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Health Care Reform: Good for Patients, Good for Workers, Good for Women

Health care reform would give us the opportunity to create jobs that pay us back tenfold.

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Just a couple of years ago, the idea of widespread federal investment in infrastructure for the purpose of investment and job creation seemed a marginal idea that had been abandoned once we recovered from the Great Depression.  That changed in pretty short order, and if things go as planned, historians will mark this as a time of a great paradigm shift.  And thank goodness. If this is a country that really is committed to the equality of all, the federal government should consider the needs of the working class to obtain and maintain decent work to be at least as important as the desires of the wealthy to keep their stock holdings from plummeting precariously when the latest economic scheme collapses.   

Federal job creation is a good unto itself, so long as the work is real and dignified, but we have a unique opportunity to create jobs that really do pay us back tenfold.  Green jobs that set the standard for a modern environmentalist society are one way to get our investment back beyond just the standard good of full employment, and health care job creation does the same thing.  Everything in our society will improve when our citizens are as healthy as possible. 

And we can do all this without compromising feminist principles that advocate for an economy where women don't depend on men, and aren't forced, as I argue in this week's podcast, to make compromises like staying in abusive marriages because they can't afford to escape.  In opposition to the New Deal of the 1930s, which glorified the nuclear family and female dependence, we really can create a new New-er Deal that supports female independence and truly healthy families formed out of full consent, economic and otherwise.

Amanda Marcotte co-writes the popular blog Pandagon. She is the author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments .

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