Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Fix Is In: Ben Nelson (D-NE) To Administer The Death Blow To Health Care Reform


Ben Nelson in a graphic frame normally reserved for Repugs

The Senate's most Republican Democrat (see chart below), Nebraska reactionary Ben Nelson, has long been in the pocket of the Medical-Industrial Complex and Big Insurance. He was a former insurance company executive. They have underwritten his career with millions of dollars in legalized bribes-- $1,196,799 from Insurance special interests and another $1,000,366 from the HMOs and other "health care" industries. And they're promising him lots more if he will do their dirty work for them again this year. And he will.

Nelson is worried that voters in Nebraska will start understanding that he doesn't work for them-- not ever-- but that his real employers are the wealthy and powerful vested interests he is always serving. His main function in the Senate seems to have always been to water down all reforms and make them meaningless. Today he went to the Lincoln Journal Star to spin his role in the killing of health care reform so that the dull minded among his constituents miss the point. "Sen. Ben Nelson," reads the friendly and deceptive first line, "says he’s open to a government role in securing universal health care coverage."

A couple nights ago progressive health care reform advocate, Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards explained how the Insurance company shills in Congress would embrace the public option and then make sure it non-robust, worthless and uncompetitive with the plans of their "generous" patrons.
Nelson says, he does not want to “destabilize or adversely affect” the private health insurance coverage now in place for most Americans.

“I have not closed my mind to any option,” says Nelson, a key figure in the approaching showdown over health care reform.

While he’s opposed to opening the door to choice between a government and a private plan, Nelson says he wants to “see how a public plan is crafted.

“It’s a deal-breaker for me if there’s a government-run plan to replace existing insurance plans,” he says.

“I see a role for government, but not the primary responsibility,” Nelson says. “I see a backup plan,” but not at the expense of “erosion of a market-based system.”

...What’s not on the table is a single-payer universal health care system managed by the federal government. 

Nelson says he’d adamantly oppose it, but the Obama administration and congressional leaders aren’t even crafting such a plan.

“Single-payer can’t pass,” Nelson says.

What’s open is how to construct coverage for 45 million uncovered Americans who would be brought under the umbrella of universal coverage.

The private insurance industry is prepared to eliminate barriers to coverage for Americans with pre-existing health conditions if there is universal coverage, Nelson said.

So what is it that the insurance companies and shills in the Senate like virtually the entire Republican caucus plus the worst of the Conservadems want to kill? In short, anything that looks like it will compete with the awful private insurance plans that almost all Americans hate with a passion.

Progressives demand a plan that is fully risk-bearing, like Medicare. It must fully bear the risk of medical claims for its enrollees. The idea is to keep administrative costs low-- like Medicare and unlike the private insurers-- and guarantee a high standard of care. As for payments, again Medicare is a good model to start with, but the new entity should be free to use its buying power to establish fair provider rates. It should have the authority to structure provider rates that build on Medicare’s payment system and to develop and implement payment system reforms that promote quality care, prevention, and chronic care management. At the very minimum it has to be available to anyone (which also means everyone) who lacks employer-provided insurance. And it must allow patients to have access to their choice of doctors and other providers that meet defined participation standards, as Medicare does.

Imagine having representatives in our own government who are there to fight for us, not for their campaign contributors in big business? It'll never happen until we get rid of the horribly corrupt way we finance our "democracy." Until then there will always be stooges like Ben Nelson and Max Baucus-- not to mention the entire GOP-- who fight for the lobbyists and for the industries that underwrite their careers rather than for their own constituents. Not a single Republican voted for Social Security when Roosevelt proposed it-- not one. They called it socialist and said it would bankrupt America. Sound familiar? As I mentioned yesterday, when Rep. John Sullivan, Oklahoma's rabid anti-health care fanatic, decided he needed-- reason not yet clear-- to fly across the country and check himself into the Betty Ford Clinic to treat his long-documented dependency on alcohol, the taxpayers were forced to pick up the entire tab, probably $30,000. Nice for him, but isn't it a bit hypocritical for him to vote against that kind of health insurance for the rest of us?

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At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Lee said...

I once saw this really bad movie about used car dealers. One of the characters buys a lemon has an accident but the insurance company won't pay to fix the car because its a lemon. So the guy who is screwed asks why does he have insurance...and the insurance agent says "peace of mind" I'm starting to feel that way about health insurance.

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee: I find your remark nonsensical.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Lee said...

Dear annonymous...

who are you??? you don't even have the courage to use your real name...

health insurance=peace of mind that you will be covered for that emergency

until you try to collect

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

Lee, it's just one of the Anonymii tribe: inbred idiots all, hundreds of generations of drooling clowns. Pay no attention to the lot. Your remarks made a great deal of grim sense.

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Obama / 2012 said...

I think we need real health care reform with 51 votes. Just screw these corporate Democrats. They are just as much the enemy of the American people as the Republicans are.

At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One criticism of 'health care' charities in general: That industry has become one of the most profitable of all time. It already accounts for about 15% of our GDP. The industry as a whole can easily afford to cover its own research and development. Still, it lobbies for billions in government funding, tax breaks, and 'charitable' contributions. It affiliates with hundreds of public figures who 'raise funds' from ordinary people specifically for that industry in the name of 'humanity'. In other words, we are paying for a portion of their research and development. In return, they sell any 'breakthrough' made right back to us for MAXIMUM PROFIT. Their charges remain absolutely OBSCENE. They have been for years. So incredibly high, that thousands of families have already gone bankrupt as a direct result of health care expenses. Thousands of retirees have already had to 'reverse mortgage' their homes to pay for it. The average American is now losing sleep over health care expenses. Medicare and Medicaid are both projected to go bankrupt. Of course, the industry tries to cover for this injustice with one liners like "Today's drugs pay for tomorrow's miracles.". They also 'give back' a little just like every other industry and seek maximum publicity for it. Its a sham in my book. We don't need anymore 'good will' for or on the part of that industry. We need affordable health care in general. THAT MEANS LOWER PROFIT MARGINS. Along with fewer unnecessary tests, procedures, and pharmaceuticals. Of course, some of the work done is legitimate. But that holds true even for the government. Here is the problem. ITS GONE TOO FAR. Something must be done about this out of control 'drug and doctor' mentality. Otherwise, there will never, ever, EVER be affordable health care for the majority.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger World Vitamins Online said...

Some equitable form of health care is drastically needed in this country. The problem is that with all the special interest in line to take care of their pot of gold and the politicians that they control with "donations" anything we get is probably not going to be what is best for the people who are going to be using it or paying for it. I don't think that career politicians that are controlled by corporate America is what the founding fathers had in mind.

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