In a recent townhall meeting with a member of Congress in Arkansas, thousands of people turned out to demand that the government do something to guarantee everyone has healthcare. One woman told the congressman at the townhall that she had a genetic condition and added, “Without healthcare I will die.” That scene has been repeated across America People want healthcare as a right..
(As we go to press, the intense protests against repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) have at least, temporarily stopped the repeal, but we should not think this fight is over.)
Meanwhile, the people of Flint, Michigan, have gone for three years now dealing with a health emergency because the water coming into their homes has been poisoned by a state and federal government that serves the corporations instead of the people. They are demanding Medicare for all for life, among other things.
Access to healthcare is “not a Democrat or Republican thing anymore,” said an Arkansasan. “It’s an American thing, and the lack of empathy for people seeking basic affordable healthcare is sickening. Denying people healthcare in one of the richest countries on earth is not conservative, it’s just plain cruel.”
The push to revamp the Affordable Care Act is at the behest of the healthcare plans, hospitals and the wealthy investors who own the healthcare industry. They are losing money on the ACA. And these planned cuts to healthcare are just part of $10 trillion in federal budget cuts planned over the next 10 years under the president’s budget plan. This would include cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, food assistance, housing assistance, science, and environmental protection.
What will the corporations and the rich get from the government? Trump’s proposed tax plan would cut $9.5 trillion in federal taxes over 10 years, with the lion’s share of the benefits going to the richest 0.1 percent of taxpayers (those with incomes over $3.7million in 2015 dollars). At the same time, Trump’s and congressional budget plans would give a huge boost to military spending.
Whether under Democrats or Republicans, it’s prosperity for the corporations, and cutbacks and endless war for the rest of us. Why? Because for growing millions of us, our labor is no longer needed in an economy where computers and robots are taking the jobs. As long as this economic system is owned and controlled by a handful of giant corporations and wealthy people, they will make the decisions about who lives and who dies. And, as long as they control the government, they will decide which class—the business class or the working class—benefits from government spending.
People are dying for lack of healthcare, being poisoned by corporate environmental damage, and sleeping (and dying) in the streets, in shelters, in cars and abandoned buildings because they have no money for housing. About half our population lives in poverty already, and every day more people become poor. Yet we are a rich country. There is plenty of everything.
This will go on as long as we let it. We, the people, are demanding our right to the basic necessities of life—food, clean water, housing, healthcare—whether we have money to pay or not, and the government must guarantee these rights for us. We are fighting to force the government to be our government, and serve the people, not the corporations. This is the first step toward a new society run by the people—without dictatorial corporations and billionaires.
What and who is government for?
From the Editors
If you are elderly, chronically ill, disabled, retired or just plain poor this question —what and who is government for—should now be on your mind. President Trump’s proposed budget cuts and the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act would deprive millions of people of services they need to survive. A lady that voted for Trump from Jones County, Georgia who suffered a stroke and now depends on the Meals On Wheels program reacted to the cuts like this, “I was under the influence that he was going to help us.”
Yes, government should help its people. Otherwise, why do we need it? But we don’t have a government for the people. We have a corporate government. Corporate government only helps corporate profits.
Homeless people continue to die on our streets while foreclosed homes sit empty. People are dying of drug overdoses, and clinics to help them are closing. Poisonous lead tainted water continues to flow through people’s pipes in Flint (and elsewhere) while those same people get inflated water bills.
Corporate government places more value on profit then on human life. An economic system that refuses to feed, clothe, house and provide healthcare for its people must be exposed and replaced by a system that does.
People’s Tribune is welcome everywhere, says distributor
By Daymon Hartley
DETROIT — I went to the mall near our home. As a kid we rode our bikes there to go on the escalators and elevators. Macy’s is the anchor store and it’s closing. They’re having clearance sales and it’s sad to see all of the workers selling off merchandise . . . as they get ready to be laid off. I took 100 People’s Tribunes and went to every store, handing out papers to the people who work there. I had a little pitch about how we cover the stories mainstream papers won’t. I mentioned that we were the first to uncover the Flint water crisis. The response was overwhelmingly. I received donations and several folks wanted more copies for customers. I got into good conversations. There’s no place where the People’s Tribune isn’t welcome. I distribute at rallies, protests, art shows, high school reunion dinners, family and friends. Order People’s Tribunes to share with friends at peoplestribune.org or call 800-691-6888.