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November 13, 2010

Obamaromneycare: “Reform” vs. the People

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Corporatism, Health Racket Bailout — Russ @ 7:10 am

 

There’s been endless nonsense about how Obama’s health racket bailout was some kind of “great progressive achievement”, or a significant step forward.
 
Or even a step forward at all. But the fact is that health insurance is conceptually incoherent to begin with, while introducing profiteering into the mix simply renders policy incoherency criminal. The goal of an insurer is to collect premiums but minimize payouts. It’s in a direct conflict of interest with the health care system, whose goal is supposed to be the maximization of health. There can be different visions of what maximizing health really means, but all of them are contradicted by the corporate insurer imperative.
 
Paying for health care is definitely a core government function. (Much more so than the expansive notion of “contract” enforcement beloved of so-called libertarians.) By definition, a health care system which contains profiteering on the payer side* is a broken system. So by definition reform must involve purging this profit motive. Reform has to mean Single Payer. These are synonyms.
 
But anything which would maintain the insurance rackets, let alone radically aggrandize them as this individual mandate will, is opposed to reform, and moves in the opposite direction of reform.
 
So we knew conceptually, even before the empirical returns were in, that this kind of policy was opposed to reform, was not a step toward it, and could never be “built upon”. We knew that all propaganda to the contrary was nothing but lies.
 
[* I don’t reach the question of what and whether anything on the provider side needs to be changed. The main battlefront is clearly against the insurance rackets. It is on the payer side. Anyone like the NYT who wants to emphasize the provider side is engaging in misdirection on behalf of the rackets.
 
The second we see anyone broaching provider-side issues we must firmly say “Stop right there! I won’t let you distract me like that. The overriding imperative is Single Payer. That’s all I’m willing to discuss and what I demand. Only after that has been accomplished can we then see if there’s anything that needs to be done on the provider side.”]
 
We knew this as common sense. But if there were any doubt, all we had to do was look at the genesis of this idea that profiteering “insurers” would cover everyone in return for a mandate that everyone buy their Stamp. (Always remember, “cover” and extract premiums does not mean pay for treatment. Under a cover everyone/mandate regime the goal remains the same as always – extract the premium, sell the Stamp, but minimize payouts.)
 
This idea was first developed under Nixon. It floated around until a version authored by the Heritage Foundation and championed by Republican senator John Chafee was offered as an alternative to Hillarycare in 1993. (Hillarycare itself was also a corporatist program, but wanted to put more of the payment burden on employers rather than individuals. The real goal of the mandate-focused programs is to drive individuals out of employer-based insurance and into the individual markets. That’s the goal of Obamacare, as I’ll detail further in a subsequent post.) Romneycare in Massachusetts is based upon this Heritage plan. And Obamacare in turn is an extension of Romneycare.
 
So we already have the demonstration model for Obamacare functioning for several years now in Massachusetts. Romney, the Republicans, and many Democrats promised it would achieve universal coverage and better care at lower prices. An individual mandate is the linchpin. Has any of this happened?
 
No. As any honest, non-idiotic person would have predicted, the rackets have used this entrenchment of their monopoly position to raise rates and cut payouts. Meanwhile the system has fallen far short of the alleged goal of universal coverage. Its alleged gains are really the result of federal subsidies and shifting costs from rackets to hospitals. Even before the Depression started to hit, a growing number of people were unable to afford either the worthless Stamp or the punitive fine which was then inflicted upon them. (This is a particularly offensive and egregious example of the criminalization of poverty or of simple economic distress.)
 
How have the people of Massachusetts reacted to this assault? Have they sought to “build upon” the malfunctioning policy as astroturfers like Krugman have claimed America will do once Obamacare starts to fail in practice? No. The people have seen through these lies. They know the policy itself is fundamentally broken. They know it was never reform in the first place, and that true reform requires a complete break with an incoherent and criminal system.
 
That’s why, offered a ballot question (nonbinding, alas) in the recent election asking, “Do you order your Congressional representative to demand and introduce legislation instituting Single Payer” (that’s a paraphrase of the boring and convoluted actual wording), the people answered with a resounding Yes! The narrowest margin for a district was 2-1.
 
This proves three things:
 
1. This kind of “reform” is no reform at all. It doesn’t work. Obama and his hacks lied.
 
2. When this deform fails, it fails completely. It cannot be “built upon.” Obama and his hacks lied.
 
3. Facing this failure, the people do not want to resort to the fraudulent “public option”. The people see through that scam, which the criminal hacks are already trying to resuscitate even as we speak. No, the people demand Single Payer, that is they demand real reform. Obama and his hacks lied.
 
So that’s what Obamaromneycare has already wrought. Now it’s slated to go national. Are we going to sit still for what we already know will be nothing but a much larger recursion of the disaster in Massachusetts?
 
(I’m sure eager to see how, after all their big talk, the tea partiers are going to get this mandate repealed. They now have the power to get that vote. I bet they could scare up a few Democrats in the Senate. Then Obama would have to veto it. But they’d have pinned the political bullseye on him personally once and for all. He’d never once in 2012 be able to blame anything on “Republican obstruction”. He’d be the obstructionist.
 
But the fact is that Obamacare is a Republican policy, and the Reps like it. So I’m not holding by breath waiting for that repeal drive, nor would I bet the farm on how much integrity the tea people are going to demonstrate now that the Reps have regained some power.)
 
In the meantime, we need a Stamp Act Congress of some sort. There’s going to be millions of people who cannot afford the mandated Stamp, and hopefully millions who could technically afford it but will refuse to pay on freedom grounds. We need to plan how people are going to resist the assault of the hired goon IRS. We’ll need mutual aid networks, legal assistance networks, methods and channels to force the stories into the MSM. The Stamp resistance needs to be embedded in the overall relocalization effort. The circumstances of kleptocracy (which is the main reason so many won’t be able to afford the odious Stamp even if they wanted to buy it) are forcing us more and more into the informal economy anyway. This will have to end up being our virtue out of necessity, our way to renounce participation in the criminal system in general.
 
The Stamp mandate presents one of the great, stark fracture lines of corporatism vs. democracy, corporatism vs. freedom, corporatism vs. prosperity, corporatism vs, humanity. I’d say only the food front is a more critical battlefield. Our very health is under assault. We are to be denied our human right to basic, decent medical care even as we have an immense payment extorted from us by a government thug in the name of “health insurance”, a hideous joke adding deadly insult to mortal injury.
 
Or, we can fight back, liberate ourselves from this odious mandate, and perhaps even redeem the health care system itself. But to do that we must break free of kleptocracy itself.
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3 Comments

  1. “Obama and his hacks lied.”

    You can’t repeat this statement enough. And they’re still lying.

    Great post.

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — November 13, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

    • Thanks, Tao.

      Comment by Russ — November 14, 2010 @ 5:36 am

  2. […] from each and every policy advocated by liberals or conservatives. (Or in this case both, since Obamacare is just a rehash of the Heritage Foundation’s Romneycare. Obama himself called it a …)   “If accountable care organizations end up stifling rather than unleashing competition,” […]

    Pingback by Bailouts = Monopoly, Health Racket Version « Volatility — November 22, 2010 @ 3:00 am


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