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In OtherWords: September 27, 2017

If you don't understand why football players are taking a knee, take it as a sign you have more to learn.

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The GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act looks to be, once again, stalled for now. That’s no doubt a relief to the millions of Americans the Congressional Budget Office estimated would’ve lost their care if the Graham-Cassidy bill had passed. (“First, do harm,” Khalil Bendib quips this week of the GOP’s health care mantra.)

Still, it would be disingenuous to say that all’s well in American health care. By a long shot, Americans spend more for their care than any other people on earth, but we’re stuck at 42nd in terms of life expectancy.

That’s because, Jim Hightower argues this week, our health system is designed to promote corporate profits, not health. Sam Pizzigati puts numbers to it, pointing out that health care CEOs pull in an average of $20 million a year. No wonder ordinary Americans go bankrupt paying for medical expenses.

But a new bill introduced by Bernie Sanders — and backed by 16 of his Senate colleagues — would turn that system on its head, providing cost-free insurance to every American. That plan’s a long way from passage, but as Sam notes, it’s a start.

Meanwhile, Bernie’s also been busy, somewhat surprisingly, on foreign policy. John Frederick Kaufman reports on the senator’s recent major address, which openly questioned whether America’s post-9/11 wars had done any good.

Finally, Jill Richardson tackles the outrage over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. Recounting her own journey as a teacher on race issues, she says it’s an indicator of how much white Americans still need to learn about the experiences of their non-white neighbors.

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Khalil Bendib / OtherWords.org

  1. We Get Sick, They Get Rich / Sam Pizzigati
    Americans need more bargaining power against health care corporations. A new bill could give it to them.
  2. Bernie Sanders Thinks War Is Overrated, And He’s Right / John Frederick Kaufman
    The Vermont senator says it’s time to get rid of the idea that the only “serious” solutions to international problems involve the military.
  3. White Folks Need to Stop Assuming We Know Everything About Race / Jill Richardson
    If you don’t understand why football players are taking a knee, take it as a sign you have more to learn.
  4. Our Health Care System Is a Corporate Care System / Jim Hightower
    Why is health system flailing? Because its guiding ethic is profit, not care.
  5. First, Do Harm / Khalil Bendib
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