Much attention in the US presidential campaign has been focused of late on Medicare, the health care program relied upon by some 50 million elderly Americans. Democrat Barack Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney are trading accusations about placing Medicare in jeopardy, while both parties and both candidates are in agreement that drastic cuts are required to “save” the government-run program.
The discussion surrounding Medicare is a particularly cynical component of a highly manipulated, anti-democratic process through which the bourgeoisie is vetting its political representatives and deciding who it believes will best carry out its dictates over the next four years. The so-called Medicare debate is a façade behind which the two big business parties are preparing an unprecedented attack on not only Medicare, but Social Security and all that remains of the social welfare programs enacted since the New Deal.
It is a phony debate. There is no serious public discussion of changes that will impact millions of people. No congressional hearings are being held. The real implications of the plans of both parties are concealed from the public by both the candidates and the media. Excluded from the so-called debate is any proposal that rejects as its starting point the defense of the profits of health industry corporations, rather than the well-being of the population.
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