“I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. … Not this time. Not now.”
Obama said many things right, but tip-toed around the sacred cow in health reform: insurance company profits. He vowed to cut “waste” elsewhere, but the hundreds of billions we squander each year on insurance industry profit is the biggest waste of all.
By ignoring the only viable, affordable solution — single payer — and even waffling on the public option to appease Republicans, Obama would throw us to the lions, using tax penalties as a threat to make us all customers of private insurers.
It was great when Obama smacked down as “a lie, pure and simple,” Sarah Palin’s preposterous assertion that he’s proposing death panels. But I doubt we’ll ever see the day when all insurers cover preventive care, don’t exclude pre-existing conditions, don’t cap lifetime benefits, don’t cancel people on a loophole when they get sick, and don’t limit out-of-pocket expenses.
All these things would erode insurance profits. And now that Obama’s given away the rest of the farm on reform, these are the next items undoubtedly headed to the chopping block as Congress continues trying to keep insurers happy.
For Obama to claim that establishing “exchanges” will suddenly make us be treated fairly by the very companies that ritually fleece us, he’s just playing us for fools. As fast as Congress dreams up laws to curb insurer abuses, insurers will find workarounds, just like credit card issuers are doing.
Americans are being set up to get screwed like never before.
We need to forget about health insurance reform and refocus on healthcare. Health insurance is an obsolete concept, the main obstacle to care. As long as our president refuses to face this fact, which is known by every other country that provides healthcare to every citizen without a vast insurance bureaucracy, we’ll never solve this problem in the U.S. and people will continue to go bankrupt and die.
Scowling Republicans, sitting on their hands like a bunch of brats during Obama’s speech, demonstrated that they value human life as little as the terrorists they love to vilify. Such closed minds should forfeit any role in a fix, and I hope Obama follows through on this promise:
“I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it. If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out. And I will not accept the status quo as a solution.”
But I’m wondering just how little change Obama will eventually settle for and call it a solution.