Sunday, August 02, 2009

AP: No Guarantee Taxes Won't Go Up

According to the AP, a top White House advisor (Larry Summers) "says he can't rule out a tax on middle-class Americans to pay for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul." Huh?!? WTF! Sounds like they are thinking injury (of the not covered kind) is not enough and it's a good idea to add insult to it. How? In that the reform that is taking shape does more to appease special corporate interests (Big PhRMA, health insurers, and health care providers) than it does to improve health care delivery, and costs, for regular folks.

On the Black Agenda Report, Bruce Dixon highlights some of the reasons why the bill currently under consideration does not go far in enough and is too weak to be considered a step in the right direction:
  • The plan doesn't cover the uninsured till at least 2013.
  • The “public option” in the plan isn't Medicare, won't bring costs down and will only cover about 10 million people.
  • The president and his party have already caved in to the drug companies on reimporting Canadian drugs, on negotiating drug prices downward and on generics.
  • The plan contains requirements for an individual mandates and a higher exemption from mandates for small businesses.
  • The president's plan, and those of Republicans and Democratic blue dogs too, could force you to buy junk insurance.
  • The president's plan, as well as those of Democratic “blue dogs” and Republicans, are to be funded in part with cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.
  • The president and his party, and the corporate media have spent more time and energy silencing and excluded the advocates of single payer health care, mostly the president's own supporters, than they have fighting blue dogs and Republicans.
  • Despite the president's own admission that only a single payer health care system will deliver what Americans want, he and the leaders of his party insist that Medicare For All, HR 676, us utterly off the table.

(For more details see Dixon's full report)

So, not only we are not going to get anything resembling the health care reform that we should be getting; instead, we are moving in a direction where pharmaceutical companies get protectionist guarantees they should not be getting, where an individual mandate creates 47 million new customers for health insurance companies with no guarantee that costs will be kept down, where the AMA wins because services provided under a weak public option (or none at all) would not be reimbursed at Medicare rates, and we would have to pay higher taxes to make that all possible?

If you are starting to feel like the health care/congressional industrial complex is giving you a rectal exam it is because you are being given one. And you are going to pay for it.

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