Thursday, January 17, 2008

Disease in the Belt-Way

One of the times in 2007 that I was in Washington D.C. I learned this: some people in the Washington D.C. area apparently refer to D.C. and the surrounding area as the "Beltway"

There is a kind of a disease in that beltway. It causes most of the members of the U.S. Congress to have their vision blocked and their ears closed. It causes an endless repetition of one of these sets of words:
  • "Single-payer is not politically feasible."
    • This is the short version that is said the most often.
  • "Single-payer is definitely the best solution, but I don't think it has the political will to make it happen."
    • Heard face-to-face during a chat with a U.S. Senator.
  • "If I was starting from scratch, I'd certainly want single-payer, but (speaker fills in his or words for the rest)."
    • Heard directly from another U.S. Senator of another state.
Here is my translation of these sentences and any other similar sentences:
  • A huge number of dollars are spent by health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies in this county fighting what is good for the United States. U.S. citizens have the option of rising up with literally millions of direct contacts with the members of the U.S. Congress. One of those sets of direct contacts could be the activity of "Notes and Votes" pouring two to four thousand personally composed letters into the offices four times per year, growing each time. But, until something massive like that happens, there will continue to be zero support in the U.S. Senate and less than one-fourth support in the U.S. House. Why? Because there are many more health care lobbyists than there are members of the U.S. Congress. These lobbyists have a continual impact on the minds and the activities and the actions of the U.S. Congress.
It's important to keep in mind that
  • The people HAVE spoken.
  • The medical horror stories HAVE been communicated in multiple ways.
  • The polls HAVE been taken over and over again.
  • The federal government's own reports and working groups have documented that the nation will benefit from non-profit, single-payer national health insurance.
  • There is no excuse.
  • The facts are known.
Based on everything written above, it is nothing short of corruption that most members of the U.S. Congress are not responding to what over half of Americans want. Today I read it described by another single-payer activist as "a flagrant betrayal of trust by our legislators (which is a definition of treason)."

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