Reforming For Profits *update I & II

We must have misunderstood the plan. We actually thought the whole point of reforming health care was to help the american people have better, more affordable health care.

$$$ image - reforming for profitsWe thought the promise of BARACK OBAMA’S PLAN FOR A HEALTHY AMERICA was:

…Lowering health care costs and ensuring affordable, high-quality health care for all…

We must have missed the fine print that explained:


Did the American people not get the memo that explained this?  Or was our copy of Obama’s Health care plan smudged?

The media and politicians must have gotten a fine print copy. What else would explain why politicians of both parties and media hacks are morally outraged at townhall anger by the American people, but those selfsame politicians and media appear far from  shocked to learn about the administration’s sell-out backroom deals with the health care industry?

From Miles Mogulescu at HuffintonPost:

The first hint of the real story came when Rahm Emanuel summoned leaders of liberal organizations to the White House and reamed them out for criticizing Blue Dogs who were trying to gut the public option, telling the liberals that they were “f..king stupid” and ordering them to stop.

Why the continued almost obsessive focus on painting protesters as un-American?

While these sweetheart industry deals in Obamacare, that are truly un-American and so beautifully depict why Americans no longer trust their government, are received in blissful willful silence.

When will the talking media heads finally realize and politicians confess that this is all a well organized comprehensive reforming for profits — industry profits.  Look at the results:

Gutted — The public health care option
Why — Bad for health care and insurance industry profits!

…The real story should be about the back room deals reportedly being negotiated between the Obama administration and Blue Dog Democrat Max Baucus, on the one hand, and Big Pharma, for-profit hospitals, and the private insurance industry, on the other hand. This is where the real action is taking place and it’s looking increasingly likely, as a result, that the Health Care bill which ends up emerging from Congress could represent a massive public subsidy to the private health care industry.

~ Miles Mogulescu, HuffintonPost

Blocked — The negotiation for or importation of lower priced drug
Why — Bad for health care and insurance industry profits!

The next hint was a New York Times story in which the White House confirmed it had cut a back-room deal with Billy Tauzin, chief lobbyist for Big Pharma, to block any Health Reform bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug price…
Miles Mogulescu, HuffintonPost

Crippled — A government-run health plan with Medicare rates
Limited — The reducion of hospital costs
Why — bad for health care and insurance industry profits!

Thursday’s New York Times confirmed Business Week’s analysis, reporting that the White House, in conjunction with Sen. Baucus, has made a deal with hospital lobbyists limiting reductions in hospital costs to $155 billion over 10 years and crippling the public option by agreeing “that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private sector rates — or controlled by the secretary of health and human services“. According to Chip Kahn, a top industry lobbyist, “We have an agreement with the White House that I’m very confident will be seen all the way through conference”. …

~ Miles Mogulescu, HuffintonPost

Embraced — Behind the scenes maneuvering in Washington by Industry
Why — Good for health care and insurance industry profits!

As the extensively detailed, must read Business Week The Health Insurers Have Already Won  points out:

… much more of the battle than most people realize is already over. The likely victors are insurance giants such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), and WellPoint (WLP). The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable

Which leaves one to wonder what exactly is the point of these town hall meetings with the American people. Why even go through the motions, could it all be a well organized and planned distraction?

Rewarded — Health care and Insurance industries profits
Why:  These industries financially support the politicians?

These companies will not just maintain or increase profits, but could very well realize a windfall. More from The Health Insurers Have Already Won:

What people in Washington tend not to discuss, at least on the record, is the open secret that insurers are minimizing their forecasts of the eventual windfall they will enjoy from expanded coverage for Americans. United Health has given certain key members of Congress details about its finances and tax liability—both historical numbers and figures projected under various cost-sharing scenarios. But some on Capitol Hill are skeptical. “The bottom line,” says an aide to the Senate Finance Committee, “is that health reform would lead to increased revenues and profits [for the insurance industry]. … There will be [added] costs [to the companies], but we’re not sure the revenues and profits will be as low as they say.”

So when do we start discussing the fine print of this “reform” honestly.

We are not reforming health care for the benefit of the American people. Our government is not interested in providing for the health and well being of Americans so we can be better functioning members of our society. No, our supposed moral imperative to pass health care reform is to ensure the health and well being of the health care and insurance industries so they can be even more profitable members of our society.  We are reforming for profits.

Our government may not be calling this a bailout, but by creating another entitlement to support and protect a few large, for profit, private entities at the expense of the American people it sure sounds eerily similiar to what our government is still doing for Wall Street.

And don’t forget, the powers-that-be want to “reform” Social Security and Medicare next.

Update I – From Glen Greenwald’s Why the health care debate is so important regardless of one’s view of the “public option”

The attempt to attract GOP support was the pretext which Democrats used to compromise continuously and water down the bill. But — given the impossibility of achieving that goal — isn’t it fairly obvious that a desire for GOP support wasn’t really the reason the Democrats were constantly watering down their own bill? Given the White House’s central role in negotiating a secret deal with the pharmaceutical industry, its betrayal of Obama’s clear promise to conduct negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN no less), Rahm’s protection of Blue Dogs and accompanying attacks on progressives, and the complete lack of any pressure exerted on allegedly obstructionists “centrists,” it seems rather clear that the bill has been watered down, and the “public option” jettisoned, because that’s the bill they want — this was the plan all along.


The Obama White House isn’t sitting impotently by while Democratic Senators shove a bad bill down its throat. This is the bill because this is the bill which Democratic leaders are happy to have. It’s the bill they believe in. As important, by giving the insurance and pharmaceutical industries most everything they want, it ensures that the GOP doesn’t become the repository for the largesse of those industries (and, converesly, that the Democratic Party retains that status).

Yes, he gets it! Greenwald really gets it!

This is how things always work. The industry interests which own and control our government always get their way. When is the last time they didn’t? The “public option” was something that was designed to excite and placate progressives (who gave up from the start on a single-payer approach) — and the vast, vast majority of progressives (all but the most loyal Obama supporters) who are invested in this issue have been emphatic about how central a public option is to their support for health care reform. But it seems clear that the White House and key Democrats were always planning on negotiating it away in exchange for industry support. Isn’t that how it always works in Washington? No matter how many Democrats are elected, no matter which party controls the levers of government, the same set of narrow monied interests and right-wing values dictate outcomes, even if it means running roughshod over the interests of ordinary citizens (securing lower costs and expanding coverage) and/or what large majorities want.

From The Confluence regarding Greenwald’s comment “Because that’s the bill they want — this was the plan all along.”

Well no shit, Sherlock! That’s why I keep saying – “Failure is a feature, not a bug.” I’m glad to see that people smarter than me are starting to figure it out too.

What she said!  So, okay – Third party anyone?

(Version of this article crossposted at No Quarter.)



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