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The Democrats: Really, You Just Gotta Laugh

By       Message Dave Lindorff     Permalink
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By Dave Lindorff

The Democrats in Congress, and their main man Barack Obama in the White House, have taken tens of millions in legal bribes from the health insurance industry over the past year, and have obligingly been hammering out in Congress a health "reform" bill that, instead of helping people, has been designed to help the insurance industry.

They started out by immediately blackballing any discussion of real health reform in the form of an expansion of Medicare to cover everyone of every age, which of course would have ended the problem of the uninsured, while cutting the nation's overall health bill by at least a third, but in the process shutting down the private health insurance business.

Then they chipped away and are at this point on the verge of eliminating any so-called "public option" or government-run health insurance plan to even compete with the private insurance sector.

Finally, in a move as breathtakingly accommodating of the insurance industry as was the multi-trillion-dollar bailout financial bailout of Wall Street's biggest banks, they proposed to require (on pain of a $3800 fine by the IRS) to require everyone in America to buy a health insurance plan from the private sector--a gift to the industry of some 40-50 million new captive customers.

But a combination of public outrage at this forced program of compulsory insurance and recognition that the inevitable government subsidy of low-income insurance buyers would be humongous has led Congress to backtrack, and start backing away from the mandatory aspect of this plan.

And now the private insurance industry, not satisfied that it has managed to practically dictate the terms of the health reform legislation so far, and angry that it might not get those 40-50 million new forced customers, is reportedly threatening to turn around and knife the president and the Democratic Congress in the back,

They're threatening to (gasp!) start running attack ads on the "reform" legislation.

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Remember the old "Harry and Louise" ads the industry ran attacking Hillary and Bill Clinton's health reform proposal back in the early 1990s? Well, this time, it'll be Harry and Louise attacking ObamaCare.

I can see it now. America's Health Insurance Plans, the lobby for the insurance industry vultures, will set up some nice-sounding front group with a name like People for a Healthier America, and they'll fund a new ad campaign like this:

Harry will be sitting at the breakfast table, reading the local paper. He'll look up from his coffee as Louise is puttering around by the sink.

"This ObamaCare looks like it's gonna drive up our insurance premiums, hon."

"What do you mean Harry?"

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"Well it says here that they're not going to force the poor folks to buy insurance, so most of 'em will probably wait until they get sick and then buy it."

"Well what's wrong with that, dear?"

"Nothin' 'cept that the law would also prohibit the insurance companies from charging those sick folks higher premiums when they do finally come in to buy insurance."

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

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