Yesterday morning's Los Angeles Times reported that health insurer Blue Cross will have to return $283 million in credit to its customers, this on top of the $167 million in credit to customers that was returned this month. This means two million policyholders will see their bills reduced an average $420 dollars for a family of four. All of this because of Obama's much-maligned healthcare overhaul.
However, this story was overshadowed by the president's frank admission that a centerpiece of his health care reform package must be shelved. It turns out the numbers just aren't there. The President stepped up to the plate and admitted this. He didn't try to hide the news 'till after the election, he didn't fudge the numbers, or put a nice face on the bad news. On the same day, the president traveled to Michigan, a state where auto jobs are slowly returning, largely because, back in 2009 the president refused to let the American auto industry die. But again, this news is overshadowed by the reality of 9 percent unemployment. His current jobs bill, shredded and derided by one and all, would have been a step in the right direction, if other economic indicators looked positive. But they don't. Still, the fact remains that the president's bill, should it pass, might add a few jobs, might put a little food on a few tables. But only a little, and only a few.
I wonder if, back in 2008, Mr. Obama had promised nothing but to do his level best, if we would have elected him. If he'd merely pledged to not start wars on false pretenses, not lower taxes on billionaires, and that he would at least try to push some faint echo of progressive legislation through a Congress that is admittedly funded by oligarchs, would we have given him the keys anyway? What if he'd simply said that he'd have to invite scum like Geithner and Summers into his cabinet, because those are the guys who know where the bodies are buried, and when a capital crime is committed, that information is vital? And what if he'd admitted that, in the face of billionaire investors sitting on their money until they can elect one of their own, then there's very little that even a good-guy can do to create jobs?
Too much honesty? It gets worse.What if President Obama openly admitted that until people occupy the financial districts of all the world's major cities, and force the wealthiest one percent to give something back, that little will change?
Probably, it had to be this way. Probably, this is the only way.