Friday, September 4, 2009

Why Every Republican Ought to be Made to Sit In the Waiting Room of a Harlem Free Clinic


This is what it comes down to: Our elected lawmakers, starting with the so-called Gang of Six (renamed "the Bipartisan Six", as if they were the heroes of a bad Yul Brynner movie) are eating filet mignon with asparagus spears and almonds, scalloped potatoes and baked Alaska and are arguing over the cost of the cat food they're planning on giving the rest of us.

But Republicans, because they're feeling the stings on their jiggling backs from their corporate whip masters who are bombarding Congress with an average of 6 lobbyists per congresscritter, are especially egregious and hypocritical because they've been been going to Bethesda Naval Hospital on the sly while decrying the inefficient way that the government runs health care. Of course, as those of us in the know know, it has nothing to do with smaller, less intrusive government and all that Republican populist bullshit. They have incumbency at stake and those who are owned by these insurers and Big Pharma (which is to say all of them) know damned good and well they have tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions at stake if they drop the ball on this one.

Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post makes a good point but he's wrong about one thing: The government didn't fuck up health care at Walter Reed. Most of the care given to our troops at Walter Reed is top-notch except in places such as Building 18. Where the government fucked up as far as Walter Reed goes was in outsourcing patient care to private industry (including Bush cronies), which right then and there gives you another reason to distrust the private sector and to renew a call for a single payer system, perhaps an all-encompassing expansion of Medicare.

But we'll never see a universal, single payer system. We'll never see an all-encompassing expansion of Medicare, despite the fact that doing so would greatly streamline and simplify a Gordian Knot of compromises (including secret White House deals with Big Pharma just to get their tacit approval) that are solely intended to keep the HMO's on the gridiron, despite the fact that the administrative costs for Medicare is only 3.6% instead of the 30-50% that we see in the private sector (largely because we give them through our premiums, co-pays and huge deductibles the means with which to pay $1.4 million a day in lobbyist fees).

Congress likes what it has and they have no intention of sharing that which we gave to them by electing them in the first place. So while they enjoy their 5 star bill of fare on fine china and crystal plates, the rest of us are left wondering if it'll be Fancy Feast or just 9 Lives in a crusty bowl for the next 60 years.

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