It may not be an exciting topic, but it's important to each and every one of us. We need to discuss the lack of debate in Congress about America's broken health care system.
I wish I could say that it was the usual scenario where Republicans fight to maintain a bloated and broken system while Democrats ride to the rescue, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. It seems President Obama, the man we voted into office to reform our broken system, is allowing Congress to set most of his agenda. Unfortunately for all of us, very little reform seems to be on that agenda.
It's all being controlled by a very corrupt Democrat who has no interest in real reform. It is Senator Max Baucus of Montana, and he is doing everything he can to thwart actual reform. Senator Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee have been corrupted by corporate health industry profiteers, and their donations are now standing in the way of us getting the kind of health care reform we need.
To demonstrate just how important reform is, you need to consider that health care represents 15% of the U.S. gross domestic product - a very important money-making industry to America's money-changers. Health care costs rise rapidly every year, surpassing $2.4 trillion in 2007 - more than three times the $714 billion spent in 1990. The cost of health care is projected to reach $4.4 trillion by 2018. It's an extreme for-profit industry that most Americans cannot avoid.
Those figures are terrifying when you consider the risk to average Americans trying to earn a living - or businesses trying to cover employees. They point to incredible waste and profiteering where none should exist. I don't care how Republicans spin it, corporate health care profiteering is the biggest drain on both Americans and the American economy.
We are one of the few countries in the world that support extreme profiteering when it comes to health care - something many other countries and cultures find unethical and immoral.
The health care industry has invested heavily in Max Baucus and his friends who sit on the Senate Finance Committee. The reform that we voted for under President Obama is being perverted by the Senate Finance Committee.
They won't even allow any talk about a single-payer health care system, which is the only reform that would take the "profiteering" out of today's for-profit health care system.
The only bill being considered today is a pro-industry bill that will ensure trillions in profits for the health insurance industry, HMO’s and pharmaceutical industry. It isn't what we voted for, and President Obama isn't doing enough to deliver the reforms that he promised. A matter of fact, the White House is a little too quiet about the controversy, and so is the corporate media. It's all a little too coincidental in my opinion.
Baucus has held only two hearings (not enough) so far and has refused to allow advocates for the most popular reform – a single payer national health policy – to even testify.
Single payer, improved Medicare for all, is favored by more than 60% of Americans as well as majorities of doctors, nurses and economists. It's what Barack Obama campaigned on and what most Americans voted for. It is the most cost-effective and efficient way to provide health care to all Americans from cradle to grave, and it's BEING IGNORED! If you would like to learn more about it, or sign-up to help, visit SinglePayerAction.org. It's worth it!
According to Consumer Watchdog, Senator Baucus alone has received more campaign contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations than any other current Democratic member of the House or Senate. The man is bought-and-paid-for! He's no better than a lousy Republican! According to their report, Senator Baucus received $183,750 from health insurance companies and $229,020 from drug companies in the last two election cycles.
It's disgusting and outrageous how our system can allow one powerful man to take "bribes" in exchange for denying us the health care reforms we need. The number of Americans who die each year because they can't afford health care is estimated in the tens or hundreds of thousands.
That figure makes 9/11 look like a drive-by shooting. It's an issue just as serious as the "War on Terror," yet the fat-cat Congress treats it like agricultural reform. As long as they have their excellent health care insurance - they do, I know after working on Capitol Hill - they could give a damn about average Americans. THEY ARE NOT TAKING OUR DESIRE FOR REFORM SERIOUSLY ENOUGH!
During recent Senate Finance Committee hearings on health care reform, Baucus refused to allow even one person to testify on behalf of a single payer health care system.
- During the May 5th hearing a group of doctors, lawyers and other single advocates rose inside the Senate Finance Committee hearing room and one by one asked that Baucus open up the hearing to single payer advocates. Baucus refused and had the eight arrested, handcuffed, and charged with “disruption of Congress.”
- During the May 12th hearing another group of doctors and nurses asked to testify on behalf of a single payer plan. Baucus again refused and had the five arrested and charged.
It's time WE THE PEOPLE stand-up to corrupt politicians like Max Baucus. As I often say on this blog, it's time we act ourselves. Please sign-up at SinglePayerAction.org today, and take some time to call your representatives in Congress as well as President Obama NOW! Tell them you disagree with the way Max Baucus is handling health care reform. Tell them you want them to support a SINGLE PAYER SOLUTION! It's the only path to real change.Memorial Day Political Rant - Michael
PS - If you decide to take action, here are a few links that may help you. Email President Obama, or your national elected officials. If you wish to call, simply call the Whitehouse at 202-456-1414, or the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
I suggest complaining to Max Baucus directly, Senator Harry Reid's office to complain about how he's running the debate, or your local newspaper. Please let them all know that you want a single-payer health care solution, and that we must minimize profiteering in our health care system.
Here is an example of what I wrote to various elected officials:
"I would like to encourage you to support a single payer health care reform solution.
To that end, I promise to give you financial support if you ignore the health care industry and its donations and support health insurance reform for the good of ALL Americans. I also promise to recruit other support if you actively support a single payer solution that minimizes a for-profit solution.
Senator Baucus is currently blocking all single payer reform debate in the Finance Committee, and it's discouraging to Democrats like myself who support real change and reform. Americans are dying. We need reform that protects them, not the industry.
Respectfully - your supporter,