On Health Care, Corporations Are Winning Again

We shouldn’t have been surprised. I’m right now working on a book that exposes anew our corporate-owned government, which didn’t change in any way when hope was reported to have prevailed a year ago. The new day in Washington when lobbyists would supposedly take backseats to citizen needs became instead The Washington Post calling last summer the Summer Of The Lobbyist. We’re seeing now that insurance industry lobbyists did their work well.

Thus, I wouldn’t get too excited about health care reform just yet. The word “historic” has been liberally tossed around everywhere since the House bill passed by five votes on Saturday night, but commentators in other countries noticed before the bill even made it to vote that it’s ludicrously light fare compared to citizen health coverage in other countries.

The House bill — which is more ambitious than the Senate bill — does almost nothing to contain runaway health care costs. Those are what threaten to consume one-fifth of the US gross domestic product in coming years. Health insurance companies are surely laughing themselves silly as the bill would force people to buy insurance from them. The remnant of the public insurance option is pretty barebones, so those unable to pay for insurance won’t be well covered.

Nothing is law yet and it remains to be seen if reform will get through, but even if it does it’s almost guaranteed to turn into another bonanza for health corporations, more national debt, and little improvement in access to health care. That’s the worst of all combinations, but seems to so often be the one we get. More spending with real benefits would be good, less spending and thus less collected in taxes so we have more left over to get our own coverage would be good, but more spending and little new coverage is not good.

I’m afraid this will end the way so many issues end, with corporations winning while citizens get screwed.

In my opinion, the best summary of what’s wrong with the ramshackle attempt to reform American health care was presented by Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich in his article, Why I Voted No. I recommend that you read it. At just 770 words long, it’s worth your time.

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