When Ann Coulter used the f- word last week to describe John Edwards, she was just trying to sell Ann Coulter to her conservative base.
When Hillary Clinton morphed into a southern black preacher, she was desperately trying to sell Hillary Clinton to a southern black audience.
When John Edwards mailed out 70,000 DVDs advocating “universal health care” to Iowa voters this week, he was just trying to sell John Edwards to the corn belt.
All were scamming the public in pursuit of fame and fortune.
Coulter was her crass and calculating self.
Hillary deserves what that moment bought her.
As for Edwards, as the only avowed “populist” in the race, he wants voters to believe that his health insurance plan will lead to affordable universal coverage.
It won’t and he knows it.
But as a liberal Democrat, his hands are tied.
No liberal Democrat with a shot at the nomination can tell the truth about health care.
Because telling the truth means social insurance, single payer, Medicare for All.
Telling the truth means wiping out private insurance companies and their $350 billion in excess administrative costs – enough to cover the uninsured and underinsured – without paying anymore than we do now.
Today we spend $7,000 per person on health care in the United States – that’s twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations.
Edwards’ plan is a complex brew of health markets, public incentives and private mandates.
Dr. Don McCanne of Physicians for a National Health Program has one word for Edwards’ plan – “lousy.”
“The idea of setting up a public plan to compete with private plans has been thoroughly discredited,” McCanne told Corporate Crime Reporter. “No matter what regulations are established, private plans will continue to select the healthy – especially the healthy workforce and their healthy families. The private plans cover the majority of us who are healthy and cost very little, while as taxpayers we pay most of the costs for health care for those with medical needs.”
The Edwards plan’s complex mixture of private and public plans will not wipe out the hundreds of millions of dollars in excess administrative costs needed to fund the uninsured.
McCanne believes social insurance – everyone covered by government insurance – is the best system – next to government sponsored medicine – like the Veterans Administration.
McCanne believes the Edwards plan was drafted by Yale University political scientist Jacob Hacker.
“Hacker is the darling of the progressive Democrats,” McCanne told Corporate Crime Reporter. “ It is the same as the Edwards proposal. I suspect Hacker wrote the Edwards proposal.”
“Insurance has to do two things,” McCanne said. “In the past, all it had to do was transfer from the healthy to the sick. The medical costs of the sick were paid by the majority of people who were relatively healthy. Now, health care costs are so high that the healthy group can no longer afford the premiums. Now, we need a transfer from the wealthy to average income individuals and then continue a transfer downward. It is this transfer from the wealthy to average and lower income individuals that the Edwards’ fragmented model can’t accomplish.”
The country is bursting at the seams looking for leadership the to usher forth Medicare for All.
Sure, if you are bought into a corporate or government bureaucracy, you might be fine – for now.
In Tucson, Arizona, we ran into a young mother who got a job working part-time at Trader Joe’s just to get health insurance for her family.
But millions of Americans are uninsured and even buying into the system full-time won’t solve their problems.
Recently, a friend told us the story of a father of three in the Rust Belt who was training to be a technician with Comcast.
Comcast promised him 60 hours of work a week. He was really excited. But then he was told – no benefits.
No benefits at 60 hours a week?
How did they pull that one off?
“Well, they told him he would work 30 hours a week as an employee,” my friend related. “And 30 hours a week as a contractor.”
Edwards has a choice.
Reverse course, join the majority of the American people, and speak out for Medicare for All.
stick with the insurance industry and lose to the more experienced politicians in the race.
© 2007 Corporate Crime Reporter