No Insurance Company Left Behind
By Katie Robbins –
On Tuesday, the Health Care for America Now (HCAN) coalition performed a “citizen’s arrest” of the insurance industry at a meeting of Americas Health Insurance Plans, the private health insurance industry’s leading lobbying group, in Washington, DC.
Thousands came out to support this action, and rightfully so. There is no other place we need to be than in the streets in protest of the egregious crimes of the insurance companies. Advocates of Medicare for All agree that the private insurance industry must be held accountable for its crimes, and that it should be put out of business…permanently.
Behind the progressive facade, HCAN ultimately supports the Democrat’s bill, which would mandate that everyone purchase insurance from the very same companies they call evil.
Howard Dean stated at the HCAN event, “This is a vote about one thing: are you for the insurance companies or are you for the American people?” This is absolutely true, but Dean’s language is misleading. He implies that voting for the bill will help protect the American people.
In reality, both the House and Senate bills have at their core a regressive and harmful mandate that will force people to purchase insurance plans that will not guarantee they get health care when they need it or that the care will be affordable. It will keep the insurance company bureaucrats in control, handing them hundreds of billions of public dollars to subsidize these utterly inadequate insurance plans. These plans are more akin to an umbrella that melts in the rain. Moreover, the proposed legislation that HCAN is fighting for will continue to drive up health costs, raise premiums, and send people, even those with insurance, into bankruptcy.
The health care crisis will not end, and this bill will not bring us closer to a real solution.
Some at the rally said this bill will get our foot in the door; this is the best health reform we can get right now, but Healthcare-NOW!, the campaign for national single-payer health insurance, remains committed to implementing a real solution to the health care crisis. To get there, we cannot compromise on our principles. We must start the conversation by acknowledging the right to health care for all people, and when we do that, single-payer will be on the table.
As advocates, we must continue pushing for a system that guarantees high quality health care to everyone. We know we can do this at less cost than our current system and less cost to the American people. We will continue fighting alongside the doctors, nurses, and committed activists that support a real solution that puts the health of our people before the profits of insurance companies.
When this current reform fails to pass, or fails to solve our health care crisis, we will be ready with the solution.
The time to fight for what is right is always right now. Join us as we build an unstoppable movement for improved Medicare for all.
I was at that rally. I halfway knew what I was getting in to, but I had a bus, hotel, and food provided to me for free! So I thought I’d go and be a single payer voice at the rally and on the bus.
It was incredibly disturbing the disconnect between the chants (the rhetoric) and what they were truly asking for. They’d chant things like “Health Care for Everyone” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho. Insurance companies have got to go.” and “What do you want? Health care. When do you want it? Now.” All they officially asked for at the rally was for the government to listen to “us” and not the insurance companies. But when I read press, what they were really asking for (just as it seemed) was to pass the lousy bills coming out of Congress.
Nearly everyone there bought into passing the bills in Congress.
I also find it curious that a grassroots group (Change that Works) has money for staff and to bus people to DC and give them food and a hotel. But hey, I took advantage of it even if I didn’t support their official line.
When you say something like “utterly inadequate plans” or “umbrella that melts in the rain” can you at least try to back it up with some actual facts?
The bills have guaranteed issue and community rating– i.e. no more discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. There’s a clearly defined essential benefits package with no lifetime caps. There are subsidies for people who can’t afford coverage- half the newly covered people will be given Medicaid, there’s $12 billion for community health centers. Billions more will go towards prevention. The subsidies aren’t as good as they could be, but insurance will be much more affordable. How is this bill not better than what we have now?
I’m all for single-payer, Medicare-for-all, but it’s been 60 years since Harry Truman first proposed it. It’s been over 40 years since Medicare. I’ll keep pushing for it if this bill passes. But I’m not ok with letting people with pre-existing conditions who can’t get coverage continue to die while we continue to wait for single payer.
How is it compromising our principles to support this bill and then continue to work for something better? It looks to me like this bill will help a lot of people- that’s the point of all this right?
Because this bill mandates that those of us who are self employed pay thousands of dollars to the insurance cartel starting now.
I presume you have someone else paying your bills.
The current bills will not help. What they will do is further entrench the hold of healthcare profiteers on healthcare for the immediate future. The legislation will not be effective immediately giving healthcare profiteers time to maneuver their way around reforms like pre-existing conditions or recissions etc. They are already hiking premiums–39% in California for example. Mandated healthcare will insure that Healthcare profiteers will enjoy a windfall of unprecedented corporate welfare for a time–or maybe not since some states are already enacting legislation to ban the mandates. It doesn’t matter whether the “health reform” legislation passes or not because it doesn’t deal with the root cause of healthcare problems–for profit healthcare. As long as the for profit motive is there our healthcare system will continue to unravel and thousands of people will die or go bankrupt. It’s not a matter of if non-profit single payer healthcare reform is revisited, but when and thousands will continue to pay the price.
