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Medicare for all

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    Beyond the Spin, Some Facts About the Affordable Care Act

    by Margaret Flowers, MD

    President Obama’s market-based health care plan got off to a very shaky start, but the entire developed world already knows that private markets cannot deliver quality health care for all. “A single payer health system, also called Medicare for all, would both resolve the fundamental failings of our current system and is the solution favored by most Americans.”

    I’m Black and I Want More “Stuff” and “Things”: An Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly

    by Jesse Hagopian

    The arch-racist Bill O’Reilly believes Blacks expect to receive “a cornucopia of benefits” from the newly-reelected president. However, it’s about four years late for that. African Americans know they’ll have to fight – and work – to get what they deserve, as has always been the case.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of October 22, 2012


    Medicare Supporters Protest While Candidates Joke

    Medicare “is being threatened by both parties,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal, of Physicians for a National Health Care Program. The group led protests outside New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, where presidential contenders Barack Obama and Mitt Romney told jokes at an annual dinner. “Even the Democrats are talking about raising the age of eligibility for Medicare,” said Rosenthal. Both parties and the media claim Medicare is facing bankruptcy. “That’s all very misleading. It’s not in crisis, it’s not going to run out of money for a long time, and we can fix that.” Rosenthal’s organization wants Medicare expanded to cover all Americans.

    Black Is Back – in Washington

    The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which appeared on the scene with a march on the White House in 2009, returns to DC for a rally and national conference, November 3 and 4, under the theme “Breaking the Silence.” “There are bombs being dropped in Africa, and increased militarization of our communities in the United States,” said spokesperson Ayesha Fleary. “Millions have died in the Congo over the last 10 years, but that’s never on anybody’s agenda.”

    Stop-and-Frisk Protesters Face 2+ Years in Prison

    Trial begins October 23 for four members of the Stop Stop-and-Frisk movement, charged with acting “in concert” to disrupt a police precinct in Queens, New York, last year. Prosecutors are seeking to intimidate the movement by “piling on” charges that could put the demonstrators in prison for more than two years, said defendant Carl Dix. “It is illegitimate, unjust and racist for the NYPD to racially profile Black youth…and to put us on trial for protesting it. What has be put on trial, here, is stop-and-frisk, itself.”

    Parents of Slain Oakland Youth Speak Out

    Our youth are saying, Why plan for the future when I might not live to be 18?” said Jeralyn Blueford, whose son Alan was shot to death by an Oakland, California, policeman, last May. Mrs. Blueford and her husband, Adam, will travel to New York and Philadelphia to tell how a cop chased her unarmed son for a mile before putting three bullets in his chest. Initial police claims that there had been a shootout, soon fell apart. “It was just racial profiling at its core,” said the father.

    South Africa Slum Dwellers, in U.S., Condemn Marikana Massacre

    We need to take a stand, because what the miners were fighting for is just,” said Mnikelo Ndabankulu, spokesperson for the South African grassroots organization Abahlali baseMjondolo, which means “People Who Live in Shacks” in the Zulu language. At least 34 workers were shot dead by police at the Marikana platinum mine, in August. Ndabankulu's group has also been harshly suppressed by authorities. “South Africa is a protesting state,” he said. If police were allowed to shoot everyone who protests, “the country would be left with only police and rich people.” Abahlali baseMjondolo members are on a tour of U.S. cities.

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    Freedom Rider: Nixoncare Finally Wins


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The euphoria in the Obama camp over their health care victory at the U.S. Supreme Court shows “the Democrats of the 21st century are akin to the Republicans of forty years ago.” Back then, Richard Nixon proposed a health care plan very much resembling – and, in some ways, superior to – Obamacare. When the Obama plan goes into effect in 2014, “there will still be nothing to prevent health insurance companies from manipulating the market place and giving Americans access to inferior coverage with high deductibles.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of June 18, 2012


    Backwards Logic: Obama’s “We Got Your Back” Black Campaign Ad

    The Obama 2012 campaign’s radio ad, in which a chorus of Black voices assures the president that “We got your back,” implies a “reciprocal relationship” between Blacks and Obama – “that we’re all in this together,” said Dr. Johnny Williams, professor of sociology at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. However, “there’s been very little that he’s done directly for Black people to show us that he’s got our back.”

