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    Obamacare’s Empty Victory

    By Dr. Margaret Flowers

    Millions of Obama voters in 2008 imagined they voted for universal health. What they got instead was Obamacare, an incredibly complex thicket of laws, regulations and exceptions requiring millions to purchase private health insurance which might or might not provide adequate or affordable coverage, might or might not protect them from bankruptcy, but certainly privatizes more of the nation's health care system than ever before.

    Beyond Obamacare: How A Single Payer System Can Save Health Care in the U.S.

    By Physicians For A National Health Care Plan

    Published on April 15 at Physicians For a National Health Care Plan

    Unlike Medicare, which President Johnson had up and running eleven months after passage, the Obama administration cynically delayed the full effect of its “Affordable Care Act” also called Obamacare, till 2016, when he would be leaving office because they know it won't come near to keeping the promises they made for it. But there's still a way to provide affordable quality care to everybody --- single payer.

    All U.S. Constituencies Oppose Obama’s “Individual Mandate” for Health Care

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    President Obama’s mandate to buy private insurance was born in the rightwing Heritage Foundation, and has not found a home among any actual constituency of the public – white, non-white, Republican, Democrat, college-educated or not. A new poll confirms that “Obama has based his plan on a scheme that nobody likes – even his most loyal supporters.”

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    Obama Democrats VS Tea Party Republicans: A Fake Fight Over Fake Health Care Reform

    which stakeholders?by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    There are real fights and there are fake fights, engineered to distract attention away from the real deal. The shouting match between Obama's Dems and the Tea party Repubs is one of those fake fights. The health care legislation passed by the Obama Democrats is incomparably worse than anything they could have passed right after the presidential election, and significantly worse than anything Democrats could have passed at midyear 2009. The president and his minions have delayed as long as possible to guarantee the worst, not the best bill for patients, and the best deal possible for Big Insurance, Big Pharma and Big Medicine.

     

    Universal Health Care? We Keep the Candy, But You Can Have the Wrapper. No. Wait. Give Us the Wrapper Too.

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    It's half past December, and the White House is hell-bent on passing its version of “health insurance reform” out of Congress before the holiday recess. It's not universal. It's not even about delivering health care, it's about bailing out health insurance companies. The legislation will force millions of Americans to buy skimpy private insurance, often with hundreds of dollars a month of their own money under penalty of law. Billions more in government subsidies will be added to the giveaway to help purchase health insurance policies for the bottom half or more of the insurance market.

    If Democrats Don't Pass Health Insurance Reform This Year, What Do We Lose? And What Do We Gain?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The version of health care reform championed by the White House and Congressional Democrats will force millions to buy crappy insurance from private providers with no interest in health care but plenty of interest in profits. Its pubic option is a cruel hoax that will not take effect till 2013 and even then will leave tens of millions uninsured. Now Democratic leaders in Congress say it might not pass this year anyway. Is that really so bad?

    Freedom Rider: Health Care Deceit

    liar, liarby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
    The health care fiasco has bared the cowardly underbelly of the Democratic Party, which is putty in the hands of President Obama and his co-conspirators in the insurance industry. The public option” has been stripped down to a tiny two percent of the people, while the private insurers get tens of millions of captive, subsidized consumers. The conclusion is inescapable: “Barack Obama and the majority of the Democrats never had any intention of bringing reform to health care.”

    Obama Hustles the Public for Greedy Private Insurers

    snake oil?A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Click the flash player to listen or the mic below to download an mp3 copy of this commentary.

    It appears that President Obama will soon achieve his health care triumph – and an unmitigated disaster for the public. “Both Clinton and Obama planned to shanghai the vast bulk of the public as captive consumers of the insurance cartel,” but only Obama could have pulled it off. He  is bringing into existence a privatized health care system that will be “nearly impossible to dismantle absent a general political upheaval in the United States.”

     

    Harry Reid, Democratic Leaders and the White House Still Faking the Funk on Universal Health Care

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    This week the Senate's Harry Reid announced the consolidation of the Senate Democratic caucus version of health care reform. How central the “public option” is or is not depends on who you ask, as do precisely how many people it would be offered to and on what terms. What is clear is that it remains a Massachusetts-style bailout plan to subsidize private insurers, rather than one providing universal care at affordable rates. Meanwhile the gap between the actual public option and the imaginary ones sold by progressive Democrats is growing. How long it can be concealed, and what will happen when it is revealed are anybody's guess.

