While looking through the comments on Paul Krugman’s column I cited yesterday, I noticed a great insight:
If you stop and think about it for a while I think you will conclude the Republicans also want a single payer health care system. Their single payer would be a huge privately owned insurance conglomerate. This entity would exist because of a series of mergers and buyouts that Republicans would be loath to oppose. This insurance giant could make the kind of political donations that would effectively neuter congress and any future president who might want to break it up.
This single payer privately held company could protect its bottom line by denying benefits who don’t follow its recommended diet and exercise program. It could also insist that in utero testing be done to identify any fetuses that have a high risk of needing expensive health care during their lifetime and recommend either abortion or a life time of much higher premium rates. Those too poor or too sickly would be expected to die early.
Since this is a private company protected by a myriad of laws passed by a compliant congress the only option for the average citizen is to leave the country if he doesn’t like it.
Those who advocate giving away the power of government to the private sector should consider where this road leads. At some point any semblance of democracy ends and we like the Romans enter a new period of our history.
Precisely. The idea that power in private hands is always preferable to power in public hands is inane. Free market principles don’t work in delivering cheaper health care, and in Republican deregulatory paradise we’ll be left with fewer and fewer options, until all health care is under the pervue of a few major corporations, and it is doled out at their whim for one express purpose, maximizing profit. This is the case already, but in a free market it could get so much worse.
Whenever I say I’m a socialist libertarian, Republicans fall out of their chairs and their eyeballs do this sort of googly rolling-around bit, sometimes worse. It violates every bit of dogma they’ve been huffing for the past several decades, it makes no sense to them whatsoever. Yet it’s a simple principle: I’m against all forms of tyranny, and will not welcome it merely because, “inc.” appears after the name of the entity. In a post-Citizens United world, private entities more than ever are capable of bending the will of our elected representatives to represent them instead of the people.
Sure, it becomes sort of obvious, but that’s what Republicans are for. Through advertising, think tanks, rightwing radio, Fox, and the various loyal disciples lurking on the internets, you are told, “Be responsible, work hard, don’t whine, don’t be a parasite, be a Republican!” Money is speech (how come if I give a cop a hundred bucks while asking him not to arrest me I get arrested for bribery then?), and don’t you read the Constitution? It is a constant grift, but one that pays well…at the top.