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(Previously published by the Catalyst Project at http://collectiveliberation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/What_Is_White_Supremacy_Martinez.pdf “White Supremacy

July 28, 2017
(Previously published by the Catalyst Project at http://collectiveliberation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/What_Is_White_Supremacy_Martinez.pdf
“White Supremacy is an historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation
and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of
the European continent, for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth,
power, and privilege.”
(Definition by the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop, San Francisco, CA)
I.  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SAY IT IS A SYSTEM?
 The most common mistake people make when talking about racism (White Supremacy) is to
think of it as a problem of personal prejudices and individual acts of discrimination.  They do
not see that it is a system, a web of interlocking, reinforcing institutions:  political, economic,
social, cultural, legal, military, educational, all our institutions.  As a system, racism affects
every aspect of life in a country.
By not understanding that racism is systemic, we guarantee it will continue. For example,
racist police behavior is often reduced to “a few bad apples” who need to be removed,
instead of seeing that it can be found in police departments everywhere.  It reflects
and sustains the existing power relations throughout society.  This mistake has real
consequences:  by refusing to see police brutality as part of a system, and that the system
must be changed, we guarantee such brutality will continue.
The need to recognize racism as being systemic is one reason the term White Supremacy is
more useful than the term racism. They refer to the same problem but:
        A.  The purpose of racism is much clearer when we call it “white supremacy.”   The word
“supremacy” means a power relationship exists.
        B. Race is an unscientific term for differences between people.  Although racism is a
social reality, it has no biological or other scientific basis. There is a single human race.
        C.  The term racism often leads to dead-end debates about whether a particular
remark or action by an individual person was really racist or not.  We will achieve a clearer
understanding of racism if we analyze how a certain action relates to the system of White
Supremacy.
II. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SAY WHITE SUPREMACY IS HISTORICALLY BASED?
Every country has a creation story—it can also be called an origin myth–which is the story
people are told of how their country came into being.  Ours says the United States began
with Columbus’s so-called “discovery” of  “America,” continued with settlement by brave
Pilgrims, won its independence from England with the American Revolution, survived a civil
war, and expanded westward until it became the enormous, rich country you see today.
That is the origin myth we are all taught.  It omits three giant facts about the emergence
What is white supremacy?
By Elizabeth ‘Betita’ MartinezCatalyst Project www.collectiveliberation.org Recommended Readings 17
of the United States as a nation.  Those facts demonstrate that White Supremacy is
fundamental to its existence:
1. The United States is a nation state created by the conquest of other peoples in
several stages.  The first stage was the European seizure of territory inhabited by
indigenous peoples, who called their homeland Turtle Island.  Before the European
invasion, between nine and eighteen million indigenous people lived in what became
North America.  By the end of the so-called Indian Wars, about 250,000 remained in
what is now the United States, and about 123,000 in what is now Canada (see The
State of Native America, ed. by M. Annette Jaimes, South End Press, 1992).
 That process created the land base of this country.  The seizure of Indian land and
elimination of indigenous peoples was the first, essential condition for the existence of
what became the United States. The first step, then, was military conquest and what
must be called genocide.
2.  The United States could not have developed economically as a nation without
enslaved African labor.  When agriculture and industry began growing in the colonial
period, a tremendous labor shortage existed.  Not enough white workers came from
Europe and the European invaders could not put the remaining indigenous peoples to
work in sufficient numbers.  Enslaved Africans provided the labor force that made the
growth of the United States possible.
That growth peaked from about 1800 to 1860, the period called the Market Revolution.
During this time, the United States changed from being an agricultural/commercial
economy to an industrial corporate economy.  The development of banks, expansion
of the credit system, protective tariffs, and new transportation systems all helped make
this possible. The key to the Market Revolution was the export of cotton, and this was
made possible by slave labor. So the second, vital step in the creation of the United
States was slavery.
3.  The third major step in the formation of the United States as a nation was the
seizure of almost half of Mexico by war–today’s Southwest. This expansion enabled
the U.S. to reach the Pacific and thus open up valuable trade with Asia that included
markets for export and goods to import and sell in the U.S.  It also opened to the U.S.
vast mineral wealth in Arizona, agricultural wealth in California, and new sources of
