health care in the United States is already in our federal, state, and local budgets. For the US, it is more a question of reducing the fees that health care providers charge, reducing the cost of prescription medications, and dismantling the health care insurance industry.”
The primary for the special election in California will be held tomorrow, September 1. If no candidate gets the majority of the vote in the primary, Jeremy Cloward will go on to represent the Green Party in the general election in November.