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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 07:42 PM
Original message
Compulsory Private Health Insurance: Just Another Bailout of the Financial Sector?
http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/eat_cake.php
2009-12-21

Compulsory Private Health Insurance: Just Another Bailout of the Financial Sector?
by Ellen Brown

....Economist L. Randall Wray observes that ever since Congress threw out the Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial banking from investment banking, insurance and Wall Street finance have been two peas in a pod. He writes:

here is a huge untapped market of some 50 million people who are not paying insurance premiumsand the number grows every year because employers drop coverage and people cant afford premiums. Solution? Health insurance reform that requires everyone to turn over their pay to Wall Street. . . . This is just another bailout of the financial system, because the tens of trillions of dollars already committed are not nearly enough.

The health reform bills now coming through Congress are not focused on how to make health care cheaper or more effective, how to eliminate waste and fraud, or how to cut out expensive middlemen. As originally envisioned, the public option would have pursued those goals. But the public option has been dropped from the Senate bill and radically watered down in the House bill. Rather than focusing on making health care affordable, the bills focus on how to force people either to buy health insurance if they dont have it, or to pay more for it if they do. If you dont have insurance and dont purchase it, you will be subject to a hefty fine. And if you do purchase it, premiums, co-pays, co-insurance payments and deductibles are liable to keep health care cripplingly expensive. Most of the people who don't have health care can't afford to pay the deductibles, so they will never use the plans they are forced to buy.

To subsidize those who cant pay, the Senate bill would make families earning two to four times the poverty level who dont have employer-sponsored insurance surrender 8% to 12% of their income to insurance payments, or pay a fine. In another effort to make the insurance payments affordable, the Senate bill calls for the lowest cost plan to cover only sixty percent of health care costs.

In other words, writes Dr. Andrew Coates in a November 23 article, a guarantee of insurance industry dominance and the continued privatization of health care in every arena.


Compulsory health insurance is like compulsory selective military service (the draft), except that all of our numbers have come up. The argument has been made that auto insurance is compulsory, so why not health insurance? But the obvious response is that you can choose to drive a car. The only way to escape the vehicle we call a body is to give up the ghost. .....

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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yep. It's the Insurance Industry Profit Protection Act
nothing more.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Brown has got the thing pegged:
Let them eat cake, the notoriously callous words ascribed to Marie Antoinette, were probably said a century earlier by Marie-Thrse, the wife of Louis XIV. But whoever said them, the mindset the statement conveys of an aristocracy oblivious to the realities confronting the poor is still with us today.

Congressmen, what shall we do about the 30 million Americans lacking health insurance?

Why, that is simple. Force them to buy it. Fine them heavily if they dont!

What if they dont have the money?

Then take it from those who do!

The health reform bills now coming through Congress are not focused on how to make health care cheaper or more effective, how to eliminate waste and fraud, or how to cut out expensive middlemen. As originally envisioned, the public option would have pursued those goals. But the public option has been dropped from the Senate bill and radically watered down in the House bill. Rather than focusing on making health care affordable, the bills focus on how to force people either to buy health insurance if they dont have it, or to pay more for it if they do. If you dont have insurance and dont purchase it, you will be subject to a hefty fine. And if you do purchase it, premiums, co-pays, co-insurance payments and deductibles are liable to keep health care cripplingly expensive. Most of the people who don't have health care can't afford to pay the deductibles, so they will never use the plans they are forced to buy or be fined.

To subsidize those who cant pay, the Senate bill would make families earning two to four times the poverty level who dont have employer-sponsored insurance surrender 8% to 12% of their income to insurance payments, or pay a fine. In another effort to make the insurance payments affordable, the Senate bill calls for the lowest cost plan to cover only sixty percent of health care costs.

In other words, writes Dr. Andrew Coates, a guarantee of insurance industry dominance and the continued privatization of health care in every arena.

http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/eat_cake.php
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Why the question mark? K&R. n/t
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. It was in the title.
It probably shouldn't have been.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. My tiny little joke. But here's another kick.
:blush:

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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #12
20. Oh, sorry.
I took it way too literally. :)
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. k&r for the truth, however depressing. n/t
:dem:

-Laelth
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
31. Thanks
And it is depressing.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. USA, Inc.! Corporations first, People last. We the People are a liability to corporate success. ...
Edited on Mon Dec-28-09 08:02 PM by RKP5637
Unless Buy Buy Buy, and work for nothing or be unemployed.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. Mandate = $ for Wall Street. Been sayin it for weeks here.
While The Street missed out on payroll deductions coming directly to them via privatized Social Security, this government enforced hocus pocus is nearly the same thing.

