Ours is a government of checks and balances. The Mafia and crooked businessmen make out checks, and the politicians and other compromised officials improve their bank balances ~ Steve Allen (12/26/1921 to 10/30/2000) was an American television personality, musician, actor, comedian, and writer.
I turned the TV on a little early today and caught part of the end of Hardball, even though I usually I don't flip on the boob tube until 7pm when Keith Olbermann starts. Chris Matthews was discussing the Congressional Democrat's betrayal of their constituents, a large majority of whom support a government run insurance option. A Democratic Congresswoman (I forget who) defended the ditching of the public option by mentioning, several times, how this was the best they could do, because the Democrats are a large tent party, with progressive, moderate, and
conservative corporate Democrats - and that meant that compromise was necessary.
Allowing people 55 years of age to buy into Medicare is a good idea, but I disagree that adding this provision and dropping the public option is an acceptable trade. Not that the public option was anything to get excited about, after they continually watered it down to the point where it would cover less than 2% of the population. Even with all the caveats that were attached, the insurance companies were still threatened. Corporate Democrats and
Independent turncoat Democrats (Joe Lieberman), eager for more bribe money, sold out their constituents and helped kill the public option.
Republicans, on the other hand, stood by their constituents (the insurance cartels) and delivered to them the prospect of even more profits by mandating the public purchase their overpriced product and support multi-million dollar salaries for their CEOs. The anti-trust protection, first out, is now back in. Denial of coverage for preexisting conditions will apparently be disallowed, although the cartels will be allowed to charge these people more.
Unfortunately I'm one of those people. Eventually I assume I'll become one of the 45,000 people who die each year due to lack of insurance. That's a hell of a lot of people, so I am hardly in a unique position. As such, this post is not a plea for sympathy or well wishes. I doubt I have to worry about that in any case, as lately my blog, which I thought had a couple of readers, has gone several posts with scant attention paid. In any case, I probably have at least a couple of years before things really start to go downhill. At least the socialists who live with me hope that is the case.
On a positive note, if people 55 to 64 can buy into Medicare there are other members of my family that will benefit from that provision. And, even if there were a public option I'm sure that Tennessee (the state where I live), would opt out. So I guess there is no reason to be depressed about these developments after all!