During the Great Depression, half of America's elderly suffered in poverty. There was little in the way of a financial safety net for the poor. President Roosevelt's plan to help the nation pull out of the Great Depression was designed to help the poor and, at the same time, create employment opportunities.
Franklin D. Roosevelt developed Social Security. In the Senate, Senator Robert Wagner, D-N.Y., introduced the 1935 Social Security Act. In the House of Representatives, Congressman Robert Doughton, D-N.C., introduced the bill. With full democratic control of Congress, the 1935 Social Security Act was passed in spite of conservative resistance. Ask the Tea Party if they now want to destroy Social Security?
With former President Harry S. Truman at his side, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law. These Democratic presidents saw the need, and helped elderly Americans with the financial burden created by increasing health care costs.
As President Johnson worked to get the Medicare bill passed, Republican leaders, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and H.W. Bush, spoke out against Medicare. The only resistance to the work of President Johnson and President Truman in getting Medicare passed came from the conservatives. Ask the Tea Party if they support Medicare or want to destroy it?
Today, Obamacare is the target of conservative talk radio, the Tea Party, and far-right conservative members of Congress. This new idea will help millions of poor people with health insurance. It helps many people avoid bankruptcy and poverty forced on them by increasing health care costs.
The Tea Party is attempting to destroy this new idea.
Health insurance companies, medical device companies, and pharmaceutical companies fully recognize their potential loss of profits from this new idea. These companies are funding the campaigns of conservative candidates, funding commercial on conservative talk radio, and basically doing all they can to rescue their "cash cow."
Simply ask yourself, where does the money come from to wage this all out battle against Obamacare? Funding this assault is expensive. These costly campaigns, costly commercials, and high-dollar contributions to conservative candidates and members of Congress are directly generated from the profits these companies make from overpriced drugs, overpriced medical devices, and overprices health insurance policies.
I strongly support capitalism, but it is a national shame that the profit motives found in health care have driven so many good Americans into bankruptcy. The health care industry couldn't care less. These companies will soon see a substantial loss of profit if they fail to block Obamacare. Their single focus is on the bottom line; it is not focused on helping those less fortunate.
Police officers, firefighters, paramedics are all government employees. These committed public servants earn our respect. The same respect will be gained when good public servants -- serve as our health care administrators and the cash cow for the health care industry is dead.
Rest assured, it is just a matter of time before conservatives will openly support another new idea -- Obamacare!
Robert C. Wadman is professor, emeritus, criminal justice department, at Weber State University.