Newt Gingrich says that he has the solution to the health care crisis. It is of course the crisis that he fostered and from which he could possibly have made millions. Certainly every CEO of a health insurance company (average income $13.8 million) must say a prayer to him each night. He was the deliverer of vast wealth for them and vast bankruptcies, millions of families, for average citizens caught in the disastrous system that he arranged.
His new solution is the Center for Health Transformation. This is an association of the Gallup, Healthways and America’s Health Insurance Plans.(AHIP) The Center for Health Transformation will supposedly attempt to provide a reading on the current state of American health and well being. Gingrich should be looking to his own well being. The fact is that it was Gingrich who, more than any other politician worked hardest to prevent affordable health care for Americans.
If you think that America’s Health Care Plans is interested in lowering their profits and exhorbitant CEO salaries simply to provide reasonable health care to the average American, you need more than a physician. You need a psychiatrist.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index™ is said to have been “designed to be the Dow Jones of Health,” supposedly gives a measure of the status of American health. Well, let’s analyze that. Newt Gingrich was proud to have defeated the Clinton healthcare proposals. He marshaled the forces that created the huge campaign to defeat healthcare in favor of the profit-oriented system that has cost millions of Americans their homes and possessions in personal bankruptcies as a result of healthcare emergencies. Half of all U.S. bankruptcies in the last five years have been caused by medical bills that individual citizens, some with health care insurance, could not afford.
Healthways makes huge profits from the current system. AHIP is the collection of plans that who insure only healthy individuals and reject the ones who need healthcare. They insure individuals as part of a corporation, then make a small fortune insuring the same person when that person leaves the corporation. Same person. Same health situation. But much, much higher insurance rates. A terrible scam. Should you trust them, when they say that healthcare costs go up year after year? Clearly you should not.
Health care insurance costs have gone up by 15-20% per year. They have control of all the elements that could control costs, but they have done nothing. How do things such as paying a CEO an annual income of $124.8 million help to hold down health care premiums? These same people have hired Newt Gingrich, hardly an advocate for patients’ rights. They hired him because he is a sleazy windbag, pop-political philosopher, and Neocon Republican who has never met a lobbyist from whom he wouldn’t take money.
Where do we see the Gingrich influence? Well, the organization was quick to testify at the hearings on Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The more that they can cast doubt upon the fiscal reliability of a government-run program, the better they will be. They have come out against the Employee Free Choice Act. God forbid that those minimum wage workers who could have a career in health care, have health insurance, have potential retirement and have a decent life should be allowed to unionize. That would cost the CEOs some of their multi-million dollar bonuses so that hard working, poor Americans could raise their family economic status and patients would have skilled, well-trained and responsive care-givers.
Gingrich and his mates at Center for Health Transformation have in fact already transformed American health from a substantial system in the 60s to something like the 30th best in the world..if that…by 2009, plus the worst in the world’s industrialized countries for those who cannot get healthcare insurance. They are against government sponsored health care. They are continuing the campaign of fear that they used more than fifteen years ago. If the government takes over health care it will crowd out the private insurers (good) and all health care will become like the worst aspects of Medicaid, a program that the Republicans underfunded and treated exactly the way it has turned out. Medicaid is not the model. The European and Asian countries are the models, where all citizens have health care, are happy with their health care and have access to health care regardless of age, income or infirmity.
Finally…what about Gallup? They are part of this organization. What is their function? Ostensibly it is to provide independent data as evidence for determining the best way to issue health services to the public. Well, there is a poll on the Center for Health Transformation site. The question is whether individuals reading the site support or oppose government-run health care. All the polls show that U.S. citizens support government-run healthcare overhwelmingly, in huge numbers. The results of the Center for Health Transformation poll, however show 4% support government-run healthcare and 95% oppose it. I guess the Center has at least learned how to transform numbers, if not healthcare.