Wednesday, September 6th, 2006


What would be the most effective thing we could do to make US citizens more prosperous, and gain back a little of what we have lost in recent years. The answer is universal health care coverage.

It’s Health Care, Smart People! By Greg Anrig, Jr.

So let’s keep it simple: the biggest problem by far is our screwed up health care system, and the solution is universal coverage.

Pulling off universal coverage would make the vast majority of American families more economically secure, and the country will be able to stop squandering a huge and ever-growing share of our resources on an incredibly wasteful system. The ripple effects on wages, job security (in the context of global competition with countries already providing universal coverage), household debt levels, and bankruptcies, etc. are all likely to be positive. As Ezra Klein notes at Tapped, none of the other kinds of nickel-and-dime policy proposals bandied about will have a meaningful impact on the lives of a broad swath of the population.
. . .
The Right’s health care arguments are wonderful straight lines for mocking retorts, if only Democrats on the campaign trail would would take advantage of them.

The midterm elections obviously aren’t the right monent for a universal coverage push, and there are risks aplenty during the presidential season, but in all of the discussion about re-connecting to middle class voters – and making their lives genuinely better (while strengthening the nation’s economy) – health care has to be front and center.

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Here is a map from Washington Monthly and the Detroit Free Press. Median household income has been falling throughout the entire country from 1999-2005. Only four states and the District of Columbia have made any gains. But these are insignificant in comparison to the losses around the rest of the country. Michigan, North Carolina, Utah, Oregon, and Mississippi have lost the most. But overall the country is losing and continues downward. American households are suffering under Republican exploitation and neglect.