Sunday, September 13, 2009


It appears now, that Max Baucus' Senate Finance Committee will be siding with Big Pharma and the private health insurance companies. [The companies that Wendell Potter talked about in Senate Hearings.]

It would also appear that our beloved
Speaker of the House is ready to throw us and a “strong, robust public option” under the bus. Only the Democratic progressives are standing up for the American people and demanding a "strong public option".

The White House is playing politics and kissing everyone’s a….

Everyone knew that single payer health insurance was the best way to dramatically cut costs, cover everyone and get to health care reform. The Democratic caucus and progressive Senators know it. The White House knows it; however, big business owns Washington and so progressives in the House (under pressure) settled for a "public option".

Now, the strong, robust public option is in jeopardy; and unless our representatives are pressured and/or get some big cajones and are willing to stand up 100% for the American people, we will lose the strong public option. You can count all but 2 or 3 Republican Senators out of any discussion to do what's right for the American people. That just leaves the Democrats.

Friday, September 11, 2009, Robert Reich wrote in his blog, the following:

[This is a small except from his post – please read the entire post at ]

The Final Sprint for Health Care Has Now Begun, and Where the White House is Placing Its Bets

The real political race for health care has just begun. The significance of the President's speech to Washington insiders was its signal about where the White House is placing its bets and its support. More on this in a moment. First, let's be clear about who's racing and why. Think of the speech as the starting gate of a two-month sprint between two competitors -- and they're not Democrats and Republicans.

On one side are America's biggest private insurers and Big Pharma. They're drooling over the prospect of tens of millions more Americans buying insurance and drugs because the pending legislation will require them to, or require employers to cover them. The pending expansion of Medicaid will also be a bonanza. Amerigroup Corp., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and other companies that administer Medicaid are looking at 10 million more customers. Healthcare Inc.’s Medicaid enrollment is expected to jump by 43 percent, according to its CEO. WellPoint Inc., the largest U.S. insurer, is also looking at big gains.But the big insurers hate the idea of a public option because it will squeeze their profits. A true public option will force private insurers to compete in markets where there's now very little competition, and also have the bargaining power to force drug companies to offer lower prices. Big Pharma also wants to prevent Medicare and Medicaid from having the power to negotiate lower prices, for the same reason. Private insurers and Big Pharma would rather fudge the question of where the savings will come from or how all this will be paid for. They certainly don't want to pay for wider coverage with a surtax on the rich, because, hey, their executives and shareholders are mainly rich.” ...

“Private insurers and Big Pharma are being represented in this race by Max Baucus and his Senate Finance Committee. Senate Finance is on the verge of reporting out a bill that requires that just about every American have health insurance and just about every business provide it (or else pay a fee). But the bill will not include a public option. Nor will it change current law to allow Medicare to negotiate low drug prices. Nor will it include a surtax on the wealthy. The Committee's only real nod to cost containment is a small tax on expensive insurance policies, which doesn't worry the private insurers because its cost is so easily passed on to the beneficiaries. The Democratic base is being represented by Nancy Pelosi and House Dems, who have reported out a bill that includes a public option, want Medicare and Medicaid to have negotiating power, and will pay for universal coverage with a surcharge on the rich. The Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee, formerly chaired by Ted Kennedy, also represents the Democratic base, and reported a strong bill that parallels the House.” ....

"Where's the White House? For months now, it's been straddling the fence -- reassuring the Dem base that the President is with them (he did it as recently as Monday with a rousing speech to organized labor), while at the same time nodding and winking in the direction of the private insurers and Big Pharma. Last spring the White House agreed to Big Pharma's demand that Medicare not be permitted to negotiate low drug prices in return for Pharma's agreement to support the health care bill emerging from the Senate Finance Committee. Since then it has quietly told private insurers that it will work with Senate Finance to find less potent alternatives to the public option, such as Kent Conrad's "cooperatives" or Olympia Snowe's "trigger" mechanism, in return for the private insurers' support of the compromise. And it has told the private insurers and Big Pharma that it will not support a surtax on the wealthy."

Please read Robert Reich’s entire post on his blog at:

Now is the time for decent people to call the “snakes” out.
Demand a “strong robust public option” and not co-ops or triggers.

Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter’s entire 32 minute interview with Bill Moyer

Robert Reich


Fight Bad Faith Insurance Companies

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