Single payer will eventually win because the concept of for profit insurance for healthcare is flawed and unsustainable. Insurance companies make a profit when they issue insurance for the unexpected and the likelyhood that the insured will never make a claim. In the case of health “insurance” the probability that the insured will make a claim is virtually 100%. What would the cost of home owners insurance be if the probility that your house would burn down was 100%? The current state of our for profit healtcare system was predictable. Healthcare “insurance” belongs in the public realm of government and not the realm of private for profit insurers.
I would have to agree with Rob… its something for now and a small step that does help. Could it be better? Yes, I do think a single-payer option would be best and hopefully will come on day. But, for that to happen we need to vote out millionaire politicians and review (and change if needed) laws that have be put in place over the last 40 years to protect big business.
ABOUT MEDICAL INSURANCE GIANTS
Over rated and expensive medical insurance giants OVER CHARGE their customers over and above their greedy size premiums THEN do not provide any medical care whatsoever : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html
THEY do interfere with doctors and appropriate health care = UNETHICAL/MAYBE ILLEGAL
THEY do spend tons of potential health care dollars on politicians out of the health care dollar pie = CORRUPTION : http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more
THEY do spend tons on share holders out of the health care dollar pie = profits at the expense of others misfortune = UNETHICAL
THEY are spending tons on teabaggers to interfere with health insurance reform = profits at the expense of others misfortune = UNETHICAL
THEY do spend tons on CEO’s = profits at the expense of others misfortune = UNETHICAL
THEY are spending $1.4 million per day to interfere with medical insurance reform = profits at the expense of others misfortune = UNETHICAL
THEY are spending $1.4 million per day to interfere with medical insurance reform while canceling long term ill patients who have reached their spending cap thinking they had insurance = UNETHICAL
THEY are laundering their insurance reform money through the US Chamber of Commerce = UNETHICAL
THEY are charging consumers MORE while providing less and less ALL IN THE NAME OF PROFITS : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html
THEY are the source for the misinformation campaign against insurance reform = UNETHICAL
CANCEL YOUR MEDICAL INSURANCE TODAY UNTIL SUBSTANTIAL REFORM MATERIALIZES!
* set up your own money making medical expense account
* consumers will be money ahead
* nothing will change dramatically until consumers take matters into their own hands!
Still unacceptable to vote yes as of March 19, 2010…Mandating everyone to pay for health insurance (including small businesses) or else pay penalties? That sounds extortion to me! What if your one of the 40 million who are uninsured and unemployed and also no money left after paying just the rent, food, basic clothing and transportation? double whammy! Where else these people get the money upfront to purchase health insurance? High interest loans? Your bailing out the banks and health insurance companies again!!!
AMEND THIS CLAUSE BEFORE VOTING YES AND CREATE SOME EXCEPTIONS!!!
Keep in mind that State governments also pay for the jails LOL! Jail overcrowding is a rampant problem LOL! People who are healthcare uninsured will be jailed because they cannot pay the penalty? Give us a break!!!
SOLUTION: A NEW PROGRESSIVE HEALTH CARE TAX
This is how it works: For people (young and old 16 years and over) and families earning under 20K, 1% of their paycheck is automatically deducted for heath care tax. 30K and under but over 20k 1.5%, 40K and under but over 30K 2%. 70K and under but over 40K 2.5%. 100K and under but over 70K 3%. 150K and under but over 100k 3.5%. 250K and under but over 150k 4%. 300K and under but over 250K 4.5%, 400K and under but over 300k 5%….and so on and so forth…
Of course the rich has to share the wealth unless they are inconsiderate financial sociopaths!
How about let’s be creative in creating the new healthcare reform bill:
*I mentioned in my earlier posts and in the healthcare reform website that the US badly needs another 3 nonprofit tax-exempt heath insurance companies (they will get some government grants, donations from private and public foundations and from individuals) to compete against the for profit health insurers.
*I mentioned mandatory progressive taxation for the new healthcare tax (Refer to my range from my earlier posts).
*I mentioned also the new “healthcare tax” in my earlier posts. This can be enhanced by redistributing the current taxes that US workers pay. How about move the 2 to 3 percent from Social Security tax to the new “healthcare tax”? How about moving the 1 percent from Medicare tax to the new “healthcare tax”?
*The new “healthcare tax” will fund all “Free Clinics” (will run 16 hours a day) in the US to take care of all testing, medicine and preventative care.
*The new “healthcare tax” will fund the 3 new nonprofit tax-exempt health insurance companies.
*The new “healthcare tax” will fund State run hospitals to handle medical emergencies, emergency medical testing, necessary surgical procedures from emergencies and hospital bed expenses arising from emergency.
*THE WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW TO USE THE FUNDS FROM THE NEW HEALTHCARE TAX WILL ALWAYS BE SUBJECT TO VOTING BY ALL US CITIZENS.
*All size business will not be required to pay for their part-time or full-time employees’ health insurance. Their only obligation is to direct each employee to this free clinics and State-run hospitals. THIS PROPOSAL WILL CREATE MORE JOBS IN THE LONG RUN.
