Robert Lenzer, Forbes staff writer, opens his October 1st article, ObamaCare Enriches Only The Health Insurance Giants and Their Shareholders, with this:
So far in 2013 the value of the S& P health insurance index has gained 43%. Thats more than double the gains made in the broad stock market index, the S & P 500. The shares of CIGNA are up 63%, Wellpoint 47% and United Healthcare 28%. And if you go back to the early 2010 passage of ObamaCare, you will find that Obama’s sellout of the public interest has allowed the public companies the ability to raise their premiums, especially on small business, dramatically multiply their profits and send the value of their common stocks up by 200%-300%. This is bloody scandalous and should be a cause for concern even as the Republican opponents of the bill threaten the close-down of the government.
Putting aside the rhetoric which attempts to make it appear as if premiums are increasing across the board despite the fact that that doesn’t seem to be the case at all, at least not yet, the singular failing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is, in my opinion, actually outlined precisely and exactly in this article.
The failing of PPACA is not with the idea that every American has to buy insurance. It’s that the only way to have access to the basic human right of healthcare is through a profit-making system like the one we have now.
And because we don’t rise up in opposition to that payment system by electing politicians who favor single-payer healthcare, the fault actually lies with us.
We have created a society that attaches the profit motive to who lives and who dies, and who gets healthcare and who does not. We then elect leaders ostensibly to represent us and our interests. Instead, they concede to the big money interests of private companies and their shareholders – some much more than others – because that is how our political system is funded and how it operates. (To make your voice heard to change that, click here, here, and here.)
This, I think, explains why Obama made the concessions that he did on his signature legislation. It was a compromise born out of necessity because in our society too many of us are willing to actually accept the proposition that some citizens can have healthcare while others cannot, and that the access is based solely on something as petty and meaningless to the values and ethics of a society in the long run as money.
Sarah Palin was and is right. There are death panels. They just aren’t actually in any government agency. They are in boardrooms and in conference rooms and in living rooms.
All this said, I am still a supporter of ObamaCare for this simple reason.
I see it as a stepping stone to at least a public option among the choices of private insurers, and maybe even some day a single-payer universal healthcare system that guarantees every citizen’s access to healthcare.
And, why not? Healthcare that is paid for by all of us together seems like the right and moral and ethical thing to do, doesn’t it?
If you don’t agree, let me suggest that you ask yourself this question:
In a society in which so many profess to hold certain religious teachings so dear that they want to legislate those beliefs on the entire populace, doesn’t it seem reasonable and logical that those same people would eagerly embrace a system in which every man, woman, and child would have access to as much healthcare as they wanted and needed without the worry or burden of cost and the ability to pay?
The truth, it seems, is that too many of us are content knowing that some of our fellow human beings might live and die without access to healthcare because to provide the poor, the indigent, and even the lazy among us would simply cost too much.
ObamaCare is far from the perfect solution. It will change over time, hopefully for the better. Discarding it without a better option doesn’t resolve anything. Voting for people who are only interested in making it worse makes absolutely no sense.
The fault in our healthcare system in America, dear citizen, is not with ObamaCare, but with ourselves.