Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How to kill health insurance reform

There's lots of people talking about the policy implications of what's going on at Senate Finance Committee's meetings on health insurance reform. It's clear these guys are selling us a crock of shit and calling it gold. So I want to just talk about the puff piece in NYT for a moment.

They tell us a lot of things here. Reading it through, I know who is around the table. I know what the table looks like. I'm well informed about what junk food they're eating while they're sitting at the table and what flavor of coffee they drink. I know that, "just like kids in school" the senators have claimed certain seats. I even know what color the room is painted. I know who the power players are and how jovial the exchanges are between them.

The most important newspaper in America tells me they're working on "possibly the most complex legislation in modern history." They're talking about such lofty subjects as "the actuarial values of private insurance plans or the cost-sharing provisions of Medicare." I have the whole list of provisions, that's been circulating for weeks, on what's in and what's out from the previous incarnations of the bill. Public option - out. Resurrecting the failed HMO model of regional groups - back in. Employer mandates - out. Small tax bump for millionaires - out.

I have lots of information about the politics of the negotiations. What I don't have is any context. Not one detail that explains "the complexity." No comparison between the cost benefit of a public option versus the HMO model. No expert opinion on the potential effects of eliminating employer mandates. No projection on how much money could be raised by keeping the tax bump on millionaires, nor the real dollar amount of the bump, which I believe would only be a few thousand dollars.

But I didn't find that out from our elite legacy media. I read that on a blog. Just as it was a blog that reminded me this committee, that holds the future of health care in its hands, is being run by six guys who represent only 2.74 of the population. Truthfully, I can't recall a single article in any mainstream media that gave me practical facts of this nature.

The MSM loves to blame bloggers for their demise, and you know what -- it's true. But not because bloggers are cribbing from their work. It's because bloggers are doing the work they won't do. The MSM has become a fact free zone in the name of "neutrality." The only way facts ever enter their narrative is when bloggers amplify them to the point where they can no longer ignore it.

When we end up with a reform plan that's worse than the status quo, it won't be just the politicians to blame. The media's failure to inform is weapon the pols will use to kill any meaningful change.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

Yup. Bless us poor wee bloggers. But is anybody listening?

I hope so. Because the real story is the "meta-story" of how this healthcare thing is evolving. In full, naked view of the entire world, the so-called sausage-making process is revealed to be one where the interests and demands of the actual voters, the majority of the American people, are scuttled by a few openly bought and paid for small-State politicians.

The real story is also how the Democratic Party, whom WE gave a famous victory just eight months ago have chosen to use their new-found legislative and executive muscle to work not for US, but for Big Healthco (and Wall St, and the military-industrial-oil complex, and the torturers, et al) in direct opposition to us.

Finally, the story lies in how the blatantly corporate media spins it all, in defiance and denial of all reality and popular opinion.

The "MSM" will die because of this, and they deserve to. As Cronkite warned and later lamented, they have become nothing but corporate propagandists, through consolidation and "monetization" of the news. For all their pro-business efforts, they're going out of business for betraying their audience and their central purpose in a democracy: Speaking truth to power.

The Democrats are dying too, though they don't know it yet. Their smug, snide & "surreptitious" sneak to the right after the election escaped no one's notice. They are now FAR to the right of most of their own Party, and of a majority of the American people. They'll find that out when we get our say again in NOV 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016.

This whole healthcare stinks, and many will die because of it. It's up to us to ensure that they didn't die in vain by rising up and smashing these traitors at the ballot box. The first thing on the agenda of a new progressive Congress: No more corporate money in our polity. Number Two: Re-regulate the media. Bust up the corporate trusts that control information nationwide.

First, we have to take back our Democratic Party. We can't just pull a lever every year or two or four or six and then sit back and watch passively. We have to use the Internet to monitor and report on our "representatives," criticize and put them on notice when they screw up, communicate and organize to take over our local Democratic Party Headquarters, and control our polity for our own benefit.

The corporate lobbyists live in Washington, right inside the halls of Congress and the Administration. They're there 24/7/52, forever, whispering in our representatives' ears, plying them with big fat checks. We have to be there too, always, shouting them down and kicking them out. In a real democracy, what they are doing would be illegal. Let's make it so, while we still can.

Kick a corporate puppet's ass today. All of our children and grandchildren will thank you for it. Or curse you for it, if you don't.

Thank you for your service to country, Ms. Libby. [pins medal on blogger]

5:21:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

You're so right Cosa. And thanks for the medal. --blush--

10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous sandbun said...

"When we end up with a reform plan that's worse than the status quo, it won't be just the politicians to blame."

You're absolutely right - the people that voted these corrupt jack@$$es into power are also to blame.

5:35:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

That would be all of us sandbun, unless you voted third party, which in effect still put these assholes into office, but at least your conscience could be clear.

7:23:00 PM  
Anonymous sandbun said...

As the internet meme goes -

Don't blame me, I voted for Ron Paul

8:51:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Ha! I was pretty sure you were a third party kind of guy.

9:37:00 AM  

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