When talk was circulating that there would be a Medicare “buy-in” for people 55 to 64 years of age, the progressives who worked so hard to keep a public option “on the table” believed for a moment that there’d be a good compromise out of the Senate. Joe Lieberman’s goal all along was to sabotage the Democratic Party from within. The fact that Lieberman retains his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee in the name of a political party he loathes illustrates the rot and decay of the Senate.
If Washington is the place where “good ideas go to die,” as candidate Obama liked to say, then the Senate is the slaughterhouse. This white millionaires’ club where the biggest egos on Earth tell us how goddamn important they are has just screwed the middle class in this country — a middle class that is reeling after years of being beaten down by these Senators’ masters in private industry.
First, these useless “public servants” ignored single payer as if it didn’t exist. Then they took the public option and found every way to tear it apart deploying every trick that lept forth from the fertile minds of health insurance lobbyists. Then they wrapped the public option in an old rug and threw it on the side of the road promising a Medicare “buy-in” instead. Then they killed the Medicare buy-in leaving working families in America to face regressive “mandates” to buy health insurance from private profiteers with no price caps. Wow! Then they have the nerve to ask us for campaign donations and want us to reelect them? Reelect them to do what exactly? Give each of them six more years to butcher more good ideas that somehow find their way to Washington?
The Senate deserves to be turned into a symbolic body akin to the British House of Lords. They can still make speeches and “advise” and “consent” — they just won’t have any real power.
And then we witness the spectacle of hacks like John Ensign, Jon Kyl, David Vitter, and Joe Lieberman hurl invectiveagainst any measure that might benefit a human being instead of a corporation?
Look at what they did to the “public option.” After their masters from the health insurance industry sent in their army of lobbyists the Senators responded like trained circus dogs! Mandates? Who the hell thinks that “mandating” cash strapped middle class families to shell out more of their hard-earned money is something we can call “reform?”
Originally published by the Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author