What I got from the speech was that Obama will force everyone to become a paying customer of a private health insurer (as opposed to paying the government). In the olden days, the government would tax you and pass on the loot to the robber barons. So 20th century! Obama wants to cut the middle man and have the taxpayer fork their money over to the robber barons directly. Or else. It's brilliant. (We could save Detroit by requiring every US citizen to buy a Ford or GM vehicle.) Health insurance stocks soared after the speech, which says all you need to know about it.David Swanson, at Democrats dot com, complained that while Obama waxed eloquent about the need for affordable health care, (the) suggested...non-profit “public option” might be optional for a Democratic health reform bill and could be triggered only many years into the future. Via Robert Parry/Consortium News, from The Real News:
After rewarding the Wall Street gangsters with trillions of our own dollars, Obama had this to say:... our ability to stand in other people's shoes; a recognition that we are all in this together.Not only are we not "in this" together, Mr President, but your policies are to ensure that we never will be "in this" together. You lie!
...Obama’s vision of a revamped health system might well leave insurance companies in a dominant position with health care still considered a profitable commodity for corporations, not a human right for all Americans.The video is, as always with TRN, excellent:
Swanson criticizes Obama for taking his strongest stand against the prospect that a health care bill might add to the federal deficit, when Obama has continued spending on the Iraq and Afghan wars and pushed through the largest military spending bill in world history.
Chris Floyd makes essentially the same point. which I made yesterday, that you can gauge the impact the speech had on the insurers by the fact that stock prices ROSE afterwards...by as much as 4% (Aetna)...