You'll notice, however, that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are still here, vying for the nomination with the blessing of big business, at least in part because they have not espoused any solution to our broken health system that addresses the real cause of the problem. Both candidates have put forth their own versions of a fix, but each promises to be only a sop to the public, as they pointedly insist that the root causes of the problem are left intact. Profit, in the industry that determines who dies because they can't afford to pay what is required to live, shall not be denied.
Clinton has been talking the populist talk all along the campaign trail, trying to convince people that she is the best qualified to find real, meaningful solutions to the problems that confront our country today, and she has met with some success, despite occasionally having to defend her voting record.
Obama has made tremendous inroads into Clinton's lead recently, as most of the supporters of John Edwards, a quasi-populist at least, seem now to be gravitating toward Obama.
You'd think that Clinton, feeling the heat from the suddenly close race, would take particular care to avoid alienating the lower income and working class Democratic base, but this makes you wonder: excerpted from Yahoo News (2/03/08)--
In a day dominated by familiar stump speeches, made news by saying she might allow workers' wages to be garnisheed if they refuse to buy health insurance. She has criticized Obama for pushing a health plan that she says would not require universal coverage.
Pressed on how she would enforce her mandate, Clinton said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."
She said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms. Under her plan, she said, health care "will be affordable for everyone" because she would limit premium payments "to a low percent of your income."
Obama has said he would require parents to buy, and possibly fine them if they refused. But he would not insist that all adults buy insurance.
I hope you caught that. She said she would consider garnisheeing wages of anyone who didn't buy in to her health insurance plan, if it determined they could afford it. That is exactly the wrong thing to say to millions of lower income wage-earners struggling to make ends meet.
Perfect--if you can't baffle 'em with bullshit, threaten to hit 'em where it hurts the most. That'll make you a lot of friends when you need them the most.
And just wondering, what specific criteria will be used to make the decision on affordability, and who will make the determination? The insurance companies? Will they also be granted authority to initiate the garnishment actions in order to collect their premiums?
Of course none of these questions would even be necessary if Kucinich's program was brought back into play. It should be the main plank of the Democratic platform, but that would require standing up for the people against the establishment, so you can forget it.
Anyway, I think that Clinton's comments really were a message to conservatives that she's a friend of big business and they don't have anything to worry about if she wins the nomination. We'll see if that bites her in the ass.