Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Battle In The War

BREAKING: AHIP, the health insurance industry trade group, announces that it opposes the final health care bill! Shocked? I guess the announcement was just in case you thought that insurance companies had magically transformed into insurance charities. Nope. Still bloodsuckers.

Seriously, it makes sense that the industry the American people are trying to regulate opposes the regulation. Of course they'd rather keep their prerogatives than not.

But here's something that ought to get more attention:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business association, has been pouring gobs of money into anti-health care ads. This isn’t just a health insurance industry front group. The Chamber is the political arm of Big Business itself. So why is the broader Big Business community dead set against a bill that would extend health insurance to 32 million people, strengthen Medicare, and reduce the deficit?

Maybe they realize that if the American people can successfully wield government power to serve the people’s interests in the face of corporate opposition on health care, then we can do the same in other areas too. String a number of these victories (or losses, from the Chamber’s point of view) together, and the balance of the country begins to shift. It starts to become a nation where the basic security and well being of everyone comes before the privilege and perks of the lucky or successful or conniving few. Think of it as a great realignment of values. Everybody gets a helping before anyone gets seconds, thirds, and dessert. People before profit. Granted, they would be values that we, as a nation, probably already claim to have. The difference would be that we finally act on them. Because from Corporate Power's point of view, we can claim whatever we like as long as we never act on it. With their last-ditch effort to derail health care reform, they hope we never do.

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