Home > News and Commentary > Corporate Whore Health Care Summit Locks Out Single Payer And Medicare For All Advocates.

Corporate Whore Health Care Summit Locks Out Single Payer And Medicare For All Advocates.

As the so called “Health Care Summit” got underway between the “third way” Democrats and the status quo obstructionist Republicans defining the debate, Democratic representatives that supported real reform on behalf of the American people such as Anthony Weiner (D) NY, Dennis Kucinich (D) OH, and Peter Welch of Virginia requested the inclusion of physicians that advocate single payer (but were ignored) as these groups stayed at home. This on the heels of a year that showed America’s biggest insurers combined profits rose 56% in 2009 while covering 2.7 million less Americans. In this from “Big Insurance: Recession? What recession?” by J.G. Preston,

HCAN found the insurers increased profits while simultaneously insuring 2.7 million fewer people through private insurance. The report claims that is “part of the industry’s long-term shifting of responsibility for the care of millions of sick, older or lower-income customers to taxpayer-supported government health programs…State and federal programs have increasingly been hiring big insurers to manage their care.”

In these increased desperate times for millions of Americans who have to forsake coverage to eat, those in government deciding their fate have been deluged with money from those that profit from their misery. In a report from Capital Eye Blog at OpenSecrets.org by Michael Beckel titled “Lobbyists Earn $1.3 Million Per Hour As Lawmakers Log Long Days“, it claims

Health-related lobbyists and lobbyists for business interests like the Chamber, for instance, earned more than $200,000 per hour that Congress was in session. Lobbyists for unions, meanwhile, took in $16,000 per hour that Congress was in session.

In a report from The Center for Public Integrity, it concluded that,

A Center for Public Integrity analysis of Senate lobbying disclosure forms shows that more than 1,750 companies and organizations hired about 4,525 lobbyists — eight for each member of Congress — to influence health reform bills in 2009.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration has pushed the deficient Senate version of reform without a robust public option to contain costs. Commenting on the Obama approach, Doctors that are members of Physicians for a National Health Program said,

“For example, the president’s proposal would ship hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to the private health insurance industry in the form of subsidies,” Young said. “And to help finance this, it would impose a new tax on health benefits of workers, especially those in high-cost states.

“Its individual mandate would force millions of middle-income uninsured Americans to buy insurers’ skimpy products – insurance policies full of gaps like ever-rising co-pays, deductibles and premiums. Such policies already leave middle-class American families vulnerable to economic hardship and medical bankruptcy in the event of a serious illness like cancer,” continued Young, citing a recent study.

In the meanwhile, the health insurance industry controls both sides of the argument, those from the corporatist Democrats who want their campaign largess and the Republicans that seek to block any progress for their profitable status quo while even proposing throwing fixed income seniors to the wolves through privatizing medicare as evidenced in a piece written by Peter Stone at the National Journal’s Under the Influence titled, “Health Insurers Funded Chamber Attack Ads” which reports,

Just as dealings with the Obama administration and congressional Democrats soured last summer, six of the nation’s biggest health insurers began quietly pumping big money into third-party television ads aimed at killing or significantly modifying the major health reform bills moving through Congress.

That money, between $10 million and $20 million, came from Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans, UnitedHealth Group and Wellpoint, according to two health care lobbyists familiar with the transactions. The companies are all members of the powerful trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans.

The funds were solicited by AHIP and funneled to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help underwrite tens of millions of dollars of television ads by two business coalitions set up and subsidized by the chamber. Each insurer kicked in at least $1 million and some gave multimillion-dollar donations.

Representative Anthony Weiner summed up the situation on “the summit” while live blogging as it occurred by saying,

3:14 PM

The discussion has lost its mojo here. When you are saying “CBO” more than three times per speaker, they should turn off the cameras.

Let’s remember the choices here. Rep. Ryan and his party want to END Medicare completely. President Obama wants to lengthen its life.

Me? I want Medicare for all Americans. If I was in the room I’d be advocating for replacing private health insurance and its 30% overhead with Medicare’s 1.05%

Me too Rep. Weiner, but I’m just a citizen and I do not have the money to buy votes like our newest persons, corporations, do.

Team Canada Fan Mocks Americans After Team USA's hockey team defeated Canada in preliminary
Team Canada hockey fan mocks Americans after Team USA defeated Canada in a preliminary round game

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