Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What’s the rush?

That’s the questions we have heard from some critics of the proposals to reform health care. Dan Janison at Newsday has an interesting take on the question here.
President Harry S. Truman steered the U.S. from World War II into the Cold War with a hefty dose of anti-Communist oration.

Given some of the overwrought sound bites of today, it might seem surprising that Truman also later wrote in his memoirs: "I have had some bitter disappointments as president, but the one that has troubled me most, in a personal way, has been the failure to defeat organized opposition to a national compulsory health insurance program."

President Richard M. Nixon called for a sweeping new federal health insurance program. Listen to what Nixon - never the toast of the left - said in 1974: "For the average American family, it is clear that without adequate insurance, even normal care can be a financial burden, while catastrophic illness can mean catastrophic debt."

Packed meetings aside, could it be that President Barack Obama's legislative drive for a watered-down version of national health care coverage belongs to a mainstream set of ideas that's generations old?