From farmers in India to workers fighting Remington bosses in Ilion, New York, working people are finding ways to stand up to the determined moves by the bosses to use government-imposed lockdowns to slash jobs and push more of the crisis of their capitalist system on our backs. We need to be on the job to join with our fellow workers to fight back. As the deadly coronavirus continues to spread, it’s clearer than ever that working people cannot depend on the bosses and their government to provide health care.
Our labor produces more than enough wealth to provide treatment for anyone affected with coronavirus — or any other health issue — as well as the speedy mass production and distribution of a vaccine. But under capitalism, health care is a commodity for profit for the owners of the hospitals, nursing homes, insurance, pharmaceutical and related health-industry outfits.
The propertied ruling families don’t wait in line for treatment, and don’t care if we live or die, as long as they can put enough of us to work to guarantee a profit. Capitalist politicians can’t and won’t solve this problem. It falls to the working class.
Like education and retirement, health care is a social question that must be fought for by the working class and our unions. We need to organize to fight for universal government-guaranteed cradle-to-grave health care, not woefully inadequate employer-based insurance plans tied to the bosses’ profits, or any other insurance schemes.
Giant pharmaceutical companies should be nationalized and run under workers control to ensure production of a safe, effective vaccine in sufficient quantity to provide protection to all, here and worldwide. Only the working class is capable of making decisions based on the needs of all humanity.
Working people in Cuba do use the fruits of their labor to guarantee care and preventative medicine to everyone on the island. Medical workers there start with saving lives, not deciding whose “comorbidities” put them at the bottom of some triage list. This is not the product of organizing a better health care system, but a conquest of Cuba’s socialist revolution.
Workers and farmers rose up and threw off the boot of U.S. imperialism and replaced the dictatorship of the Cuban capitalist class with their own government, which led the toilers to take control of the land, factories and banks into their own hands.
Through revolutionary struggle they deepened working-class solidarity, transforming themselves in the process. As disciplined, courageous and international combatants they proudly put their revolution at the service of toiling humanity. And provide a powerful example to working people in the U.S. and worldwide.