Alex Blaze

Who cares about health care? It's just your life on the line.

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 04, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: deathers, health care reform, left, lies, misinformation, rachel maddow, right

It just seems like there's so much opposition to what should be a basic right in the richest country in the world, a program that would help a country morally, economically, on a visceral level, that should have been enacted during the Truman administration. The reason we don't have a universal health care system in the US, obviously, isn't because no one ever tried to get one set up. It's not a lack of will on the part of those agitating for it, and it's not a lack of need. It's that it's been working against political and financial forces that are a lot stronger than mere voting patterns, party labels, or people's ability to care about their own health and survival. It's real.

Rachel Maddow discusses the latest strategy:

Last week I was talking to a presumably wealthy guy who, if his brain was turned on, would have known that I don't make much money and that I don't have a job that provides health care. He mentioned that he can do whatever he wants now that "Obama's going to give me health insurance," but then corrected himself and said that he was too old, so Obama would just have a bureaucrat deny him coverage so then he'd die. He looked about 50, but I asked him if he had aged into Medicare and that's why he's worried he won't be covered by some of the proposed health care plans going around. He didn't answer, and I didn't know at that point that this was the latest myth being spread faster than Obama's secret Muslim status on the internet.

There's no shortage of people on the right who are willing to believe whatever conspiracy theory gets thrown their way. They thought Terri Schiavo was up and talking to people, they thought George Tiller would kill any baby for $5000, they thought Barney Frank caused the economic melt-down because he couldn't keep his hands off Herb Moses, and I wouldn't be surprised if many of these people are the same folks who think Obama's parents faked his birth certificate and birth announcement four decades ago. The issue isn't the fact that they're not operating in the same universe as the rest of us, the issue is the fact that they have a disproportionate amount of political power.

I have this feeling that we should be doing more than trying to pass any specific bill, that it would be more worth our trouble to reform the entire political process. If what's important in American politics, as anyone whose seen how European governments are run and wonders why America is so different has come to see, is putting on a good show, shaming the other side, strutting around like a winner, and pretending to speak for all the salt-of-the-earth, regular Real Americans (who are invariably white, Anglo, cis, straight, and fundamentalist Protestant).

And as long as putting on a good show is more important than material arguments, the left is always going to lose. The right will always have the resources and the skills necessary for better political theater than the left. While Code Pink is dancing in the streets and putting up signs on bridges, these right-wing activists go straight to the source and position themselves as Nixon's silent majority and shut down conversation and information.

I don't think, though, that many of these tactics will make it into anti-LGBT protests or lobbying. They require far too much coordination and the Big Money Boys don't really hate us enough to spend the money required to do so. But when they could lose their private insurance gravy train, their power over the working class by literally controlling if they live or die, and the myth that people through the government can't come together to help themselves, they'll pull out all the stops. And this is what that looks like.

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Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 4, 2009 10:53 PM

There can be no doubt – Obama’s health care reform is just more of the same. And it's DOA. That partly because of propaganda but mostly because it’s just no damn good. It’s DOA because it’ll drain billions from the system to pay out as profits to the looter rich and impose the huge costs of a bloated private bureaucracy on the health care system.

As the economy continues to contract and unemployment soars federal tax incomes have plummeted to levels not seen since the Great Depression. State and local tax incomes have taken a $160 billion dollar hit and are in freefall. Economists say this will continue for years. That will place an unbearable burden on federal healthcare efforts, especially as Obama’s wars in South Asia escalate.
Federal incomes
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Lots more people are going to needlessly die and suffer before we get socialized medicine.

It's barbaric but very typical of late stage looter capitalism and its right centrist politicians. Leaders of the Democrat/Republicans in Congress are raking in millions in ‘contributions’ from HMOs, insurance companies and Big Pharma, the unholy trinity. Obama for his part, Obama’s had almost 30 very private meetings with bigwigs from the unholy trinity; so ‘private’ that he’s refusing to give out any details about who he met with and what he promised them. In the meantime those campaign 'contributions' just keep rolling in.

