The 800 Pound Gorilla

What was the social issue that drove Bill Clinton into office and then drove the wingnuts into nuttiness?

Universal Health Care.

It's the liberal, progressive issue that no one has been willing to talk about since then. It's taboo. It's scary. It is not at all CENTRIST or an issue of TRIANGULATION. Indeed, Hillary Clinton, once the hero of UHC is now AGAINST the idea. So, who is the 800 Pound Gorilla that is bringing this issue to the forefront again? Who is it that is mentioning the uninsured at every event as a moral issue that America has to face?

In other words, who is it that is running a truly Progressive campaign?

John Edwards pushes universal health coverage
May 23, 2006
These true situations exemplify the current healthcare system’s faults and why universal health coverage is essential for all Americans and especially Hispanics, said former North Carolina senator John Edwards on Monday at the University of Texas-Pan American Field House.
Out of the nearly 46 million Americans without health insurance, 13.7 million are Hispanics.
"I think all of us have the responsibility to do something about this," he said to rousing applause at the National Uninsured Latinos Conference.

John Edwards: Democrats Need 'A Little Backbone'
Possible presidential candidate and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards told some 3,400 union delegates and others Monday that the Democratic Party needs to show "a little backbone” by taking up the cause of universal health care again.
"One of the ways we can show some backbone and courage is we can speak out and we can say we're not for access to health care ... and all those weasel words that politicians like to use,” he said.
"We're for universal health care for every single man, woman and child in America and we are going to fight for it every single day when we're running this country, when we're running the Congress, when we're running the White House."

Taking a stab at the current administration, both state and federal, he used health care as an example.
"Look at what George Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger have done about health care. Neither Schwarzenegger nor Bush support universal health care, unlike Phil Angelides who Edwards said will, "stand up for universal health care."

''We have 37 million of our own people who wake up every day worried about feeding and clothing our children,'' he said. ``How can that be, in the richest nation on the planet? It's not OK that single moms who are waking up in the middle of the night with a sick 4-year-old have to go to the emergency room and beg for medical care. We're better than that.''
Democrats ''have to lead the way to universal health care,'' he said to about 100 cheering supporters. ''They'' -- Republicans -- ``will never do it.''

Edwards: here's what I say ... and it's not just net neutrality ... if the Democratic party is going to lead this country, we have to have a backbone. No more mealy-mouth. It's not "access to health care" ... it should be "universal health care." Net neutrality is a place where we could do that.

We also need to show that we can be the example for the world here at home by enacting universal health care coverage, defending the constitution and human rights, and leading the world toward energy independence.

This message of economic fairness and justice resonates not only in Virginia, but all across America. A few specifics: raise the minimum wage; universal health care coverage; tax system reform so that income is treated with at least as much respect as wealth; making college available to everyone regardless of wealth (College for Everyone); a trade policy that includes both free trade and fair trade (enforcable environmental and labor protections).
As to healthcare, it is clear to me that we have a dysfunctional health care system. We have the moral issue of approximately 47 million Americans who have no health care coverage, plus many millions who are terrified they will lost their coverage. The only answer is universal health care coverage.
Although I can't go into the details now, I've been working on a universal health care plan for months, and look forward to making it public when it's finished.

Folks, I've been a fan of John Edwards since his first trips to New Hampshire and Iowa. His willingness to stand up as a Progressive, instead of slithering towards the center like every other candidate out there just endears him to me more. Taking up Universal Healthcare, the fight I chose to make my own, is just the final act that makes it impossible for me to support anyone else in 2008.

I hear rumors that the Edwards for President office will be located in the Chapel Hill area. If so, and if they will have me, you can just consider that my night office. The kids are in bed by 8pm and there MUST BE SOMETHING I CAN DO EACH NIGHT.

A Progressive. Imagine that. No "weasel words". No "centrist" positions. Just progressive, Democratic policies designed to make the WORLD a better place.

Count. Me. In.


The gloves are off.

I've made my decision.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


Nan and I have been and are Edwards supporters. We're waiting...waiting...and ready to fight tooth and nail to see him elected.

Stan Bozarth


Have you considered posting this at Kos and OAC? If you do, let us know so we can recommend and comment. This is excellent!

I'm nannyboz at Kos.

I posted it at Booman.

Linked here.

