ability to pay without being too bloody obvious about it. That’s why, I
suspect, even in the unlikely event we do get some kind of public
option, it will be so damned hard for ordinary Americans to get access
to it that most of us will still be stuck with the private bloodsuckers
whose main profit point is DEPRIVING people of care.
You might counter by noting that this is the richest nation on Earth
and, surely, we can afford to cover everyone. But not necessarily.
Per-capita GDP looks pretty good. But far too much of that wealth is
concentrated way up at the tippy-top of the pyramid, the section with
the floating eyeball. For most of us nearer the base, our incomes are
unlikely to support anything other than a heavily rationed system that,
while it might well make sense on a broad public-health scale, would be
transparently unjust (especially by comparison with what the
globalization winners would get) and therefore intolerable.
The fragmented and opaquely unjust system we have, therefore, is
something that both Republicans and Democrats devoutly wish to
preserve, especially if they can render it even more fragmented and
opaque. Hence all the mixed signals andthe Democrats’ utterly
mystifying emphasis on cost savings rather than security or justice.
Emphasis mine because COME ON. The deficit fearmongering is just one more tool in the Republican/Blue Dog arsenal to preserve the status quo (and in the Blue Dogs’ case claim at the same time to have “reformed” health care so their constituents don’t kick their asses). People say they care about the deficit and really, what they care about is what’s in the mailbox today: A giant bill that’s gonna break them, or a check that’s gonna save them; either way they’re worried when they open the box up. They’re not thinking about the deficit.
We got all riled up now. We the people currently getting screwed, we the people currently freaking out about our jobs (if we still have them) and our credit cards (if we haven’t maxed them out) and our homes (if we haven’t lost them) got all riled up about how this one thing has the power to turn everything else around for us. We’ve been writing letters to the president and letters to the paper and we’ve gotten good and pissed off reading everybody else’s stories about how all they wanted to do was get a splinter removed or something and now they owe 20 gazillion dollars.
This doesn’t happen, simply because the president lacks the courage to do what needs to be done which is nationalize the fucking health care “industry” and ignore the howling Republicans and tell Congressional Democrats they can either eat it or choke, and yeah, he’ll lose his Congressional majorities and probably the White House and hopefully it’ll be in the primaries. Because we went and got all riled up.
For what it’s worth, I actually believe Obama does want to do the right thing. But he’s either getting some shitty advice now and listening to it, or he’s just totally letting himself get rolled by Congress, and as I said over and over about the last president, it doesn’t matter what he thinks or feels or wants. It matters what he does. And what he’s got to do, pull some seriously brave shit, is something we’ve not seen before, because it’s going to take tearing down not only our current health care system but the whole idea that you deserve health care if you’re rich and employed and you don’t if you’re not.