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Monday, January 6, 2014

Fwd: SEP Newsletter: The launch of the Obamacare counterrevolution

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Socialist Equality Party" <sep@socialistequality.com>
Date: Jan 5, 2014 11:23 AM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: The launch of the Obamacare counterrevolution
To: "rferrisx@gmail.com" <rferrisx@gmail.com>
Cc:


World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

Below is a selection of articles appearing on the World Socialist Web Site last week. Six days a week, the WSWS publishes on all the major political, social and cultural developments. To sign up for the daily newsletter, click here.

Contents:




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The launch of the Obamacare counterrevolution

Kate Randall
3 January 2014


On January 1, plans sold by private insurers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) began to take effect. The government estimates that more than 2 million people have enrolled for coverage on the insurance exchanges since October 1, including on the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov federal site. Those newly insured under Obamacare have now begun to utilize their new coverage in visits to doctors, emergency rooms and to fill prescriptions.
On July 28, 2009, the World Socialist Web Site wrote of Barack Obama: "His drive for an overhaul of the health care system, far from representing a reform designed to provide universal coverage and increased access to quality care, marks an unprecedented attack on health care for the working population... It is a counterrevolution in health care, being carried out in the profit interests of the giant pharmaceutical companies, insurance conglomerates and hospital chains, as well as the corporations." (Read more)
Further coverage on health care in the US can be found here.

The pseudo-legal arguments for a police state

Tom Carter
31 December 2013

US District Judge William H. Pauley's ruling in the case of ACLU v. Clapper on December 27, which sanctions dragnet NSA surveillance of the telephone records of the entire country's population, has immense significance for democratic rights.
Although it is written by a federal judge, it is not so much a legal opinion as a polemic effectively advocating the scrapping of the US Constitution and establishment a police state. The fact that a federal judge makes such arguments is a significant indication of the extent to which a pro-dictatorship consensus has developed within the highest levels of the judicial system.
The entire opening section of the opinion is a self-consciously political case for police state spying and the silencing of whistle-blowers. Responding to United States District Court Judge Richard Leon's decision earlier this month calling NSA surveillance "almost Orwellian," Judge Pauley employs the argument that every dictatorship throughout history has made in one form or another: that "national security" and the threat of "terrorism" necessitate the abrogation of democratic rights. This is nothing but a variation on the arguments made by Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt that state interests, as determined by an all-powerful executive (a "F├╝hrer"), may warrant a "state of exception," during which the constitution may be suspended and democratic rights suppressed. (Read more)
Further coverage on NSA spying can be found here.

Fiat's $4.35 billion payoff to UAW, Inc.

Jerry White
4 January 2014

On New Year's Day, Italian automaker Fiat agreed to pay $4.35 billion to a United Auto Workers (UAW) trust fund to buy its shares in Chrysler. The deal is a massive payoff to the UAW for the services it has rendered in slashing the wages and benefits of Chrysler workers and boosting the company's profitability.
Carried out behind the backs of Chrysler workers, in the course of closed-door meetings between Wall Street lawyers and consultants, the agreement illustrates the unbridgeable chasm separating the UAW and the rest of the official unions from the working class.
Under the terms of the agreement, Fiat will pay the UAW-controlled retiree health care trust fund--known as a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, or VEBA--$1.75 billion in cash and Chrysler will make a $1.9 billion contribution. Chrysler also agreed to pay the trust $700 million in four annual installments once the sale closes on or around January 20.
The UAW-controlled fund was given a partial ownership stake in Chrysler as a result of the Obama administration's forced bankruptcy and restructuring of the Detroit automaker in 2009. In exchange for the multi-billion-dollar payment announced Wednesday, the UAW will relinquish its 41.5 percent share in Chrysler (Fiat owns the other 58.5 percent) and drop a lawsuit demanding a higher price for its shares. As a result, an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that UAW executives had hoped would drive up the value of its shares has been cancelled. (Read more)
Further coverage on the global auto industry can be found here.


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