I am SO fucking pissed!

>> Monday, August 17, 2009

And Obama's unsupportive comments are the cause.

Now the White House is stepping back even from the public option, with the president saying it's "not the entirety of healthcare reform," the White House spokesman saying the president could be "satisfied" without it, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius saying that a public insurance plan is "not the essential element."

Without a public, Medicare-like option, healthcare reform is a bandaid for a system in critical condition. There's no way to push private insurers to become more efficient and provide better value to Americans without being forced to compete with a public option. And there's no way to get overall healthcare costs down without a public option that has the authority and scale to negotiate lower costs with pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals, and other providers -- thereby opening the way for private insurers to do the same.

It's been clear from the start that the private insurers and other parts of the medical-industrial complex have hated the idea of the public option, for precisely these reasons. A public option would cut deeply into their current profits. That's why they've been willing to spend a fortune on lobbyists, threaten and intimidate legislators and ordinary Americans, and even rattle Obama's cage to the point where the administration is about to give up on it.
I'm beginning to think that his mother died for nothing. Apparently her having to argue with insurance companies while almost on her deathbed did not sink in enough for him to fight for the general public while as POTUS.

I emailed the White House via the comment form today. Will be calling them tomorrow morning. In fact, I may be doing that alternately every day for the next few weeks while I have the time. It's the perfect way to start my morning. I'm also going to call both of my current senators and representative, even though they're Republicans even more beholden to the health care industry than the DNC. As someone who will be buying health insurance on my own for the next few years, I don't have much to lose. But I'm not stopping there. I'm going to call my former representative and senators tomorrow too. All three are Democrats and are more likely to vote for the public option than my current Congressional represenation.
If you are receiving piles of e-mails from the Obama e-mail system asking you to click in favor of healthcare, do not do so unless or until you know it has a clear public option. Do not send money unless or until the White House makes clear its support for a public option.
I don't have any money to give at this point, but I'm MAD AS HELL that I'm getting emails from Axelrod asking me to support whatever, yet the Obama Administration doesn't even have the balls to support what he campaigned on. What exactly is he for? As Ralph Nader wrote this weekend:
Never much of a fighter against abusive corporate power, Barack Obama is making it increasingly clear that right from his start as President, he wanted health insurance reform that received the approval of the giant drug and health insurance industries.

Earlier this year he started inviting top bosses of these companies for intimate confabs in the White House. Business Week magazine, which proclaimed recently that "The Health Insurers Have Already Won" reported that the CEO of UnitedHealth, Stephen J. Hemsley, met with the President half a dozen times.

These are the vendors. They and their campaign slush funds cannot be ignored in the power struggle over the legislation percolating in the Congress. One public result of these meetings was that the drug industry promised $80 billion in savings over ten years and the health insurance moguls promised $150 billion over the same decade. Mr. Obama trumpeted these declarations without indicating how these savings would be guaranteed, how the drug companies could navigate the antitrust laws and what was given to the health care industry by the White House in return.

We have now learned that one Obama promise was to continue the prohibition on Uncle Sam from bargaining for volume discounts on drugs that you the taxpayer have been paying for in the drug benefit program enacted in 2003.

Unknown is whether the health insurance companies were also promised continuation of Medicare Advantage with its 14% added taxpayer subsidy to induce the elderly to make the move out of public Medicare. Also unknown is whether the Medicare public option that Mr. Obama formerly espoused but since has wavered on has been put on the concession table.

The whole secret process is seedy and demonstrates cruel disregard for the millions of American who, whether in dire need of medical services or not, voted in "change we can believe in."

By stark contrast, President Obama has never invited to the White House the leading consumer-patient champions in this country who favor full Medicare and free choice of physician and hospital-often called "a single payer" system. Open to the corporate barons who have failed decade after decade to deliver what patients need, the White House door is closed to the likes of Dr. Quentin Young-a founder of the Physicians for a National Health Program and an old Chicago friend of Obama's, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, who heads Public Citizen's Health Research Group, Drs. Marcia Angell, Stephanie Woolhandler, and David Himmelstein, who are nationally known and accomplished single payer advocates or Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the fast-growing California Nurses Association.

Mr. Obama even tried to exclude any advocate of a single payer system-previously favored by Obama and still favored by a majority of the American people, doctors and nurses-from his roundtable meetings convened to receive the views of different constituencies.

"Make me do it" was the advice of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to reformers when faced with legislation he desired but did not have the votes for in Congress. Mr. Obama is not exerting that plea for people power. Were he to do that, he would be encouraging daily public hearings in the Senate and the House on the bureaucratic waste, greed, overbilling, collusion, and fraud that many in the corporate world have inflicted with their costly, pay or die health care industry.

Such publicized hearings would keep him on the offensive. It would arouse the public and focus energies on the main problem-the corporatization of medicine. This commercialism has left tens of millions of people without health insurance, caused 20,000 fatalities a year, and cost Americans twice or more per capita than have full Medicare systems in western countries, which have better health outcomes than the U.S.

Further indication of Obama's corporate dealings is that he never identified himself with a specific bill with a House and Senate number that he could rally the people around. No wonder people are confused, frustrated and angry. President Obama did not stand for an unambiguous proposal.

He thereby emboldened both the cash and carry Blue dog Democrats to rebel and the Republican yahoos to launch their lies and distortions via Rush Limbaugh and similar trash media.
What is he planning on doing while in office? Is he planning on being a single-term president? Right now, I'm wishing for Howard Dean to run in 2012 because he at least has the balls to follow through. Ralph continues:
So is gridlock around the corner? Will there be a health insurance reform of any stripe signed into law this year? It depends on the alliances that settle for the lowest corporate denominators being blocked by the unyielding principled stands of the progressives who want something that puts patients above the failed profiteering vendors.

The guess here is that Obama will sign anything which squirms through a cowardly Congress that cannot give to the American people in 2009 the health care system Congress stopped President Harry Truman from establishing in 1950.

It is up to the people of our country to "make him do it" whether this year or next. A mere one million immediate calls to members of Congress by one million assertive citizens will start sobering up these legislators who think they can get away with another sale of our public trust.

The Congressional switchboard is 202-224-3121. The full Medicare, single payer bill (backed by nearly ninety legislators) is H.R. 676. The go-to citizen group for your sustained engagement is singlepayeraction.org. The rest is up to you, the majority, who want to put the people first.
I swear, Nancy Pelosi has more balls than Obama or Harry Reid put together.

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