Today is Ghandi’s birthday. I have a feeling he would be in favor of universal health care.
No matter how objectively one tries to frame the current gridlock in Washington by claiming each party is equally to blame, the fact is that one small, but powerful minority has intentionally sabotaged what would have been the day to remember the launch of universal health care in the US, by ensuring that we will instead remember it as the day the government shut down because of “politics.” Blame is even tipping towards Democrats in many editorials since they are refusing attempts at “compromise.”
The Affordable Care Act was passed as law. It even survived a conservative-leaning Supreme Court ruling, affirming its legitimacy. But let’s be honest, it is not conspiracy theory to state that the obstructionism faced by Obama is governed by a clear agenda to discredit him – the first Black President. The very term “Obamacare,” which he, and therefore everyone else has now fully appropriated, was born out of derision from opponents emboldened by the Tea Party, which has not been shy about its racism generally, nor its racist caricatures of the President specifically. There is no precedent to naming a new, ambitious public policy after the president who promotes it. Neither Reconstruction nor the New Deal was named after the president who initiated it. And even Ronald Reagan, who somehow has become required reverence for every modern politician despite their party affiliation, did not have his name applied to his policies (“Reaganomics”) until they had ample time to take effect.
One of Ghandi’s most famous acts was the Salt March in 1930 protesting the salt tax imposed by the British. Indians were literally not allowed to collect salt from the sea, they had to buy it from their colonial oppressors. It seems insane retrospectively, this tax. Hopefully so will the unfathomably high taxes (financial, physical, emotional, and societal) that we have been paying individually and collectively for our failing healthcare system (or lack of it) prior to “Obamacare.”