One of LBJ's most popular achievements was Medicare -- health care for the aged.
When Europeans and Canadians arrive in America, they are often shocked that "the Yanks" have no publicly-administered health care system (as at home). For decades, they have enjoyed a National ID Card -- which permits FREE access to health care.
Since 1966, America's Medicare has managed health care for millions of retirees. Restricted to those at least 65 years old, it is financed by a small levy on workers' wages (1.45% paid by workers, 1.45% paid by employers -- on every dollar earned).
Medicare is extremely popular for senior citizens. Funded by a small national tax, it limits the fees charged by enrolled doctors and practitioners for all services -- exams, ER visits, surgeries, blood tests, MRI/CAT Scans, and hundreds of medical procedures.
Medicare covers 58 million Americans in 2021. Under Medicare, Health Care Firms and Doctors maintain privately-owned practices. They are not owned or managed, in any way, by the Federal Government. Medicare's responsibility is limited to fee regulation, national enrollment of participating providers, and a Single-Payer System of Payment.
Under America's successful Medicare Program:
1. Hospitals, clinics and doctors are quickly compensated,
2. Patients receive timely and effective treatment, and
3. Health-care costs are effectively regulated.
Unlike the USA, Canadian Medicare is not restricted to 65+ Seniors.
Since 1966, Medicare has been a financial success
The popular Federal Program, however, has been hit with a 3-10% fraud rate -- due to criminal doctors and embezzling firms. The Government has fined and imprisoned hundreds of record-falsifying and embezzling HMO company doctors and managers.
A few examples of greedy millionaires, who defrauded Medicare, include:
1. A Florida doctor is now being indicted for embezzling $2.1 billion from Medicare,
2. A Florida doctor has been imprisoned for embezzling $26 million from Medicare,
3. A Texas doctor has been imprisoned 5 years for Medicare fraud.
Those who argue for "Wall Street's Approach" to health care -- in favor of unlimited wealth for millionaire doctors and firms -- have been utterly ignorant of the deaths, poverty, lack of affordable health care, and anguish of poor working families.
Annually, Wall Street spends millions of dollars lobbying Congress on behalf of multi- millionaire shareholders -- so that CEO's can deny affordable health care to the poor.
Annually, nearly 50,000 Americans die because they cannot afford health insurance.
Annually, thousands of workers are forced into bankruptcy because of medical costs.
Truman and LB J -- renewing hope for America's poor -- were keenly aware of the great progress made in other Nations on the issue of affordable and regulated health care:
1. The United Kingdom,
9. Spain, and
TEDDY ROOSEVELT: A PROGRESSIVE CHAMPION
Deeply aware of senior poverty, FDR signed into law The Social Security Program. Before Roosevelt, America's poor and patriotic workers -- despite working 50 to 70 years in a lifetime of hard labor -- were denied any hope of a pension in old age.
THE ROOSEVELTS: PROGRESS FOR POOR WORKERS
PRESIDENT JOHNSON: A LEGACY OF PROGRESS
Before the progressive reforms of President Wilson:
1. Women could not vote,
2. Millions of children worked in factories,
3. Factory workers toiled 10 to 12 hours per day, with low pay and no pensions,
4. Big Business forged monopolies in many industries, raising prices for consumers.
President Wilson's popular platform of "The New Freedom" achieved:
1. The 19th Amendment (establishing the right of women to vote),
2. The Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916 (outlawing child labor),
3. The Adamson Act of 1916 (eight-hour work day),
4. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act of 1914 (regulating Big Business, protecting unions),
5. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913,
6. The Revenue Act of 1913 (coercing wealthy tax-dodgers to support the Nation).
Awarded The Nobel Peace Prize, President Wilson:
1. Ended World War One (by sending victorious U.S. troops to Europe),
2. Established The League of Nations,
3. Established The Fourteen Points (promoting post-war peace), and
Outraged at the racism and anti-worker discrimination of his day, President Truman eclipsed many less-capable and soon-forgotten politicians by pressing for many breakthroughs in American History: integrating the Armed Forces, and strongly fighting for Universal Health Care -- which resulted in the popular Hill-Burton Act.
