Monday, August 17, 2009

Morning, All. I would say 'good morning' but, frankly, it isn't. Unless something is going on behind the scenes that we don't know about (and I sincerely hope there is) the drug companies and medical insurance industry has won the health care non-debate. As I listen to the 'compromise' proposals I wonder, yet again, when will we realize that, sometimes, something is really nothing. Over and over, as the stories of workers who accepted drastic wage and hour cuts along with cancellation of their benefits packages, I asked that question when the sound bites featured workers sadly commenting that at least they still had jobs. I am asking it again as the health care package appears to be shrinking. No public option plan any more. Instead we will have non-profit co-ops that can, theoretically, bargain on the price of health care. So, instead of dealing with for-profit insurance companies we will have not-for-profit entities whose only advantage is that they will only have to meet their operating costs. I said they can, theoretically, bargain on the price of health care but that is rather like saying that an individual worker can, theoretically, bargain with a steel company or a mining company. This is a case where size matters. Unless they get big enough, they won't have any bargaining. And are they going to be required to accept all members who want to join? Sick and healthy with or without pre-existing conditions? If so, then the insurance industry can do what it is doing now--cherry pick. Keep the healthy, prune the ones who get sick and refuse to cover the ones with health problems. They reap the profits and we get shafted. AGAIN. Will we get any legislation that will prevent that if we have an 'option' that provides for the co-ops? The more this goes on the more I am convinced that we no longer have a "government of the people, by the people, for the people." We have a government that gives the illusion that people have choice and power while the corporations run things for their own benefit. By the way, for an idea of how cost effective these proposed non-profit co-ops might be run, take a look at the large majority of non-profits operations. Do we really want 70+% of the funds going to overhead, including executive salaries?

Any one else out there depressed and pissed?

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