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The Errington Thompson Show 4-11-09 podcast

Now this is a great show/podcast. I discuss recent events, including the recent rash of trauma.

My guest is Amy Goodman from Democracy Now. We discuss her thoughtful and well-written book, Standing Up to the Madness, Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times.  This really isn’t an interview.  It is a real discussion.  We cover many topics.  Enjoy!

By |2012-09-04T06:47:05-04:00September 4th, 2012|Books, Economy, Katrina, Podcasts|Comments Off on The Errington Thompson Show 4-11-09 podcast

The Errington Thompson Show 8-1-09

My guest is Joan McCarter (“McJoan”) from the Daily Kos. Joan is a great blogger and former Capital Hill staffer. Dr. Andy Coates is a national leader of Physicians for a National Health Program who teaches at Albany Medical College and practices Internal Medicine.

I opened the show with a discussion about the healthcare “debate.” First of all, I don’t think there’s been much debate. Republicans are basically saying no. They’re saying no to single-payer. They’re saying no to the public option. Democrats, on the other hand, are putting forth these reasonable arguments and the only response they get is no. Somehow, this has become debate.

I get the feeling that some progressives are becoming disheartened because we have both houses of Congress and the White House and we’re still not really getting what progressives would consider to be liberal legislation. I think there was a sense that after the election we could put our government on autopilot. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we don’t speak up and remind our elected officials what we’re thinking then the only thing they will hear will be the Republicans saying no. We have to be there to push back. We have to remain active.

I take the opportunity to point out how Republicans try to distract us from reality. This was mentioned wonderfully in the book by Rick Perlstein called Nixonland and in Thomas Frank’s book The Wrecking Crew. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama played into some of this by commenting on the Professor Gates incident up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The mainstream media picks up on this diversion. Therefore, several news cycles are taken up with a discussion, with no point, of racism. We got to meet the police officer that arrested Professor Gates. We got the president to come out and “clarify” his comments. We have the local police union supporting the police officer yet, there’s no substantive discussion on race or racism. All the while, we should be focused on healthcare because we’re not going to fix the race problem by beating up (figuratively not literally) the police officer or Professor Gates or both of them. I won’t even mention Glenn Beck and his inflammatory comments although I do play the clip.

Our first guest is Joan McCarter from the Daily Kos. She’s been blogging a lot on healthcare. I asked her are we going to get a public option. She agrees with me that we need a strong progressive movement to push Congress toward a public option. I talk about the lack of leadership for strong public option in the Senate. It is unclear to me what Harry Reid is doing but I hope he’s not getting paid to lead. We talk about the current state of legislation in the Senate and the fact that Senator Max Baucus does not appear to be representing what progressives want. Senator Jay Rockefeller has stated that although he is on the Senate Committee on Health, he has been shut out of the legislative process. Finally, we discussed the fact that it appears that President Obama has not closed off any options. Everything is still on the table. Joan points out that we’re far enough into the process, everything should not be on the table.

My second guest is Dr. Andy Coates who is a national leader of Physicians for a National Health Program. He points out how he came to the decision that we needed to have some sort of national health program. It is the inequity in health care. The disparity is not just about black versus white, but also urban versus rural and rich versus poor. As far as our national “discussion” goes, it’s unclear how we began to talk about national insurance when what we need is a discussion on national health care reform. We talk about the anonymous amount of money that we’re spending on healthcare now and Dr. Coates points out that the money we’re spending needs to go to care. What a concept! Healthcare dollars going to take care of patients. Single-payer could save us, SAVE US three to four trillion dollars over 10 years.

Why is healthcare in the US more expensive? I explain.

This is an outstanding show. Enjoy.

By |2012-05-07T14:49:10-04:00August 22nd, 2009|Congress, Healthcare, Obama administration, Podcasts|Comments Off on The Errington Thompson Show 8-1-09

Interview with McJoan of the Daily Kos – Politics and Healthcare

We discuss the current healthcare debate. This is an excellent discussion with a premier liberal blogger who has really been all over this healthcare debate.

Last week, the Democrats and specifically those who have pushed healthcare reform were on the defensive. I think that they were overwhelmed by the ferocity and viciousness of those who do not want reform. There was a lot of activity at the end of last week with the progressive Democrats in the House clearly stating that they will not support any healthcare reform bill that does not have a “strong” public option. President Barack Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seemed to back away from the public option over the weekend.

The leadership in the Senate is either confused or completely silent. Senator Max Baucus does not seem to reflect the mainstream Democratic Party. He seems to reflect the interests of big medical business. Senator Kent Conrad, also a major player in the health care debate, has come up with this idea of healthcare co-ops. I’ve written about co-ops on this blog before. Although we do not know all the details of how a co-op would work, it doesn’t seem that co-ops would help drive down prices and truly increase competition as they been billed.

I asked Joan about a couple of broad goals of healthcare reform which would be to control costs and to cover 46 million Americans who are currently uninsured. Joan points out how these two goals are interrelated. If the 46 million Americans were to have health insurance then they could go for preventative care, decreasing emergency room visits and costs. This is critical and I appreciate Joan for making this point.

We also discussed the fact that a strong public option, really single-payer, would make business more competitive. Small business becomes more competitive both in their local markets and also abroad because they don’t have to worry about the burden of providing health care for their workers. That cost is shared by all Americans.

This is a great conversation. Really, don’t miss this interview with Joan McCarter from the Daily Kos. Enjoy!

By |2012-05-07T14:51:27-04:00August 21st, 2009|Blogging issues, Healthcare, Podcasts|Comments Off on Interview with McJoan of the Daily Kos – Politics and Healthcare
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