It is 8 pm Austrian time. If new reports are correct, about one hour from now, the House of Representatives will vote on their health care insurance accessibility plan.
As I have occasionally mentioned on this blog, our messed up free(d) enterprise(r) system, tweaked into dysfunction by years of corporate lobbying and legislation written at Round Tables and then conveyed by the hand of some bought and paid for politician to the floor of Congress and voted unread into law (pause . . to take a breath), has made sure that American money now acts like a gas floating upwards rather than a liquid trickling down. Not that I ever really bought into that particular theory either. But Republicans clearly cling to it with an almost religious conviction. In order to sell it to their minions, they coin neat phrases like “job creators” or “makers and takers” or conjure up economic evil-doers like “welfare queens” or “deadbeat dads”. They opine incessantly that “Obamacare” is merely a “disaster” in a “death spiral”, a weapon in the big hand of government wielded to enslave the once-free . . . And now they have their chance – the new tiny hand of government will be more than happy to sign a law designed to bring back the invisible hand. Supply and Demand. Those market forces will make everything healthcare great again.
Except that we all know they won’t. Because as we saw before the ACA, with a health insurance industry orientated toward profit, the demand was universal (we ALL get sick and need care) and the supply was based on ability to pay. These companies did not magically rise up to meet the needs of the consumers. They found ways to avoid paying the bills of the sick (e.g. “pre-existing conditions”) in order to keep the premiums of the wealthier and healthier lower.
Maybe, just maybe, the health care concerns of our nation cannot be addressed only through insurance industry products being bought and sold. Maybe, this is one of those economic sectors where cooperation is just as necessary – or more so – than competition. Maybe, merely “everyone having access” to health care isn’t enough. I mean, I “have access” to a Rolls Royce. That doesn’t mean I can afford to buy one.
I am in no danger of being financially ruined because I don’t own a Rolls Royce.
Not having a Rolls Royce does not put me at risk of dying or losing a loved one earlier than necessary.
While defending the proposed budget, Twump’s spokesperson feigned social consciousness by asking “can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs?” He wasn’t talking about the ACA specifically, but about all larger government actions. My answer to him: “YES! Yes, we can!”
It is certainly better than asking that coal miner or single mom to contribute to the next insurance company CEO’s obscene bonus.
Is this all really so hard to understand?
It is now 9 pm Austrian time. I just checked the news and heard that the vote will not happen after all.