Baucus, Grassley and Co. stand up for the plutocrats
Photo Courtesy of norcalblogs.com
This is utterly despicable. Apparently the grand, bipartisan bargain being worked out in the Senate Finance Committee includes neither a public option nor an employer mandate. However, the pieces favored by the drug, medical supply, and insurance industries--most importantly, subsidies to buy private insurance and the individual mandate--are included. And to top it all off, the bill includes a tax on benefits for generous health care plans, which is basically a smack in the face to organized labor. In essence, any ounce of progressivism has basically been squeezed from the bill, while the major industry players get everything they want. I wonder if it has anything to do with lobbying and campaign contributions from the health care industry?
I realize that there are a lot of different versions of health care reform floating around. The Senate Finance Committee is just one of many committees in the House and Senate which are working on reform plans. Nevertheless, the craven capitulation to business interests exhibited by the Finance Committee is so grotesque that I had to comment on it.
There could be a silver lining, however. Perhaps sickening examples of corruption such as this one will further convince the public that the piecemeal reform efforts currently being advanced in Washington are hopeless and that the only solution is single payer, universal medicare.