Government enforcing payments to corporations that take the $ and invest it on Wall Street. Jesus Horatio Christo on Toast, it is money laundering, not HCR
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Yes you have!
I should have dedicated this thread to you. :)
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Just keep on truckin like you've been doin
We are team. I can't get enough people to get it. You have better readership ;)
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Readership?
LOL!! I also have more enemies too. :) Ah the price of fame...... :evilgrin:
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #19
24. Subscribers? Not sure of the best term to use
Edited on Tue Dec-29-09 12:12 AM by havocmom
You have followers. I have people I have pissed off, and others I bore with my failure to sing, dance, or be culturally acceptable in ways which the cool kids dig ;)
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Culturally acceptable?
Didn't we give that up for Lent? :)
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. You, my dear, made me smile from my heart
Thanks, I needed that!
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Nice to know all that Catholic school was good for something.
:D
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
34. Gotta feed the Ponzi.
No one wants to be holding the ball when this one collapses.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. Geez!
That's the scariest thought of all. When the music stops, we'll be flat on our asses.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. There are solutions.
See my sig links, especially the livingeconomies one.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. How well does Balle work?
I am just looking at the website now.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #42
49. From my perspective it's too soon to tell.
But at least it's a business network with substantial social ideas, not simply profit.
I am just finishing Korten's Agenda for a New Economy, I highly recommend it.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. yeah, and the US doesn't negotiate with terrorists...
except the common, garden variety, home grown ECONOMIC terrorists shuffling paper and destroying us from the inside. We sure do bend over for them.

x(
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. K & R
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StarfarerBill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R "...a huge untapped market..." That's all we've ever been to them;
not equals, not citizens, not people...just something to dump their crap on, in more ways than one.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. No cost controls, no reduction in administrative costs (paperwork) and inadequate policing
...a trainwreck for the American people.
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invictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. +1
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invictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
14. K&R
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
15. K&R.
No bail out for the people, just wars for their kids to fight in.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
17. We can't say it enough, It is a bailout of the insurance industry on the backs of workers and the
middle class. They are losing customers in droves with the unemployment rate up and fewer employers offering coverage to those who still have jobs. Add in the boomers graduating to Medicare in the next years as far as the eye can see and you start to get why they need a bailout.

We are looking at mandate going into effect in 2014 (or is it 2013?). Working and middle class Americans will still be reeling from this current crisis and will not have made up the ground they have lost now when this thing hits them, again. We are fodder for the insurance cartels just as surely as our children are fodder for the war machine.

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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. You are so right.
Sadly. :(
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blues90 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-28-09 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
18. That's right , that is all it is and we are sold off once again
We may as well be cattle in the slaughter house because we have just about as much say as the cows do.

All this is is some sham and about making some history that will count as nothing in the end.

I am so sick of the talking heads from all sides weighing in as if they have any answers at all , they don't , it's a game and a con.

Yeah we made history all right as a failed nation voting for and listening to these freaks who act as reps from both sides , let them go into the real world and pick corn or work in a wal-mart or sit there with out a job that got shipped away and then see how they look after they come out of the wash. The fucking freaks , man I am so sick of this grand illusion we are being force fed.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #18
28. We should add to this Nadin's blog about traveling abroad and coming home
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
22. I don't know why these articles don't mention the migration into medicare.
In the next two decades over 170 million people will go on medicare. The birthrate doesn't come close to replacing them.
Without a mandate beginning in 2011 the ins. companies will see a steady huge decrease in customers. 65 million in 2011 alone.

The industry has always said from the beginning mandate in, public option out. That is what will be delivered to them.