cheap labor to build railroads and develop the economy.
To do this, the United States first took over by military force the part of Mexico called
Texas and made it a state in 1845.  The following year it invaded the rest of Mexico
and seized its territory under the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the 1846-18  Recommended Readings Catalyst Project www.collectiveliberation.org
48 War on Mexico. In 1853 the U.S. acquired a final chunk of Arizona. by threatening
to renew the war if not agreed. This completed the territorial boundaries of what is
now the United States.  Those were the three foundation stones in the creation of the
United States as a nation.  Then, in 1898, the U.S. takeover of the Philippines, Puerto
Rico, Guam and Cuba by means of war against Spain extended the U.S. to become
an empire. All but Cuba have remained U.S. colonies or neo-colonies, providing new
sources of wealth and military power for the United States. The colonization and
incorporation of Hawaii completed the empire.
Many people in the United States hate to recognize the truth of the three steps. They do
not like to call the U.S. an empire. They prefer the established origin myth, with its idea
of the U.S. as a democracy from its early days.
III.  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SAY THAT WHITE SUPREMACY IS A SYSTEM OF
EXPLOITATION?
The roots of White Supremacy lie in establishing economic exploitation by the theft of
resources and human labor. That exploitation has then been justified by a racist ideology
affirming the inferiority of its victims—and this continues today.  The first application of
White Supremacy or racism by the Euroamericans who control U.S. society was against
indigenous peoples, whose land was stolen; then Blacks, originally as slaves and later
as exploited waged labor; followed by Mexicans when they lost their land holdings and
also became wage-slaves. Chinese, Filipino, Japanese and other Asian/Pacific peoples
also became low-wage workers here, subject to racism.  Arab workers have also been
exploited in this way.
 In short, White Supremacy and economic power were born together.  The United
States is the first nation in the world to be born racist (South Africa came not long after)
and also the first to be born capitalist (not just replacing feudalism, for example, with
capitalism).  That is not a coincidence.  In this country, as history shows, capitalism and
racism go hand in hand.
IV.  HOW DOES WHITE SUPREMACY MAINTAIN AND DEFEND A SYSTEM OF
WEALTH, POWER AND PRIVILEGE?
Racist power relations are sustained by the institutions of this society together with the
ideology of Whiteness that developed during western colonization.  The first European
settlers called themselves English, Irish, German, French, Dutch, etc.–not “white.”  Over
half of those who came in the early colonial period were servants.  But by 1760, about
400,000 of the two million non-Indians here were enslaved Africans. The planters who
formed an elite class in the southern colonies, were outnumbered by non-whites.  In the
Carolinas, 25,000 whites faced 40,000 Black slaves and 60,000 indigenous peoples in
the area.  Catalyst Project www.collectiveliberation.org Recommended Readings 19
Class lines hardened as the distinctions between rich and poor became sharper.  The
problem of control loomed large and fear of revolt from below grew among the elite.
Elite whites feared most of all that discontented whites — servants, tenant farmers,
the urban poor, the property-less, soldiers and sailors — would join Black slaves to
overthrow the existing order. As early as 1663, indentured white servants and Black
slaves had formed a conspiracy in Virginia to rebel and gain their freedom.
Then, in 1676, came Bacon’s Rebellion by white frontiersmen and servants alongside
Black slaves.  The rebellion shook Virginia’s planter elite.  Many other rebellions
followed, from South Carolina to New York.  The main fear of elite whites everywhere
was a class fear. Their solution:  divide and control.
On one hand, certain privileges were given to white servants. They were now allowed
to acquire land, join militias, carry guns, and other legal rights not allowed to slaves.
At the same time, the Slave Codes were enacted that legalized chattel slavery and
severely restricted the rights of free Africans. The codes equated the terms “Negro” and
“slave.”
With their new privileges, those in the servant class were legally declared “white” on
the basis of skin color and continental origin.  That made them “superior” to Blacks (and
Indians).  Thus whiteness was born as a racist notion to prevent lower-class whites
from joining people of color, especially Blacks, against their common class enemies.
The concept of whiteness became a source of unity and strength for the vastly
outnumbered Euroamericans — as in South Africa, another settler nation. It became key
to defending White Supremacy against class unity across color lines.
V.  WHITE SUPREMACY AND MANIFEST DESTINY
In the mid-1800s, new historical developments strengthened the concept of whiteness
and institutionalize White Supremacy. Since the time of Jefferson, the United States
had its eye on expanding to the Pacific Ocean and establishing trade with Asia.  Others
in the ruling class came to want more slave states, for reasons of political power, and
this also required westward expansion.  Both goals pointed to taking over Mexico.
 The first step was Texas, which was acquired for the United States by filling the
territory with Anglo settlers who then declared their independence from Mexico in 1836.
After failing to purchase more Mexican territory, President James Polk created a pretext
