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Is it too late for progressives and the Tea Party movement to unite against the Obamacare monstrosity?

Is it too late for progressives and the Tea Party movement to unite against the Obamacare monstrosity?

Short answer, Yes.  But please keep reading, anyway.

I have pointed out many times that we should not be fooled into siding with large corporations just because the left claims to hate them.  The enemy of our enemy is not always our friend.

We saw that in the passage of Obamacare, where large health care companies were early backers and monied non-profits like AARP and Consumer Federation (Consumer Reports) did much of the public relations. 

Differing end goals kept true progressives (as opposed to “liberal” Democratic Party shills) from uniting with the Tea Pary movement in opposing Obamacare.  From the progressive point of view Obamacare was a corporate giveaway of historic proportions, essentially providing a captive subscriber base.  One of the best expositions of the negative side of Obamacare came from Firedoglake prior to passage. 

Nothing has changed about Obamacare; if anything, as we learn what was in the bill, it is clear that progressives’ worst nightmares will come true, though they are so deep in they cannot admit that.

From the Tea Party point of view Obamacare was and is a massive infringement of individual liberty.  We would have welcomed support in our opposition, but it was not forthcoming because most progressives chose Party over policy.

As we move from legislation to implementation, and the fight moves to state exchanges and other aspects of the control mechanisms needed to keep Obamacare alive, keep all this in mind.

Although Glenn Greenwald and I could not be farther apart on the Middle East and the “Israel Lobby,” he has made some good points about the corporatist side of Obamacare, including a column today, Obamacare architect leaves White House for pharmaceutical industry job:

When the legislation that became known as “Obamacare” was first drafted, the key legislator was the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, whose committee took the lead in drafting the legislation. As Baucus himself repeatedly boasted, the architect of that legislation was Elizabeth Folwer, his chief health policy counsel; indeed, as Marcy Wheeler discovered, it was Fowler who actually drafted it. As Politico put it at the time: “If you drew an organizational chart of major players in the Senate health care negotiations, Fowler would be the chief operating officer.”

What was most amazing about all of that was that, before joining Baucus’ office as the point person for the health care bill, Fowler was the Vice President for Public Policy and External Affairs (i.e. informal lobbying) at WellPoint, the nation’s largest health insurance provider….

Whatever one’s views on Obamacare were and are: the bill’s mandate that everyone purchase the products of the private health insurance industry, unaccompanied by any public alternative, was a huge gift to that industry….

Now, as Politico’s “Influence” column briefly noted on Tuesday, Fowler is once again passing through the deeply corrupting revolving door as she leaves the Obama administration to return to the loving and lucrative arms of the private health care industry:

“Elizabeth Fowler is leaving the White House for a senior-level position leading ‘global health policy’ at Johnson & Johnson’s government affairs and policy group.”

The pharmaceutical giant that just hired Fowler actively supported the passage of Obamacare through its membership in the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobby. Indeed, PhRMA was one of the most aggressive supporters – and most lavish beneficiaries – of the health care bill drafted by Fowler…

This is precisely the behavior which, quite rationally, makes the citizenry so jaded about Washington. It’s what ensures that the interests of the same permanent power factions are served regardless of election outcomes. It’s what makes a complete mockery out claims of democracy. And it’s what demonstrates that corporatism and oligarchy are the dominant forms of government in the US….

Spoken like a true, er, Tea Partier.


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We don’t have Socialism at the State level, so should I call it National Socialism at the Federal level? Certainly in the 1930s, the industrialists were paid quite well for doing what the government wanted. of course, that’s another example where people brought in a duly-elected regime, and weren’t so happy with what they got after 10 years. The more things change…

myohmymanatee | December 5, 2012 at 9:25 am

Are they surprise that their agent of hope and change is actually working with their perceived enemies? Another useful idiots like the anti-war? Would they throw tantrums again? Would the battle continue on even after the passing of Obamacare?

For the meantime, fall in line to get your mandated big pharma prescription drugs courtesy of The Won. Reap what you sow.

Here we are, another bloody Monday morning and the fiscal sky over our nation is the steel hulled grey of an old battleship. Oh wait! It’s Wednesday, but the news isn’t any better…

Professor, I really don’t think there is a workable answer to this mess. My thoughts are that apparently the American people are unable to learn, except through pain. History and the 85-100 million dead from Communism in the last century, plus the massive pain associated with those who lived – our society hasn’t been able to retain an understanding of any of this.

I suggest that the Republicans (who are mostly RINO’s anyway) allow the inevitable (collapse), in the vain hopes someone with leadership skills will come forth because of the pain it will generate. Free medical, what good is it when there are no doctors, the emergency rooms are full and the best you can get is an aspirin? If the Tea Party members want to do anything useful then I suggest they take up a hobby. Perhaps target shooting or wilderness camping; something that will help in the near future.

What is funny to me is that so many Collectivists are OK with all this.

I am also amused to reflect on Lyin’ Lizzie Warren’s “small business” daughter…who got venture capital funding for a health-related business she sold for big profits as her “small business”.

The inbreeding here among these people would make Arkansas blush.

1) Obamacare won’t work.
2) Obamacare won’t be repealed.
3) Everyone who is paying attention knows 1 & 2.

