Tea Partiers on a roll

Brace yourself for a rocky decade

By Jack E. Lohman

I’m reminded of the football player who recently slugged an opposing team member in the face because he didn’t like his comment. He was suspended for the season and his football career may indeed be over.

In their effort to influence congress, a small but loud group could see similar results from their efforts. Some carry guns to the protests, in one case a semi-automatic rifle hanging from a protester’s shoulder. Not a good sign for people wanting to be viewed as intelligent.

We’re talking about the United States, folks, not Iran.

Of great concern is that the protests will lead to fist fights, bullets flying, armed militia, tear gas, rebellion, revolution, and ultimately Martial Law. Today I welcome the rallies, as do they, but will we a year from now?

Indeed our democracy demands that people speak out on both sides of the issue, and they absolutely should protest the incompetence of government. But I don’t think everybody has thought this through.

Today the health insurance industry has created fake organizations to recruit unwitting citizens and rile them to fight for their profits, even against their own best interests. Their national ads are being paid for with corporate profits, not member contributions, and that should give them a clue.

I disagree with the Tea Partiers on health care, though they are right that HR200 is bad and should be scrapped. We should start anew. If we have to do this piecemeal I’d start by letting corporations and individuals buy into Medicare at cost, with subsidies to the poor. Eliminate Medicaid and BadgerCare and let’s have just one program.

But the protesters should be very mad at their corporate funders because they are being lead in a direction they ultimately will regret. They are being taken for a ride and are being used for their masses and ultimately their money.

But that’s not the main problem. It’s that these citizens are overlooking the most critical issue of all, the buying of our democracy by the industries congress is in bed with.

They should instead be protesting the political corruption that has caused all of this. These industries have bought our nation’s democracy, all while our congressmen have shared in the booty.

Even if taxes for the wealthy increase, taxes properly spent is not the problem. That our congress is transferring taxpayer assets to those industries that fund their elections is the biggest fraud on the public.

Our “democracy” is not sustainable in its current form. Our congress members — our nation’s board of directors — are being bought by those with money and are screwing the 90% that aren’t rich. This cannot continue, and our country cannot survive it long term.

Wendell Potter, a former executive for Cigna insurance, recently apologized for his involvement in trashing our health care system, and clearly our country has paid a heavy price for his and the industries backroom efforts. Unfortunately, the executives of insurance, banking, financial, oil, and other industry’s will have strong reason to apologize for the revolution that will ultimately occur in the US because of their greed and outright fraud on the people of this nation.

As will the politicians who have given away our democracy for a few bucks to pay for political ads.

Tidbits

— Obama is pretty gutless on the issue and does not want to go against the industry. Don’t expect an iron fist on Wednesday. He’s not fighting ideology, he’s fighting industry cash.

— Trigger: If the insurance industry doesn’t introduce competition within three years, we will implement a public option or co-op. A kookie plan pushed by the industry, it gives them another three years of ripping off the public. And in three years, this whole debate starts over.

Co-Ops: Certainly workable but not as efficient as Medicare-for-all. A bunch of employers and individuals get together and self-insure, perhaps with a catastrophic policy. (But government permission is not required for this to move forward on it’s own, as a private effort. They already exist.)

Public Option: The simplest would be to allow individuals or businesses to buy into Medicare at cost. No cost to the government and reduced cost to the buyer. If someone objects to an employer choice, let them opt out and pay the difference.

— Note that “the simplest” is not in our politician’s vocabulary, and they’ll find ways to complicate it, usually to the special interests’ advantage.

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