Sunday, February 19, 2006

What Are We Gonna Do About It?

President George Bush’s staff complained the day after Valentine's Day that his big healthcare announcement at Wendy’s Headquarters in Ohio went largely unnoticed because of Vice President Chaney’s shooting incident. It was probably just as well because he didn’t have much to say.

He was pumping for his on-your-own “Health Savings Accounts,” the greatest benefits of which will go to the brokers and banks who sell them and manage them. Benefits will also go to people who have enough extra money that they need to shelter it from taxes until they turn 70. This plan will drive the cost of healthcare even higher for the whole country.

We all need to understand that Bush’s plan is not about healthcare for all and it is not about us. It is yet another boondoggle, another transfer of money from the poor and middle class to the wealthy, another privatization scheme, another chunk of money in the pockets of his cronies, another attempt to blame the middle class for our own illnesses, another discriminatory scam against the poor, another way of saying, “you are on your own for healthcare,” another shift in governmental responsibility, another lie to the American people, another devastating blow to those who are struggling to get the healthcare they need. Sorry to have to be so blunt, but I want to be sure to be clear.

Bush tried to twist the issue by saying to Wendy’s employees, “Its kind of basically saying, “If you’re not making a lot of money, you can’t make decisions for yourself.” The he grinned his cock-eyed smirk and said, “That’s kind of a Washington attitude, isn’t it? ‘We’ll decide for you, you can’t figure it out for yourself.’ I think a lot of folks here at Wendy’s would argue that point of view is just backwards and not true.”

I would suggest that Bush’s plan is the kind of plan created by the healthcare industrial complex and its lobbies. This is just like the Bush Prescription Drug Plan, the current way Washington works. This the current “Washington attitude…”

The rest of us would like to have a government that cares enough about our people to protect us from greedy self-interests when we are sick and vulnerable or elderly or impoverished.

A great example is the Bush Prescription Drug Law which prohibits Health and Human Services from negotiating the price of drugs. It also insists on protecting the American people from less expensive drugs manufactured in other countries. The drug companies are allowed to charge whatever they wish. And now, the news coming into Healthcare-NOW today reveals that the majority of drugs we purchase from pharmacies aren’t even made in the United States. The FDA knows this because they inspect the plants that produce the drugs.*

BUT…I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE YOU WITHOUT HOPE… Here’s what we can do. Our country is # 37 in the world in the quality of its healthcare for its people. What would we do if our country were #37 in the Olympics? We’d get to work to change it, no?

Healthcare-now is gathering steam nationwide to be sure that every candidate for higher office this year in every state understands that we want a national single-payer healthcare plan that will cover all of us for every illness. NOW.

We want something like the H.R. 676 bill in Congress that would provide for healthcare for all so we would never have to pay another doctor or hospital, another dentist or optician, another psychiatrist or chiropractor, another prescription drug bill. And we would no longer have co-pays, deductibles, premiums, or out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE WOULD NEVER HAVE ANY MORE DENIALS FROM INSURANCE COMPANIES.

Your job? Tell every Democrat, Republican or Independent in your state and in your district what we want from them -- a commitment to a national single-payer healthcare plan that will cover all of us. We want Congressional candidates to state clearly that they will support and vote for such a plan. We want Governors to make the case – their state government budgets can no longer sustain the burden of healthcare costs that are now on their shoulders. We need a single payer.

We also want to help change the U.S. economy, putting about a third of the current healthcare costs back into the pockets of the American people instead of the insurance companies so we can send our kids to college or take a vacation or purchase a house or a car.

Go to our website to learn more about this issue and to sign our petition (if you haven't already). A wealth of information is waiting for you on this site.

We are waiting to hearing from you.

Marilyn Clement, National Coordinator, Healthcare-NOW

I think we'd best get busy with writing letters to our representatives and other government officials to let them know we're tired of the run-around the American people have been getting. Hell, the Iraqi people have been getting better health care than many, many of our American citizens. And to those who are sitting there right now feeling all safe and secure with their Health Insurance Coverage, just wait awhile, if things keep going the way they've been, you're safe and secure will be flapping in the wind.

Write to your Congressmen, your Senators, your Govenors, and even The President, and let them know how you feel about getting the short end of the stick when it comes to your health and your family's health.

I don't know about things in your area but around here, the insurance agents drive the finest cars and are getting fat and happy on our healthcare dollars.


Brent said...

Brenda, you political ANIMAL!!!! w00t, thanks for speaking for the rest of us!!

Mary Lou said...

Gosh, For a minute there I thought that Wanda was your guest blogger!!

Joe said...

Dear Wanda I mean Brenda, I agree with you and hope people will do as you say. How ever it seemes most just want to complain and not get envolved! Shame! Have a good week girl! Stay warm!

Brenda said...

I can't make changes and you can't make changes but perhaps together WE can make changes.

The links are there, write the letters.

David said...

So are you advocating socialism?

Health care is a major concern and that is an understatement. But the cost of care is what is outrageous and you can blame that on the doctors, the hospitals, the pharmacy companies and the insurance industry. The president did not set those up.

They are the ones to be attacked.

Brenda said...

You can blame a President who allows these industries and companies, because of their contributions, to set the standard and costs of health care.

