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Posts tagged “health care

Defending the Corporate Option: Cynicism at its Lowest

The defense I’ve heard that most baffles my mind is that insurance companies can’t compete with a public option – as if now we’re supposed to give a shit about insurance companies!  When was the last time they gave a shit about us?!  Do you have any idea how much the CEO of United Health makes?  Did you know William McGuire’s exit compensation from UnitedHealth hovered somewhere in the area of $1billion, making it largest golden parachute in the history of corporate America?  And you paid for that.  You people who leap in to defend these corporate douchebags – you paid for that, you fucking idiots.  How did poor and middle class people warm up to the idea of wanting private insurance?  How could anyone actually want a corporate middle-man involved in medical issues that are already expensive to begin with?  At least with a public option, you wouldn’t pay an atrocious premium.  I bet that most of the people protesting the public option were not too crazy about the fact that they had to pay an insurance company outrageous dues every month, just on principle alone.  That is, before Rush Limbaugh opened his big fat stupid snout.  See, now they LOVE United Health!  Now the LOVE Aetna!   If all it took for you to take up the fight against your own self-interest were the words of professional spin doctors and propaganda paid for by corporate insurance execs, well, then you’re a weak-minded stooge. A simpleton, a patsy.  You’re a chump.

By the way, what else would you people defend if the opportunity arose?  Would you defend unemployment?  If Obama tomorrow decided that he wanted to give every poverty-class citizen in the South jobs related to building some massive public project – perhaps solar panels for everybody! – would you be against it?  On some “I dun WAN’  da Gubmint to gimme me a job, that’s COMMIE SOCIALISM!”, type shit.  As soon as Glenn Beck weighs in with his retarded-ass opinion, will the response from you mindless sheep sound more like, “I AM A FREE AMERICAN, YOU CAN’T FORCE ME TO WORK IN YOUR CONCENTRATION DEATH CAMPS, YOU NAZI COMMUNIST!!!”

All this talk about death camps, Nazis, and death panels is ignorant bullshit.  When my grandmother died, we were the death panel.  You see, doctors didn’t decide that she should no longer be artificially kept alive.  We did.   We decided it was better to let her die naturally than to prolong her suffering through artificial means.  You see, the public option has nothing to do with death panels.  That term was a cynical term coined by Sarah Palin to discredit the idea of a public option.  She had an ideological bend she had to defend, a party to rebuild, and corporate donors who needed their backs scratched.  I also have an ideological bend, although mine skews away from capitalist excess – the idea that the bottom line trumps life.  I believe decisions about life and death should be made by doctors and family, not any corporate or government entity.  My ideological bend also extends towards an adherence to the facts – and the fact is that the public option has nothing to do with what you or your doctors talk about.  It simply does not.  But if you so angry about that perceived intrusion, where is your anger towards a corporation that would deny you treatment for leukemia because you’re too expensive?  I say to you, your insurance companies already have death panels! They decide based on the bottom line whether you live or die, and they do it every day, to pay for their bloated salaries!  How fucking cynical, that the corporate opponents of health reform were able to project their sins unto the government.  How stupid of you, those of you within the American public, who believe them.

How can anybody be against the Public Option?

Finally – the White House stepping up to the bullshit –

Nowadays I’m wondering to myself, “if they hate the public option so much, the loud, obnoxious geezers protesting public health insurance better not be on Medicare”.  If these astroturf imbeciles suffer a heart attack on the way to a town hall rally to disrupt the talks with their ignorant psychobabble-onian bullshit, they really better just lie there and die.

I’m bout to drop a little knowledge that might – or might not – come as a shock to the ignorant fucks protesting health care reform.  In fact, let me put this in its own paragraph just so the idiots amongst us can really get the picture:


Medicare is less expensive than private insurance and provides better coverage, only it does it for old people.  Which brings me to my next point:



Most people on Medicare seem to be happy with it.   I really do not see a downside to expanding it to apply to all Americans.  Especially considering that…


The reforms would prohibit private insurance companies from rationing health care, or denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.  In other words…


And one more thing:


Why is it wrong that a majority of Americans would prefer to cut the middleman out and take control of our own health care?  How can conservatives concerned about waste oppose this?  These are the fundamental question at the heart of health care reform.  Forget about Obama trying to kill your grandma; it’s bullshit.  “Death panels” are bullshit.   Forget about the buzz words.  Forget about the loud, obnoxious cuss words from cantankerous bloggers and the old farts who are sabotaging the discourse over a public option that many of them are already beneficiaries of.

