While the health insurance industry’s immoral, amoral and, sometimes, illegal treatment of policyholders is an appropriate prime culprit and target in the current push for reform, the fact is that physicians, hospitals and drug companies are getting an undeserved pass by much of the media.
But in considering what compromise measure Reid DID include in the bill to make it more acceptable to the right, and to attract votes that he isn’t going to get and doesn’t need, I am deeply disturbed by the way that we chose to identify this “trigger” as the deal-breaker at the expense of fighting something else which is indeed wholly unacceptable.
The very best possible bills now under consideration in Congress are largely bailouts for health insurance companies at public expense. The “public option,” which was originally sold to us as a path toward a single-payer solution or Medicare for all, has been reduced to — at best — a token mitigating factor in a catastrophically bad law.
Medicare was once just as hated as the public option by the right. But it didn’t take long for them to adjust to the idea. Listen to Dr. Don Broder discuss his personal accounts of the opposition to Medicare.
According to PNHP, this would save more than $400 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.
The public doesn’t know what’s going on because the national media would rather report on the sexual escapades of famous people or social trends or high finance (a recent Pew study of economic reporting shows the vast majority of stories about the Great Recession have focused on Wall Street rather than Main Street).
Obama should let any Democratic foot-draggers know that if they do not get with the program, he will un-elect them and put in Democrats more in tune with his priorities. The threat would be credible, as he is one of the great campaigners of modern political history.