When the citizens of Canada were asked who in their opinion was the most influential essential Canadian that ever lived they did not name a war hero, rich industrialist, sports figure, or movie star; they overwhelmingly named Tommy Douglas.
Tommy Douglas was named the “Greatest Canadian” for bringing universal healthcare to all Canadians. Michigan governor Rick Snyder wrote an article in the Detroit Free Press titled, “Expanding Medicaid will save taxpayers money – and lives”. Anyone but me notice old Rick led with “money” and “lives” were a kinda of afterthought? Only natural when one considers healthcare within the realm of the "market". In short Snyder’s article is critical of the Michigan law makers going on vacation before voting on a bill that would provide health care coverage for about half a million (working) Michiganders. The “Healthy Michigan” plan (paid for under Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act) in Snyder’s words:
“Healthy Michigan will require those covered to share in the cost through premiums and like many private insurance systems, it will provide incentives for those covered to take responsibility for their lifestyle choices and maintain and improve their health.”
Contrast Snyder’s above puritanical rant with Tommy Douglas dream of empathy and compassion. The Governor wants to make it clear to the poor and working poor making a sub-living-wage, that there will be no free rides here! The “junk” insurance will surely include high co-pays and deductibles that will “squeeze” out every ounce of disposable income from these dead beats while delivering substandard minimum care. Douglas on the other hand wanted “all” Canadians (and their children) to have the best healthcare his country could deliver. Unlike Snyder and his ilk, Douglas understood that he was “his brothers keeper”.
Now we find ourselves in a position where healthcare for the poor and working poor in Michigan is being seemly championed by a man who exported countless jobs over seas (Gateway Computer); made Michigan a “right to work” state; and usurped the Democratic process in Benton Harbour and Detroit by appointing “emergency managers”. In the article Snyder states that he himself has misgivings about “Obamacare” (required as a Republican), but he goes on to say:
“it is the law of the land, and the real question is what can we do to make it positive for Michigan?”
Who are we kidding here folks? I assume that most here understand that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) “is” the same plan Bob Dole and the Republicans were pimping in the 90’s as an alterative to Hillarycare! Yes, you remember this backdoor bailout for the health insurance companies cooked up in the basement of the Heritage Foundation. We Liberals/Progressives rejected this low rent, off the shelf scam back then, yet now that it has been “repackaged” (new and improved) many on the left have no problem defending it as if it were Single Payer or that Public Option the Democrats so quickly “threw under the bus” during the healthcare debates. Naomi Klein warned us in her book “The Shock Doctrine” (rise of Disaster Capitalism) of old failed Republican (Neo-Liberal) ideas being pulled off the shelf and re-branded in times of crisis.
How low have we sank that Rick Snyder by contrast assumes the role of Michigan’s Tommy Douglas?