Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Unite Here: ObamaCare increases income inequality. So what's the plan?

(Unite Here, the union.) Quoting a big slab of their recent white paper [PDF]:

The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse
The promise of Obamacare was the right one [Oh? Why is leaving half the uninsured without coverage the right promise?] and the hope for extending healthcare coverage to the un-and under-insured a step in the right direction. Yet the unintended consequences will hit the average, hard-working American where it hurts: in the wallet. Currently a national dialogue is emerging by [sic] all political parties on the issue of income inequality. That is a debate worth having [Yeah, 'cause the 0.01% isn't just robbing us blind; it's trying to kill us!]. The White House and Congressional Democrats are “resetting” the domestic agenda following the negative fallout from the rollout [fallout from the rollout...] of the ACA. They plan to shift focus [at least until the election is over] from health care to bread and butter issues of income inequality that have eroded the American paycheck for decades.

This isn't as horrific as MoveOn propaganda, say. But Unite Here gives w-a-a-a-a-y too much credit to the Democrats -- indeed, the political class as a whole -- for acting in good faith; that's where all this crap about "a national dialogue" and "a debate worth having" comes from, though at least they didn't use the word "conversation." I'm also dubious about the "income inequality" frame, since it leads directly to flaccid, phony rhetoric like "bread and butter issues" and "the average, hard-working American." For one thing, as we know, "averages" are horribly deceptive; they conceal, for example, the degree of "inequality" the paper complains of. For another, what's wrong with "working class?"

Ironically [Ironically? Who's the audience here?], the Administration’s own signature healthcare victory [actually, the cliche is "signature domestic initiative] poses one of the most immediate challenges to redressing inequality. Yes, the Affordable Care Act will help many more Americans gain some health insurance coverage, a significant step forward for equality [why concede this?]. At the same time, without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage

What the Fuck does "smart fix" mean? That language is an insider tell if ever I heard one. Maybe it means fixing the Cadillac plan issue, and throwing single payer advocates under the bus again? Just a thought. And while we're at it, who's the audience for this piece? Hipsters who appreciate irony? "The average, hard-working American" (paragraph one)? Or "the middle class" (paragraph two)? We know what Obama thinks a "middle class" job is: Amazon warehouse work. What do you think, Unite Here?

Honestly, this paper reads like it was written by two people. One wrote the wet-noodle prose above (and not very well, either). The other wrote the bullet points that follow:

• Transferring A Trillion Dollars in Wealth: Most of the ACA’s $965 billion in subsidies will go directly to commercial insurance companies, one of the largest transfers of public wealth to private hands ever. Since the ACA passed, the average stock price of the big for-profit health insurers doubled, their top executives were paid more than a half billion dollars in cash and stock options, and in the past 2 years, the top 10 insurers have spent $25 billion on mergers and acquisitions.

• Strangling Fair Competition: Before reform, different types of health plans were regulated under different bodies of law. The Obama Administration has blocked many non-profit health funds from competing for the law’s proposed trillion dollars in subsidies by refusing to set fair regulations for different types of plans. The unbalanced playing field [the cliche is "level playing field"] will give employers of people covered by these plans powerful incentives to drop coverage.

• Moving to Part Time Work: The Administration’s experts say employers won’t follow the incentives and drop coverage. But they also told the nation that employers would not cut workers’ hours to get below the 30-hour per week threshold for “full time” work, even as 388 employers announced hours cuts since early 2012.

• Cutting People’s Pay: If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage

What strikes me about this white paper is the extreme disproportion between the bad acts of the administration and the political class generally, and the mild, conciliatory tone of the white paper. We've got a trillion dollar upward transfer of wealth and a wage cut for millions. How about Unite Here stops giving the Democrats any money, and fund some more socialists like Kshama Sawant, or some Greens like Asher Platts or Ursula Rozum, or any other emergent parties? The Democrats need to fear their base. That's the only way anything good, anything good at all, will happen. "Dialog" and "conversation" won't cut it.

NOTE Why on earth does Unite Here think increased "income inequality" is an "irony," as opposed to the desired outcome?

0
No votes yet