I don’t have much time, so this isn’t gonna be nearly as in-depth as I’d like it to be…
Why are we having a debate on health care? Why do we even need to talk about this? Millions of people are under insured, have been cut from their insurance by the insurance companies themselves and now face economic ruin, suddenly find themselves with a “preexisting condition” they didn’t know about…
Let’s get this straight — the government is NOT seeking “socialized medicine.” What the Obama administration wants to do is OFFER insurance from a non-profit entity to those who need it. NO ONE NEEDS TO ACCEPT. No one will be forced to go on a government-based insurance plan.
The big pharmaceutical companies have teamed up with the big insurance companies and are lobbying hard to brand President Obama’s plan of offering reasonably-priced insurance as “socialized health care,” a phrase they’ve carefully crafted into something that has negative connotations… Couple this with a massive lobbying effort and suddenly something as common sense as “let’s lower health care costs” is in danger of losing. In 2008 special interest groups, including pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, spent $32,523 per legislator per day in lobbying efforts. I’ll rephrase that. For every congressman and senator in Washington D.C., special interests groups spent $32,525 EACH DAY to change his or her mind. source
One of my own Senators, Chuck Grassley (R) is opposed to health care reform. Why? Simple. Over the past few years he’s accepted over $2 million in donations from insurance companies. source Where is this money coming from? Directly from your pocket.
When you pay an insurance premium, you’re giving your insurance company money that they give to your congressman in exchange for legislation that keeps us from slowing down their greed. You’re paying for some insurance executive to eat gourmet meals on fine china in their offices because they’re too “important” to go out to eat or *gasp* bring their own lunch. source I heard on TV (I don’t have time to verify it) that one out of every $700 spent nationwide on health care goes directly into the pocket of the CEO of United Health Care.
That is simply outrageous and unacceptable.
These are the same insurance companies that will gleefully take your money while you’re well and will gleefully cut your benefits the moment you get sick. These are the companies that “encourage” small business owners to drop their coverage as soon as an employee needs to use the insurance.
I was at a meeting the other day where a local Sioux City businessman got up and told about his experience with insurance companies. He said that normally there’s a 2 or 3% increase in rates each year. (When I worked at the print shop I DREAMED of getting that kind of pay increase!) He continued to say that he got a letter this year saying his rates were going up 80% this year. This is not for his personal insurance, mind you, this is for his employees. An 80% increase is insane — enough, he said, to drive him out of business, OR force him to drop insurance benefits for his employees, thus forcing them to pay insurance out of their own pockets.
I dunno about you, but around here that’s usually over $800 a month now.
I saw a sign at the meeting that said the average Iowan pays over $800 a month for insurance, but Chuck Grassley, our Republican senator, pays a mere $350 a month for HIS family’s insurance. Yet when someone approached the senator and asked how they could get the same insurance he enjoys, the senator merely replied, “Get a job with the federal government.”
I believe around 1% of the population of Iowa works for the federal government. Well over 52% of Iowans work for small businesses. The same small businesses who are being squeezed out by the insurance companies in the name of greed and profit.
Okay, enter the Obama Administration’s plan.
From what I hear, it’s not gonna be great insurance, but it’s gonna be affordable, and they won’t deny benefits to those who need it most. They can run it at an affordable rate simply because they WON’T be spending millions (if not billions) of dollars a year on lobbying, they WON’T be paying Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) $2 million. They WON’T be lunching on gourmet meals served on fine china. They will not force anyone to buy this insurance. It’s not a health care plan, they won’t be choosing doctors, it’s merely affordable insurance.
What will affordable insurance do? Well, the first thing that will likely happen is that there will be a surge of people who are currently uninsured buying it. The next thing that will happen is that the big insurance companies will start to drop their prices in order to compete. Lower health care costs for the same services we get now. Can that possibly be a bad thing?
“Pfft, I wouldn’t trust the government to run insurance!” Well, you trust them to run the Army, don’t you?
“I don’t want some government official standing between me and my health care!” Me either. But who’s standing between you and your health care right now? A guy who wants nothing but profit, an insurance agent who’s PAID TO DENY YOU the services you’ve paid for. To me the choice is simple.
Do not listen to the propaganda. If you see a commercial on TV painting the Obama administration’s insurance plan as “socialized medicine,” rest assured that YOU paid for that ad, and that the people who put the ad out there do not have your best interests at heart but rather their own profits. Think for yourself. Check the facts. Look into this. And when you come to a conclusion, call your legislator and tell them how you feel. Let’s force our congressmen and senators to pay attention to us for once rather than paying attention to the $2 million in donations they got from the insurance companies…
Well said Chris, and well researched.
I honestly could not agree MORE about any of this. It’s ludicrous that your health is something you have to pay for to begin with, but to make it so unaffordable that your average person can’t pay to be healthy is insanity itself. Even if you HAVE insurance through work, it doesn’t cover everything you might need. I had top of the line insurance in my last job and I still had to fight and be denied and appeal to get an MRI I desperately needed on an excruciating shoulder injury.
I come from a country with socialized medicine and while it has its drawbacks, they’re nothing compared with all that. At least if you’re sick or injured you get fixed no questions asked and if you need surgery urgently you’ll get it fairly fast. It’s only low importance ailments that have to wait. And sure, I might have had to wait a week or so for that MRI but I’d get it. It’s still better than being uninsured in America where the first question you’re asked when admitted to hospital with limbs hanging off is “what’s your insurance?”.
I like your comments, V.A. It should be noted that even WITH insurance, things pretty much suck. A week-long wait for an MRI sounds like heaven compared to the 90 days I had to wait. (And then only to find out it wasn’t covered.)
I’ve blogged about my nightmare here.
I’m glad the President is making this a priority. Maybe it will all crash and burn, but at least it’s doing something, which is better than anyone has done in the last 20 years.
i concur most whole-heartedly…healthcare is a basic human right and the “for profit” aspect should be removed entirely…corporations will still be left with plenty of ways to part us from our shekels…