From the Desk of
Mary A. Vorachek, M.D.
The Black Crepe Health Insurance Reform Packages
Wow, America, has the United States Congress got a deal for you. If and when a black crepe health insurance reform package is passed, you can expect to keep going bankrupt while you watch health insurance corporations keep getting richer. It’s not as good a deal as the one that gave all of our money, all of our children’s money and all of our children’s children’s money to the financial criminals on Wall Street. It’s not as good as the deal that gave and keeps on giving unaccountable billions of taxpayer dollars to military-industrial killers and corrupt contractors to destroy Iraq and waste in Afghanistan. But hear this, voters; this is what you can expect from a Congressional black crepe health insurance reform package:
1. You will receive a health insurance mandate. In other words, you will have to buy health insurance from a private health insurance company, like it or not.
2. If you are not so poor as to be unable to afford health insurance but choose not to buy insurance, you will be fined and have to give $1000 to $3500 to the health insurance industry.
3. You can still go bankrupt because health insurance co-payments and deductibles can still suck up all of your savings if you are unlucky or careless enough to get sick but not rich enough to afford to get sick.
4. You can continue reaping (as in Grim Reaper) the benefits of private for-profit health care, which has been shown to be of lesser quality than non-profit health care.
5. Instead of 45,000 excess deaths each year, you can look forward to only 25,000 or fewer excess deaths of people who will still be uninsured.
6. You can keep admiring the ingenuity of health insurance corporations as the administrators keep banking 20 to 30% of your premium dollars, and you may even get to pay tax on your premiums. (Civilized countries with universal healthcare spend less than half the amount of dollars that we spend on administrative costs.)
7. Single Payer is off the table, but a worthless Public Option is a possibility or a Health Cooperative could be in your future. (So far Public Options have failed in five states and Health Cooperatives have been proven to be unable to compete with insurance corporations.)
8. You can still look forward to single payer health insurance if you survive to age 65 and are then forced to join Medicare, but your life expectance is two years shorter than people in civilized countries with universal healthcare.
9. Finally, rest assured, Congress will still have its plum health insurance coverage.
Members of Congress are sorry to want so much money to be re-elected so they can continue helping you to help the corporations help themselves. But, look on the bright side, the American economy was boosted by $260 million dollars of health industry lobbying, $20 million dollars were given to Congress for their re-election campaigns, the pharmaceutical industry plans to spend $150 million dollars to promote passage of a black crepe health insurance reform package, and CEOs of health insurance corporations will still be able to make $200,000 a day. You can voice your support for your favorite healthcare reform option by voting below (below this line, not below ground):
Use a black pen or pencil to mark your choice*
O Public Option
O Health Cooperative
O Private health insurance
O None of the above, I want universal Medicare for all from cradle to grave
*You can voice your choice for healthcare reform by contacting one or all of the following—President Obama, your Representative or your Senators. All of these health insurance reform package probabilities can be verified in the interview of Dr. Steffie Woolhandler on September 18, 2009 by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now or by listening to Dr. Woolhandler’s presentation on Alternative Radio of September 16, 2009. Dr. Woolhandler is a professor of medicine at Harvard University and the co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
A retired physician living in Salem says this about our so-called health care reform proposal: