Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Local Take on Health Care "Death Panels"

Local Democratic leader, blogger and
activist Stephen Handwerk's blog in The Daily Advertiser is an interesting local liberal take on "death panels" and other distortions:

“But Stephen, Democrats are the ones who are killing this – Those Blue Dogs, right?” In fact the Blue Dogs are working very hard to SOLVE this issue and they, like me, want whatever program we have to be PAID FOR. There is nothing wrong with that. I think we do that by simply opening up Medicare to those whose premiums top 12% of their yearly income. But Blue Dogs are looking at other ways. So why am I taking it to the Republicans so hard? – Simply because they are clearly the party of no. We have heard Congressman Boustany go on the record on KPEL making statements that we have the best healthcare in the world – Clearly not true. And while he talks a good game on where the needs exist, the fact is that neither he nor the Republican leadership in congress is making any meaningful contributions to building legislation that accomplishes these “supposedly shared goals.” Instead they are nitpicking around the edges on these ridiculous claims and leaving these crazy claims of “Death Panels” go unchallenged (some are even repeating them).

I don’t blame the insurance companies from wanting to make a profit, but ramming the conversation in this fake “astro-turf” way is quite disgusting. Especially when you learn that in the past 7 years, the Health Insurance Industries profits have nearly septupled. In 2000 the SEC reported that the
Health Insurance industry profited $2.4 Billion – and in 2007 they profited $12.7 Billion. Now that is some business to be in! If this wasn’t such a shady business industry to begin with (please see my previous columns on this issue) and if they were not fighting so “dirty” in the streets perhaps we could have a more professional and productive conversation. But as these matters are being exposed, hopefully the American People are going to see who is really behind all of this and what they are really fighting for – it seems clear they are not fighting for the people – but for the profits.


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