Increasing Capitalist Monopoly & Oligarchy
The newly-passed “Health Care Reform” bill is a prime example of how the capitalist state operates to help the capitalists make money above all. This bill is a ploy, a trick to allow insurance companies to continue to profit off the sick and dying. From now on, any sort of socialized or revolutionary health care, or even a simple single-payer option will be banished from discussion. Neither option was ever available under this bill—they were scrapped by the President himself. This new law is for the parasitic bourgeoisie and for the insurance companies, not the proletariat. There is no single-payer option and it is not socialist health care. Any and all benefit to the proletariat with this bill is a side effect, not the main purpose.
The intervention of the proletariat in medicine must revolutionize it as much as everywhere else in society. What does health care mean under this system? It becomes nonsense if millions are left aside. For millennia, the exploiting classes have made health and medical care a piece of private property. This new law does nothing to change circumstances as far as the class nature of private health care.
The Bill Summed Up
As of the time that this article was written, the following summarizations can be made of the sections of the bill:
1) Insurance companies may no longer discriminate against people for medical reasons; pre-existing condition/genetics/cost of care/cost of claims, history. etc.
2) Insurance must cover preventive care, and child and woman services.
3) Expands Medicare and Medicaid (meaning that everyone under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level qualifies for one or the other).
4) Requires everyone have insurance of some sort: A. Medicaid/Medicare, B. Private insurance purchase individually on exchange, C. Private insurance purchased by employer on exchange, D. Unmarried adult children under age 26 on a parents’ plan.
5) Insurers must spend at least 80% of all revenues on health care. Insurers must accept applicants (individual/company) throughout the states.
6) Employers get tax credits to provide health insurance. Individuals get direct subsidies to purchase health insurance.
7) HHS Sec to create standard policies and other regulations as well as recommend to the Congress such programs as to increase general preventative care.
More Notable Provisions
Public assistance for women’s reproductive health, including abortion, is not in the bill. Federal money was never used for abortion or for reproductive health for women. These measures are not progress but a preservation of the status quo. It contains small parts about keeping costs low, but provides no means to enforce it. For quite a long time, health care costs have been skyrocketing and this does not prevent them from being legally raised. This is another cornerstone of this bill that has been eliminated. Instead of the public insurance option, a guideline was inserted in the bill that makes it mandatory for everyone to be covered by some type of health care plan.
Analysis & Implications
Under this new law, by 2014 everyone will have to be covered by some type of insurance plan by law or be fined. While there is no public option, Medicaid and Medicare will be expanded. Hence in 2014, everyone will have to buy private health insurance by law, or be covered by their employer or be covered by an existing Federal or State program. The government will pay for those who can’t afford insurance with tax money. Hence the government will be mandated to give private insurance companies tax money by law. Buying across state lines makes state regulations useless. Hence, the government will be mandated to give private insurance companies tax money by law with no threat of state interference. The bill proposes to make Medicare less costly and more efficient. Hence, the government will be mandated to give private insurance companies tax money by law with no threat of state interference.
In spite of not being able to discriminate against certain strata, the cost of health care will still rise, the cost of insurance will still rise, and working people will still have to pay for it even as the poverty level in the US increases. There is nothing stopping insurance companies from raising rates if they do not discriminate against anyone except smokers and as long as they find some way to spend 80% on care. There is also nothing stopping medical suppliers from raising rates at the people’s expense. The bill merely relies on capitalist competition to keep prices down. Nothing in the bill lowers costs.
What does all this mean? It means the government of the United States is guaranteeing that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies will get their 20% profit and many millions of new customers. There is no public option to compete with private insurance companies, who will have no price controls to stop them from gouging working people. This bill is a big payout for insurance companies.