Monday, January 18, 2010

Health Care Reform Hangs In The Balance? Yawn...

It's getting down to the wire now on the Massachusetts special election for late Senator Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat. It's becoming apparent that the voters of Massachusetts might be deciding the fate of health care "reform" in the United States.

Maybe it's fitting, after all. Massachusetts passed a similar health care reform bill a few years ago, and so its voters are uniquely qualified to pass judgement.

I'm fairly ambivalent about this race. Martha Coakley is a terrible candidate; a typical centrist Democrat whose allegiances lie with the corporate interests who fund Democratic campaigns. Scott Brown is a typical conservative. He's serves the same corporate interests Coakley does, but also has a pandering cultural agenda that he uses to pry away voters who would otherwise hate his economic and foreign policy positions. Of course, all of his talk about abortion, gay marriage, and the rest will be forgotten as soon as he's elected; the people who vote for him on these issues are delusional if they think he will actually deliver anything for them. Of course if Coakley had actually given them a reason to vote for her, maybe they would.

At any rate, the true political divisions in this country are class divisions. I don't see candidates as Democrat or Republican, I see them first as insiders or outsiders*. Both of these candidates are insiders. They will vote to protect the interests of the elite in almost every case.

Which brings us to the health care reform bill. And here's why I really don't care who wins this election. This bill is a piece of crap. It's a massive giveaway to health insurers and Big Pharm. It was written for them and by them. Democrats talked a good game, and then as soon as the public was distracted by job searched and foreclosures, they turned the bill into such a joke that many progressives, who were the ones who wanted health care reform in the first place, are actively trying to kill it. It's that bad. If that bill is the best that this country can come up with, than we don't deserve any better.

The Democrats made a lot of promises before the last election, and then turned around and broke almost every one of those promises. They don't deserve any support.

And the American people are more interested in maintaining their ideological fictions than in actually learning about how health care systems work. And so they don't really deserve health care reform. Either way, they're not going to get it.

I suppose at some point things will get bad enough that they will realize that they need to rethink things, although the fact that conservatives basically ran the government for  eight years, almost destroyed the country, and still might win an MA senate seat does not bode well.  I'm kind surprised we're not there yet. Unfortunately, it looks like things will need to get worse before they get better.

*To clarify, I think there is a huge difference between right-wing and left-wing outsiders. Right-wing outsiders are generally insane.


I realize that if Scott Brown wins, the US Congress, for all intents and purposes, will be out of business until at least next January. But then it hasn't really done anything worthwhile this year either, so I don't think I'll really miss it.


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