The Ugly…

Why are politicians always on the receiving end?

In 2008 members of congress received $46 million from the insurance industry, $29 million from drug makers, and $400 million from the complete health care complex.

You might ask, Why would this money be given if it didn’t buy bad policy or block good policy? Aren’t these patient dollars to begin with, and why are politicians getting a piece of them?

The last thing in the world the insurers want is a good public system competing with a good private system. Neither do the politicians. The private system cannot come close on price because of excessive costs not seen in the public plan. Like broker commissions, high CEO salaries, high shareholder profits, marketing and actuarial costs, and even their lobbying and campaign contributions that must be passed on to the patient.

The privates want to do away with the public option and so do the politicians. Not just because of the $46 million in bribes that they’ve already received from the industry, but because going forward private entities can continue loading up their campaign coffers, and public entities like Medicare cannot give political cash.

Politicians will always prefer private over public for this reason. And this is why they prefer mandates to buy “private” insurance, even if some is taxpayer subsidized. But we need to eliminate the waste, not expand it.

Why else would they block more efficient health care? In this case the politicians get a share of the private system but zero from the public system. They even get a piece of the taxpayer-subsidized dollars. And they get patient dollars as a sweetener.

Aren’t politicians great?

And of course even if we win this the insurers will continue bribing the politicians to weaken whatever efficiencies we achieve, just as they are doing in Canada to destroy their system. A weak system gives both parties another shot at the prize, and that’s also why they seek to preserve the right to make campaign bribes.

As long as we keep playing with the words we give them wiggle room. Public option or not, single payer or not, mandated insurance or not… they can keep dancing around the real issue. Money. They are getting paid campaign bribes to cannibalize the system to the benefit of the insurers and to the detriment of the public.

We MUST start calling this what it is… political corruption. It may be an “issue,” but it’s one that generates loads of campaign cash.

Until we achieve full public funding of campaigns, it is what it is. Live with it, or change it.

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