Monday, August 31, 2009
The Senate of Trusts
I wonder if my late lifelong Republican father would recognize today's GOP.
His old center-right, chamber-of-commerce Republican Party has morphed into a far right national front party of armed militias, apocalyptic fanatics, conspiracy theorists, and people who keep sheets on hangers in their closets.
Meanwhile, the Democrats, the party of Roosevelt, The New Deal, and The Four Freedoms, has morphed into a conservative center-right party, very friendly with the chamber-of-commerce and the financial industry.
Progressive voices are confined to a single caucus in the House, and to the political and social margins (where most of the rest of the recession punished American population lives right now).
Health Insurance Reform, the most important piece of domestic legislation since the Civil Rights Act and the most important piece of social legislation since the Social Security Act, is now in the hands of legislators who are either batshit crazy paranoids pandering to other crazier paranoids, or legislators who are deeply corrupt openly doing the bidding of the health insurance industry. The White House is no better, making secret deals with the pharmaceutical industry. In this country, corruption and bribery are legal and referred to as "influence" and "campaign contributions".
Republicans and Democrats are but shadow puppets played by the industries. They are engaged in a meaningless slapstick toward the same end, to kill any effort to substantially reform the health insurance system in the United States.
We expect a hopelessly dysfunctional political system to fix a hopelessly dysfunctional health insurance system.
I am expecting little to nothing out of the whole thing. The bill that emerges will be weak and riddled with loopholes. I expect this political toxic waste factory either to completely squash any meaningful health insurance reform, or make something that's worse than nothing; such as requiring everyone to buy into the current system with (maybe) a token tax cut to subsidize the legions who couldn't possibly afford such legally mandated coverage. Health Insurance Reform would be transformed from relief for the general public from a terrible burden to a legally mandated bonanza for the industry. Such a bill would cripple an already overburdened populace and amount to another windfall for our tax-payer funded publicly subsidized corporate oligarchy.
There is only one solution that is staring everyone in the face, and no one (no one who "matters" anyway) wants to look at it.
Make Medicare available to everyone. Make the insurance industry compete with Medicare.
Posted by Counterlight at Monday, August 31, 2009