for starting a war with the declared goal of expansion.  The notoriously brutal, two-year
war on Mexico was justfied in the name of Manifest Destiny.
The doctrine of Manifest Destiny, born at a time of aggressive western expansion,
said that the United States was destined by God to take over other peoples and lands.
The term was first used in 1845 by the editor of a popular journal, who affirmed “the
right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole continent which 20  Recommended Readings Catalyst Project www.collectiveliberation.org
providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and
federated self-government.”
The concepts of Manifest Destiny and institutionalized racism are profoundly linked.
Even those who opposed expansion did so for racist reasons, as when some politicians
said “the degraded Mexican-Spanish” were unfit to become part of the United States;
they were “a wretched people . . . mongrels.”
In a similar way, some influential whites who opposed slavery in those years said
Blacks should be removed from U.S. soil, to avoid “contamination” by an inferior
people (see Manifest Destiny by Anders Stephanson, Hill & Wang, 1995).        Native
Americans have been the target of white supremacist beliefs that they were dirty,
heathen “savages” and also fundamentally inferior in their values. For example, they
did not see land as profitable real estate but as Our Mother. Such people had to be
forcefully isolated on reservations. assimilated by being removed from their own culture,
and having their own culture either outlawed or ridiculed..
The doctrine of Manifest Destiny established White Supremacy more firmly than ever as
central to the U.S. definition of itself.  The arrogance of asserting that God gave white
people (primarily men) the right to dominate everything around them still haunts our
society and sustains its racist oppression. Today we call it the arrogance of power and it
can be seen in all U.S. relations with other countries.
 One persistent example of that arrogance is the habit of calling this country “America”
when that is the official name of almost an entire hemisphere composing over 20
other countries. From left to right, organizations and ublications and individual leaders
obliterate millions of other human beings, mostly of color, by mindlessly giving the
United States the only meaning, importance, and reality worthy of recognition. We can
assume it comes from habit, not conscious imperialism at work, but that is no excuse for
not recognizing white supremacist thinking among our most progressive forces.
Finally, the material effects of White Supremacy on peoples of color are all too clear in
terms of economic, social, political and cultural inequity. Even that ultimate affirmation
of dominion, racist murder or lynching, still occurs to remind us that age-old power
relations remain unaltered  That is not to deny the positive effects of long years of
struggle to change those power relations, but to recognize that White Supremacy
remains intact systemically, as seen in the constant harm it does to the daily lives and
aspirations of peoples of color.
Less understood than the material are the psychological and spiritual effects of White
Supremacy. Few whites understand what internalized racism does to people of color,
who do not discuss those effects easily themselves. The self-hatred, desire to be like
whites or even to be white, and assumption of inevitable failure are the dreadful legacy
of White Supremacy’s teaching those lies by every means at its disposal. Maintaining Catalyst Project www.collectiveliberation.org Recommended Readings 21
control over any community has always required not only physical domination but
also the ideological domination that says: things are as they should be. As you inferior
creatures deserve them to be.
VI.  WHITE SUPREMACY AND GLOBALIZATION
Racism has never stood still or remained unchanged in history. Today we see new
forms emerging from the rapid growth of globalization. We can see that  White
Supremacy has become more global than ever and millions of people of color have
become globalized.
Global economic integration is not new in itself; we have seen the world capitalist
economy in operation for centuries.  But today it is an extremely powerful set of interrelated policies and practices with a huge field of operations. It includes the “global
assembly line” for production, with parts made in different countries; the whole world
defined as the potential market for a commodity; and technological advances that
facilitate economic integration more than ever in human history. With corporate
globalization has come a neo-liberalism that means privatization, deregulation, the
decline of social services, and other policies.
The main victims are nations of color (politely called “developing” instead of
impoverished) and peoples of color, as shown by the vast increase in migrant labor.
The vast majority of immigrants to the U.S. today are the globalized: women and men,
mostly of color, driven from home by dire personal poverty to find  survival usually in the
global capitals. New eruptions of White Supremacy often confront them.
It’s been said that militarism is racism in action. We could also say that globalization is
White Supremacy in action, as never before. Manifest Destiny now rages across not
only Las Americas but the whole world.  Given current ruling-class policy at work in the
U.S. today, such as privatization, we see that millions of people in the United States
itself are increasingly victimized.  Are we becoming a “Third World” country?
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M4A 7.19.17

