Sunday, August 23, 2009

”Free Market” Health Care

A Quick Review of Talking Points Guidelines

Neo-Con Rule Number One: Always say the opposite of everything as if it were the actual thing! If anyone starts to catch on, increase the speed of repetition. Remember, you own the media! Call Rupert Murdoch or Rush! Remember, you own the hill billies and bigots! The tea baggers'll listen to you and go to town hall meetings. Remember, you've made the "free market" a sacred principle like tectonic shifts, the Shroud of Turin and flouridated water. Remember, no tactic is too cheap or too sleazy. Keep it "trailer trash" for your religious base. Breathlessly pretend no one ever gets tired of it!



federal death panels! dental coverage for illegal immigrants! . . . lots of abortions! . . . rationed care! . . . Stalinist nightmare! . . Kenya! . . . unplug grandma!. . . Canada . . . kitchen sink . . . Hitler . . . just keep going! 111

The last week has seen the “most promising” of all wholly owned Senators dive bravely into the swamp gas of his corporate masters. The Grassley (R-Iowa) closed the circle in a brave, although self-destructive, descent into the most desperate corporate tactics seen so far. The Grassley brazenly cited the carefully scripted “outrage” expressed by the corporate insurance thugs at town hall meetings as a foundational reason to oppose the “public option.”

Stumbling front stage on que, he just went ahead and said what we all expected would vomit forth sooner or later -- "Thet there's jest whut the, uh, constishuents was a shoutin' about in thu meetin'... Gotta listen to the, uh, voters..." By going “the last mile” with the scheme, our bravest neo-con Senator has successfully soiled himself beyond even the previously formidable DeLay/Abramhoff Reprehensibility Barrier (DARB).

Those skunks plied their corrupt loyalties with a thinly obscured, semi-subtlety consistent with what we had come to expect during the autocracy. The Grassley has no appetite for that whatsoever. A lingering shade of that famous, ancient emperor, he insists on a solitary march to Washington absent any clothes at all! After all, his corporate masters spent good money preparing for those “trailer park” dramas, and he, always the faithful servant, felt obliged to make one last breathless attempt to make the plan work.


Does anyone else remember the astounding warmth we felt when Barrack Obama got his start with those “imaginary” conservatives in Iowa?

The debate is well populated with frightening innuendos of an attack on the “free market system," so, let's “dive right in.” After all, this is MeanMesa!

The “free market” idea suggests that the role of the optimal decider of value is always best left in the hands of the informed consumer. The vast herds of credit card holding purchasers, under this practice, will inevitably “ferret out” the values they believe represent the best exchange for their dollars.

Health care enjoys no automatic exclusion from this simple principle. Yearly cost totals of all delivered health care in the country amounts to around $2.5 to $3 trillion dollars. However, more than a few Americans have seen that exchange compared to other examples of similar purchases elsewhere. Based on those informed comparisons, these same Americans now understand that although the price of this purchase might be $2 or $3 trillion, the value of it is, at best, around $1.5 trillion. In this sense, this group of American purchasers has evolved itself into “informed consumers,” a nightmarish development for those currently enjoying the task of spending the other $1 trillion flowing through the system into their corporate profits.

Now, normally, one would expect a simple correction to the purchasing practices of all the American consumers. The “free market” idea implies that, when confronted with an opportunity to make alternate purchases with more value, these American shoppers would simply “cross the street” to a more competitive market. The overpriced product would simply “whither and die.” It has happened over and over in our past, and each time the astonishing efficiency of the American “free market” is once again validated.

Are these “trillion dollar numbers” an exaggeration? Not really. The costs of what we are presently purchasing are not competitive with the alternatives. No grumbling horde of European/Canadian horror stories can accomplish the “character assassination” in the constant dream of their perpetrators. The old white men in the Senate, hoping to frighten everyone away from even so much as considering the prospect of “crossing the street,” have stopped at nothing in their relentless dream of frightening old people with ideas such as the now debunked “death panels,” unsupported claims of the misery of “rationed care” or inflammatory estimates of the cost of “non-free-market” options.

The facts are simple enough – with or without complicated study results. The price of the delivered product is twice as high as the competition. The health outcomes are equally non-competitive – a dismal, 19th Century, Dickensonian medical system which leaves a tragic wake of its forced market consumers staggering in its path – a tale of the “quick and the dead,” carefully cast between the partially cured “walking wounded” and the bankrupt.

The “free market” conflict is equally transparent. The alternate purchases are not allowed. The “free market” idea of maximizing value for the cost of purchase has been conveniently buried under decidedly profitable, carefully fabricated, “non-free-market” legislative franchises. Even when confronted with clear theoretical opportunities to purchase better valued care, that is, both better priced and more successful care, the now traditional franchise emerges. The profit flow into the pockets of the “masters of the Senate” will not be interrupted. The non-competitive plan will be protected without reservation.

Absolutely anything goes.

At stake is one sixth of the dollars flowing through the premier world economy. Such a prize is easily worth the effort of these heretofore outrageously over fed insurance corporations. However, the theoretical metric for value in that premier world economy is well defined by traditional values of innovation, elimination of waste, invention and efficiency, all constantly lubricated with the optimizing possibilities presented in “free markets.” Happily, that traditionally successful system also fortunately excludes what are called “monopolies” and artificially imposed legislative picadellos designed to suspiciously protect cash flows which cannot really be defined as profits should they ever emerge into the light of day.

Suspicious cash flows which can only be defined as “non-free-market” extractions made possible and sustained by corrupted legislators. As consumers, we now realize that the price of such corruption pales in comparison to the scope of what can be extracted.

We also realize that those who profit in this “non-free-market” manner will not allow their “cash flow” to be placed in jeopardy. The price of corruption is the cost of eliminating the “free market” option, and it has proven to be a spectacularly profitable investment.

We know that the neo-con talking machine is at its very best when presenting precise opposites from what it implies that it is presenting. When we hear about urgently troubling “attacks” on the free market system by public health care options, what is actually at hand is a desperate effort to insinuate the idea that the present system is, actually, the “free market” alternative. It is not. The present system is little more than a Senatorial “protection racket.” The only feature which might differentiate it from the sleaziest door to door thuggery one might encounter in a run down suburb is its well equipped public relations machine intent on redefining its criminal nature at any price.

The inebriation of the “profit makers” with their horded billions has led them to the very practices they are now violently attempting to obfuscate and redefine with their million dollar a day self-preservation schemes. The consumer's insight will prevail, however. No public relations scheme can change that unpleasant feeling in a purchaser who, as he pays his premium bill, realizes that he has been screwed.

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