Monday, August 03, 2009

Congress Don't Sweat No Health Insurance

Why should they? They've got theirs!

Sunday's Los Angeles Times printed an article by Mark Z. Barabak and Faye Fiore entitled: "For Congress, healthcare's no worry".

The headline is absolutely true. There is NO problem at all for any member of Congress, nor for 8.5 million federal employees and their dependents, including postal service employees, each and all of whom received almost 15 billion dollars last year from we taxpayers, who subsidize the health care that the aforementioned folk received last year.

Our Congress persons get to choose from among ten or eleven different plans; they receive coverage immediately (no denial of coverage, nor having to wait before their coverage begins because of a "preexisting condition"); and best of all: we taxpayers pay the cost of three-quarters of their premiums.

No wonder the Republicans and the "Blue Dog" Dems want to maintain the status quo!

Former Congressional colleagues have moved on to become lobbyists for the For Profit healthcare insurance companies and enjoy an easy access to Congress that ordinary citizens cannot even dream of having.

And, always, money flows from the pharmaceutical and so-called "healthcare" industries into too many campaign coffers, rendering the recipients beholden to the greed of corporate executives obsessed with titrating and denying care so that the industry can make money for the stockholders and continue to pay its executives obscene amounts of money.

We need to remember that the healthcare industry used to be replete with NON-PROFIT insurance companies. It is disgraceful that the healthcare industry makes money by over-ruling physicians and denying needed procedures to individuals insured by them, often when patients are too frightened and or ill to challenge being denied, or worse, dis-enrolled.

Republicans attempt to scare Americans by fear-mongering, threatening the listener with dire (and completely untrue) warnings that healthcare reform will put something or someone in between the patient and her physician, blissfully ignoring the fact that right now we have medically untrained "Bean Counters" who routinely over-rule physicians on a daily basis, most decidedly coming between the patient and his doctor (and practicing medicine without a license).

There is one member of Congress who actually "Gets It", and who is living his convictions. Representative Steve Kagen from Wisconsin, a Democratic lawmaker who spent decades as a
practicing physician before being elected to Congress in 2006, has actually REFUSED to accept federal healthcare benefits, and plans to continue so doing until all Americans can enjoy the very same coverage as do all the other members of Congress. Kagen says,
If every member of Congress put their heads on their pillow every night like I do . . . knowing this could be the night I lose my house, we'd fix healthcare in a week.
Let's all email, fax, or telephone OUR federal lawmakers, informing them of Kagen's integrity and courage, while also urging them to open up the federal plan so that every single American can enjoy the same dependable access to healthcare that they currently enjoy. And while we're at it, let's email, fax, or telephone Dr. Kagen, a most admirable human being. And, those who "twitter", could send him some thankful "tweets".