April 2009

Who Is Senator Arlen Specter?

2009 has been, to put it bluntly, one hell of a political roller coaster. No election cycle in recent memory has been as contested and dramatic as '08-'09, and with good reason. Between 2000 and 2006, the entire US government was essentially Republican-controlled. In the 2006 Congressional elections the US House of Representatives moved hard to the left while the Senate made significant strides likewise. In 2008 the Senate completed its shift to a slim Democrat majority, but the changing tides haven't rolled back yet. Senator Al Franken is well on his way to a seat representing Minnesota, for one.

Is middle class America ready for socialised healthcare?

The recent defection of Senator Arlen Specter from the Republican Party over to the Democratic side of the aisle has given the current administration an incredible amount of freedom to push forward on certain policy measures. Once Al Franken is seated, this will bring the number of Democrats in the Senate to a filibuster proof sixty. So what do they do with this opportunity that's just dropped into their laps?  I live in the San Francisco, which is both (on the whole) a very affluent area, and one in which many people consider themselves fairly left leaning.

One of the things, then, that's been much discussed here is some sort of national health service, or socialized medicine, and so one. Call it what you will; the vision is largely the same - a federalized service, which is free at the point of use, and is paid for out of our tax dollars. My question is this, however; are these people ready for the reality that this will bring?