Obama Year One: Betrayal and Failure (Part II) - by Stephen Lendman
Part II concludes an account of Obama's betrayal, not promised change.
Obamacare Plans to Ration Healthcare and Enrich Big Providers
After House passage in November, the Senate is now about to pass a stealth scheme to ration care and enrich insurers, the drug cartel, and large hospital chains, the way Washington always works.
It plans market-based solutions, featuring cost-containing measures, mostly affecting working Americans, the poor, elderly, and chronically ill to make a dysfunctional system worse, under the guise of reform, the most dangerous and deceptive word in the language to take cover from when announced.
Besides enriching providers, Obamacare will force millions to pay more, get less, with millions still uninsured and left out. Employers will be able to opt out of providing coverage, but since insurance for most will be mandated, those without it will have to buy it or face hundreds of dollars in penalties, whether or not they can afford it. Even with a public option, looking less likely, insurers will get to skim off the cream, charge what they wish, profit handsomely at low risk, and leave Washington stuck with ones industry doesn't want. For providers, it's a win-win under any version being considered.
Most disturbing are planned Medicare cuts, around $400 - $570 billion, depending on which numbers are most accurate, and these are for starters, a foot in the door if enacted, toward the long-term aim ending Medicare, then Medicaid and Social Security because, at $106 trillion in unfunded liabilities, budget constraints can't sustain them.
The Congressional Budget Office's June 2009 "Long-Term Budget Outlook" suggests a nation in decline, eventual hyperinflation, possible bankruptcy because of a greater national debt than during the Great Depression and near-surpassing WW II. The administration's solution - end entitlements over 100 million Americans rely on, but it still may be too little, too late given an overstretched budget, a weakening dollar, and foreign investors looking for safer returns on their capital, so are less willing to fund Washington's excesses.
In Obama's America, the least advantaged will carry the load, not privileged elites, but don't expect congressional opposition to stop him or news reports to explain it.
Obama's Permanent War Agenda
As president, he heads an imperial enterprise presided over by a war cabinet engaged in lawless militarism, aggressive wars, the permanent occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the planned conquest of Eurasia, and world dominance overall, with a defense budget exceeding the rest of the world combined at a time America has no enemies.
Yet, as a candidate, he opposed imperial militarism, promised limited escalation only, and pledged to remove all combat troops from Iraq by August 31, 2010. Then on February 27, he said:
"As a candidate for president, I made clear my support for a timeline of 16 months to carry out this drawdown, while pledging to consult closely with our military commanders upon taking office to ensure that we preserve the gains we've made and protect our troops. Those consultations are now complete, and I have chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months. Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end."
Not so fast according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates who told reporters that up to 50,000 will remain, and Obama himself then suggested year end 2011 and maybe later - as always, depending on conditions on the ground to provide an out for the real agenda, permanent occupation with a reduced force if possible.
He also promised two more brigades maximum for Afghanistan, or 10,000 troops. Instead, he ordered 17,000 sent initially, then after his December 1 announcement, the number reached five-fold his original pledge, likely heading higher in the new year as political promises are made to be broken.
Besides the Afghan escalation, he's also destabilizing Pakistan to balkanize both countries, weakening them to control the Caspian Sea's oil and gas riches and their energy routes to secured ports for export. The strategy includes encircling Russia, China, and Iran, obstructing their solidarity and cohesion, defusing a feared geopolitical alliance, toppling the Iranian government, perhaps attacking its nuclear sites, eliminating Israel's main regional rival, and securing unchallenged Eurasian dominance over this resource rich part of the world that includes China, Russia, the Middle East, and Indian subcontinent.