As a vote in the US Congress passes, with far too much blind opposition and also far too much cheering, it’s refreshing to hear a civilized discussion about healthcare in the US. Not in the Congress, of course, or in the mainstream media.

An elementary moral point must be made: without universal healthcare, barbarism prevails in any society. This bill is arguably a lessening of that barbarism, possibly even significantly. But barbarism still prevails.

Those who cheer for this legislation must be careful, lest they be mistaken for cheering for the barbarism, albeit reduced, which it implements.

The following discussion is a good example of a debate from a civilized perspective.

Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader: A discussion on Healthcare, Politics, and Reform

On the left, Nader:

this is the latest chapter of corporate Democrats crushing progressive forces both inside their party and against third parties…

there will be 180,000 Americans who will die between now and 2014 before any coverage expands, and hundreds of thousands of injuries and illnesses untreated. This bill does not provide universal, comprehensive or affordable care to the American people. It shovels hundreds and billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the worst corporations who’ve created this problem… For the drug companies, it’s a bonanza.

On the right (for once), Kucinich:

I don’t like much of anything of what’s happening here, except to say that I think that down the road we need to jump over this debate and go right to a bigger debate about how do we get healthcare that’s significant, how do we supplant the role of private insurers…

the whole system is wrong. But, you know, there’s a point at which you are in the system and you have to figure out, is there a way to try to use the moment to move in a direction that gives you a chance to keep pushing the point.

Indeed. Stop cheering, and use the moment to move in the direction out of previous barbarism, out of the new version of barbarism, and towards a minimal degree of civilization.

Stop cheering, start pushing
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