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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Former Congressional candidate here and always strong thinker Dr. Bob Johnson offers a commentary
The healthcare bill as it now stands is a sausage that can only be characterized as a bailout for the insurance companies. They found their white knight in . He dutifully sold out the American people for the . Now everyone will have to purchase insurance from companies that have shown nothing but contempt for decent human values and whose only god has been to maintain a burgeoning bottom line. They have shown no remorse to the continual denial of care to their customers. Is no one shocked by the proliferation of bake sales and fund raisers that cancer, transplant and even cystic fibrosis children have to have for their care, most of which do not even come close to covering the costs denied by insurance companies.
The healthcare bill does nothing of what it set out to do. It does not cover everybody and ten million Americans will still be without coverage. It does not save money. One third of our healthcare costs will still go to the obscene profits of insurance and drug companies. It still gives extraordinary power to the insurance industry to dictate care in what they will and will not pay for. It still maintains their monopoly where they are exempted from the antitrust laws. Denied coverage is, and will be veiled in the fine print of the voluminous policies that no one ever reads or can understand. Even as insurance companies are allowed to dictate care the responsibility is still shifted to the doctor who is still beleaguered by egregious lawsuits filed by money intoxicated lawyers. What’s more, what few benefits there are in the bill do not start until 2013.
The trial lawyer lobby saw to it that there is no meaningful by protecting their contingency fees and preventing caps on damages. It is the same as your doctor advising you to loose weight but dieting and exercise are not allowed.
The Democratic Party has tried consensus. It doesn’t work. Not everyone is going to agree. The Republicans have been as disciplined and lock as ever. The have commanding majorities in each House and yet can not muster the gumption to pass legislation that will improve both the health and financial well being of the vast majority of Americans. Rather, they see fit to cave into those very few that owe their positions to the special interests of the insurance, pharmaceutical and legal industries that keep them elected.
This reality is the Democrats never had a filibuster proof majority. It was a mirage. Now they don’t have to worry about maintaining the illusion. The healthcare bill will now have to pass by reconciliation where only a majority is needed to pass a bill in the Senate. We no longer have to cave into those few lawmakers who are protecting the moneyed special interests in order to protect their own political self interest. We might even get a meaningful with a strong public option. Now we can actually bring the insurance companies to heel. ’s senate seat now means that a real healthcare bill can be passed that will save money and cover everyone.