Kucinich: "...a Government of the Lobbyists, by the Lobbyists, for the Special Interest Groups..."
Rep. Dennis Kucinich appeared on CSpan recently. I found myself asking why Kucinich is in such a philosophical minority in Washington when everything he says addresses the serious economic and physical realities grinding down the American citizenry. Kucinich speaks with passion, clarity and empathy.
Kucinich admits that Obama received an “unmitigated mess” from George Bush. But he contends Washington is now too paralyzed to restore justice. He warns that we can’t afford to get gridlocked by partisanship. “The country is collapsing!” he declares. Kucinich maintains that health care is one of a three-pronged crisis. Our broken political system is not providing jobs, universal health care or saving homes for its citizens.
Our administration and Congress are not holding insurance companies accountable for the price gouging happening and even profoundly escalating right now. Kucinich believes the proposed health care bill has a CENTRAL FLAW. It is LOCKING IN PRIVATIZATION. There is no process for control of premiums. Kucinich’s rhetoric does not hold back. He calls this government a “cash cow” for corporations. It is providing corporations such as insurance companies with a “license to steal.” At one point he warns of us becoming “slaves on a health insurance plantation.”
Kucinich says the accusations of socialism attributed to Obama’s plan are laughable. He proclaims that we are a government “of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, and for the special interest groups.” Special interest groups being the banks, Wall Street, insurance companies, megacorporations outsourcing more and more of our jobs, etc. Our government is enabling the “money machine” to keep on mowing us down as it diminishes our democracy, redistributes all the wealth upward. Kucinich says we can either stop it or we can turn our backs on it.
Again and again he emphasizes how the political system, broken though fixable, needs to provide health care for all, get Americans back to work, and save people’s homes. One caller spoke of how minority groups are suffering especially. They are “disproportionately burdened” on all three fronts -- being slammed back down the ladder of success -- he affirms.
He cites painful statistics. 47 million people have no health insurance. 16-17% of the GNP goes for health care. 2X more per capita than any other country. 1 out of every 3 dollars goes directly to insurance companies. $2.4 trillion a year goes to health care he maintains ... so of that, $800 billion goes to insurance activities for corporate profits, executive salaries, stock options, advertising, marketing, costs of paperwork. The yearly release of $800 billion would go a long way to providing all with comprehensive health care, including vision, mental health, pharmaceuticals, long term care, etc.
Kucinich sees hope for America's transition to a single payer, universal health care program in current state wide initiatives. He believes that the national government process is too flawed right now, but he envisions some state passing single payer reform that will begin the transition, like when a province in Canada instituted single payer and it spread through the entire country.
To Kucinich universal health care is a basic, human, civil and defining American right.
“I am not a rubber stamp for my party!” Kucinich declares when challenged about obstructing the President’s corporate-enabling health care agenda.
We are fortunate he is not.