Bush’s “Health Care Reform” Aims to Kill Employer Coverage

As I’ve said elsewhere, the only initiative Bush put forward in his lame SOTU that he might actually be serious about is the health care “reform” in which he wants to address a social problem through tax-policy-tweaking. I wrote:

But the truly insidious element is in the unspoken subtext: what this proposal basically does is offer cover to the corporatocracy so it can decide to stop offering health care to its employees. Why should it?

“Now employees can buy a private plan and pay for it themselves, right? Well, they’re paying $400/mon for our corporate-subsidized plan anyway and the govt will let them keep another $400, so there’s your $800/mon for a modest plan, and what do they need us for? They don’t. End of problem. Alright, so a modest plan probably won’t cover shit like surgery and extended hospital stays, and certainly won’t cover drugs or pre-existing conditions (and everything’s a pre-existing condition to an insurance company, just ask them), but what’s that to us? We can quit paying all that money to insurance companies and put it in our own pockets.”

This is potentially a major boost in the Great Risk Shift, taking a tremendous burden off corporations and dumping it straight onto the backs of its workers under the guise of “helping” them, while at the same time ensuring that greedy, inefficient but profitable insurance companies will stay in control of our health care system. It’s not just insidious. It’s evil.

It seems I’m not the only one to have reached – or at least to be on the road to reaching – that conclusion. Continue reading


Confined Space Closes Down

I suppose it’s to be expected that from time to time real life has to take precedence over blogging. It happened to me, it’s happening to Kevin Hayden, and now Jordan Barab is giving up Confined Space to take a job with the House Committee on Education and Labor. I’m glad that if we have to lose him, we’re at least losing him to a different part of the fight instead of illness or financial difficulties or – worse – the corporate dogs of legal warfare. For almost four years, Jordan has been, if not the only, certainly the strongest voice in the blogosphere standing up for workers’ rights in a time when they were being taken away by a government that was little more than a subsidiary of the corporatocracy.

To say “he will be missed” is like saying we’d miss food if we didn’t eat for a year. He showed a lot of us – including me – how blogging could be used to enlighten, educate and enrage. Continue reading