INSURANCE LOBBY SHOOTS PUBLIC OPTION – $170M smoking gun found at scene

The public option was shot by the health insurance lobby today at the U.S. Capitol, in full view of shocked, shocked representatives and senators.  Activity on the capitol campus was halted for hours, although no one noticed any difference.

The health reform proposal was rushed to the emergency room at the Executive Office Building, where it remains in critical condition.

Police arrested the health insurance lobby at the scene. “I’m just a corporate personhood activist trying to protect profits and the sanctity of corporate life,” he shouted as he was wrestled into a fundraiser for Rep. Mike Ross (D-Blue Cross).

A weapon believed used in the attack was recovered at the scene, said by police to be a $170 million double-barreled Influence Special.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Schering-Plough) denounced the shooting as “abhorent,” but said he continues to support a pro-corporate life movement that seeks to achieve its goals peacefully. “Life begins at incorporation, everyone agrees on that,” Baucus said.

In other news, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell today announced his opposition to First Lady Michele Obama’s new shorter hairstyle. “This will put the government between Americans and their hair stylists,” warned McConnell.

“Only your hairdresser should know for sure,” McConnell added.

13 thoughts on “INSURANCE LOBBY SHOOTS PUBLIC OPTION – $170M smoking gun found at scene”

  1. LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY. (Thomas Paine)

    We have the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed world. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of healthcare means.

    I know that many of you are angry and frustrated that REPUBLICANS! In congress are dragging their feet and trying to block TRUE healthcare reform. What republicans want is just a taxpayer bailout of the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry, and the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry. An insurance bailout is all you really get without a robust government-run public option available on day one.

    These industries have been slaughtering you and your loved ones like cattle for decades for profit. Including members of congress and their families. These REPUBLICANS are FOOLS!

    Republicans and their traitorous allies have been trying to make it look like it’s President Obama’s fault for the delays, and foot dragging. But I think you all know better than that. President Obama inherited one of the worst government catastrophes in American history from these REPUBLICANS! And President Obama has done a brilliant job of turning things around, and working his heart out for all of us.

    But Republicans think you are just a bunch of stupid, idiot, cash cows with short memories. Just like they did under the Bush administration when they helped Bush and Cheney rape America and the rest of the World.

    But you don’t have to put up with that. And this is what you can do. The Republicans below will be up for reelection on November 2, 2010. Just a little over 13 months from now. And many of you will be able to vote early. So pick some names and tell their voters that their representatives (by name) are obstructing TRUE healthcare reform. And are sellouts to the insurance and medical lobbyist.

    Ask them to contact their representatives and tell them that they are going to work to throw them out of office on November 2, 2010, if not before by impeachment, or recall elections. Doing this will give you something more to do to make things better in America. And it will help you feel better too.

    There are many resources on the internet that can help you find people to call and contact. For example, many social networking sites can be searched by state, city, or University. Be inventive and creative. I can think of many ways to do this. But be nice. These are your neighbors. And most will want to help.

    I know there are a few democrats that have been trying to obstruct TRUE healthcare reform too. But the main problem is the Bush Republicans. Removing them is the best thing tactically to do. On the other hand. If you can easily replace a democrat obstructionist with a supportive democrat, DO IT!

    You have been AMAZING!!! my people. Don’t loose heart. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy saving the World. :-)

    God Bless You

    jacksmith — Working Class

    Republican Senators up for re-election in 2010.

    * Richard Shelby of Alabama
    * Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
    * John McCain of Arizona
    * Mel Martinez of Florida
    * Johnny Isakson of Georgia
    * Mike Crapo of Idaho
    * Chuck Grassley of Iowa
    * Sam Brownback of Kansas
    * Jim Bunning of Kentucky
    * David Vitter of Louisiana
    * Kit Bond of Missouri
    * Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
    * Richard Burr of North Carolina
    * George Voinovich of Ohio
    * Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
    * Jim DeMint of South Carolina
    * John Thune of South Dakota
    * Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
    * Bob Bennett of Utah

  2. I’m and American voter and I didn’t realize that anything had happened to the healthcare proposal. I think it’s discracefull–

    oooh! there’s something shiny over there!

