The extended sausage making saga that is the American health care “reform” process is teaching us valuable things about how our government works. Perhaps the most important lesson is that the predatory corporations that control our government feed on the complexity of government legislation. Simple laws provide little room for evasion and deceit, but bills that run to a thousand pages invite cheating, chiseling, ducking, dodging, and all manner of lawyer-enabled avoidance of the spirit of the law.
Although we do not know what form the final health care bill will take, we can be absolutely sure that it will be grotesquely complicated, because it has effectively been written by lobbyists. After the bill is passed, month after month we will see revelations of “legal” methods by which hospitals and insurance companies evade the intent of the health care reform by exploiting fine print and ambiguities in the legislation and administrative guidelines.
It didn’t have to be this way. But by electing a politician owned by the corporate establishment, we assured ourselves that Obama would generate a bumper crop of legislative complexity to fatten the profits of predatory corporations and the salaries of their lobbyists. This is the reason single payer was killed off immediately at the start of the health reform negotiations: it is too simple a system.
The proposed health care system will be a four-ring circus of private insurance, a government-run insurance plan, non-profit cooperatives, and Medicare/Medicaid. If anyone believes that this can be implemented efficiently and that the insurance companies will be any more responsible, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. Obama is giving the corporate predators exactly what they want, and he is packaging it as reform. This is a cruel deception, and it remains to see how many of the American people will be deceived.