06.30.2009 0

The Government Takeover of Everything Continues

  • On: 07/21/2009 09:19:38
  • In: Health Care
  • By: Lawrence A. Hunter, Ph.D.

    Much of the so-called “debate” over ObamaCare is a diversion. In addition to the technocratic jargon and minute market manipulations being talked about, the Obama Administration is softening up the American public by propagandizing them on the horrors of the current healthcare system. The president has created an entire website that overwhelms people with ObamaTales of Healthcare Terror.

    The ObamaTales cast employers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals as the ogres in the drama. It is essential, therefore, that once people get over the powerful emotional reaction they will have from viewing the sad stories depicted in the videos, they need to consider that the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals portrayed as the bad guys in the ObamaTales are the very entities Obama is presently cutting a deal with behind the scenes to provide the backbone and infrastructure of his government-run system.

    “The president refuses to reveal his true preferences for healthcare reform. Will it have a government option to “compete” with private plans; will it have an individual or employer mandate; will it have a rationing board disguised as a board of standards and effectiveness; will it have strict criteria and mandates on private health insurance? No matter what form ObamaCare ultimately assumes after the Congress is finished with its sausage making, it is a certainty that nationalized healthcare in America will have a private-sector facade on it—true to the fascist model Republicans gave us in the Medicare-Part-D prescription-drugs program for seniors—using employers, private insurance companies, private hospitals and pharmaceutical companies essentially as government contractors.

    So, just as with the banks in the financial bailout and just like the automotive bailout, nationalized healthcare will end up being more fascist than socialist, a huge “public-private partnership” where the government calls the shots, the private contractors get the goodies, and American citizens pay the tab in higher taxes, more public debt and rationed healthcare. If you think the private companies and employers portrayed in the Obama’s Terror Tales are behaving badly now, just wait until they have the sanction of the federal government behind their delays, denials and rationing of care.

    Evidence of the way this saga will end abound. Earlier this week, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel admitted the prime objective of healthcare reform is to get control of insurance companies. He said, “The goal is to have a means and a mechanism to keep the private insurers honest. The goal is non-negotiable; the path is” negotiable.”

    Emanuel specifically mentioned a White House willingness to move away from the “public option” favored by most liberals and adopting instead a version of the fascist Republican model used in Medicare Part D. Obama’s chief of staff said that one of several ways to meet President Barack Obama’s goals is to adopt a mechanism under which a public plan is put into effect only if the marketplace fails to provide sufficient competition on its own. This is precisely the trigger mechanism Republicans used when they created a prescription-drug benefit for Medicare in 2003.
    Any part of such a deal between the federal government and big insurance companies, of course, would have to entail a guarantee that the insurance companies be sheltered from paying the costs of the plan by shifting them onto healthcare consumers.

    And guess who will pay? SENIORS FIRST. That is why it was no coincidence that the $155 billion “cost-saving” deal Obama struck with hospitals entails a decade’s worth of reductions to Medicare and charity-care payments for hospitals.

    So there you have it: A stealth government takeover of big insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and even private employers along with more cuts to Medicare. When the government and private industry go into partnership, it is invariably the people who get kneecapped. The fascist healthcare system being teed up in Washington will be no exception.

    Dr. Lawrence Hunter is a contributing writer to ALG News and President of the Social Security Institute


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