These idiots, along with the AMA, said the same thing in the 1960s about Medicare.

Then when Medicare was passed into law, the idiots and the AMA discovered how much money they could make from it.

The same was true with Social Security and Workmen's Compensation.

These jerks just want to go back to the days when seven-year-old factory workers and coal miners endured 14-hour days and six-day weeks, were paid in company scrip, required to live in company housing, and had to purchase goods and services at the company store with its inflated prices.

Or slavery. That was fun, too. It allowed the boss to rape his "employees."

Expand full comment

In 2010, I viewed Obamacare as an attainable but relatively minor reform that was no substitute for Medicare For All. Today, I see the ACA as a towering achievement and have grown skeptical of M4A. That Obamacare has survived and even thrived despite overt sabotage is a testimony to the strength of its design.

Expand full comment

People often don't realize how important such changes are at the time...it takes perspective to realize their value.

In 1927, the Supreme Court ruled in a case of a moonshiner having his property, money, and chattels seized for not paying taxes, that illegal income was subject to taxation.

That enabled federal authorities ever since to prosecute organized crime.

The Taft court also ruled in another case that businesses could NOT pay their workers in company scrip, "redeemable for goods and services at the company store," which kept them in slavery. Businesses had to pay their workers in checks or cash.

That ended the domination of the company store. It also ended the practice of companies being able to declare that scrip worthless if the workers went on strike. Huge change.

Company stores went from being petty tyrannies that kept workers in debt (sometimes long after their death, with the debt put upon the family), to being a small bennie that offered official sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and jogging shorts with the company logo.

Expand full comment

Have you read Peter Irons’ A People’s History Of The Supreme Court? Highly recommended.

Expand full comment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1980WfKC0o (Sixteen Tons, by Tennessee Ernie Ford)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksqE-xg1RwE (Coal Town Road, by Men of the Deeps who are the last generation of miners who mined underground in Cape Breton)

Expand full comment

"The Great Depression," by Canadian historian Pierre Berton, offers a gripping account of miner life and strikes in Cape Breton. It was appalling.

Expand full comment

I'm from Nova Scotia and am from a long line of miners/mining people in my family (even stretching back to England where my maternal grandmother is from) My uncle on my mum's side was a Mine Inspector for the NS government (the first civilian down after the Dragerman during Westray). My mum's great-uncle died of black lung and my maternal grandfather was a miner in Cape Breton and died of black lung and liver failure from drinking. I can't honestly say it's a proud history, but fascinating...I learn new things about it every so often. My mum said her childhood was similar to the kids in "Angela's Ashes" and you can't go back far enough in England to find anyone that wasn't the "working poor." My ancestors didn't end up in debtor's prision or poorhouses, but they were close and lived really harsh hard struggling lives.

There's a new book out called, "Blood on the Coal" which is all about the Springhill mine disaster. I'll get around to reading it.

Expand full comment

Then you know the whole story of the Cape Breton coal story.

The author of "Angela's Ashes," Frank McCourt, was my Creative Writing teacher in high school, from 1978 to 1980. He is the first of my four literary mentors. He taught me to observe ritual and detail.

Every Friday, the students had to read their own work. We rarely had enough -- I remember the one girl who wrote about how her boyfriend was failing to relieve her of her virginity. I wanted to volunteer.

After the kids were done, we prevailed upon McCourt to read his own stuff. He did. It was on legal-sized notepads, and it held the class. It was the first draft material of "Angela's Ashes."

When I bought the book decades later, in New Zealand, I felt a chill, reading chapters I already knew.

Frank McCourt and I remained in touch. He was one of my job references until his death in 2003, and in 1999, he wrote my endorsement letter for my Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program at the New School for Social Research.

When a school year ended, he tossed his Delaney Book in the trash. Delaney Books held little cards that New York school teachers use to record attendance and grades, until computers took over.

I seized the book in the name of the Crown (being English) and took it home. In 1999, he was unveiling has last book, "Teacher Man," at the new version of my high school, and I went to the event, with the book.

He and his wife Ellen were astonished to see the book, and I asked him if he wanted it back. No, I could keep it.

My wife and I plan to go to Ireland and take a bus tour around the country. When we do, and stop in Limerick, I want to see the McCourt Museum and statue, and pose there with the Delaney Book.

Expand full comment

My mother worked as a housekeeper for decades. Each day, a different house. She had no access to healthcare until Obamacare, Obamacare is the best thing that ever happened to our family.

Expand full comment

With such a cute dog, who could disagree with you?

Expand full comment

Obamacare was and is tough to explain because Americans simply don’t like federal mandates.* It’s also the case that the left and center-left are at odds over the most effective way to pursue health policy. Medicare For All advocates are reluctant to praise Obamacare. Personally I think that is misguided, but the reality is that Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not going to give full-throated defenses of the Affordable Care Act.

Expand full comment

In 2018, Democrats ran successfully on protecting Obamacare. It was by far the driving issue in VA-7, where Abigail Spanberger knocked off Dave “Anti-Christ” Brat. That didn’t seem apologetic to me, but maybe I’m wrong.

Expand full comment

Thanks, Mr Willis, once again, for reminding us that Rationality i.e., having good judgment, being sensible, being agreeable to reason, being based on logic

using knowledge to attain goals, based on reason rather than emotions, can once again become the norm.

PS Kal-El is da man.

Expand full comment

Spot on, as usual.

Expand full comment