I'll post it as a dairy at OAC, since my Blog posts seem to whoooosh down the page.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Universal Coverage

in order to achieve universal medical insurance for all in the USA something will need to be done about the criminality of the pharmaceutical industry. More at:


“A drug company executive is about to blow the lid off the pharmaceutical industry . . . revealing everything from sex in the corner office to private investigators spying on employees, company phone surveillance, FBI investigations and financial shenanigans resulting in million-dollar payouts.” —NEW YORK POST

"In this Enron-esque exposé of the healthcare industry, an anonymous . . . executive reveals everything you should already be assuming about most multinational corporations. You know, greed, spying, million-dollar payouts, and sex in the corner office. " —THE L MAGAZINE

"The Whistleblower is "a scathing account of the allegedly 'insidious' practices of the industry that once paid his salary and of the US healthcare system. The media is sure to lap it up." —MEDICAL MARKETING & MEDIA

"Dr Rost has written his side of the fascinating story of his recent working life in a most readable fashion. It is a book that totally grabs your attention and holds it right through to the last page. Insider could not put this book down until he had finished it. —PHARMAGOSSIP

"Peter Rost drops a bomb on the pharmaceutical industry in this fast-paced expose . . . Dr. Rost doesn't just crack open the door to the drug industry; he kicks the damn thing down like The Terminator. The author, however, doesn't limit his criticism to only the drug companies; he is amazingly candid with his own mistakes, a refreshing and welcome addition that serves to increase his credibility. . . This book will be eye opening for the uninitiated and sobering for industry veterans. For all, it should be required reading before your next trip to the doctor's office!" —JAMIE REIDY, AUTHOR OF "HARD SELL"

"Dr. Rost is evidently a man of no small ego, from what I can gather out of this book and his blog - not always a bad trait, as those with a strong ego drive often are the ones who persevere to accomplish big things. And I will give the man this - he’s got guts. He put it out on the line personally and professionally, when he thought there was wrongdoing. Love him, hate him, or scratch your head in perplexity - he’s got some steel in his spine." —IMPACTIVITI

"I admire Peter for his courage in taking this path and being very creative in his joust with Pfizer! Peter won't be a one-trick pony! Once his war with Pfizer is over, who knows what he can do?" —PHARMA MARKETING

A "tell-all tome hits stores. Pfizer's 2003 revenues were reduced by $500 million after a 'Ponzi scheme' in which one of the drug marketer's acquisitions . . . recorded inflated sales of Genotropin." —BRANDWEEK

"Pharmacia artificially inflated revenue before it was acquired by Pfizer Inc by offering incentives to wholesalers to buy more drugs than necessary, a new book by an ex-Pfizer employee alleges. Pharmacia may have boosted revenue by $500 million by selling excess inventory to wholesalers before it was bought for $60 billion in 2003 by Pfizer, the world's biggest drugmaker." —BLOOMBERG NEWS

"PR Nightmare: The Renegade with a Nuke. Let me preface this some. Before the headline disappoints, it’s not to be read literally . . . This is about someone who knows too much; has the skills to communicate; has the savvy as to how to best approach a market; and most of all has the technology to tell the world." —THE STRUMPETTE

"I think it’s a very, very interesting tell-all . . . It’s 200 pages and I devoured it in 2 hours . . . I genuinely found this a terrific page turner . . . it’s a great read straight from the horse’s mouth of a guy fighting a massive corporation with the weapons he has at his disposal. And very entertaining too." —THE HEALTHCARE BLOG

"Must read: In my opinion this book is one all lawyers that represent relators should read and this is especially true if a lawyer has cases involving the pharmaceutical industry . . . The book is succinct, well written and holds your interest." —JAMES MOORMAN, TAXPAYERS AGAINST FRAUD

"The Whistleblower . . . reads more like a detective novel than a memoir. This is due in no small part to the fact that, as Rost's responsibilities at Pfizer were slowly removed, he was left with little to do but detective work. His account of what he discovered is alternately hilarious and terrifying." —JAKE WHITNEY, THE PROGRESSIVE POPULIST


good info

thanks for the input

Stan Bozarth

Great post!

I'm there! As many of you already know, I've been an Edwards supporter since 04 and I have found no other prospective presidential candidate to better represent my progressive values.

With that, I'd like to invite all of you to sign up for NorthCarolinaForEdwards and OneCorps. We have started a Wake County OneCorps chapter and there are several other chapters started in NC, including Nan's Wilmington OneCorps chapter.

