This is the only course that can begin to alleviate the grind of deteriorating health care for working people under capitalism in decline.
Today our unions stand weakened by a decades-long course of collaboration with the bosses by the union officialdom and refusal to campaign for the interests of the entire working class and its allies, which includes the failure to fight for universal health care. Instead — for those workers in unions — so-called fringe benefits were more and more tied to company profits, eroding both the fighting spirit and solidarity of the working class.
Obamacare was cobbled together by the rulers, who today are opposed to any moves toward a government-funded health care system. They see no reason not to hold onto as much of the surplus value they extract from our labor as they can. The scheme is designed to guarantee superprofits for the giant insurance companies and other sectors of the so-called health “industry.”
It is built on soaking the young and healthy to pay for the elderly and infirm, one way young and old are increasingly being pitted against each other.
To administer the complex program, a new government bureaucracy has been created, interlaced with the insurance barons, that will make “economical and practical” decisions regarding the lives of millions — like the “death panels” that will decide when you are too old and sick to warrant continuing care.
The decline in health care also unfolds apace in countries where working people wrested a national health care system from the employing class, like in the United Kingdom and Canada. As long as capital rules, all reforms won in struggle are eventually diluted, distorted and turned into their opposite. This is why the working class must chart a road to take political power.
This is the lesson of the Cuban Revolution. After the workers and peasants there, led by Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement, overthrew the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista regime, they carried out a thoroughgoing transformation of society in their own interests. Among the many conquests was the de-commodification of medicine and the construction of a universal health care system run on one simple idea — maximizing the well-being of the entire population. You go to the doctor to get the preventative care and treatment you need. No insurance, no bills.
‘Obamacare’ rollout highlights health care crisis for working class
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