Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Healthcare Headache

When the Democrats put Max Baucus in charge of
Senate healthcare reform it certainly wasn't to promote a broad-
ranging discussion on how to reform the nation's broken healthcare system. It was to narrow the debate to a few corporate friendly options. Baucus has taken more money from the healthcare industry than any other member of congress. Blue Cross, Blue Shield, New York Life and Schering-Plough are his top five contributors. The conservative Blue Dog Democrats get 18% of their campaign contributions from the same sector.
America's healthcare system is the most expensive of the planet and leaves nearly 1/6th of us out in the cold and many more shivering. We have the poorest health outcomes in the developed world.
The industries stuffing money in the campaign chests of Baucus and the Blue Dogs are directly responsible for all of the above.
Insurance companies and HMOs make money by cherry picking patients, charging as much as the market will bear and denying care. Big Pharma are one of the most profitable industries on the planet and after their US customers finish funding their research, they pay more for their drugs than anyone else. 25-30% of our healthcare dollars go to administrative costs levied by the insurance giants.
Baucus's refusal to even discuss a single payer option, a proven and effective solution to what ails us, is a direct result of his own gross conflict of interest. The Democrats ran as the Party of change but plainly, it's business as usual.
The most disappointing Democrat by far is our president. He knows better and still refuses to act in the best interests of the country. His response to the considerable pressure being brought to bear for single payer doesn't pass the sniff test. No nation that has adopted a single payer, inclusive public health system "started from scratch". His fondness for schmoozing with healthcare industry bigwigs has CREW (Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington) up in arms. They have submitted a FOIA request to see who is and isn't visiting the White House.
Obama's hour long promise to the corporate sponsored AMA was depressing. He seems to be taking his cues from the opponents of reform rather than the advocates.
By the time the convoluted and costly plan being shoved through congress plays itself out, the current administration and their supporters will have left town and we'll be stuck with the the bill.
We pay for the best healthcare system on the planet and the last time I read the Constitution, the job of the president and congress are to see that we get it.
Carol DW


David Vicks said...

Wonderfully written Carol! I am using some of your info to write to the papers about healthcare.
It's very disturbing to hear how we keep getting the status quo (i.e. nothing). I believe 70% of the people are in favor of Single Payer (not just a public option). The people are not being represented and it's pissing me off. Thanks for all your work on these issues. By the way I we need to have a discussion about entitlement and why Healthcare is a right not a privilege. Also I don't believe in choices. Can someone explain to me why some people should have better healthcare then someone else!? A profit system is immoral!



CDW said...

Good for you. That's exactly what I am hoping for, that other people will take this information and run.