  3. The best check to any corporation is a competing corperation. The best check to any political party a countering political party. Greed is irrelevant. You think politicians aren’t greedy? Give them $3 trillion + dollars to spend every year and they will get lobbied and bought an sold, regardless of party affiliation.

    The government has no ability, let alone authority, to tell me what level of health care I need and how much of my money I should spend to get it. It’s called “rule of law.” Look it up.

    The reason we have problems in the health care industry is government intervention not allowing true competition amongst insurance providers, really. That and an apathetic public that instead of looking out for their own well being, thought they could trust some insurance beaurocrat. Then, when they were let down they tried to trust some government beaurocrat.

    The fix for health care is an HSA type plan provided by multiple insurance companies competing against each other. We all pay out of pocket the first, say $1500, and insurance kicks in after that. This makes us all responsible for our own care and we are all free to decide how much to spend on ourselves. Throw in a caveat for really poor people and we’re done.

  4. Chuck: Politicians wouldn’t implement national health insurance, civil servants would. You’re basically saying those civil servants, who are your fellow citizens, are greedy and can’t be trusted. Nice!

    America — love it or leave it!

  5. And on what basis would the civil servants implement said program? As directed the 1,000 page bill that VERY few politicians, who’ve already been bought because of the influence they have over spending the $3T, have actually read. Sounds like a recipe for sucess. Like Canada and Britain and those other countries with socialized medicine that doesn’t work.

    Our health care system needs some work. But the real question is why is my health care being administered, or even affected, by some civil servant (whom I have no ability to vote out of office or cut payment to)?

    Ulimately, there is just one person in the entire universe who knows exactly how much I value my health, namely me. Put me in charge of my health care. Nice!

    America – fix it with freedom!

  6. You lost me with “Canada and Britain” — countries that are achieving better health results at lower per capita cost. I guess you’re one of the people who prefer getting your claim denied by a compassionate insurance bureaucrat.

    By the way, 60% of Medicare users give the coverage they get from the bad-old gummint 9 or more on a 1-10 scale, vs. 36-40 for private insurance.

    And when you refer to “the 1,000 page bill,” that’s a right wing Talking Point — at the moment there is no single bill, there are a number of competing bills. However, at the moment there ARE a myriad of complicated private insurance plans with tons of fine print and coverage-denial practices to maximize profits.

  7. The breast cancer death rate in Britain is 20/100k per year. It’s 16/100k in Canada. It’s 13/100k in the USA. Not coincidentally, Canada has a 10-12 week wait for an MRI and 18 week wait for surgery. When you subtract our gun shots and obesity (societally self inflicted) Americans live longer than Canadians. Canada is now moving toward a two tier system (actual stattus unknown) using privatization to permit people to pay directly and obtain better/faster care. Not coincidental again, privatization is being used to fix socialization.

    BTW equality may be the goal of socialism, but equality is never atainable, by definition, particularly in a socialistic system as shown by history. Not coincidentally, free market capitalism has created the greatest improvement in the human condition as shown by history.

    Sure, everyone on Medicare may love the system. They are being subsidized by the masses not on the system. Such a system can not, by definition, be fruitful if used universally. SS, Medicare and Medicaid are a Ponzi scheme.

    The government has no wealth to spend. All it can do it take our wealth (taxation, monetization, borrowing), keep a significant portion for itself, and give the rest back to us. It is, by definition, a net loss of wealth. All you can hope to do with socialized medicine, is all you can do with any socialized system, is to take from one party you don’t like and give to another party you do like, while keeping some for your troubles.

    Your right, there are a “myriad” of 1,000 page bills. That makes things even worse. Pretend you got elected: Do you think you can read all those pages of all those bills, understand all they have to say, in terms of legalese and doctorese and insurancese, compare all the pro’s and con’s of all the bills, and coherently convey that to your constituents? While attending to your other duties. Now let’s rush!!!

