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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/21/09

Will Congress Pass Ponzi Healthcare? Let's Say 'No' in Des Moines

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Message Donna Smith
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If you think the bonuses you are paying to AIG executives or the money flow from AIG bailout funds to foreign banks is shocking, wait until you get a load of what will be sold to you as healthcare reform.  That is, unless we all actually call the hand right now and tell Congress we will hold them directly accountable should they set us up for healthcare collapse by funding huge healthcare insurance company CEO bonuses with our money. 

Listen to the plans.  We’ll all be mandated to pay for health insurance.  Since we’ll have to catch those who won’t pay the forced premiums, we’ll have to pay taxes to support enforcement operations to make sure we all purchase health insurance.  And, if some of the Senators get their way, we’ll be taxed on any coverage we are forced to purchase through our employers (even President Obama is now saying he’ll consider that too).  Does this sound like universal, guaranteed healthcare to you?

Me neither.  It sounds like a Ponzi scheme-like bailout of the health insurance and large corporate hospitals.  But they'll do their best to make it sound like we’re buying into health reform.

John Wasik reported in Bloomberg last week that 14,000 Americans are losing their employer-based private health insurance benefits every day right now.  14,000 every single day.  How anxious do you suppose those insurance companies are to replace those lost customers?  And if I keep seeing Karen Ignagni, CEO of America’s Health insurance Plans (AHIP), front and center at every White House healthcare forum and at the front of the room in every Senate briefing, I’ll be 100 percent certain that the strings on this puppet show are being deftly controlled by corporate insurance giants. 

We will get what we allow Congress to pass.

What we’ll actually be buying will be more of what we have now.  People will still have care denied.  People will still go bankrupt.  Moms with cancer will still fight with insurance companies while they prepare their children to live without them (as Obama’s mother did). 

Unless we uncover the scam and stay clearly on the message of what we want and what we fought to elect this President to do, we will get a lot less than we need to secure the basic human right of healthcare.  And a year or two from now we’ll gather around our TV sets and computers and show our rage at the insurance and hospital corporation CEO bonuses paid for with our forced participation in the scheme.  We can stop it.  We can stop it now.

We can pass publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare for all.  But we have to stand together to say we understand what they are trying to pull off and it won’t work.

Come to Des Moines this Monday morning and stand with us to tell those meeting inside the third regional White House Forum on Health Reform we want single payer now. 

Let’s stand together before we allow the scheme to move forward: 
Monday, March 23rd @ 9:00 a.m.,
at the Polk County Convention Center,
501 Grand Ave,
Des Moines, IA.

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Donna Smith appeared in Michael Moore's 2007 film, "SiCKO," and spent five years working for National Nurses United/California Nurses Association in Chicago and Washington, D.C., as their single-payer political organizer/educator.  She is now the executive director of Health Care for All Colorado and lives in Denver with her husband of 38 years, Larry

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