OAKLAND, CA —Want to get rid of poor people? It’s simple. Deny them health care so they’ll just get sick and die. Want all American families, including the poor, to be healthy contributors to a vibrant society? Then supply good health care to people who need it. Don’t do what federal and many state governments seem determined to do right now—use work requirements as an excuse for denying people the human right to health.
As the article “This is how we win National Improved Medicare for All,” by Dr. Margaret Flowers illustrates, the health care crisis that makes low income workers sicker than anyone else can be ended by uncoupling health care from the drive to make profits off of other people’s misery. A national single-payer health plan, New Improved Medicare for All is how to do it. And it would be cheaper and less confusing than the profit-first system we have now.
Trump’s cruel requirements that people work for their Medicaid (already in force in some states) are aimed the other way, at keeping the poor sicker. They will heap more suffering and injustice on the most vulnerable people in our nation. We’ve seen this playbook before. The bi-partisan effort to end “welfare as we know it,” led by President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s, shoved hundreds of thousands of working families off the welfare rolls and into dire poverty. They called it “welfare reform” when they should have called it welfare termination.
Today the billionaires and millionaires in Congress support Trump’s latest attack in the war on workers. Why spend money on the people when their rich corporations can use it? We reject such immoral thinking. In a robot economy we can afford good health care for all. We need to build a new movement for National Improved Medicare For All! (NIMA) The first step is to build unity among all who suffer a common poverty, so that we can fight for the economic priorities we need.