The Missouri voters who voted against the provision of health care reform that will force people to buy health insurance or face a fine got it mostly right.
Forcing our citizenry into indentured servitude to the insurance industry isn't anything progressives should be defending. The fact that so many on the left are duped into playing along with this corporatist sellout points up a very disturbing lack of independent thought among liberals.
The case against mandates is clear... and here it is, laid out by candidate Barack Obama.
Health Insurance mandates aren't a liberal idea but once President Obama flip flopped without explanation and suddenly supported the mandate, it seems like many liberals lost their minds and their spines. Now, apparently the Democratic party line is to carry water for the insurance industry.
Don't forget recent history. The proposal of making the trade-off of getting pre-existing condition coverage in exchange for forcing all U.S. citizens to become insurance industry customers came from -- surprise -- the insurance industry. Before you cry "conspiracy theory!" read the press release from health insurance lobbying group AHIP yourself.
Note the date of the press release; December 3rd, 2008. AHIP suddenly wanted health reform less than a month after Barack Obama was elected. The insurance lobby understood that Americans were fed up with the blatant corporate politics of the Bush administration. The writing was on the wall -- Americans wanted health reform and Obama has promised repeatedly to bring reform without corporate influence.
So the health lobby did what successful businesses do to survive -- they adapted. And they found that Obama's rhetoric was just some stuff he said to get elected. Despite Obama's claim that he was going to play tough with health insurance, he was really just as corporate friendly as W. and Dick. Obama was willing to make a deal and back the insurance lobby's plan.
Barack Obama sold out the people who believed in him to the people who screwed up our health care system. The insurance industry LOVES the individual mandate -- but that doesn't mean you have to. You don't have to make their arguments and buy into their BS that private insurance mandates will control costs. The goal isn't to cut cost, it's to guarantee profits for the industry.
So now we get the ugly spectacle of good, well meaning liberals acting as shills for the insurance industry.
The voters in Missouri don't want to be forced to buy insurance. That's a healthy reaction to an awful law that is an unprecedented use of the power of the state to benefit an industry by forcing people to buy that industry's products. And it doesn't solve the problem of actually providing health care to people.
The Missouri vote wasn't to strike down coverage for pre-existing conditions but to stop the mandate. To be sure, many in Missouri may think they are voting against 'socialized medicine' by voting against 'Obamacare'. While they aren't exactly right on the facts, their guy reaction that this is a misuse of government force is correct and understandable.
The problem for Missouri voters is that they aren't being presented with the real alternative for health reform -- a single player style health system that provides care to everyone without the artificial albatross of a private insurance system.
Obama and the Democrats aren't making the case for real health care reform. But YOU can.
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