Single Women, Listen Up! You Have the Most to Lose in the Single Payer Healthcare Debate
By SMW Staff
Single women are the majority in the United States. According to the latest United States Census figures, 51.5 percent of our female population is women ages 15 and over who are either single, divorced, widowed, or separated. And yet, 49% of all single women– or almost 30.8 million of them – are uninsured.
To top it off, one in five women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) , 12.9 million was uninsured in 2005, accounting for 28 percent of all uninsured Americans.
In many states, those women who are insured pay higher premiums than men the same age. And the few plans that offer maternity coverage do so at a very high monthly premiums. For those plans than don’t cover maternity, should you get pregnant, none of your prenatal or delivery expenses count as deductibles.
In this recession, you can just imagine what it is now.
And it’s possible that just six senators are keeping all of us from enjoying what every other 1st world country enjoys: universal or single-payer healthcare.
The following article, from DevTob’s diary DailyKos.com, discusses who they are.
The irony: besides blowing it for us, their own constituents comprise a mere 2.7 of the United States population.
Just follow the money: the pockets of these 6 senators are bulging with over $3 million in insurance and pharmaceutical company donations.
“I don’t want to keep paying for no healthcare, to an insurance middleman who looks for ways to take my money, and give me nothing for it. I want elected officials who realize that a national healthcare plan– Universal or Single-Payer — as their legacies. YOUR legacy. Otherwise, next time YOU WON’T GET MY VOTE.”
Then call the six senators whose votes are stopping the rest of us from what we want.
— Josie Brown
A small group of Senators on the Senate Finance Committee have evidently decided to do the bidding of health insurance companies, Big Pharma, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by eviscerating health care reform.
An AP story by David Espo states that six Senators, who have been working secretly for weeks on a “compromise” bill, have decided against the public option and any requirement that businesses offer health insurance or pay a penalty.
Espo writes that the compromise “jettisons … core Democratic provisions in a reach for bipartisanship on an issue that has so far produced little.”
So who are these guys who are now on nyceve’s shitlist, and where do they come from?
The six conspiratorial Senators are three Democrats, Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico; and three Republicans, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.
Notice anything about this group, besides all white, only one woman, and 50-50 politically, rather than the 3-2 ratio that would accurately reflect the Senate’s current membership?
Well, I did — in total, the six conspirators represent just 2.7 percent of the U.S. population.
The approximate populations of those six states (from the wiki) are: Iowa, 3 million; New Mexico, 2 million; Maine, 1.3 million; Montana, 965,000; North Dakota, 640,000; and Wyoming, 530,000.
Their total population (c. 8.4 million) is roughly equivalent to the population of New York City, which shares its two senators with the other roughly 8.4 million who live in the suburbs and upstate.
How do those states’ populations compare to other states’?
Petitely — their ranks, in the above order, are 30th, 36th, 40th, 44th, 48th and 50th.
And do you think the conspirators care one whit about the health insurance concerns of middle class, working class, and poor people in our cities?
It’s a rhetorical question.
The largest city by population represented by any of them is Albuquerque, ranked 34th with about 520,000, the next largest, Des Moines, is ranked 112th with about 200,000. The other states’ largest cities are off the wiki list — Billings, Montana, with about 100,000; Fargo, North Dakota, with about 100,000; Portland, Maine, with about 63,000; and Cheyenne, Wyoming, with about 53,000.
And how sensitive are the white conspirators to the problems that non-whites have in getting, keeping, and/or paying for health insurance?
Another rhetorical question.
About 34 percent of the country is black, Hispanic and Asian (B/H/A). None of these states, except New Mexico obviously, comes within a country mile of that.
Being right next to its namesake, New Mexico is 48 percent B/H/A (44.4 percent of that Hispanic). The percentage of B/H/A in the others is in the single digits — Wyoming, 8 percent; Iowa, 7.5 percent; Montana, 3.5 percent; and both Maine and North Dakota at 3 percent.
Other undemocratic details are that the three Democrats represent two red and one blue/purple state — McCain won North Dakota 53-45 and Montana 50-47, Obama won New Mexico 57-42 (but Bush won the state narrowly in 2004, Gore won it narrowly in 2000, ergo blue/purple).
Grassley and Snowe also represent states that voted for Obama, but they are longtime incumbents who apparently feel they can disregard their constituents’ wishes with political impunity.
Enzi’s littlest state is blood-red, McCain won it by almost 2-1.
So Baucus’ cabal was also split 50-50 according to the 2008 state presidential result, which Obama won 28-22. And had only one Democrat from a state Obama won.
True-blue states, where there is overwhelming support for a public option and, generally, a lot more people, had no seat at the conspirators’ table.
From Democratic committee members, Baucus could have chosen two women who represent larger blue states (Stabenow of Michigan and Cantwell of Washington) and/or a Hispanic from a larger blue state (Menendez of New Jersey), but he did not. On purpose.
I’m well aware that the Founders originally intended the Senate to be an undemocratic institution, largely as a sop to relatively low-white-male-population slave states.
Senators, in their view, did not represent people, they represented states. The Founders didn’t even want people to vote for Senators, they left that to state legislatures, and that was the law of the land until the 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913, within some people’s lifetimes.
But this health care reform-killing cabal of six Senators from small states is even more undemocratic than that — again, they represent a 2.7 percent micro-minority of the country.
And yet these conspirators from little states have the gall, and evidently the power, to deny real health care reform to the other 97.3 percent of the country.
Changing the essentially undemocratic nature of the Senate via Constitutional amendment is politically impossible, because small states now, like slaves states way back when, will not support any change that dilutes their political power. Like, for example, ditching the Electoral College.
So changing the six Senators who intend to screw their few constituents, and the many more American people not represented by a conspirator, by doing the bidding of their health insurance/Big Pharma benefactors is all we can do.
I live in New York, so I can’t vote against them. But if this deadly conspiracy succeeds, I will be giving money to and doing remote phone-banking for primary challengers to the three Democrats and for general-election challengers to the three Republicans.
And you all should, too.
Listen to your doctors! Healthcare reform is what they want, too:
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