Thanks to conservative Democrats, it seems clear the bill that will emerge from the Congress will probably have a watered-down public option. According to the Post Star (not online, unfortunately) healthcare reform is now scheduled to take ten years. The public opt-in program will not even start for another four years. If we remember that progressives were upset when Rahm Emmanuel proposed a trigger that would delay the public option for five years, and felt that was totally unacceptable, then we have pretty much wound up in the same place, anyway.
But the ultimate battleground shifted Friday. The House Committee On Education and Labor adopted the Kucinich Amendment, which preserves the right of states to create a single payer system. It is now in HR. 3200, the healthcare reform bill before the house.
That means the task at hand for progressives is two fold: 1.) keep the Kucinich Amendment in the final bill, the one that emerges from the joint conference, and then, 2.) work state by state to create real reform, a single-payer system. Apparently that's the way it happened in Canada.
Here's a powerful argument for New York State: single-payer would so dramatically lower the cost of healthcare in NY, that it would lower the overall cost of doing business in NY, making the state competitive with supposedly low cost states down in Dixie, where healthcare costs will be sky high.
For more on the Kucinich Amendment and how they did it in Canada: http://www.truthout.org/071909B?n
We have heard much this week on the 40th Anniversary of America's landing on the Moon. JFK laid down a goal to go to the Moon and we did it in nine years. Now we are told that it is going to take us ten years to do healthcare reform, even though LBJ got Medicare up and running in eleven months, and we went to the Moon in a decade. Howard Meyerson of the Post observes,
"Watching the centrist Democrats in Congress create more and more reasons why health care can't be fixed, I've been struck by a disquieting thought: Suppose our collective lack of response to Hurricane Katrina wasn't exceptional but, rather, the new normal in America...
It wasn't ever thus. Time was when Democratic Congresses enacted Social Security and Medicare over the opposition of powerful interests and Republican ideologues." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/21/AR2009072102712.html
Dick sends this along in the same vein- "Every once in a while a killer article comes along that says it all. Do not miss this one:"
4. Rockhill Progressive Family Film Fest
The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe's Progressive Family Film Festival continues:
FRI JUL 24 7:00 pm SUMMER FAMILY FILM FESTIVAL Films the Whole Family Will Enjoy. Free.
When a sick boy (Fred Savage) receives a visit from his doting grandfather (Peter Falk) who intends to read to him from his favorite book, he's not exactly pleased to be extracted from his world of video games. However, his mood quickly changes as he, along with the viewer, is transported to a place out of time--to Florin, a kingdom in the ultimate imaginary land, complete with dashing heroes, cowardly princes, rhyming giants, shrieking eels, rodents of unusual size, fancy swordfights, and yes...even some kissing. The lovely Buttercup (Robin Wright) learns that "As you wish" really means "I love you" when she falls for her charming farmhand, Westley (Cary Elwes). While trying to seek his fortune, however, Westley disappears at sea, an apparent victim of the Dread Pirate Roberts, who takes no prisoners. A few years later, Buttercup, engaged to the oily Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), is kidnapped by an oddball trio of rogues--brains, Vizzini (Wallace Shawn); brawn, Fezzik (André the Giant); and sword, Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin in a standout performance). As they sail away toward the Cliffs of Insanity, they notice the pursuit of a man in black...and the adventure begins. A clever fairy tale for all ages, THE PRINCESS BRIDE is arguably one of the funniest and most entertaining films of all time.
THU JUL 30 7:00 pm OPEN MIC NIGHT hosted by our very own Cory Avon. Sing, play, read or just watch and listen. Free.
FRI JUL 31 7:00 pm SUMMER FAMILY FILM FESTIVAL Films the Whole Family Will Enjoy. Free.
THE STRAIGHT STORY David Lynch (1999)
Alvin Straight (RICHARD FARNSWORTH) was 73 when he got the call about his brother. Alvin couldn't see well enough to hold a driver's license. He walked only with the support of two canes. He didn't much care for anybody else helping him out. But when he got the call that his brother Lyle (HARRY DEAN STANTON) -- separated from him by hundreds of miles and a decade of proud silence -- had suffered a stroke, Alvin knew he had to reach him. So, with little money but abundant determination, he climbed on his lawnmower and set out. From two-time Oscar-nominated director David Lynch ("Blue Velvet," "The Elephant Man") comes a lyrical portrait of this real man's journey across America's Heartland. Filmed along the route that the actual Alvin Straight traversed in 1994 from Laurens, Iowa to Mt. Zion, Wisconsin, "The Straight Story" chronicles Alvin's patient odyssey and those he meets along the way. When not rolling along at five miles an hour aboard his '66 John Deere, Alvin encounters a number of strangers, from a teenage runaway to a fellow World War II veteran. By sharing his life's earned wisdom with simple stories, Alvin has a profound impact on the characters that color his pilgrimage. Menaced by enormous, rumbling 18-wheelers, lapped by bicycle marathoners and sheltered by abandoned barns, Alvin proceeds steadfastly along on the shoulders of snaking roads toward a hopeful and long-deferred reunion with a brother whose fate he doesn't know.