Monday, September 21, 2009

Scaring the Public Away From Regulating the Profiteers

Joe Bageant (the famously anti-corruption reporting on US government issues Joe Bageant) believes that from a series of very bad (greedy, fatuous, ignorance-laden) choices the American citizenry has been reduced to "weak and fearful things." From a reader of his blog questioning why he should be forced to purchase health insurance (which is reported to now carry a fine if he does not), Joe tells us in simple language what's really up.

Joe's short answer: "You're being lied to."

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Joe's long answer (emphasis marks added - Ed.):

It's like this ole buddy. Mandatory insurance can be made to sound worse than it is. Especially given that the word mandatory scares the hell out of Americans, even though we already have mandatory drivers license and drivers insurance, income tax, building permits, school attendance, vehicle registration, home insurance for mortgages, personal identification, security scanning at airports, income tax filing, dog licensing, sales taxes, etc. (Looking at this short partial list, I can hear the libertarians locking and loading as we speak).

For example, Spain, which is now considered to have the best overall health system in the world, has mandatory health insurance. So do many other countries, though they do not think of it in those terms, and though they are often technically purchasing it from the government at very low costs, which they perceive (and rightfully so) as a tax. This helps offset the government cost of insuring retired, poor, unemployed and others who cannot afford insurance. The government covers these people anyway, but must recover the cost. (What a novel idea for running a government! Knowing how you are going to pay for things.)

A U.S. "public option" (we are not even allowed to utter the term socialized healthcare, or even universal healthcare, because anything universal,which is to say fair to all, is a goddamned commie plot - the cold war lives on in our capitalist state indoctrination) could cover everyone unable to afford afford insurance by providing it at such extremely low cost. So low that even people below the poverty level, and thus qualify for supplemental income tax rebates, would have insurance. It would simply be deducted from their $500 tax rebates or whatever. So they would never even see it being paid for.

The insurance companies love the mandatory part, which would deliver millions of new customers into their hands and let them set the price. But they hate any so-called public option, which would give those poor customers an alternative. So they've done a pretty good job of torpedoing the public option. Good enough to scare Obama off it for a while, even though any such public measure of his would always have been a half measure and still depended upon the insurance corporations to exist. Now it's back, but who knows what it looks like now, or will look like when the fight is over.

And insurance companies especially fear the possibility of a national health card, which inevitably comes with any sort of government sponsored public healthcare. It's just too damned efficient.

For instance, in France, doctors have no files, just a card reader and an Internet connection that links to the patient's permanent files and scan images. But it also tracks costs, fees and billings. And in France (or Germany, I forget) if the doctor is not paid within 72 hours, the insurance company is fined. Health insurance companies in Germany are totally non-profit, but sell other insurance - auto and home - for profit. They see providing efficient health coverage as a good leader item and a chance to show off their performance to customers. A public option is the first step toward such a system, or something similar. But I suspect we will never see a national health card. These thugs in America would never stand for it. They like to count their money unseen.

Elected officials, the strong liberal ones at least, are mute on this because to say anything resembling the above is political death.

The brownshirts who worked them over at town hall meetings at the behest of the healthcare industry would not be so easy on them next time, given what's at stake for the capitalist overclass. Which is to say the healthcare industry's corporate criminal cartel.

And besides, they own the joint. Our government is now a corporate criminal enterprise extorting the wealth productivity of the people. The people are so used to it and so conditioned they no longer know how to ask questions or extrapolate outcomes. They just react in fear of any new public proposal that would change the status quo.

As for the mandatory part and the fines, that is a red herring if ever there was one. People who have a hard time paying for healthcare (and who doesn't?) get scared out of their britches by such threats. That's why the Republicans put it in there. To scare people away. First you take a good and reasonable thing like universal healthcare, and turn it into a scary authoritarian mandatory thing with grave punishments. Put some stink all over it, something obvious and odious. Make it a burden AND a threat.

That is one of the poison pills for the bill. There will be others to come. After the death panel thing, and the way the people swallowed it, we already know the outcome. Hell, one of the anti-healthcare lies being circulated around here right now is that Obama wants to have mandatory abortions of anyone born with low IQ or is otherwise substandard. Which is OK with me because it would spell the end of the Republican Party.

But whatever they do, there will be no rounding up and fining of the underemployed, unemployed or broke. That's 50 million people these days. Any effort would be mostly a paperwork exercise, at this point. And besides, they do not want your body. They want your money.

Thug's work the neighborhoods where the money is, not where it ain't. We live in an extortion based criminal enterprise masquerading as a government, so one shudders to think of the paperwork liens that could be placed on homes, etc. They are paperwork too, but have the strength of law behind them. The commissariat judges who provide the legal muscle for the cartels.

All of which is moot as long as medical and pharma costs in this country are astronomical and still rising, making doctors, executives and major shareholders in the crime syndicate richer than ever. And as long as drone missiles, 400 military bases and two ongoing wars keep draining an already looted public treasury that is forced to run international indebtedness anyway.

Whenever we see something like the mandatory health insurance covered in the media, it is there for effect, not to inform us. It is there to cloud the issue and scare the piss out of people toward the ends of the corporate state. To make them fearfully ask the wrong questions and miss the real issue.

The real question is this: When are we going to rise up against our government and the criminal cartel that owns it?

And with each passing day I am more convinced that the answer is - never. That takes true inner convictions and ideals, not to mention courage.

Please read the rest of this fine bit of extrapolation here.

Joe also addresses the issue about why you read crap today instead of the type of fiction (that made America famous in previous eras) about how the populace fought valiantly for their right to be considered as citizens and not mindless consumers.

What literature? All I see these days is shallow crap. Real literature help us understand the world and the human condition. Obviously, that is no longer America's cup of tea.

Go Joe!

Suzan ______________________________

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