Last night, while fighting torpor in Ireland, I watch” Jamie’s American Tour” on TV. Jaime Oliver is a well-known British T.V. personality who does all things related to cooking. Last night’s show had him touring the southern United States in search of authentic southern cuisine. I am not much of a foodie but the show was eye-opening. He went to Savannah and met some southern “socialites.” When he asked them if the recession has affected them, they responded that they simply don’t talk about it. Then he asked them if they voted for President Obama. They said they don’t talk about that also. Wow, talk about heads in the sand. In another segment, he met several people at a local restaurant. He asked what they thought of the President. One woman said that a lot of people do not like him because he is a n*****. Oliver blanched (a food reference) and later talked to the camera and expressed incredulity that the word would actually be used, especially when referring to the President. Finally, he met a restaurant owner who was going to have to give up her restaurant because of her husband’s medical bills. He has no health insurance, had cancer, and now the couple is going to file for bankruptcy. The restaurant owner said that her family could not pay $1000 a month in insurance premiums. Oliver said to the woman that in the UK, health care is free and that she would not be in her situation in such a system. He later addressed the camera and said that he is so happy to be living in a country where healthcare is a right of citizenship. He expressed his dismay that in the richest country in the world, healthcare is not provided to all.
By the way, the Senate Health committee voted down the public option amendments to the insurance reform bill. Since when did the insurance companies become our friends?