In cobbling together the broad-based coalition that rammed health reform though Congress earlier this year, President Obama and his advisers ignored the sage of advice of an old Indian proverb.
“When you invite the Tiger to dinner, always remember that the Tiger gets to decide what’s on the menu!”
Big Insurance and Big Pharma — the two greediest and most parasitical players in America’s health care sector — cynically spent millions on ad campaigns supporting Obamacare because they realized they would reap billions of dollars on the fuller coverage mandated by the omnibus package.
Gone with the wind are their protestations of undying trust in the free market system; leave such twaddle to the hard-working doctors and nurses who toil long and hard — and, yes, often for too little-pay — to actually deliver high-quality health care to the American people.
Mr. Obama betrayed the progressives who were his base constituency and destroyed the longstanding dream of a rational, single-payer government-run medical system similar to those in Canada and most of Europe.
Already a number of major U.S. insurers — Aetna and BlueCross BlueShield among them — are announcing major increases of more than 9 percent and blaming it on provisions contained in Obamacare.
By engaging with the private insurers, Mr. Obama has assured himself even more insurance price hikes in the near future.
Had Democrats merely listened to the wise counsel of such progressives as Reps. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., and Texas maverick Jim Hightower and pressed for single-payer while they had a staggering majority they likely could have avoided all of this.
From a Canadian perspective, they might be far happier if they had. Yes, the Canadian system has some major flaws, but most of the country’s 34 million inhabitants seem relatively happy with it. It provides all the necessities, but few of the expensive frills of the American system.
Suck it up America! By the time the Obamacare disaster craps out; you’re going to have to.
Bogdan Kipling is a veteran Canadian journalist based in Washington, D.C. This commentary was distributed by McClatchy Newspapers.