If there is not one in your area, start one up!

I'm really looking forward to working with my fellow BlueNCers, both those I have met and those I will meet, supporting progressive candidates, such as John Edwards.

That's right Amy!

Let's turn NC John Edwards' blue eyes "blue"! Here is a NC OneCorps chapters link so everyone can see the chapter nearest them. And like Amy said, if there isn't one near you, start one!

Great diary!

Wonderful, I love it, glad you like JRE as much as many of us.

Hi Nan, Stan, NCDem and everyone.

dk2 (America_in_08)

You Mean Health Security?

A few months ago, in a conversation with some Shulerati, I was told that "Universal Health Care" polled at 27% approval in our district. However, various rhetorical differences moved approval rating above 50%.

UHC is dead, but Health Security might stand up and walk. There's no need to fight the rhetorical battle to reclaim the UHC nomiker. Let's just get the legislation done. We can begin by calling it something else.

Health Care for every American
Health Security
Family Health Plan

Whatever. That 27% approval rating is nutso, I know, but let's not get hung up on the name. I'm glad Edwards has the chutzpah to get behind UHC, he's a real slugger who has a great chance at winning the nomination. However, in the general, he'll have to talk about UHC differently or people will tune him out before he's explained a thing.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

I don't know.

John Edwards has a paid staff of researchers. He must be on to something. Maybe it's just what I think Democrats have lacked for the last decade....

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Not sure.

John Hood has a bunch of paid researchers too, and they're all full of bulloney. That's not the measure of success.

I wouldn't be so quick to blow off the rhetorical question. Because the fact is, language is ALL there is.

To put it more bluntly, nothing exists except in language. There IS no IS outside of the words we choose to explain what we mean. Universal Health Care means something in the vernacular, in the culture, in the Dark Side and in the minds of people who hear those words for the first time.

Health Security means something else.

I'm not prepared to bet right now, but if you forced me, I'd go with the latter.

Trust me...

I've sat through lecture and meeting after meeting on "Access to health care" vs. Universal health care vs. Right to health care vs. Health Care for All vs. Yabba Dabba doo.

There is just a part of me that LIKES a democrat who says "Screw your mealy mouthed weasel words, I say what I mean and if you don't like it, there's the curb."

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Chuckles, where did you get a pic

of a purple gorilla? Or did you enhance it yourself?

Great post, signed on to booman and commented and recommened also at Kos.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

I had planned on using Grape Ape

But, couldn't resist the pic above. For kos I just searched through flickr for shareable pictures, I didn't feel like uploading the graple apel.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Say What You Mean

Universal Health Care means what? Health Care across the galaxies? Health care for every person in every circumstance? I don't think either of these are true. The Health Care system I'm looking for would be comprehensive and equitable.

So maybe Comprehensive Equitable Health Care would be the least weasely way to talk about it? "Universal" is just another catch phrase, and a failed one at that.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

I think you need to ask for a refund.

from UNCA.

From Merriam-Webster.

Main Entry: uni·ver·sal
Pronunciation: "yü-n&-'v&r-s&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin universalis, from universum universe
1 : including or covering all or a whole collectively or distributively without limit or exception; especially : available equitably to all members of a society

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

There you go

using a dictionary again.


Does universal cover Africa?

Well Shut My Mouth

Touche, Robert!

I'm still not a proponent of the Universal term. It feels like too much ground to make up. Why not repackage the same idea in a way that makes it easier to sell.

It's like calling oneself a Progressive in some circles when what you mean is Liberal.

I'm a liberal, but I call myself a Progressive when the other label might get in the way of a substantive conversation. I feel the same way about UHC. I'm all for it, and if someone's going to get hung up on the term, then I'd rather skip that part and go straight for the nuts'n'bolts of the discussion.

Know what I mean?

I call it Health Security.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Hey, I understand.

I was the guy at those meetings saying DON'T say Universal Health Care.

But, what I like is a dem that starts the conversation by saying "I'm going to say what I mean and if the Republicans don't like it, they can lump it." That's how I feel about his using universal health care.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


You're right about the name.

You want folks to know it'll be dramatically cheaper but
deliver more comprehensive coverage - securely without the goverment
invading your privacy. It'll have to be reliable, efficient,
convenient and widespread. And did I mention much cheaper?

"Medicine for All of U.S."

there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class