Woefully Inadequate Healthcare Reform Bill Passes in Senate
https://www.allenschool.edu/blog/?p=292 Follow the Money Part Deux https://www.allenschool.edu/blog/?p=469 Follow the Money Redux https://www.allenschool.edu/blog/?p=537 All you need to know about whether or not the Senate’s passage of their “reform” bill contains any real measure to lower the costs of health care for Americans can be derived from looking at the stock prices of the major insurers today after the passage of the bill this weekend. Aetna (AET) Today their stock is at its highest trading price of the year. Cigna (CI) Today their stock price is at its highest trading price of the year. Wellpoint (WLP) Today their stock price is at its highest trading price of the year. United Healthcare (UNH) Today their stock price is at its highest trading price of the year. If there was any chance that the “reform” passed by the Senate was going to rein in profits on this egregious industry, these stock prices would have been headed downward. Take any and all celebratory language emanating from Congressional Democrats with a huge grain of salt. Spin is spin. The stock market does not view the world through any lens besides the lens of profit and loss. Investors in aggregate understand that this sham of a bill does much more to boost the fortunes of insurers than it does to help the average citizen stay healthy or heal when sick (without going bankrupt). Plus, women get to lose more reproductive freedom. Contemptible!
6 Responses to “Woefully Inadequate Healthcare Reform Bill Passes in Senate”
This is a tragedy and a sad day indeed. It was suggested by someone that Obama timed the entire health care issue poorly and because legislators were up for re-election midterm they were more concerned with that than with serving the needs of their constituents. No amount of spin is going to make this a win for anyone other than the insurance companies and surely not for the general public. Ted Kennedy must be rolling over in his grave. Looking back over this debacle, it is remarkable to think that Medicare passed when it was devised years ago – unless there was far less polarization in the electorate than there exists now. Clearly, the Republicans were not the least bit concerned with anything but causing the Democrats to go down in flames!
I believe that there is too much focus on abortions, public options, Medicare, taxes, stock prices, etc. The spirit of the health care bill is to reign in runaway premiums, reduce government health care costs, and help the uninsured get insured. I am currently one of the 30+ million who is uninsured and have been so for most of my working life. I’ve worked for small businesses which could not afford to offer health insurance. I have worked for a big company which found itself no longer able to offer its employees heath insurance. I have been self-employed and had to give up my health insurance when my premiums became higher than my monthly rent. Right now, not only is my physical health at stake, but my financial health as well. I am one short hospital stay from financial ruin. Or being a deadbeat for life.
In light of that:
I do not care if abortion portion of the bill goes too far or not far enough.
I do not care if a public option is included or not.
I do not care if there is a Medicare buy-in or not
I do not care if the rich is taxed or not.
I do not care if the insurance companies make money (that’s why they are in business, is it not?).
I do not care if every legislature attached a piece of “pork” to the bill in exchange for their vote.
What I do care about is everyone having a chance for affordable health insurance and our governments having a chance to reduce spending on health care. That is the spirit of the bill, to give us a chance. Everything else is just politics. But if it takes those politics to get the bill passed, I am all for it. Now, I understand that the naysayers may be right and this bill can backfire on us, but I am okay with that. As the saying goes: nothing ventured nothing gained. At least we took the chance to turn this thing around. By doing nothing, we already know it is going to get a whole lot worse.
For another thought on this issue, below is a link to a recent op-ed piece by Christina Romer who is the chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisor, a group that provides the President with objective economic analysis and advice on the development and implementation of a wide range of domestic and international economic policy issues. Some may call this spin, but I see it as the blueprint of this administration. If for some reason this blog does not allow link-outs, please copy and paste the link into your browser.
It seems to me lately that any issue, whether it is healthcare reform or government bailouts, has a disconnect between what the American people are being “sold” and what is really going on behind the scenes. The last few years has been nothing but a power grab by the “haves” leaving the rest of us “have-nots” in the cold. Look at the bailouts of insurance and financial companies. Bad decisions and greed at the top cost hundreds of thousands of people their jobs, jobs that aren’t coming back, and yet top level executives were rewarded for their mismanagement. Now health insurers are going to get their piece of the pie while no real significant change is going to be passed on to the working class.
That’s my take on it, anyway.
It is in my opinion that we as a people have not been told all of what is in this bill for healthcare reform. I have heard that every American must purchase health insurance or be on Medicaid/Medicare or face stiff fines. I really do not believe that they can force you to do anything, we are a free country (so to speak), so if we are free we have the right to choose. This is one of the great advantages that our great America has to offer and that is why we have so many immigrants in our nation today. I may not like what I read when the healthcare bill is made available for us to review but we have to admit to ourselves that we diffently need something and at least this is a start, we can not go on the way that we that we are going without some kind of help. COBRA is not the answer, it is way to expensive. Socialized medicine is not the answer, it limits our choices as humans. This just goes back to the old saying that “The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, and the middle man is left to foot the bill.” So we are “caught be the old rock and a hard place.” “Dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t.”
I agree with most of what you’ve said except your statement that socialized medicine “limits our choices as humans”. What does that mean? Have you actually reviewed the user satisfaction rates for healthcare in countries with socialized medicine? Countries like England, France, Sweden, Germany and Canada, all with socialized medicine, all have a citizenry that WOULD NEVER switch with Americans’ system of healthcare. I think that you, like so many Americans, have been brainwashed by the right wing spin that lies to Americans – telling us that socialized medicine is the first step along the pathway to totalitarianism. Guess what? Its not. We deserve what all the other post-industrial countries already have. The greed of insurers and Wall Street is what keeps us from getting the safety net we all so richly deserve.
I agree all of us deserve health care. What I’m concerned about with the new bill is how it will affect our healthcare. Will hospitals be stretched beyond capacity; will more elderly die because of this? Will there ultimately be a lottery to get a doctor’s appointment? Will specialty units be closed? Will research be affected? I know these are questions many have, and we can’t live by “what if’s,” but this is frightening. It’s a shame politics and Wall Street continue to pollute healthcare progress for all American’s!