Friday, March 26, 2010

And Here's the Thumbs Down

Now let's not go crazy about this healthcare bill. And especially let's not get to thinking that the administration has stood up to the special interests, as some of their ardent cheerleaders would have it. Ever precise, ever vigilant, ever incisive Glenn Greenwald begs to differ with this assessment. And he ticks off several excellent reasons why. To wit:
  • All of the special interests--doctors, hospitals, Big Pharma, insurance companies--came out ahead on this bill. Do you think the average 71 percent appreciation in the value of insurers  stocks is because the reform is going to hurt their business? All real reform got squeezed out. Just consider what's NOT in the law:
    • the public option 
    • Medicare expansion 
    • drug-reimportation 
    • bulk price negotiations 
    • an end to the insurers' anti-trust exemption
  •  The bill was "enacted by invoking and strengthening precisely the same corrupt, sleazy practices that have long driven Washington."
  • The bill admirably serves the interests of the lobbyists. Corporations still control the government. That has not changed. So every future "reform" bill on banking, energy, national security, surveillance . . . are going to be shaped and approved by these very corporations. In fact, these corporate forces have been strengthened by the healthcare "reform" process over the past year.
So we need to put away the champagne.  Perhaps a small glass of flat light beer is more appropriate.

Update IChris Hedges is having none of it. "Chalk this up as yet another victory for our feudal overlords and a defeat for the serfs." Cannot say I don't resonate with what he says.
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