Saturday, August 15, 2009

Haiku 081509

kids peeking
behind tall reeds
a blue heron


Recently, we read the following:

Washington Post: “Consumer protections lost in health care debate” by Ricardo Alonzo-Zaldivar (Associated Press)

“It's one issue in the health care debate that nearly everyone — even the insurance lobby — seems to agree on: Better consumer protections are needed to end the nightmare of not being able to get covered for a treatable, if costly, illness.

“Yet such practical considerations are being overlooked in a debate that's become a passionate argument about the government's reach and role in medical matters.

“Experts say the bills before Congress include significant consumer protections that would end denial or cancellation of coverage for medical reasons, from high cholesterol to cancer.

“Insurers no longer could base premiums on a person's medical history, although they still could charge more to 50-year-olds than to people in their 20s.

“People buying their own policies, and those working for small businesses, would gain many of the advantages employees of Fortune 500 companies now have. That would eliminate 'job lock,' the fear of leaving employment that provides medical benefits…

“The consumer protections are part of what Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming calls the 80 percent of health care fixes that there's consensus for. Enzi is one of six members of the Senate Finance Committee who are trying work out a bipartisan solution — with no guarantee of success…

“The federal consumer protections would set a basic standard for the whole country, changing a situation in which state-level safeguards vary widely…”


And we thought:

… In the increasingly heated debate over the proposed health care reform bill, what’s clearly been obscured over the last several weeks are the numerous "consumer protections" the bill proposes to put into place. The spin and the outright lies -- sponsored by the private health insurers and their alter-egos in Congress -- have been getting more media attention so far.

The proponents of health care reform need to do a better job in outlining and highlighting the benefits of the proposed legislation. They need to talk repeatedly -- and consistently -- about the bill’s consumer protections, especially for the most vulnerable demographic groups. Unfortunately, some members of these vulnerable groups are blindly opposing the changes meant precisely to address their concerns.

The private health insurance companies -- like UnitedHealth and Aetna -- and their unscrupulous allies in Congress have thrown the health care reform bill into a swampy muck. These anti-Americans are hoping to hide the bill's merits and benefits from the group of Americans who most need the reforms.

Remember their names: UnitedHealth's CEO Stephen Hemsley and EVP Simon Stevens, McCain, Palin, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), and their ilk. They're the obstructionists and poseurs in our midst. They're the opponents of the long-awaited reforms in the American health care system. They're the real enemies of the American people....

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