    Rep. John Conyers at the Coporate Black Caucus Affair Last Week

     

    If you managed to attend the annual DC gathering of the Congressional Black Caucus last week you know it was more the "Corporate Black Caucus" that was on display. Goodie bags from Coca-cola, a health care summit sponsored by Pfizer, and the logos from Wal-Mart, Lockheed and Boeing were everywhere to tell you who paid the bills and called the shots at this annual celebration of supposed black political empowerment. In the midst of this den of corporate iniquity, Russell Moniker from Single Payer Action cornered Rep. Conyers to inquire on the status of single payer.

    Dennis Kucinich Answers President's HealthCare Speech

    Count on Cleveland's Dennis Kucinich to cut through the rhetorical foggery and fakery around health care -- or rather health insurance reform.  It's a bailout for private insurance companies.

     

    Who's Blocking Health Care Reform Now? Blue Dogs? Senate Dems? House Progressives? Or the White House Itself?

    health care  againBy BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    In less than a year, Democrats have transformed themselves from the party of change to the party of excuses. Republican birthers and teapartyers, blue dog Democrats, rogue donkey and elephant senators, and even progressives favoring single payer or the shadowy “public option” have all been blamed by the White House for holding up health care --- or is it health insurance --- reform. But with the end of the August recess, the ring is closing and the clock is ticking...

     

    The Unnecessary Death of My Aunt, Hazel

    Cynthiaby Cynthia McKinney
    Over 83,000 blacks die unnecessary and premature deaths each year due to their treatment after they arrive in a doctor's office.” This week, Ms. McKinney's aunt became one of them.

    Leaving Obamaland

    now leaving obamaland

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Democrats could accomplish nothing during the Bush years, they told us, for the first six years because they were a minority, and during the last two because Republicans could filibuster.  Now, with both houses of congress, a filibuster-proof senate majority and a "transformative leader" in the White House Democrats can only continue the wars, the privatizations, the torture, coverups and kidnapping.  In power, Obama and Democrats can bail out Wall Street but not homeowners; they cannot accomplish anything voters want, like universal health care, Medicare For All.  Some Democratic activists are sobering up, looking around, and heading for the exits.

    This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery

    no reform hereby Chris Hedges
    The debate over health care “reform” has devolved to a frenzied assault on the U.S. Treasury, abetted by corporate enablers in both parties. “The proposed plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for these corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded.” With Capitol Hill consumed in corruption, direct citizen action is the only avenue available.

    Obama Piddles Away the Public's Options

    BARACK HEALTH CAREA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

    It's all over but the funeral.” In abandoning the “public option,” President Obama has relinquished all claim as champion of health care reform, the content of which he first diluted and ultimately bargained away entirely. The forces of reaction, which were disorganized and on the defensive when Obama entered office, have been vastly strengthened by the president's “duplicitous backroom deals and back-stabbing of his most loyal supporters.”

    Will Obama's Abandonment of the Public Option Take Congressional Democrats Down In 2010?

    dr barackby BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon

    Presidents run every four years, but Congress is elected every two. This president said we should judge him by whether he delivers comprehensive, affordable, accessible health care to every American in his first term. Team Obama's relentless opposition to single payer, a position he once supported, and his recent abandonment of even a watered down public option, and a health care plan that doesn't cover any of the uninsured till 2013 may not affect the president till his own re-election. But House Democrats must face the people in 2010.

    Progressives Should be Shutting Down These So-Called 'Health Care Town Meetings' Too

    town hallBy Dave Lindorff

    For the most part, the health care "town meetings" staged by members of Congress are shams designed to deceive and disinform the public on the possibilities and progress of health care reform.  Despite being shaky on the facts, right wingers may be quite correct in treating them as opportunties for street theatre.  Maybe, suggests Dave Lindorff, we ought to do the same.

    Obama On Health Care: A Comprehensive Betrayal – Where Do We Go From Here?

    againThe shrunken and eviscerated public option in the Obama health care plan may now be discarded in favor of something called a health co-op. The mounting toll of concessions to drug companies and bailouts of private insurers contained in the Obama plan have transformed it, according to Rep. John Conyers, into “crap,” and threaten to make Obama a one-term president. Republicans, all the while, are fighting Obamacare every bit as resolutely as if it were Medicare For All, drumming up disinformed protesters for health care town meetings. And the embargo of single payer media coverage continues, despite its being the majority sentiment of Americans. This is the year of health care reform. Or not.