I'm not avocating Socialism in no way or form, does Canada, or the UK, have a socialist form of government??? I reckon if you didn't have affordable health insurance and couldn't get affordable health insurance (and that time's coming), you'd read the facts with a little clearer perspective.

Cindra said...

Those insurance companies and other businesses have been lining more than the pockets of this president. They hit up both parties and anyone they can. This isn't something new. It has been building over the last 25-30 years. Even the "wealthy" are feeling it. Doctors' incomes are decreasing every year. They are double teamed by insurance company. Their mal-practice insurance goes up and the amount they receive from the insurance companies goes down. But they still have to keep increasing the salaries of their help. I think the fault does lie with the drug and insurance industries. When you are paying 6 figures for people to drop off drug samples (duh?) to doctors and insurance execs are building multi-million dollar homes with their own golf courses... there is a problem!

D said...

I can't say a whole lot here except perhaps be careful what you wish for, you may receive it. Yes, Bush is not without his problems; as has every president before him. This is a truly complex problem as those countries who have universal health care have a lower standard of health care. And yes, they are much closer to a socialistic government than we have. (Of course, we are much closer than we started out being.)

That's not necessarily a bad thing. But to change the health care and insurance industries along with insuring the medical well-being of all citizens will be a major change. We wanted a simple tax rate and we have nothing close to that. I fear self-interests will do the same to universal health care. If we get it quick, it will be disastrous. If we take time, self interests will distort it. I see lots of pain in our future.

Sally said...

Well written, Brenda. I can only speak for myself, but when the insurance company told me my rates were going from $335.00/mo to $797.00/mo BECAUSE I had been hospitalized last year, I nearly swallowed my tongue. What ordinary citizen can pay that kind of money? Not me, honey.

We used to have a hospital here that would take care of those without insurance, and pay what they could afford to. Nowadays, you can still go to that hospital, but you are billed what someone with insurance would be.

I'm sick of the whole administration,and I never, EVER, thought I would say that publicly. I will go to that link, and sign that petition.

Brenda said...

I'm asking each of you to go to the Healthcare Now website and read, read, read, then think. Of course we'll be paying for it, a 2% increase in income taxes at the most. And I wish to disagree, for the most part, about the level of health care received in the countries who have coverage for their citizens because I've lived in one of those countries. Their preventative health care was EXCELLENT. Their costs were about 1/5th of the cost that we're paying. I truly believe the only real information we have about health care in other countries comes from a biased source in our country.

How many of the commenters today are currently covered by Health Insurance? What about Health Insurance that they can afford?

Brenda said...

Even with insurance coverage it's very likely, if one of your family members becomes gravely ill, they will be denied the best care due to the cost or denied the procedure or possible cure altogether due to some clause in your policy.

Houston said...

Oh! Not the dreaded Socialist boogeyman! God forbid! Anything but socialism! Let everyone go without and die from horrible diseases, anything but socialism!

When Toyota picks Canada as a place for a new factory because of the affordability of health care there, you'd think people would start paying attention.

The Canadian system is not without problems that can limit one's access to certain medical procedures, but they have more options than someone down here without any insurance, and as many and more options than most hmo's in this country.

Republicans defeated Clinton's attempt at reform back in the mid-90s. Republicans designed the prescription boondoggle that is failing so miserably right now.

Republicans control all three branches of the government and have for awhile, now. Everyone agrees that we have serious problems and the best that Bush can come up with is a new special savings account and by doing so you'll have bargaining power with doctors and hospitals? You try that the next time you have to deal with a hospital. "Sorry, $2,000 a day is too much. I'm going to check out the other hospitals in the area."

I'm not sure which promised result is more imbecilic, that it will give people who are without insurance and health care access to it, or that it will give them bargaining power against multi-national corporations which control drugs and hospitals, and more often than not, the doctors themselves.

I feel bad for you red state folk. It seems the only criteria necessary to be elected into the government is that one be firmly opposed to Gay marriage and abortion. Solving problems just doesn't seem to be very important.

wanda said...

"How ever it seemes most just want to complain and not get envolved!"


"I can't make changes and you can't make changes but perhaps together WE can make changes."

Double AMEN!

You know I'm sick of this business of the republicans saying 'everyone' does it. NO everyone does not do it. You would never hear Ted Kennedy suggest "health savings accounts". Nor any other self respecting democrat. I don't care how they try to spin it, the fact is republicans have never been as in touch with the poor an middle classes in our society as the democrats are. Republicans have always been the party of the upper classes.
I think you nailed it Brenda when you said these people who get on their high horse and defend this nonesense would feel very differently if they had no health insurance. One trip to the hospital would teach them a very painful lesson.
You know I'll be writing letters and sending emails. It's what I do. I'm glad to have you join the ranks of those who are willing to stand up and say ENOUGH!!
As for those who compare you to me, well I can only speak for myself but I'm damned proud to be standing along side a woman such as you!

Andie Pandie said...

It's the reason I haven't seen a dentist in, oh something like 10 years or so. Who can afford that? And dental insurance is a joke.

Also, if I can just throw this in, how ironic is it that Bush gave a speech about Healthcare at a place that pushes and promotes fast food?

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