President Obama’s NYTimes editorial: Not a word about “Public Option[s]” (or, heaven forbid, Single-Payer). “But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary – truly risky – is the prospect of doing nothing.” What’s truly atrocious – truly regressive – are (corporate) democrats (and your administration) selling out every progressive/liberal aspect, resulting in the uninsured being handed over to the private insurers as “fresh meat,” – then, spinning it as Reform. “First, if you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of high-quality, affordable coverage. . . .” These are typically vague (hyperbolic) assertions, discounting the new weight (Mandate) about to be forcefully imposed on regular people – conveniently sidestepping all the uproar over Big Pharma/insurance company and neocon giveaways. “Affordable” is the never-ending catch phrase. It succeeds in putting everyone below the median income in bootstrap modes – because soon, there will be “no excuses.” The health care crisis is about to be solved (since we will all have to have policies – or get fines)! “Second, reform will finally bring skyrocketing health care costs under control, which will mean real savings. . . .” That would be “savings” – like in the hidden deal where Pharma agreed to just “lock in their doubling of prices.” Furthermore, would someone grossing $28,000 consider a new monthly $200 bill as “savings”? “Third, by making Medicare more efficient, we’ll be able to ensure that more tax dollars go directly to caring for seniors instead of enriching insurance companies.” In other words, if insurance companies are not satisfied with the mega-billions they are about to reap from these fifty million new “cash cows,” then, they must be “too big to fail” and/or too big to satisfy. “Lastly, reform will provide every American with some basic consumer protections. . . .” Since there will be no Public Option (or enough 100% subsidies), once we are herded into lines at the likes of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, what are the chances that those previously uninsured will feel newly protected? Additionally, if our president wanted to undeniably stand up and out, regardless of monied powers, for a Public Option – wouldn’t he threaten to Veto any measures that came across without it? Good news: “Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, said it would be difficult to pass any legislation through the Democratic-controlled Congress without the promised public plan. ‘We’ll have the same number of people uninsured,’ she said. ‘If the insurance companies wanted to insure these people now, they’d be insured.’” Truthout: “Any health care legislation that does not include a public option is a fraud.” With these realities there is a final question: how many millions of people will find themselves weighing the “options” of paying that yearly Fine – and being able to survive, or, buying a policy – and getting a second job? This is a call-out to the truly brave Progressives in Congress: If fifty-three or more in the House of Representatives, and twenty or more in the Senate, vow to kill the entire health care proposal by voting against anything submitted which maintains the current sellouts, or, at least the “Mandate,” they could show the nation what it means to be honorably brave and genuinely principled.
FAIR Action Alert: NYT Slams Single-Payer
HMO Stocks Up On Signs Public Health Plan Fading
Public Option Called Essential:
In the Senate, where negotiations are now focused, John D. Rockefeller IV (W.Va.) said that a public option, as the plan has become known, is “a must.” Sen. Russell Feingold (Wis.) said that “without a public option, I don’t see how we will bring real change to a system that has made good health care a privilege for those who can afford it.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said that the plan will be included in whatever bill is voted on in the House. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Obama could lose up to 100 Democratic votes in the House by abandoning the option.
Democracy for America: “a healthcare bill without a public option is D.O.A. in the House. Period.” Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a group of the most liberal House members, threatened to oppose the bill if it does not include a public option.
60 House Dems will not support a health care plan without a public option: “No Public Option, No Health Care Reform”
Health Care Co-Op Supporters Don’t Know What They’re Talking About
Dear President Obama: A Modest Medicare Proposal
“We elected you because we expected you to have the courage of your convictions. Here’s how. Not the ‘single payer Medicare for all’ that many of us would prefer, but a simple, ‘Medicare for anybody who wants to buy in.'”
White House Draws Line In The Sand … But Not On Public Option
“White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Wednesday that President Obama would be unwilling to sign a health care bill that raised taxes on those making under $250,000. But Gibbs would not draw a similar line in the sand when it came a bill that lacked a public insurance option. ‘The president … believes we should have choice and competition for people entering the private insurance market. . . .'”
1) For people below the median income who do not currently have coverage, being “Mandated” into buying an insurance policy – without a 100% subsidy – will be the same as having their Taxes Raised, considerably.
2) Without, at least, a Public Option, there will be No Choice or Competition (and the insurance companies will have the biggest ongoing celebration they ever imagined).
Health Care Reform Bill with Lipstick
“Not only is Obama clearly ready to throw the public option overboard, he is embracing the requirement that we all be forced to buy insurance from private insurers. That means your tax dollars and mine will be used to pay subsidies to the big insurers to provide coverage to people who can’t afford to buy their policies, because the big insurers charge far more than they should because Wall Street investors demand that they do.”
“One of the people who undoubtedly talked Obama away from the public option and into supporting this mandate is his new BFF, Aetna CEO Ron Williams. Williams, who made $65 million off of Aetna’s policyholders’ premiums over the past two years and who was the mastermind behind Aetna’s shedding of eight million members a few years ago to meet Wall Street’s demands, is the insurance industry’s leading champion of requiring us all to buy insurance. And, of course, without a public option, we’ll all be forced to buy coverage from Aetna or one of the other private insurers.”
This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery
“For someone my age who is making $40,000 a year you are required to lay out $5,000 for an insurance premium for coverage that covers nothing until you have spent $2,000 out of pocket,” Himmelstein said. “You are $7,000 out of pocket before you have any coverage at all. For most people that means you are already bankrupt before you have insurance. If anything, that has made them worse off. Instead of having that $5,000 to cover some of their medical expenses they have laid it out in premiums.”
Obama and the congressional leadership have shut out advocates of single-payer. The press, including papers such as The New York Times, treats single-payer as a fringe movement. The television networks rarely mention it. And yet between 45 and 60 percent of doctors favor single-payer. Between 40 and 62 percent of the American people, including 80 percent of registered Democrats, want universal, single-payer not-for-profit health care for all Americans. The ability of the corporations to discredit and silence voices that represent at least half of the population is another sad testament to the power of our corporate state.
Update (As Expected): “Americans would be fined up to $3,800 for failing to buy health insurance under a plan that circulated in Congress on Tuesday. . . . The Baucus plan would require insurers to take all applicants, regardless of age or health. But smokers could be charged higher premiums. And 60-year-olds could be charged five times as much for a policy as 20-year-olds. Penalties for failing to get insurance would start at $750 a year for individuals and $1,500 for families. Households making more than three times the federal poverty level – about $66,000 for a family of four – would face the maximum fines. For families, it would be $3,800, and for individuals, $950.” Of course, “Baucus is calling for nonprofit co-ops . . . instead of a public plan.”
Baucus/Blue (Corporate) Dogs (and republicans): Forced? Yes. Fines? Yes. Public Option (so that people aren’t just herded like cattle into private pens)? Not a chance. It will be the biggest Triumph Corporate Health insurers ever imagined.
[…] Again: This is a call-out to the truly brave Progressives in Congress: If fifty-three or more in the House of Representatives, and twenty or more in the Senate, vow to kill the entire health care proposal (by voting against anything submitted without a Public Option, or which maintains the Mandate) they could show the nation what it means to be honorably brave and genuinely principled. […]
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