One of the more powerful points from Sicko was how our bęte noire, Richard Nixon, had a hand in creating the health care system we all know and loathe.
In 1971, Edgar Kaiser, the son of the founder of Kaiser Permanente, one of the first big HMOs, went to see John Ehrlichman, a top aide to President Nixon, to lobby the Nixon White House to pass legislation that would expand the market for health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Ehrlichman reported this conversation to Nixon on February 17, 1971. The discussion, which was taped, went like this:
Ehrlichman: I had Edgar Kaiser come in…talk to me about this and I went into it in some depth. All the incentives are toward less medical care, because the less care they give them, the more money they make.
President Nixon: Fine.
The next day, Nixon publicly announced he would be pushing legislation that would provide Americans "the finest health care in the world."
Perhaps now that we are beginning to realize how many of the Nixon"legacies" are still corrupting our government today, we will find ways to cleanse those essential systems that currently direct our world.
Let's reject a world where denial of care leads to immense profits. A world where the criminals who believe in the Unitary Executive in Nixon's administration are allowed future chances to infect the government with their heresies. And a world where those who shirked their military service create an even worse meat-grinder of a war for the generations that follow them.
We have so many cancers eating away at our country. Nevertheless, it is disheartening to see how ideas from Nixon's term have subverted our constitutional democracy and how they continue to undermine our ability to solve our problems today.
"Fine." It really says it all, doesn't it?Posted by Mary at July 4, 2007 12:30 AM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |