Don Tapscott explains why healthcare reform is going to be hard, a huge battle, and we shouldn’t be surprised to see the shouting and worse. But we might still see a real change, because citizens can organize like never before. [Link]
There is no possible compromise on health care and the myth of Obama as a “post-partisan” president is exactly that – a myth. The health care industry generates billions of dollars in profits and many people are seething that these profits might be curtailed. This issue can never be negotiated in Washington back rooms as there are huge interests vested in the status quo – such as the big insurance companies, health maintenance organizations and pharmaceutical giants. Like many social changes, for this one there will be winners and losers and an historic battle will determine the outcome.
As Obama noted in his message to supporters, “In politics, there’s a rule that says when you ask people to get involved, always tell them it’ll be easy. Well, let’s be honest here: Passing comprehensive health insurance reform will not be easy. Every President since Harry Truman has talked about it, and the most powerful and experienced lobbyists in Washington stand in the way.” But this time Obama has what those presidents lacked: the Internet and a powerful social movement that potentially can shift the relationship of forces in America away from the traditional entrenched interests towards the needs of the population.
Maybe I’m a conservative, after all, because I was listening to Andrew Bacevich earlier today and nodding. Bacevich is a real conservative, not a neocon, and I’m thinking he’s got the right message … I was pretty excited by all he had to say:
- The U.S. has become in empire of consumption, not production.
- We assume that business must be built on credit, and not on productivity.
- Americans (and others) are participating in a de facto Ponzi scheme, borrowing with the underlying assumption that the bills will never come due.
- No one in politics seems to offer a politically plausible solution.
- Trade imbalances are larger each year. Jimmy Carter was the one president who recognized the challenges awaiting if we refuse to get our house in order &ndash check out his “malaise” speech.
- Freedom does not equal, or depend on, materialism. Quite the contrary.
- We might have to modify what may be peripheral to preserver the core of the American way of life. Focus on the way we live and order our affairs.
- At our best, we have focused on community, harmony, and the future. That last is important: we now think too little of the extent to which we put our children and grandchildren at risk as we squander our resources, which is the same as squandering our freedom.
- We’re using military power to conceal the real implications of U.S. profligacy. Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2 all assumed that power can “fix the world” to sustain our dysfunctional system.
- We have created an imperial presidency, and congress no longer articulates a visoin of the common good.
- The National Security State build around the president doesn’t work – it didn’t predict 9/11 or plan effectively for the war in Iraq.
- No one in Washington DC knows what they’re doing.
At least, that’s what I thought I heard him say… and I’m ready to work on solutions. My business partner, David Armistead, and I are already working on something that might be helpful.
Check out the Bacevich interview on Bill Moyers’ Journal.