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Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009 at 12:23 PM
Obama and the health insurance companies are pillow fighting. Ready to concede, the Democrats are already saying the ya-hoo attended townhalls have stopped them from passing through legislation, what about the townhalls against the war(s)? This fight is stopping because it never really was meant to win. Just another pillow fight with big business.
The media wants us to believe that there is some sort of mass movement out there that is opposed to any sort of health care that is not run by the private sector.
The media wants us to believe that there is some sort of mass movement out there that is opposed to any sort of health care that is not run by the private sector. All sorts of horror stories are being circulated to convince working people that any infringement by the public sector in to the health care business will mean the end of the world as we know it. A mish-mash of right wing elements, hired thugs, provocateurs and some genuinely confused people have been dragged in to the limelight to show how unpopular any sort of government type health care program is among the masses.
It seems that the American people love insurance companies so much that the hapless Democrats will be forced to drop their idea of a government run insurance alternative to the big private concerns in order to “keep them honest”. “Some members of the public”, writes today’s Wall Street Journal, “interpret” this effort as “a push to drive private insurers from the market place.” But insurance companies are hated by the American people and by workers in particular. What members of the public are they talking about?
What the debate is really about is state intervention in the very lucrative and profitable health care business. It is most importantly a squabble between sections of the capitalist class over private vs public. When the economic crisis hit, the severity of it shook them up real bad. Certain unpopular measures were taken; capitalism was saved from itself by massive infusions of public money. The US has allotted some trillion to bail out their system. Their government now owns or is part owner of major sectors of the economy from Insurance companies to housing, banks and Auto. The battle over this health care issue and particularly the idea of a rival public insurance company is a line in the sand for some of them.
When the Wall Street Journal talks of “some people” being concerned about private insurance companies being driven from the market place it is talking about their colleagues who profit handsomely from the health industry.
The Democrats are giving the impression that the opposition against them is too great, that the town hall opposition too contentious. Are we supposed to believe these few town hall meetings and a Republican Party whose future was uncertain not many months ago are standing in the way of the Democrat’s efforts to create a public insurer?
One woman I spoke to this morning said that the Democrats have “no backbone.”. But that is not the issue. The Capitalist class has two parties in this country, the Republicans and the Democrats. The people that are concerned are members of their own class and it is to them they are responding when and if they make any concessions on issues that might benefit working people.
We should remember at the Democratic National Convention, all the thieves and parasites that Obama claimed he was opposed to were there. “Donors Still Paying For Access.” was the headline in the Financial Times article covering the event. Private donations of more than 2 million paid for 80% of the convention costs and all the big shots were in attendance and at the parties. JP Morgan threw a big party in honor of women governors, Billy Tauzin, a former congressman and head of the pharmaceutical lobbying group PhRMA was there as were others from AT&T, the recording industry and more. The big corporate donors even had special access to Obama’s speech.
The Democrats are not weak; its not a matter of backbone and it is not a matter of them betraying workers, they were never on our side. They have two parties and the two parties are at odds over the level of state intervention in the private sector; the private sector cannot be undermined furhter. The Democrats are not conceding some of their points because the Republicans or a few disruptions at town hall meetings. The opposition at the town hall meetings is not a mass movement. The opposition to the Iraq invasion was far greater and more organized, more genuine, yet that wasn’t enough to have the Democrats change policy.
The capitalist class is united in its offensive against working people. Democrats and Republicans have no disagreement over who should pay for this crisis. They have no disagreements over who shall pay for any costs that will be incurred with the introduction of any type of health care reform. They also both agree that health care in the country has to change, they are simply arguing over the details.
Most importantly is the issue of private and public. The idea that the market and private industry is the answer to all things has been shattered by the events of the last two years. Capitalism is such a dirty term that the US Chamber of Commerce will leave the word out in its upcoming campaign aimed at boosting confidence in the market. The Chamber found that too many people “associated capitalism with greed and with the powerful dominating the vulnerable.” The Chamber’s focus groups showed that “Capitalism was universally problematic.” (Business Week 8-17-09)
For the capitalist class there is nothing more dangerous than a public agency or institution that works. In normal times it weakens their propaganda about the market about the advantage of private over public and in present times it could become a considerable threat.
The Democrats are simply representing their constituents-------the donors are calling in the chips.
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