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Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Corporate Media From Crusading Against Universal Healthcare

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/04/16/pandemic-doesnt-stop-corporate-media-crusading-against-universal-healthcare


Healthcare Centers in every neighborhood----open green space—community gardens-classrooms to teach healthcare to the community-a support system for people in the community—people volunteering to make their Healthcare Center the best. Start in the inner cities.


When the private system of delivering Health Care in the Province of Saskatchewan was replaced with Single payer care by Tommy Douglas , the insurance sector and health care professionals made many of the same claims. They called it Socialism and claimed it would lead to financial losses , worse health care and hardship to doctors and nurses.

The Doctors in fact went on strike withholding services. Tommy Douglas just got Doctors from out of Country to replace them. The strike ended and they went back to to work under the new system. As it turned out their incomes went up as they no longer had to hire bill collectors and they could all but eliminate their billing departments. The Government always had the money to pay for services where prior to that the working class did not.


Note that concurrent with Tommy Douglas launching Canadian single payer JFK was pushing for US single payer. Subsequent to the JFK assassination LBJ pushed for Medicare for All (M4A) but had to limit Medicare to the 65 plus crowd to get Congressional Republicans and dixiecrats to vote for it.

As LBJ was signing Medicare into law he admonished Congress to expand it to all Americans. The rest is history.

Talking points promoting M4A today need to emphasize that CENTRISTS like FDR, Truman, JFK and LBJ all promoted M4A…it is NOT a “socialist” program.


Don’t forget Truman’s push for national healthcare. Not that the U.S. broadcast airwaves have shown much interest in broadcasting what happened to Canadian Doctors who opposed Canada’s National Health and that certainly did not end the private insurance industry so much as trim its sails\sales.

I don’t just mean the commercial spectrum of broadcasters, I mean Chubb Group of Insurers and Prudential underwritten and endowed so-called Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Where every week is THIS WEEK ON WALL STREET or PLANET MONEY or BUSINESS INSIDER or MARKETPLACE or FREAKANOMICS or BLOOMBERG BILLIONAIRE BID-NET NEWS or FORBES. Wonder why so few news reports on institutional corruption originate with scoops from CPB\PBS\NPR so-called ‘journalists’? U.S. air waves and cyber spectrum (also developed with socialized funds from the biggest socialist organization in the U.S. the armed forces and Daddy Warbucks) have yet to offer a regularly scheduled national broadcast or cybercast voice to the vast majority of U.S., namely us Clock Punchers, something I’ve been pitching to OPB’s monopoly on Public Broadcast spectrum in Oregon, something perhaps named and directed towards WAGE SLAVE WEEK.

Our unions like the UFCW of whose Local 555 I’m a sub-minimum wage member because of course Kroger stores pays us perpetual motion machines of Ecommerce order fulfillment the State of Oregon’s minimum hourly wage per our UFCW negotiated contract, however, once union dues are deducted to pay for our far better compensated union hierarchy we are paid a sub minimum wage hourly rate.

Nor do our Unions demand equal access to the ‘public’s airwaves and cyber spectrum.’ You won’t find many of our better paid union hierarchy writing op-eds or forcing their way onto the local news explaining why Corporate Welfare far exceeds Single Mother or Mom & Pop welfare as an entitlement and badge of privilege:

I am Pro Union despite such disparities because like most Clock Punching “Unskilled Labor” (see Barbara Ehrenreich’s memoir of her year as a retail unskilled wage slave titled Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America to see just what unskilled means) I’m caught between the privileges of Big Labor and the entitlement of Pay2Play political representation on one side and the Corporate Caliphate legally responsible for MAXIMIZING PROFITS or off they go on Golden Parachutes to the land of Vulture Capital outflanking me on the other side.

Mind you, I understand the needs of candidates who run for office and the privilege of representing Wage Stag-Nation and Food Stamp Nation which I like many others have been herded into from previously paid and acknowledged so-called ‘professions’. I well recall in my formative years hearing young candidate Bill Clinton woo the mass mediated over the corporate-captured Weapons of Mass Distraction on how what the 21st Century holds is that we’re all going to become ‘entrepreneurs.’ We won’t be working dull repetitive jobs for crappy bosses. We’ll all be our own bosses.

That Neo-Liberal E-CON’d warmed over Milton Friedman Neo-Con’d Daddy Warbucks hooey under our first partially Afro-American President Obama and VP from the Bank Secrecy and Corporate Pass-Through legal fiction state of Delaware (about the size of a single county in most of the states of our union, but big enough for a corporate P.O. Box to register the limited liability corporation or LLP) has become the Gig E-CONomy and what is now named UBER-ization after a co-founder of Uber the company with no employees, only private contractors with no benefits and no seniority, Obama’s own campaign strategist and computer tactician, like Milton Friedman another Chicago Boy named David Plouffe.

