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Single-Payer Health Care: What Will It Take to Pass It?

Lee Stanfield
February 24, 2018

Single-Payer Health Care bill HR-676 covers 100% of everything with the least taxpayer money! What will it take to pass it? And why is neither S-1804 (see below), nor a “state-by-state” approach, the answer to the health-care crisis?

President Truman proposed universal health care for the United States in 1945, and health care for everyone, covering every medical necessity and costing less than we now pay, has always been the goal of the single-payer movement. So why is it that 73 years later, we still don’t have it?

The short answer is that we keep being suckered into believing that we must settle for a compromise with the for-profit health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, the only entities that will not greatly benefit from its passage. (Ironically, their own employees would benefit from having 100% comprehensive portable coverage, and HR-676 will fund their retraining and pay them generous unemployment until they are re-employed.)

Many universal single-payer health care advocates have been led to believe that the only way to achieve our goal is via an incremental approach. The two most popular forms of this approach are state-by-state single payer, and surprisingly (at least in its current form) Senator Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan S-1804.

While desirable for some things, unfortunately, in the case of sweeping changes such as universal health care, an incremental approach is a blind alley that will delay our success — likely by decades...

Clarion Alley Confronts a Lack of Concern

Dawn Starin
February 21, 2018

Long view of Clarion Alley with various murals by CAMP. Photo by Dawn Starin.

SOME WALLS KEEP us out. Some walls keep us apart. Not these walls. Clarion Alley's walls of art invite us in. Creating a dialogue, they shout in both full glorious Technicolor and in stark shades of black and white,"Come in and look at our history, read our words, come in and appreciate what we must always remember, what we have lost, what we have found, what we must stand for and what we must treasure."....

A Spectre is Haunting Boston Cinema

Marius Pontmercy
February 12, 2018

Raoul Peck, the Haitian-born director of Lumumba (2000) and I Am Not Your Negro (2016), has a new film. The Young Karl Marx, a period drama, recounts the life of the founder of communism between his exile from Germany in 1843 and the publication of The Communist Manifesto on the eve of the revolutions of 1848.

Justly described as a bromance by some reviewers, the film’s central story-line is the blossoming friendship of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. But Peck doesn’t overly romanticize these figures. On the contrary, he depicts them with human weaknesses and desires. More importantly, Peck shows us Marx and Engels as inter-organizational activists, at a time when the socialist left was nascent and disorganized, but poverty and injustice were pushing people towards a breaking point. We also see that, even before the The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels’ writing grew directly out of their efforts to organize the political and economic power of workers.

Marx and Engels spar with Proudhonists, exposing their failure to account for the growing divide between bosses and workers, but then team up with the Proudhonists against the German idealists; for, though pulling no punches in their critique of Proudhon, Marx and Engels were prepared to acknowledge the Proudhonists’ successes in building a base among French workers. Basically, Peck depicts Marx and Engels as upstarts with a purpose...

2018: Whither Hong Kong?

Promise Li
February 8, 2018

Since the Umbrella Movement and the ascent of Xi Jinping to presidency, the Chinese government has pursued a heightened policy of repression toward Hong Kong in levels never before seen. The newest attack on the Hong Kong people’s basic human rights and political freedom came earlier this year in January, when the city’s election committee officially stripped social progressive party Demosisto’s candidate Agnes Chow of her right to run in the 2018 Legislative Council (LegCo) election.

Agnes Chow speaking in by-election campaign. Photo: Jerome Favre/European Pressphoto Agency

Demosisto is a movement-based party that stepped into the forefront of Hong Kong’s political turmoil in the wake of the Umbrella Movement. The party was formed by the young stars of the 2014 social movement, leaders of the student activist group Scholarism, Nathan Law, Joshua Wong, and Agnes Chow. With Chow’s disqualification, the Hong Kong government has effectively barred thirteen localist and pro-independence leaders from taking political office since the Umbrella Movement. Demosisto’s Nathan Law won a seat in Legislative Council in 2016, but was quickly disqualified for taking his oath of office ‘improperly’ (giving dissident speeches before taking his oath and taking the oath “in a questioning manner”) and later imprisoned for his participation in the Umbrella Movement occupations and protests.

Increasing Repression

Chow’s disqualification marks a new era in the repression of pro-democracy political leaders in Hong Kong...

February 24, 2018
Lee Stanfield
Single-Payer Health Care bill HR-676 covers 100% of everything with the least taxpayer money! What will it take to pass it? And why is neither S-1804 (see below), nor a “state-by-state” approach,...
February 21, 2018
Dawn Starin
Long view of Clarion Alley with various murals by CAMP. Photo by Dawn Starin.
SOME WALLS KEEP us out. Some walls keep us apart. Not these walls. Clarion Alley's walls of art invite us in. Creating a...
February 12, 2018
Marius Pontmercy
Raoul Peck, the Haitian-born director of Lumumba (2000) and I Am Not Your Negro (2016), has a new film. The Young Karl Marx, a period drama, recounts the life of the founder of communism between his...
February 8, 2018
Promise Li
Since the Umbrella Movement and the ascent of Xi Jinping to presidency, the Chinese government has pursued a heightened policy of repression toward Hong Kong in levels never before seen. The newest...

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