The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
The Fat's in the Fire
Friday, July 31st, 2009
The Nossiter Net is cast  to
snare some of  the riper
rascalities of the day.  
Send a letter to the
Talk about being part of the problem. Did you catch the
NY Times photo this morning of the alleged small
business owner wagging her finger at Obama over
health care reform? The self-described "raging
Republican" has another defining quality. Patty
Briguglio is obese, a walking incubator of high-cost
health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Her
profound concern with reform? The cost, naturally, the
Republican faux issue. But this is an age where irony is
dead. The six allegedly moderate senators in whose
hands reform seems to rest are feasting on cookies,
chips, and soda pop during their deliberations. Their
grave concern is of course cost, but since they already
have superb government supplied health care, the cost
to the rest of us of ruining their own arteries is not

Indeed the fine people who represent us in Congress
work tirelessly at their true vocation: serving their
corporate paymasters. Health care reform's
congressional critics frame the debate as virtuous free
market competition against unfair government
intervention. "... Republicans and some Democrats
worry it [the public insurance option] would have an
unfair advantage in competing with private insurers"
Scott Horsley of NPR reported on July 28th.

The clear implication, always unquestioned by Horsley
and his fellow transcribers of corporate propaganda, is
that the status quo is a free market in health care and
insurance, in which consumers benefit from price
competition among providers and insurers. That's why
you can shop around for the best price on a
colonoscopy or kidney transplant, why your mailbox is
flooded with insurers touting great deals to cover your
cancer treatments, and why your doctor is rated for
reliability and quality, just like your automobile. Sure.

Outside the halls of Congress we know that health
insurance is a protected oligopoly whose profits depend
on providing as little coverage as possible. The provider
industry meanwhile combines a closed guild system in
which artificial doctor shortages are maintained by
medical schools and the AMA with a second protected
oligopoly in the form of the giant pharmaceutical
companies, hospital chains, and their associated medical
groups. Consumer pricing power is limited to paying
more or less for greater or lesser care. And that only
applies to those who can afford insurance, or even
qualify to get it, in the first place. The oligopolists neatly
exclude the ill, the poor, and the unemployed.

The greatest fear of the supporters of the status quo is
the very thing they falsely claim to champion: real
competition. Which is of course exactly what a public
insurance plan would provide.

©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2009

                         * * * * *

A NOTE TO READERS ***Update***
Another three week plus hiatus, from April 30th until May 23rd, again
due to Yahoo Geocities dismal service.

There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and
April 26th, 2007, nearly eight weeks.  The reason:  tech sabotage.
Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire
period.  At one point, they even managed to lose all the files.  In many
discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming.  
No one seemed able to fix the problem.  Ruling out the possibility of
Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and
CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone
since the beginning of March.  A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer
named Jason called.  He had my letter before him.  Though he couldn’t
do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day.  That
was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first

The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo

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