Health-Care Lobbyists vs. Real People
Our Readers Who Comment are nearly unanimous this morning in condemning the news that more than 350 former government staff members and retired members of Congress are lobbying for major health-care firms in the legislative attempts to reform the broken system.
As Dan Eggen and Kimberly Kindy write, "The aim of the lobbying blitz is simple: to minimize the damage to insurers, hospitals and other major sectors while maximizing the potential of up to 46 million uninsured Americans as new customers." In a related story, Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery write about the horse-trading that is inevitable if legislation is to pass and note that "While [President] Obama may be prepared to compromise, it is not clear whether the public is ready for a less-than-perfect outcome."
Based on this totally unscientific survey of comments about lobbying, the public is not ready. There are several calls for a single-payer approach, which appears to be politically dead, and a great deal of anger about the role of lobbyists working for companies readers see as ripping them off or denying them coverage. Not a happy crowd today.
We'll start with patrick3, who wrote, " 'Democracy' American style: death by a thousand lobbyists."
shadowmagician said, "...These old faces are part of the PROBLEM and should be BANNED from the discussion. Who is looking out for the taxpayer who will end up paying for the new system. Not these guys."
sashab1 wrote, "...Single-payer, universal health care is the only reform that will actually work. The insurance industry is going to water down the public option until it won't work, and they will be back in business (and we will be wringing our hands again) in a couple of years."
questquecest added, "This article spells out very well why true health care reform will not happen and instead we will get whatever watered down patchwork system will most benefit big pharma and the for-profit health insurance industry. Average people have NO voice against the billions they are spending..."
lionelroger predicted that "Obama will most certainly be a one-termer if he falls in with a corrupt Congress and does not deliver a public option Plan or single-payer universal health care... It is a monumental travesty for Congress and Federal employees to enjoy a cafeteria-style Health Benefits Plan subsidized by taxpayers but not available to all our citizens. Enough of this injustice."
abelito said, "If these big companies can afford to spend lotsa money on these expensive lobbyists, then charging their customers a lower rate should be no problem. T[h]e sin[g]lepayer option is a "must," to bring competition and su[b]sequent lower insurance and pharma costs."
But mharwick complained that "Anyone who has been to a social security office or a motor vehicle department will understand why government run health care will be the worst thing that ever happened to Americans."
To which dotellen replied, "Don't know where you are coming from, but the motor vehicle departments where I live work just fine!"
And BJeany said, "I love it when I hear someone cite the post office, the license branch and Social Service when they try to convince me of the horrors of government's fingers in health care. The post office rocks, I've used BMV/DMVs in three states and thought they ALL worked pretty well..."
jdwil wrote, "...Solutions must correct the underlying problems - inefficient distribution of services, poor quality control, and a profit driven industry dominated by self interest entrepreneurs and middlemen. Put another way, healthcare must once again refocus to efficiently deliver high quality medical and dental services..."
texanrme said, "This a war for the survival of those that have profited at the expense of the sick and elderly for generations... They want to argue how government can not handle healthcare administration, but they have proven beyond a doubt that neither can they..."
postfan1 wrote, "I'm sure Obama meant well when he decided to attack this problem. But it's a difficult problem, and there are many who have a vested interest in staying between Americans and their healthcare. It's not worth making a misstep -- it's only worth doing right. Maybe he should fix the economy first."
jimsteinberg1 said, "...I pray for President Obama to defeat the selfish conspiracy of Big Insurance, Big Pharma, Big AMA and those in Big Business who don't give a bush how many millions of Americans go without any health insurance and any medical care. I'm already tired of their new round of tv commercials about the bogeyman of Big Guvment. They don't care how many children and old and sick people die as sacrificial lambs on the altar of their laissez-faire cruelty."
Lorberrys wrote, "...After having just celebrated another "Independence Day," maybe it's about time we get serious about independence, remind those in office who put them there (not the corporate campaign contributions) and start holding them accoutable."
johallmark said, "You have to ask yourself, why is it when a lot of Americans are jobless and upwards of 47 million are without insurance, how are these Big Insurance and Big Pharma and Big Health Industry leeches able to afford lobbyists and pay them in the millions of dollars?... When will we have enough and protest this lobbying form of governing?"
pgobe observed that "After reading a lot of the posts here it seems that people are really getting fed up. I was wondering when a revolution of the people was going to start being suggested... I am afraid the only thing that is going to be effective is a '60s style taking to the streets by the citizens to let the politicians know that we are really serious. Where are the '60s radicals when we need them?..."
We'll close with protagoras, who wrote, "No wonder single payer is off the table. Shine perishing republic shine!"
All comments on this article are here.
Posted by: ProfElwood | July 7, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: steelsil2 | July 6, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fzdybel | July 6, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jenzy | July 6, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NoFool2 | July 6, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NoFool2 | July 6, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MekhongKurt1 | July 6, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MortyR | July 6, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: scottilla | July 6, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: forrestgump61 | July 6, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: monamom | July 6, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dsul93 | July 6, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: HemiHead66 | July 6, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bubbette1 | July 6, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: HealingNews | July 6, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: gamma64 | July 6, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Esprit64 | July 6, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: sjernigan | July 6, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: perspectoff | July 6, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: camaross340 | July 6, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: camaross340 | July 6, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: onebythesea | July 6, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: gotoran | July 6, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: rikster7 | July 6, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pete980204 | July 6, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.