*All private and public hospitals and free and for profit clinics will have posted billing fee schedule range standard for all medical procedures. No health insurance company will have advantage over another in negotiating the rates. Right now the rates are mystery to the insured consumers and to all health insurance companies.
*Let us make malpractice insurance like a HSA (Health Savings Account) or FSA (Flexible spending account). This way, nothing is wasted and profits by the Board Members and Officers of this companies regulated.
*All states must implement caps on punitive damages and compensatory damages arising from medical malpractice.
*New Physicians will pay for their tuition and fee loans and malpractice insurance another way: Community Service Hours where they are mostly needed. Reason: To create efficient health care delivery.
*Dollar for dollar healthcare tax credit by each US Worker, US Citizen and US Immigrant. That means, all expenses incurred related to heath care will be deducted from the total tax. For example: An individual paid in 2010 $8K for health insurance premium, he paid $1K for medicine, he paid the 1st $1K of his high deductible health insurance plan, he paid $.5K of copays, he paid $3K for gym membership, wellness/nutrition/exercise/activity classes, vitamins, health beverages, diet meals, and heath gear and equipment. The total expenses paid for the year is $13.5K.
Assuming his tax is 12K. 12K minus 13.5K results in a tax refund of 1.5K for the year.
My rationale: Deduction does not count much, credit is much better. This is where the middle class and middle income taxpayers will benefit most.
*MY ABOVE PROPOSAL SHOULD BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY THE CITIZENS, PERMANENT RESIDENTS AND WORKERS OF THE UNITED STATES. HOWEVER YOU SLICE IT OR DICE IT OR DISECT IT, IT IS A WIN WIN PROPOSAL BEFORE VOTING YES!
I have been a Union member for 22 years and have always made decisions on issues which relate to me and my family as a working, tax paying, legal citizen. I am not for Big Government or Socialized anything. I have a good insurance plan and I and my employer pay for it. I should not be taxed to cover someone who has and will never have a legal tax paying job. I am sorry but that is that!
No YOU pay for it, your employer and all other employers pass the cost of healthcare on to consumers. When you buy goods or services you pay for your health insurance premiums and those of other people. Although Employer based group health care may be cheaper than individual health insurance policies it is still very expensive. The cost of health insurance may cost you and your employer more than you pay in income tax. Employer based health insurance is a delusion perpetrated by politians and healthcare profiteers to hide health insurance premiums costs. All employer based health insurance does is make U. S. good and services more expensive and less competitive. Although you probably work in the health insurance industry and are overconfident about your health insurance, you have health insurance until your insurance company decides whether to continue your coverage based on whether your premiums are profitable or not. If your job is terminated or you decide to change jobs you are uninsured in current system. Your healthcare and that of your family doesn’t count one iota.
No YOU pay for it, your employer and all other employers pass the cost of healthcare on to consumers. When you buy goods or services you pay for your health insurance premiums and those of other people. Although Employer based group health care may be cheaper than individual health insurance policies it is still very expensive. The cost of health insurance to you plus what your employer passes on and you eventally pay may be more than you pay in income tax. Employer based health insurance is a delusion perpetrated by politians and healthcare profiteers to hide health insurance premiums costs. All employer based health insurance does is make U. S. good and services more expensive and less competitive. Although you probably work in the health insurance industry and are overconfident about your health insurance, you have health insurance until your insurance company decides whether to continue your coverage based on whether your premiums are profitable or not. If your job is terminated or you decide to change jobs you are uninsured in current system. Your healthcare and that of your family doesn’t count one iota.
GOP advocating Tort Reform is important but not enough and hard to implement.
Tax credits for individuals and small businesses with regards to health care premiums are great solutions. This one, we cannot wait. This will decrease unemployment but not cure chronic underemployment in this country.
The chronically underemployed are fighting this bill hard because they don’t want any of their hard-earned dime to go to health insurance companies who they do not trust.
Since most uninsured, underinsured, unemployed and underemployed don’t trust the for profit insurance companies ruled by financial sociopaths, what is the sense of forcing us to mandatorily pay for health insurance?
This is clearly an extortion folks!
We can do away with car insurance by not buying a car!
We can do away with homeowners insurance if we just decide to rent!
But mandatorily making us pay to a new HEALTHCARE SYSTEM that heavily FAVORS HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES that WE DO NOT TRUST?
Please encourage your Senators to convert this for profit health insurance companies to nonprofit and fully funded by (not buy the people LOL!) the people and for the people!
Health Insurance reform must happen too as an addendum to the amendments! If we can eliminate the financial sociopaths ruling these companies before conversion to nonprofit, the better!
hey,,,,I am one of those “small business” people,,,,my question,,,how do they (the obama/pellosi people) determine how much to extort me for, I am from a poor state, with poor incomes everywhere,,,,in other words it cost less to live here than Last time I paid for any health ins, it was costing me $560.00 monthly just for one person,,,that was in 2001. It was breaking me