    Why Wisconsin mobilization and Occupy movement “Faltered”

    The “biggest ongoing labor rally since the 1930s got shunted into electoral politics…because there wasn’t also the pursuit of independent movement building,” said Arun Gupta, co-founder of the Occupy Wall Street Journal. The problem, said Gupta, was not simply that Democratic Party and labor union “honchos” steered the movement into an unsuccessful bid to unseat Republican Scott Walker. Rather, the Wisconsin mobilization and the Occupy movement, “despite their potential, have been faltering because of…a lack of organization, a lack of discipline, and a lack of strategy.”

    Medicaid for All Would Have Passed Constitutional Muster

    President Obama could have avoided constitutional problems if he had chosen a health care plan that “most people have long supported” and which is “constitutionally safe”: Medicare for All, said political analyst and author Paul Street. “All you have to do” to create a single-payer system ”is to go into the Medicare bill and take out the clause that says its for people over 65 – and just say its for everybody.” Instead, Obama pushed a bill that guaranteed price-setting power to the drug and insurance “mafias.” The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on Obama’s health care legislation, which requires people to purchase private insurance.

    Obama Violates His Own Law on Congo Killings

    Friends of Congo is circulating a petition demanding that Washington cut off funds to nations that “destabilize” their neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Executive director Maurice Carney notes that the law was authored by Sen. Barack Obama and co-sponsored by Sen. Hillary Clinton, now U.S. Secretary of State. Rwanda and Uganda are both guilty of destabilizing the DRC, “resulting in the death of millions of Congolese,” said Carney. Both Rwanda and Uganda are close allies of the U.S.

    No Compromise with Capitalism

    You have to have, as an objective, overturning the system of capitalism, itself. And to do that, you’ve got to be organized,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, founded in 1972. Yeshitela was speaking at the national convention of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, in Philadelphia.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey


    Mubarak Corruption Made Egypt a “Failed State”

    Three decades of rule by President Hosni Mubarak’s clique of “corrupt businessmen” reversed the nation’s achievements in agrarian reform and “took it back to the time of the monarchy” that was overthrown in 1952, says Seif Dana, associate professor of sociology and international studies at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. Economically, Egypt “was totally surrendered to the World Bank and the IMF, and politically, to foreign powers."

    Housing Discrimination Keeps Blacks From Returning to New Orleans

    The white leaders of Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish say they’ll stop trying to prevent construction of hundreds of mixed income apartments, in an effort to keep Blacks from moving into the 90 percent white jurisdiction. James Perry, executive director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, which has been locked in court battles with the Parish, says housing discrimination “has made it difficult” for Blacks to return to post-Katrina New Orleans. According to new U.S. Census data, the city lost about 140,000 residents in the 2005 exodus.

    U.S. Needs Medicare For All

    Whichever way the U.S. Supreme Court eventually rules on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care legislation, “the American people will continue to be screwed, because health care should not be treated as a market,” says Dr. Clark Newhall, executive director of Health Justice. “A Medicare-for-all solution is necessary.”

    Prison Rape Grossly Under-Reported

    The U.S. Justice Department estimates that more than 216,000 inmates are sexually abused every year, many of them by prison staff, but only 7,444 prisoners filed formal complaints in 2008. Lovisa Stannow, executive director of Just Detention International, says sexual abuse behind bars “is eminently preventable” if there is a “strong political will…to stand up for the dignity of inmates” in the face of this “human rights crisis.”

    Whose Moment is It?

    Dr. Jared Ball, of Black Agenda Report, says President Obama's “Sputnik Moment” spiel is an attempt to “wake the country up to its slipping grip on power over the world.” It’s also an example of political “branding” by phrase-mongering,

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