Friday, June 5, 2009

A Timely Warning About What the Reaganites Bequeathed US

Our favorite penguin, Bad Tux, bestows some special wisdom today as he alerts us that "Private Health Insurance is a Scam." If the voters/citizens (who undoubtedly know this to be true (at least subconsciously) as it's been going on for over a decade) allow this situation to continue under Obama, they have only themselves to blame (and must be looking forward to their too-soon-for-comfort upcoming trip to the poorhouse and dying uncared for, which I suppose is okay for the independent sorts but what about their loved ones? Or has the current Age of Cutthroats cured us of caring about them too?). The wonders of Reaganite deregulation on display for all to see. Long live the ruling party! (Emphasis marks were added - Ed.)

Medical bills cause over 60% of U.S. personal bankruptcies, researchers found. And more than 75% of these people had health insurance. What this means is that the promise of health insurance - that if you get sick, the health insurance company will pay for your medical expenses - is a scam. A fraud. A lie. The insurance companies will pay your medical expenses only if they see future profit from doing so. If the expenses are high enough that they see no way to recoup the expenses from your future insurance payments, they'll defraud you as surely as a cat chases a string. It's just the nature of a for-profit entity, it lacks any morality - BY LAW - other than maximizing the amount of money it can make. If they can make more money by depriving you of the insurance that you paid for than they could make the other way around, they will do so. Of course, you can sue them. Your survivors might win the lawsuit - years after you're dead. But that isn't likely to help you any since when you're dead you're well, dead, and your survivors will likely have to declare bankruptcy when the doctors and hospitals come after your family for the care you did receive (but that the insurance company refused to pay for). This, in the end, is why Obama's "Public Option" is ridiculous and unsustainable. His public health insurance company will actually provide the care you pay for, which means its rates will have to be higher than the scam insurance companies that don't actually provide the care you pay for. And the notion that the "Public Option" will somehow provide a "choice" to the general public is ridiculous. The general public doesn't buy health insurance. Businesses do. And the health insurance that businesses buy is the cheapest they can find. Which is why every single for-profit health insurance company in America today is a scam - businesses simply won't pay higher rates to purchase non-scam health insurance for their employees. So this "Public Option" will turn into a dumping ground for businesses and individuals that the insurance companies don't want to insure, and will slowly fade away and then be used to forever discredit the notion of government-run insurance - even though its sole problem was providing the contracted-for health insurance, unlike the scammers and liars who run private health insurers. My point: There cannot be a "public option" as long as there are for-profit insurance companies. Profiting by killing (too expensive) people is simply too lucrative a business for an honest public option to compete.
Please read the whole essay here, which leads me to think again about the whole (ongoing) Reagan aggrandizement "cruelty with a smile" scenario so well explicated below by Robert Parry.
Granted, the very idea of rating Reagan as one of the worst presidents ever will infuriate his many right-wing acolytes and offend Washington insiders who have made a cottage industry out of buying some protection from Republicans by lauding the 40th President. But there’s a growing realization that the starting point for many of the catastrophes confronting the United States today can be traced to Reagan’s presidency. There’s also a grudging reassessment that the “failed” presidents of the 1970s – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter – may deserve more credit for trying to grapple with the problems that now beset the country. Nixon, Ford and Carter won scant praise for addressing the systemic challenges of America’s oil dependence, environmental degradation, the arms race, and nuclear proliferation – all issues that Reagan essentially ignored and that now threaten America’s future.
Juan Cole argues in Salon that Obama's ultimate political victory may well hinge on his finesse on the world talk circuit, but that although his basketball moves are still pretty good (for an old guy), he'd do better to practice his golf skills. I agree. Suzan ___________

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