As it happened, there was no news this morning crying out with an urgent need for my commentary.
So I took a couple of early morning hours to watch -- for the first time -- my copy of Michael Moore's new feature film "Sicko."
Make sure you see it. Trust me.
If it doesn't make you as angry as you've ever been, if it doesn't cause you to shed a tear for what we're doing to America's neediest, and for what America could be, you probably are in need of a full range of health care services yourself -- and deserve what you're paying for what you're getting.
Then, make it clear to every elected official you encounter -- especially the candidates for president, and the U.S. Senate and house -- that you expect them to watch it, and then to tell you how much money they've taken from the health care industry lobbyists and corporations, and to provide you the reasons they are still opposing the universal, single-payer health care systems available around the world. These are countries that spend less on health care than we do, and yet provide a level of service that results in better life expectancy, infant mortality and other statistics than in this country.
There are many things the capitalist system can do better than any other alternative imaginable. Handing over to profit-maximizing corporations the delivery of anything as basic as health care to all of a nation's citizens just turns out not to be among them.
As a friend of mine, a candidate in a previous presidential campaign, was fond of saying, "I don't want every American to have health insurance. I want every American to have health care." It's an important distinction. And so far, once again, most of the candidates are still talking about health insurance.
Curious as to why? I won't say more. Just watch it. "Sicko."
Now I'm off for the day on an investigative trip I'll be reporting to you here, hopefully tomorrow.
[Note: If you're new to this blog, and interested in the whole UI President Search story . . .
This blog began in June 2006 and has addressed, and continues to addresses, a number of public policy, political, media, education, economic development, and other issues -- not just the UI presidential search. But that is the subject to which most attention has been focused in blog entries between November 2006 and June 2007.
The presidential search blog entries begin with Nicholas Johnson, "UI President Search I," November 18, 2006. They end with Nicholas Johnson, "UI Held Hostage Day 505 - Next (Now This) Week," June 10, 2007 (100-plus pages printed; a single blog entry for the events of June 10-21 ("Day 516"), plus over 150 attached comments from readers), and Nicholas Johnson, "UI Hostages Free At Last -- Habemas Mamam!," June 22, 2007.
Wondering where the "UI Held Hostage" came from? Click here. (As of January 25 the count has run from January 21, 2006, rather than last November.)
For any given entry, links to the prior 10 will be found in the left-most column. Going directly to FromDC2Iowa.Blogspot.com will take you to the latest. Each entry related to the UI presidential search contains links to the full text of virtually all known, non-repetitive media stories and commentary, including mine, since the last blog entry. Together they represent what The Chronicle of Higher Education has called "one of the most comprehensive analyses of the controversy." The last time there was an entry containing the summary of prior entries' commentary (with the heading "This Blog's Focus on Regents' Presidential Search") is Nicholas Johnson, "UI President Search XIII -- Last Week," December 11, 2006.
My early proposed solution to the conflict is provided in Nicholas Johnson, "UI President Search VII: The Answer," November 26, 2006.
Searching: the fullest collection of basic documents related to the search is contained in Nicholas Johnson, "UI President Search - Dec. 21-25," December 21, 2006 (and updated thereafter), at the bottom of that blog entry under "References." A Blog Index of entries on all subjects since June 2006 is also available. And note that if you know (or can guess at) a word to search on, the "Blogger" bar near the top of your browser has a blank, followed by "SEARCH THIS BLOG," that enables you to search all entries in this Blog since June 2006.]