Monday, August 24, 2009
Republican Health Care Whores
Yesterday on C-SPAN I listened in to a North Carolina town hall revival meeting where Rep. McSomebody revealed himself as being in the health insurance companies' pocket. On key points of misinformation, such as the Palin-manufactured death panels and the spin that our health care is better than Europe's and Canada's, he resolutely agreed with constituents' cranky delusions and general ranting, rather then speaking the truth.
Even more interesting was a wrinkle, new to me, about health care choice being construed as a new right for health insurance corporations to sell insurance across state lines, to people hundreds of miles away who would have even less practical recourse than at present if they got screwed. The mantra of individual choice and competition was invoked numerous times to sell an approach which gives insurance companies all the power to divide and conquer. And we all know that competition will increase choice and lower prices, right?
There were a few voices in the wilderness, people who had come to say they wanted single-payer, or a public option, and generally would appreciate the government sticking up for them in the face of companies who don't hesitate to kick people's policies to the curb just when they are most necessary. Mostly these people were health care workers and sick people. But they got little sympathy from Rep. McWhatever, who is as skilled as most politicians in answering the question he wants to hear rather than the one that's actually been posed.
No Republican who gets lots of contributions from for-profit health insurance corporations and his marching orders from the chamber of commerce is going to admit that when competition is for money, for-profit businesses just want your money.
If we want competition for actual health care and wellness, we won't be getting it from insurance companies' gigolos.