The Republican party opposes this plan simply as a political move.  They know Medicare works, so they know better than to mouth off with all that “death panel wants to kill your grandma” bullshit.  Their lies are blatant.  What they want is to weaken Obama.  It’s not even a conspiracy; it’s on the public record.  A congressman was even quoted as saying so.  But if I wrote a blog about that, it would only encourage the Republicans among us to fight the public option even more.  See, they’re not the most mature bunch; they would protest a plan that works in their own best interest just to see Obama fail.  It’s snot-nosed child shit.  But maybe, if I appeal to reason, they might come around on this.  Or not.  To tell you the truth, I’m not really banking on the dumb fucks.  I’ve come to accept that logic really does not work on them, or it would have succeeded a long time ago.  They are eternally the foot soldiers of the corporations, never really knowing who or what they’re working for, never knowing that they’re working against their own interests.  They’re lost.

But to the rest of you, maybe you’re on the fence about the public option.  You’re smart, but maybe you don’t have all the facts.   I hope you take a better look.  Google this shit.  Don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh.  You will find no death panels, no government take over of health care, and no conspiracy to kill old people (seriously…what the fuck?).  What you will find is Medicare for all.  A public option, belonging to you and me.  At the end of the day, what corporate interests in the insurance industry are trying to do is prevent us from having their own say in health insurance.   It’s no different than if I gathered a group of 10 people and told everyone to chip in so we could pay our own insurance.  I do not see how that has become a bad thing.  It’s the only option that empowers us to pool our resources so that we can cover our own asses – like our grandparents already do under Medicare.  These cynical fucks talk about choice, but insurance companies don’t want us to have that choice.  I say, fuck em.  You know what to do.

The Conservative Church

There exist a few kinds of conservative in the United States.  First and foremost, it should be noted that the first group I’m going to mention don’t consider themselves conservative at all; instead, they consider themselves true liberals.  These are the libertarians.   Social freedom, as well as economic freedom are the main tenets of their ideology.  They claim to be the ideological heirs of the Age of Enlightenment, and as such many (but by no means all) libertarians, men such as Penn Jillette and Christopher Hitchens, consider themselves hardened realists (i.e., atheists) and even more hardened believers in the free market.   The first tenet seems to be optional; indeed while many libertarians are free thinkers, skeptics, and men of science and reason, many others also happen to be religious.  The second tenet, that of economic freedom, however, seems to be a must for anyone who labels themselves a libertarian.   You see, that’s because to libertarians, free people are almost absolutely free.  It means as few laws as possible, both in our social lives and our economy; no distinction is made between society and economics.

Which brings me to the second group of conservatives, the ones we all know as Republicans.  They’re libertarians with a twist: they also happen to be deeply religious and comfortable with establishing rules that govern your private life.  They tend to appeal to religious sensibilities.  What they do retain from libertarian philosophy is a rabid dedication to fiscal conservatism which, I hope I don’t have to explain, is really another name for free market capitalism.  Remember, libertarians really stress the “free” in free market.  In the economic sense at least, Republicans are very liberal.   In fact, they’re sometimes considered “neoliberals”.  This is why Bush wasn’t really lying when he said he wanted to promote “freedom” in the Middle East; by freedom he didn’t mean freedom from the bonds and shackles of their royal overlords – such as those who rule over our ally Saudi Arabia – rather the freedom of corporations to do business however they see fit, free from laws and regulations, unaccountable to the people.   Of course, they had many of us believing the former, stressing the latter very little, if at all.  That’s because if the people were really told about our true intentions in Iraq, nobody would go for it.  And that’s because I believe that at the end of the day we really are an altruistic people; we were told we went in to “free” the people of Iraq (OK, so it was after we were told that we went in to eliminate nuclear weapons and that Saddam and Bin Laden were butt-buddies).   That’s why Republicans need religion; I believe that if people were told the truth about who profits from free market capitalism and who gets the shit end of the shit stick, none of their ideas would ever fly with the American people.   Why else do you think they have to lie to you?  You know something is wrong when millions of corporate dollars are funneled into free market think tanks to promote an economic system that goes against both your own economic interests and your very human sense of altruism.  And, somehow, it’s working.  A large, overwhelming chunk of Republicans are people of faith, and yet they believe in an economic philosophy that finds itself at odds with the altruistic principles of their faith.   Christianity is utterly incompatible with a capitalist worldview…but Republicans somehow make it work.  Some do so by shortchanging the Christianity.  Once again, it’s telling that when it comes down to your social values vs. your economic values, some go with the money.  Mike Huckabee, on the other hand, seems like a good man; if I ever meet him I’m going to ask him how he reconciles these two opposing ideas.  With apologies to Huckabee, I believe many Republicans posing as Christians would do better to ditch their religion and embrace their greed; at least then they wouldn’t be hypocrites.  Their adherence to moral religious principles tends to be little more than a veil.  Real libertarians adhere to principles of social freedom, which if followed means having no sexual hang ups or hatred for homosexuals; in this country, Republicans constantly demonize gays only to be themselves discovered hiding in the closet…along with many other skeletons.

