VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
by James J. Devine
To get the 60 votes needed to pass their bill, Democrats scrapped the idea of health insurance reform and replaced it with a proposal for guaranteed private insurance company profits.
Along the way, they caved in to extreme demands by the sinister Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, who extorted 100 percent Medicaid reimbursement for his state, killed any public option or expansion of Medicare and curtailed women’s right to choose a safe, legal abortion.
The costly, complicated compromise was denounced by virtually everyone except the pig-headed politicians who declared it a victory in spite of its universal failure to achieve the goals of covering all Americans, reducing costs or improving the quality of care.
President Obama’s top domestic priority will be a sham if this legislation ends up with his signature on it.
The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said the bill was “a monstrosity full of special sweetheart deals for a few states.”
McConnell wants to kill tens of thousands of Americans every year, but he was on target in his assessment of this devilish deal.
The bill proposes a range of new fees and taxes, including penalties on uninsured people that would total $15 billion over 10 years plus $28 billion in penalties on employers who do not offer health benefits to employees.
On a bright note, the proposal would impose an additional tax of just under one percent of income above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families.
Arianna Huffington nailed the situation: “After an inspiring presidential campaign that promised to take on the special interests, the lobbyists flexed their muscles (and their wallets) and showed who really runs the show in DC. Lobbyists carried the day on health insurance reform, banking reform, financial reform, drug pricing, cramdown legislation, and credit card interest rates, to name just a few. And every time they won, the American people lost.”
The clear and obvious answer to health insurance reform is opening up Medicare for all Americans. Allowing everyone to buy into this government-run health insurance system would reduce expenses, assure integrity and universal coverage, plus it would improve the quality of care.
Nelson, Joe Lieberman and several others should be tossed out of office.
For that matter, we need not look far away to find fault in this mess.
Only two New Jersey congressmen support a program like Medicare for all Americans, Reps. Rush D. Holt and Donald M. Payne, according to the website http://www.medicareforall.org — a group advocating the only realistic option for health care reform in America.
Rob Andrews and Frank Pallone were among the six or eight key insiders working on the House version of this vital legislation, but Medicare for all was never even placed on the table… I know both personally and have generally high opinions of them, so I would like to know: What’s wrong with you guys?
Medicare for all is simple, smart, less expensive and the most effective way to stop corporations from killing Americans by denying vital care.
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