aNewDomain — This is what happens when you trust free markets.
You probably heard that the Supreme Court rejected the latest legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, aka The Great Transfer of Taxpayer Dollars to Scumbag Health Insurance Companies.
That news broke during a major news day.
But on a non-news day — which was July 3, when everyone was driving to the beach or flying somewhere fun for their Independence Day weekend getaways — news came out that the ACA is tanking.
Back when Obama first resurrected 1993’s benighted Hillarycare scheme, I warned that there were two major problems with this convoluted hybrid of government-managed healthcare and for-profit healthcare.
The Affordable Care Act kept the insurance companies in business. Aetna, United Healthcare and the other big insurers are a huge drain on the system, sucking out billions in profits and driving up costs.
Profitmaking has no place in healthcare, which is a basic human right, or should be, just like air and water. Air and water are free; healthcare should be free, too. But that’s the opposite of what drives health insurers. They want to give you as little care as possible while charging you as much as possible.
But the ACA diminished Americans’ zeal for socialized medicine, which by the way is the standard in the developed world.
“In legislation no bread is often better than half a loaf,” Robert La Follette, the Wisconsin Progressive of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries once pointed out, adding:
Half a loaf, as a rule, dulls the appetite, and destroys the keenness of interest in attaining the full loaf.”
And as I wrote last year:
In 2007, before Obama and his ACA came along, 54 percent of Americans favored single-payer. Now, thanks to a system that’s better than nothing but not nearly good enough, it’s down to 37 percent. Hillary Clinton is endorsing Obamacare and has officially come out against single-payer.”
Now that the public has had a chance to use and pay for Obamacare, support for single-payer is back up to 50 percent.
Back to that story that broke on the deadest news day of the year, the day before the Fourth of July, we have this from The New York Times:
Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20% to 40% or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected … Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and interviews with insurance executives.”
Did your paycheck go up 20 percent, much less 40 percent, in the last year? I didn’t think so.
The proper reaction to this disgusting move — remember, we’re talking about a for-profit corporate sector that rakes in billions of dollars a month and pays its CEOs millions of dollars a year — is to line up the executives against a wall and shoot them full of holes, then deny the healthcare claims of any who survive, as the rest of us routinely experience.
Because that would be illegal, however, the second-best approach should be to shame the bastards relentlessly on social media, until they’re forced to go join ISIS because people would subject them to Two Minute Hates wherever they go.
(Not to say that ISIS, which provides free healthcare, would want these human turds either.)
This is where one naturally turns to political leadership. Surely the President of the United States, aka He For Whom Obamacare Is Named, will crack down on these insurance pirates?
Not so much.
Obama said ” … that consumers should put pressure on state insurance regulators to scrutinize the proposed rate increases. If commissioners do their job and actively review rates, my expectation is that they’ll come in significantly lower than what’s being requested.”
No doubt the healthcare industry itself, which rakes in billions each year from their new involuntary customers, hears our anger.
Not so much.
Marinan Williams, CEO of the Scott & White Health Plan in Texas, which applied for a 32 percent rate hike, says: “Over the next three years, I hope, rates will start to stabilize.” How about we “stabilize” her salary at 32% less than she gets now?
How’s your interest in the “full loaf” — single-payer socialized medicine — now?
For aNewDomain, I’m Ted Rall.