Saturday, October 17, 2009

Obama, Pelosi and Reid Push Back--Finally.

WASHINGTON — President Obama mounted a frontal assault on the insurance industry on Saturday, accusing it of using “deceptive and dishonest ads” to derail his health care legislation and threatening to strip the industry of its longstanding exemption from federal antitrust laws. In unusually harsh terms, Mr. Obama cast insurance companies as obstacles to change interested only in preserving their own “profits and bonuses” and willing to “bend the truth or break it” to stop his drive to remake the nation’s health care system. The president used his weekly radio and Internet address to challenge industry assertions that legislation will drive up premiums. “It’s smoke and mirrors,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, ‘Take one of these, and call us in a decade.’ Well, not this time.”

TPJ: Finally, Obama swings the big stick!! He needs to take that big stick though, walk softly behind Harry Reid and then smack him with that big stick too!! He's about as helpful to the health care cause as the head of Vichy France was to the liberation of France. He's unfortunately making himself a liability at this point with his continued obfuscation and stalling. He's been a limp dish rag from the beginning. I guess that he's finally threatening yanking the anti-trust exemption the health insurance industries gets but we should be doing that regardless. However, he's a bit late to the party and while I welcome him finally getting tough I think it's time to put someone else in as leader.

I hear that Sen. Chuck Schumer might be in the wings waiting to soon take the position of Majority Leader in the Senate and I'm all for that happening--ASAP. Schumer is able and willing to swing the big stick with these special interests, the Republicans who oppose sense and those in his own party who seem to have forgotten where their bread is buttered. He also remembers how to get shit done in the Senate instead of the half-assed efforts of Reid. Schumer wouldn't be afraid of threatening to yank chairmanships from Democrats who "can't find the door" on this one and end up voting, "no."

Pelosi said those companies won't like the final House bill.

"Now, there are some things that we want to see happen to the insurance companies that they may not like. I mean, there are some things that we are considering. The Senate has a flat fee on the insurance companies, $40 billion. That may be something we want to look at for our bill in terms of our pay-fors. There is in our bill 85 percent a medical loss ratio. That means they must spend 85 percent of every dollar that they collect in premiums on benefits. Many of them don't come anywhere near that now. They are using the money for their own purposes, not as a return, as insurance should be, to the beneficiaries," she said.

TPJ: The time for hardball was a couple months ago but I guess it's better late than never. I just hope it too late.

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