BTS 2/6/06: Health Care Crisis; Iran Developments; New SDS

Listen: Steffie Woolhandler - Ali Javadi - Tom Hayden / Paul Buhle

The crisis in America’s healthcare delivery system grows more acute by the day. Nearly 46 million have no health insurance and many more are under- insured, with high deductibles. Millions are one healthcare problem away from bankruptcy. Successive Presidents have talked about the problem and Bush used his State of the Union to push Health Savings Accounts. We’ll ask Harvard Prof of Medicine Steffie Woolhandler to assess the problem.

Turning to another type of crisis, Iran has angered USA and European countries by re-starting parts of its nuclear program and refusing to abandon efforts to master uranium enrichment. Iran has declared that threats to send its nuclear case to the U.N. Security Council will not make it drop its quest for nuclear technology. We seem to be on what could be a disastrous war course with Iran. And now, there is Anti-European rioting in Muslim world over a Danish cartoon – which may push European public opinion and govts closer to the American position. We’ll talk to Ali Javadi.

And finally, We live in uncertain times, where stability and security are interrupted by uncomfortable reminders of grotesque inequalities and dashed aspirations, by spontaneous riots and mass rebellions, or vile acts of individual terror that wreak havoc and invite repression in the form of restricted civil liberties. Are the conditions today similar to conditions 40 years ago when the Civil Rights, anti-war and women’s movements began to challenge the status quo? Tom Hayden and Paul Buhle are here to talk about the present, the past and the future, and the tasks at hand.

Read More for more info on tonight's guests:

1. Steffie Woolhandler is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard and co-director of the Harvard Medical School General Internal Medicine Fellowship program. She is a co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), an organization that educates physicians, other health workers, and the general public on the need for a comprehensive, high-quality, publicly-funded health care program, equitably accessible to all residents of the United States.

2. Ali Javadi is the president of New Channel TV, which is a 24 hour satellite television program. New Channel has millions of viewers all over Europe, Iran and the Middle East. Ali Javadi is a leading political figure in Iranian opposition, holds a PhD in applied mathematics, and currently is a professor at the University of California.

3. Tom Hayden, the Nation Institute's Carey McWilliams Fellow, has played an active role in American politics and history for over three decades, beginning with the student, civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s. Hayden was elected to the California State Legislature in 1982, where he served for ten years in the Assembly before being elected to the State Senate in 1992, where he served eight years.

He is author of over 175 measures ranging from reform of money in politics, worker safety, school decentralization, small business tax relief, domestic violence, lessening gang violence in the inner city, stopping student fee increases at universities, protecting endangered species like salmon, overhauling three strikes laws, and a measure signed into law that will assist Holocaust survivors in receiving recognition and compensation for having been exploited as slave labor during the Nazi era.

Hayden is the author of eleven books, including his autobiography, Reunion; a book on the spirituality and the environment, Lost Gospel of the Earth; a collection of essays on the aftermath of the Irish potato famine, Irish Hunger (Roberts Rhinehart) and a book on his Irish background, Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America (Verso).

4. Paul Buhle, currently a lecturer in history and American civilization at Brown University, is author or editor of twenty-seven books on radicalism, labor, and popular culture, including five volumes on the films of the Hollywood blacklistees. Most recently, he coedited Wobblies: A Graphic History (2005) and The New Left Revisited (2003), winner of an American Library Association's Choice Academic Book Award. He has written for The Nation, Times Higher Education Supplement, The Guardian, and the Journal of American History, among others. He founded the journal Radical America (1967-95), the Oral History of the American Left project (New York University, 1976- ), and the Community and Labor Oral History project of Rhode Island.