“The Republican Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the insurance industry.” So said Rep. Anthony Weiner of Brooklyn last month in front of Congress. As we move towards a historic vote on health care reform, let’s take a moment to throw some gas on the fire and revisit some of the awesomely incendiary rhetoric of this statesman on revamping our health care system. Now this a healthy health care debate!
Every time the topic of national health care comes up, the prophets of doom put on their black cloaks and start their chants of “Big Brother,” “socialism” and “move to Finland,” painting a picture of a bleak, Orwellian future where baritone-voiced Death Panels decide your fate on a punch card that then gets sent through a pneumatic tube to the waiting Euthanasia Agent. But our smarter, better-looking kin over at Consumer Reports claim it’s not all that bleak.
Using the Health Care bill signed by the Senate on Dec. 24 as a jumping-off point, President Obama unleashed his version of the plan this morning on the White House website.
The House version of the health care reform bill passed the House on Saturday night. Now it needs to be merged with some sort fo Senate version of the bill and signed by the President to become law. So how does this reform bill actually affect consumers?
Here’s a dart to deflate the feel-good dreams of universal health care — those nefarious, profiteering insurance companies are actually hoping it passes.
Memo to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey: when much of your customer base consists of reusable-bag-using, wheatgrass-munching “progressive” types, it’s probably not such a good idea to publish an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal criticizing current health care reform proposals. At least if you don’t want said customers organizing boycotts of your stores.
Yesterday, Consumer Reports noted that an anti-health reform politician is trying to convince senior citizens that they’ll be required to take lessons in euthanasia if any reform is passed. Regardless of what side you come down on with health care reform, this is flat out wrong. We care about this lie, which is still bouncing around the media, because it might interfere with the very real and useful tasks of setting up living wills and determining health care proxies—things that matter to both the elderly and the terminally ill.
If you’re looking for a good read tonight, try curling up with a cup of herbal tea, some Nilla Wafers, and the PDF of the House Health Reform bill. (warning: opens extremely large PDF) If 1,018 pages is too much reading for tonight, you can look over this one-page PDF on the public insurance option included in the bill, or read first impressions from Consumers Union and the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. [Consumer Reports Health]