    The Battle For Health Care:  Between Now and Labor Day, It's Still On

    obama health care againby BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
    President Obama told us to judge his first term on whether he managed to provide quality, affordable health care to the American people, especially the uninsured and underinsured..  With various versions of his bill not beginning to cover the uninsured till 2013, it seems a test the administration has forgotten, and hopes that we will too.  We won't.  The weeks between now and Labor Day will be decisive in determining what, if anything, comes out of congress this year.  This is no time to lay back, or to wait and see.  This is the critical time to organize and educate, to mobilize and to act.

    Conyers: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”

    conyers and obamaA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

    The nation's senior Black congressman fears Barack Obama is in danger of becoming a one-term president. Obama's health care proposal is “crap,” says Detroit's John Conyers, and Obama loses whether it passes or fails.

    Single Payer Summer

    single payerby David Swanson
    Although a single payer health care bill isn't ”even remotely likely to pass” this year, there are lots of reasons to continue the legislative battle. Says the author: “I think one can best campaign for justice if one knows exactly what one is up against but doesn't give a damn how grim that picture appears.”

    Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody

    obama on health careby BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon

    With the corporate media relentlessly distorting the public discussion around health care reform, it time for some clear, bright lines to help us tell who is doing what to whom, and whether any of it leads to health care for all of us.  Here are ten of them.

    Is the Obama Health Care Plan Really Better Than Nothing?

    another healthcare montageBy BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Candidate Barack Obama told us to judge his first term by whether he delivers quality affordable health care for all Americans, including nearly fifty million uninsured. So why does his proposal not cover the uninsured till 2013, after the next presidential election when Medicare took only 11 months to cover its first 40million seniors? Why are corporate media pretending that no opinions exist to Obama's left? And why has the public option part of the Obama health care plan shrunk from covering 130 million to only 10 million, with 16 million left uninsured altogether?

    Obama’s Single Payer Beat Down

    State Sen. Obama (above) in 2003, back when he supported single-payer
    healthcare. Obama changed his tune shortly thereafter.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    President Obama is mad, again, at the usual suspects: progressives that insist on speaking out in the people's interest on single-payer healthcare. He picked up the phone last week to warn lefties and unions to watch their mouths and get with his fuzzy program on healthcare – although even White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel doesn't seem to know what that program is. “For Obama to 'win' his debate, the American people must lose.”

    Obama’s Emerging Legacy: Wars, Bankers and For-Profit Healthcare

    Obama Sam by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The first Black president has racked up some impressive victories. Barack Obama has quarantined single-payer healthcare advocates, crushed dissent against the war in Congress, and transferred more money to the finance capital class than at any time in planetary history. Not bad for just five months in office. “At some point in the near future Barack Obama will become inextricably associated in the public mind with Big Capital – and deservedly so.”
     
     
     

    ObamaCare: A Non-Existent Health Plan That Begins with Cuts

    obama on health careA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford 
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

    There is no Obama healthcare plan, “just mouthfuls of generalized rhetoric that changes with the moment, as Obama constantly woos the insurance, drug and hospital corporations.” However, Obama's proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will take on lives of their own. That's what Republicans have “been clamoring for for generations,” and Obama offered it to them, upfront. “In his rush to mollify the private healthcare profiteers, Obama has given away the pubic store.”

    Obama Charges Backward On Health Care

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Barack Obama, like the little kids that used to appear on Art Linkletter’s TV show, says “the darndest things.” He has discovered that the “root cause” of America’s health care cost problem isn’t the insurance companies, or the drug barons, or the hospital corporations. Medicare is the villain. “Disastrously, he has created a situation in which health care ‘reform’ is predicated on stripping Medicare down to the bone.”

    White House Health Care Ploy Backfires

    single payer nowby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    President Obama's mission to keep the U.S. health care system safe for the profiteering classes got waylaid last week by - the profiteers, themselves. The health care industry "refused to corroborate Obama's claim that they had agreed to reduce health care spending by $2 trillion dollars over ten years." Worse, some of them pointed out that, in point of fact, Obama doesn't have a fully developed health plan. The president's business allies' failure to back up his fiction means Obama will have to pick another occasion to proclaim that the private sector has made sacrifices, and it's time to take the axe to "entitlements."

    Give Everyone Healthcare By Shutting Down Insurance Companies

    by David Swanson
    The only way to get something that remotely resembles single payer health care is to demand…single payer health care. Progressives that supported single payer now set their sites lower because President Obama isn’t going there. But “opening a political negotiation by asking for what the other side is offering is no negotiation at all.” Obama offers many explanations for backing away from the health care approach he once claimed to favor. But the real explanation “is the financial influence in Congress and the White House of the insurance industry.” 
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