Live with it for now and fight the next battle. When the next Democrat president tries to push for more socialization of medical care, continually point out that Obamacare didn’t work and that the new round of ‘reform’ isn’t going to work either.

If Obamacare is intended to be the path to a single-payer nationalized health insurance system, it only benefits the private health insurance companies in the short run. Is that all these companies care about or is defeating single payer a battle they think they can win down the road?

    ThomasD in reply to TPHobbit. | December 5, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Much of the answer to your question can be found by looking at what is going on at the State level. These organizations are seeking to lock themselves in as players and interested parties. Particularly thorugh the promotion of the so called State exchanges.

    Much like the presence of unions serve to block the outright nationalization of industries like steel or automobiles, these layers and legal relationships are being promoted in order to gum up the works and make it harder for Washington to take that irevocable step into a single payer system.

    Yes, the net result is naked fascism. The progressives always swear that’s not where they want to go, but the iron laws inevitably take them there.

    gibbie in reply to TPHobbit. | December 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    If only that were the case. If you look at who handles Medicare claims processing, you will find that the federal government contracts it out to private companies. We will get the worst of both worlds.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have invested in Boeing, or Martin Marietta, or Lockheed 60 years ago? Medical services will be administered by huge government contractors within our lifetime. Ground floor investment opportunities abound.

So what to do about this? For once, the tactics available to destroy obamacare’s reputation and credibility lie within easy grasp of the tea party or any other group wanting to put the blame where it lies.

Example- The super-rich doctors (the 1%) that lean way to the left generally practice out-of-network in order to be able to charge 500-700% of the ‘Usual & Customary’ or 80% of ‘Medicare charge’ for a service. These perhaps skilled but certainly greedy docs make sure you (the patient) have out of network coverage, understand the fee schedule, etc. and then when all is done they send in your insurance papers ‘as a courtesy’ knowing full well insurance will pay a pittance and they will balance bill you. You will experience shock and outrage but it’ll be directed at the insurance company, these docs have convinced you they really do deserve $35,000 for the procedure Medicare pays $7300 for. “you want the best, it’s your body” you’ll be told, never knowing old doctor Jones also operated on 3 Medicaid patients and never complained about the reimbursement- there was a cash cow waiting down the hall.

Point is most of these massive price schemes are due to treating healthcare as a risk-based insurance model with hundreds of federal and state intermediaries regulating price and mandating services. In the army it gives us the $100 toilet seat, here it enriches the docs from AARP and the AMA, the plastic surgeons who control state medical societies and so on.

Citizens (and the uninsured) never needed a little more money and a lot more control, that is what he desired and got. Studies showed Obama could have purchased insurance from the majors, 15 million policies would cost 1/3 of what obamacare will cost per year but that is not what he wanted.

Our job is to figure out a way to put out ‘EOBs’ Explanation of benefits that show the public that their higher premium went to bureaucrats, regulators, federal redistribution and civil rights agencies and NOT the doctor or the pharmacy. If we can decipher this and show the public, there may be hope.

In the end, “progressives” always side with fascism.

all the parsing of words is wasteful.
we need to bleed before we can breathe again.
people need to suffer from their actions.
and I say this as one who easily could be a literal casualty from the stupidity of this nation.
does not change the facts though, with no repercussions there will be no teachable moments.

Do not make the mistake of assuming good faith or honest intentions.

“Whatever one’s views on Obamacare were and are: the bill’s mandate that everyone purchase the products of the private health insurance industry, unaccompanied by any public alternative…”

Progressives were, and continue to be, just fine with Obamacare so long as it served as waypoint on the road to single payer.

Their problem with the likes of Fowler is not that they are bought-and-paid-for corporate interest shills. It is that she and her ilk will not stay,/i> bought.

Having arranged for themselves a protected and highly controlled market the healthcare oligarchy has now gone into full defense mode to protect and cement those gains. This is most evident if you read between the lines of what is going on in the states still debating whether to set up their own exchanges or leave it to the Feds.

Note that the vast majority of these states that are undecided are red states. On the basis of reason and principle the decision should be a no brainer, yet why the Hamlet act coming from various -ostensibly – Republican governor’s offices over the matter?

Simple, they are getting major, major pressure from the insurance and healthcare organizations within their state – each seeking to protect their newly earned fiefdoms. The existence of those desired State exchanges, while largely controlled by the Feds, still serving as a major roadblock to any future attempts at consolidating it all into a single payer system.

That’s what the ‘progressives’ are pissed off about – they got gamed by the corporations they thought they had bought off.

There can be no common cause between progressives and any real conservative or really anyone else who values true liberty. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

Don’tmiss Noemie Emery’s article today on Obamacare.

Call me cynical, but after reading Greenwald, I’m not sure he dislikes Obamacare or and I’m not even sure how much he dislikes cronyism/fascism/corporatism. I think he just wants a public option.

Progressive corruption is not only a well-conceived pun, but an accurate description of a retrogressive or dysfunctional process.

Yeap, too late… you can’t save the existing system from further distortion. The real answer is to let the whole thing collapse without prolonging the end. If you insist on prolonging the end by fighting it you in fact make people get use to the situation and thus make them believe it’s the status quo.

The only way people understand failure is to be hurt by it. Otherwise you continually have rubes believe every fairy tale the libs con artists put out there.