Washington Set on Botching Healthcare Reform

June 12, 2009

By Karen

Our legislators reject single-payer healthcare as “too drastic” a change for the country (Translation: Too simple and ethical for them to make a buck from), so growing numbers of single-payer advocates are yelling “Foul!”

One word explains why any plan continuing to be based on private health insurance won’t work:


Every penny wasted on insurance company overhead and bureaucratic requirements doesn’t go to medical care.

To preserve the status quo, insurers recently offered to forgo $2 TRILLION in future profits. That’s chump change to them. They’re admitting they’re already rolling in dough by cherry-picking, charging extortionist rates, and denying claims.

Two single-payer bills, HR 676 and S 703, languish in Congress while our representatives sit mesmerized by insurance industry snakes promising “fixes.”

The other blunder Washington’s intent on making  is to keep employers involved. That’s what they mean by, “You can keep the plan you like,” because virtually no one in the individual market has coverage that’s both adequate and affordable.

Instead, employers should contribute to a national program where workers can access affordable, portable healthcare. Corporate America instantly escapes the administrative hell of dealing with insurance companies, and employees no longer have to stay in jobs they hate just for the health benefits.

Characterizing single-payer as “free” or “socialist” is deliberately ignorant.

NOBODY says it will be free. Hundreds of billions now wasted on bureaucracy and profit will be rechanneled to actual medical care.

Republicans oppose Obama’s public option to give individuals and small businesses a break because they’re afraid private insurers will languish.

Exactly. Any industry whose success depends on providing NOTHING needs to die. The only ones entitled to profit from medical care are care providers. They earn it.

Sen. Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK) outlines the Republican proposal, which sounds fine if you think 50 new state bureaucracies in bed with private insurers are better than one federal agency that isn’t.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer lays out all the players and their plans. You need to watch this issue closely because whatever Congress does when it’s finished dithering will affect you and your family — guaranteed.


Insurance Lobbyist Karen Ignagni Stops Advocating Screwing Women

May 7, 2009

By Karen

Pro-private-insurance trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans(AHIP) has dangled a new carrot before Congress, using self-employed women like me as pawns to kill any chance we’ll ever see affordable government-sponsored or single-payer healthcare.

Last November, AHIP president and CEO Karen Ignagni began trying to derail healthcare reform by offering to stop cherry-picking customers so only the healthiest and least likely to need it could qualify for individual insurance.

In March, she offered to stop charging ill people more, but quietly replaced illness with age as a reason to jack up premiums, disingenuously slipping insurers a means to hit everyone with hefty annual rate increases, ill or not.

Now, in the individual market where insurers can get away with anything, she’s admitting they typically charge women 25-50% more than men as punishment for having uteruses.

Ignagni now agrees with Senator John Kerry (D-MA) that screwing women is wrong and is offering “not to recommend continuing it.”

Senator Kerry, with all good intentions, has naïvely introduced a bill to prohibit insurance companies from using gender to set premium rates. But he’s just playing into insurers’ hands because they’ll simply increase men’s premiums to match women’s.

Can you say “Ka-Ching!”?

Congress, instead of rewarding the AHIP’s duplicity with lame “reform” that throws all Americans into the insurance pool to be devoured by these sharks, you need to recognize these tactics for what they really are:

Bold-faced admissions of an industry’s longstanding unethical practices and unconscionable discrimination for profit at any cost.

The only civilized response to “deals” like these is to shove universal healthcare bills HR.676 and S.703 down Karen Ignagni’s throat and eliminate all such double-talking, self-serving, useless leeches from the equation.

P.S. If anyone out there thinks you can scare me with “rationing,” go get yourself some individual insurance, visit a doctor, file a claim, and see how much of it, if any, gets paid. THAT’S rationing. We have it right now, thanks to the insurers Ignagni represents.

Putting Nancy Pelosi on Notice RE: Healthcare

April 30, 2009

By Karen

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outdid herself for smug ignorance at a recent Christian Science Monitor event, infuriating supporters of single-payer universal healthcare. She said…

“As our members came back from their recess, a great deal of what they heard out there was public options, public options, public options, public options. In our caucus, over and over again, we hear single payer, single payer, single payer. Well, it’s not going to be a single payer. … We had an opportunity for that awhile back, and it was not realized. And that’s not what it’s going to be. So we had to take people from a place that they see universal, affordable, quality health care available best in single payer and say this can be achieved in other ways.”

Pelosi can ignore the will of the people because she’s already got what we want — government-sponsored healthcare. Yeah, WE pay for it so she can sit in Washington and help her insurance buds screw us.

Private health insurance is based on making a profit from premiums by providing little or nothing in return. Denying claims and rescinding policies are used as employee incentives for personal bonuses and to boost the bottom line.

Because lives are on the line, it’s morally indefensible. Yet these are “the other ways” Pelosi coyly refers to.

Why is she so keen to protect health insurers? Because they’re generous campaign contributors — bribing politicians with OUR health insurance premiums. Eliminating them would mean hundreds of billions instantly freed from bureaucratic waste and political corruption for medical care.

Any politician who refuses to consider the single-payer option is really saying,

“Your healthcare expenditures should continue to be wasted or end up in my campaign coffers. To hell with you and your family’s medical needs.”

Two bills for universal single-payer care, HR.676 and S.703, now sit in the House and Senate. If one of them, or something similar, doesn’t pass, then we need to wipe Washington clean in the next election of every politician who puts insurance company profits above constituents’ health.

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