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"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world" - Henry Kissinger

and yet...

"Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences" – Robert Louis Stevenson

Healthcare stinks because Washington is rotten

Healthcare in the US is broken – at the consumer end it has been getting more expensive and less effective for decades, especially for poor people.  The decline has spanned both Republican and Democratic presidencies, and pretty much every combination of Congressional control.  It is a political football, a stick to beat your opponents with.

On the supply side though, the story is slightly different: some folks in the pharmaceutical business have made a lot of money, and by a strange coincidence many of those same people make large donations to the guys in the middle - politicians. Healthcare is crony capitalism and socialism for the rich at its finest…well except for the deals that politicians make with banks, defence companies and big oil…but let’s give them a day off.

During the 2015-16 election cycle, a total of $23 million dollars was donated to Congress from pharmaceutical companies - $16 million to the House, $7 million to the senate, $9 million to Democrats and $14 million to Republicans. The average ‘contribution’ was $40,000 to Congressmen and $75,000 to Senators. I wonder what all those K Street spivs wanted for all that money?

For the presidential election the Clinton campaign received $31 million from the healthcare sector. They weren’t so keen on Trump - poor Donny only got $5m but that was mainly because they expected him to lose. Strangely though, in a Damascene conversion after he was elected, Pfizer and Dow Chemical each coughed up over a million dollars for his inauguration:

You might think that with so many self-professed smart people in Washington, someone would have come up with something smart to deal with this. For example, anyone with a brain sharper than a savoy cabbage might have looked at the corruption in Washington & thought to themselves…’Gee, I wonder if that’s got anything to do with the fact that nothing works in this town?’

You’d be wrong. You see most of those schlubs are doing so well out of the system, they don’t notice.  (I’m told that if you don’t bathe for a month you stop smelling anything unusual…but I haven’t tested that of course).

Larry Summers, reputedly one of the smartest of the lot, at least according to his mum and people who are intimidated by clever sounding bullshit…has decided that the way to create sanity in Congress is to use moral blackmail to shame Republicans into blocking the latest crazy idea for healthcare. Yeah Larry…that’ll work…

Anyway…here he is in today’s FT polishing his halo and doling out 'soul care' in an article entitled ‘Chance for Republicans to be heroes on healthcare’.

My reply is what FT journalists like to call ‘whataboutery’, except when they are doing it themselves. Technically they are correct…I am guilty…but when it comes to the Teflon Kid, I don’t care.

“I don’t understand how those supporting Cassidy Graham can live with themselves. People will die and they will be responsible” - Larry Summers

Have you considered applying for a job on the ‘The Moral Maze’? They’re always looking for sanctimonious hypocrites to grill other people from the safety of an ivory tower.

I notice you never attach blame to any of the selfish & short-sighted fools who presided over the creation of casino banking and the supply of mortgages to anyone with a pulse - Clinton, Rubin & Summers for example. Do you have any idea how many lives were ruined as a result of those policies, how many job losses, repossessions, bankruptcies, ill-health and even suicides? Of course you don’t – the linkages are far too complex for a guy with blinkers and an aversion to personal responsibility.

If you want to know how self-centred Republicans manage to live with themselves – pretty much the same as self-centred Democrats, or indeed anyone else with their hand in the public purse – for more details invest in a mirror.

A perfect example of the Washington smell

In case you missed it - w/e 15th September 2017