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Healthcare Reform Hell

October 17th, 2009 · No Comments · Politics, The Big Top

Doctor VisitHealthcare has been a central issue for Democrats since the Truman Administration. While the Republican Party can deliver tax abatement for the wealthy, deregulation for business, liberal gun ownership rights for citizens over the last thirty years, all issues central in importance to Republicans, the Democratic Party just can’t deliver healthcare to its party faithful, and by extension, all citizens. According to Wikipedia, “Universal healthcare is implemented in ALL industrial nations.” Nations not considered “industrial” such as Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine all manage to offer universal healthcare to its citizens.

 The Democratic Party has told rank-and-file members that until the Democrats achieve majorities in the House and Senate, and hold the Presidency, they just won’t have the political means to bring healthcare to Americans. The Democrats now have the congressional majorities and presidency they say are needed. So, after months and months of “healthcare reform” stories dominating news cycles, where are we in the Democrats’ quest to provide every American with healthcare? Do we know? Let’s look at an October 18, Associated Press report and see if a clear picture can be pieced together.

Headline reads: “Pelosi Makes Case For Government-Run Health Option.”  Any Democrat reading that headline will feel a little thrill of expectation, “Is Pelosi going for universal healthcare? Yes!” No. First paragraph states that Pelosi is saying that, “…the case is growing stronger for allowing the government to sell health insurance in competition with private companies…” Second paragraph: “The need for a public option is very clear,” the California Democrat told reporters at her weekly news conference…” WTF is this article telling us? Are we no longer talking about universal healthcare but health insurance run by the government and insurance companies?”

Readers who strongly support universal healthcare, which is seven out of every ten Americans polled, have now moved from expectancy to dread. They are thinking, “Oh, Christ. Deliver us this day from health insurance companies.”

Fourth paragraph cites the threatened rise in premiums by insurance companies “…under health overhaul legislation advanced by the Senate Finance Committee earlier this week.” Now, the alert reader will know from other reports that the Senate Finance Committee’s legislation is the one that reads as though written by insurance lobbyists, dictates mandatory health insurance for all, and levies financial penalties to those who don’t comply (either because people recognize the insurance is useless or people can’t afford it). These financial penalties so far have ranged from the hundreds of dollars to the thousands of dollars. So now a reader is really thinking, what the hell? The insurance companies are going to raise premiums because of mandatory universal health insurance and tens of millions of new policy holders? This is healthcare reform?

Fifth paragraph states that Pelosi “has been on the attack against health insurers for months…” Have you read any instances of Pelosi “attacking” health insurers either by word or deed? Attacking the health insurance companies would mean Pelosi is promoting Medicare-style-universal- coverage for every American and doing so consistently and in public. Be clear on this: the way to attack these insurance companies is to offer government-run-single-payer healthcare not health insurance run by insurance companies. This is obvious bullshit from Pelosi.

Sixth paragraph: “It’s been clear for some time that the House health overhaul bill would likely include a public plan, but its design remains unsettled.” So, six paragraphs into this, where the hell are we? Apparently three House healthcare reform bills must be reconciled with two Senate healthcare reform bills, yes? No? We aren’t told. But Pelosi does say this eighth paragraph: “She said that if people are going to be required to purchase health insurance-as all the health bills on Capitol Hill contemplate-they need to have access to the cheaper rates government insurance could offer.” This mandatory purchase of health insurance “design” sounds pretty “settled” to me. Who will decide rates and coverage: the government or the insurance industry? If mandatory insurance comes with financial penalties for noncompliance, do you want the full coercive/punitive weight of the Federal Government on your ass as your “insurance company?” What will these compliance measures entail?  Will there be an enforcement policy that allows for IRS liens and seizures, wage garnishment, drivers’ license revocations, passport suspensions? It’s the “design” of the penalties that “remains unsettled.”

This Associated Press article can only tell you things when you read between the lines. First, the way Congress is obfuscating, and pulling this sleight-of-hand-obfuscating-bullshit, you know they are dedicated to advancing the fortunes of insurance companies not “reforming healthcare” in any true sense. It’s a con game and they are going fleece you in broad daylight on behalf of their political contributors. Second, the corporate media is in on this and they are going to feed you confusing bullshit that pervert the meaning of government run health option, single payer, healthcare reform, and various other hope-inspiring terms, and turn them into code words for corporate mandates that will imprison citizens into debt peonage buying useless junk insurance. People may be confused not because they are rubes, they may be confused because the corporate media has intended to make them confused until some shitty health insurance bill gets stuffed down our throats. Fait accompli accomplished.

As it stands, the corporate media is acting like the corporate media: failing to inform citizens in any meaningful way (if not purposely misleading them). Congress is proving that they are corporatists: that is, they are wholly owned subsidiaries of corporations that pay for their political careers. Tens of millions of Americans may finally say no more to their corrupt government when made to buy health insurance that comes without real healthcare. The Democratic Party can say adios and ride off into the sunset because a deceptive health insurance mandate will estrange their base, galvanize Republicans, and make outlaws out of tens of millions of Americans who can’t afford or won’t pay for the betrayal visited upon them by the Democratic Party. As usual, stay healthy.

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