UPDATE from January 20, 2010:
Healthcare reform in peril again ? Today, the Republican candidate Scott Brown rather unexpectedly won the Senate race in Massachusetts. The Democrates thus lost their 60-seat majority in Senate that had helped them to pass Obama's healthcare bill on December 24, 2009. Now, further negotiations on this subject between Democrats and Republicans will become tough.
Here the original story:
Today, U.S. President Obama's healthcare bill passed the Senate. Now, health insurance for all U.S. citizens is in sight, even though further hurdles have to be passed in the following months. The healthcare reform has always been a top priority of Obama's presidency.
Here's the news from CNN, together with comments and background
information on that subject (4 minutes video length):
A Letter from Germany
In contrast to the U.S. we always had a general system of health insurance, the origin of which is dating back to the beginning of the 20th century when industrial workers took to the streets in order to achieve adequate wages and social security. After World War II, during the magic years of the 1950s when German society experienced an enormous increase of wealth, that system was further developed and has finally become a model for any other Western healthcare system. Nowadays, when all social benefits are endangered by, both, homemade recession and global financial crisis, there are some political hardliners in the government trying to abolish the basic structures of our general healthcare system. Even though changes to the system are inevitable, the basic idea of granting every German citizen an appropriate medical treatment for a reasonable price will survive. Any change to that fundamental idea would make lots and lots of people take to the streets and vote for any leftist candidate available on the spot. Of course, something like a standardized nursing charge for all citizens (to cope with an increasing number of helpless elderly people) is likely to come but it will likely be based on income, such that even poor retired citizens and other "low-incomes" might be able to afford it. Comparing their actual situation with Germany's highly developed system of healthcare and the enormous social stability it proposes (despite whatever cuts and shortcomings it might suffer from in the near future), U.S. citizens should be aware that Obama's new option for a general healthcare system, however incomplete it might be, would be an essential step towards social stability and benefit those who are now unable to afford private medical care. Such, a well-done healthcare reform could even forge together all those who now stand apart in society with a feeling of being rejected. That at least might be a positive side effect of Obama's healthcare treatment. W.W./Ulysses
Obama parody: Praising the healthcare reform to
the tune of "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas":
"Wingnut" Alan Gray, Democratic congressman from Orlando, Florida, presenting the Republican healthcare plan as he sees it:
1. Don't get sick !
2. In case you get sick ...
3. Die quickly !