Congress is saying that they can’t finish up health care reform before they go on vacation in August.
To put this in perspective, what will happen while Congress is on vacation for three weeks?
- 143,250 people will lose their health insurance coverage.
- 53,507 people will be forced into bankruptcy because they can’t pay their medical bills.
- 1,265 will DIE because of a lack of health coverage.
Seriously, over 22,000 people a year die because they don’t have health insurance. That’s seven times worse than 9/11, and it happens every single year. And we can prevent it.
Fixing our broken health care system is not all that hard. Every single other industrialized nation has already done it. The only hard part in this country is due to politicians trying so very hard to please their rich overlords in the insurance and pharma industries.
I’d say this makes me sick, but I don’t dare get sick in this country.
UPDATE: Jim Moss over at FireDogLake has the solution to this problem:
- Cancel the health insurance of all our Senators and U.S. Representatives.
- Give a debilitating disease to a member of each of their immediate families that is very expensive to treat.
- Freeze all of their financial assets.
- Lock them all in a room and tell them to figure out a solution to our health care crisis.
UPDATE 2: Presidential historian Doris Goodwin, who worked in the White House during the time president Johnson got a balking Congress to pass Medicare, talks about how Obama can get his Johnson working. Johnson once said that razor-thin votes were fine, even with big majorities in the Congress, for that meant he had secured the maximum provisions he wanted, rather than compromising too early and too much.
UPDATE 3: Business Week reports on a new study that links rising health care costs to lost jobs and a worsening economy.
UPDATE 4: How do you lie and get away with it? You buy a company that does health care studies, and then get Republicans to quote their studies. The Lewin Group, whose research has been quoted by Eric Cantor, Orrin Hatch, and Republicans on the House Ways and Means committee to try to discredit a public health option, is owned by UnitedHealth, one of the nation’s largest health insurers. Can you guess if any of those Republicans bothered to mention that fact?
UPDATE 5: In the last 3 months, pharmaceutical companies spent $40 million lobbying Congress. That’s just big pharma; it doesn’t include the insurance industry. If you want to know what they are buying with this $40 million, notice that in none of the current bills being worked on is there any mention of legalizing drug reimportation from Canada, nor of giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices. Expect drug prices to keep skyrocketing.