It’s a mentality. It’s a culture. It’s a way of doing business. And it is what Mr. Trump promised to fix. It is The Swamp. Now The Swamp beckons Mr. Trump to become part of it, too. He should resist this impulse at all costs. If he doesn’t, The Swamp wins and everybody else loses. And we mean everybody. Trump. Ryan. Republicans. Individual Americans.
The Swamp, as we define it, is the miasma of corporate interests and cronyism that fuels modern day politics at the national level. It is also the combined idea that government knows best and that one standardized model of – whatever – can accommodate all people and all situations. Mr. Ryan and Establishment Republicans (GOPe) are putting forth the same worm-infested, moldy, eight year-old bread the Democrats crammed down the throats of America in 2009. Except they are calling it by a different name. It is the same lie of Compassionate Conservatism on tap during the Bush years. The Bush flavor of cronyism is a topic for another time.
We say this as clearly as we possibly can. Health Insurance Companies are not your friend. Neither is the GOPe. Both are lying to you. They are lying to you the same way Obama and Pelosi lied to you. The most pernicious part of the Obamacare lie was that the promises were never meant to be kept. The Obama/Pelosi lie was meant to usher in Single Payer. And now the GOPe is lying to you too. Even by the low standards of politics, this is a staggering betrayal of trust. The basis of the lie is that government can provide the things it promises. Those promises have been broken under Obamacare and they will be broken under Ryancare.
The other basis of the lie is a displaced moral authority. Trump held a meeting with Healthcare Executives at the end of December. To a man, the executives introduced themselves as the CEO of this Big Pharma Company or that Mega-Insurance Firm and they were responsible for curing 10,000 cases of disease X in fiscal year 2015 or they treated 5000 cases of cancer Z. Umm…no they didn’t. Corporations do things…but not the things described to Trump. What they do is generate profit, proffer dividends to shareholders, employ people, make something or offer a service. They do not practice medicine. We will repeat ourselves for emphasis. Corporations do not practice medicine. Only individual doctors practice medicine. Doctors may be employed by a corporation, but that is not the same thing. Suffice it to say, he who collects the money calls the shots as to what you as a patient receive and what you do not. And right now, under this version of healthcare in the United States, the people calling the shots are corporate entities working under the auspices of the Federal Government. It is the political allocation of medical decision making. It is exactly the same dynamic as the political allocation of credit that led to the housing debacle. It is no different.
What corporations don’t do is diagnose or treat human disease. Or offer hope. Or have moral standing. Rather, they do have moral standing. But it is the moral standing of the corporation. We do not deny the right or ability of people in America to engage in commerce, which is what incorporated entities are meant to do. Our point is that corporatized medicine has a myriad of problems, the worst of which is illustrated by crony capitalism; that is, forcing people into an economic relationship they otherwise would not enter into. In other words, if given the choice, people would rather not partake. Does Ryan not believe them when they say they don’t want it?
What Obamacare delivered and what Ryancare will deliver are politicized subsidies to the health insurance market jimmied by corporate America. Ryancare is not a slightly less bad version of Obamacare. It is Obamacare. It is Romneycare. It is Clintoncare. If you liked the political slogan ‘Repeal and Replace’, you can keep Repeal and Replace. Oops…sorry. That didn’t come out exactly right. But you know what we are driving at. Ryancare is political cowardice of the highest order. Welcome to the maze of politicized healthcare. The politicians can’t find their way out. How are the rest of supposed to?
Our advice? Just rip the bandage off, already. It’s gonna hurt, yes. But it’s gonna hurt corporate America the most. Too bad. They signed on to this ride, dragging the rest of us along with them. The corporate chieftains who bought into Obamacare will have to explain a declining stock price to irate investors. So what? Investors take risks and they should know better than to invest in companies whose CEO’s cuddle-up to the government. What about individuals? People who didn’t want insurance in 2009 won’t buy it again. Good for them. People who want an insurance plan to cover catastrophic care and nothing else will still be able to get it. Heads will spin about how fast the market and individuals adapt when the government isn’t forcing them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t.
Here’s a play out of the Reagan playbook and the stock market slide of 1987. Remember the howling for someone, meaning Reagan, to do something? He didn’t do a thing and all was right again only a short time later. Do nothing now, Mr. Trump. Let Obamacare fail on its own. The Senate doesn’t have the votes to repeal it outright, lacking the 61 votes to do so. But the monstrosity that is O’care is cratering quickly on its own. Let it fail and make the Dems own it forever. Don’t become a swamp-thing Mr. President. Please.