Are we witnessing a hostile corporate takeover of the United States of America? The Bush Administration has been quietly and incrementally liquidating our public health safety net in a manner reminiscent of the hostile takeovers so prevalent among corporations in the 1980s and 1990s.
A proposed set of arcane regulation changes unilaterally imposed by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) will go into effect between now and May 25, if not stopped by Congress. CMS estimates that the new rules will result in a "cost savings" of $15 billion dollars over five years. But who will benefit from these "savings"?
The rules changes will cause widespread cutbacks and closures of the emergency rooms, hospitals, and outpatient and school-based clinics currently serving most Americans. The cash raised by liquidating America's public health safety net is, according to the Washington Post, equivqalent to five weeks of war in Iraq. It represents just 3% of the $500 billion dollar bail-out the president has promised to financiers. It is money and effort taken from the American people and redistributed to wealthy corporate interests.