Shut Down This Murderous Racket: Change We Need and Crave

Al Capone is awake in his grave in awe at the criminal racket promulgated by the health care industry: a murderous multi-billion dollar industry that keeps the world’s Superpower in the sociological Stone Age. A recent study upped the figure of Americans killed by this enterprise from 20,000 to about 45,000: that is fifteen 9-11’s a year of Americans facing a cruel, painful death at the hands of these prolific killers.

Some might say I sound like a demagogue. When you are used to insipid soundbytes and P.C.-fluff, the truth starts sounding like demagoguery. The fact of the matter is that the truth is extraordinarily painful in this country ruled by a peculiar Victorian fetish of the marketplace. Nowhere in the civilized world could one imagine civic leaders fear mongering the populace about the evils of “socialized medicine” without getting laughed out of the country. Unfortunately, these goons of capitalist oppression seem to have been collectively laughed out of the civilized world and into Land of the Free.

Nonetheless, the problem is not this visceral minority. The problem lies in those that pretend to befriend progress: that grand, archaic organ of political oppression called the Democratic Party. This increasingly irrelevant union of crooks, hucksters and swindlers has betrayed the American people beyond recognition. Their failure to enact meaningful health care reform must be the last straw.

From the beginning of the current “health reform” debacle, the game was rigged. Immediately, the only meaningful reform, “single payer,” was taken off the table, and progressives were told to rally behind a “strong public option” by Democratic front groups like Moveon.org and Health Care for America Now (HCAN). These two NGO’s organized numerous “rallies” in order to command a feeble subservience to the Democratic leadership ahead of their caving to corporate interests on the issue.

Meanwhile, single-payer activists were placed in the precarious position of having to advocate against the meaningless and amorphous “strong public option” and the tea-baggers all at once. In a country so dominated by trivial soundbytes, you have to be either “for or against” everything: no shades of gray, no third way. Unfortunately, many progressives got caught in the trap and started rallying behind a bill (Obama’s Health Care Bill HR 3200) that no one knew anything about. This clever catch all was meant to accomplish exactly that: institute no meaningful reform while tricking a significant portion of progressives into thinking that we were now seeing “The change we can believe in.”

Nonetheless, single-payer activists were thrown a couple bones. One was a promise of a vote on the “Weiner Amendment” on the house floor. This amendment would have replaced the current bill with HR 676: the single-payer bill. The other, more meaningful bone was the “Kucinich Amendment,” which would have lifted loopholes that prevent individual states from enacting single-payer legislation. This approach seemed more tactically sound than expecting much of an up-down vote on single-payer on the house floor. The Canadian health system was enacted province-by-province, and it seemed reasonable to expect the same here: the more “enlightened” states lead the way, attract a significant spike in businesses fleeing other states so as to cut health expenses, and gradually the states fall like dominoes.

Kucinich told a crowd in Aurora, IL this summer to focus on his amendment. He informed us that the Single-Payer vote (Weiner Amendment) was a smoke screen doomed to failure because of the lack of adequate time to organize sufficiently for the vote.

I then attended several organizing meetings and stressed the need to emphasize the Kucinich Amendment as the most tactically prescient step forward for single-payer activists. I suggested that people not bite the Weiner amendment bait. As a veteran of the NGO industrial complex, I saw the Weiner Amendment for what it was: a chance for progressive Democrats and single-payer NGO’s to claim victory (just by bringing the issue to a vote), and to thus muster some fund-raising. I could picture the fund-raising letter: “Dear Single-Payer Activist, today we scored a major victory in the House of Representatives by bringing Single Payer Health Care to a vote for the first time. But there remains a lot of work to be done in order to win the vote in the future. Please help us in this mission by donating today.”

Unfortunately, many activists bit the bait. Action alert after action alert instructed people to call their reps and urge them on the Weiner Amendment.

In the end, both the Kucinich and Weiner amendments were removed from consideration by house leadership this past week. Meanwhile, Democratic cheerleaders have been trumpeting the success at instituting a “public option” in both the House and Senate versions of the health reform bill. The proposed public option will cover about 3% of the population, while roughly 33% of Americans are un- or under-insured. Many progressive democrats inform me that this is the best we can realistically do given the conservative dynamics of the American populace. I don’t understand what American populace they are talking about. As someone who goes out to the bungalow belt of Chicago to knock on doors practically everyday, I can say with full confidence that only an insignificant wacko minority is repelled by the thought of “Medicare for all.” Perhaps we can figure out a way to leave those few people out when we finally do institute a single-payer system.

Progressive leaders have fallen to the right of the American people. Americans crave and need meaningful health care reform in line with the remainder of the civilized world. They crave and need leadership in Washington that stands for the interests of their constituents: leaders that aren’t fearful of lifting their heads above the fray, pounding their fists on the podium and declaring “It is time we shut this racket down. Let us throw the insurance companies into the dustbin of history once and for all, and end this domestic terrorism that kills 45,000 Americans a year!”

Unfortunately, to get to this point, we are going to have to purge the Congress of almost every last one of its members, and stop thinking that the Democrats or the NGO industrial complex will ever bring Americans their cherished Medicare-for-all.

Matt Reichel is a writer currently living in New Orleans. He can be reached at: mereichel@gmail.com. Read other articles by Matt, or visit Matt's website.

6 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on November 4th, 2009 at 1:43pm #

    WASHINGTON (Nov. 3) — Are America’s youth too fat, dumb or dishonest to defend the nation against its enemies?

