U.S. President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, Obamacare (officially: «The Affordable Care Act») is collapsing, because its promise to reduce America’s healthcare costs — which already are twice as high as in other industrialized nations and also twice as high a percentage of GDP as in those nations — is turning out to have been false (Obamacare is failing to reduce either the costs, or the percentage of U.S. GDP, that’s paying those costs), and also because its promise to make health insurance «universal» or cover 100% of the U.S. population, has likewise failed (whereas 85.4% of Americans had health insurance before Obama entered office in 2009, it’s now 89.1%, which is still 10.9% short of being «universal» — though all of America’s economic competitors already have 100% insurance-coverage, «universal healthcare»).
After Obamacare’s having been in effect now for two years, there is no indication whatsoever that it has at all improved the competitive standing of the U.S. in healthcare, but some evidence exists that the U.S. has experienced the exact contrary: the highest percentage increase in that cost of healthcare of any country, soaring from $8,713 per-capita in 2013 (pre-Obamacare), up 9.3% to $9,523 Obamacare in 2014, the latest-reported year. Furthermore, the U.S. is below average in the quality of its healthcare as compared with other industrialized nations. If Obama has had any significant impact upon healthcare in America, that impact has been bad, not good. In fact even just on health-insurance premiums, the story is not good, as Brian Blase summed up on 28 July 2016, headlining «Overwhelming Evidence That Obamacare Caused Premiums To Increase Substantially».
Obama’s other intended historical legacy (though one that he always kept secret from the American people) was to overthrow the leaders of nations that are friendly toward (or especially that are supportive of) Russia (such as Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine, and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya), and ultimately to replace Russia’s President Vladimir Putin himself, and so to force Russia (the world’s largest and most resource-rich nation) to become another member-nation in the American empire. However, that historical legacy, too, is now almost inevitably going to be failed, unless either President Obama or else his immediate successor (he’s hoping it will be Hillary Clinton), will launch World War III in order outright to conquer Russia; and this war-launch appears to be unlikely, because the United States has not yet (if it ever will) achieve «Nuclear Primacy» over Russia — the ability to destroy Russia in a blitz nuclear attack that simultaneously eliminates Russia’s retaliatory ability.
As President Obama had told graduating cadets at West Point on 28 May 2014:
«The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. But the world is changing with accelerating speed. This presents opportunity, but also new dangers. We know all too well, after 9/11, just how technology and globalization has put power once reserved for states in the hands of individuals, raising the capacity of terrorists to do harm. Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums».
In other words: only the U.S. is indispensable; Russia, like any other nation, is not, he is telling America’s future military leaders. Obama sees international relations as being fundamentally an economic competition that’s backed up by the nation’s military, and he instructs his military to treat it that way, and to view every nation other than their own as being «dispensable».
Obama’s proposed three mega-international-‘trade’ deals — TTIP with Europe, TPP with Asia, and TISA regarding financial services — were likewise proposed by him in order to isolate Russia (and also but secondarily to isolate China, and thirdly India and Brazil), by leaving them in the position of facing higher tariffs from the current industrialized nations than the industrialized nations charge each other. Furthermore, Obama’s ‘trade’ deals entail a significant transfer of national sovereignty to international corporations, control over whether there will be any increased regulation to protect the environment, or workers, or consumers, would subject the nation that’s imposing the increase, to pay to the stockholders in international corporations, enormous fines, for violation of those stockholders’ ‘right to profit’, which, in Obama’s view (and in the view of the other heads-of-state in the American empire) supersedes the rights of any mere voter, or taxpayer. So: the U.S. empire is based upon an ideology — the transcendent rights (their ‘rights’ to profit from their gambles) that the stockholders who control international corporations have — and not merely upon the brute force of the military.
However, the prospects now for the passage-into-law of even just a single one of Obama’s proposed three mega-treaties, are little-to-none, because politicians in the participating countries have been getting cold feet about their prior public support for what they all euphemistically call ‘free trade’. Even if Obama wins the current Presidential election and Hillary Clinton becomes his immediate successor, he probably still won’t win even a single one of the three treaties.
That leaves, as his only remaining possible historical legacy, WW III, which is not something that he ever even announced publicly as his goal, and which even he would probably consider to be ‘premature’ because «Nuclear Primacy» hasn’t yet been achieved (if it ever will be).
By Eric Zuesse
Source: Strategic Culture