The healthcare bill and corporate rule: our readers write
Our April Exit Poll was: "Is the new healthcare bill a small step for social justice, or big one towards corporate totalitarianism?" We received the following two rather diametrically opposed responses:
From JG in New York City:
A small step for social justice, and every journey begins with a first step. As an aside, don't you think that "totalitarianism" in regards to a middle of the road health insurance reform is over the top and mimicking the not rational talking points of the far right? As this is a well researched website you are aware that, while the individual mandate is implemented in a couple of years, if it is implemented as planned, it has no enforcement mechanism? Which can be corrected, of course, but taming many of the most egregious excesses of the health insurance racketeers is now law and would have to be repealed. As long as you accept that the bill is a work in progress, like Social Security and Medicaid in the past, then you have to applaud getting a foot in the door.
From Joseph Wetmore of Autumn Leaves Used Books, Ithaca, NY:
The "health-care reform bill" requires us to go out and buy a specific product from a cartel of private, for-profit, corporations. ALL the cost protection elements of the bill were removed, so there is nothing that prevents the insurance industry from charging what they want, nor on the other end, paying doctors what they want. The insurance industry is still free to decide that they will not cover any procedures they choose not to cover. So we will be required to purchase a product, but there is no restriction on what that product is, nor on the price charged for it.
It is interesting to note that enforcement provisions were only written to insure that we buy the insurance not that the industry actually follow the minor requirements placed in them. So we will be fined by the IRS if we don't buy insurance, and the specific amounts are in the bill. But there are no penalties if the insurance industry chooses to ignore, say, the provision that they have to cover children with pre-existing conditions. Which they have already done. [See Kaiser Health News, March 24]
In essence, Congress just voted to give the insurance industry the power to tax the population. This is another step in the privatization of all public functions.
See our last Exit Poll results.