Health care “reform” as pure election PR.
The health care “reform” legislation passed by the House – and soon to be rectified by the Senate, and then signed into law by Obama – will together form the last needed indication that the Democratic Party is utterly vapid and is not going to be an agent of progressive reform.
On its merits, this legislation is broadly odious. The ban on coverage of reproductive health services alone is a real and serious attack on reproductive freedom and church-state separation. More broadly there is the fact that this legislation will criminalize any “failure” to have a health insurance product, without:
- Providing any meaningful regulation of the notoriously exploitative health insurance and pharmaceutical industries,
- Providing any meaningful government alternative to private corporations in health care, now or ever.
Effectively, the Democratic Party has, in its desperate attempt to enact something that they can term “health care reform” in mass media prior to the mid-term elections, created an elaborate and effectively tyrannical system for upward transfer of wealth from people who work to the people who sit atop health insurance and pharmaceutical companies. I use the word “tyrannical” in the sense that this legislation is a contributor to an overall creeping, exploitative plutocratic dominance of society and our economic functioning. This wealth transfer scheme is deeply insidious in that it is being presented to the broad public as a populist reform that addresses the economic and human costs of our failed health care system, while deliberately avoiding the root of the problem with the current system.
While we can all ponder the implications of the apparent likelihood that it will be an ultimately jailable offense to not have an *insurance* policy, I think it should be immediately clear that no thinking, decent person should vote for any Democrat who voted for this (or will sign this) legislation. The “nothing is perfect, we must compromise” argument is being made by a President and by figures in the national political class who *do not suffer* as a consequence of this bill, whose *sponsors and special interest clubs* benefit from this bill, and who most of all will sacrifice any consideration in real health care reform to get a salable fiction in front of base voters.
One could re-cover the vacuous political gamesmanship and intra-party squabbling that led to this lunacy. One could re-examine the involvement of the famous lobbies and special interest groups that won the fight in DC. One can hem and haw and make excuses about what is “realistic” and what is “not” in the utterly bought-and-sold venue that is our national political class.
But there is no point to that. The legislation that is being passed – this “reform” that sets us back and cements the control over of us by big business interests that are the source of the problem needing reform – is all we need to see about the Democrats, and about the "change agenda" hoax.