Iran and Health Care are front and center in the political world right now, and whereas the the former is mentioned, tweeted, and discussed among many film folk everywhere, the latter seems to be strangely missing. I admit the plight of Iran is much more compelling then a procedural debate about health insurance, a topic that feels to many old and worn over. But we're Americans dammit! We're supposed to be self interested! And reforming the health care system is something that is very much in the self interest of producers, directors, writers, crew, publicists, even assistants and interns... so much of the indie film community is made up of small companies, sole proprietors, and freelancers that the rising cost of health care becomes a real drain on the bottom line, on our livelihoods. Especially given the current state of the industry - another topic that is foremost on folks' minds.
Right now Health Care is in trouble.
See yesterday's op-ed by Paul Krugman where he calls the centrist Democrats in the Senate, who whenever there is a big piece of legislation seek to change it purely to hold onto their power, to task:
"The real risk is that health care reform will be undermined by “centrist” Democratic senators who either prevent the passage of a bill or insist on watering down key elements of reform. I use scare quotes around “centrist,” by the way, because if the center means the position held by most Americans, the self-proclaimed centrists are in fact way out in right field.
What the balking Democrats seem most determined to do is to kill the public option, either by eliminating it or by carrying out a bait-and-switch, replacing a true public option with something meaningless. For the record, neither regional health cooperatives nor state-level public plans, both of which have been proposed as alternatives, would have the financial stability and bargaining power needed to bring down health care costs.
Whatever may be motivating these Democrats, they don’t seem able to explain their reasons in public."
Check out Robert Reich's Memo to Obama where he among other things calls on President Obama to stand forcefully in the face of opposition:
"Be LBJ. So far, Lyndon Johnson has been the only president to defeat American Medical Association and the rest of the medical-industrial complex. He got Medicare and Medicaid enacted despite their cries of "socialized medicine" because he knocked heads on the Hill. He told Congress exactly what he wanted, cajoled and threatened those who resisted, and counted noses every hour until he had the votes he needed. When you're not on the road, you need to be twisting congressional arms and drawing a line in the sand. Be tough."
Recent polls shows that 72% of Americans want a public health insurance option. The 2008 election showed that together we can be more than we can ever be apart. And that unity must extend beyond just getting a Obama into the White House - because we voted for him to get legislation passed, and that legislation doesn't come to pass,
all our efforts were for naught.