Saturday, August 15, 2009

Miles Mogulescu: Is Obama a Back-Room Blue Dog on Health Care?

So the real story isn't the right-wing rallies. The real story is that it appears that the Obama administration has made back-room deals promising that health reform will protect the profits of the health insurance industry, Big Pharma, and private hospitals, at taxpayer's expense; that a "public option", if any, will be ineffective; and that health care costs will continue to rise.

Obama may get a "Health Reform" signing ceremony on the White House lawn declaring victory. But if the "reform" subsidizes industry profits and mandates that individuals must buy bare-bones policies which they can barely afford and which don't cover many of their health care costs, the raucous town hall meeting could end up being just a precursor to the wrath that American voters will end up aiming at Democrats in a few years when the true effects of this industry-friendly reform become clear.

Republicans have warned that failing to pass a health care bill could be Obama's Waterloo. Passing a bad bill could be an even bigger Waterloo, not just for Obama but for the Democratic Party, and for idea that government intervention is needed to counter-balance the power of free markets and corporate oligarchies.

Liberal organizations who have supported incremental health care reform like Move On, Health Care for America Now, the AFL-CIO, Families USA, and the SEIU need to make clear to Rahm Emanuel and President Obama that they are not an arm of the White House and will mobilize their supporters to oppose a deeply compromised, industry-friendly, health care bill. The House Progressive Caucus needs to make clear to the White House that they have the guts to vote down such a bill. No less than the future of liberalism, as a counter-weight to free market conservatism, may be at stake. If Obama ends up siding with the health insurance industry over ordinary Americans, progressive Democrats in Congress enable him to do so, and liberal and progressive organizations don't speak out, then what's left for millions of Americans whose homes, jobs, and health care are under attack except right-wing populism? The tea parties could end up being, well, just tea parties, compared to the shit-storm to come.

Read it all at Huffington Post

No comments:

Post a Comment