The United States Senate last night handed the corporate lobby a lopsided victory in the war over American health-care reform.
Yes, the Senate did nominally pass a so-called health-care-reform bill, but it was so watered down and emasculated by hundreds of amendments from Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats as to be almost meaningless in its import for the 46 million Americans who can’t afford health insurance.
The only thing the ultimate merged health-care-reform bill will do is assure a financial windfall for the health-insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the hospital industry and America’s overpaid doctors.
Some of the 46 million uninsured Americans will now be forced to buy insurance from the private-sector predators – or face stiff fines for not doing so. But most of the 46 million will still be denied access to quality health care.
The premiums from the new customers will greatly enhance the obscene profits of America’s for-profit health-care racket.
But the health-insurance companies will continue to dictate to Americans which doctors they can see and which hospitals they can attend. And they will still reject most of the patient treatments urged by doctors.
In the end, the optics of the situation forced United States President Barack Obama to take whatever he could get – and that wasn’t much!
Perhaps it was inevitable that this latest government effort at American health-care reform would be a complete and utter failure. The corporate lobby has managed to defeat U.S. health-care reform for almost seven decades and there’s no reason why it would be any different now.
In a system where the only real power the United States president has is the power to wage wars on defenceless countries, it is only to be expected that his lofty goal of extending quality health care to all Americans would be thwarted.
The problem is twofold: First, the rules and traditions by which the American legislatures operate are rigged to foil majority rule; and, Second, corporate “citizenship” and the power of K Street (where all the corporate lobbyists are based) have rendered the United States Senate and House of Representatives nothing more than a legislative brothel, where the votes of the elected representatives are bought and sold by the corporate lobbyists.
Under American law – and the laws of most industrialized countries, including Canada – a corporation is a “citizen” with all the rights and privileges of any other “citizen” – including “free speech.”
And, in accordance with that law, the health-insurance, pharmaceutical and health-care indurty were able to spend more than $300 million U.S. on false advertising and the direct purchase of the votes of the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats.
Obama bent over backwards in his effort to achieve “bipartisn” health-care reform.
His party accepted hundreds of amendments to both the Senate and the House bills meant to achieve nothing more and nothing less than a total watering-down and emasculation of health-care reform.
The bill barely passed in the House of Representatives and achieved the 60 votes necessary to pass in the Senate only by buying back the Blue Dogs – at least on this timid – through the watering-down and emasculation of the bill. Not one Republican senator supported this gimmicky health-care-reform package even though they were largely responsible for crafting the final draft.
American “citizens” may get to vote every couple of years. But American “corporate citizens” get to vote every day.