Monday, March 22, 2010

The Healthcare Reform Bill: Is Everyone In This Country Insane?

(Fire in the Reichstag)

I'm not a fan of the healthcare reform bill that has just made it through Congress. I'm extremely disappointed in many aspects of the bill.

The bill, in its essence, is mostly just another corporate give-away to the Medical Industry. Which is evidenced by the fact that their stock shot up this morning, shareholders and insiders thrilled that they will be receiving $100-$200 Billion per year in additional revenue thanks to the Democrats. Doesn't anyone understand that the main reason our economy is in such a disastrous state is because our government keeps giving the corporations more and more of what they want? When does it stop?

This bill does absolutely nothing for people who buy their own insurance. The Democrats failed to do anything to help people who buy their own insurance, despite the very public announcement by Blue Cross that they are raising rates by 40%, and increasing the deductibles for this group of people. This bill does nothing to help those people.

It was more than a bit disgusting to learn that President Obama started out the whole healthcare debate with secret backroom deals with the Medical Industry. During those secret meetings, we now have learned, Obama promised the drug sellers that he would continue in effect the laws that (1) make it illegal for the government to negotiate bulk-rate discounts for seniors, as it was set up in the Bush drug-industry giveaway called the Prescription Drug bill, which has cost the American taxpayer millions of dollars; (2) he would keep in place the Bush laws that make it illegal for Americans to just buy their drugs in Canada, at a cost savings of as much as 50%, because the drug sellers grossly overcharge Americans - Obama decided he would claim that buying drugs from Canada was "dangerous" -- but that's just an excuse for another give-away to the corporate drug sellers; and (3) he would not allow any type of Medicare buy-in or public option to be part of the final bill.

In other words, Obama gave away three of the most important issues without any regard for what was in the best interest of the public. How much money will the Democrats receive as kick-backs from the Medical Industry because Obama, in essence, guaranteed the profits of the Medical Industry insiders would not be disturbed. And guaranteed American citizens would continue to be raped by the Medical Industry.

There may be something good in the bill. Some pundits seem to think so. Not much, but something, for some people. And there may be some things in the bill that don't work. But overall, it's a tiny little piece of legislation. People woke up today with the right, as Bill Maher noted, to buy health insurance. Whoopee! Just like you could yesterday. If you can afford it.

Despite the minor changes to healthcare covered by this bill, we've seen 24-hour news coverage for weeks of what can only be called hysteria among the supporters of this bill, as well as the opponents. Let's start with the opponents.

There is a group of people in this country, theoretically led by the Republicans, who are fascists. They call themselves tea-baggers, or Christians, or Aryan Brotherhood, or American Nazis. They have lots of names for themselves. Patriots. Essentially they are for the most part middle aged or older white uneducated ignorant people who are so angry that a black man is president that they can no longer sleep nights. They are angry that any woman has a decent job. They are angry that we have so many people in our country who are not white. They are angry that anybody objects to the U.S. Wars Against Everyone, because they think our country is only great when we are murdering non-white people in other countries. These people are sick. They are also fascists, so we know exactly what we're dealing with.

They are in a rage because nothing in their lives is what they had hoped it would be, because the American Dream has been destroyed by Reagan and Clinton and both the Bushes. But they don't understand what's happened, why all the jobs have been sent out of this country, why they no longer have pensions or benefits or affordable housing, why everything is spiraling out of control so quickly, so they go for the easy mark: hate the black guy.

But what about the people on the other side? I cannot believe the orgasmic reaction I've seen among liberals over this week-end's vote. They act like it's VE-Day, or they just won the lottery. What is wrong with these people that they allow themselves to be so misled and so manipulated by politicians? Just because the fascists are swarming doesn't mean this is an exciting bill, or that it will do much of anything to help most people.

Just because Obama stands up and proclaims this the greatest law since the civil rights law doesn't make it so. Obama, who has continued most of Bush's policies about torturing and murdering people. Obama, who has continued Bush's wars. Obama, who has continued the Bush policy of giving billions to Wall Street and prosecuting none of them for their crimes. Obama who has done nothing to stop foreclosures or create jobs because he's been so busy starting new wars, against Pakistan, and possibly against Iran. People believe anything that comes out of his mouth.

Where is the rational judgment here? Why do these liberals think it is bad to demand that our politicians help us? Instead of gratefully swallowing the lies from the PR firms, the crumbs thrown at us. Democrats and their supporters act like the circus is in town, free cotton candy and popcorn for all! We've never seen such giddy elation for a bill that does almost nothing at all while the entire country is sinking into a pithole of debt and permanent unemployment.

I even heard quite a few people promoting the fall-back position: this bill really isn't much of anything, but once it's passed, then the Democrats will add in all the things we want. (He didn't mean to hit me; he swore he won't do it again; I know he really loves me, even if he doesn't show it). Democrats suffer from the abused-spouse syndrome, ignoring the mistreatment or neglect, excusing the betrayal, denying what is in front of their faces.

We should cheer for the bad bill, they say, because the Democrats in Congress plan to secretly change it and make it good next week, or next month. No, folks, you're wrong. Once this bill is passed the Democrats will say (for the next 10 years) we already passed healthcare reform. It doesn't even go into effect until 2014, so we need to give it a chance. The Democrats will campaign on having provided all Americans with healthcare, but that's a Big Lie.

You know the 45,000 Americans who die every year from a lack of healthcare? They will die again this year, and next, and next, and next. It's smoke and mirrors. But it's the only healthcare bill we'll see for at least 10 years. Do you think that if it was the politicians' family members dying, they would do something now, save lives now?

What happens if an entire nation, or at least everyone who follows politics, is so delusional that they work themselves into a state of semi-hysteria over nothing? It certainly means nobody is having honest discussions about what the problem is, and how it can be solved. The right wants to see Obama gone, period, and they will say and do anything to accomplish that. The Democrats cheer everything he does, as if he were a 9-month-old child taking his first steps as opposed to being our employee, who has a job to do and needs to be open and accountable with us. I see Democrats kind of pinching his check verbally -- he's so cute -- but no rational discussion about how on earth could he promise the Medical Industry that there would be no public option, when the majority of people wanted that. How could he betray us like that? And why?

Then I saw pictures of the parade yesterday, with Nancy Pelosi leading the crowd in 76 Trombones, her carrying the gavel from some historic legislation. And again, I thought: did everyone else drink kool-aid for breakfast?

What has happened in this country when we have no rational discussion of public policy, no fair means of holding politicians accountable for their actions, fascist groups publicly brandishing weapons and terrorizing other citizens, neo-nazis swarming outside the statehouses calling people Nigger and Faggot. The right-wing is getting ready to set a fire in the Reichstag, and the liberals live in a delusional make-believe world.

The Democrats and liberals are popping the champagne corks pretending life is a circus when we've still got massive unemployment, foreclosures, manufacturing gone from this country, no real jobs bills, schools being closed and teachers fired, and at least two wars costing us billions of dollar as we speak. And let's just give a shout-out to the 45,000 Americans who will die this year for a lack of healthcare or health insurance because our Democratic politicians prefer to spend our tax dollars on wars.

Am I the only one who thinks we're headed down the toilet?

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