Here’s the problem with the Neocon Republicans’ argument about health care. The fact is that their argument is simply a lie. It’s a big lie, but it’s a simple lie.
The lie is this: health care reform is bad for America.
It isn’t. It is good, very good, for most Americans. Here are the ones it is not good for.
It is not good for CEOs of health insurance companies. They will lose some of their average annual income of $14 million a year. In 2013, health insurance will be regulated so that 80-to-85% of the premium costs must be actual health care services…not CEO salaries.
Certain groups of doctors. The more medicine that is delivered to more people and the more doctors who will be in family practice, the less money they will make. You may even get an appointment with your doctor within a month of the time you need to see him. Your leverage with doctors goes up. Better attention to your pocket and less money in their pockets. Don’t weep for doctors. They make five times more than the average college educated executive.
The average doctor makes about $150,000 to $200,000. Surgeons double that and other specialties often rack up over $350,000. Some surgeons will do as many as 100 appendectomies per year at about $1,400 a pop. And those are the simple operations.
But the biggest costs are not the physicians and surgeons. And most of them are not complaining about health care reform. At the end of the day, most of them entered the medical profession because it interests them. They hate the cheapskate constant bickering of the health insurance companies.
When that surgeon removes your appendix today, his charges you could almost pay out of pocket compared to the average of about $20,000 for a 24-hour stay in the hospital. That’s what it costs, unless you go abroad, where it will cost you $2,500 in many places.
So…Senators…who is it who does not want health care reform? It is only those people whom the Republicans and the Right Wing media and the constant barrage of paid health insurance lobbyists and propagandists have brainwashed. Not the citizens who get a bill. These people know whether they want health care reform immediately.
The Republicans say that the elections of 2010 were about health care reform. They were not. They were about an economy in which 14.9 million people are out of work.
The idea that Americans don’t want health care reforms is promoted by the same people who will tell you that Obama was at fault for the October 2008 Bush Jr. stock market crash that sent stocks from 12,000 down to 6,900. Even though he was a Senator at that time.
They blame Obama for the 14.9 million people who lost their jobs, even though by the time he took office, unemployment under Bush had gone from 7% to over 9%, including 700,000 jobs lost the very month that Obama took office.
They say that Obama tried to foist health care reform off on people who don’t need it and don’t want it. The fact is that 50 million people don’t have health insurance right now. The media doesn’t talk about that. A million people will lose everything (they have left) this year and 45,000 people or more will die because they lack health care.
One of the normally least audible of the Neocons, Senator John Thune was apparently prodded with a stick to actually do something in the Senate for a change. So he spoke out against health care reform. Big surprise.
Thune, who most closely resembles Lurch from “The Addams Family” somehow got the laughable idea that he might be a possible Neocon Presidential candidate. Apparently he needed to make a statement to prove that he is not some kind of cartoon character.
He writes that there is a “loud and growing chorus calling for Congress to finally act to repeal the awful health care law Democrats jammed through last spring against widespread opposition.” Wow. Lurch indeed!
First of all, Johnny must have forgotten, (maybe just wasn’t invited) to the summit meeting ON TELEVISION where the Republicans, after a year of non-stop voting 100% against anything…any bill…any amendment were forced to come into the public eye in a nationally televised meeting to discuss health care.
If it had been a prize fight it would have been stopped after the first punch. The Republicans simply had nothing to offer. They made fools of themselves on television offering nothing but complaints about tort reform (.5% of health care costs) and telling people to save up some money to pay those higher bills. They made no suggestions on how to reduce health insurance. After all, they work for the health insurance industry.
Ah yes, says Johnenstein, but now, after years of polls showing that 70% of citizens hated their private health insurer, now all that has changed. Now at least 36% of people strongly disapprove of the law and think that Obamacare should be completely overturned.
Wait. Doesn’t that mean that after two years, after $400 million spent by the health insurance and hospital lobbyists, and a Republican Senate who all followed the order to shout nothing but “Repeal!” that health care reform is still popular with 64% of the people?
