Saturday, August 20, 2016

While You Were Being Forced to Watch the Circus, Part about Ten Thousand

As the Republicans have again mesmerized the press into staring into the orange sun until they go blind, there are actually things going on in the country.  This is one of them.

A few days ago, Aetna announced that it was pulling out of Obamacare.  They claimed, and it was duly reported, that this was because they just couldn't make a profit following the dictatorial rules of mean old Mr. Obama.

We're still seeing that sort of reporting, but the reality turned out to be a little different.  In actuality, Aetna, whose CEO was, incidentally, paid over $27 million dollars last year, is doing what it is doing to punish Obama for not letting them merge with Humana, an act which would significantly reduce competitiveness among insurance companies, and in the end damage Americans' ability to afford health insurance.

Well, all this proves something that should need absolutely no proving: basing laws on the notion that rich people can be peacefully induced to consider the public good alongside their own enrichment is one of the stupidest ideas in the history of civilization.  $27 million a year is simply not a big enough reward for the brilliance and hard work of Aetna's CEO, and if ten million Americans have to be deprived of health insurance to make that point, well, too damned bad.

So, nice try with Obamacare, Barack, and it certainly produced some immense improvements in the health care of a lot of people, but in the end, what it proves is that we cannot trust our fates to the humanity of the rich. What is needed in this country is a single payer health care plan, like those in every other industrial democracy on earth, which could be easily provided here, simply by expanding Medicare to everyone. Yeah, it might crush the hell out of those insurance companies and their bosses' $27 million dollar salaries, but at the present point in our national evolution, what decent person would not see that as a feature, rather than a bug?

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