Congressional Crooks


Presidential Crooks

Obama and the Democrat/Republicans are playing a cynical and deadly game with the health and wellbeing of working people. Obama’s plan, misnamed universal health care,
allows HMOs, insurance companies and Big Pharma to make gross profits and deny care. That’s what happened to 17 year old Natalie Sarkisyan when CIGNA, a profit gouging HMO, denied her a liver transplant. She died waiting. It's happened to thousands. 'Unnecessary, too costly"... these are the standard excuses for what really amounts to the legal murder of patients.

Obama's 'public option' won’t come close to providing needed health care. Any plan that panders to profit gouging corporations is doomed. We need single-payer socialized medicine. And we need to expropriate the profiteers, cutting them out of the equation and using the profits they steal for health care instead of huge bonuses to the looter class.

Here’s the truth about health care from the California Nurses Association, National Nurses Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO.

OK, we need single-payer (I'm not going to go along w/ socialized medicine, since the UK has socialized and France has single-payer, and France's system is a whole lot better). But I have little hope it'll happen, and a strong public option and bans on denying coverage will be the most we'll get here. It'll be better than the status quo.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 5, 2009 7:01 AM

It is the status quo.

The health system is in danger of failing as a whole with a 'public option' at reduced levels of care. Obama’s plan guarantees that immense profits will continue to be drained from available monies by for-profit looters. It’ll unfold in what promises to be years of continued economic decline, cutbacks in federal and state medical spending and soaring unemployment. Take a look at what Democrats and Republicans agreed to slash from health care programs like Medical and HIV/AIDS funding if you want a picture of what the next few years will be like. These are austerity measures with a vengeance.

The deck is stacked against what the Democrats are pleased to call the 'public option' or ‘universal health care’, both of which are wildly inaccurate descriptions of Obama’s plan to let the rich gorge on the wealth we produce. It’ll end up with everyone having to pay through the nose for bad coverage. Which is the status quo.

The misnamed 'public sector' will operate through and pay profiteers - HMOs, Big Pharma, insurance carriers and other criminal elements. (If you wonder why I call them criminals take another look at "Sicko, especially the Congressional committee testimony of Humana’s CMO.). If enacted it won't be strong - it'll be weak. And when it fails the profiteers will be quick to point out the error of trying to bring real health care to American workers.

Coverage denial is a needed but minor reform, a crash program to cure big killers like HIV/AIDS and cancers and a medically supervised program to insure good nutrition and exercise for everyone. We need automatic and guaranteed coverage for everyone.

It is immoral to have the profit motive in the delivery of health care. Denial of Health Care is an infringement of the Right to Life.

A system delivering care basically free at the point of delivery to meet all clinical needs is the only moral way to go. Forget about insurance - Pay with it through taxes and don't have a system of pen pushers approving the procedures - the procedures should be approved by the doctor.

However you need to train your doctors out of their habit of over testing and prescribing too many medicines because there is profit to be made in this practice.

Medical training should be provided free (to students) or very cheap to those who qualify for training.

Money and greed should be eliminated from Health provision.

As a final resort adopt FDRs approach - militarise (put under military control) the delivery of health care after all a healthy and fit populous is a strategic necessity. And if the doctors don't like it conscript them and see how they like living on a captains wage.

Private medicine is divisive and evil.

Better than the status-quo? I hope so, but I wouldn't bet money on it. We still don't know the details because no "consensus" plan has been put to a floor vote yet, and apparently Obama chose not to formuluate a plan of his own, but to just let the corporate hogs wrestle each other at the feeding trough. If the bill makes it harder or illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, yes, that will be an improvement. But if they're still allowed to charge sky-high premiums based on age and medical experience, we are stuck with the status quo with a big govt subsidy tacked on. I suspect that's why the medical lobbyists have posed for smiling photo ops with the Great Leader. I'd smile, too, if I could smell all those extra billions about to fall in my lap from compulsory coverage.