TPJ: And the irony of all this is that according to Baucus the co-op option is supposed to be the compromise on the left to attract Republicans to the bill. The public option was the compromise for most Democrats and Liberals because single-payer was the option most lefties wanted in the first place. And those Republicans the co-ops are supposed to bring around? Nada. Not many if any Republicans that I know of support the co-op idea. Neither do the Democrats. So why did Max Bought-off Baucus ultimately keep the co-op in his bill, which was released today? Because it is basically a give away to his buddies from the health insurance companies who have given him dump trucks full of money. So, yeah, someone does win with his plan--the health insurance companies!!
As former health insurance industry executive-turned-whistle blower Wendell Potter said, without the regulatory effect of the public option this bill is a absolute give away to the health insurance industry. "Wendell Potter warned that if Congress "fails to create a public insurance option to compete with private insurers, the bill it sends to the president might as well be called the Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act." "As a consequence, these proposals would do little to increase affordable coverage for those currently insured, or stop the rise in medical bankruptcy. They would, however, ensure that a huge new stream of revenue--much of it from taxpayers who would finance the needed subsidies for people too poor to buy coverage on their own--would flow--"gush" might be a more appropriate word--to insurance companies. And much of that new revenue would ultimately go right into the pockets of the Wall Street investors who own them."
"The Baucus plan, on the other hand, would create a government-subsidized monopoly for the purchase of bare-bones, high-deductible policies that would truly benefit Big Insurance. In other words, insurers would win; your constituents would lose. It's hard to imagine how insurance companies could write legislation that would benefit them more."
TPJ: To make it worse, the Baucus bill released from the Senate Finance Committee today requires all individuals to buy insurance, which is a good idea if the public option is available. If the public option was available, individual mandates to buy health insurance would lower premiums and other costs. "A mandate would dictate that everyone hold at least basic insurance. This, in theory, would also help keep premiums down, because low-risk individuals who currently don't have insurance would be brought into the pool, lowering the costs to insure medium-risk individuals." Thus, if you require mandates without the public option you'd have even more needless money going to these companies without the guarantee of competition and collective bargaining power from the public sector to keep costs down. Thus, it would be a give-a-way to the health insurance industry--no wonder they support it!! They'd get millions of new customers without having to lower their prices to compete:
If the government mandates that the nearly 50 million uninsured buy private insurance or be fined as much as $3800 a year by the IRS (while providing hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded premium subsidies to the less well off), insurance companies are all but certain to jack up their rates even further, keeping health insurance unaffordable to the middle class and breaking the federal budget with ever-increasing subsidies.
TPJ: It's basically corporate welfare. It represents nothing less than a deal between politicians like Baucus and Senator Kent Conrad (another supposed Democrat) and the health insurance industry. The deal seems to be that they'll craft a bill favorable to them and not the American people in exchange for all that money they received from those same health insurance companies. Passing this bill without a public option would be the biggest give-a-way to the health insurance ever. So it seems that the public option is dead if the bill stays in this form thanks to lies, half-truths, corrupt politicians, ignorance and weak-willed politicians. . So I think the thing to do now is oppose the mandate without the public option and just go with reform that ends pre-existing conditions or strongly urge our leaders to vote against the bill.
The bigger picture though is that the Democratic party is no longer viable or working--not unlike the Republican party though for different reasons. Sometimes sadly for the same reasons like bribery and corruption. Once we get at least an end to pre-existing conditions perhaps it's time to teach the Democrats a lesson once and for all and leave them high and dry for the Green Party. It would most certainly mean defeat for the Democrats but they're acting like Republicans on this health care reform issue and many others anyway. If enough people move to the Greens then we can work toward a true progressive movement and not one beholden to these unscrupulous corporations and spineless Democrats.
Even if the Green Party never gets big enough to compete with the big two so be it. I'm tired of being let down by the Democrats and having my support be taken for granted, walked on and otherwise ignored or outright opposed. I'm tired of being apart of a party that folds on stalwart, traditionally important principles but most of all I'm tired of not always being able to vote my conscience. I'm done with sending all my emails to my two Democratic Senators only to see them basically ignored or trivialized. I want to fully believe in a party again and the Democrats have just let me down one too many times. I feel powerless--I vote in every election, even the small, local ones. I voted for every candidate for the Democratic party since Clinton and have been let down. I worked hard for Obama and sent him a lot of money despite living on a tight budget. I worked hard to get the majorities we have in the House and the Senate for what?
To see Max Baucus, Kent Conrad and President Obama sell us out on the most important legislative issue for Democrats since Medicare??? I don't think so. I'll support the pre-existing condition reform and tort reform but after that I'm gone. Well, at least for awhile anyway. It's like a battered and abused wife finally seeing the truth behind the husband/boyfriend that everyone told them to leave years ago. I'm finally coming to the realization that without some wandering in the desert again the Democrats aren't going to change. Speaking of competition, Washington D.C. need competition badly because right now it's a two party monopoly.
The Greens may not have a lot of power right now but frankly I'm tired of the political game. I'm ready to be apart of a party I respect and can count on to consistently stand up for my basic beliefs. Besides, there's nothing stopping Green Senators and Representatives who would get elected from caucusing with the more liberal Democrats.
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