July 28, 2017

 

We Need A Senate Version Of Improved Medicare For All 7.19.17

What NYers need to but don’t know about this year’s NYC elections

September 25, 2013

http://archive.wbai.org/files/mp3/wbai_130921_110001otcount.mp3

Grassroots Opposition to War Funding Reaches Boiling Point! National Call-In Days July 26-28

July 27, 2010

Grassroots Opposition to War Funding Reaches Boiling Point!
National Call-In Days
July 26-28

The House of Representatives will be voting again this week on the White House request for $33.5 billion of new funding for the war in Afghanistan.
Troops in AfghanistanUnited for Peace and Justice is joining together with Peace Action, CODEPINK, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Peace and Justice Resource Center, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, Historians Against the War, Just Foreign Policy, Progressive Democrats of America and US Labor Against the War in calling upon Congressional Representatives to vote against  the White House request for $33.5 billion in new  funds for the war in Afghanistan.
Congressional Switchboard: 1-888-493-5443 toll-free (We are counting calls)
Three weeks ago, 162 members of the House supported an Amendment calling for a time-table for withdrawal.   100 members of the House supported an amendment offered by Rep. Barbara Lee limiting the use of the funds for security and to actually begin the withdrawal of troops.
Now the House is being asked to approve funding without a time-table or any plan for withdrawal.  Nine years into the war, the Administration lacks clear goals, a coherent strategy or any “exit plan.” Meanwhile soldiers and civilians keep dying and so far $321 billion dollars have been being squandered in an irrational enterprise.  We need to insist that elected officials act responsibly by refusing to fund this war without end.
Most commonly asked question: “Why should I bother? They don’t listen anyway?” Members of Congress are listening. That’s why these amendments received so many votes. That’s the reason growing numbers are willing to speak out in opposition. The more “No” votes we achieve this week–the closer we come to bringing this tragic war to a close…
Phone
Call the Congressional Switchboard:1-888-493-5443 early this week and after you hang up please forward this message to your friends.
Members of Congress will be back in their districts during August. Many will be campaigning for re-election. This is a valuable time to partner with local domestic needs groups fighting against cut-backs.  Conduct vigils, send delegations or engage in direct action around a shared desire to fund our communities, not endless war. In the Fall Congress will be asked to approve another $160 billion war funding for FY2011. Let’s make them feel the heat NOW!

UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545
PO Box 607; Times Square Station; New York, NY 10108

To subscribe, visit www.unitedforpeace.org/email

6.27.10, NYC: Private Health Insurance Must Go! in Gay Pride Parade

June 21, 2010

Now organizers can publicize their own actions!
This entry
http://nycal.mayfirst.org/node/752
is on New York Activist Calendar (http://nycal.mayfirst.org)

`Private Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover Your Ass` Pride Contingent
Sunday, June 27, 2010 – 1:00pm
37th Street btw. Park & Madison: Section 12, Group 3. [updated location]
Trains: #6 to 33 St. (at Park Av.); #4, 5, 7 or S “Shuttle” to Grand
Central-42 St. (at Park & Lex); D, F, N, Q, R to 34 St.-Herald Sq.
(at 6th Av. & Broadway); map: http://bit.ly/9pAOYX
Please RSVP to jeanmaryfox@yahoo.com
Background: Private Health Insurance Must Go! Coalition
http://www.phimg.org/V2/

[Come march and leaflet in Pride wearing a giant plastic “ass” that
pokes out from the back of your hospital gown. -t.]

SUNDAY JUNE 27
MANHATTAN GAY PRIDE MARCH
Join the Private Health Insurance Must Go! Coalition (phimg.org) in a
Single Payer, Medicare for All! contingent at the parade. We will
line up at 1:00 on 37th Street between Park and Madison. We are
Section 12, Group 3.

To join us, please RSVP to jeanmaryfox@yahoo.com [1]

Watch the fabulous video http://bit.ly/b3RI8p of the
PHIMG/ACT-UP/PNHP contingent from last year’s march.

We will carry our beautiful new PHIMG banner, as well as our giant
“not covered” banner. Costumes for the day, and PHIMG T-shirts (to
buy), (and maybe the Mobilization T-shirts), will be available.

