Healthcare — Obama or Elliot Ness?

Now that the Health Care Reform Law has been passed Lightning Rod feels healthier already. Healthier but not cured.

Yes, the Obama reforms have instituted a modicum of control over the most egregious practices of the insurance mobsters. It’s a bit like saying to the mob, yes, you can still run your dope and prostitution and extortion rackets, but you can’t use brass knuckles or tommy guns anymore. The old rotten game is still in place, and the insurance mobsters are still running it. We need Elliot Ness.

The only sensible solution is for the government to run the insurance racket the same way that it has taken over the numbers game and bootlegging and now we have state lotteries and regulated/taxed alcohol. We need a single-payer system because it is the best way to affordably achieve the American ideal of Universal Health Care. It eliminates the greedy middle men, the mobsters who currently rake it in at the expense of the commonweal. These mobsters have deep pockets in their tailored suits and they can afford armies of lobbyists and propagandists. They want to call any system that doesn’t include them ‘socialism.’

Americans really like socialism, but some of them are allergic to the WORD socialism. It’s a name that they call people who they want to slander. They consider it worse to be a socialist than to be a gangster or a common thief. As a propagandist in America, if you want to really give a black eye to your opponent, just hang the word ‘socialist’ on their agenda.

It is hard for The Poet’s Eye to determine if those who are rabidly averse to socialism are mean-spirited, brainwashed or just plain stupid. These people, are vividly represented by the Teabagger zealots who clammer for smaller government even if that means that they themselves will be prey for profiteers and economic gangsters. But if somebody in Nebraska sneezes and a right-wing cable TV demagogue thinks they said ‘Socialism’, the whole lunatic fringe of the misinformed catches pneumonia and it causes them to make choices that are contrary to their own best interests. These poor ignorant souls are still living somewhere in the 1950’s when they were raised to believe in the bogey-man of communism, and socialism is perceived as the gateway drug which leads directly to vile addiction and the bondage of the Gulag-State.

This is nonsense of course, but I guess if you are provincial as a cabin in Alaska and you get your ‘information’ from Glenn Beck (who is working for Rupert Murdoch), you might be confounded into thinking that socialism is evil incarnate even as you open your Social Security check or take the pill payed for by Medicare.

Communism and Christianity, they’ve both gotten a bad rap. Both are basically good ideas, the same idea really, in whose name many terrible, wicked and expedient things have been done. That idea is summarized in the phrases ‘Love (and care for) thy neighbor as thyself.’ and ”From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’ They are ideals that we will never see in pure practice because we are humans made of flesh and not angels made of pure ideas. We’ve never seen a pure Christian since Jaysus hisownself and we have never seen a true communist society, only a bunch of dictatorships and oligarchies and gangster states trying to hide in the costume of communism. Human nature won’t allow perfection because perfection can’t be improved upon and our survival as a species has always depended on our ability to change, to be imperfect replicas of our ancestors, only better.

The unmovable fact is that health care costs in our country and in all industrial societies are going to go nowhere but up because of aging populations and extended life expectancy. It’s simple mathematics. The question becomes How will we deal with this problem as a society? Will our compassion be demonstrated or will it be our fears and greed? Will we just let the ‘free market’ decide, let the strong survive and the stragglers get picked off by the predators? If you get sick or lamed, you’re dead meat. That’s the purely capitalistic way things work in nature. That’s the way we have done things throughout human history until only recently. In the time during which our Constitution was written, a small-pox vaccination was only available to the elite. It was certainly not seen as a human right. Our idea of what constitutes a human right changes. We are human after all, change is our game.

Countries with Universal mandated health care like Great Britain and Canada who have single payer systems and countries like Germany, France and Taiwan who have public-private systems managed by the government spend well under ten percent of GDP on healthcare and everyone is covered while in America where we let the ‘free market’ (read insurance industry) determine costs and coverage we spend what is approaching 20 percent and still everyone isn’t covered by the system. Why is it so hard to either notice or admit that the reason our costs are twice those of a government run system is because there is a parasite included in ours called the insurance racket.

The insurance racketeers have spared no expense trying to con the gullible into thinking that government-run healthcare is intrusive and will cost too much and is somehow un-American. It’s not hard to understand why they have spent millions per day in propaganda to mischaracterize both the present system and any possible reformed system. They don’t want change; they don’t want to lose their gravy train. They want to keep running the game and reaping shameless profits by manipulating the fear and ignorance of those people who should be enjoying the benefit of a sane and equitable health care system. We hear this nonsensical slogan repeated again and again by the insurance gang and their minions in media and government that Americans don’t want bureaucrats ‘getting in between patients and their doctors.’ The reason that they are intent on spreading this type of newspeak rubbish is because THEY want to be the ones in between you and your doctors and your money.

While The Poet’s Eye enjoys seeing the progress made by the Obama reforms, it also sees the stinking sore that still oozes under the band-aid. Obama is not Elliot Ness in this picture. He is pragmatic enough to see that he can’t single-handedly clean up the town, but if he isn’t Elliot Ness, he needs to hire Elliot Ness. The insurance mob needs to be busted. They are gangsters as sure as Capone.

First Rule for Gangsters:
“Many times can you shear a sheep
But only one time can you skin him.”
–Lrod’s Uncle Ace

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