Healthcare reform and the ongoing doltification of America
The center-right of USAmerican politics is at it again – trying to protect the interests of the plutocratic ruling class through the doltification of the public discourse. The primary mantra against any REAL reform of America's healthcare system, which would necessarily include some kind of public plan that does not depend on the profiteering that mars our current system, is that we need "COMPETITION" and that a public plan would undermine "COMPETITION" by competing the profiteering healthcare corporations out of existence. The center-right liars and/or dimwits (there are, of course, both, and it's not necessarily easy to tell which blow-dried helmet head falls into which category) insist that it's "COMPETITION" that made our current system "the best in the world" and that any strong non-profit option that undermines the profiteers will thereby threaten our "best in the world" system. Of course, we Americans do not have the best healthcare in the world. The World Health Organization lists us at number 36. In other words, somehow the "COMPETITION" the center-right wants to protect does not actually deliver high quality health care to society at large. (It can deliver high quality healthcare to the top 10% or so of the wealth-holders, but serving well 1 out of 10 does not equal a high quality system, as the miserable WHO ranking shows.)
But the real point is that the "COMPETITION" among the profiteers the center-right wants to defend is not competition to provide better health care to more people. (That needs to be said over and over and over: it is NOT competition to provide better healthcare to more people.) The "COMPETITION" they engage in is competition to increase their profits so that their shareholders get a higher return on investment. That is the "COMPETITION" of the "FREE MARKET." And when it comes to healthcare, that means insuring as few sick people as possible, never covering "pre-existing conditions," and finding creative ways to dump insured people who actually need to use the insurance they've been paying for. In other words, the "COMPETITION" among the healthcare profiteers -- the "COMPETITION" championed by Republicans and centrist Democrats -- is competition to avoid providing the healthcare people pay for! That is why they cannot tolerate a non-profit healthcare option – because in order to "compete" the healthcare profiteers will actually have to make healthcare a priority, which will cut into profits, the generation of which is their sole reason for existing.
This is not to say that the Obama administration and the center-left Democrats have the key to a decent healthcare system. At best, that remains to be seen. But at least they are not proceeding by shrieking, misinforming scare tactics designed to protect the interests of those who already have the most power.