The River

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bought and paid for

by Jhoffa, commenting ont the Raw Story post "Video: Insurance lobby's secret plan to attack 'Sicko' and Michael Moore"

The smoking gun comes in at 3:37 in the second video.. He describes industry efforts on Capitol Hill to threaten Democrats (The same tactics could be used on anyone, really) with opposition come election time, even to the point of funding a contender, if they don't do as they're told.

Healthcare has grown completely out of proportion with any index you care to compare it to. GDP, inflation, income, you name it.. When you hear democrats or Republicans talking about more subsidies for healthcare, these are the guys who are getting that money. They offer nothing in return.

There was also an interesting expose recently (In The Atlantic, I believe) about the health care monopolies and doctors who open their own imaging centers, surgeries and other businesses and then refer patients to them needlessly.. They claim it is for legal protection, but it is quite obviously for the purpose of double, triple and more billing.

Drugs are another monopoly which is protected to the hilt, while the DOJ putzes around with such "anti-trust" nonsense like bids to provide IPhone service. Anything relating to the REAL monopolies in healthcare and Insurance is completely ignored.

Bad as it is, what you're seeing here is merely a symptom of an over arching problem - Corporate America has simply bought our system of government, lock, stock and barrel. They own both parties. Their money and influence virtually guarantees that nothing changes at the top, regardless of who you vote for.

This is why both parties, and the President himself, support a form of Mitt Romney Care. Basically, it forces 40+ million new "customers" into the clutches of the Healthcare/Insurance lobby. Since insurance is all about spreading risk (In a nutshell: It's a good idea to insure 4 or 5 librarians for every sky diver) the lobby is TERRIFIED that changing demographics and their own boundless greed will leave them holding the bag on an ever aging population, and the young and poor won't be there to help them pay for it.

Their answer is to force them into the fold and force them to bear the cost of insuring retiring boomers.

To anyone who responds that the answer to this problem is a "public option" to re-introduce market forces to the industry(s). The reply is: Perhaps that will help. But the outcome is far from certain!

What you don't want, and what the lobby will shoot for in a Hail Mary situation, is a "public option" that is so gamed and manipulated as to actually DRIVE PATRONS INTO PRIVATE INSURANCE, and actually work FOR THEM.. As opposed to against them and their profits.

Please note that even President Obama slipped up and admitted that, at the current rate, there will be money for (so called) entitlements, but nothing else.

In reality, there is PLENTY OF MONEY.. The "Nothing else" you hear them refer to is the American empire and soft colonialism. The cost of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would have alleviated this problem significantly.. But they don't want that. They want to make you pay these costs instead, and dump the surplus into the general fund to be spent on more empire.

There's no problem here that can't be solved. No wild equation that is impossible to work through. Both of our political parties would simply prefer to spend money hand over fist on their favored monopolies and the Empire than spend it on us.

They are bought and paid for. That is all there is to it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

California should pay its people in pot

By ‘Thomas Paine’
Online Journal Guest Writer

Jul 10, 2009, 00:21

California’s state finances have gone to pot, and that’s what it should use to pay its employees.

Right now the state is issuing IOUs to those who work for it. Sacramento says they are worth the paper they’re printed on, but most Californians know that’s true only if they are used to roll joints.

The state’s key available assets are in its farms and fields. . . . and in its prisons and legal system.

Medical marijuana is legal in California. Estimates put last year’s traffic in prescription-approved pot at around a billion dollars. If the state were properly organized to tax that and non-medical marijuana -- whose dollar volume is many times greater -- it might actually have enough money to pay its employees.

By legalizing marijuana, California could immediately free tens of thousands of prisoners at a savings of tens of millions of dollars. Those quick savings could be a down payment on the salaries of its employees (and cover the unemployment benefits that will be due prison builders and guards who will be laid off).

But they, in turn, could go to work GROWING marijuana. With its huge agricultural resources, California could immediately become the world hub of the legal marijuana trade. (Mendocino and other counties are already vying for this title).


Don't Ever Let nobody Drag Your Spirit Down -- Eric Bibb