I say “thank you” to the insurance companies for revealing who you really are with the “Hail Mary” pass to derail health care reform. Public option looks pretty good now to anyone who had any doubts. I’m not sure why the health insurance lobby, American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) decided to put out their report indicating rising costs if the health care reform bill from the Senate passed. Don’t these insurance companies have say over what the costs are? And to put the report out the day before the Senate Finance Committee vote on what most serious reform advocates see as a “watered down bill” just plain made a lot of lawmakers angry.
The Washington Post did a “fact checker” on this, and word is getting out that there was a lot of cherry picking in the reporting process.
By the way, AHIP’s website says they support “bipartisan reform.” Uh huh.
The White House invited these insurance people to the table (a switch from 1993). This move was criticized by reform advocates as a sign that the administration was allowing the insurance companies to craft a bill. Well, we now know reform is not what insurance companies had in mind.
I still can’t believe the desperado move they made this week with the release of their PriceWaterHouseCoopers report after all the reporting made by the Congressional Budget Office on the bills at hand. I can only think of two reasons:
1) We paid a lot of money for this sucker, it’s late, but let’s just get it out anyway.
2) We are so big, bad, and powerful that whatever we say will hold sway on this reform thing.
Or that 3rd one: Are they that stupid?
If the insurance lobby has to publish bogus reports threatening extortion for passing a reform bill – then maybe it’s a combination of #2 and that 3rd one. As Maya Angelous says, “When people reveal who they are, believe them.” The time has come for the American public to see the insurance industry for what it really is – greedy. As an insurance customer (and the customer’s always right?), I’m not very happy with them and especially their behavior when it comes to reform we all can use.
But you can’t be too careful with these things. Be sure to call your representative and let him/her know your interest around health care reform. The lobby still has some deep pockets.