Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Here's To You, Congressman Waxman!

At long last, a Democrat with the right idea.

McJoan at the Daily Kos reports that Congressman Waxman has filed a request for "financial records from dozens of large insurance companies, officials disclosed Tuesday, part of an investigation into 'executive compensation and other business practices' in an industry opposed to President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul health care."

I am really looking forward to seeing these financial records. The idiots and crooks that oppose health care reform, like the student that challenged President Obama in Grand Junction last Saturday, always like to say: "How can insurance companies compete with an entity like the government, with much lower overhead and a seemingly infinite reserve of cash and borrowing power like the government?" Well, for one they could start lowering the hefty premiums they charge their captive audience, particularly when a significant chunk of those premiums does not go to health care services, but towards outrageous executive compensation and bonuses, junkets, marketing, and so on.

And I would like to add my own item to the list that Congressman Waxman has demanded from the insurance company: a list of all the assets, liquid and real, seized by or on behalf of the insurance companies from American patients who could not afford to pay for needed care, in satisfaction of their outstanding medical debt. That is a list I think could have devastating effects on the public relations machine of insurance companies to protect the status quo which benefits them, and them only.

As Bill Maher said recently, we live in a country where we have bought--hook, line and sinker--the notion that everything should be for profit. Well, here are some things that should not necessarily be for profit: clean water, health care (people's life and death), public safety, national parks, libraries, schools. I could go on, but these examples should suffice.

We have come to accept the rhetoric of profit, at all costs, under all circumstances, and we have sacrificed our sense of belonging to a union striving to be more perfect.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence, in envisioning the foundation of the United States of America, wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Keeping those words from the Declaration of Independence in mind, I have but two questions for the idiots that rail against health care reform--those who claim that they want to return the country to its past luster; those who walk armed among the crowd at a political rally to protect rights they don't deserve because they selectively choose which rights are worth preserving and which ones they are willing to discard; the Evangelicals who believe that Christ was a free-market advocate and a supporter of corporate power; the people who rant against socialized medicine while their lobbyists fight for their right to have their botox injections be subsidized by the premiums of cancer patients who will be declined coverage because of a pre-existing condition that only a profit-driven enterprise would have dreamed of concocting. Can these people, these idiots, explain to me how on earth anyone can enjoy his unalienable right to life when a hospital can discharge him on a pavement outside the hospital, still severely impaired, because he cannot afford to pay the bill for the care he would receive in any "socialist" country? Or how an individual can enjoy his unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness when he has to lose his house, and everything else he owns, to pay for medical bills that an insurance company or a hospital have declined to pick up?

I expect a wall of deafening silence, or cries of "Down with Obama's death panels!". Past experience teaches me to expect no less, no more.

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