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 http://www.healthcare-now.org/petition.php?sid=3&subid=11 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.