Thanks to Alex Cockburn for highlighting the poison below about the Senate Health Care Bill. As of this writing, how many if any of the insults below will pass in some kind of health care "reform." But if all of the execrable provisions or some of them pass, wouldn't it be interesting that when the Dems had 60 votes they needed all 60 so that the worst elements could be forced through by a single Senator -- like Lieberman. Now that they don't have 60, will it take only 51 to pass some of the outrages below, and pay off Big Pharma and Big Insurance (redundant), BHO's major contributors?
In his lead article for the same issue of CP, "2010: Is The Future Behind Us?" Alex Cockburn refers more than once to the power of Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel in shaping and forcing through the legislation he prefers: anti-abortion for one; and by implication, blocking legislation he opposes. I wonder if people -- besides Marcy Wheeler and Jane Hamsher of firedoglake and emptywheel -- are starting to wake up to who is really the president and who is the empty suit whose words get emptier every week.
It's a nice question how upset Rahm and Obama really are by the Massachusetts loss since their goal seems to be to lose the Democratic majority -- perhaps in both Houses, just like Clinton -- so that the pressure --pressure? what pressure? -- for reform will fade into a memory from last year. Their only embarrassment is the public relations blow and this simply gives a chance for Obama --again and again-- to sound like he's the populist while he plays the delaying game. Their plan which has worked for them like a charm, seems to be to create the vacuum that will open the door to the lobbyists and the Tea Baggers whose job it is to make plenty of noise -- the less reality-related the better. Their cacophony gives cover to Rahm, as he dispatches marching orders to Reid and Pelosi, ensuring that only his right wing agenda gets through.
Top Ten Reasons to Kill the Senate Health Care Bill
from CounterPunch (hard copy edition) vol. 16, No. 22, Dec. 16-31, 2009
January 4, 2010
CounterPuncher Chuck Spinney sends us this note:
I got this from a friend who works on budget issues in Congress. If true, this list would explain why Insurance stock just rose to all time highs.
• Forces you to pay up to 8% of your income to private insurance corporations – whether you want to or not.
• If you refuse to buy the insurance, you’ll have to pay penalties of up to 2% of your annual income to the IRS.
• Many will be forced to buy poor-quality insurance they can’t afford to use, with $11,900 in annual out-of-pocket expenses over and above their annual premiums.
• Massive restriction on a wo-man’s right to choose, designed to trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.
• Paid for by taxes on the middle-class insurance plan you have right now through your employer, causing them to cut back benefits and increase copays.
• Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won’t see any benefits – like an end to discrimination against those with preexisting conditions – until 2014, when the program begins.
• Allows insurance companies to charge people who are older 300% more than others.
• Grants monopolies to drug companies that will keep generic versions of expensive biotech drugs from ever coming to market.
• No re-importation of prescription drugs, which would save consumers $100 billion over 10 years.
• The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of four will rise an average of $1,000 a year – meaning, in 10 years, your family’s insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is right now.