(The following essay was posted here at about 3 a.m. on the morning of 25 May. Shortly afterward, it was mysteriously disappeared by an unknown perpetrator or perpetrators using some process that remains unidentified despite the ongoing efforts of the highly skilled and superbly helpful TypePad tech-support people. My thanks to them for their expertise and perseverance, and my assurance to readers that OAN and I remain very much alive.)
THE BIG LIE of the so-called “Affordable Care Act” – an Orwellian name if ever there was one – is already obvious in its prohibitive co-pays.
Moreover – as if there were any remaining doubts – the death of any rational hope for achieving single-payer/public option health insurance in Vermont underscores what was obviously one of the key purposes behind Obama the Orator's shape-shift to Barack the Betrayer. ACA – “Obamacare” as it is ironically labeled – cares only for ensuring insurance-company profiteering.
Yes, as Vermonters have learned to their embitterment, ACA methodically perpetuates the deliberately genocidal U.S. policy of health care as a privilege of wealth.
And it does so with typical Madison Avenue cunning. In the eyes of those fortunate folks who are neither Obamacare's victims nor its supplicants, it creates the illusion of an actual national health care system. It thereby silences that global chorus of humanitarian critics who were rightfully damning the United States as the only industrial nation on earth which refuses to accept that health care is a basic human right.
Said one U.S. physician in a 2012 protest-letter to The Wall Street Journal: “(ACA) will not achieve universal coverage, as it leaves at least 26 million individuals uninsured. It will not make health care affordable to Americans with insurance because of high co-pays and gaps in coverage that leave patients vulnerable to financial ruin in the event of serious illness, and it will not control costs...It denies care in order to increase insurers' bottom line, and it obstructs any serious effort to control costs.”
The law – or rather the absence of humanitarian reform the law locks into place – is also driving an unknown number of U.S. doctors to seek professional asylum elsewhere.
A physician recruiter quoted by The Star, the newspaper of Windsor, Ont., says that over the past decade at least 105 U.S. doctors have relocated to that city alone.
One of these soon-to-be exiles is Dr. Emily Queenan MD, a family physician in upstate New York. She is moving to Canada because, as she put it in an Evidence Network piece republished by Truthout, “I'm tired of doing daily battle with the same adversary that my patients face – the private health insurance industry, with its frequent errors in processing claims (the American Medical Association reports that one of every 14 claims submitted to commercial insurers are paid incorrectly); outright denials of payment (about one to five percent); and costly paperwork that consumes about 16 percent of physicians' working time, according to a recent journal study.”
“I've also witnessed the painful and continual shifting of medical costs onto my patients' shoulders through rising co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses,” wrote Dr. Queenan. “According to a survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, 66 million – 36 percent of Americans — reported delaying or forgoing needed medical care in 2014 due to cost.”
As I cannot say too often, such is life – and death – under capitalism. For what is capitalism but infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue? What is capitalism but the malicious rejection of every humanitarian precept our species ever set forth? Just ask the late Ayn Rand, whose fictionalization of Hitler's Mein Kampf polls as second only to The Bible as the most influential book in the United States.
Given that background – given my horror at the Moron Nation to which my homeland has been reduced – I suppose my response to the Truthout piece was in a sense predictable. But several others made supportive comments. Hence I reproduce it here in totality:
I commend Dr. Queenan for her courageous decision to embrace civilization by moving to a nation not ruled by Ayn Rand savagery. May she, her family and her future patients all thrive.
That said, her naive belief "the U.S. will get there some day" is a classic example of the futility of hope.
The ultimate fate of any and all efforts to achieve single-payer/public-option health insurance in the U.S. is proven beyond dispute by the (Democrat) gubernatorial treachery that killed – forever – the apparently successful grassroots effort to create such a system in Vermont.
Indeed the lesson of the Vermont debacle sends a terminal message to health insurance reformers everywhere in the U.S.: don't bother trying for single-payer/public-option because even your best most diligent efforts will be defeated in the end by political betrayal.
And so it shall remain until the oligarchy is overthrown or our species renders itself extinct, whichever comes first.
Another poster noted that “Vermont activists haven't given up on seeking Single-Payer.”
True – but only in that some people will never acknowledge the U.S. experiment in representative democracy has failed (or, rather, has been murdered), and that these same people will always continue banging their heads against the proverbial stone wall.
As long as the One Percent owns and rules the U.S. political system – that is, for how ever much longer the United States exists – a public-option/single-payer system will never be allowed.
To imagine otherwise is to ignore the primary purpose of Obama the Orator's shape-shift into Barack the Betrayer: to prohibit socialism (especially including socialized medicine), and thereby ensure the neo-Nazi savagery of Ayn Rand capitalism is forever. All this, of course, with the additional cover provided by the Republicans accusing the president of being a "socialist."
Such is the diabolical methodology of de facto one-party rule.
In which context note that Obamacare cunningly prohibits the states from initiating public-option/single payer insurance – which would have killed it in Vermont even without the (Democrat) governor's service to his One Percent masters.
The tragic failure of the U.S. Left to understand realpolitik – specifically to acknowledge the extent to which we have already been subjugated and enslaved – defines this Left as being as much a part of Moron Nation as the Right.
