Democrats Are Subsidizing Health Insurance Predators
Propping up the corporate health insurance industry isn’t cheap or painless, but for Democrats in Washington, it’s the only way. Instead of enacting a universal Medicare for All health care system that would save the United States and its citizens hundreds of billions of dollars annually, temporarily expanding Medicare, or championing a promised “public option,” Democrats are rallying behind a health care proposal that will funnel tens of billions of dollars to corporate health insurance companies, even as they are already experiencing record profits and jacking up premiums, while continuing to deny claims. Democrats’ current plan will lower people’s premiums, but only on a temporary basis. It will also not stop insurers from passing on huge out-of-pocket costs to enrollees if they need medical care, nor does it improve the quality of people’s health insurance. Indeed, it will push people onto state exchanges, where one in six in-network medical claims were denied in 2019. The proposal would be a boon for the health insurance industry, which has specifically lobbied for the new subsidies. Health insurers have already seen their profits skyrocket during the COVID-19 pandemic, since people have avoided going to the doctor, which means insurance companies are paying less to providers while collecting the same amount of premiums.
Housing and the American Dream: Is A House Still a Home?
This post takes a contrarian view of the preoccupation with home ownership and argues that single family homes increase inequality and the rate of climate change. Its authors contend that the idea that home ownership reduces inequality is largely a conservative myth.I strongly encourage you to read it in full, with an eye to the notion that knee-jerk reactions against some of its arguments are likely to reflect a personal attachment to the notion of homeownership….which as this piece stresses, is a fairly recent cultural inculcation. No less than the Economist magazine recently deemed the push for widespread homeownership as a massive policy failure, and also described how that demand for home-ownership was stoked by messaging and policies, such as tax breaks for developers and buyers. However, this picture is complicated in the US by the fact that tenants have weak rights compared to landlords. That produces a dynamic where the better housing stock is purchased by owner-occupants, since those with the means to do so will want to own their dwelling so as to not be at risk of the landlord not being willing to renew the lease or doing a poor job of maintaining the property. Thus for the most part, renters in the US are young people who haven’t yet accumulated enough to buy a house, and those with moderate or erratic incomes.
Peter Kropotkin:The Scientific Basis of Anarchism
the No-Government system of Socialism, has a double origin. It is an outgrowth of the two great movements of thought in the economical and the political fields which characterize our century, and especially its second part. In common with all Socialists, the anarchists hold that the private ownership of land, capital, and machinery has had its time; that it is condemned to disappear; and that all requisites for production must, and will, become the common property of society, and be managed in common by the producers of wealth. And, in common with the most advanced representatives of political Radicalism, they maintain that the ideal of the political organisation of society is a condition of things where the functions of government are reduced to a minimum, and the individual recovers his full liberty of initiative and action for satisfying, by means of free groups and federations–freely constituted–all the infinitely varied needs of the human being. As regards Socialism, most of the anarchists arrive at its ultimate conclusion, that is, at a complete negation of the wage-system and at communism. And with reference to political organisation, by giving a further development to the above mentioned part of the Radical programme, they arrive at the conclusion that the ultimate aim of society is the reduction of the functions of government to nil–that is, to a society without government, to An-archy. The anarchists maintain, moreover, that such being the ideal of social and political organisation, they must not remit it to future centuries, but that only those changes in our social organisation which are in accordance with the above double ideal, and constitute an approach to it, will have a chance of life and be beneficial for the commonwealth.