    The latest Army statistics show a stunning 75 percent of military-age youth are ineligible to join the military because they are overweight, can’t pass entrance exams, have dropped out of high school or had run-ins with the law.

    So many young people between the prime recruiting ages of 17 and 24 cannot meet minimum standards that a group of retired military leaders is calling for more investment in early childhood education to combat the insidious effects of junk food and inadequate education. Sphere

    The children I spend time with, for the most part, are overwhelmed by the strangeness and uncertainty that pervades their every moment. They don’t believe anyone or anything and thus contribute to another layer of strangeness. Adaptation for them is an impermanent process of the moment laid over a desperate desire for stability, safety and a future that they can count on – precisely the qualities of life they are denied. And in a dramatic act of strangeness they come to believe in commercial advertising, celebrity and subculture reality.

    The adults, those grown into full size and needing some job to sustain themselves, are barely adult-like in the sense of competent practitioners of the human way. The strangeness settling over them leaves them angry and frightened; uncertain and grasping for the hand-up offered by religion, militancy or materialism, or by almost anything that will seem to let them see a bit of acceptable future through the strangeness.

    It is the product of billions of individual actions disconnected from reality coming more and more each day into collision with each other and reality. James Keye

    Are America’s youth too fat, dumb or dishonest to defend the nation against its enemies? Just who the hell is the enemy?

  2. Eric Ganguly said on November 5th, 2009 at 11:18am #

    Just who the enemy is we don’t know, but to be for sure is something we create on our own, and besides we should’nt be spednding trillions on defense anyhow who the hell are we going to be attacked by space aliens? and also who the fuck wants to die in acinine wars in Iraq and Afghanistan anyhow, we should commit ourselves to providing single-payer universal healthcare and definitely reforming education, and better integrating individuals with autism and learning disabilities into the broader society, because anyone will tell you that a popuu;ation that has large “special segments” are by default ineligble for any kind of military enlistment at all.

  3. Lynn D. said on November 5th, 2009 at 12:14pm #

    It should be obvious by now who the enemy is. Many of them reside in Washington, D.C. I think the bigger problem with Americans is the “dumb” part. They keep looking to these government NWO stooges to solve their problems and they keep getting the same government “pie in the face” of neverending wars, increasing taxes, decreasing freedoms, absurd , tedious and nosy beaurocracies, government takeover of health, auto and other industries. Yep, we’re getting some “change” alright! So far, we’re up to TWO TRILLION in “change” (debt wise). We will never see ANY “change” for the better until we, as a nation and individually REPENT of our self-righteous PRIDE and turn to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is the only one who can save us from our enemies. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and HEAL their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 On the other hand:
    “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert,
    and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Jeremiah 17:5-8 America needs to stop fighting their neighboring countries, keep their nose out of their business and stop depending on wicked politicians or paying them any illegal income tax, which is HOW they are oppressing us. They steal our money and our labor and use if for endless wars and STAGED economic depressions and a phony, rigged stockmarket. Self-satisfied, apathetic Americans are being played like fools by the mass media who also work for the Illuminist Luciferians at the top.

  4. Don Hawkins said on November 5th, 2009 at 1:40pm #

    I looked up this Illuminati plan and then read this.

    The Illuminati is like a Pyramid. There are many levels, no one knows what the level above them knows.

    The Illuminati plan to literally rule the world, with one king believed to have divine powers. This king may well be the false Messiah mentioned in the Bible. Promising to make the world better only to take power as the world dictator. Under this King the New World Order will take place. The New World Order is a Socialist World Government. When this government takes hold will become the slave race we were supposed to be.

    Now we wouldn’t want to give Glenn Beck any ideas as this seems right up his alley. Now there are many levels, no one knows what the level above them knows is an interesting thought. The slave race I wonder who that is I mean where do you draw the line? For most of us and those many different levels and no one knows what the level above them knows is sort of the way it work’s. Quid enim est veritas? What, then, is the truth? Well here in the States I don’t think we see it on CNN or MSNBC or Fox I think something to do with no one knows what the level above them knows or at least that is what they think. Maybe they are just playing a game with themselves and we most of us are kind of on a lower level. Again who are the slaves where do you draw the line as I still feel the people at the top are slaves big ones to the system and let me add an out of control system or it sure seems so. Remember the good old day’s when we had King’s and Queens and everybody knew who the big cheese was those were the day’s I’ll bet. Now Day’s at least here in the States who is the big cheese seems hard to know. Anyway did you see the demonstration in front of the Capital today against health care reform I wonder what big cheese got the permit for that. The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an unofficial, annual, invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are persons of great influence in the fields of politics, business, and banking.

    Now there is a few big cheeses and they didn’t seem to leave much out. Politics, business, and banking wait one little minute here what about our thoughts the media, no there fair and balanced in search of the truth on many different levels.

    They steal our money and our labor and use if for endless wars and STAGED economic depressions and a phony, rigged stockmarket. We need a few trillion and fast. Oh well

  5. Agnes Blout said on November 7th, 2009 at 4:17pm #

    It’s time for a consumer boycott of the health insurance companies. See the Declaration of Independence from Health Insurance Industry:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=123830554039&v=info

  6. Obstreperous said on November 7th, 2009 at 6:26pm #

    A lot of companies are self-insured…i.e., not insured by these companies. It’s a good way to go, but you need a large enough pool of workers to make it viable. It would be interesting to see small businesses form a self-insured co-op.