Milliman Medical Index proves that PPACA (Obamacare) is already a failure‏

May 12, 2010
Milliman, Inc.
May 2010
2010 Milliman Medical Index
The annual Milliman Medical Index (MMI) reports total annual medical spending for a typical American family of four covered by an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) program. The MMI represents the total cost of payments to healthcare providers, and excludes the non-medical administrative component of health plan premiums.
The total 2010 medical cost for a typical American family of four is $18,074.
This is an increase of 7.8%. This is the third year in a row that the annual rate of increase has been below 8%; however, the dollar increase of $1,303 is still the highest we have seen in the last 10 years and since the inception of this index.
Cost Implications of Healthcare Reform on Family of Four
While employers are making the immediate changes required to their benefit plans and adapting their longer-term benefit strategy to the new regulatory environment, healthcare costs continue to increase at rates exceeding most other costs of doing business. Debate continues on the extent to which the changes from healthcare reform have potential to bend the long-term cost curve; however, for the near term, the underlying drivers of increasing healthcare costs are not expected to immediately change.
Efforts to enforce insurance rate controls may have indirect impact on the growth in healthcare costs but still do not address the underlying cost of care. For now, the onus of control remains with insurers, who will attempt to put pressure of providers to lower costs to a level that approved premium rates can support. There may be more extensive shift in market dynamics in 2014, when the government takes on an even larger proportion of payment responsibility due to expansion in Medicaid, the creation of exchanges, and the availability of subsidies for certain lower-income individuals.
While underlying cost drivers as yet remain relatively unchanged, there are some changes that will have a predictable effect on cost. The most immediate changes, such as increasing dependent coverage up to age 26 and elimination of lifetime and annual benefit maximums, will cause a direct shift in costs from employees to employers. Other options that will be implemented later, such as federally-mandated state health exchange plans, require much deeper analysis before an employer can make an informed decision. Because the practical implementation of this new legislation has not yet been defined, many employers are choosing to delay changes to their benefit plans for future annual benefit cycles, although it is very possible that those changes could be dramatic.
Looking into the future for the “typical family of four” represented by this analysis, the cost implications of reform are unclear. Much depends on the underlying medical cost that is dissected in this report. When it comes to cost control, the status quo is not encouraging. If reform or some other factors can motivate a reduction in the underlying cost of care, it will have important implications for the future cost of care for American families.
http://www.milliman.com/expertise/healthcare/publications/mmi/pdfs/milliman-medical-index-2010.pdf
Comment:  The Milliman Medical Index (MMI) is especially significant this year because it proves that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is already a miserable failure even before the provisions of the act take place. The MMI for 2010 is $18,074. Let’s look at what that means under the PPACA.
It’s important to understand precisely what the MMI is. It is the average amount that is already being spent on actual health care for a typical family of four enrolled in an employer-sponsored Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan. It does not include any of the administrative expenses or profits of the private insurers.
Already there’s a problem. Since the MMI represents the amounts being paid by PPOs, the discounts for network physicians and hospitals and other products and services are already built in. The MMI represents a lower level of spending made possible by contracting payment rates with the physicians and hospitals that are included in the networks. That means that families for whom the spending is at MMI levels have lost their right of free choice of physicians and hospitals unless they are willing and able to pay significant financial penalties for obtaining care outside of the networks. The plans that will be available in the state insurance exchanges will be network-restricted managed care plans – mostly PPOs with some HMOs. Health care reform that takes away choice is not the reform that we wanted.
One of the most important measures in PPACA attempts to address the problem of high costs and the poor coverage of the plans currently available in the individual and small group markets. Individuals and small employers who are having problems finding adequate affordable plans will be able to buy plans in the insurance exchanges that theoretically have the same benefits and cost efficiencies of the large group market currently available to larger employers. If these exchanges actually work as intended, then the MMI will represent the average cost of health care for a family of four enrolled through the exchanges. This assumes that the insurers will cooperate and not continue to use deceptive innovations that have resulted in lower-value products in the individual insurance markets.
Assuming that the exchanges work as intended, keep in mind that the insurers offering individual and small group plans within the exchanges will be required to maintain a medical loss ratio of 80 percent. That is the amount that must be spent on actual health care – the amount that is represented by the MMI, minus the out-of-pocket expenses. They will keep 20 percent for their own administrative costs and profits (or even more if they are successful in their current efforts to shove some of their administrative costs into the medical loss ratio by reclassifying these administrative costs as “health care).
So let’s look at the numbers. The standard Silver plans offered by the exchanges will have an actuarial value of 70 percent. That means that the plans will pay an average of 70 percent of the costs and the other 30 percent will be paid out-of-pocket by individuals and families, partially offset by subsidies for those who qualify. Using the 2010 MMI, the plans will pay for a family of four an average of $12,652 (70 percent of $18,074). The twenty percent for administrative costs and profits will add another $3,163 ($12,652 is 80 percent of the premium) which means that the premium that the insurer will have to charge will be $15,815 ($12,652 plus $3,163). The out-of-pocket portion for the family will be $5,422 (30 percent of $18,074). The the total average cost for the family for both the premium and out-of-pocket expenses combined will be $21,237 ($15,815 plus $5,422).
These are averages. To determine what each family actually would pay is more difficult because of several variables, including sliding scale subsidies for the premiums, sliding scale subsidies for the out-of-pocket expenses, opt-out eligibility based on the level of household income, and out-of-pocket spending, especially for those whose incomes exceed the eligibility thresholds for the subsidies.
Nevertheless, let’s look at a family of four with an income at 400 percent of the federal poverty level – the threshold at which they qualify for neither the subsidies for premiums nor the subsidies for out-of-pocket costs. That income level is $88,200. That family would pay an average of $21,237, or 24 percent of their income, for health care, leaving them $66,963 for all of their other expenses. But since that is average, those with greater health care needs would face even larger out-of-pocket costs, which could be staggering. Even if the plan is promoted as having a stop-loss, private insurers are infamous for leaving patients stuck with charges for non-covered services and out-of-network providers. The bottom line is that PPACA has not ensured that the hard-working American family is protected from financial hardship or even personal bankruptcy should significant medical needs arise.
There are those who say that health care reform is done; we now have PPACA. They say that although it will likely require some adjustments along the way, our task now is to make it work. To those individuals I can only say, step back and look at the confounded mess! It will never insure everyone. It will never make health care affordable for each and every individual and family. It will never control administrative waste as it continues to add on more and more administrative complexity.
We need to keep and build on some of the health system reforms in PPACA, such as the reinforcement of our primary care infrastructure. But we desperately need to dump the sick, fragmented financing system that wastes so much in resources and perpetuates the profound inequities and physical and financial suffering experienced in our system. We need to enact an improved Medicare for all, and do it ASAP!

