Hightower: The plot to kill health-care reform

As Lyndon Johnson used to say about special interests trying to get his support to pass some blatantly self-serving legislation: “They can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t.”

Yet, chicken sh*t is all that the corporate health complex has to work with as it frantically tries to defend its current system of mass malpractice, known as corporate health care. After all, as most Americans have learned the hard way, the corporatized care of profiteering insurance giants, Big Pharma and hospital chains grossly overcharges us while constantly trying to shortchange or outright deny care to millions of our families.

When grassroots groups rise up against the corporate establishment to try winning some specific progressive changes for the common good, the odds against them can seem daunting. That’s certainly been the case in the decades-long political struggle to ensure that every man, woman and child in our country gets decent health care as a human right. Today, even though we Americans pay, by far, the highest price for health care, most people are denied that right by our country’s profiteering, corporate-run medical industry, which treats care as a privileged commodity.

So many families are left out and maltreated by this dysfunctional system that more than 70 percent of Americans (including a majority of Republicans) now support replacing it with a “Medicare for All” publicly financed system that provides full health coverage for everyone, even as it saves us money.

[pullquote-1] Unable to win public support on their own merit, the corporatists and their hired political hacks are going all out to continue their gouging and keep control of America’s dysfunctional system.

Spooked, they met secretly in downtown Washington to set up the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, a PR/lobbying juggernaut. Of course, what they “care” about is the future of their ripoff profits, and they’ve committed hundreds of millions of dollars and hired an army of more than 200 lobbyists to pound the public and Congress with a nuclear level of propaganda and raw political deceit designed to trash and kill all reforms that would deliver quality, comprehensive care to everyone, at far less cost than they can deliver.

The profiteers warn ominously that such reforms as “Medicare for All” or a “public option” for health insurance would take away people’s “choice” and our “control” over health care.

Hello… we currently have no choice or control. Our “care” is managed by a handful of insurance, drug and hospital monopolists whose primary objective is not improving our health, but feathering their own cushy nests. And the undeniable, ugly truth is that they can only continue ripping us off by killing real reform

That’s one reason the American Medical Association and others are dropping out of the Partnership’s political front. Honest health care practitioners no longer believe it’s in their best interest — or the public’s — to be part of its chicken sh*t PR campaign.