According to Ayn Rand, the core of her libertarian principles is called “ethical egoism”.  I prefer to call it “egotism” myself.  To put it bluntly, it’s about selfishness and greed, living for self and nobody else.  An economist by the name of Milton Friedman would go on to elevate this human trait into something wonderful – kinda like how an Aztec priest by the name of Tlacaelel elevated the bloodthirsty practice of human sacrifice into something good, even necessary, for the survival of the world.  Greed all of a sudden became something good, an engine for running a fair and just system.  The irony of the libertarians is that for people who prize reason, they cling to the irrational belief in an invisible hand that guides the economic world, and that if people just let it be that everything would fall harmoniously into place and everybody would be rich and prosperous and well fed and free.  Except that’s not what happens under a free market economy.  If you want to see what an economy free from restrictions looks like, look at Iraq.

In this country, neither the Democratic party nor the Republican party represent pure libertarianism, but when asked to choose between the party that (supposedly) promotes social justice (Democrats) and those that promote laizzez faire capitalism (Republicans), money seems to be the deciding factor – most libertarians go with the guy promising less taxes instead of the guy promising gay rights, legalization of marijuana…except that Democrats don’t do that, either.   And here I always though that “Blue Dog” Democrats were more in line with libertarian principles than Republicans.

Which finally brings me to the “conservative church”, the third type of conservative.  I respect libertarians because they are open to reason; I respect real Republicans because they are altruistic people.  I can find common ground with either of them.  If I can make a good case for promoting a more fair economy, I might be able to debate a libertarian.  If I can appeal to a Republican’s religious sense of kindness and charity, I can see eye to eye with them.  What I can’t do is talk to anybody who is a member of the conservative church.  These people are the fundamentalist of their “religion” – and believe me, it really is a religion.  They combine the most exaggerated and worst aspects of both of the aforementioned philosophies – the greed and self-centered philosophy of the libertarians, and the rabid religious fervor of the worst Republican Christians; in fact, they ARE the worst Republicans.   Gone is the reason of a libertarian like James Randi; gone, the compassion of a Christian like Mike Huckabee.  In their place, the ignorant, jingoistic, racist, and most vile members of the human species.   I call it a church, because they are dogmatic in their beliefs, closed to all appeals to reason and logic; you can not win a debate with a fundamentalist in this church.  The following are just a sample of their latest beliefs:  Obama was actually born in Kenya; Obama is a socialist; health care reform is about building death panels for you grandma.  Their greatest hits: Obama is a Muslim; Obama is the Anti-Christ; John Kerry was a coward, gays will burn in Hell; Mexicans should go back where they came from; Saddam has WMDs; Saddam planned 9/11; evolution is “just a theory”.  Their clergy are the fat, loud, obnoxious hypocrites on Fox News and just about all of talk radio; their pope is Rush Limbaugh.  Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingram are the unholy trinity, each a grotesque inversion of the holy Virgin Mary (though it should be noted that I don’t consider any of them their equivalent of the Virgin Mary; that role belongs to Ronald Reagan).  Their clergy preach from on high to an audience of stupid, unquestioning hillbillies who go on to do stupid shit like disrupting town hall meetings, hanging congressmen in effigy, or shooting abortion doctors.

In recent days, members of the Conservative Church have become increasingly visible.  It’s no surprise; haven’t you heard that we recently elected the Anti-Christ?  For months people had been talking about the death of the Republican party.  What they should have been talking about was the renaissance of stupid.  The Conservative Church never died; it got angrier and mobilized, fueled by corporate dollars and by think tanks that they don’t even know exist.  They don’t know about the Cato Institute and that they’re funded by the richest corporations to promote an economic system that rips them off; all they know are the ads and the literature they put out (Not that they read the literature themselves; Fox News does all their reading for them).   They don’t know that beneficiaries of the largest health and pharmaceutical companies are funding Recess Rally; all they know is that Obama is a socialist who wants to kill your grandmother.  In short, Bill Maher is absolutely right.

I’ve just dedicated a massive amount of text to conservatives, now a word to the rest of you.  To those of you who believe in social and economic justice – make no apologies for it.  You have the moral high ground against the vicious fundamentalists of the Conservative Church.  You also have the facts on your side, so that no amount of Faux News propaganda can sway your judgment.  You are the reasoned intellectuals of the Enlightenment and the compassionate followers of God.  You are progressives.