Friday, August 7, 2009

Healthcare Reform Psychomachia

I want single-payer type national health insurance. If it was up to me, we would expand Medicare to cover everyone.

But, it's not up to me. It's up to the President of the United States together with the Congress. In our system of legalized corruption, legislators are bought and paid for. They don't represent us, the people who voted for them. They represent the corporations who paid for them. The only difference on this score between the 2 parties is that the Republicans are a little more eager to to take the money and shill.
Any health insurance reform would have to get through that sausage factory. We have the best opportunity for real reform in 45 years today. What the Obama Administration proposes is a lot less than I would like, but it is substantial, and would improve the lives and security of millions of people. It would substantially check the absolute power of the insurance industry. I think it is very telling that the industry is pulling out all stops and spending millions weekly to stop even this very modest reform.

Here is CNN's Rick Sanchez taking on Rick Scott, the Don Corleone of the industry who represents the organized money behind the effort to kill reform.

His is the lion's share of the money behind the "grassroots" mob campaign to intimidate Congress into killing reform.

Something that I've noticed about those angry sign waving mobs is that they are almost entirely white and middle-aged to elderly. They also don't seem to be the brightest bulbs on the marquee. One heckled Congressman heard all the angry shouts about socialized medicine, and then asked them how many were on Medicare. Almost half the crowd put up their hands.

They may well be corporate shills, but as Paul Krugman points out today, the anger and fear are genuine. Krugman may well be right when he suggests that the passions in this crowd are about far more than health insurance. These are the people who lost the 2008 election, and they are not used to losing. In the 2008 election, politics finally caught up with demographics, and these people know this and it terrifies them. They are used to being in the majority and in charge. Their majority is rapidly diminishing and soon the USA will have no single dominant ethnic group. This is already the reality for most American cities. Despite the Obama administration's over-cautious centrism, his presence in the White House really is a momentous change that means far more than any specific set of policies. It is the entrance of non-whites into the power establishment. This profound change in the demographic and political landscape is what so terrifies these folks. They clearly are not in charge anymore. Theirs is the conqueror's nightmare, that the vanquished will turn on them and do to them everything that they did to the conquered. That's what's behind all the "racism" rhetoric coming from Republicans during the Sotomayor hearings. In the end, she became a Justice of the Supreme Court with barely a whimper from the Republicans despite weeks of apocalyptic prophecy and spectacular outrage.

Corporate autocrats like Rick Scott are exploiting the growing anxiety of this population to kill any meaningful reform in health insurance policy. If they have their way, they will continue to discriminate against sick people in favor of insuring only the affluent and healthy.


Clearly there is something much more going on here than a debate over policy.

Here is a comment for this post which I reproduce in full, unedited, and without comment:

These shameful episodes of the DNC dismissing Obamacare opponents as paid shills -even running disengenuous TV ads to slander them- while SanFranNan is halucinating and seeing imaginary Swastikas- should make clear to anyone just what these far-left elitists think of your opinion.

Note that whenever Obama, Emanuel, or Gibbs are asked about why polls show SO many people oppose their misguided Cap-n-Trade and Obamacare proposals, they ALWAYS segue-right-into “we need to educate the public…”.

LOL- save your breath- Constitutionally-aware patriots don’t take lectures from Marxists.


On the other hand, we have our own forms of push-back.


Counterlight said...

Reaganite Republican,

Quod est demonstratum

it's margaret said...

I don't want universal health insurance.... I want universal health care. There shouldn't be a third-party payee system--but that kind of reform isn't coming any time soon....

Counterlight said...

I agree Margaret, but this would be a step in the right direction.

Lapinbizarre said...

Africa. New Guinea. Same, no difference, I guess? Both a bunch of Stone Age you-know-whats, eh, RR?