Suffering in the US due to COVID-19 is brought to you in part by the Democratic Party, their supporters, and their Republican allies

Make no mistake about it: we are in this mess now as a direct result of the policies supported by both parties that own the government. I mean "own" literally: the two parties having members occupying approximately 100% of elected offices in the country are, officially, corporations. Their control over our government is ownership in the most fundamental sense.

People in the US are losing their livelihoods and their lives, right now, because of inhumane policies. Let's go through the two worst, shall we?

Employer Sponsored Health Care

Companies that are large enough to offer health insurance often self-insure. What does this mean? Simple: every time someone files a claim, the payment made by the insurance company is, ultimately, made by the company the individual works for. The insurance provider listed in the individual's benefit plan is an administrator for the company-funded program.

Why this is inhumane

That's simple, too: there is a perverse incentive and feedback loop that operates. The perverse incentive is to reduce costs. The feedback loop is that this incentive exists simultaneously in both the company and the insurance provider, with a direct connection: the insurance provider is incentivized to reduce costs to their customer (the employer) so that they can keep their contract, and the employer is incentivized to reduce costs because it improves the bottom line. The result is that quality of care is dis-incentivized in favor of protecting profits. Companies literally don't care if workers die (they cease being a cost, and can be replaced) and insurers don’t care for similar reasons: one less expense.

Social safety nets

This includes anything from Section-8 to SNAP to mental health support. All of these are in a shambles thanks to a persistent, 40 year effort to defund and modify them to benefit private administrator corporations. These initiatives were started by Ronald Reagan, but every single president since then has expanded and "improved" them (i.e. made them better at being worse for the people they were meant to serve and better at lining the pockets of wealthy individuals corruptly skimming from them), including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama--key Democratic figures.

Why this is inhumane

It's fairly self-evident: without strong social safety measures in place, the most vulnerable among us suffer. Worse, their suffering is extended and made worse specifically for the purpose of making already wealthy individuals wealthier. Without a strong system of employment insurance, financial assistance for necessities like food and shelter, and mental health services, the poor and those who need assistance to simply care for themselves cannot take time off for illness or to care for sick family, they are dependent on their job(s) in a way very much analogous to the serfdom of feudal times, and large-scale economic catastrophes disproportionately affect them negatively.

What does this have to do with COVID-19

It's a simple exercise in deduction.

Tying health care to employment leads to widespread, severe shortcomings in care when employment drops, especially if it drops rapidly in a time of widespread disaster such as a pandemic. Individuals who are suffering when things are (supposedly) going well suffer even more!

Having poor, underfunded, inadequate social safety measures in place acts as an exponential multiplier for individuals already impacted by the shortcomings in health care. More of these individuals will get sick, get sicker for longer, and more of them will die.

Who has supported these inhumane things?

The list of proponents of these policies is basically the list of leaders of both parties: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, etc. Their prominent supporters (e.g. Markos Moulitsas, Sean Hannity) aid and abet their political policies--they're just as responsible for the system we have today as the politicians they promote and support.

We are in this situation not because mean Republicans refuse to help Democrats enact policies, but because Republicans and Democratic politicians together, in coordination with their supporters, work to enact the policies we have today.

I am so sick of Democratic operatives and partisans trying to shove the load of dogshit that "republicans won't cooperate". The goddamn democrats are complicit.. End of story.

Many people who are dying in this pandemic didn't have to die. And their deaths are on the hands of these politicians and their enablers.

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was just the first step? That there would incremental improvements until it finally did what it was supposed to do?

Well it's been a dozen years, and as far as I know not one single "improvement" has been made.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd

to insurance companies. Even the beneficial components of that bill serve to enrich insurance companies and further entrench the system--meaning the benefits are in the long-term self-defeating. It was particularly cynical: prey on those who need help the most by offering the short-term relief they need, while forcing them to accept a mechanism of delivering that aid that is self-harming in the long term.

It was disgusting and craven then, and the problems with ACA are made strikingly clear in the current disaster.

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longtalldrink's picture

@UntimelyRippd "Well it's been a dozen years, and as far as I know not one single "improvement" has been made."

They have been handing us that horsesht line of "now is not the time to...whatever", for forever. We knew their azzes weren't sht when they did nothing about guns after all those poor little children were killed in their school. They had the nerve to say (even then) "now is not the time..." Thoughts and prayers bullsht.

They know the public gets "bored" after a while and goes back to Netflix...but I don't know...maybe not this time. This may be a bridge too far.

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I'd add a third atrocity: the degradation of the physical infrastructure of our country through what appears to be deliberate neglect. "Running the country like a business" has meant, for the last forty years, "running the country like a business that is sacrificing quality, the lives of its workers, and the physical environment, to its own bottom line." Thus, spending less on bridges, roads, railways, schools, utilities, etc. makes the "business" that is the United States of America more profitable.

That's how we get things like 35,000 people in Detroit having no water.

What do you think that's going to do in the middle of a pandemic?

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Trillions for war and wall street.
Peanuts for people.
No money for infrastructure.
Can't afford healthcare or education.

What good are our 'elected' representatives
if they don't represent us?
We are being fleeced.

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

per World o Meters And the day isn't over. Many countries report on a daily basis, but they have a national public health agency collating the data. The US CDC said a few days ago that they will no longer handle that and tossed it to the states. For the past few days, the US numbers have been changing (increasing) several times a day. In the past two days, Germany and the UK began doing the same. This makes it not look as bad from one report to the next.

On deaths, Italy remains #1 -- with more than twice that of Spain at #2.

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The democratic opposition will take care of everything.

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The thing is that exploiters are going to exploit. We may as well write about why the sun refuses to rise in the west.

Nothing is going to change until Americans have had enough that the decision to change how they think and live is better than living in the shit. The frog and scorpion proverb is spot on. The scorpion is going to be a scorpion. It is the frog that has to refuse to give the scorpion a chance to sting him. People have to change. Nothing else will do.

I keep expecting people to get fed up enough to stop putting these parasites in power. Life simply isn’t bad enough yet for those who benefit from, or can just hang on, the system as it is. I keep thinking that Americans are made of sterner stuff and keep getting proven wrong.

I haven’t the foggiest how to help this process along. Every crisis more people seem to come around for awhile but revert to old habits. The only success I’ve had have been long time one on one discussions with friends. Even then most are not to the point of risking the life they have, no matter how tenuous, to try support real change. Maybe this virus will do the job but I seriously doubt it.

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snoopydawg's picture

@vtcc73

for no reason it will bring people up and out of their usual way of seeing things our government is doing and how they have been getting screwed more and more each election cycle. The last bailout brought OWS and I think this one will get people to see how they are not being represented.

But if that happens the PTB will bring everything they can to bear against us. This is why the police have been militarized and given all that military equipment. Plus there is legislation in place to rob people of their civil rights and I don't think the second amendment folks will take that lying down. Yes I know many have already after the TSA and other agencies were created, but not as many people were living on the edge back then. Stay tuned...things might get interesting.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg The police are working without face masks. A lot of them can go to the VA, but that will be just as crowded as all the other hospitals.

Their kids are out of school, too. Most of them have extended families who are having a hard time.

We just need to get them out from behind their face shields long enough for them to admit they are also interchangeable and expendable.

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@vtcc73

due to the historical circumstances around America's formation and the current climate. There are too many people who just don't care or--more significantly--are too damn busy just trying to survive to make any general strike or more significant action likely any time soon.

It's going to take an America-shattering event on the scale of the civil war to bust the through the collective ignorance of our people. Think "rock bottom", then dig deeper.

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