DETROIT, MI — Underneath the growing division of society into the super rich and the super poor is an ideology that goes by a lot of names—“lean” or “agile” to name two. That ideology is meant to express the drive for profits in reaction to the development of electronic production (robotics) that is making human labor superfluous in the production of our human needs. Our lives are becoming “waste”— unnecessary to the functioning of production and in society.
Public Healthcare is “waste” in the eyes of the super rich. Public Healthcare is being dismantled and privatized.
Iowa is a prime example. Medicaid is being completely privatized. The state has hired private for profit insurance companies to completely manage the publicly financed healthcare of the growing “super poor”.
The publicly owned Veterans Administration healthcare system is being dismantled and turned over to private healthcare. Thirty-five percent of Medicare is now controlled by private insurance companies. Seventy percent of Medicaid is controlled by private insurance companies. In rural areas and inner cities across the country public hospitals and clinics are closing down. Our tax money is being turned over to the private for profit insurance companies, hospitals and clinics.
They are trying to make healthcare more profitable. This means eliminating healthcare for workers they don’t need. How are we to survive? We cannot look backward. There is no return to the “good old days” of going to the job every day. The jobs aren’t coming back. The robots are taking them. We have to find a way to distribute the abundance that robots, science and new technology makes possible without people having jobs.
As robots replace human labor, the struggle over wages is step by step giving way to the struggle over how to meet human needs without a “job”. We must look forward to the future and solve this antagonism.
While the call of the “super rich” is the private ownership of public healthcare, our call must be the public ownership of private healthcare.
This will not happen overnight. We must organize ourselves to eliminate the conditions of poverty since the rulers are organizing to eliminate the people falling into poverty. We, the people, have a right to the necessities of life, including healthcare. This is a political struggle over which class will control society, and will the robots be under the people’s control and used to make life better, or under capitalist control and make life worse. We have to fight forward to a new society. Public Healthcare for All must become our call. The alternative is unthinkable.