Labour Parties

Keaney Michael Michael.Keaney at mbs.fi
Thu Sep 26 05:37:56 MDT 2002


Mark writes:

Only general social collapse as in the USSR can make it possible to destroy
health and welfare services with minimum popular resistance from a cowed
population. If, per contra, your argument is that the US will enforce or
impose its own health care models on other advanced capitalist states, I
would argue that this is politically impossible.

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I agree with this. I envisage the US being brought kicking and screaming into some sort of universal provision of health care, although the model adopted will be tailored to the specific circumstances of the US -- powerful private sector, AMA, and state governments' own arrangements. There is an interesting, simmering welter of discontent over health care which emerges from time to time in the news media, especially as it relates to companies cutting back their benefits packages in the current downturn. As the downturn deepens we will witness the first real test of Clinton's welfare "reforms", which, of course, will be catastrophic. Should a Republican administration be in power beyond 2004, and even with the current administration, it is possible to envisage the creation of a system of universal coverage, justified on the grounds of "supporting the economy", "reversing the evil Clinton's policies", etc. This will further intensify the splits within the US ruling class, given !
only the ideological dissonance, but it's all commensurate with the fundamentally contradictory processes of US capitalism.

Michael Keaney

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