Expand Medicare benefits for real health care reform

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said, “It is more important that health-care legislation inject stiff competition among insurance plans than it is for Congress to create a pure government-run option.”

The article also noted that Obama, the Democratic majority and the Republicans–under the guise of bipartisanship–are considering reducing Medicare benefits  and payments for charity care in hospitals to help insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals and other related corporations to remain competitive and profitable.

To justify stealing from Medicare, the WSJ article reported, “That [the reduction of benefits] will help pay for the legislation, expected to cost at least $1 trillion over 10 years.”

Why should the American people have to “pay” for legislation by reducing coverage for poor, elderly and disabled people? Health care legislation that reduces coverage while allowing private industries to maximize their profits isn’t reform; it’s robbery.  Instead of reducing Medicare benefits, we should be expanding them to cover all Americans.

If our government can throw trillions of dollars at Wall Street bankers and the Pentagon’s war machine, why can’t our taxes be used to pay for our health care? The American people are worth that investment!

If funding for health care is that scarce, Congress could allocate the tax money that’s used to provide health insurance for them. Surely, they can afford to pay for their own private insurance policies.  Let them see how it feels to pay the outrageous premiums and still have to fight for adequate coverage so that private insurance companies can keep raking in obscene profits.

Of course, just paying their own health insurance premiums wouldn’t provide enough revenue. But Congress could also pass legislation to ensure that these huge corporations can’t avoid paying taxes by stashing their money offshore and exploiting other tax loopholes.

Why should any corporation that doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes be enriched by the suffering of our most needy citizens?

How can President Obama and the Democrats defend this swindle without a crisis of conscience? They’re trying to take from the poor to provide for corporate shareholders who are also some of their largest campaign contributors.

Last fall, we voted to change business as usual in Washington. We voted to put a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic majority in Congress. So why can’t we the people decide that we want all Americans to have access to health care, and we want our taxes to pay for it?

The stark answer seems obvious. Health care corporations own a controlling interest in our President and the Congress.

2 responses to “Expand Medicare benefits for real health care reform

  1. Well said. I’ll be interested to see if the public outrage of failed Health Care Reform finds a way to make it onto the mainstream media or if any politicians will suffer any electoral consequences.

  2. Nan – this is SO important and so right-on. Thank you for saying this. I hope you are spreading it widely and i will too. As Melissa Ethridge sings in Gore’s film, “It’s time to wake up!!!!!”

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