President Obama’s NYTimes editorial: Not a word about “Public Option[s]” (or, heaven forbid, Single-Payer). “But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary – truly risky – is the prospect of doing nothing.” What’s truly atrocious – truly regressive – are (corporate) democrats (and your administration) selling out every progressive/liberal aspect, resulting in the uninsured being handed over to the private insurers as “fresh meat,” – then, spinning it as Reform. “First, if you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of high-quality, affordable coverage. . . .” These are typically vague (hyperbolic) assertions, discounting the new weight (Mandate) about to be forcefully imposed on regular people – conveniently sidestepping all the uproar over Big Pharma/insurance company and neocon giveaways. “Affordable” is the never-ending catch phrase. It succeeds in putting everyone below the median income in bootstrap modes – because soon, there will be “no excuses.” The health care crisis is about to be solved (since we will all have to have policies – or get fines)! “Second, reform will finally bring skyrocketing health care costs under control, which will mean real savings. . . .” That would be “savings” – like in the hidden deal where Pharma agreed to just “lock in their doubling of prices.” Furthermore, would someone grossing $28,000 consider a new monthly $200 bill as “savings”? “Third, by making Medicare more efficient, we’ll be able to ensure that more tax dollars go directly to caring for seniors instead of enriching insurance companies.” In other words, if insurance companies are not satisfied with the mega-billions they are about to reap from these fifty million new “cash cows,” then, they must be “too big to fail” and/or too big to satisfy. “Lastly, reform will provide every American with some basic consumer protections. . . .” Since there will be no Public Option (or enough 100% subsidies), once we are herded into lines at the likes of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, what are the chances that those previously uninsured will feel newly protected? Additionally, if our president wanted to undeniably stand up and out, regardless of monied powers, for a Public Option – wouldn’t he threaten to Veto any measures that came across without it? Good news: “Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, said it would be difficult to pass any legislation through the Democratic-controlled Congress without the promised public plan. ‘We’ll have the same number of people uninsured,’ she said. ‘If the insurance companies wanted to insure these people now, they’d be insured.’” Truthout: “Any health care legislation that does not include a public option is a fraud.” With these realities there is a final question: how many millions of people will find themselves weighing the “options” of paying that yearly Fine – and being able to survive, or, buying a policy – and getting a second job? This is a call-out to the truly brave Progressives in Congress: If fifty-three or more in the House of Representatives, and twenty or more in the Senate, vow to kill the entire health care proposalby voting against anything submitted which maintains the current sellouts, or, at least the “Mandate,” they could show the nation what it means to be honorably brave and genuinely principled.
“It says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada — and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.” Why am I not shocked? “Obama is walking a tightrope here. He wants to keep PhRMA from opposing the bill. . . .”
“Keep PhRMA from opposing the bill?” Oh yeah, we wouldn’t want to have a bill that PhRMA opposed – not with a Majority in Congress – and, a President who was going to champion Change through Reform. Instead, PhRMA is investing $150 million for a media blitz – in Favor. After step-by-step revelations of this variety, how much REFORM should rational people expect? This is the same “appeasement” mentality which has kept the disgraceful republicans empowered, as evidenced by their ongoing and concerted campaigns, polluted with the escalation of the most scandalous (“Death Panel,” “Nazi”) and vociferous Lies. It leaves us (Progressives, commoners) trapped in a (worsening) status quo- while the other sides continue notching victories, though outnumbered 70% to 30%. Seeking bipartisan support and consensus can be valuable in bringing together ideas toward solving certain problems. It is in how far one (or a group) goes with that aim in mind that the original goals may evolve from advancement to insignificance, from welcoming to intrusive. Leaders who propose major revisions regarding a cause are also expected to teach, from a solid, sustainable viewpoint – while being able to discern the quality of shared lessons. If only unreasonable or regressive alternatives are offered as replies from an audience that is shut off from learning, or unyielding to progress, a leader with conviction will not give in and diminish the results of the revisal to such a level that a skeleton remains of an initial objective. Moreover, in an adversarial debate, if one side is mollified to such a degree that the other loses its core, the adversary does not become an ally – since it triumphs at the giver’s overwhelming expense.
Greg Palast: “The Big Pharma kingpins did not actually agree to cut their prices. Their promise with Obama is something a little oilier: they apparently promised that, over ten years, they will reduce the amount at which they would otherwise raise drug prices. Got that? In other words, the Obama deal locks in a doubling of drug costs. . . .”
No confrontation. No hard-fought battles. No standing up, regardless of outcome. No glory. (We have seen the same scenario with respect to Wall Street (repealing the “Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act?”), unchallenged Machiavellian bankruptcy laws, nothing immediate in credit card legislation (or even capped rates), torture as “policy” differences, various other war crimes overlooked, nationalized propaganda campaigns deemed legal, etc.) We were sold on a warrior for change. What did we get when it came to fighting for what was promised? Yes, he still gives soaring speeches. However, there will be no “Red Badge of Courage” given – if all the proletariat are left bleeding in the trenches, without ever seeing their leader elevated – beyond words.
No Reform. No Single-Payer. No (Meaningful) Public Option. No 100% Subsidies (for those under the median income). No Price Controls. Then, Take Out The Mandate That We All Have To Buy a Policy. PERIOD.
An Article for All Times: Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?
“It turned out that Mr. Szekely, who is an ordained minister and does not drink, do drugs or curse in front of ladies, did indeed have a warrant — for not appearing in court to face a charge of ‘criminal trespassing’ (for sleeping on a sidewalk in a Washington suburb). So he was dragged out of the shelter and put in jail. ‘Can you imagine?’ asked Eric Sheptock, the homeless advocate (himself a shelter resident) who introduced me to Mr. Szekely. ‘They arrested a homeless man in a shelter for being homeless.’”
Wholly Related: Do the crime, pay for the time, as in $90 a day
“Sheriff Joe Arpaio . . . makes prisoners sleep in tents in 100-degree-plus heat. Earlier this year, he announced that inmates would be charged $1.25 per day for meals. His decision followed months of food strikes staged by inmates who complained of being fed green bologna and moldy bread.” “Sheriff Arpaio, who makes inmates wear pink underwear to increase the humiliation factor, also taps prisoner accounts.” “The money was to be collected by seizing cash in their jail accounts or by filing lawsuits. The proposal also would have denied parole to those who could not make payments after being freed.” “’It makes no sense to release people with $25, a bus ticket and $40,000 in reimbursement fees,’ she said. ‘Saddling people with thousands of dollars in debt is contradictory to helping someone become a functioning member of society.”‘