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The Obama White House and Congressional Democrats are hurriedly wrapping the huge Christmas present they're preparing to give to their bestest friends forever....for-profit coporate health care insurers.
Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, is doing most of the holiday wrapping this year....
Obama administration officials were not pleased when word leaked out earlier today that the White House was leaning on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to cut a deal with Joe Lieberman on a public option alternative--and they gave their counterparts on the other end of Pennsylvania Ave. an earful about it. But in the end, sources are unanimous: The White House wants Reid to hand Joe Lieberman the farm.
Emanuel didn't just leave it to Reid to find a solution. Emanuel specifically suggested Reid give Lieberman the concessions he seeks on issues like the Medicare buy-in and triggers.
"It was all about 'do what you've got to do to get it done. Drop whatever you've got to drop to get it done," the aide said. All of Emanuel's prescriptions, the source said, were aimed at appeasing Lieberman--not twisting his arm.
Think about that. "Drop whatever you've got to drop to get it done."
To get what done? Certainly not real national health care reform. That's not what's getting done. More likely, what Rahmbo was referring to as "it", is the sweetheart deal corporately-compromised Democrats are preparing to hand over to big health insurance and big pharmaceutical. Have a jolly old corporate Christmas, huh?
Joe Lieberman, the most vile, obnoxious, full-of-himself, bastard Senator ever to foul the air of Congress, is paying the Democrats back for their kind gestures towards him after he was booted into Independent status in Connecticut. Just the kind of prickish fellow that Joe is. If you recall, Unholy Joe lost the Democratic primary in his home state in 2006. With the help of many Republican voters, however, the Unholy One returned to the Senate, only this time as an Independent.
Joementum campaigned for McCain/Palin in 2008, and was a featured speaker at the RNC last fall. That wasn't enough for lily-livered, Slinky spined, Senate Democrats to strip the Unholy One of his committee chairmanship or to bar Joseph and his Many-Colored-Turncoat from caucusing with the Democrats.
At this point, Rahm and Barack simply want to pass anything they can claim is health care reform. 60 Senate votes are needed. UnHoly Joe first threatened to filibuster any public option....so majority, yet cowardly, Senate Democrats gave Joe what he wanted. No public option. Now Joe will filibuster any expansion of Medicare for 55-64 year olds.....and so Rahm and Barack pressured Harry Reid yesterday to give The UnHoly One what he wanted. No Medicare expansion.
Now with no public option and no Medicare expansion, "it", as Rahm referred to the health care reform bill.....is only a windfall of mandated new customers with tax dollars in hand to give to for-profit insurance corporations. That may have been Rahm and Obama's plan from the beginning.
Yes, more Americans will have health insurance as a result of this awful piece of corporate-friendly garbage. But prices will rise steadily above the rate of inflation, taking more of everyone's yearly budgets while enriching the insurers beyond anything they've ever dreamed.
"Drop whatever you've got to drop to get it done." Now we know what "it" is. "It" is simply more of what we've witnessed over the last 20 years. Elected officials framing and passing new laws that primarily benefit America's largest for-profit corporations.
During Bush/Cheney it was the Medicare Plan D program which benefitted pharmaceutical and insurance corporations while tricking seniors with "donut holes" and mind-boggling-yet-oddly-similar-looking "choices."
Now it's the Appease Joe Lieberman For The Sake Of Health Insurers Bill.
Here's the question for today. If Republicans were in the majority and passing a health care reform bill (think Plan D), how would the legislation look any different from what Democrats are about to vote on in the Senate? Other than the fact that Democrats are insisting on not increasing the deficit with this new corporate giveaway....I can't think of one issue theoretical majority Republicans would have changed.
Rahm and Barack, as Karl Rove did before them, think they know how to hold a permanent political majority in American halls of power. Co-opt corporate money. Do whatever huge monied interests want you to do so that those corporate interests will continue to finance your national political party.
Karl Rove was wrong then.....Rahm and Barack are wrong now. But either way...Americans are the ones still getting lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings.