The New Wonder Bread: Health Care And The Democrats

By RUSSELL MOKHIBER

Let’s say that you wanted to make nutritious bread for a living.

Would you seek to take over the Wonder Bread Company?

And remake it as a nutritious bread company?

Or would you start from scratch?

You would start from scratch.

Why?

Because when people think Wonder Bread, they think junk.

They think empty calories.

They think not nutritious.

They think unhealthy.

Same with the Democratic Party.

When people think Democratic Party, they think sell-outs.

They think selling out to the insurance industry.

They think selling out to the military-industrial complex.

They think selling out to Wall Street.

They think selling out the people.

And if you call yourself a Democrat, you are tainted.

There’s nothing you can do about it.

Even if you call yourself a progressive Democrat – it’s over.

People hear Democrat and they think – junk, sell-out, empty, corporate, Wall Street.

And eventually, you will be forced to carry their water.

Take the case of Markos Moulitsas, the founder of The Daily Kos.

In September, Markos opposed any health care plan without a public option.

“We’re not talking what we really wanted – we really wanted single payer – so we already compromised from our position,” Markos said at the time. “I think the public option at this point is sort of our Waterloo. This is where we stand and fight.”

Yesterday, Markos buckled.

He fell into line with the corporate Democrats, arguing that it was Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) who is to blame.

That would be Dennis Kucinich – the only member of Congress who supports single payer and is willing to stand up to his party and say no to the insurance industry bailout that is Obamacare.

“And I`m going to hold people, like Dennis Kucinich, responsible for the 40,000 Americans that die each year from a lack of health care,” Markos said on MSNBC last night. “And I don`t care if you`re a Republican or you`re a conservative Democrat or you`re somebody like Dennis Kucinich. The fact is, this does a heck of a lot for a lot of people.”

Next, take the case of Wendell Potter.

Potter is the former CIGNA executive turned “whistleblower.”

In September, Potter called the Democratic bill in the Senate “an absolute joke.”

“It is an absolute gift to the industry,” Potter said. “And if that is what we see in the legislation, (America’s Health Insurance Plans chief) Karen Ignagni will surely get a huge bonus.”

At the time, Potter said the proposal would not provide affordable coverage.

It gives the industry too much latitude to charge higher premiums based on age and geographic location, fails to mandate employer coverage, and pushes consumers into plans with limited benefits, he said.

Fast forward to today on the Hill.

And we have Potter defending the same legislation he called a sick joke just a few short months ago.

And saying that Congress must pass it.

Potter was on the Hill surrounded by corporate Democrats from Health Care for America Now.

Potter was chairing a hearing where ordinary Americans testified how they had been abused by the insurance industry.

Each told an emotional story about how their insurance company abused them.

And then Potter and the Democrats would say – that’s why we need to pass our health care reform.

Dr. Margaret Flowers was in the hearing room.

And she was flabbergasted.

“It was like Potter and the Democrats were saying – yes, you were abused by the insurance industry,” Flowers told Single Payer Action. “Now we’re going to force you to continue to live with your abuser and tell the abuser to behave.”

Flowers talked to Potter before the hearing.

“I told him I was really disappointed with his change in position,” Flowers said. “He tried to defend himself. He said it wasn’t about policy. It was about politics. He said this legislation was going to help some people.”

“But I told him – if you look historically at health care reform – people are always told – this is all you can get. We compromise knowing that the whole system is going to fail. Gandhi said you can’t compromise on fundamentals. And that is what we keep doing. And it’s why we keep sliding backwards. He agreed with me. But not enough to change his mind. While he was chairing the hearing, I was looking at him in disbelief.”

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.

http://counterpunch.com/mokhiber03112010.html

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