Skip to Content

Time to Organize a Mass Movement in Defense of Social Security and Medicare for All

Call to (locked) arms

It’s easy to make the case that the US has the most costly health system in the world by a factor of two, and still leaves nearly 30 million citizens uninsured and unable to pay to see a doctor, while other developed countries, at a fraction of the cost, have systems that cover all their citizens’ health care costs. It’s easy too to make the case that raising incomes at the bottom is the best way to raise all workers’ incomes since employers have to offer more to attract workers when less skilled workers start to receive more than those skilled workers are currently receiving. It’s a no-brainer.

The challenge, as I see it, is to also make the connection between the coming attacks on these New Deal remnant programs and the vast sums of tax money being annually squandered on the US military’s war machine, a giant funds-sucking monster that currently receives $1.3 trillion, counting the interest on the debt for prior wars and military spending. That is as much as the next eight nations in the world, including China and Russia, spend on their militaries, and it is demonstrably a huge waste.

Are we safer because we spend multiple times what our rivals spend on our military? Is the US free from the threat of terror because of the endless wars that the US is fighting or providing aid for others to fight (Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc.)? Clearly not. Would the US be at risk if the military budget were cut by 75%, if its nuclear force was trimmed to a few dozen weapons (pending reaching a global ban on nuclear weapons), if it ceased to have $15-billion aircraft carriers, whose only purpose is engaging in unprovoked wars on third-world countries that pose no threat to the US, and if its bloated officer staff was whittled down to a few generals per military branch? Hardly. We have been terrorized by our government leaders and our compliant corporate media for long enough. It’s time to whittle the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower so presciently warned us against down to a size where it would no longer be able to dictate its own budgets, as its military bases and arms manufacturers, situated strategically in every congressional district in the union, currently allow it to do.

Any movement to protect and expand Social Security and to move the US away from its shabby, complicated and cut-prone patchwork health care system of Medicare, Medicaid, employer-based private insurance, charity care and, at least for now, the Affordable Care Act, to some kind of nationalized health system, needs to be independent of the two main political parties. The Republican Party is attempting to eradicate public retirement and public health care programs of all kinds, or at least to convert Social Security into some kind of worker-funded government-man dated 401(k) managed by private firms, and to erase the ACA.

story | by Dr. Radut