H.R. 5: The GOP plan to protect the “privileged sector” from prosecution, otherwise framed as a plan to “save” Medicare.
Paul Ryan admitted on C-span that the George Orwell Party’s (GOP) plan to “save” Medicare involves one of the top 5 priorities of the Republican Party since taking control of the House of Representatives. The 5th bill introduced by GOP members of the House (H.R. 5) as soon as John Boehner took over as speaker, is designed to protect the “privileged sector” from prosecution, which has absolutely nothing to do with Medicare. Many people getting their news from the corporately controlled media, especially Fox news or some radical right wing talk show host, however, will not be aware of this reality. Instead, they are likely to believe that this bill will “save” Medicare because the plan to “save” Medicare is the latest “frame” being endlessly repeated by members of the GOP in order to convince people of this Orwellian lie! In reality, the GOP wants to end Medicare, not “save” it.
As can be seen in the details of this bill, H.R.5 is designed to shield the “privileged sector” from any liability or accountability for their actions.
What this means is that any future act of wrongdoing on the part of callous corporations to knowingly and willingly put people’s lives in danger amount to nothing more than a slap on the wrist. By limiting the liability of damages caused by corrupt and willfully negligent corporations, H.R. 5 actually encourages immoral behaviors, and encourages the cost cutting measures that put people’s lives at risk, since the only punishment the “privileged sector” will receive is a measly fine of $250,000. In short, this bill protects the “privileged sector” from prosecution.
Successfully holding corporations accountable for their immoral actions by awarding large sums of money (ie, class actions lawsuits) to the victims of such egregious violations of the law sends a message that these actions are not tolerated in a civilized society. However, rather than discouraging the reckless and callous behavior of corporations by increasing the penalty and holding corporations accountable for their actions, the “privileged sector” and their advocates in the GOP have a different message they want to send. A message that encourages this sort of immoral behavior due to the impact it has on the bottom line, not to mention limiting the amount of damages they have to pay, once their cost cutting measures inevitably fail, and we the people pay the price!
A clear cut example of attempting to protect the “privileged sector” can be seen in the recent BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of demanding answers from the CEO of BP at a House congressional hearing on this matter, a GOP member of Congress, Joe Barton, R-Texas, apologized when we attempted to hold BP accountable for their actions. Joe Barton had this to say, “I’m ashamed at what happened in the Whitehouse yesterday, I think it is A tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown.” This of course, was in reference to the restitution payments BP was being required to pay for the damage they were responsible for causing.
Amazingly, as seen in this short video clip, Joe Barton’s top priority and concern was not for the people who died as a result of BP’s willful disregard of safety standards, nor was he concerned about the catastrophic damage these callous actions caused to the environment. Instead, this ranking member of the Energy & Commerce Committee’s primary concern was apologizing to the CEO of BP. This example clearly shows what members of the GOP really care about, protecting the “privileged sector.”
In the end, the GOP’s plan to “save” Medicare is nothing more than a frame designed to divert our attention away from their real agenda of protecting the “privileged sector” from prosecution. Unfortunately, GOP members in both the House and the Senate are not only helping the “privileged sector” get away with profiting at the expense of the people, but they too are actively receiving a piece of the action!