I can’t remember the last time something was such a huge story – and at the same time such a non-story. There are a couple of great reasons you can simply ignore all of the hoopla around the health care debate – unless you are a CEO wielding a lot of financial power, or similarly positioned.
First of all, this pie isn’t done yet. After all the good stuff is gutted from the Senate version of the bill (so we can get 60 votes to close debate) the party is still only starting. Next up – the House and Senate versions go to committee for reconciliation. The two versions which are now very different, have to be combined into one for the President to sign. There are going to be a lot of changes. Then, the revised bill has to be voted on again. Then the President signs it and we have a law. So, what will the final law look like? Who knows, but one thing is for sure, it won’t be written to help you or me, for the following reason….
The fix is in. By this I don’t necessarily mean that the content of the final bill is decided – no, it is actually a lot more depressing than that. The fix is in because our congress is bought and paid for. It takes millions of dollars to get elected to congress. Most politicians get their campaign funds, either directly or indirectly, from large corporations.
This makes them wary of doing anything that will upset said corporations, regardless of how it affects the country or their constituents. You may thing I am cynical, but it only takes a little number crunching to see what is really going on inside the beltway. Nate Silver, over at fivethirtyeight.com recently published a very interesting table charting which way congress members would vote on health care, bounced off of campaign contributions from the health insurance industry.
Huge surprise! Those members that get the most money from health insurance companies are more likely to scuttle reform. There could not be a clearer demonstration of the way our government actually works.
Something will most likely be passed, either in December 2009, or early 2010 – but it won’t really be written by congressional committees – no, it will be written by health insurance company lobbyists. So, what can you do about this? Not a lot. You can write and call your congressman and Senator. But they know where their bread is buttered.
My own guess is that nothing substantial will happen until about one third of everybody’s income is taken up by health care costs. The pain has to be truly unbearable to get most Americans up off of their cans to do something. And what we will do is to throw the bums out. Then, and only then will it be fixed. Of course unless there is a huge reform of campaign financing the same thing will simply happen again, with some other issue.
In the meantime rest assured that while you are wondering how the heck you are going to make an 800.00 per month premium payment, your congressman and Senator and their families are getting the best health care on the planet – paid for by you. All of the executives at the health insurance companies and their loved ones have nothing to worry about. After all, you are paying their premiums as well, in addition to huge bloated compensation packages.
So just sit back and watch the show if you like. There is nothing you or I can do about it anyway. Just remember that a show is all it is, put on for your benefit. They don’t really have to do anything to help us, or fix the problem – they simply need to make it look like they are.
Source by Timothy Jenkins