Sunday, July 26, 2009

Obama vs. Corporate Powers

U.S. President Barack Obama's plans on healthcare reform, energy independence and climate change all face tough opposition from corporate lobbies.

The healthcare industry and the oil and energy industry are two of the most powerful corporate powers in America. One can certainly expect massively-financed public relations campaigns by these industries against the changes that Obama seeks.

Battling the medical industry

Healthcare is now the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in America according to a recent study. These bankruptcies contribute to the general woes of the economy as they exacerbate the problem with foreclosures and low consumption.

However, skyrocketing health care costs also have a direct impact on corporations and small businesses. Many of them also are going bankrupt because they can’t handle the load of their benefits programs. Others are cutting back on their plans – something that will increase the number of personal bankruptcies in the future.

The number of underinsured people is now a staggering problem. Many people who thought they were fully covered are often shocked to find out just how little is included in their policies, and this is more apparent among the retired.

Despite the problems, the medical industry has shown resistance to Obama’s plans. Unfortunately, many in what should be an honorable profession have become corrupted by the temptation of big money. The idea of any type of increased regulation or oversight has the greediest in the medical industry the most fearful of all.

Big oil and other energy industries

Here again we have a corporate giant that certainly is not happy about any change in the status quo. Many economic activists have seen big oil as one of the great symbols of what is wrong with modern capitalism.

The energy industry, like the healthcare one, has the bucks to mount a tremendous propaganda war. They can literally saturate the airwaves with messages pushing their own viewpoint.

Obama, of course, is no lightweight when it comes to campaigning. During the presidential election, he displayed brilliantly what is possible using grassroots and modern digital organizing. The battle against the corporate giants though may be his sternest test yet, though. Whether or not he can pull it off will probably have an enormous impact on the future course of his administration. If he does succeed, he will deservedly be viewed as the herald of change that he promised during the campaign. The average person in America should be rooting for him.

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