After reading this morning about Gov. Haslam’s total lack of humanity in his decision on TennCare, I had intended to write a lengthy piece about why his idea is such a disaster but then encountered this from Belen Fernandez, author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work and contributing editor at Jacobin Magazine, in her opinion column today on Al Jazeera Online:
The neoliberal experiment in the US has helped mold a society disconnected from the human condition, where oppression of the individual has aimed to thwart popular solidarity that might threaten the experiment. What should be a universal right to health care, for example, is instead wielded punitively against the population, and, as acclaimed journalist and radio host Doug Henwood points out, “Obamacare” will presumably result in a situation in which “scores of millions are thrown onto the private individual insurance market and forced to pay $1,000 a month for crappy coverage”.
I find it nearly impossible to put it better. TennCare, initiated by Democratic governor Ned McWherter, was intended as a show-piece of the Democratic Party’s program of pushing PPP’s, public-private partnerships. These PPP’s were inflicted on the nation as a major facet of the agenda of the Clinton administration back in the 1990’s.
Like every other neoliberal plan to destroy the gains of the New Deal and the Golden Age of Capitalism to which it led, TennCare has proven to be a miserable failure. And now Gov. Haslam’s answer to its critics is to do more of the same. In addition to this obvious assault on common sense from that perspective, this plan ignores the fact that these companies were major players in the various debacles which brought down the economy at the end of 2007 and gave us the STILL CONTINUING Great Recession.
But what else can we expect of a man who gave The Finger to one of our state’s chief employers and producers of wealth? I refer, of course, to Haslam’s response to Volkswagen’s impending institution of a workers’ council and likely corresponding invitation to the United Auto Workers to form a local at the plant. That is exactly the war Volkswagen handles its labor relations in Germany and Haslam & Co. have no business messing with VW’s business.
Of course, they already have done so with their law allowing workers to carry arsenals to their places of employment in their vehicles. This in of the explicit testimony of numerous incidents of workplace multiple shootings and desires of companies such as VW to avoid those kinds of insanity which don’t happen because (1) gun ownership is not as widespread both because of laws and differing temperaments, and (2) guns don’t kill people but Americans with guns kill a lot of people.