Guest Blogger

Obama's Affordable Care Act is Neither Affordable nor Caring

Filed By Guest Blogger | March 30, 2012 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Affordable Care Act, individual mandate

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Howard M. Greenebaum won the Democratic nomination for a U.S. House seat in Maryland in 1984 and in California in 1988. Long involved in environmental activism and international finance, he is the author of the book "Don't Do It Like They Did It -- In Washington!"

The US Supreme Court's pending decision on this phony law is not going to fix anything. Why? The whole problem of healthcare for Americans has become a political football.

Republicans want the court to throw out the law because they want to score points in the coming election. They are bankrupt of ideas that can help Americans to access affordable healthcare, and just want to appease their corporate donors in the health insurance business.

The agenda of the rich corporations is to close all public programs and substitute for profit corporations with as little regulations as possible. Higher and higher profits are the god of corporations.

Democrats are equally guilty. They also have been acting in collusion with their corporate donors. Obama sat with corporate lobbyists and gave them great gifts. In fact, the Affordable Care Act should really be entitled, "The Unaffordable Corporate Care Act"! Why?

First, health insurance corporations are deathly afraid of government run health programs. Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration (VA) are all government run programs. They have the power to negotiate lower prices. They do not deny claims to protect their profits, because they have no profits. Their only agenda is to offer good care.

Corporate lobbyists convinced Obama to avoid any mention of government run national programs. And Obama followed their instructions. So did Democratic Senator Max Baucus when he chaired a Senate Public Hearing on a National Healthcare Program. When doctors and nurses tried to introduce a government run program at this public hearing, Baucus called security and had them arrested.

Did Obama discipline the rotten behavior of Baucus at this public hearing? No - in fact, later, when the Democrats and Republicans were paralyzed in debate over competing deficit reduction plans, Obama selected Baucus to be one of only six Democrats to represent the public for the Committee of 12 to solve this mess.

And what did Obama and Baucus put on the table for negotiation for cuts? They offered hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. No US President has ever even considered offering huge cuts on these vital elements of the public's safety net! Medicare is the only health insurance for seniors and the severely disabled. Medicaid is the only health insurance for the poor. Social Security is the only pension program for many Americans, since corporations are dropping more and more retirees from their pension plans.

The second gift to the corporations was that the corporations were allowed to escape many legal requirements that were passed in 2010, but not enforceable until 2014. That is 5 years of delayed regulations. Actual Medicare passed in 1965, and was up and running in only 11 months. They didn't even have computers then.

In 2010, if Medicare had been expanded to all Americans, the agency would have merged with Medicaid and the VA. All of their trained and experienced personnel could have rapidly had all Americans insured in less than one year. Every American would have much lower monthly payments, and far better benefits.

Incidentally, Medicare has voluntary membership. Not like Obama's law that fines you if you do not buy overpriced private health insurance. Yet another gift Obama handed the corporate lobbyists.

This is but one of the many betrayals Democrats have perpetrated upon their ever-loyal voters.

It is time for all Democratic voters to stop and recognize that today's Democratic party is no long representing our interests. They have joined the Republicans and now cater to corporations first, citizens second.

The tax breaks of 280 of the Fortune 500 corporations amounted to $223 billion in just 3 years. These favors from the Democrats and Republicans came as a result of " donations" of $216 million! Our so-called representatives are selling their votes to corporations - at our expense.

How much longer are we all going to continue to tolerate this cheating? When corporations get tax breaks, our government goes deeper and deeper into debt. Our schools get less money, and are forced to fire teachers. The education of our children is threatened by the collusion of crooked politicians and crooked corporations. Had enough yet?

There is a solution. Over 50 nations today have Labour parties. Many of these nations' governments are now controlled by Labour parties, and it is time that America follows suit. We need a party that is inclusive.

All progressive organizations should join the Labour party so the party's umbrella includes the real desires of the American people. The new Labour Party should create a list of pledges that every candidate must sign before they are selected to represent us. I have suggested a list of pledges.

We need a joint effort by all progressive organizations and labor union members to get to work quickly and get candidates on every states' ballots. It can be done. We can win.

We will then have a government that stops wars, stops climate change, stops the outsourcing of our jobs, provides civil rights, defends women's rights and throws all the lobbyists out of the halls of our state and federal governments. Defense spending will be cut. Taxes will be raised on rich individuals and rich corporations. There will be a true separation of state and government.

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