As many feared, the for-profit Murder By Spreadsheet insurance industry, is getting in some vicious last minute licks and is on a rampage against the American people.
The rate abuses (See: Wellpoint Anthem destroys families in California) are so egregious, that finally the government is stepping in.
liar lobbyist-in-chief of AHIP, calls the public and politician outrage against this newest round of insurer price gouging, "the politics of vilification".
We're learning this morning that President Obama is stepping up with a proposal to bring the resources of the federal government to bear on insurer price gouging.
If you haven't already registered to make your voice heard on February 24th, please do so.
My own experience with insurer price gouging in New York State.
My own experience in New York State with health insurer price gouging, and the inability and incompetence of the state government to do anything is telling.
When I sought help in October from the staff of Richard Gottfried, my assembly person and the chairman of the New York State Assembly Health Committee, the response was
laughable truly sad.
This weekend, with the California price gouging on the front pages of newspapers across America, I've resurrected my request to Gottfried's staff. I've requested a meeting, again, which I was unable to obtain in October (despite being a constituent, I live in his Assembly district), to ask him on the record about what, if anything, New York State is doing to investigate insurer price gouging in the individual and small group market? Be assured, I'll let you know the response I receive to my simple request.
Returning to Health care reform.
Americans are not stupid, and it's long overdue that the political class stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes. The politicians (especially obstructionist Democrats in the Senate--Lincoln, Landrieu, Lieberman, Nelson, et al) and any who fail to sign the Public Option letter, are condemning all of us to the cruel vissictudes of this outlaw industry.
Americans require a safe haven, a sanctuary if you will, from the corrupt and despicable for profit insurance industry. Only a Public Option gives us this. And you don't need a degree in brain surgery to recognize that mandating all Americans buy expensive junk insurance from this industry, enforced by the IRS, with no option, is unpopular. DUH??!!
What's most tragic, is that Lieberman (who is thoroughly reviled and a Republican), was able to work his sleigh-of-hand to get the most popular provisions (Medicare buy in and public option) stripped from the Senate bill. No wonder Americans don't like it.
Take a look at this New Newsweek Poll.
Check out this nightmare scenario as described by Newsweek, if Democrats fail to front load the legislation. Front load is Washington speak for making provisions kick in quickly, not in 2013, as is currently contemplated.
Still, this, like most of these analyses, is looking at the long term, with scenarios that take place after the biggest, most controversial provisions in the bills have been enacted, sometime between 2013 and 2016. Who knows if this will ever come to pass? If Republicans make substantial gains in the next elections, some of those provisions could be legislated out of existence before they have a chance to take effect. The more pressing question for health-care consumers: what is reform going to do for me in the near future?
And read this in the New Republic from Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg about how Democrats can avoid a repeat of 1994. We may not agree with everything Greenberg writes, but it's a reasonable road map to 2010 electoral victory.
Wake up, Democrats. Wake the hell up.
Republicans won't make gains if Democrats show not by word, but by deed, that Democrats alone stand with the American people, and against the insurance industry. Americans need relief and protection from insurer atrocities, now, today, this minute--not in 2013.
Imagine if Democrats could campaign this year on a Medicare buy in for those 55 and older. This is what Howard Dean has been saying until the poor man is blue in the face.
So here's another talking point for THE FEBRUARY 24TH, VIRTUAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON.
The healthcare reform legislation must be front loaded, as Howard Dean argues. That is, we cannot wait--we are dying--until 2013, for the vast majority of this legislation to take effect.
Now, do yourself a favor, please, and read this new Newsweek poll. It is remarkable and confirms that when Americans understand the individual components of health care reform, they overwhelmingly (certainly Democrats, support reform.
A Failure to Communicate
But here's the problem, and I'm not surprised because even I am not totally conversant with what Democrats are proposing. Democrats and the Administration have failed, I repeat failed to communicate in a clear and understandable manner, how this legislation is going to improve the lives for all of us. The individual components are immensely popular, but the overall package is a garbled and unintelligible mess. And guess what dear friends, the Republicans have done what they do best. They have seized on the Democratic inability to clearly articulate all the benefits of health care reform, to fan the flames of fear and "a government takeover".
So because the Democrats deserve an F as in Fail, because they have been unable to frame the debate and explain the Goddamn kitchen table issues to beleaguered voters,the Kaiser Foundation has picked up the slack, with a Guide to health Care Reform. But the kaiser Foundation is not the President of the United States.
I have no doubt President Obama will knock it out of the park on Thursday. We must knock it out of the park on Wednesday so he will have a wind at his back going into this historic event.
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