(Updated at end of post with excellent video of Dylan Ratigan’s Morning Meeting talking about the administrations “un-American” deals.)
We must have misunderstood. We actually thought the whole point of reforming health care was to help the american people have better, more affordable health care. We thought the promise was:
BARACK OBAMA’S PLAN FOR A HEALTHY AMERICA:
Lowering health care costs and ensuring affordable, high-quality health care for all
We must have missed the fine print that explained the caveat:
FOR THE HEALTH CARE AND INSURANCE INDUSTRIES
Did the American people not get the memo that explained this? Or was our copy of Obama’s plan smudged? The media and politicians must have got the fine print copy. What else would explain why all the politicians and media hacks are morally outraged at seeing townhall anger, but those selfsame politicians and media hacks are apparently not even shocked to learn of this administration’s sell-out backroom deals with the health care industry?
And why the continued, almost obsessive focus on painting protesters as un-American? While these sweetheart deals, that are truly un-American and so beautifully depict why Americans no longer trust their government, are received in blissful willful silence.
From Miles Mogulescu at HuffPo:
The first hint of the real story came when Rahm Emanuel summoned leaders of liberal organizations to the White House and reamed them out for criticizing Blue Dogs who were trying to gut the public option, telling the liberals that they were “f..king stupid” and ordering them to stop…
Gutted: The public health care option – bad for health care and insurance industry profits!
The next hint was a New York Times story in which the White House confirmed it had cut a back-room deal with Billy Tauzin, chief lobbyist for Big Pharma, to block any Health Reform bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. …
Blocked: The negotiation for or importation of lower priced drug – bad for health care and insurance industry profits!
A few days later came Business Week’s cover story entitled “The Health Insurers Have Already Won: How UnitedHealth and rival carriers, maneuvering behind the scenes in Washington, shaped health-care reform for their own benefit”. …
Encouraged: Behind the scenes maneuvers in Washington to shape reform – good for health care and insurance industry profits!
Thursday’s New York Times confirmed Business Week’s analysis, reporting that the White House, in conjunction with Sen. Baucus, has made a deal with hospital lobbyists limiting reductions in hospital costs to $155 billion over 10 years and crippling the public option by agreeing “that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private sector rates — or controlled by the secretary of health and human services“. According to Chip Kahn, a top industry lobbyist, “We have an agreement with the White House that I’m very confident will be seen all the way through conference”. …
Limited: The reducion of hospital costs – bad for health care and insurance industry profits!
Crippled: A government-run health plan with Medicare rates or controlled by the secretary of health and human services – bad for health care and insurance industry profits!
Which leaves one to wonder what exactly is the point of these town hall meetings with the American people. Why even go through the motions when as the extensively detailed, must read Business Week article on the health insurance giants points out:
… much more of the battle than most people realize is already over. The likely victors are insurance giants such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), and WellPoint (WLP). The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable.
And these companies will not just maintain or increase profits, but could very well realize a windfall.
What people in Washington tend not to discuss, at least on the record, is the open secret that insurers are minimizing their forecasts of the eventual windfall they will enjoy from expanded coverage for Americans. UnitedHealth has given certain key members of Congress details about its finances and tax liability—both historical numbers and figures projected under various cost-sharing scenarios. But some on Capitol Hill are skeptical. “The bottom line,” says an aide to the Senate Finance Committee, “is that health reform would lead to increased revenues and profits [for the insurance industry]. … There will be [added] costs [to the companies], but we’re not sure the revenues and profits will be as low as they say.”
So when do we start discussing the fine print of this “reform” honestly. We are not reforming health care for the benefit of the American people. Our government is not interested in providing for the health and well being of the Americans so we can be better functioning members of our society. No, our supposed moral imperative to pass health care reform is to ensure the health and well being of the health care and insurance industries so they can be even more profitable members of our society.
When will the media finally realize, as Miles Mogulescu has that:
…The real story should be about the back room deals reportedly being negotiated between the Obama administration and Blue Dog Democrat Max Baucus, on the one hand, and Big Pharma, for-profit hospitals, and the private insurance industry, on the other hand. This is where the real action is taking place and it’s looking increasingly likely, as a result, that the Health Care bill which ends up emerging from Congress could represent a massive public subsidy to the private health care industry. …
Our government may not be calling this a bailout, but by creating another entitlement to support and protect a few large, for profit, public entities at the expense of the American people it sure sounds eerily similiar to what our government is still doing for Wall Street.
And don’t forget, the powers that be want to “reform” Social Security and Medicare next.
**Update** Somehow I missed this great video from Dylan Ratigan’s Morning meeting.