So, some of the top corporatist Democrats and Republicans in the Senate sat around a table in the Finance Committee for awhile pretending to sweat out a compromise and then came out with exactly what we thought they would -- a health care proposal that benefits the health care companies above all. Shocking. What did we expect?
Max Baucus is the ring leader of this merry band of six senators. Seven out of his top ten donors are ... health care companies (he has received close to $4 million from the health care industry). You don't say? And then he crafts a proposal that screws the average citizen and helps those same companies. I never could have predicted.
Look at the two Democratic proposals they decided to jettison: The public option and employer mandates. The public option would clearly make health insurance cheaper for the average American and for the government overall. But it would also give the private insurance companies real competition -- so, we can't have that.
Employer mandates might bother some of the top corporations in the country, so we can't have that either. Better to let employees get siphoned off into government subsidies. But wait, wouldn't that make our budget problem worse and not better? Aren't all of these senators pretending to care about the budget and deficit? Oh I forgot, as long as the corporations get their way, none of the rest of this really matters.
In fact, if it turns out health care reform costs more in the long run, well, that's great because then you can kill real reform easier the next time around by pretending it costs too much. Everyone wins -- except you.
So, why are the Democratic senators going along with this scam? Because they get paid by the same guys as the Republicans. That's how life usually works -- you follow the orders of whoever paid you. In this case, the politicians get elected by raising more money than their competitors, and they get their money from corporate lobbyists. So, whose orders do you think they're going to follow?
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Given this state of affairs, it's a minor miracle there are as many Democrats for the public option as there are now. But the ones who actually care to get this done are not the ones coming up with fake compromises with Republicans and the health care industry. They are the ones insisting on a public option. If you negotiate that away, you never had any real interest in reform.
Saying you're going to do health care reform without a public option is kind of like saying you're going to fight Al Qaeda in Afghanistan by invading Iraq. It misses the point -- on purpose. It promises to do more harm than good. And it's what was planned all along.
So, will this be our Waterloo if we allow the American people to be tricked into a "bipartisan compromise" that actually compromises real reform?
It will be so easy for the politicians to pretend to be brave and sign on to this as if they are doing something magnanimous by compromising and getting some sort of health care package through. And you can bet your bottom dollar the press will go along with the charade.
So, that only leaves us to object. And we can't do it meekly. We have to scream it from the rooftops. Otherwise, they will be perfectly happy to ignore us and sign on to this fraudulent proposal as if it's real health care reform. So, are you going to let them do it? Or are you going to insist on real reform and real change this time around?