There are 3 huge bills in the pipeline now, and what they all have in common is that none of them - NOT ONE - is going to change much of anything. It's important to remember that.
Despite all the hoopla, despite even Dennis Kucinich abandoning the ship (albeit under enormous pressure), despite Jacob Hacker's assurances, despite the so-called progressive media (SCPM) doing the Dance of Joy that America will at last have healthcare reform and their insistence that it is reform and the CBO says it will save a $TRILLION$, despite all that we need to remember that nothing in this bill will or can change this kind of immoral and reprehensible behavior:
In May, 2002, Jerome Mitchell, a 17-year old college freshman from rural South Carolina, learned he had contracted HIV. The news, of course, was devastating, but Mitchell believed that he had one thing going for him: On his own initiative, in anticipation of his first year in college, he had purchased his own health insurance.
Shortly after his diagnosis, however, his insurance company, Fortis, revoked his policy. Mitchell was told that without further treatment his HIV would become full-blown AIDS within a year or two and he would most likely die within two years after that.
So he hired an attorney -- not because he wanted to sue anyone; on the contrary, the shy African-American teenager expected his insurance was canceled by mistake and would be reinstated once he set the company straight.
But Fortis, now known as Assurant Health, ignored his attorney's letters, as they had earlier inquiries from a case worker at a local clinic who was helping him. So Mitchell sued.
In 2004, a jury in Florence County, South Carolina, ordered Assurant Health, part of Assurant Inc, to pay Mitchell $15 million for wrongly revoking his heath insurance policy.
In September 2009, the South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the lower court's verdict, although the court reduced the amount to be paid him to $10 million.
Previously undisclosed records from Mitchell's case reveal that Fortis had a company policy of targeting policyholders with HIV. A computer program and algorithm targeted every policyholder recently diagnosed with HIV for an automatic fraud investigation, as the company searched for any pretext to revoke their policy. As was the case with Mitchell, their insurance policies often were canceled on erroneous information, the flimsiest of evidence, or for no good reason at all, according to the court documents and interviews with state and federal investigators.
That's called "recission" and nothing in the bill that's about to be passed will stop it or even restrict it, Obama's recent claims during speeches notwithstanding. NOTHING. We are going to be forced by the govt to buy expensive private health insurance that will become worthless as soon as we need to use it. Nothing will prevent ludicrously high premium hikes or having standard operations declared "experimental". Nothing in this bill will prevent a single predatory practice of our rapacious for-profit private insurers, yet we will have to pay for these policies by law.
Where's the reform?
The "Jobs" Bill
Very soon Obama is going to be signing a "jobs" bill that doesn't create one job. NOT ONE. It's all about corporate tax credits and incentives.
The measure would exempt employers from their 6.2% Social Security payroll contribution for every new employee hired through 2010, if that person had been out of work for at least 60 days. There would also be an additional $1,000 corporate income tax credit for every new employee kept for 52 weeks.
Experts are divided over whether the payroll provision will boost hiring.
No, actually they're not. Economists say it won't work because it's been tried for 30 years and we've lost millions of jobs as a result; conservative apologists and ideologues say it will because that's what they always say even when their own numbers prove they're wrong. That statement is practically the definition of a "false equivalency". Of course, that's not all. Maybe this will help create jobs. Whatd'ya think?
The measure would also make it easier for businesses to write off equipment purchases and would authorize the transfer of $20 billion into federal highway and mass-transit funding programs, which Democrats hope will jump-start construction projects.
Yeah. Right. This is the same snake oil conservatives have been selling since the 19th century they'd like to take us all back to: "If we give them lots of $$$, corpo's will loosen credit and hire people." Except we do and they don't. They find a way to put the money in their pockets without hiring so much as an extra janitor.
Witness TARP. If you want businesses to expand, then you loosen credit, make it easier and cheaper for them to borrow the money they need. Remember, 80% of new jobs created are created not by banks and giant corpo's but by businesses with an asset cap under $10M. So we paid the banks and ordered them to use our money to loosen up credit.
They used it to pay themselves bigger bonuses, and credit remained tight.
Nothing in this bill directly creates a job or directly loosens credit. NOTHING.
So where are the jobs?
Last but not least we have the so-called "financial reform" bill. I've written about this at length several times this past week so I'll shut up and let economist and former financial "engineer" (a financial engineer is somebody who creates, develolps, and/or supervises financial instruments - like, for instance, deivatives) Mike Konczal, now of the Roosevelt Institute, sum it all up after his exhaustive analysis.
Ok, so a crowd-sourcing request. There's a lot of coverage on the new Chris Dodd financial reform bill, and most of it is trying to find good things to say about the bill. Trying very hard in fact, with varying degrees of success.
I want to approach it from a different angle: What would an investment bank hate about this bill, and lobby hard to change? I actually read this bill as if I was a Goldman Sachs lobbyist, looking for all the sections that I hated and made a list of what items I needed to lobby hard on to kill or modify.
My final verdict, by the time I got to the end? If I was a Goldman lobbyist, I'd probably shrug and go "eh, pass it."
What's there to object to? More practically, what's this bill really going to do? I really couldn't find anything outside of two items that nobody expects to be effective anyway, and one I'm doubting will get passed. I'd love all of your help to think of ways in which the current system of financial "rip our clients' face off and drink the real economy's milkshake" capitalism would be worried that this would disrupt the new post-bailout status quo, but I can't find it.
That about covers it, I'd say.
So where's the damn reform?
There isn't any. It's smoke-and-mirrors start to finish. Remember this as you hear the BD/GOP and the MSM and Obama and everybody else fall all over themselves building up this BS as if it was a world-changing, fundamental improvement over what existed before and a Great Achievement:
It's neither. Obama's New New Deal is actually an Old Old Scam.
Powered by Zoundry Raven