Since the first days of his administration, Obama has methodically erased single-payer advocates from the picture. The president feigns
amazement at popular demands for a change in the industrial world’s most expensive and dysfunctional health care system.
“We’re doing some stuff on health care because I think the country is geared up,
businesses are geared up, families are geared up to go ahead and start
solving some our extraordinary health care system problems,” Obama
fairly gushed , as if his own corporate-friendly proposals
accurately reflect the public will. In reality, the administration is
engaged in an elaborate charade designed to sidetrack, possibly for
decades, the most broadly supported idea in American politics, today:
single-payer health care.
Obama has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress advocates of a
single-payer or “medicare for all” system, which polls  have
consistently shown to be favored by at least six in ten Americans,
including majorities of doctors and other health care professionals.
HMOs, insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations rank among
the most despised institutions in the landÂ -Â causing obama to take on
the mission of saving them from the public’s wrath. As the reigning
impresario of theatrical faux-change, Obama choreographed last
weekend’s parade of industry troglodytes (and one very wayward union)
promising  to “save” the homeland from their predatory selves to the
tune of $2 trillion over the next ten years by reducing the growth of
the percentage they gouge from the economy.
Obama welcomed the industry’s hollow pledges as history-making
breakthroughsÂ -Â as well he might, since the White House had
stage-managed the entire production. The left-leaning but gullible
Huffington Post reported  that “two senior Obama administration
officials…i mean pretty darn senior” called the telephonic conference
to prepare the media for their bosses “response” to the mother’s day
“surprise.” Huffington Reporter M. S. Bellows, Jr. sees through the
industry’s smoke-and-mirrors but, like so many “progressives” still
addicted to the Obama Kool Aid, fears that the president is being led by
the nose. He wonders: “by taking for-profit corporate lobbyists at
their word, is Obama setting himself up to agree to step off the path”
to single-payer, low-cost healthcare? “single-payer health care is the
most broadly supported idea in American politics, today.” Far from
passively taking the health care predators “at their word,” the
manufactured rapprochement between the White House and the health
predators was yet another carefully scripted act of classic Obama
political theater. The cast of characters that are permitted to perform
in the drama are chosen for the purpose of exclusion, not inclusion.
Single-payer advocates, who represent the views of strong majorities of
Americans, are excluded from the production by the grand director,
President Obama. The impression is created that the parameters of
serious discussion range from Obama’s amorphous position, on the
“left,” and the hated corporations on the right. When the fat cats and
the top cat ultimately shake hands, a national consensus is declared.
It matters little that the biggest majorities to coalesce around any
major issue in contemporary American life have been squeezed out of the
Obama opposes single-payer, viciously and with a vengeance. To prevail
while in opposition to the people’s will requires elaborate
reconstructions of realityÂ -Â similar to, but far more sophisticated
than, the old Kremlin’s storied manipulation of Politbureau photos.
Since the first days of his administration, Obama has methodically
erased single-payer advocates from the picture, with the enthusiastic
collaboration of the corporate media (as documented  by Fairness &
Accuracy in Reporting). The message is: there is only one program for
health care reformÂ -Â Obama’s. The White House drummed this patent
falsehood into the public mind through a series of health “summits”
and conferences featuring Republicans, industry lobbyists and
compliant Democrats, from which single-payer advocates were excluded.
It took howls of protest from labor and elsewhere to force Obama  to
include House Judiciary Chairman and single-payer legislation sponsor
John Conyers and another single-payer token among over 100 participants
in a White House showcase, in March.
Democrats on the hill dutifully behave as ifsingle-payer is a verboten subject.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enforces the Obama line: “over and over again,
we hear single payer, single payer, single payer. Well, it’s not going to be a single payer.”
case closed. Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus conducts
ludicrous sham hearingsÂ -Â shamelessly dubbed “public roundtable
discussions”Â -Â based on the Obama White House template: no
single-payers allowed. On May 5, eight single-payer advocates, three of
them physicians, were arrested for attempting to break the wall of
censorship. The “Baucus Eight ” were followed on May 12 by an
additional “Baucus Five ” when two registered nurses from the
California Nurses Association, two doctors from Physicians for a
National Health Program, and a patient advocate were arrested for
violating Obama’s taboo against single payer advocacy. The nurses
group headlined their press release  following the arrests: “Nurses,
doctors arrested but insurers get a seat at the table.” Much of the
Congressional Black Caucus is cowed by the Obama health care muzzlers,
despite overwhelming african american support for single-payer. Of 41
CBC members, only 29 are co-sponsors  of Rep. Conyers legislation,
H.R. 676 . Obama’s conduct of the health care non-debate gives the
lie to his supposed credoÂ -Â that he seeks to unite americans around
issues of common concern. In reality, Obama seeks to create a facade of
unity along lines that do not threaten corporate power. He is
determined to shut down the left, and will succeed in doing so as long
as “progressives” persist in believing that, deep down, this president
is on their side.