Friday, December 18, 2009

Block the Healthcare Reform Senate Bill

It’s time to call a spade a spade. The senate’s version of the current healthcare reform bill is a disaster that has been compromised into a gigantic cash cow for the health insurance industry. Aspects of the reform, like guaranteeing lower health insurance premiums, are now gone from the bill in what amounts to a shell game.

Don’t like the public option, Senator Lieberman? Hey presto, it’s now under another shell only now it looks like an expansion of Medicare benefits to those 55 and older. An idea promoted by a guy named Joe Lieberman (I - Aetna). Many on the left loved this idea of Joe’s calling it a giant step toward single payer universal health care.

They liked it so much that, hey presto, it’s now gone from the bill, courtesy of one Joe Lieberman.

An interesting shell game, then, where the pea vanishes altogether.

But you have to love what they have kept in the bill all this time. The one thing that the health insurance industry wants in it: mandatory participation in a healthcare plan. Because how nice would it be if millions of their potential customers are threatened with a great big fine if they refuse to become insurance customers? It’s kind of like that city in Georgia, Kennesaw, I think, that has a municipal statute that requires all heads of households to own a firearm. Can you imagine that law passed nationally? Gun lobbyists would positively drool if that bill ever came to the senate floor for debate.

No, the senate has proven to the country what it has proven before time and time again: it is a dysfunctional legislative body that debates on an issue that anyone with half a brain can see is a no-brainer.

They have taken a perfectly mediocre bill and turned it into another bailout, this time for the health insurance industry. Liberals in the senate need to step up now and block this bill before it’s too late. We still have a perfectly acceptable bill in the House, Republicans have signaled that they are sitting this one out, and Conservidems need to be shown that their ways are out of the mainstream and do not reflect what the public wants.

We need to act on the House bill through the reconciliation process. It’s the only way to get this done without giving away the rest of the store to insurance fat cats.




Anonymous said...

The rush to pass something has nothing to do with what's good, what's bad, what's mediocre, etc.

It has everything to do with President Obama being able to claim that he has delivered on a promise to pass healthcare "reform."

Everyone is to blame:
* Republians because they aren't for anything.
* Democrats because they sacrifice principle to try to make a DINO happy.
* President Obama for being willing to accept anything that will pass.
* Senate "leadership" because they are anything but leaders.

Tom Degan said...

This is another victory for the plutocracy, the Republican party and Joe Liebermann. There will never be, in our lifetime, reasonable health care in this country. We had better face the nasty facts. Ours is not a government "of the people, by the people, for the people". We're just kidding ourselves.

Tom Degan