Leftists disrupt health industry bailout!


Just wishful thinking again, but wouldn't it be great if leftists were disrupting the 'town halls' pushing for Obama's health industry subservient reforms? Read this excellent piece by counterpunch.org's Dave Lindorff:

Why Aren't Progressives Disrupting ObamaCare Town Halls?

Many progressives are getting all bent out of shape over the "brown shirt" rabble organized by health industry PR firms to disrupt the so-called "town meetings" being organized all over the country by Democratic members of Congress.

What they are conveniently forgetting is that these are not really "town meetings" at all . . .

These "town meetings" are really nothing but propaganda sessions run by members of Congress who are trying to burnish their fraudulent credentials as public servants, and trying to perpetrate a huge fraud of a health care bill that purports to be a progressive "reform" of the US health care system, but that actually further entrenches the control of that system by the insurance industry, and to a lesser extent, the hospital and drug industry.

ObamaCare is to health reform what bank bailouts are to financial system reform, which is to say it is the opposite of what its name implies. . . .

This echoes how I'm thinking about health care increasingly. Strategically, leftists should hammer a theme that mirrors the headline of this piece. First the DemoRepublicans bailed out the banks when they screwed up, with no reform required. Now the DemoRepublicans want to bail out the health care industry.

The above is based on the assumption that the final health care bill -- which we can assume with reasonably strong confidence (the 'caving' by 'liberals' like Durbin has already begun) will be Senator Baucus's bill -- will primarily change U.S. health care in three ways: costs will be transferred from the hospitals and health care industry to the federal government, Medicare and Medicaid and other cuts will pay for that, and everyone will be forced to get health insurance, however unaffordable. Essentially NOTHING will be done about health care's skyrocketing cost, which is the main and very large problem for most of us.

Even if the above depressing realism about the final bill is inaccurate, disruption and noisy opposition to the features of 'the bills' that are sell-outs to corporate interests might make the final bill a little better, right? Or it might make the House progressive caucus finally bail on the monstrosity, which would rightfully frame the final bill as a product of conservative/moderate Republicans and Democrats.

Back to Lindorff:

Instead of opposing the right-wing hecklers at these events, progressives should be making common cause with them. Instead of calling them fascists, we should be working to turn them, by showing them that the enemy is not the left; it is the corporations that own both Democrats and Republicans alike.

The only proper approach to the wretched health care legislation currently working its way through Congress at this point is to kill it and start over. At these "town meeting" staged events, Obama and the Democrats need to hear, in no uncertain terms, that we don't want no stinkin' ObamaCare. We want Medicare for all.

For organizing opposition to the bailout, Russell Mokhiber's organization, singlepayeraction.org, might be a good place to start. Put into the comments other good places, please!


Tags: Health care (all tags)



Re: Leftists disrupt health industry bailout!


by fairleft2 2009-08-11 12:28PM | 0 recs
Bill assures strong growth for health co's in bad

economic times. That's remarkable, and parallels precisely what has been provided the top of the finance industry.

by fairleft2 2009-08-12 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Leftists disrupt health industry bailout!

"these "town meetings" are really nothing but propaganda sessions run by members of Congress"

I very much disagree. Unlike calling or writing your Congressman, meetings are a direct way to engage them. There was legislation in 2007 that was dead in the water before the August recess and passed immediately after because of the meetings... I'm trying for the life of me to remember what it was, I want to say something economic...

by Nathan Empsall 2009-08-12 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Leftists disrupt health industry bailout!

It depends on how open they are, but I agree. If they are even semi-true town hall meetings, then obviously they aren't staged events.

Politicians can go either way on that, for example Obama's 'town halls' seem packed with his supporters.

Anyway, I assume the disruption of the meetings by misinformed right-wing crackpots is effectively makes those opposed to 'the health care bill(s)' look bad. So, perhaps unstaged events could be the best strategy for supporters of 'the health care bill(s)' if they don't get out of hand and damage President Obama's image. In other words, maybe the writer is right and the town halls are different form of "propaganda sessions": 'Let the ugliest of your enemies take center stage'.

by fairleft2 2009-08-13 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Leftists disrupt health industry bailout!

Not to quibble, but it's not a bailout.  The insurance industry has never been more profitable.

Accepting your premise - and I'm not sure that I do - the word you're looking for is "boondoggle".

by Jess81 2009-08-13 02:33PM | 0 recs

yep, it's boondoggle for sure.  

I think the leftist have nothing to disrupt over. There is no clear message from Barack that gives us something to sink our teeth into.

Now, if there were a medicare for all part of it, and he'd say that, and say, we'll start with 55 yo's able to select medicare as their health care insurance, there would be a surge of those at the meetings. And if it were made available to rural people who have few choices and all of them pricey and arrogant, they'd come to the meetings. And how about open to the unemployed, how many would go to meetings and demand that the deathers put up or shut up.  

It's time to motivate the left, give us something worthy of fighting for.  

by anna shane 2009-08-14 08:26AM | 0 recs
Except the moment

he writes the bill, it's DOA, so he can't say any of that.

The left is going to have to get it's motivation from someone other than the President, because he's not going to risk making the Clinton mistake of ordering Congress to pass his bill.

by DTOzone 2009-08-15 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Except the moment

the received wisdom is it was all Hillary's fault, and we should have had a bill 16 years ago cause of her.  But the same forces are working to defeat Barack's bill, whatever it turns out to be. And the insurance companies promised to institute the reforms Barack is asking for on their own, if only we wouldn't force them, and they didn't. anyone else remember they were promising to remove the pre-existing conditions clause, and not only didn't they made it worse, by using it mid-treatment if they discovered something that had been there pre-insurance, even though it hadn't been diagnosed.

the problem then is the problem now.  The have's have it and even if it costs more to keep out the have not's, they'll willing to pay that 'more, in order to keep the uninsured from getting benefits.  We pay in the end, shortly before they die.  That suits the heartless just fine.  

by anna shane 2009-08-16 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Leftists disrupt health industry bailout!

making the parallel to the recent finance industry bailout is important, even if it's not a perfect match. The important thing is that the same insider, campaign-donations-dominated politics is getting the nation a bill that for the average taxpayer will mostly be 'you pay, we profit', if my sense of who's going to pay for the health care bill is right. No details yet on how the bill is supposed to be revenue-neutral, of course.

by fairleft2 2009-08-14 08:49AM | 0 recs


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