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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Health Cooperatives Are An Insurance Industry Shell Game: Don't Buy it

This is unacceptable. Health Cooperatives are a shell game being used in the interest of the insurance companies maintaining their profits. It has little to do with real change in American health care. Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota should look himself in the mirror in the morning. Then go out and look the people of his state in the eye. Then come back and look his children straight in the face and tell them that he is helping to undermine the future of 46 millions by pulling the wool over every one's head.

This Senator, and the other Blue Dogs, are willing to sell every American's soul to a private company and make it a law that they have to turn it over--regardless. Passing legislation that every American MUST participate in health care gives the insurance and health care industry a guarantee of 100% forced market penetration.

What a gravy-train for those companies, those profiteers, and their investors. Cooperatives are still pseudo-private companies. The boards are elected. Eventually these boards will become a popularity contest, a special interest fest, and loaded with all the private agendas, system gaming, and biased manipulation that we all know come with oversight from directly-elected or appointed citizen committees.

What does that mean for Americans?

I fear nothing will change in the long run (which is exactly how the insurance companies want it) except now those too poor to afford current private coverage will be forced to dig into their pockets and cough up money for some ill-run-underperforming cooperative where your local cooperative's board will come between you and your doctor. The cooperatives will never be able to compete with the big insurance industry and the big insurance industry will not have to cover anyone more effectively than they do now.

In fact their lobbyists will be able to, and no doubt will behind closed doors once the legislation is passed, argue that private insurance companies be allowed to dump the patients they don't want to cover into the cooperatives. "It is good enough for them." The insurance companies will harvest the high end of the market and costs will soar because the high-end will be frightened of becoming second-class-health citizens and socially stigmatized. Employers will find a way to discriminate against hiring anyone being serviced by certain cooperatives. They won't have to look at your health-records or even ask questions--they can stereotype with big sweeping generalities.

Let's see now. We are making progress. We now have three supposed options on who gets to call the quality of health care can be provided to which person-- 1) the insurance company executives; 2) the government; or, 3) your next door neighbor.

I cannot vote and remove replace the self-serving insurance company executive. I can vote to remove my next door neighbor but only to replace him or her with my other next door neighbor. I can vote to change the people representing me in government and writing flawed policies or legislation.

Hence the only place I can see having any power as an individual citizen over my own health care is option #2--the government.

Have you been to the Dakotas lately? Where in hell did this man get the power to speak for the Democrats? Is this a Republican in Democratic drag? Who gave him prime time coverage? Egad are they, the Democrats going to allow the Republicans to draw this out until fall elections?

I certainly hope this is just the media exploiting rumors out of context again. Because otherwise someone should pull the plug on the Senate because they are obviously sold out and brain dead. Bring on Sarah Palin's ghastly notion of a Death Panel. They can standby for when the Democrats flatline in the next election cycle.

Democratic senator: Public health insurance option dead - CNN.com
Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota said it was futile to continue to "chase that rabbit" due to the lack of 60 Senate votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

"The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for a public option. There never have been," Conrad said on "Fox News Sunday."

His comment signaled a shift in the health care debate, with Obama and senior advisers softening their support for a public option by saying final form of the legislation is less important than the principle of affordable coverage available to all.


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