A Marriage Made in Hell — Joe Biden and the Medical Industrial Complex

NO MFA

How’s this for a healthcare system to be proud of? The most expensive in the world yet with the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among the top eleven economically advanced nations. The U.S. is number one in the prevalence of chronic diseases and in a shockingly high obesity rate. Yet the former vice-president and probable next president Joe Biden thinks that Obama’s refashioning of the U.S. healthcare system popularly known as Obamacare is “the crown jewel of the Obama administration.” Written by a bunch of health insurance hacks and borrowing liberally from the brain child of a conservative think tank, Obamacare is an expensive mess. Even after it was passed, 29 million were still uninsured and another 38 million underinsured. The pandemic has made matters worse hiking the number of uninsured to over 45 million. Not letting the desperate plight of many Americans get in the way of cold, hard donor cash, Biden dismisses a national single payer healthcare system. In fact, Biden has promised all his major donors that “nothing would change” in his administration. In grateful thanks, the pharmaceutical industry stuffed his campaign stocking with over $7 million. As the dreary statistics on the inadequacies of U.S. healthcare continue to bedevil, we wonder why that $3.65 trillion the U.S. spent in 2019 on healthcare isn’t saving more lives. With billions going into the pockets of predator investors who own 70% of nursing homes, 25% of hospitals, 47% of doctors’ practices and 45% of emergency departments, there is precious little left to make Americans healthier. U.S. medical care has become a push for immense profits at the expense of people’s lives and well-being. What will President Biden do to remedy the situation? Read “A Marriage Made In Hell — Joe Biden and the Medical Industrial Complex” and weep.

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Lost in Bidenland

Oligarchy

In this upside-down world, change only happens when there’s a demand for it. Getting rid of President Trump doesn’t qualify. Nothing changes when he’s gone — income inequality will continue its upward trajectory, the bellicosity characterizing U.S. foreign policy will persist along with endless war, and the planet will continue to die. Will Joe Biden turn things around? Not without a big push from the voters. Remember when candidates Clinton and Obama rolled to victory claiming they would make the world a better place. Maybe we should have gotten it in writing. Millionaire and billionaire campaign contributors didn’t make the same mistake. Their donations were contingent on a (generous) return on their investment. Clinton was quick to relieve Wall Street moguls of those burdensome regulations that protected the people but stood in the way of the obscene profits the Street was accustomed to. Obama paid up by making the too-big-to fail banks even bigger and more failure-proof. There’s more of course, but you get the picture. It’s Biden’s turn now. While big donors will see a huge return on their investment, a different fate awaits the people. On all the issues they favor by large margins— Medicare-for-all, Green New Deal, free college, student debt jubilee, ending fracking —he’s already turned thumbs down. Trump may go but in the absence of substantive demands, business as usual will prevail. Let’s be clear, some promises Joe dare not leave on the table— the ones he made to his multi-million dollar donors (the pharmaceutical, fossil fuel, and finance industries and Wall Street). Read “Lost in Bidenland” for more of the ways the people lose when the oligarchs win.

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