What I’ve Been Saying

5 comments December 21st, 2009at 01:03pm Posted by Eli

Scarecrow has a great post about just how badly Obama and the Democrats have sold us out on healthcare, and how pathetic our supposed “reform” is when compared to the rest of the developed world, and Drew Westen decries Obama’s abject lack of leadership.  I think the root cause is the same: Our government has become so completely captive to corporate donors that it is literally almost impossible to pass any bill that might harm corporate interests in any way.

As I put it back in July:

As the increasingly discouraging healthcare “reform” process plays out, the endgame makes the most sense when you remember that the Prime Directive for Obama and most of Congress is this:

First, do no harm… to the insurance companies.


This is why single-payor is off the table (and how many of today’s public option advocates wouldn’t prefer single-payor if they thought it was attainable?) – it would kill the insurance industry outright (aside from the much smaller business of providing gap coverage), whereas a correctly managed (i.e., small or unsuccessful) public option would only wound them.

The fundamental problem is that the starting point has never been “How do we improve healthcare for our constituents?”, but rather, “How do we make sure this doesn’t hurt the insurance industry?”

And at FDL in August:

Need to slash greenhouse emissions to prevent the ice caps from melting?  You have to do it without hurting the energy companies.

Need to rescue the economy and reform the financial system?  You have to do it without hurting Wall Street.

Need to make healthcare affordable and available to everyone?  You have to do it without hurting the insurance companies.

Need to reform campaign finance?  You have to do it without diminishing the influence of the corporations or the advantages of incumbency.

It is virtually impossible to achieve meaningful reform within such nonsensical parameters.

I wish I could see a way out of this loop, but campaign finance (the primary source of the corruption) is inside it.

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Obama,Polls,Wankers


  • 1. Charles  |  December 21st, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    “Loop” is correct. We are passing the precise scenery of the spring of 1993, when I wrote my Senator to say that we needed to pass campaign finance reform before trying to pass health care reform.

    However, now I’m writing my Senator and telling him that everyone in Washington is corrupt and that they can go screw themselves.

    I miss my idealism.

  • 2. charley  |  December 21st, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    hey, don’t forget, you HAVE to buy this bullshit.

  • 3. Multi Medium » Enro&hellip  |  March 19th, 2010 at 7:18 am

    […] to say, this perverse constraint is not exactly a great foundation for effective reform legislation.  Unless you’re the […]

  • 4. Multi Medium » Grea&hellip  |  October 18th, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    […] Of course, the real problem is that neither Obama nor Congress are willing to consider rescue strategies that involve digging. […]

  • 5. Multi Medium » Harr&hellip  |  December 23rd, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    […] is also worth pointing out that none of those four bills pose any harm to corporations or rich people, but I’m sure that’s probably just a […]

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