filed under health care
BY Beth Comery
It’s called Medicare! Of course, it’s possible that they have long since died slow, painful deaths waiting for life-saving treatment while suing their insurance company. The ‘Harry and Louise’ ad campaign was largely blamed for killing the Clinton universal health care initiative (although there were some self-inflicted wounds on that one). Now, despite meeting with Obama recently and promising ‘reform’, it looks like the healthcare industry and their lobbyists are gearing up again. Paul Krugman explained it all last week in his excellent column ‘Blue Double Cross’ for The New York Times,
… the insurance industry is busily lobbying Congress to block one crucial element of health care reform, the public option — that is, offering Americans the right to buy insurance directly from the government as well as from private insurance companies. And at least some insurers are gearing up for a major smear campaign.
On Monday, just a week after the White House photo-op, The Washington Post reported that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina was preparing to run a series of ads attacking the public option. The planning for this ad campaign must have begun quite some time ago.
The Post has the storyboards for the ads, and they read just like the infamous Harry and Louise ads that helped kill health care reform in 1993. Troubled Americans are shown being denied their choice of doctor, or forced to wait months for appointments……..
Republicans are already out ahead of the campaign and they seem to have two talking points: 1) A government insurance program is socialized medicine and un-American, and 2) Do you want a bureaucrat making your medical decisions for you? As to that last point — yes please — because right now I have bean-counting greed-heads making these decisions, and they have a direct stake in denying my claim. Hell, it took a years-long class action suit to get California Blue Cross to rein in their retroactive policy cancellation.
As to the issue of a government run health insurance — if Nana don’t mind socialized medicine then who am I to complain? Furthermore, if Republicans like Newt Gingrich (who has reared his ugly bulbous head once again) are against a government run insurance program, and Medicare is a government run insurance program, then ipso facto Newt Gingrich and the Republican party must want to dismantle Medicare. Alert the AARP!