    Profit is good. Even in health care. Profit says that someone is providing a valueable service and other people want to pay for it. If one guy is making a big profit in a certain industry, let’s call him “Blue Cross” and say he’s selling “insurance”, other players will move in and compete driving the price down and the quality up. A company gets a bad reputation they lose business, another company gets a good reputation they gain business. The individual is allowed to chose.

    ** The best check to the power of any entity is a competing entity. It’s not the government.

    The government has actually hampered competition amongst the insurance companies. Why? Because the government gets $3,000,000,000,000 to spend every year and they will get lobbied and bought and sold; regardless of party. Do you want good health care at a good price? Buy it yourself with your dollars. Let the lobbyists lobby all 310,000,000 citizens individually. You know better than anyone how much of your wealth you want to spend on your health and in which manner.

    Mr. Wiseline, all I want is for us to be free. Thank you for the debate.

  8. Oh you objectivists are so precious with your ‘perfect competition’ and cuttin’ the gummint regulations.

    If y’all want to stand around singing ‘Cuz at least I know I’m free’ while clutching copies of The Fountainhead, be my guest. But look at recent history — perfect competition is just a theory! Where did that get us in the energy business? Enron. And on Wall Street? Securitized mortgages.

    How we pay for health care is too important to treat as a testing ground for free market theories. I take it you know the difference between a Private good and a Public good. Well included in the definition of the latter are goods/services that society agrees are too important to provide via competition, the classic examples being national defense and the police and fire departments. Health is one such service.

    You have your free market theory on your side, and on my side I have the proven but non-identical single payer/universal insurance systems of every other developed nation. They exist. They work. Canadians are up in arms over how the U.S. right wing is smearing their single payer system. Our private system? Tens of millions uncovered in order to have 20-35% profits.

    All I want is an adequately funded Medicare (3% administrative costs) for all. Polling indicates a majority of Americans agree with me. We’re still a representative democracy, not a Skinner box for economic theorists. Three decades of voodoo economics notwithstanding.

  9. To address your comments one at a time:

    Enron rose to power because of fraud, not free markets. The government should prosecute fraud, that is a legitimate role for government. The government has an important role therein. In the end, Enron failed and no longer exists. As for Wall Street, let the banks fail. Capitalism has as much to do with profit as it does with loss. Profits tell the system that someone is doing something right. Bankruptcy tells the system that someone is doing something wrong. Let the banks fail, throw the CEO’s out on the street along with the Boards that hired them, and there won’t be a “next time.” Bail out the banks, not a legitimate role for the government, and just wait . . .

    “Public good” is just a euphamism for taking wealth, under threat of coersion, from someone you don’t like to give it to someone you do like. No more. Who is liked and disliked has to do with who is writing the law at the time, not some universally accepted standard of right and wrong. There is no such standard. In the end, there is no “public good” there is only a bunch of private good, on the most micro of scales, at the individual level. What’s a “public” anyway? That’s easy to talk about, like hating Nazis or Japs or Jews or whomever someone wished to hate, or love, for the sake of public good. We are dealing with people, on an individual level, not publics. We must focus on the individual good, which is quite different from equality.

    The reason why the gov’t addresses issues of national defense, for an easy example, is not because it is so important. It is because there is no other practicle way to address the issue. Technological breakthroughs are hugely important as well, but the gov’t didn’t invent the MRi or the i-Phone. Somebody did, hoping to make a lot of money in the process, and the “public good” has been served. Since the gov’t has taken over public education the quality has continued to wither despite increased funding. It’s the private charter schools that are moving in to the inner cities to clean up the mess, not more civil servants.

    Some Canadians like their system. Some don’t. Their system is flawed, that is why it is being overhauled. Not to say our system is good, it needs work to. The question is, what direction should we go?

