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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?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Liberals of Oakland County (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dagnome, northerntier

    As a Liberal in Oakland County Michigan I found myself submerged in a sea of conservatives and blue-dog Democrats. We (my husband and I) are starting a new meetup group called Liberals of Oakland County. If you live in Oakland County, drop by our sight, signup and come share a meal and conversation.

    We are good people who are not afraid to still use the "L" word.

  •  Rich Snyder is no Tommy Douglas (0+ / 0-)

    There is a reason that Tommy Douglas is held in such high regard in canada ...

    Even after reading Your diary twice, I still have no idea how You linked Tommy Douglas and snyder

    "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

    by josephk on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 08:20:44 PM PDT

  •  Defeat Snyder for re-election, right? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  You have a very good memory Grasshopper (0+ / 0-)

    As was pointed out then and is known by some now, the only thing that will really work is universal coverage.  Obamacare is a step in the right direction though and it sure as hell beats where we were.  Always remember this though, universal health care started out as a republican idea that TR (some would argue, was really a Democrat), came up with and tried to do.  As big a dick as Snyder is, I wish him success in getting folks in Michigan covered.

    •  Understand jasan, but (0+ / 0-)

      we as a people can do better.  Over and over we have been told "half a loaf is better than none" while the rich grow richer. Our Corporate media reminds us constantly that Single Payer was  "asking too much" and a Public option was a "bridge too far".  What if at the start of  the so-called Health Care debates the Democrats (and Obama) told us up front; "hey guys, how about we re-introduce that old Republican Heritage Foundation plan you rejected back in the 90's?  

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