With the Public Option Dead, the True Leaders of the Country are Revealed

With the great debate about health care currently the talking point all across the country, it almost looked like we might end up with a Public Option and that a meaningful change to the way our health care system is run might occur.

That is until a few days ago when it was announced in the Senate that the public option had effectively been killed. President Obama has approved the new plan, stating that it will be a historic achievement.

Of course, the details of this plan are actually being kept secret, but it has been suggested that it will allow people to buy into Medicare Early, as well as setting up a not for profit private insurance plan that is administered by the government.

There are a number of problems with this, but in the end, it simply reinforces how much control private industry has over our senators and how our democracy is truly a farce.

Where's the Transparency?

More and more, politicians seem to be convinced that Americans not only shouldn't be allowed to hear how our laws are made, but, because they probably wouldn't agree with the direction the law is going, should not be told about them until it is too late. This seems to be at odds with the core principals our country was founded on, but is none-the-less how health care reform is being decided.

Unfortunately, by holding the debates for health care in secret, you are of course prohibiting the average citizen from having any sort of say in how the event is decided. This slap in the face to democracy only goes so far, however, as lobbyists from the major insurance companies are still able to push their agenda.

So in the end, who are they really keeping the details of the bill from? It is certainly not private from the lobbyists, but it certainly is from your or I.

While this relates to the heathcare debate, which is being decided behind closed doors, it also extends to other areas. For example, when asked to disclose information about ATCA, which is the Anti-Counterfeiting-Treaty that is deciding the fate of Internet Privacy behind closed doors, the Obama administration refused the plea for transparency, borrowing a move from the Bush Play-book and citing "National Security." Eve though ACTA is an entirely different demon, the arguments to keep the decision making process secret is simply a sign of the times.

The Big Insurance Company Bailout

Of course, while the lack of transparency is incredibly alarming, it is not the biggest issue. Ultimately, after the bill is decided and all of the little perks have been doled out, we will get some token time to debate it. Hopefully the few stand up politicians like Kuccinich and Paul will help expose it for what it is, so at least there is some chance for us to be heard, even if this voice is simply there to present the illusion of democracy.

The much more pervasive problem, however, is that the direction they are going in does not do anything to address the main problems with our health care system, which is that for profit health care simply does not work. Instead, the plan is simply to make a few token changes to how the industry is run, allow some of the boomers to join Medicare earlier, and then force everyone else to purchase a private insurance plan, quite literally funneling money into private insurance.

Whats Wrong with for Profit Health Care?

But, you say, "this is America, home of the brave, free, and capitalistic. If we don't have for profit health care, it will kill innovation. Our quality of care will suffer."

In a perfect world this might be true and in certain industries it certainly is. However, when you have a highly regulated industry, with large barriers to entry, you end up with a monopoly.

This can be seen time and time again, with the Telecommunication Industry being an excellent example, as AT&T was broken up for being a monopoly in the eighties, only to become a monopoly again 20 years later. There is no real choice, only the illusion of choice, and in this manner, capitalism fails.

However, the monopolistic aspects of the heath insurance industry is only part of the problem, perhaps not even the biggest part. Instead, it is simply that at the end of the day, the insurance company fully intends to make a profit off of your well being, which means denying as many claims as possible. They may be a care provider, but ultimately their goal is to make a killing.

So what happens when greed comes into the picture? You end up with people being told they are simply going to have to die because they have a preexisting condition. You end up with people being literally bankrupted because of medical costs, loosing their home because they could not afford care. This does not happen in any civilized country, yet happens in America Everyday and until we address the greed and lust for power of corporate interests, we, the average American, will never win.

But they are getting rid of bans for preexisting conditions!

While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it does not even begin to address the real problems with the health care industry. Health care should not be a privilege, but a right and simply forcing all of the people who can't afford health care as it is to buy a plan only serves to funnel money right back into the insurance industries.

Rather than doling out health care to only those who can afford it, we need to take a hint from the rest of the world and care for our sick. Help those who cannot help themselves and provide support for those who need it.

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