Unlike in the rest of the rich world (and much of the emerging world, including Brazil, Costa Rica and South Africa), health care in the United States is not primarily treated as a social good, but instead as a business sector ripe for exploitation by Wall Street and profit-, rent-seeking corporations.
With this in mind, it's particularly funny to see Generation Opportunity come out with a new advertisement claiming that President Obama's health care reforms treat the sector as a game:
Got it, Koch Brothers! 'Our health care is not a game!'
But, if that's the case, why does Aetna's CFO say that health care -- and the Affordable Care Act exchanges -- are all about creating a place for corporations to 'play' in pursuit of a 'fair return on capital'?
So, Aetna says: 'We will play, but we don't really want to overexpose our company at the beginning. We're only going to play where we think we can earn a fair return on capital...So we've gone through all of that and tried to balance all of those things in making our initial determination of where to play.'Ummm, ok! Health care is not a game for politicians says the Koch- and insurer-backed 'Generation Opportunity' group, but if it's not somebody should tell Aetna (and the other insurers), because they sure as hell see providing insurance not as an opportunity to save lives and provide a vital social good, but instead as a chance 'to play' and generate huge returns for shareholders who will then, well, presumably 'play' with those returns on yachts in sunny places.
Aetna's disgusting -- but refreshingly transparent and honest -- CFO is exactly the reason that we need a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system. And Generation Opportunity is right: health care is not a game, it's not a place to play. It's something we all need to live happy, healthy and productive lives.