The Roosevelts -- against the intense opposition of Big Business -- ended the 6-day work week, 12-hour work day, child labor, and denial of pensions to poor workers.
PRESIDENT WILSON: A LEGACY OF PROGRESS
American workers owe a huge debt of gratitude to President Theodore Roosevelt.
Along with improving race relations, he made great strides against worker poverty.
Among President Roosevelt's many progressive achievements, he:
1. Regulated Big Business, after the Robber Baron Era, with The Square Deal,
2. Supported unions, raised workers' wages, and shortened the 12-hour work day,
3. Signed into law the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act
4. Broke up corporate monopolies and trusts, and
5. Built the historic and revolutionary Panama Canal.
ROOSEVELT RAISED COAL MINER WAGES AND SHORTENED THEIR LONG WORK DAY
During the Great Coal Miner Strike of 1902, Roosevelt solved the crisis after creating an independent commission. The greedy owners would not budge, but TR's tough and moral stance gained the miners a 10% pay raise and a reduced workday (9 hours).
ROOSEVELT BROKE UP RAILROAD MONOPOLIES TO HELP CONSUMERS & WORKERS
In the 1904 Northern Securities Antitrust Case, greedy barons sought to merge several large railroad networks -- to create the world's largest corporation. TR filed suit in Federal Court to block the merger, after invoking the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Balking at the outrageous, unbridled and anti-worker greed of J.P. Morgan, TR changed the course of history when he turned the U.S. Federal Government into a regulator of Big Business -- as opposed to a "rubber-stamp" patsy. TR fought to end decades of worker poverty, rampant workplace deaths, and lack of regulations on product/food safety.
FDR'S POPULAR SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAM
For nearly 100 years after The Civil War, Segregation Laws and rampant racism
were brutal realities for African-Americans. President Teddy Roosevelt, however, made history when he publicly invited one of America's most prominent African-Americans to The White House: Distinguished Educator Booker T. Washington.
Without the progressive achievements of Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, American workers in 2021 would be living under very harsh conditions:
1. Six-day work week
2. Twelve-hour work day
3. Forced labor of children in factories
4. Lack of safety regulations at the workplace
5. Lack of employer-provided, or government-provided, health care
6. Lack of any pensions for retired and disabled workers.
As staunchly patriotic Presidents, they fought to make America "Number One" in:
1. Production of steel, aluminum, and other critical products
2. Production of aircraft, automobiles, commercial/navy ships, and military hardware
3. Production of high-tech consumer goods
4. Maintaining the world's most powerful Navy, Army and Air Force
5. National Infrastructure: Federal Roadways, Railways, Waterways, etc.
7. Health Care
8. Regulating Big Business (and the Lobby Industry) for the benefit of all
9. Unquestioned prominence as the world's "Nation Of The Future"
10. Worker prosperity, productivity and general welfare.
The Roosevelts fought to maintain America's "leading edge of high technology."
Opposed to murderous totalitarian dictatorships, they would have promoted more trade -- and larger American investments -- in struggling Third World democracies.
Instead of giving "supply chain status" to repressive Red China, Roosevelt would have persuaded American firms to build factories in impoverished Haiti, Ecuador, Columbia, and other Third World nations which are desperately hoping for stronger economies. The poor children of Haiti hope for a brighter future, after the brutal 2010 earthquake.
Just as Roosevelt delivered goodwill and a stronger economy to Central America after building the popular Panama Canal, President Biden could improve our national image and business leadership in 2021 -- by establishing supply chain factories among our Good Neighbor Nations in the Western Hemisphere. America, and not China, should be the world leader in helping impoverished Third World Nations to grow their economies.
American workers salute the legacy of LBJ -- "The John Wayne Of American Politics." As Senate Majority Leader, LBJ's career surpassed that of many less-capable politicians. Historians acclaim LBJ as one of our most progressive and "get things done" Presidents.
