The Death of Health(care)

The heartwarming sight of Democratic Senators all in agreement would be welcome if it was for a bill that included a strong “Public Option” or for a health insurance reform bill that came into effect within 180 days. Or if it was a bill that included real protection for human beings and tight controls on corporate entities and greed. Oh, and stripping away the last vestiges of anti-trust protections from insurance companies.

Sadly, the current bill not only lacks these important aspects, but is actually a danger to the health and well-being of American citizens and the financial health of the entire country. The current Senate bill includes a right-wing attack on Roe v.Wade. This bill would put into place immediate taxes to pay for potential future benefits that are neither guaranteed nor accurately calculated. This is not health insurance reform, much less healthcare reform. The current Senate legislation is a ‘give-away’ to the health insurance industry; millions of additional customers with no effective control or over-sight.

In fact it’s such a great gift to the health insurance industry that “Health Insurance Stocks Reached 52-Week High On Friday“[1] after the current version of the Senate bill was said to be moving forward. I’m all for companies making a fair profit (after paying fair wages) but such strong support from the stock market is a pretty clear clue this legislation failed.

This bill is an affront to hard-working taxpayers, a pay-off to the “at least 166 former aides from the nine congressional leadership offices and five committees involved in shaping health overhaul legislation – along with at least 13 former lawmakers – registered to represent at least 338 health care clients since the beginning of last year“[2] and a guarantee that the Republican party will regain control of one, if not both, houses of Congress. Sadly, not because they’ve earned it, but because the Democratic Party surrendered. In fact, surrendered so often they might never remember how to stand up.

Also- the Senate bill does not include the House bill’s provision that would remove the tax on insurance benefits that cover recognized same-sex spouses or partners [3]. It is a trophy bill for President Obama; as devoid of honour as a staged hunt where everyone who pays the fee is guaranteed a trophy kill. It is the final straw; I don’t see how Obama can ever regain my trust… or my vote.

The latest petition to defeat this defeatist legislation is at FireDogLake.

[1] Source; Huffington Post
[2] Source; Chicago Tribune
[3] Source; Pam’s House Blend

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