    The often quoted 47 million uninsured Americans fall into the following general categories: 18 million make $50k or more per year and opt not to buy insurance even thought they could afford it (OK, it’s there choice), 13 million are illegal immigrants, 8 million are under 18 and can be covered by existing programs, much of the remaining 8 million are young/healthy and consider the expense unnecessary (OK, it’s there choice).

    Again, Medicare, Medicade and SS are a GIANT Ponzi scheme only to be solvent for a few more years until the baby boomers retire en masse. The system is NOT sustainable by a long shot. More detail in the movie IOUSA, I suggest you (everyone actually, really) watch it on youtube if you haven’t already. 30 minutes, very informative and non-partisan.

    The American people also think that when they get their SS check it is money the put in over the years. Not so (they are fully recompensated, with interest, within three years of retirement). 50% of Americans also think the earth was created 6,000 years ago. More have no idea what our national debt is or what a “trade deficit” is. Way too many were busy borrowing money they didn’t have to buy things made in China that they didn’t need. Way too many also think the government can provide “free” health care without first realizing that the government must first take more in taxes than it can return in benefits – the net loss of wealth I mentioned earlier.

    BTW, I see y’all have referenced the right wing and the gummint. I’ll assume that is merely your vernaculary; everyone should avoid dispensing labels and discuss the issues in a constructive manner. Insults are a last resort for someone losing an arguement. We need true open dialogue and discussion in America. No the Dems verses Reps crap we keep hearling. They’re all full of shit.

  10. Lack of regulation and oversight allows fraud to happen. You may be intelligent and ethical, but just as you question public sector implementers, I question those of people in the private sector. People like you aren’t controlling the putative ‘free market’ political party, it is controlled by the very people who enabled Enron and the Wall Street bubble. The ones who want to privatize enormous profit and socialize their losses.

    As for the idea that it’s all about the individual:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

  11. I am in now way favoring socializing losses as you mention. The corruption on Wall Street, in Enron, in health care etc. is because the government has so much power to dole out the $3 trillion dollars ($3,000,000,000,000 I like to write it out to look at all those zeros) every year. That coupled with peole trusting the government to look out for them and not looking out for themselves. Put that $3T (well, as much as feasible) back in my pocket and let me decide where to buy a car, health insurance, groceries, house, etc. Let all those corporations lobby us individually, let us educate ourselves instead of relying on some else to protects us, be that a regulatory agency, an oversight panel, etc.

    BTW the government knew about Madoff in 2001 and the sub prime mess in 2005. We did not have deregulation as many say. We did not have capitalism. We had cronism and corporatism. We had a government writing law to benefit one institution and not enforcing laws that hurt said favored institution. This is more of the fraud I oppose.

    People in the public sector can get voted out of office. Corporations in the private sector can get voted out of business (with our dollars). Bush was elected twice, presumably to your dismay. Voting for public officials appears to me to be frequently ineffective, with a great deal the responsibility of an uneducated and apethetic public. Letting companies go bankrupt, the “loss” of the profit/loss system, appears to me to work, when the gov’t allows it. This would apply to Wall Street, Detroit, etc. I do not care if a company takes money from someone who is willfully ingorant, that is clearly the person’s fault. I do care when that same ignorant someone votes (via a representative) into law the taking of my hard earned wealth to subsidize a private entity, be that a corporation or the ignorant individual.

    Now read the rest of the constitution. Opposite of history up until that point, the founding fathers correctly recognized that we are born 100% free, we are not granted freedom in limited doses from some governing authority (such as the king of England). The constitution and our law in general (or at least used to) do two things: prohibit the government from doing anything not specifically permitted by law and permit the individual to do anything not specifically prohibited by law. Rule of law. If you want to expand the powers of the federal government, we can debate the subjective merits of that. It is however illegal to do much of what DC does these days, previous administrations included.

    Notice in the preamble, and declaration of independence, the focus on freedom. That’s my focus. Let me decide how to spend my wealth and I’ll grant you the same right. BTW, I use wealth as a general term, I’m far from “wealthy” in the conventional sense.

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