If health care taught us anything…

… it’s that the insurance industry owns our politicians.

By Jack E. Lohman

Actually, every industry owns our politicians. Banking, road building, defense, automobile, unions, you name it.  It is clear that we voters and taxpayers don’t; we just pay their salaries.

It’s a sad day when Americans must rely on the corruption in politics to save their side of the issue.

The HR3200 health care bill is terrible, because it is bought and paid for by the insurance industry. We don’t know what it is, yet, but you can count on it coming out bad. Probably with no public option but with mandates to expand the insurance market to 100% of the people, Massachusetts style, with taxpayer subsidies for those who can’t pay. Nice. The industry expands and the politicians get a piece of the action.

I know where MY investments are going if this bill passes. The same place my congressman is invested. If the Pols are going to force 47 million uninsured people to purchase a faulty consumer product, I want to be in on the action! 🙂

But conservatives should be very pleased, because if this passes in its anticipated form Obama is likely a one-term president. Only a veto will save him. Or single-payer, which 70% of Americans support.

The crux of the problem

There is but one cause of the failed healthcare reform, the worldwide depression, excessive government spending and exorbitant taxes. Corruption in politics. And they will all continue until we have a citizen rebellion… or violent marches on Washington or state houses…

… or public funding of campaigns.

I know, I know. That’s the answer to everything, I seem to claim.

But at the moment it is. We cannot continue with politicians voting for their pocketbooks over their people.  We wouldn’t allow this in a successful corporation and we can’t allow it in our honorable nation.

So, what of this public funding of campaigns?

— The cost of $6 per taxpayer per year would be a bargain at 100 times the price. We are currently wasting $5000 per taxpayer per year in pork barrel projects and no-bid contracts and unproductive subsidies, all given to the industries that fund the elections. $1300 per taxpayer at the state level.

— In AZ, ME and CT they have 70% of their elected politicians who have chosen to shun private money from special interests. They have virtually eliminated fundraisers.

“Clean elections” levels the playing field and allows ordinary citizens to run against corporately-funded candidates.

— We taxpayers are paying these costs anyway, through increased government spending and when the special interests add their political costs to the price of their product and we reimburse them at the cash register.

In Arizona it’s not even taxpayer money that is being used, it’s a 10% surcharge on criminal fines. If you don’t want to contribute, don’t speed.

This works, and that’s why the opposition. Politicians don’t want fair elections, they prefer underfunded or no challengers.

Action Request: Ask your two Senators and Representative to sign on, support, and vote for “The Fair Elections Now Act” (S. 752 and H.R. 1826) introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones, Jr. (R-N.C.).

Tidbits

— On the anticipated health care bill, Obama should veto it if (a) it does not have a robust public option or (b) mandates insurance in any way. Dr. Angell says anything other than single payer should be vetoed, and she’s probably right.

— Want a solution to health care? Mandate that all congressmen be covered by whatever bill they create. End of discussion. You can then me assured that it will be good and fair.

— Want to follow the money in health care? See the Health Care Cheat Sheet (Money-in-Politics Style) — each member or Blue Dogs (courtesy opensecrets.org)

— The insurance industry has given $46 million in campaign contributions, obviously to block a single-pare plan.

— And yes, if you leave the insurance industry in the loop to skim off 31% of our costs, this IS going to be a very expensive bill. Single-payer is the only deficit-neutral solution.

2 Responses to If health care taught us anything…

  1. Glenn Koenig says:

    I see corruption in politics as a symptom, not a cause. A symptom that I don’t think can be fixed by public funding of campaigns. Partly I think this because public campaign financing will never be enacted. Just as single payer will never be enacted.
    The cause? The size and complexity of the United States now. Our constitution specified a government that was not designed to handle the scope and sheer size of the political and economic forces we have today. If the founding fathers were alive today, they would have said, at first, “Why haven’t you changed this?” Then, they would slowly realize something else. That what we have now is beyond the capacity of humans to wrap their minds around.
    So what do we do about it? We start now to implement new ways to govern ourselves that omit the need for federal government. This means not fighting about issues on the federal level, as much as possible. It means getting smaller institutions and groups to do the jobs we need done without federal government involvement.
    OK, this is not an easy task and it is certainly not a simple prescription. Big business is able to hire big teams of lawyers and bigger teams of psychological manipulators to spread rumors, tell lies, paint a distorted picture of reality, encourage fear, and work indirectly to make it appear that people want something that they as a big business want instead.
    If anything, it is up to us to create very small groups of people who work on a face to face basis and develop trust, do the homework (hard nosed research and information sharing among groups), and determine how to live as locally as possible.
    No, it’s not a perfect way to go. There are things that will persist on a national or even world wide level (such as communication networks, etc.) but you might be surprised how much we can change this entire power balance by being too small to be effectively fought by big corporations.

  2. Well, I certainly agree that we must move as many services as we can to the state level, and eliminate those that are wasteful. But I disagree on the affects of money in the political system. It is given because it works. If it didn’t work it wouldn’t be given. And if it didn’t reelect incumbents they’d implement public funding overnight.

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