Let’s face it. Someone–let’s take a wild guess and say the America’s Health Insurance Plans organization–should get something, shouldn’t they, for the $400 million dollars they spent to try to stop the People from having affordable health care?
After all, they got to brag that health care reform, not 14.9 million unemployed Americans, the most since the Great Depression, and two years of attacks on Obama by Fox News, plus 240 Neocon filibusters of any job creating legislation–caused the turnaround in the mid-term elections.
Health care reform that would add all dependents 26 years of age or younger to the family health insurance was so bad that it got Rick Scott elected as governor of Florida didn’t it? Rick Scott. Yeah, he’s the guy who cheated the American taxpayers out of something like $1.7 billion and then challenged your right to affordable health care.
But Floridians elected him. So they must like a governor who spent $8 million of the $100 million he made on cheating Americans to get elected.Move to Florida and get a governor who turned barely escaping prison time into into a new opportunity to cheat Floridians out of billions. keep more citizens from affordable health care! Is Florida a great place to live or what?
Health insurance reform is so bad, by the way, that just thinking about what it might do to everyone’s health (that is their main concern, right?) forced Blue Cross to go right out there in California and raise premiums by 39% last year, for 2010. They had to. They only made $2.7 billion in the 4th quarter of 2009!
This year, Blue Shield of California…we’re not making this up…has offered 59% premium increases. Maybe you don’t get it. California’s Republican legislature says that the California insurance commissioner can’t stop these kinds of rate increases.
Senator FUBAR from South Dakota says that health care was why the male model with a pick-up truck, Scott Brown, was sent to the Senate by Massachusetts. The fact is that he was sent to Congress because of an aloof campaign by a poor candidate and tens of millions of dollars that poured into Massachusetts when Republican billionaire backers realized there was an opportunity.
After…not before…he was elected, Brown said that he would be the 41st vote against health care reform. Massachusetts has very successful health care availability for everyone. And rates have gone down as fast as Scott Brown’s numbers in the polls.
With insurance pools for those without employer shared health insurance, those individual health insurance rates have gone down 30 to 40 percent. Senator Lurch from South Dakota says, however, that it was the legislation’s “trillion dollar price tag” that created a furor that helped Republicans’ elections.
If he had read the bill instead of merely complaining that it was “thousands of pages” he would know that its provisions actually save American dollars for American taxpayers. The CBO has calculated that ARRA will save the country well over a trillion dollars in the next ten years.
The Democrats have a majority in the Senate and the Presidency. Therefore there is no way that the Republicans can over turn Health Care Reform. They know it. But they continue to pursue this false goal. It is a false objective because what they are trying to do and what they could do, if they were sincere, are two completely different things.
The Republican Senators leading the fight against health care reform, Senators Mitch McConnell, John Barasso, John Thune, John Cornyn and Michael Johanns all stood up before the American people and said that they want to overturn health care reform. McConnell show exactly how they feel when he described it as “this 2700-page Washington takeover of our health care.”
Let’s give McConnell probably more than he deserves. He has repeatedly supported the health insurance industry and billion dollar pharmaceutical companies over the average American working family. But let’s examine what he said. This is not a “government takeover” of health care.
Given the fact that all of Europe, plus Canada and every other major industrial country, such as South Korea, Japan and Taiwan have national, universal non-profit health care…at half our cost…then perhaps we should have a government takeover. But we do not. U.S. health care is in the hands of for-profit companies each of which has a virtual monopoly state-by-state. There is no government takeover. Alas, McConnell is a liar.
Many Americans feel we should have government sponsored…single payer…direct from government health care, like the popular and inexpensive Medicare programs or the now highly efficient VA program. But then most Americans do not own Fox News, Fox television, ABC, ABC news, CBS, CBS news or NBC, which was owned by Right Wing GE corporation but is even more Right Wing now after being bought by Comcast.
