The Health Care That Equals "I Don't Care"

By Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio, Written 8/29/09, Recorded 8/30/09

Listen To Audio Column: Full Version | Short Version

As the White House and Congress square off on health care, take care, because the deals with the big dogs have been made -- and the people will be -- once again -- left holding an empty bag.

That's because in the opening hours of this drama, the central issue -- single payer -- was given away, in an attempt to attract the support of big insurance companies. A pre-pay-off, if you will, to show them that neither their profits nor future growth would be impaired.

Truly, this is change that they can believe in, for it means more clients, more funds flooding their tills, and legislative protection for their dwindling pay outs (for sick people.)

Single-payer means that all doctors and hospitals would have been paid for their services by a single government agency -- spelling the end to the immense profits garnered each year by hundreds of insurance companies -- now costing at least $350 billion annually.

Now, that amount of money would've paid for much of the nation's health care needs, instead of private business profits, and executive bonuses.

With the deal made, that money is gone -- and so are the hopes of millions for a fix of the nation's broken health care system.

Do you really think the insurance companies donated millions to Obama and select members of Congress because they liked their looks?

They'll give dough to Democrats, Republicans -- hell, even communists if they think it'll buy them more profits.

And it looks like they have.

There's an old American saying, 'You get what you pay for.'

Well, they've paid the politicians -- and they're about to get the payoff!

There's considerable coverage on the recent passing of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, a long time advocate of universal healthcare. While his brain cancer undoubtedly shortened his days, it's also likely that this adept politician, seeing the horse trades being made to sell out the people on health care, caused him to die from a broken heart.

Oh -- and about those town halls? It's much ado about nothing, or as Shakespeare once wrote, it's 'sound and fury, signifying nothing.'

Most of them are people who didn't even vote for Obama, and who call him a 'socialist' for using 'the guvamint to interfere with Medicare.' Nutty as a Snickers bar. Many still believe he was born in Kenya, East Africa!

And yes, a bill will pass, and Obama will sign it, but it'll mean less, not more health care. It'll mean higher co-pays (really prepays, or deductibles), less services, and more profits for their campaign contributors. There will be celebrations and TV PR people will praise it like American Idol -- but it'll be a sell-out -- pure and simple.

Unless -- unless -people really raise hell -- and demand single payer -- and universal health care -- before the door slams shut.

--(c) '09 maj

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Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- has been released! It is available from City Lights Books:

If you are planning to organize an event or would like to order in bulk, you can also receive a 45% discount on any bulk orders of 20 copies or more. The book retails for $16.95, for orders of 20 copies or more the discounted price would be $9.32 per book, plus shipping and handling. Prepayment would be required and books are nonreturnable. If you or your organization would like to place a bulk order, please contact Stacey Lewis at 415.362.1901 or

Let's use the opportunity of the publication of this brilliant, moving, vintage Mumia book to build the momentum for his case, to raise the money we desperately need in these challenging economic times, to get the word out – to produce literature, flyers, posters, videos, DVD's; to send organizers out to help build new chapters and strengthen old ones, TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE STREETS … all the work that we must do in order to FREE MUMIA as he faces LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE OR EXECUTION!

Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).


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