, I feel, has it pretty spot on when assessing the chances of us getting any real health care reform:
The result is that the final bill will contain no public option, no employer mandate, yet will contain an individual mandate. This means that taxpayers will not have the choice between the insurance industry and a government plan, and will be forced to pay the industry for their health care. In other words, by allowing the industry-bought centrists in the Senate to assemble the bill, Barack Obama is about to preside over one of the biggest pieces of corporate welfare in our history.
Indeed. I don't feel the public option will become reality either. Another blogger (again I forget who - see Gord's post
for explanation) put it correctly when saying, paraphrasing: "The health insurance companies would put themselves in the category, like the big banks, of 'Too Big To Fail'." And they are pointing the TBTF pistol at the temple of the White House.
Obama has one other choice before him, but it would take guts that he doesn’t have. If he gets the bad bill, after sending limp signals about his displeasure over its final components, Obama can take a page from the Clinton administration: triangulate against Congress and veto the bill. Tell the American people that a bill that was bought with industry money is more of the same. Tell America that Congress needs to come back and try again next year, and remind voters that Congress is supposed to work for Main Street and not the industries who write the checks.
This, of course, won't happen. The White House has done little to take advantage of the majority in both houses of Congress by putting pressure on wayward Democrats, nor has our Senate leader done anything to justify the title of 'leader'.
Ladies and gentlemen, with the evolution of this health care 'reform' bill, I hope any naive misconceptions about whom your elected representatives actually represent
have been dispelled. You and I don't matter in the face of Big Business and the amount of campaign cash they can shovel to Congress.
The "Average American" is an abstract construct to them. Something to point to and say "we're doing it for them", and I'm sure some of those in Congress believe it. But we're really something like the photo of happy people that comes with a new picture frame, generic humans. There is no empathy, no feeling, for those in the frame aren't their own family, merely a representation of what actually is. There are people starving and homeless thanks to health issues that have put them over the top, but the starving and homeless don't contribute to a candidate's reelection fund. More Americans will be joining their ranks if the situation remains.
The debate has turned into a joke. There is no debate anymore, just 500-odd idiots running around hoping they will come up with a new way to repackage the status quo into something we can swallow, something that won't have us marching on Washington while still protecting the profits of Big Insurance. We'll be lucky (those of us who have health insurance) to keep what we have once all the dust settles. A big 'fuck you' is about all those who were expecting (thanks to Mr. Obama's rhetoric on the campaign trail) anything resembling the system the Europeans and Canadians enjoy will get.
As with Wall St., you and I will be expected to shoulder the burden of loss yet never benefit from the profits. After all the flowery bullshit we heard during the longest campaign in presidential history, it amounts to just that. Bullshit. I'm seriously disappointed in Mr. Obama, though the actions of Congress are no surprise. I told Mrs. F last night, if a public option isn't part of the bill Obama finally signs, I won't vote for him in '12. I won't vote Republican, but I won't vote for a Democrat who, with a majority in Congress and a mandate from the American people, would leave 50 million Americans out in the cold. Supposedly, the Democrats are better than that.