Thursday, October 01, 2009

Is the US Really a Democracy?

The performance of Democratic senators and representatives in the healthcare debate has led me to question whether America is still a democracy.

Throw these facts into the mix and see what you come out with. Americans spend more per capita on health care than citizens of any other nation. America spends a much higher percentage of its GDP on healthcare than any other nation. The quality of American healthcare, despite all the money that's poured into it, ranks 37th globally. Americans are paying enormous sums for really quite poor results. Close to 15% of Americans have no healthcare insurance at all. The administrative costs of the private healthcare insurance industry eat up approximately 30% of every health care dollar. The American public supports universal healthcare.

Despite all of those compelling facts, which are not even disputed, and despite that the Democrats have not only a majority but a veto-proof super majority in Congress, not only is single payor healthcare taboo but the so-called "government option" gets trounced - by Democrats. You have to ask just who is pulling their strings? Could it be the lobbyists and the all-powerful healthcare industry? Big Med, Big Pharma perhaps?

Here's my point. If both the Republicans and the Democrats answer to the same master - and it's not the American public - aren't you left with a de facto one-party state? And we know any one-party state can't be a democracy because the manner in which it governs isn't decided at the ballot box. It's decided not by how people vote but by how forces that don't vote buy influence, even control. An America in which both parties are controlled by corporatism is not a democracy.

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