The United States’ senate’s health-care reform bill finally was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday and while it is a tiny step in the right direction, on the whole it was a major victory for the opponents of universal health care.
America boasts to the rest of the world that it is a great democracy but the outcome of a struggle that lasted more than a year revealed that great democracy as nothing more than a corporate capitalist hoax.
President Barack Obama and the Democrats caved in on single-payer, on universality, on taxing the rich to pay for health care for the poor, on immediate implementation of the so-called reforms, on “public” health care and a slew of other health-care essentials.
In fact, they accepted more than 200 amendments proposed by the Republicans for the sole purpose of derailing any real health-care reform.
The big winners will be the health-insurance, health-care and pharmaceutical industries and the losers will be the 32 million lower-income Americans who will now be forced to pay a king’s ransom to the corporate racketeers for a bare minimum of health care.
How did such a state of affairs possibly come about? After all, both before and immediately after the 2008 presidential election, polls showed an overwhelming majority of Americans wanting drastic health-care reform.
Well, what happened is that the health-insurance racket, the health-care racket and the pharmaceutical racket were allowed to spend $400 million to buy the vote of every Senate or Congressional Republican and a good portion of the so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats and on a massive campaign of false and fraudulent advertising intended solely to turn the Asmerican masses against the health-care reform they desperately needed and wanted.
The real crime here is that under American law the malfeasance of those corporate malefactors is not even criminal.
Their collective corporate action was the capitalist equivalent of yelling “Fire!” in a crowded movie theatre. If you or I did it we’d be locked up for life. But corporations can do it with impunity.
That’s because capitalist corporations in the U.S. – as in Canada – have the legal status of “citizens” and enjoy all the privileges of citizenship – including so-called “free speech” – without having to pay any of the consequences of their shoddy, immoral and morally criminal actions.
Combine corporate “citizenship” with corporate financing of the political system and you have the recipe not for democracy but for corporate plutocracy and the de facto disenfranchisement of the masses.
While Obama and the Democrats may wish to portray the passage of this tawdry health-care reform bill as a victory for the masses, it was anything but.
The masses will end up paying a hell of a lot more and the health-insurance, health-care and pharmaceutical combines will will receive a multi-billion-dollar-windfall increase in their already obscene profit levels.
And as for all those common folk – like the so-called “Tea Party” crowd – who fought tooth and nail against universal health care – yes those American fools who get their daily dose of reality from Fox News and right-wing radio talk shows – they might as well all wear T-shirts pleading: “Kick me in the nuts, I’m an ignorant goof!”