Thursday, March 11, 2010

Healthcare Reform Lost -- Even If It Passes

President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party leadership long ago caved in to Republicans by abandoning any effort to enact health care legislation that includes a single-payer government program. Now they’ve also thrown their hands up in the air in defeat that spells the death knell for the so-called public option.

What’s left?

Only a bonanza of new customers for the insurance companies: $70 billion a year in new business for the industry as well as assurances that their profits will continue unabated for decades!

Despite the loss of any vestige of health care reform, the president and Democratic leaders are grasping at straws when they push for approval of the now severely watered down legislative proposal.

President Obama says we have to look at what will happen if we don’t get new health care legislation. He points out that 30 million more Americans will be covered under the bill; that the bill will end the insurance company practice of dropping coverage of millions of other Americans because they become ill – or for myriad other reasons; that without the bill the insurance companies will just keep raising their rates – even while losing customers.

“When’s the right time?” the president asks. “If not now, when?”

“It’s the right thing to do,” he insists.

The problem, however, is not in what the president says, but in what he does not say.
What the president doesn’t say is exactly what Congressman Dennis Kucinich (image above) does say.

Rep. Kucinich, a former Cleveland, Ohio, mayor, and two-time presidential candidate who has been on top of this issue for a long time, says he will not vote for the bill if it doesn’t include a robust public option.

Kucinich says the bill is a “giveaway” of $70 billion a year to the insurance companies.

Kucinich says the bill forces people to buy private insurance.

Kucinich says the bill includes no guarantee against rapid premium increases.

“We need Medicare for all,” says Kucinich.

The Illinois congressman states that one out of every three health care dollars goes to corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing and the cost of paperwork.

He says that the economy is stagnant, that 15 million people are unemployed and millions more are underemployed.

Wall Street has been bailed out, Kucinich notes, but we haven’t taken care of Main Street; 12 million people could lose their homes this year, and a quarter of the population is under water with their mortgages.

While pointing out that insurance companies make money “by not providing health care,” Kucinich says “insurance companies are the problem.”

The Ohio congressman proposed an amendment last July that would waive federal restrictions and make it possible for states to provide health care, but that proposal was removed by the leadership.


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