Jan 20, 2011
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a repeal of Obama’s health care reform, voting largely along party lines at 245 to 189 (three Democrats supported the vote). The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promises to block it from ever coming to a vote there.
Congressional Republicans characterized Obamacare as “job-killing” and called it a “trillion-dollar tragedy.” In response, one Democrat compared Republican rhetoric to World War II Nazi propaganda.
Democrats, predictably, attempted to emphasize how Obamacare would “create jobs.” Of course it would create jobs: When the system doesn’t help anybody get healthy, the number of patients needing disease management services skyrockets, and that translates into job creation in the sick-care industry.
A person could similarly “create jobs” by unleashing an infectious virus in a major U.S. city and seeing how many people line up for emergency care at the hospitals. But that’s moronic. “Creating jobs” shouldn’t be done on the backs of sick people — especially when that sickness could be prevented through the application of commonsense nutrition.
Then again, one should never expect the rhetoric of lawmakers to follow any economic logic in the first place. Both war and disease create plenty of jobs. But those aren’t the kind of jobs that improve the quality of life for the American people.
The real story behind health care reform
The bitter debate that took place in the House of Representatives today is little more than elaborate cover, of course, for the underlying truth that neither political party supports real health care. Both parties are so strongly influenced by Big Pharma financial interests that passing meaningful health care reform which would serve the best interests of the American people is a political impossibility.
Sadly, the U.S. Congress has long passed the stage where legislative votes are conducted in the best interests of the American people. Instead, votes are cast as political ballast, to appease campaign contributors and gain favor with party officials. The very structure of Congress — with its corporate-funded campaign contributions and lobbyists — is no more able to meet the real needs of the American people than a disturbed mental patient is to spontaneously achieve cognitive clarity.
Pleasing the corporations
What’s wrong with Congress and health care is not that members of Congress don’t want to improve the health of Americans, it’s that they exist in a system of corporate political influence that makes such action impossible.
There’s simply too much money to be made from sickness and degenerative disease. The idea of keeping the American people healthy is far too threatening to the profits of the drug companies and cancer industry (not to mention the diabetes industry and heart disease industry) to allow realistic health solutions to become law.
This isn’t being cynical; it’s being realistic about the underlying motivations and influences of the U.S. Congress. When you have a nation whose lawmakers are funded by powerful corporations, it should be no surprise that you end up with laws and regulations which strongly favor those corporations.
Revoke the personhood of corporations
The real problem in all this is that corporations continue to have legal standing as individuals. This long-established precedent has allowed corporations to claim protections under the Bill of Rights as if they were individuals. This is how the corporate funding of politicians has become “protected” by the U.S. Supreme Court as a Free Speech issue.
But Free Speech was never intended to apply to corporations. The Bill of Rights enumerated rights of the People, not rights of multinational, multi-billion dollar corporate giants.
As a result, the U.S. has become a corporatocracy rather than a democracy. Your puny little vote at the polls, in other words, counts for naught against the never-ending flood of dollars from corporations into the campaign reelection funds of congressmen and Senators. You can’t out-vote a suitcase full of $100 bills exchanged under the table.
Vote all you want. The corporations still run Congress and set the legislative agenda.
That’s why all this activity you see on Capitol Hill right now with the repeal of Obamacare is really just elaborate theater designed to create the appearance that members of Congress are somehow standing up for the American people. And it’s all being done under the much larger illusion that you need a government to take care of you in the first place. Why do we need representatives in Washington at all? That structure is a carryover from the horse-and-buggy days when Morse code telegraphs were considered cutting-edge technology. It wasn’t dot-com. It was dot-dot-dash.
Today, we could all vote on laws via the internet, without the need for Washington bureaucrats to vote for us (or so they claim). How about a Direct Democracy?
Of course, the other side of that argument is that the average U.S. citizen is incapable of grasping the ramifications of important legislation and would be easily swayed by national television advertising. That’s probably true to some extent. But it’s difficult to see how theoretically ignorant voters could produce worse results than Congressional sellouts who actively vote against the interests of the American people time after time.
You can be sure, by the way, that Congress will never vote itself out of power. Its members want to maintain power over you, your health care, your money and your actions for as long as the American people will continue to allow them to do so.
The real theater, you see, is not that Congress allows itself to be ruled by corporations, but rather than the People allow themselves to be ruled by Congress!
This article was posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 5:09 am