Despite some indications that Universal Healthcare may have an easier path this time around, it appears the status-quo in the Insurance Lobby are saying not so fast. I never believed they would give up their control, and most importantly their profits without another knock-down, drag-out fight. Now, it appears they are mobilizing their army to once again shape public opinion and defeat common-sense for Corporate gain.
While Obama appears determined to push our agenda, the Health Insurance Lobby seems to be trying a pre-emptive “blow across the bow” to defeat our new President, his ideas, and our agenda. From the Politico:
America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry trade group, rolled out a plan Wednesday that embraces some of Obama’s ideas and signals dissent with others.
The industry’s proposal would require individuals to carry insurance and insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. And it would strengthen the health care safety net and provide tax credits to working families to help buy insurance.
The insurers say their plan would build on the employer-based system that provides most Americans with their health insurance – also an idea Obama supports.
What it doesn’t include is a public health insurance option that would compete with private plans, a concept supported by Obama and progressive groups such as Health Care for America Now.
Now, we all knew that the Health Insurance lobby would have no problem with mandated coverage, but as a Type 1 Diabetic, I am very suspicious of their “support” of covering pre-existing conditions. What guarantees are they willing to make me, and others with even more expensive pre-existing conditions that we will not be mandated to buy insurance we can’t afford???
The only safety net for us all along has been the creation of a public plan, which would compete with the Insurance companies to make sure we don’t fall between the cracks. All of our final three Presidential candidates supported this, and to me without it we will never see improved healthcare in this country for many. If I could afford the Private Insurance without a competing public plan, I wouldn’t be losing my school insurance in a few weeks when I get my Batchelor’s. I actually delayed graduating so I could keep what little insurance I have!! Trust me, I have gotten many quotes on insurance for a Type 1 Diabetic, and I would have to work four 40 hr a week jobs to afford it!!
As far as a job that covers such illnesses, we recently hired another Type 1 Diabetic at the job I work that doesn’t offer insurance, and he told me he lost four jobs this year because they found out he was Juevenile Diabetic, and let him go before his trial period was complete to keep from putting him on their insurance, and raising their rates!!
The insurance lobby’s excuse was laughable:
“We don’t see that there will be a need for an additional public option. We don’t think there will be a need to get the government in the insurance business,” said the group’s spokesman, Michael Tuffin.
Correction Mr. Tuffin, you don’t want the government in the insurance business as long as you are preying on the American consumer. As soon as you run your companies into the ground, THEN you want the government to come and bail you out with taxpayer money like AIG, the bankers and practically everyone else the last few months!!
The fact of the matter is the Insurance companies like the bankers have created this mess, and don’t want any oversight into their irresponsible actions. These are companies that will exploit any loophole to keep from paying legitimate claims and will deny affordable insurance to folks like me. During the last several decades, this industry has had free run to solve this crisis and has failed miserably, it is far past time for another course.
Healthcare for America Now’s national campaign manager, Richard Kirsch summed it up quite nicely:
“What they’re trying to do politically is to get ahead of health care reform and shape health care reform in such a way to protect their bottom line as opposed to actually fixing the problems in the health care system,” said the group’s national campaign manager, Richard Kirsch.
He criticized the industry’s plan to prevent medical bankruptcy by providing tax credits to low-income families that would cap total health care expenses instead of offering more affordable plans – a move that Kirsch put this way: “We’ll continue to let you go bankrupt, and we’ll have the government bail you out.”
What the Health Insurance lobby doesn’t realize is that some of us don’t want to stick our hands out for a government bailout like greedy vultures circling a swollen carcass, we just want to be able to have health insurance at a fair price and live our lives without fear of either bankrupcy, or the other option, DEATH.
The nation’s largest nursing union also summed it up quite nicely:
The nation’s largest nurses union has an idea for how to cut those costs: eliminate the insurance industry and switch to a single-payer system. About 30 percent of the system’s cost is from insurance company profits and administration costs, said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.
“It’s the Marshall Plan for insurance industry profits, because they use all the arms of government to force people to buy their failed product,” she said. “What their proposal does is privatize profits and socialize risk.”
Privatize profits and socialize risk. Indeed. A win-win proposition for the most greedy and least patriotic among us. Who cares who suffers as long as the precious bottom line is protected, and bailed out when needed.
Insurance moguls can continue to jet across the country in their private planes while the average American languishes with no coverage, and the sick fall between the cracks while fatcats pop the champagne cork.
Personally, I hope a new day has dawned in America. This issue was the most important one to me in the last election, and I put much time and effort as well as money I didn’t have into the fight to elect a Democrat to the White House, and expand our Congressional majorities so we would see some progress for all Americans on this most pressing problem.
We must fight tooth-and-nail for Universal Healthcare. The other side is showing they will still rise up to vanquish progress for profit. Please, anyone who reads this write your Congressman, Senator, President-elect Obama and anyone else who will listen and let them know a new day has dawned in this country, a day when 50 million Americans aren’t considered second-class citizens.