by Peter Freyne
Lots on Bernie's plate these days. The freshman from Vermont, the only Independent in the prestigious upper body, has his butt parked on several key committees. One is "Health, Education, Labor & Pensions" chaired by Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. And that's got health-care reform at the top of his agenda when the Senate goes back into action after Labor Day.
America’s healthcare system is "disintegrating," says Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The sad fact is we’re the only country in the industrialized world without a national healthcare program. And he told us the other day that he's got serious plans to end that embarassment.
"What we’re going to do is introduce legislation which will allow 10 separate states to get federal funding and all kinds of federal waivers, so that they can move forward in providing universal healthcare to every man, woman and child in their states."
Ol' Bernardo tells yours truly he's teamed up with Rep. John Tierney [D. Mass], who will introduce similar legislation in the House.
"I hope that Vermont and other states will go forward with a single-payer system, which I believe is the best way. But in any case, we will be able to look at what states are doing, learn from that and develop a national program which finally will provide healthcare to every man, woman and child as a right of citizenship."
And Bernie did not need any motivation from Michael Moore's flick - Sicko, which presents a scathing fact-based indictment of our shameful for-profit healthcare system. Been running around the state holding town meetings and meeting with constituents, says he. Just hasn't had time for the movie theater.
Certainly has a lively website, though. Doesn't he?