We are saving their business. How stupid is that.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. "We are saving their business"
And we may be saving more if Medicare is phased out for seniors and the "exchange" is phased in.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #22
29. That's what this whole thing was about
:mad:
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. Yup.
And the fake resistance to it (Dick Armey, Freedomworks) was to make it seem like a great society social program.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. There must be an entire arm of the Corporatocracy devoted to
Edited on Tue Dec-29-09 04:27 PM by truedelphi
Manufacturing chaos.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #32
45. In particular?
/
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burning rain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #30
47. Sounds a bit conspiratorial to me.
Dick Armey was always a true-believing economic libertarian, no fan of crony capitalism--and the health care bill is just that. I think he's sincere.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. Armey knew it wasn't socialism.
Edited on Tue Dec-29-09 09:55 PM by Nikki Stone1
And the fake grass roots thing, complete with Hitler and "the final solution" death panels, was incredibly nasty stuff. So you'll have to forgive me for not believing in his pure motives. However, I will grant your point that a true believing libertarian is not going to like any partnering of government and business and may very well see it as a threat.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
33. The Only Thing "Government" Does Anymore, is One Form or Another, of Corporate Welfare
This is just another example, and probably not even the most recent, of the complete shift of attitude as to the activity of Government: from the time-honored organizing principle of justice, law, problem-solving and help (however flawed), to now, nothing but corporate-insider deal-making, and individual corporate promotion. The whole meaning, the whole point, has been lost; just like turning the corporate media on for "news," and they are giving you advertising--of a new store, a new product, or a new movie--as a "news story." It has all been turned over to them. The tax structure, once thought of as progressive, according to the amount you can pay, so that the higher taxes of the rich and corporations were the price they had to pay for the benefits of living in this society; now, it is all cut, deregulate, "get rid of obstacles" (like the law), quit "shackling" them, "don't penalize success," all this crap--everything for them, no matter how disastrous for the operations of society.

As soon as they first started to describe these "solutions" for the economic crisis, when Bush was still President, that they would give all this money to institutions that did not hold the mortgages of the foreclosed-on people, that made other kinds of "investments" and "deals," there were cries of, What is this going to solve? Why not just pay the mortgages, since the money is lost anyway, solving that problem, and getting the money to the actual banks that held the loan debt? No, it has tio be filtered to Goldman-Sachs, and all the rest, even though nobody even knows what they do and what it is "good" for. It accomplished nothing. Now, when people are crying for some public system that will help them medically, that will not gouge them and drive them into bankruptcy, you get the same kind of set-up as the Bankruptcy Bill, and "Medicare" (pharmaceutical industry) Part D, where they usurpt billions of dollars, take it from the public good, and hand it over to corporations (that don't pay taxes), for their use however they want. Just like "Medicare" "Advantage," the money that could have served a purpose by going to a Government program that fulfilled a public purpose, instead was funneled to unregulated corporations, solving nothing!

All activities of Government have now become just blatantly corporate-payback and tax-theft, accomplishing nothing-- convert your analog TV to digital; do it! Buy the products. Meanwhile, it just so happens that they never have the time to get around to passing laws to get the corporate money out of the campaign system, or to crack down on offshore corporate tax and profit shelters. Now this: rather than solve the public's problem as a Government, they solve the corporation's lack of profit problem, as an agent.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. God yes! This post is right on. +100000
:kick:
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. great post!
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. & speaking of the financial sector: "How The Servant Became A Predator" :


The Function of the Financial Sector
What exactly is the function of the financial sector in our society? Simply this: Its sole function is supplying capital efficiently to aid the real economy. The financial sector is a tool to help those that make real tools, not an end in itself. But five fatal flaws in the financial sectors current structure have created a monster that drains the real economy, promotes fraud and corruption, threatens democracy, and causes recurrent, intensifying crises.


1. The financial sector harms the real economy.

snip

..... the finance sector is worse than parasitic. .....In addition to siphoning off capital for its own benefit, the finance sector misallocates the remaining capital in ways that harm the real economy in order to reward already-rich financial elites harming the nation. The facts are alarming:

2. The financial sector produces recurrent, intensifying economic crises here and abroad.

snip

3. The financial sectors predation is so extraordinary that it now drives the upper one percent of our nations income distribution and has driven much of the increase in our grotesque income inequality.

4. The financial sectors predation and its leading role in committing and aiding and abetting accounting control fraud combine to:

Corrupt financial elites and professionals, and

Spur a rise in Social Darwinism in an attempt to justify the elites power and wealth.

snip

5. The CEOs of the largest financial firms are so powerful that they pose a critical risk to the financial sector, the real economy, and our democracy.

The CEOs can directly, through the firm, and by bundling contributions of its officers and employees, easily make enormous political contributions and use their PR firms and lobbyists to manipulate the media and public officials.....

snip



http://www.newdeal20.org/?p=5330
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Bookmarking..
Thank you.
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shadesofgray Donating Member (350 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #33
46. +1!!!!!!!!!
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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
43. I posted that this was the real reason for "reform" right around the time Lieberman was in the news
and most on DU told me I was totally wrong.

Now all of a sudden most on DU agree. Funny how that works.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. You were ahead of DU on the fall of the markets too.
:)
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