Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Defeat in Victory: the Democrats' Health Care Bill

by Shamus Cooke

What looks like a big victory for Obama and the Democrats may be their greatest undoing. It’s true that the passage of Obama’s health care bill represents a significant political victory for the Democrats. But sometimes a battle won could equal a lost war.

It’s telling that Obama had so much trouble in getting his own party to pass the bill on a simple majority basis: the bill was so blatantly watered down with the corporate hose that anyone with their name attached to it feared future electoral doom.

This kept the Democrat’s left wing — the so-called progressive wing — from initially giving their seal of approval. It must be remembered that some of the left Democrats initially claimed support for single payer health care. After being scolded by the Party leadership that this demand was “off the table,” the lefts moved to the right and demanded a “strong public option.”

The public option grew weaker and weaker as the health care bill evolved. The left Democrats pinned all their hopes on it; they ignored the rest of the health care bill, which slashed Medicare and taxed the “Cadillac” health care plans of union workers, all in the hopes that a miniscule public option would give the lefts some political cover.

It wasn’t meant to be. The final health care vision is the brainchild of the monopoly corporations who dominate health care in America. Their power will remain untouched. Indeed, it will only grow.

Dennis Kucinich, the most “radical” of the progressive Democrats, waited until the last round before he threw in the towel to the health care industry. His capitulation is especially symbolic, as many progressive activists around the country remained in the Democratic Party solely because he was there. His inglorious surrender signals what many progressives already knew: the Democrats are a corporate dominated party, where liberal ideas are tolerated so long as they have no actual effect on policy.

Full Article

No comments:

Post a Comment