Sunday, September 20, 2009
Obama's Big Surrender, or the Making of a Pop Song Presidency
It appears from accounts of this morning's talk shows that Barack Obama tried to put the face of a tough, practical leader on his abject surrender on healthcare reform. Sure, he tried to spin his self-administered defeat into victory and although people may accept his argument, the reality on the ground will be much different. After dismissing single-payer national medical insurance--does he know the history of Medicare or what it is--apparently not since he's not even appointed an administrator for Medicare and Medicaid--saying he wasn't aiming "to graft" one onto America's dysfunctional healthcare system, he meekly tossed his 'public option' into the trash bin after it. He did all of that by once again embracing the notion that people should be required to buy health insurance from private insurers either directly or from insurance combines or coops, unless their employers provide it. The signal point here is that Obama--'the' is hereby formally dropped because he has proved himself nothing more than a moderate Democrat--put the lie to his soaring rhetoric about the nation having a moral obligation to provide for its citizens' health. Society's moral obligation will under Obama's medical revision become an individual's legal duty. Not only that but we will have to buy from one of the insurance companies Obama and his forces correctly identified as the culprits. Obama has bought the line that progressives will fall in line behind him as he marches into the void because the rightwingnuts have left no room for them to maneuver. That line worked during the general election, just like it worked for Bill Clinton, and it appears to be working now, but they all should think seriously before signing on to this Baucus gift to the insurance industry.