The Case for More Government

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Health care falls into my “Common Good Bucket”. Everyone needs access to it. I don’t want a corporation increasing its profits by denying coverage to me or charging me excessive rates for access.
I like the idea of the government stepping in and providing competition for the health care corporations. Aren’t the roots of capitalism based on competition?

[Telling It Straight Up]
 
The call for “less government” has become one of the cornerstones of the Republican Party.

They don’t trust that the federal government is competent enough to manage health care or any other social service--even though the federal government currently manages Medicare.

They don’t want the government "interfering" with business through regulation and they are defiant about the federal government presiding over issues that govern our individual rights. Many Republicans speak of wanting to return more power to the state level.

While history shows  that the U.S. government has not always been on the right side of issues, including slavery, women’s rights, McCarthyism, the war in Viet Nam, and so forth; I have always pointed out to those who would cast a disparaging light on this country that while we do have our issues, we incessantly work to get it right.

As American citizens, we have a say in our government and the freedom to exercise our right to dissent without fear of retribution. Most of the world’s population cannot make that same claim which is why millions continue to seek entry and citizenship into the United States.
 
The civil rights movement relied on the basic decency of the American people to pressure the federal government into action after the violence towards peaceful demonstrators was broadcast into their living rooms.

It was the federal government that stepped in and enforced the rights of the citizen marchers. It was also the federal government that made race and sex discrimination illegal throughout the entire country. Had that decision been left to the states, Alabama might still be practicing “separate but equal”.
 
It is from this perspective that I welcome government intervention. The government intervened in 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt saw the need to protect the elderly, widowed and children by creating Social Security.
Since the Social Security Act was passed, Americans have come to rely on and expect their Social Security benefits as a birthright. As the Bush Administration discovered when they sought to privatize Social Security, it is political suicide to mess with American’s Social Security checks. Conversely, can you imagine trying to get Social Security passed with today’s Republican Party and its mantra of “less government”?
 
If health care reform which covers all U.S. citizens is passed, I believe it will eventually be adopted in the same way Social Security is now presupposed. I’m of the opinion that access to medical attention is one of those fundamental necessities
that falls into what I refer to as the “Common Good Bucket”. This would include anything needed or required by law to sustain the most modest standard of living.
 
In regard to health care insurance, while polls say that most Americans are happy with their current coverage, they are not happy with rising premiums. I also defy anyone to claim that they would want decisions regarding access to critical
procedures needed by themselves or a loved one to be based on a corporation’s profit and loss calculations.
 
Medical Insurers (HMO’s) are making record profits. Their main function is to go out into the market and buy health care services and resell them back to us.

Essentially, they are health care resellers, whose corporate sustainability, depends on revenue earnings. Corporations aren’t fundamentally bad, but they have become selfishly profit driven at the expense of the common good in order to provide solid returns to their shareholders.

I hold investments in corporations and encourage others to do so as well. However, I am not interested in an HMO profiting off of either my good health or need for access to medical attention.
 
Health care falls into my “Common Good Bucket”. Everyone needs access to it. I don’t want a corporation increasing its profits by denying coverage to me or charging me excessive rates for access. I like the idea of the government stepping in and providing competition for the health care corporations. Aren’t the roots of capitalism based on competition?

I view health care corporations the same way I do big oil companies. Whether it’s Exxon, Shell or BP, they all sell a product we rely on at rates that seem higher than they should be, while profiting at rates that afford them the luxury to spend billions lobbying Congress to increase their already huge earnings.
 
I want the government to regulate energy costs. We all need electricity and heat in our homes. It is essential. As soon as the government deregulated energy, what happened to the consumer?

Our gas and electric bills more than doubled. What was the benefit to the consumer? Can anyone name anything good that came out of energy deregulation except that it made a few people rich? The energy industry lobbied Congress for deregulation and the “less government” faction of the Congress gave it to them.
 
Since the government mandates that I have home owners insurance, I want the government to mandate that insurance companies have funds in reserve to assist home owners rebuild and repair should they choose, if, and when a catastrophe like Katrina strikes again. 
 
I also want the government to issue severe penalties when corporations mismanage the pension funds their employees rely on to secure their futures.
 
I find it ironic that the same folks who claim they do not want the government to intervene in their lives, want to use the government to deny equal rights to gay citizens. They want the government to take away a woman’s right to decide if she
wants to carry a child, but don’t want the government spending more money to secure that child’s pre- and post- natal well being.
 
I understand the need for fiscal restraint. However, the federal budget has operated at a deficit for most of our country’s history. It’s only when those deficits come at the expense of one of our two major party’s agenda, that you hear the concerns over the deficit being a burden to future generations. I am of the overall opinion that if we’re going to operate at a deficit, I’d rather it be due to the government providing services that benefit the American people.
 
Currently, too many citizens are eking out a living on a half empty “Common Good Bucket”. Big business has proven time and time again that when left unregulated it will maximize its profits even when it’s against the best interest of the American
people.

We need a federal government that is dedicated to government of the people, for the people and by the people.
If that means expanding the government’s role ensure the common good, then so be it.


Please post your comments online or submit them to milton@blackstarnews.com

"Speaking Truth To Empower."


 

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