Maybe my memory is tricking me, but I seem to remember a long battle laced with filibusters to get the health-care bill passed in Congress. I remember that even the Democrats dared not mention “single payer health care” (also referred to as “Medicare for all”). I remember more liberal Democrats unsuccessfully trying to include something called “the public option” in the final bill. I thought at the time that they were all scared to mention the control the insurance companies seemed to have over the whole process.

Then there was a supposed victory for Obamacare at the Supreme Court, with only one small problem: Individual states with nutty governors, like ours, could opt out of the plan.

I think that the final bill was a compromise between timid Democrats, obstructionist Republicans and the insurance companies (the silent partners to them all).These are the same insurance companies that have been making life miserable for so many people, for so many years, in so many ways. People were now going to be required to purchase insurance from them.

Of course it’s complicated. Of course it’s unwieldy. Of course it’s hard to figure out. Of course it’s a mess, but it’s dishonest to lay the blame for this solely on Barack Obama. The three branches of our government all failed us.

Now compare it to Medicare. Are you hearing anything about people having trouble signing up for Medicare or Social Security? What we needed was a government that wasn’t kowtowing to the insurance companies. What we needed was a simple government-run program that gave medical coverage to everybody. We needed “Medicare for all.”

Abby Shahn, Solon

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