Monday, September 24, 2007

Me Luv'm Barbara Ehrenreich Long Time!

When this lady speaks, it behooves anyone with a brain to listen (via:
Bow your heads and raise the white flags. After facing down the Third Reich, the Japanese Empire, the U.S.S.R., Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein, the United States has met an enemy it dares not confront -- the American private health insurance industry.

With the courageous exception of Dennis Kucinich, the Democratic candidates have all rolled out health "reform" plans that represent total, Chamberlain-like, appeasement. Edwards and Obama propose universal health insurance plans that would in no way ease the death grip of Aetna, Unicare, MetLife, and the rest of the evil-doers. Clinton -- why are we not surprised? -- has gone even further, borrowing the Republican idea of actually feeding the private insurers by making it mandatory to buy their product. Will I be arrested if I resist paying $10,000 a year for a private policy laden with killer co-pays and deductibles?

It’s not only the Democratic candidates who are capitulating. The surrender-buzz is everywhere. I heard it from a notable liberal political scientist on a panel in August: We can’t just leap to a single payer system, he said in so many words, because it would be too disruptive, given the size of the private health insurance industry. Then I heard it yesterday from a Chicago woman who leads a nonprofit agency serving the poor: How can we go to a Canadian-style system when the private industry has gotten so “big”?

Yes, it is big. Leighton Ku, at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, gave me the figure of $776 billion in expenditures on private health insurance for this year. It’s also a big-time employer, paying what economist Paul Krugman has estimated two to three million people just turn down claims.
The reason they're so powerful, and why the pols seem reluctant to confront these greedy, avaricious, bloody-minded motherfuckers, obviously, is that they insurance industry is a collecting point for all the (formerly discretionary) income that people now spend to preserve their health in the teeth of increasing threats compounded by the insurers' investments. But I like Ehrenreich's ultimate dissolution: Bombing raids on Hartford, CN. With ANY luck, they could probably take out Loserman, too

No comments: