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Posts Tagged ‘Insurance Companies’

Many Americans assume the new health care reform act will benefit mostly the poor and uninsured and hurt everyone else, according to polls. As Matt Yglesias wrote, “Basically, people see this as a bill that will take resources from people who have health insurance and give it to people who don’t have health insurance.” Those who still oppose the reform say that people ought to pay for their own health care.

We all believe in the virtues of hard work and self-reliance, but these days it’s a fantasy to think that anyone but the mega-wealthy will not, sooner or later, depend on help from others to pay medical bills. And that’s true no matter how hard you work, how much you love America, or how diligently you take care of yourself. The cost of medical care has so skyrocketed that breaking an arm or leg could cost as much as a new car. And if you get cancer or heart disease — which can happen even to people who live healthy lifestyles — forget about it. The disease will not only clean you out; it will leave a whopping debt for your survivors to pay.

And the truth is, we all pay for other peoples’ health care whether we know it or not. When people can’t pay their medical bills, the cost of their health care gets added to everyone else’s bills and insurance premiums. When poor people use emergency rooms as a doctor of last resort, their care is not “free.” You pay for it.

Another common fantasy about medical care is that the “free market” provides incentives for medical companies to develop innovative new drugs and treatments for disease without government subsidy. It’s true that private enterprise is very good at developing profitable health care products. But not all medical care can be made profitable.

For years, the U.S. government has been funding medical research that the big private companies don’t want to do because there is too much cost for the potential profit. This is especially true for diseases that are rare and expensive to treat. An example of a recent advance made possible by government grants include new guidelines for malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment developed by MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers. Another is a blood screening test for mesothelioma developed by thoracic surgeon Dr. Robert Taub. The health reform act provides for more dollars for such research, from which even many of the tea party protesters will benefit.

The biggest fantasy of all was that people who had insurance didn’t have to worry about health care costs. But the fact is that in recent years millions of Americans have been bankrupted by medical costs, and three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance. And yes, insurance companies even dumped hard-working, law-abiding patriots. But the health care reform act will put an end to that, and now America’s hard-working, law-abiding patriots are more financially secure, whether they like it or not.

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The Republican Way: Keeping Everything The Way It Is

Huffington Post- Alec Baldwin

Posted: November 24, 2009 12:10 PM

Didn’t you know, all along, that the goal of U.S. policy in Iraq was about accessing oil?

Not oil as in those production levels at the onset of the Bush era incursion in March, 2003. But newer, stronger, American-style production levels. American oil companies had been forbidden from exploring and developing new oil fields since the nationalization of Iraq’s reserves in 1972 and those American oil companies have long contended that Iraqi estimates of their potential reserves are grossly underestimated, by perhaps as much as a couple of hundred billion barrels.

Likewise, didn’t you know all along that Republican opposition to current health care reform is about maintaining the unconscionable monopoly that insurance companies have in the American economy. Why? For the same reason Bush went to war in Iraq, spent money we didn’t have, pushed the country into financial ruin and did more to threaten our long term national security than any modern president. The GOP needs contributions. I would never contend that the GOP is alone in this practice. When an administration awards contracts to some supporter, they anticipate more support. But no group, in the history of this country, has ever done this to such an extent. Remember, I am always careful to separate the leadership of any party from its rank and file. So when I level such a charge against “Republicans”, I am referring to their leadership on Capitol Hill. But, I think it’s safe to say now that the war in Iraq was started to provide U.S. oil companies with the opportunity to develop new oil fields there in return for the massive campaign contributions those oil companies will make to the Republicans in 2010 and, especially, 2012 in their effort to unseat President Obama.

The same is true for the health care industry, and insurance companies in particular. They don’t want reform. The current system works quite well for them. If an excess of Americans die due to insufficient health care, so what. Republican leaders argue that health care reform will lead to a big, fat, incompetent bureaucracy that will gobble up billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars and provide little accountability. But wait. Isn’t the Pentagon a big, fat, incompetent bureaucracy that gobbles up…? Well, you get it.

MORE HERE

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