Dec 23, 2009

Progressives to Obama: Mr. President, Please Explain Why You Changed Your Mind on Health Care.... [and, a reminder of what Obama used to say]

We have an obligation to remind the president what he was saying not so long ago. He must explain to us why he's failed to set the agenda on health care reform. Why he has been so accommodating to the likes of Nelson, Baucus, Snowe, Lieberman and the insurance industry? The progressive base gave the impetus to his candidacy. The majority of voters wanted change--which meant anything but Bush, and ultimately, good reforms that would benefit the middle class and the poor. Well, where are those reforms? Those reforms that would come from exercising leadership and spending of political capital, not the easy ones from signing executive orders.

When candidate Obama was campaigning for the presidency, he was rejecting the plans offered by Hillary Clinton and McCain. He stated that he wanted a public option as the best way to control costs and make the broken system competitive. Now, we hear, he's ready to sign on to a reform that does not include a public option.

The current system is unsustainable. Premiums, co-pays, deductibles have risen much, much higher than wages, while the costs of providing health care have skyrocketed. The Senate version of this bill will cover more American but what does this mean? Can you be covered when you can't afford the co-pays or the high deductibles? Further, if you get help to do so, then we're shoveling lots of money to the insurance companies who will keep doing what they've been doing and have more customers with public money!

It's insane that our leaders don't address the following shameful fact: The US is the only advanced democracy where patients (and their families) can go bankrupt because of medical bills! The majority of bankruptcies in this country are due to medical expenses. Of those, 3/4 have had "insurance." It's insane.

Listen to this interview on WNYC public radio. It's a critique of the suggested changes.

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