While many Americans will consider the passing of the healthcare bill yesterday a great step forward, and others wring their hands with dismay at the death of democracy (as they see it), the overall effect of this legislation is likely to be minimal for the vast majority of US citizens, and yet another profit-spinner for the insurance companies.
Today, rank and file Republicans may feel they’ve lost the battle against Socialism in America, but there’s little need for them to mourn. The ‘public option’ didn’t even make it to the battlefield, and without it this bill was never more than a reworking of the privatized, capitalist, system of healthcare coverage that has failed so many for so long.
The average member of US society pays four times as much for healthcare coverage as their opposite number in Europe. Despite the lies and distortions dished out by the right-wing media over the last year, universal healthcare in these countries is at least on par with America’s system, and for phenomenally less cost.
The insurance companies stood to be the real losers, had a public option remained in the bill. For the first time they’d have been up against true competition. This was why they made certain any public option was assassinated before the actual battle began.
Yet, surely, Capitalism is all about competition?
Not any more. In today’s America, Capitalism equals monopoly. Only by monopolizing the marketplace can the consumer be relegated to the ranks of the unimportant. Eliminate the competition and you eliminate choice. When the consumer finds he has no choice, he’s forced to buy whatever’s available, at a price determined by the monopoly.
Price fixing is rife throughout this nation. It’s illegal, and just occasionally a major perpetrator is discovered and punished, as happened with the giant conglomerate, ADM, back in the nineties, but mostly it goes unnoticed like so much of the corruption underlying the US Capitalist system.
The healthcare industry is not exempt. Insurance companies are out to make the biggest profit and they’ll be burning the midnight oil to optimize the consequences of this latest legislation, and meld it to their advantage.
Without a public option, there’ll be no-one to stop them.
As she was walking into the House yesterday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi said to the waiting journalists, “We’re going to do this one for the American people.”
She may, or may not, have been sincere. In reality, she should be doing every one for the American people. So, perhaps she wasn’t so sincere, after all?
All told, it’s proved a win-win situation for both sides. Obama and the American people got their healthcare bill, the insurance companies kept their monopoly, and the Republicans……?
……well, according to Senator John McCain – they’ll just repeal it in 2012.
 “McCain said Democrats have not heard end of debate” Yahoo News, March 22nd 2010
Filed under: Socialist medicine