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The HCAN't Divertimento


Spam from well-funded Villagers in my Inbox; play it, Levanna:

URGENT: Send the insurance industry a message!

Er, no. I don't see any point in sending them a message; with their business model of denying care, they must already know we hate them. And sending the insurance companies a message diverts me from sending the real message I need to send to my elected representatives: Pass HR 676, save $350 billion a year, and save 17,000 lives.

And now the main body of the peice; watch for the sudden change of key in the middle:

Today, the leading insurance industry representative, America's Health Insurance Plans, came out and said they would stop denying people coverage due to pre-existing conditions.[1]*

Good news, right? Now comes the change of key -- and the diversion:

What the insurance industry didn't say tells the real story:

They said nothing about lowering their prices so working families can afford their insurance.

They said nothing about reigning in their bureaucracy, designed to find ways to deny you the care you've paid for.

They said nothing about cutting the multi-million dollar salaries they pay their CEOs, while they charge working families skyrocketing premiums.

No, none of this is "the real story" at all! The real story is something that happened; Levanna's smuggled in a lot of policy decisions -- insurance companies should lower prices, insurance companies should be regulated more, insurance executives should make less money -- in the guise of facts. The real issue is the role insurance companies should play, and single payer is the best way to achieve all of those policy goals: It lowers prices the most, it gives our elected representatives the most leverage of how care is provided, and it eliminates the executives -- who are highly paid exactly because of the success of their business model -- from the equation entirely, which is rather a mild penalty, considering the lives they've ruined and taken for profit.

Send the insurance industry a message. Tell them that you don't trust them to work for real health care reform, the kind of reform that guarantees quality, affordable health care for all.

The devil is in the details, Levanna. Everybody who doesn't suck the money flows from Big Insurance, everyone who knows the issue, knows that single payer is the answer here. And everybody also knows "it's not politically possible" -- thought the 92 co-signers of HR 676 say differently.

So, Levanna, why aren't you working to make the right solution politically possible, instead of diverting my outrage into a useless campaign against insurance companies who probably won't even read my mail?

NOTE [1]* Actually, HCAN leaves out a crucial piece of information. Here's the Times story:

In separate actions, the two trade groups, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, announced their support for guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions, in conjunction with an enforceable mandate for individual coverage.

In the absence of such a mandate, insurers said, many people will wait until they become sick before they buy insurance.

The key point is the mandate -- the very mandates that Obama ran his Harry & Louise ads against in Ohio. That's what Levanna leaves out. Why, I wonder?

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amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Who Will Be at the Table?

Drug companies eye a large chair --

"... Big PhRMA, known formally as the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, is launching a mega-million dollar PR blitz to promote the benefits of the free market. ...

The Boston Consulting Group estimates that price negotiations could lower drug maker annual revenues by $10 to $30 billion. Ah, the loser thing again! What’s a few million to persuade the public how much you care about kids when that expense can help you pocket billions? ..."

lexia's picture
Submitted by lexia on

out of their CEOs:

"Nearly $190 million. That’s the just released annual “profit” of “nonprofit” NC Blue Cross Blue Shield, NC largest health insurer. $3.1 million. That’s the latest annual compensation for Blue Cross CEO Bob Greczyn." [March, 2007]"

from here:

One upside of these difficult times may be that enough people are affected to actually get something done. During normal times, people may know the facts but without the urgency, there's little motive to go after the blood suckers.

Thanks for keeping the real argument front and center: these leeches have got to go.