Born in the Texas Hill Country, LBJ had a rugged Old West heritage. His grandfather Big Sam was a prominent cattle rancher and farmer, who drove herds of cattle on the Chisholm Trail to Kansas. Big Sam was a leader in the Texas Populist Party and the Farmers Alliance. Following in Big Sam's footsteps, LBJ's father -- Sam, Jr. -- was a cotton farmer and school teacher, who was elected to six terms in the Texas State Legislature.
LBJ -- unlike broadly unpopular "Corporate Democrats" in 2021 -- was a strong leader.
As a Member of Congress during The Great Depression, LBJ staunchly supported FDR and The New Deal. With federal help, he gained tremendous progress for Texas: rural electrification, hydroelectric power, dams, paved roadways, schools, hundreds of public buildings, dozens of state parks, the LCRA, and many other landmark achievements.
He is ranked by historians as one of America's most effective Senators and Presidents.
Upon becoming President, LBJ's War On Poverty helped millions of poor families.
LBJ scorned The Beltway for its "pathetic ignorance" of farmer and worker poverty. He criticized the huge salaries of Beltway elites -- and their lack of concern for the poor.
He fought for greater prosperity for poor workers: more union jobs, paid sick leave, more home ownership, and less media hype about overpaid "free agent" athletes.
Shifting the national focus from fake promises to the poor to major achievements for the poor, he challenged Congress to pass powerful bills to overcome the "status quo."
Re-elected in the 1964 landslide victory, LBJ achieved many historic firsts:
1. The Civil Rights Act (which helped millions of poor Americans),
2. The Voting Rights Act (which helped millions of poor Americans),
3. Medicaid (which helped millions of poor Americans),
4. Medicare (which helped millions of poor Americans),
5. The American Auto Industry, without question, was the world's leader,
6. The American Space Program, without question, was the world's leader,
7. The prosperity of working families, and not Wall Street greed, was an urgent issue,
8. Small farmers, factory workers, senior citizens, and the poor were shown respect.
During the American Revolutionary War, General Kosciuszko led The Colonial Army to build state-of-the-art military fortifications. As a Commander of Combat Engineers, the Polish General's brilliant fortifications in New York State enabled The Thirteen Colonies to win the famous victory at The Battle of Saratoga -- which prompted military assistance from France.
Without French military support, the American Revolution might have been a failure.
After the Saratoga Victory, France's critical military support gave General Washington the decisive edge to achieve victory against Great Britain -- at The Battle of Yorktown in 1781.
Gen. Kosciuszko was a key figure in establishing the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The Polish General was granted 500 acres and $15,000 by Congress for his achievements during the Revolutionary War. However, he refused to accept the Grants. He demanded that both of the Grants be dedicated to the building of Free Schools for African-Americans.
How many of today's "leaders" possess the generosity and genius of Kosciuszko?
In 2021, America is globally criticized for its culture of worker poverty, managerial greed, overpaid CEO's, expensive health care -- and do-nothing, Wall Street-elected politicians.
Kosciuszko's generosity stands in stark contrast to the greed of today's leaders.
How many of today's overpaid politicians seek policies to help America's poor workers?
Why do teachers live in poverty? Why are college graduates mired in massive debt?
Fighting against greed, key leaders have brought about key reforms in our history:
Kosciuszko's fight against slavery. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery. Teddy Roosevelt's historic trust-busting and worker reforms. Wilson's far-reaching progressive reforms, re-establishment of a Free Poland, and The League of Nations. FDR's historic New Deal. Truman's Fair Deal and military desegregation. LBJ's Great Society.
MEDICARE'S OPPONENTS: GREEDY CORPORATIONS
KOSCIUSZKO: A ROLE MODEL FOR TODAY'S LEADERS
TRUMAN'S FIGHT FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE
MEDICARE: THE POPULAR FEDERAL PROGRAM
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