Wednesday, September 09, 2009

So It Goes...

Here is the line in the President's speech tonight that signals where the bodies are buried:
...I will not back down on the basic principle that if Americans can’t find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice.
What he should have said:
I will not back down on the basic principle that all Americans have a right to coverage they can afford.
See the difference?

Here's some context in case you're still not reading it:
...To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage affordable for those without it. The public option is only a means to that end – and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal. And to my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have.

For example, some have suggested that that the public option go into effect only in those markets where insurance companies are not providing affordable policies. Others propose a co-op or another non-profit entity to administer the plan. These are all constructive ideas worth exploring. But I will not back down on the basic principle that if Americans can’t find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice. And I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need.
I could go into a detailed analysis here, but that will have to wait for later. At this point, the summary I promised yesterday is all I'm prepared to offer.

President Obama has now quite clearly signaled that he doesn't believe a health insurance reform package can pass the U.S. Senate unless A) it further cements the privileges of asymmetric information and market hegemony [over both patients and doctors] that the private health insurance companies now enjoy, and B) it allows Democrats a political fig leaf over their abject failure to pass either single-payer or the moderate compromise: an option for universal access to Medicare.

By telling us that a worthless bill, loaded with individual mandates, triggers that can never be pulled, co-ops that are nothing different than what we have today, interstate compacts that will only make matters infinitely worse, etc.— by telling us that this crap sandwich is the best we can expect from a Democratic president working with a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate, that we can't even expect Democratic Senators who join with Republicans to deny cloture in debates on Democratic bills to pay any political price for obstructing their own party— by telling us that, he is telling us that we may as well roll up the U.S. government and put it in the big warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It's over. We can't even pretend otherwise anymore, though I predict some will continue to try.

Our corporate aristocracy, with their gun-brandishing wingnut squadristi in tow, are now capable of exercising absolute control over the policymaking apparatus of the State without even needing to pay lip service to the public interest or the consent of the governed.

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