February 1, 2012

Members of Congress have the Cadillac health insurance plan.

Why should we expect them to understand the plight of average Americans?

When things got ugly in France, Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.”

What people didn’t grasp back then was that Marie wasn’t being mean or sarcastic, she just didn’t know.

She was so disconnected, she had no clue what it was like to be a peasant in France at the end of the 18th Century. In fact, some historians believe that something may have been lost in the translation, and that Marie wasn’t referring to what we today think of as cake, at all.

Even so…

My sense is that most of those sitting in Congress today are so disconnected that they have no clue what it is to be a regular American at the beginning of the 21st Century.

So, we need to give them a break, stop the rhetoric, and come up with a plan to help inform those who have the power that we — the people who are getting jerked around — are just not happy with the fat cats working in the private insurance industry who travel in their private jets and chauffeured black cars while denying us health care; that we are not happy with our Congresspeople and other ‘government workers’ — who now make up around 30% of the workforce — and who have lifetime benefits.

We are not happy because the rest of us — the 70% who work in the private sector — are getting screwed.

Some of us have been working as virtual slaves to a corporation which recently determined that health care coverage for retirees was too much of a burden for them to shoulder.

Or worse, the company declared bankruptcy or closed down, leaving workers and retirees with nothing other than bad memories.

Others of us were counting on some sort of group plan that has now disappeared.

We need access to a group health plan that spreads the risks and the costs across a broad cross section of the population.

If we take this to the extreme, let’s take a peek at K-12 public education, which is typically funded with property taxes, levied on all property owners whether they have children or not, and whether they send their children to public or private schools.

Everyone shares in the cost of public education. Everyone.

Some pay twice: they pay their taxes; then they send their children to private schools. That’s their choice.

With our healthcare system as it stands today, people have no choice. Either you are at the top of the economic pyramid and have the Cadillac plan, or you are uninsured.

Is that a Socialist issue?

Then what about roads? Sewers? Libraries? Public education? How about parks? Sidewalks? Public transportaion?

It seems that the USA may be the last of the economically developed nations to stop and recognize the need for universal health care.

Will this be the very issue that precipitates our demise as a sovereign nation?

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