Buying air time over the public’s airwaves and cyber platforms doesn’t come cheap! Read Robert McChesney and John Nichols book on the history of government subsidies via free U.S. Mail delivery to any and all merchants back in the age of catalogue sales and reliance on public institutions like the USPS titled Our Media, Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle against Corporate Media (Open Media Series).

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
Media Discussion List


There’s Pacifica Radio Network, especially KPFA and ~KPFA.org. They used to have a labor show, although I don’t know if it’s still on. MC was David Bacon from the Communications Workers U.

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I guess Joshua Cho isn’t old enough to remember when public health departments tested for communicable diseases free of charge and had provisions to treat some of them. To my knowledge they never provided acute care but referred that to larger agencies. These are not balanced pros and cons and neither side is authentic. Medicare 4 All is not what you think it is, it is not the FDR or LBJ version and is very poorly vetted. Too bad Americans have lost the concept of Public Health. Most of these issues are directly related to partial privatization and deregulation and if you read the bill, a lot of this is not address or is addressed with another form of “public/private partnerships”.

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One other thought, read the bill. It is NOT universal health care, it IS single payer. THERE is a difference. (as stated in the title of this article)

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Yes, KPFA the Pacifica Community Radio station in Berkeley and transmitting to the Greater Bay Area as well as remote and rural NW reaches of California features a relatively poor and non-user friendly web site (compared to KBOO Community Radio’s web page which is independent of the Pacifica Listener Sponsored Radio Foundation).

For decades KPFA in Berkeley has out-produced, out-performed, excelled at Special Event programming bringing speakers and artists to the East Bay for cultural, educational and informational Public Forums that have out-raised listener sponsorship compared to Pacifica prime FM bandwidth in NYC that reaches the tri-state area with plummeting listenership and nary any community ties after decades of high rent Wall Street studio rentals and internal Identity Politics and Cronyocracy wars within the Pacifica Foundation.

Houston, Tx, Washington DC, LA, CA and Fresno, CA (Central Valley transmitter) and non-profit org funding along with the minimal CPB grant allotted to the few non-commercial radio broadcasters not yet auctioned off is about to auction off the nearly brand new building and broadcast studios in Berkeley, CA.

This all pains me as I was a child in the 1970’s (and Pacifica Radio’s WBAI was my life-line beyond corporate-captured broadcast news and public affairs not to mention exploratory radio arts and jazz\new music programming and ethnic programs that may have fallen into Identity Politics as urban crises like the NYC Teachers Strike exacerbated, but for the most part transcended cronyocracy). Look up Julius Lester’s archived broadcasts of the 1970’s, Dick Gregory’s appearances, the radio arts masterwork of audio drama and black humor presented by soon-to-be NPR producer and short story author Joe Frank via his weekly IN THE DARK WITH JOE FRANK. (Documentary on the life and radio arts pioneering work of Joe Frank here: ttps://www.joefrank.com/shows/somewhere-out-there/

Another and still living unparalleled community radio creative pioneer is Bob Fass, the first drop-in destination of a 20-something young songwriter from the remote Minnesota Iron Range who was heating up the Greenwich Folk Music bar and cafe scene as Bob Dylan at Pacifica Radio’s WBAI, appearing multiple times to sit beside Fass and parry while taking listener calls late-night multi-line call in public discussion program RADIO UNNAMEABLE

I have too much of my life’s non-paid activism and under-the-covers underground news gathering and activism that has been channeled through Pacifica Radio station outreach in a different NYC in the 1970’s and a different Bay Area when I was an undergrad at U.C.-Berkeley after a brief working stiff life in East L.A. and then West L.A. listening to the wonderfully off-beat improvisation comedy and music to be found on KPFK (home of the FIRESIGN THEATER and Dave Frishberg for a time).

After my U.C.-Berkeley undergrad years majoring in the inter-disciplinary Mass Communications in Theory and Practice\Journalism program and then alt press journalist and mainstream SF daily retail advertising account rep to support my nickel a word pay from the 2 Bay Area alt weeklies that made their owners filthy rich (non-union shops the both of them, while the corporate dailies were a union shop and that is where I made my rent while eyeballing the daily editions morning, noon and night and having easy access to the editors for on-the-record and off-the-record interviews that filtered into my media criticism that I’d occasionally share with a freebie 'zine or Pacifica Public Affairs program. Don’t get me started on feeding this bid-net model of working for free.

Berkeley-based KPFA film critic and rep house movie programmer Pauline Kael called the Pacifica Foundation bid-net model “the commodification of conscience.” The lesson is that not only does getting paid well as a journalist corrupt, but getting paid nothing corrupts just as well, if not more viciously when ego and radical status is on the line instead of making the rent, professional career advancement and being able to even think about starting a family.

Here’s where the Pacifica Foundation finds itself now having picked another fight with its fundraising dynamo and most deeply penetrating social programming hub as Corporate Bankruptcy looms:

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
Media Discussion List