With that kind of consensus, you'd think health care reform would be a slam dunk, right? Think again. There are lots of rotten apples in the bushel (insurance, big Pharma and for-profit corporations) trying to sink public health care and their rot is spreading to Republicans and Democrats.
Convert Arlen Specter is one example. He recently told David Gregory that he would not support a public plan. (News flash, Arlen. You're not really a Democrat, you're an opportunist.)
Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana said he is “agnostic” about having a public plan as part of health care reform, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana said that he believes health care reform can be accomplished “without” a public option. Ha-ha. Baucus is a real comedian. Private health insurers have been cherry-picking patients, denying claims and refusing to insure people for years, and their costs are higher than public plans like Medicare. In fact, when Republicans opened Medicare to private insurers in the name of competition, it ended up costing the federal government 12 percent more. That's not reform.
Private insurers don't want to see their gravy train end and they're spending big money trying to keep public health care from expanding, just ask Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. His biggest campaign donor is the insurance industry. According to Open Secrets, Nelson received $608,709 from the insurance industry in 2007-2008. That money won him over. Nelson said he's not interested in a public option. HuffPost explains why:
Nelson’s problem, he told CQ, is that the public plan would be too attractive and would hurt the private insurance plans. “At the end of the day, the public plan wins the game,” Nelson said. Including a public option in a health plan, he said, was a “deal breaker.”So let me get this straight. Our politicians have the best public health care plan taxpayer money can buy, yet they're essentially saying we can't have it because they want to protect private insurers. What hypocrites. Americans voted Republicans out of power because they kowtowed to corporate greed and now we have Democrats doing the same thing. It looks like we need to do some housecleaning and throw some more rotten apples out of office.