Health Care Reform Fail: Senate Fails Citizens, Demonstrates it is Owned by Pharma, Insurance, and Corporations

Faxed December 19th to Senators Reid, Bayh, Lugar, to the White House contact fax number, and to Rep. Baron Hill.

After nearly a year of wrangling, first in the House, then in the Senate, over a bill to reform health care insurance and delivery in America, the Senate and President Obama have now capitulated to a few evil, conscienceless members, primarily Joe Lieberman. The Senate has now produced a proposed bill that is lacking in practically every desperately needed reform, and has become nothing but another mechanism to deliver the money of American citizens to private corporations, in this case, a mandate that those who cannot afford it buy insurance from companies who will then continue their current practices of rescission, limited and capped benefits, and finding any and every way possible not to insure that all Americans have access to affordable health care. In other words, a mandate with none of the controls needed on an industry without conscience, and out of control.

All in order to insure their profits and stock values remain high. It has been fascinating to watch how insurance stock values soar on the market every time Congress backs off on yet another promise to the American people to reform our disastrous health care industry, which right now is not only not the best in the world, but in many cases ranks almost third world in its delivery of services, yet is characterized by costs that are totally out of control, and orders of magnitude greater than service delivery in the democracies of western Europe. How else explain a statistic like our current ranking for life expectancy compared to the rest of the world? 38th? In the latest rankings, we have slipped one notch lower than Cuba!

It is simply unconscionable, in fact probably an unconstitutional act, to force people to buy a product from a private insurer that enjoys sanctioned monopoly status. Yet that is what this bill does.

And what does it say about a Congress that votes for inclusion of language that violates the rights of women to control their own bodies, but includes language protecting gun owners from discussing their guns? How insane has our nation become? Have we totally lost our moral compass?

What this nation needs is a national health care plan that all can buy into, a medicare option for all, with regulation and control that prevent the outrageous price gouging by pharma, and the refusal of coverage by the insurance industry. Americans pay three to five times what other countries pay for the same drugs from the same manufacturers. Yet Congress refuses to even allow re-importation from Canada. It appears that Obama cut a deal with big pharma to insure their profits remain astronomical and usurious. Meanwhile, 45,000 Americans a year die for lack of health care. Over 20% of Americans have no health care insurance, and no access to proper preventive care, or treatment for serious illness.

This is unacceptable. This bill, as written, with no public option and no controls on an industry that is not serving the American people, but only its profits centers, must be defeated.

With no mechanisms to control costs, this is yet another bailout for yet another reviled industry. So what if the government offers subsidies to the poor? The insurance companies will just raise their rates to absorb that cash.

What makes this a totally disgusting scandal is that the members of Congress, who are not in this for the American people or health care reform, but only for their own benefit and that of their corporate masters, have lied and ignored every fact about true cost savings, and insured that the public option, extended medicare, and now control of costs of drugs have all been carefully removed from any proposed legislation.

The bill as it now stands in the Senate is an absolute travesty. It is an insult to the American people. It is not just sausage-making legislation, it is evil legislation that simply compounds the problems, and once more proves what a corporate oligarchy this nation has become.

Congress, if it is going to follow this line of legislation, needs to be just as upfront in its willingness to throw not just billions, but TRILLIONS, into the pockets of the Wall Street and investment criminals who have crashed our economy and are in the process of destroying our middle class and manufacturing base. Congress did not hesitate to throw money in unimaginable amounts into the pockets of these companies and their leadership, even insuring they get their massive bonuses for FAILURE, not success.

Why not just be up front and pass a law like the Senate proposal health care bill. Place a mandate on every last American, and force them to ante up thousands of dollars from every individual and household, a special mandated fund to insure that no Wall Street banker or derivatives investment broker or their spouse will be unable to continue owning their jets, luxury cars, million dollar condos and apartments, private schools for their children, or the ability to shop and buy luxury goods without worrying about their budget. Much less their access to expensive health care, which they can afford.

All Americans have felt the pain of these poor bankers and investment specialists, especially the 45,000 who die in America every year because they have NO ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE at all.

God only knows I have felt terrible on their behalf as I have watched individuals whose firms would have collapsed into bankruptcy because of their bad management and business decisions if the government had not bailed them out, get one year bonuses that exceeded the vast majority of American families’ total retirement savings, income, and social security support as they enter retirement.

I returned a questionnaire to the DCCC this week informing them that we would not be donating any money to them, or to any Democratic candidate. We will never vote Republican, and now our support of a failed and useless Democratic party means we will withhold our financial support.


Author: Ron