Until we admit the magnitude of our powerlessness, we will remain unable to evolve an effective response to it. Which – particularly given the extinction of our species made inevitable by the combination of terminal climate change and the looming thermonuclear war with Russia -- relegates such hope to the realm of nonsense.
Sorry, but that's just the way it is. The hydrogen bomb trumps everything, and even without that, if you understood the true magnitude of the climate-change disaster (even now at its alleged "beginning"), you'd recognize Nature has clearly decided our species is unworthy of survival.
Later, in response to multiple posts, I wrote:
I had not meant to trigger an extended discussion, but it appears I have done just that. Hence this reply is to Ted, PGreen and whomever else might choose to to join in.
Admittedly I write and speak from the cynical perspective of one who has been an activist/journalist (or a journalist/activist) since my late teens in the 1950s.
During the subsequent 58 years, I have witnessed the defeat of every cause to which I committed time, energy, a brief stay in jail, some bloodshed and a helluva lot of suffering and deprivation. These causes include organized labor (the American Newspaper Guild AFL/CIO); post-Sputnik education reform; the Civil Rights Movement (Knox County Jail, 1963); the anti-Vietnam War Movement; the Back-to-the-Land Movement; the alternative press; the creation of an anti-capitalist Counterculture, and of course the associated defenses of the Bill of Rights.
Every one of these causes has failed. Given the time-span involved – I say again 58 years – these failures cannot be dismissed as short-term or temporary phenomena.
Each failure is in fact symptomatic of the relentless destruction of U.S. liberty begun by the One Percent in response to the close proximity of Communist revolution that evolved during the 1930s. The retaliatory purge – and that is precisely what it is – began literally the day World War II ended and continues even now.
Ideologically speaking, the abject failure of the U.S. Left to combat this aggression is rooted in its rejection of the historical truth of class warfare. Thus it has blinded itself to the nature and lineage of capitalism.
But what marks the U.S. Left as part of Moron Nation is actually a triple failure.
The first failure is failure to understand that capitalism is literally infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue – precisely as Ayn Rand states in her fictionalizations of Mein Kampf. the deliberate rejection of every humanitarian precept our species has ever set forth.
Failure number two is refusal to recognize that capitalism is the direct descendant both of patriarchy and patriarchal religion. It is therefore the immediate, innately misogynistic ancestor of both fascism and Nazism. In other words, Nazism (whether in its misogynistic anti-Jewish German form or in its misogynistic Christian/exceptionalist U.S. form), is the ultimate form of capitalism. Its savagery is therefore as inevitable as the death of a corn crop after a hard freeze.
In the past, the ostensibly Marxian domains of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Peoples' Republic of China offered enough competition to capitalism, the U.S. One Percent was forced to ameliorate capitalism's most obvious savageries. Now, with the Soviet Union dead and China co-opted by Wall Street, there is no such strategic or even tactical need. Hence capitalism now openly displays its tyrannosauric nature.
Failure number three is the U.S. Left's refusal to recognize the ONLY reason the One Percent yielded to the humanitarian demands of labor, the Republican Progressives and finally the Democrats' New Deal was the One Percenters' abject terror of Communist revolution. (Note that The Communist Manifesto, which from the perspective of the capitalists is the most dangerous document in our species' history, dates from 1848.)
What all this means in terms of any present-day prospects for humanitarian change is that there are none.
History shows us such change has four prerequisites. These are (1)-ideological solidarity; (2)-leadership and organization; (3)-mastery of extant technologies military and civilian; and (4)-the aid, overt, clandestine or both, of a major foreign power.
None of the first three prerequisites exist in the United States today. Our society has been deliberately dumbed down or "moronated" into Moron Nation precisely to rob us, forever, of the requisite intellectual skills and psychological reflexes. Meanwhile the moronation of other realms (which includes the radical Islamization of the Middle East), continues apace.
And with the death of the U.S.S.R. and the co-optation of China, there is no longer any source of revolutionary outside agitation or support or even any effective antidote to capitalist depredation.
Nor will there ever be again. The U.S. will literally destroy the world before it allows any rival nation – with or without a rival ideology – to emerge.
Couple that with the already ruinous apocalypse inflicted by what should properly be labeled "terminal climate change" – for that is exactly what it is – and you have then begun to arrive at a realistic assessment of our present circumstances: literally the darkest, most hopeless epoch in our species' 200,000-year history.
However, this does not mean we should give up. It merely means we should recognize that surely the notion of revolution by a dying species on a dying planet is the ultimate cosmic joke. We should therefore give up the grandiose in exchange for doing the best we can, locally, to better peoples' lives.
(Even at a physically disabled age 75, I still manage to serve my community by producing an informationally vital monthly newsletter and, as its editor, sometimes functioning as an unofficial ombudsman.)
But to attempt anything on any greater scale is merely to court despair.
Though I cling, perhaps foolishly, to the belief that if we can strip off the Norman Vincent Peale blinders with which the One Percent has shackled us – that is, if we can acknowledge the extent to which we have been defeated and conquered – we might yet evolve an effective response.
However, until then we are at best doing nothing more than dancing a 21st Century version of the Ghost Dance.
Meanwhile the same administration that promised us "change we can believe in" now assures us U.S. aggression in Ukraine will not require nuclear weapons.
LB/17-24 May 2015