Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Health Care Reform What Now?

Robert Reich wrote an interesting post Tuesday entitled The National Anthem--And Why We Need Health Care Reform So Desperately.  His title reference, "The National Anthem" refers to the big health care insurance company, Anthem.  They are his insurance company.  He lives in California.  They are my insurance company.  I live in New England.  They've just raised his premiums 39%.  They say have lost alot of policy holders due to the recession and therefore must spread their costs over a smaller pool.  Reich refutes this citing 4th quarter profits of their parent company, Wellpoint; tapping them as an aggressive opponent to health care reform, etc.  He states that consolidation among insurance companies is creating near monopolies but "insurers are exempt from the federal antitrust laws."

I did not know that.

His most compelling argument comes next and I believe it because I have heard other political observers observe the same thing:

"Obama says he’s open to any new ideas from Republicans for how to control health care costs and expand coverage. The problem is Republicans don’t want to play this game. They don’t care about controlling costs or expanding coverage. They care only about taking back the House and/or the Senate next November. And they believe a means toward attaining this goal is to prevent Obama from achieving a victory on health care."

Robert Reich is Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Taken from Robert Reich's blog profile.


Pop and Ice said...

I just kills me to see what individuals have to pay for health insurance compared to the premiums I get for having Anthem coverage here in Michigan through my employer. It's just terrible. If there was ever a reason to allow insurance exchanges to be created, this would be my example.

Deborah said...

Ouch. Some pretty dirty politics going on there, but that's nothing new, is it?

I'm cheering Obama and the health reform movement on from my Canadian and French sidelines and grateful that, although neither system is perfect, in neither of these places am I hit with with steep insurance premiums. I really hope Obama is successful but it would need a miracle, by the sound of it.

Nancy said...

Our Congress is bought and sold. And this is absolutely what the GOP is doing. Will they be successful? Maybe.

(Word verification was "stsmen" - Statesmen? Not!

Susan said...

Anthem is ours, too. IMO the health insurance industry should be brought up on criminal charges. There is no way that the Repugs united with the insurance industry will ever allow reform to happen. It's dead in the water.

ArtSparker said...

Incredibly short-sighted nihilism.


by Cole Scott