Can some parts of the bill be improved? Of course, and if it were not for the fact that every time the Republicans bring up a bill that is a reasonable adjustment of the health care reform bill, they add something to it, like a random cut of $39 billion dollars in the budget, it would pass.
Finally, Senator Debbie Stabenow, after over 60 Senators indicated that they were interested in repealing the 1099 mandates on businesses, at least to see if the plan will work without it, offered an amendment…knowing it would pass without some ridiculous Republican amendment like killing Social Security or de-funding Medicare. It passed and so we have ostensibly added an improvement to the health care bill. From a Democrat.
Of course Mike Johanns the farmer boy from the wide open spaces of Western Nebraska claimed the amendment as his own, neglecting to mention the other damaging amendments tacked onto his version. These kinds of things are why the Republicans are not just opposed by Democrats. They are considered lying little weasels. This is not…not…the way government has been run up to this era, up to the beginning of the Bush era.
Then, of course, just when you think things couldn’t get any slimier, you take a breath and who pops up onto the Senate floor. Senator Rand Paul, says the biggest complaint of his patients was health insurance costs. And, he says with a straight face, Obamacare has done nothing to lower costs. They keep rising.
Yes, Senator, for two reasons. First, the bill doesn’t go into effect until 2013. Second, just as with the Prescription Drug Bill, when pharmaceutical companies immediately raised their rates 26% between the bill was signed and went into effect…the insurance companies decided to show the American people who is boss.
Second, they are raising the rates…as much as 59% in some states…because Republican state legislatures paid off by insurance lobbyists, have taken rate regulation away from many state insurance commissioners, such as the one in California. So, knowing that they will be forced into intra-state insurance co-ops to offer competitive rates to all citizens, they are making hay while the sun shines…still shines for another two years…on them.
Rand Paul knows this. He made a fortune using the existing system to milk every last dime out of optometry wedded to the insurance industry. Now he wants to cut back on government so that the taxes of his other rich pals will not go back up. He doesn’t mind taking it from the poor or the unemployed. He voted against the unemployed already.
Senator McConnell the other Right Wing Neocon Republican from Kentucky screws his constituents regularly. They don’t seem to have the foggiest notion that he is doing it. They love him! They love being taken to the poor house! They are like sheep going over a cliff. Two of every five people in Kentucky make less than $40,000 per year. One of every five is in hard-core poverty, under 100% of the poverty line.
In Kentucky right now more than one of every three people who walks through the hospital door for treatment has no health insurance. It costs Kentuckians an average of $3,000 per visit and that is with the poor paying about 35% of the costs out of pocket somehow.
Despite the fact that this bill will put more people onto health care insurance, give those with health care the opportunity to keep their kids insured up to age 26, insure that fewer people are dropped from insurance and save Seniors more and more each year on prescription drugs….Senator McConnell, unlike Senator Stabenow, wants to repeal it.
So does “Senator” Tea Party from Kentucky. Get your own eyes examined, Senator Paul, and then read the bill more carefully. It’s not about the absurd misconceptions you claim about the commerce clause. Ask the 75 million Americans who are affected by this right now. It’s about affordable, accessible health care!
We are not going to repeal health care. The sixty votes in the Senate for the 1099 repeal prove that point. Only when something that makes sense comes up will there be enough votes to overturn a veto.
There will never be enough of a Republican majority before health care reform becomes law to even come close to overturning a veto. And once it is law…the health insurance industry knows that their days of holding Americans for ransom is over.
That’s why they pay hundreds of millions to elect drones like Rand Paul to the Senate. It keeps their hopes alive. Unfortunately it also means that many more Americans will be dead.
Once health care reform is enacted fully, even the dumbest of the dumb, the most racist of the racists, the arbortion-doctor killers and the dead-heads who slavishly listen daily to the billionaire-supporting talking heads like Beck, Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, Coulter, Palin and Ingraham….will look at their situation and finally ignore their own stupidity and idiotic Right Wing biases and give in…because life will be so much better.