janan.ganesh@ft.com on ‘The Parable of Obamacare’. Old Socialist scoffs!

Headline: What the parable of Obamacare teaches Republicans

Sub-headline: The party can win a culture war but not a class war

The headline and sub-headline are the utterly preposterous recitations of political catch phrases!

The political hypocrisy, that both The New Democrats and Republicans have displayed , on the issue of ‘Healthcare’ over generations should not surprise. Does any other reader recall this?

Headline: Edward M. Kennedy: The Man Who Killed Health Care Reform

Sub-headline: Don’t cry for me, Martha’s Vineyard.

Over 35 years ago, none other than Richard Nixon proposed a form of “universal health care”. His final State of the Union address called for universal access to health insurance: His plan would have provided government subsidies to the self-employed and small businesses, and build on existing employer-sponsored insurance plans. However, as one might expect, partisan politics provided the usual obstacles: It was difficult for Democrats to concede that the anti-communist Nixon had become a supporter of “socialized medicine”. Teddy Kennedy declared that the plan was designed to benefit the insurance companies; however, the reality was that the insurance companies were in for more regulation.

Nixon strongly believed that a national health insurance plan was crucial. In that 1974 State of the Union Address, he declared that “the time is at hand this year to bring comprehensive, high quality health care within the reach of every American”. Actually, this statement is not surprising considering Nixon’s personal history of poverty and family illness. (He lost two brothers to tuberculosis, the illnesses dealing a heavy blow to the family finances, and in fact proposed a national health insurance bill when he arrived in Congress in 1947.) Nixon sounds very much like Obama, when he said in 1974 that he did not want to see “other families of modest means…driven …to bankruptcy because of the inability to handle medical care problems of a catastrophic type”.

However, the “liberal” opposition, spearheaded by the lobbying of the then-powerful AFL-CIO and United Autowokers, proved too much for an administration spending significant energy on defending against the rising tide of the Watergate affair.

Kennedy did begin secret negotiations with the Nixon White House, but he fell prey to the pressures of the unions, as labor leaders wished for a single-payor system which they felt would be rather easily achieved once a Democrat was elected to the presidency in the face of the Watergate scandal. Many felt that Kennedy would be that Democrat, and therefore he had no business throwing a lifeline to the sinking Nixon administration.


Or this on The Heritage Foundation Healthcare, that Neo-Liberal Hillary Clinton used as ‘her plan’. Read this Forbes essay: 

Headline: How the Heritage Foundation, a Conservative Think Tank, Promoted the Individual Mandate

James Taranto, who writes the Wall Street Journal’s excellent “Best of the Web” column, put forth a lengthy and informative discussion yesterday on the conservative origins of the individual mandate, whose inclusion in Obamacare is today its most controversial feature on the Right.

This came up at Tuesday’s Western Republican Leadership Conference Debate, where Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich tussled on the question:


‘Obama Care’ began its political life as ‘Heritage Foundation Healthcare’ ,in all its Free Market finery, that made it so popular with Neo-Liberals, like Hillary Clinton and eventually Barack Obama. It was an ‘evolution’ over time, like Obama’s ‘evolution’ on Gay Marriage. The Republicans opposed both plans because it was part of The Democrats surrender to the toxin of Neo-Liberalism by the Clintons, whose political opportunism was awash in Reaganite sloganeering e.g. ‘that government is the problem’. The Democratic Party’s Liberals surrendered en mass, after the Clinton victory: the acquisition and eventual care and maintenance of that power was primary. This was favored by Obama because it resembled a ‘kind of reform’, that his Wall Street Financers could see, as still based on the primacy of the profit over people, and almost but not quite canny public relations. That is why ‘Medicare for All’ was never a choice in a Party controlled by The Clintons, and the eventual successor of Trump, Joe Biden

Its regrettable, that Mr. Ganesh lacks the necessary historical knowledge, and or just journalistic curiosity to make anything resembling a valuable contribution to the Healthcare question! Medicare For All just won’t go away!

Old Socialist


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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