Private Organizations and American Plutocracy


After a 6-hour night shift, my mother woke up at 6 for a breast biopsy at 8 am. At 7 she takes an hour-long, crammed, and draining bus ride. The operation took 15 minutes, with a needle and a small dose of anasthesia. A week later my parents receive a sense of relief with a clean bill of health, yet this relief is overtaken by dread at a 2,900 dollar cost, for a needle, a small dose of anasthesia, and 15 minutes of the hospital’s time.

For most working-class Americans without insurance, this is the unfortunate price they have to pay if they want to keep track of their health. Not only is insurance another cost on their already strained budget but even attempting to receive insurance is a practically unsolvable riddle of acronyms, PDFs that are tens of pages long and stuffed with incoherent sentences and word choices that many Americans simply don’t have the time or energy to spend hours deciphering. Most businesses would be forced to make their policies coherent and transparent, yet the private healthcare industry doesn’t have to face this pressure including the Bluecross Blueshield association and their thirty-four insurance companies.

In fact, Blue Cross Blue Shield alone spends over double the amount of money they spend for healthcare services just on bills dealing with the intricacies of insurance according to OpenSecrets.Org and their client profile on Blue Cross Blue Shield tracking their lobbying expenses. In the minds of our politicians, money talks, and Blue Cross Blue Shield isn’t the only entity taking advantage of this to increase their own profits at the expense of the working class’ quality of life. Corporate elites across every aspect of American life have also learned of the powerful lobbying firms and offices hold in American politics and have used it to their advantage. 

Wealthy corporations have overwhelmed the ears of our politicians and turned them from servants of the public, into servants of the wealthy. A study conducted by the Cambridge University Press examined data from almost 2,000 public opinion surveys in order to observe how much the effect of public opinion had on public policy and legislation enacted by the government. The data figures on page 10 of the research paper showed that the opinion of average everyday citizens has practically zero effect on the chances of policy that reflects that opinion compared to the economic elite. A functioning and fair democracy is based on the idea that everyone’s voice is equal no matter their status or characteristics as an entity, yet the fact figures like the ones Princeton has presented exist is a frightening and eye-opening revelation to the fact that America functions more so as an oligarchy than a democracy, and its the working class that is suffering for this and costing us by making the systems that should exist to better our lives, into inconvenient and unfair practices that exist to trick us into shilling as much money as possible to the rich.

Of course, some may say that lobbying is necessary to protect the rights of private businesses and that cooperation between the government and corporations is necessary to build a better democracy but even Senator Sheldon Whitehouse cares to disagree with that logic. In an article published by the Center for American Progress, in his book “Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy”, he is quoted as stating “Corporate money is calling the tune in Congress; Congress is unwilling or unable to stand up to corporate power (indeed, Congress is often its agent.)”. This can only be described as a plutocracy. The rule of the rich overtaking the will of the common citizen in America, what is meant to be the beacon of democracy.

Should our public servants be puppets for the interests of the one percent? Why is just one out of hundreds of government officials trying to fight for the public? Should the comfort and wealth of the rich expand at the expense of the working classes’ emotional energy and limited finances? Should American citizens really accept that our aches and pains mean nothing in the face of millions of dollars in corporate lobbying?

Absolutely not, but lobbying for reform or even abolishment won’t be easy. We know that politicians are capable of maintaining their integrity and can fight against lobbying, we need to vote for senators and congress members that value the voice of the people over the voice of corporations and are willing to take action and alleviate the working class of systems designed to break our will and spirit, we must break the plutocracy and pry the greedy hands of private organizations off their grip on capital hill.



Works Cited

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Lobbying Profile,

Page I Benjamin, Gilens Martin, Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, Cambridge Core, Cambridge University Press, 2014. Web.

Kennedy Liz, Corporate Capture Threatens Democratic Government, American Progress, the Center for American Progress, 2017. Web.

Woods Lauren – Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine, UConn Today, University Of Connecticut, 2017. Web. 19 Oct. 2022