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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Public Option Health Care For All Who Want It?

I am writing this from Washington, DC, although it will be posted later. I attended the rally/protest attended by around 250 people who came as far as California, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois and Pennsylvania supporting single-payer and public option health care. The day was sunny and hot, but was held in the partially shaded Upper Senate Park a stone’s throw from the senate office buildings. The opulence surrounding the city’s taxpayer funded government machine was very blatant. The over abundance of black SUV limousines used for the security industrial complex and by the highly paid legislators who receive the nation’s best retirement and health insurance plans were lined up all over the senate office complex.

I wore a button stating that I was representing a young man, 24 years young, who died just days before from an undetected heart condition. He died in his sleep. He had no health insurance.

The speakers ranged from Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman John Conyers, and those in the medical profession, including President Obama’s personal physician, and those hardworking individuals running single-payer lobbying organizations.

President Obama’s personal physician is in support of a single-payer health care system for this country, as well as other representatives of physician groups stating their case for the need of a single-payer system. The private health insurance system operating in the United States, currently, has become the most expensive health care system in the world, yet it delivers a very low quality of care relative to the high costs. It ranks only one notch above Slovenia in the quality of care delivered, while embarrassingly below Costa Rica. It ranks number 37 in the world based on statistics taken in 2000. Also, 50 people die every day in the United States as a result of not having health care.

The most important point I came away with from listening to all the voices speaking for a single-payer system was that the insurance companies in this country are parasites sucking out the nation’s personal wealth for themselves. The tens of billions of dollars they drain from the economy every year gets channeled into networks guaranteeing that their profit-making pariah tentacles remain fully intact without interruption. Their parasitic reach has paid out trillions of dollars over the past decade to lobbyists who influence legislation by contributing millions to both parties, $126.8 million, as well as assisting lawmakers in the process of writing bills, and more, some of which could be called influence peddling.

The top three Blue Dog Democratic recipients of health care industry contributions were Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.), with $1.5 million, and Tennessee Reps. Bart Gordon and John Tanner, both of who collected over $1.2 million from the industry and its employees.

The probability of Democrats voting for a public option plan based upon insurance industry contributions can be viewed through this link.

The health industries have also steadily increased their lobbying campaign from $448.1 million in 2007 to $484.4 million in 2008. Senator Max Baucus, who collected $3 million from the health and insurance sectors from 2003 to 2008, has backed away from supporting the public option. Could it be that his insurance industry influence peddler’s got to him?

They also exist as the wall between patient and doctor. This is done by excessively micro-managing the medical decisions doctors make on behalf of their patients. Because of such oversight, patients may not get approved by their insurance companies for critically needed tests, procedures or medications required for the maintenance of personal health and wellness.

With a single-payer system it would eliminate the middleman allowing a closer relationship between doctor and patient. It would also take out the $17.8 billion per year sucked out of the economy by the top twelve private insurers, which if applied to a single-payer system would bring down the actual cost of insuring every American. The administrative costs are around 20% under the private insurance system. In contrast, under the public system of Medicare, those administrative costs are under 6%. Health care spending amounts to 17% of the nation’s GDP.

You might find the Kaiser Family Foundation data page worth reading.

The public option plan, and not to be confused with the Blue DogShit Coalition’s insurance give-away called the Co-op Plan, would empower Americans to lower the private insurer’s premium costs, and prescription drug costs by having the plan negotiate better bulk purchases. The public option is better than continuing with the proprietary system we have now with over 1500 different health insurance companies and just as many rules, restrictions and obstacles.

The public option would allow individuals to seamlessly carry their health plan wherever they go: from job to job, state to state, or when transitioning as an employee to becoming self-employed. The opposition does not understand that the public option is NOT a socialized system, but a public-private partnership, since private insurance plans would remain intact, while a single-payer system would actually be Medicare for all.

Medicare has been a life-saving system over the last 44 years helping to keep seniors out of poverty by covering their health care needs; otherwise, many seniors might be forced to choose between other daily life essentials and paying for their personal health care. Even today, many seniors are choosing between heating in the winter and cooling in the summer over their nutritional needs. Now, if they had to pay for their health insurance, many would go without and use hospital emergency rooms as their primary care doctors.

Even William Kristol, senior editor of the extremely conservative publication called the Weekly Standard, said on the Daily Show, hosted by Jon Stewart, that the Veterans Administration’s public health care system is the best in the country, therefore he reluctantly had to agree with Stewart that the government is very capable of delivering the best health care system in the country if properly funded!

So conservatives, it has been said by one of your own that a single-payer or public option health care system would be the best system in the country if passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. He relented into agreeing that the government is more than capable of providing a quality insurance system, if properly funded.

The month of August is the time to personally lobby your Congressperson on behalf of the public option without the insurance industry gift called health care co-ops. Call or send a hard copy letter to your senator(s) and House member letting them know what kind of system you want them to support when it comes up for a vote. Time is running out. In addition, you might also write a letter to President Obama stating that you don’t want him to sign a watered down bill, but a strong and solid bill empowering patients/citizens through a quality public option health care plan.

Let me conclude with the names of some of the Congressional whores who have taken much from the health care industry. These Congressional prostitutes act as if they are the representatives for the various health care corporations instead of the voters who elected them. Here are a few. Let us begin with the Republican whores and how much they got from the corporations:

----Senator John Thune: $1.2 million

----Representative Ginny Brown-Waite: $369,000

----Senator Mitch McConnell: $3.1 million

----Representative Joe Barton: $2 million

----Senator John McCain: $1.6 million

Here are a few of the Blue Dogshit Democratic whores and how much they took:

----Senator Max Baucus: $3.8 million

----Representative Mike Ross: bought and paid for for only $929,000

----Representative Bart Gordon: sold out for $1 million

And, President Obama received $18 million.

I guess it is up to the public to decide if they believe that health care is a right and not a privilege. It would be my belief that the young man, who I knew personally, would have said that health care was a right. Had he had health care, he might have lived to see his dreams and aspirations come true. It appears that the Congressional whores owned by the health care industry don't believe so.

Thanks for reading, jerry