Monday, June 08, 2009

Politics, a game for fools, clowns and scalawags

Hope is a important part of how we accept things that may not be great for us. Hope that times will get better. Hope that the bump in the road is short and not too damaging. Hope that our leaders will step up and take us down the correct path to recovery. Hope is the fuel that sustains our patience.

We are running out of gas.

Health care is an abomination in this country. Those who can pay way too much for far too little. Doctors spend as many hours weekly on paperwork than they do on their craft. Hospitals trim essentials from those least likely to afford them just to keep lining the pockets of corporate investors. HMO's, Big Insurance, Big Pharma are doing their corporate damnest to kill the one option in our health care debate that offers the greatest hope for the most Americans. Single payer, or a national public health care plan, offers to cover the most people at the lowest cost for a modest payroll deduction. As I see it, one version has no co-pay, no deductible, and applies to all physicians and health care providers. Contrary to the popular lies of the never-right wing, there is no restriction of doctor choice, or hospital. Paperwork is streamlined to ensure the most efficient process.

Robert Reich, a man I've grown to admire since his days as Secr. of Labor under Bill Clinton has a bit to say about the prospects of the single payer option in the current health care debate. In his words: "Big Pharma and Big Insurance are gaining ground in their campaign to kill the public option in the emerging health care bill."

Hope is becoming a dry hole.

I won't presume to know what each of you think of the different options being considered in the health care debate, but if you're anything like me, you can't afford to shell out thousands of dollars for care that should be a birthright. For-profit health care providers, insurance and pharmaceutical companies only see numbers when looking at patient claims. How much money can we make by culling the claims down to just those who can pony up the pennies? How can we convince Congress to keep the status quo in place so that our profit margins stay the same or perhaps go up?

The answer? Meet Senator Max Baucus, (D-MT). He chairs the Senate Finance Committee which is in charge of the discussion and debate of the health care crisis and possible remedies. He has made statements recently that place the single payer option off the table. He said: "We need a uniquely American result. And that will be a public/private
hybrid. There may come a time when we can push for single payer. But that time is not yet, and so I'm not going to waste my time."

Why would he make such a statement? Why drag our feet with the one issue that concerns the most Americans? How can providing the most coverage in the most efficient way be a 'waste of his time'?

Who is whispering in Sen. Baucus' ear? What reason could he have to delay this? Could it be this?

Schering-Plough Corp$92,200$64,200$28,000
New York Life Insurance$80,400$43,900$36,500
UST Inc$73,950$37,950$36,000
Amgen Inc$70,750$35,750$35,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield$62,350$21,350$41,000

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832

Hope is what sustains us. Those of us who rely on our health care providers to give us peace of mind and decent care don't need the added stress of finding pennies under the couch to pay for it. I pay for insurance through my employer. They provide the plan, take 'X' amount out of my check in addition to their contribution. Yet each year I pay more, they pay less and my coverage goes down. Over the last 18 months, I've accrued $8300 in doctor's bills after insurance. Nothing I was treated for was exotic or experimental, just the trials and tribulations of living to the ripe old age of 50.

If Sen. Baucus were to have had the same medical treatments I've had, he would have no bills, no payments to make. He has the advantage of being covered by a public, single payer government health plan.

Single payer is the best hope for all Americans who struggle to pay their medical bills. The big insurance and pharmaceutical compaies will do anything legal and otherwise to keep this abominable situation from changing. To them, it's all about keeping their wallets full; the health of the people be damned.

Support the Single Payer Option.

Update: Nunya, over @ Politickybitch gave me a cool link in the comments. (Thanks!)
"119 million Americans want a public option. Why aren't Politicians listening?"

The easy answer? Because 119 million Americans don't contribute to Sens. Grassley and Baucus' campaigns.

So Mote It Be,
David A.