Saving the automakers with single payer
Universal free health care is the secret competitive weapon of the Japanese, Canadian and European auto industries. Unless and until this competitive advantage is equalized, manufacturing automobiles and practically everything else will be far more expensive inside the US than outside it. No amount of money thrown at the auto industry can solve that, and without medical and retirement expenses, foreign automakers are guaranteed to have the extra cash to match and beat anything US automakers invest in innovative green technologies.
Most US politicians omit this vital contextual information because they or their parties take big money from the private insurers. The private health insurance industry eats one third of every health care dollar to finance its executive salaries, its bad investments, its marketing campaigns, and the bureaucratic machinery with which it denies needed care even to the insured. Since they are integral to the our nation's permanent ruling elite, corporate media shamelessly speak for them and exercise remarkable discipline in keeping nearly all discussion of single-payer medical care away from the eyes and ears of the American public. But thanks in part to the internet, the mainstream media's conspiracy of silence against single-payer health care is not working as well as it used to.
So, look, if Leader Nance's plea for a "plan" from the automakers is some sort of Rovian triple bank shot to get GM to ask for single payer and shove the Overton Window left so the Democratic, er, leadership doesn't have to, I'll be the first to applaud. Heck, Wagoner might even do it. And now let's quote Dixon's lead:
No presidential administration keeps its promises without relentless pressure from below. It's never happened before, and there's no reason to expect any different.
So, if the dream scenario comes true, and GM -- of all corporations -- is cornered into taking point on health care, the trick is going to be making sure that GM's position is the floor, and not the ceiling.
NOTE Via Zuzu.