I can no longer listen to, or read, the interminable pessimistic punditry on why a "public option" for health care insurance is not politically feasible. Perhaps "they" are correct. Perhaps this country is so mired in negative me-first individual competitive thinking that our politicians dare not vote for a co-operative community approach to a common need. BUT!!!

The pundits and politicians are not the only folks with power. We-the-people are also powerful. If we choose to act together, in common, we have ample means to do so. We can act in the knowledge and trust that we belong to an interdependent web of existence, right?

We the people, through various strategies, could create both national and regional health care insurance co-operatives and/or other not-for-profit organizations. Group Health Co-operative, in Seattle, founded in the 1920s I believe, is one such organization (which gave my family excellent moderate-cost insurance and care for 26 years). Kaiser Permanente is another non-profit, renowned for its emphasis on excellence in research-based care. Ithaca, New York, formed its own health care insurance co-operative some years ago.

How can we expect our politicians to vote for a public option or community self-empowerment if we ourselves cannot create a "beloved community" to share the cost of care we all need?

When I was a little child, my parents told me, I always wanted to "do it self." Health care insurance is one thing you can't do yourself, on your own--it requires co-operation. I've got Medicare and Kaiser, but what about other people?

If Congress does not approve a public option, I suggest that we-the-people seek to initiate a health care insurance co-operative. For leadership we should call on people with the experience, chutzpah, and wisdom -- people like the new nominee for Surgeon General, and Bill Moyers, Warren Buffett, Van Jones, community-oriented labor leaders. and leaders of the physician groups for single-payer national health care. Together we can do it.

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Tags: beloved community, cooperative, healthcare

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