Sunday, July 8, 2012

"How The Owners Of A Society Play With Their Property" by William Blum

The Supreme Court of the United States has just upheld the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Liberals as well as many progressives are very pleased, regarding this as a victory for the left.

Under the new law, people can benefit in one way or another depending on the following factors:

Their age; whether their income is at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level; whether their parents have a health plan; whether they use tobacco; what state they live in; whether they have a pre-existing medical condition; whether they qualify to buy health insurance through newly-created market places known as "exchanges"; and numerous other criteria ... They can obtain medical insurance in a "competitive insurance market" (emphasis on the "competitive"); they can perhaps qualify for various other kinds of credits and tax relief if they meet certain criteria ... The authors of the Act state that it will save thousands of dollars in drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries by closing a coverage gap called the "donut hole" ... They tell us that "It keeps insurance companies honest by setting clear rules that rein in the worst insurance industry abuses."

That's a sample of how health care looks in the United States of America in the 21st century, with a complexity that will keep a small army of lawyers busy for years to come. Ninety miles away, in the Republic of Cuba, it looks a bit different. If you feel sick you go to a doctor. You're automatically qualified to receive any medical care that's available and thought to be suitable. The doctor treats you to the best of his or her ability. The insurance companies play no role. There are no insurance companies. You don't pay anything. You go home.

The Affordable Care Act will undoubtedly serve as a disincentive to the movement for single-payer national health insurance, setting the movement back for years. The Affordable Care Act was undoubtedly designed for that purpose.

This article originally appeared in The Anti-Empire Report on 3 July 2012.  William Blum is the author of several books, including Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.

1 comment:

  1. I like to call the Affordable Care Act by its true name (it will not make care affordable--in fact, I suspect the opposite will occur and healthcare costs will continue to spiral upwards): The Insurance Company Preservation Act of 2010.

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