The bottom line is that the individual mandate would require everyone to buy in to private insurance risk pools to decrease medical premiums. It will funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to private insurers and Big Pharma and further inflate their political clout. Even if it passes, an estimated 23 million of the current 50 million Americans will remain uninsured (20). Alternatives such as a single-payer system or at least a public option are completely missing from the debate even though a majority of the population is in favor of them. Of course, with these alternatives, private insurance companies would stand to lose. Corporate executives would lose money and perhaps workers would be laid off, but that overall human suffering would be less is an obvious conclusion of alternatives that are marginalized by the media and our politicians.
President Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(Image by Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative) Permission Details DMCA
Thus, the current trend can be visualized as a hollowing out of the American identity. The military and financial prowess of the United States makes it an undeniable juggernaut in the global theater, but it has very little advantage for most of the population. Unemployment and healthcare are the two most pressing concerns for most Americans, but there's very little that can be done via the electoral system due to its deeply financial nature. Those that do climb the socioeconomic ladder are driven into virtual fiefdom via debt burdens that are owed in part to the absurd costs of tuition for higher education (21). Crushing debt burdens discourage social activism and inculcate profit-seeking values. Those that cannot afford to climb the ladder or choose not to will have to confront the depressing avenues of uninsurance and poverty which only exacerbates the vicious cycle of decline.
"No alarms and no surprises, please. Let me out of here." (Radiohead)