Socialized healthcare: The ‘untouchable’ of UK politics

May 7, 2010

More such info available at
http://www.pnhp.org/news/quote_of_the_day.php

CNN
May 5, 2010
Socialized healthcare: The ‘untouchable’ of UK politics
By Paul Armstrong

After weeks of feverish election campaigning, Britain’s political parties have fought over every issue, from the economy to the country’s nuclear deterrent, with one exception: the National Health Service.

To many Republican politicians in the United States, a publicly-funded national health system like the NHS is the embodiment of austere, Soviet-era style medical care, but in the UK it is viewed as sacrosanct.

Centrally-funded through taxation, pressure to respond to growing demand has seen record levels of investment in the past decade.

Ruth Thorlby, a research fellow at the King’s Fund, told CNN that all the major parties appreciate the NHS strikes an emotive chord with the public and that it is a price worth paying. She said: “We have this extraordinary political consensus now that the funding structure of the NHS is sound.”

Conservative leader David Cameron seems as committed to the NHS as Labour, despite his party’s ideological disposition to the private sector.

He recently acknowledged its value on his party’s Web site. “Millions of people are grateful for the care they have received from the NHS — including my own family,” he said.

“One of the wonderful things about living in this country is that the moment you’re injured or fall ill — no matter who you are, where you are from, or how much money you’ve got — you know that the NHS will look after you.”

Cameron’s words were reinforced by the party’s election manifesto, in which it calls itself “the party of the NHS” and pledges “never to change at the idea at its heart that healthcare in this country is free at the point of use and available to everyone based on need and not ability to pay.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/04/23/britain.nhs/?hpt=C2

Comment from Physicians for a National Health Program Senior Health Policy Fellow Don McCanne, M.D.: The United Kingdom has the ultimate system of socialized medicine: a government-owned and government-administered National Health Service (NHS). Though their system is much less expensive than ours in the United States, it is viewed as sacrosanct by the British citizens.

The system was launched in 1948 [that’s right, u.s. inhabitants, 1948! And Churchill opposed it!] by a left-wing Labour government, but its appeal has become so universal that the right-wing Conservative party now claims to be “the party of the NHS.”

In the United States we have chosen a right-wing solution over which we remain politically divided because of its serious flaws. Since we spend far more on health care than any other nation, we should be able to use those funds to craft a system with such intense universal support that we would consider ours sacrosanct as well.

Of course we can. Try to convince senior Tea Baggers to relinquish their Medicare, even though it is a government program. Medicare is a right that they have earned merely by being American taxpayers. Just imagine improving Medicare and providing it to everyone. After people experienced the benefits of an improved Medicare for all, can you imagine a major political party campaigning against the program? In fact, it’s the Republicans who are now expressing outrage over the fact that PPACA includes some reductions in Medicare funding.

Now that the Republican party seems to be presenting itself as “the party of Medicare,” wouldn’t you think that the Democrats would want to trump them by becoming “the party of an improved Medicare for all”?