Saturday, December 19, 2009
One of the biggest indicators of how much we need health care reform is the extent and costs of the battle that the special interests of the medical-pharmaceutical-industrial complex are waging to kill it.
Theirs’ is a well financed, coordinated, no-holds-barred war, leaving no stone un-turned in their efforts to influence the minds, opinions and votes of politicians and the public.
Case in point:
Health Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill
(click the above link and then their link to gethealthreformright.org)
As the article says: in a process called ‘astro-turfing,’ or in this instance more appropriately called ‘virtual astro-turfing’, corporations like the insurance industry, or organizations like ‘think-tanks,’ etc., create FAKE (virtual) grassroots movements by paying people to act like political supporters. In this case, it isn’t even real money. It is ‘virtual currency!’
Could it get any more insidious or cynical? If this doesn’t exemplify the extent and depths to which they will go…and doesn’t frighten you…I don’t know what will. What else are they doing below the radar of the public at large?
And, could the public knee-jerk response to virtual crumbs (for an inane computer game, of all things) in exchange for their vote (contrary to their own best interests) be any more pathetic?
If you are not ACTIVELY working to enact health care reform (or reform in other major areas: financial, environmental, etc), you should be.
Once again, it reminds me of Hillel’s aphorism: (on personal responsibility)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
That Was Then:
Republican President Nixon told a press conference in July of 1969: “We face a massive crisis in health care. Unless action is taken within the next two or three years….we will have a breakdown in our medical system.” An article in Fortune magazine at the time, titled “$60 billion crisis” warned that the American health care system stood “on the brink of crisis.” That was when the national health bill was a mere $60 billion. Even so, skyrocketing medical costs were pricing health care out of reach to most Americans, and medical bankruptcies were on the rise.
At the same time (1970’s) articles were revealing that for all the investment in technology, hospitals, medical specialties and sub-specialties, medical-related expenses, etc. health care in America was not as good as health care in most other industrialized countries; i.e.: America had higher rates of infant mortality and lower life expectancy.
And This Is Now:
A Democratic President, Barack Obama, called “health care reform the single most important thing we can do for America's long-term fiscal health. That is a fact.”
What was $60 billion ($1900/second) in health care costs in 1970 ballooned into $230 billion by 1980, $2.6 trillion by 2006 and is anticipated to reach $ 4.3 trillion ($139,000/second) by 2017. The consequences are already catastrophic.
In addition, things have only gotten worse:
More than 50% of all personal bankruptcies are related to medical bills. Every 30 seconds in the United States, someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem
The only solution:
For decades, Congress has consistently failed to take any effective actions to restrain the uncontrolled and runaway costs of medical care.
The ONLY solution is for Congress to break the virtual monopoly that the insurance-pharmaceutical-medical industrial complex has on health care delivery and re-imbursement.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
“Health insurance giant Aetna is planning to force up to 650,000 clients to drop their coverage next year as it seeks to raise additional revenue to meet profit expectations.
It is precisely this profit oriented approach to health care that has created and drives both, the disease crisis and its subsequent disease-care financial crisis in America.