Before Obama offers healthcare plan anti-health reform ads are already airing

May 11, 2009

(ChattahBox) — While many of us on the outside hope for health reform that leads to the affordability of good health insurance for all.  There are those that either feel the government can’t get anything right or more likely want to do everything possible to protect their massive profits. On Monday President Barack Obama will meet with a coalition of health insurance, hospital, pharmaceutical company, and physician trade groups, plus a major union, to discuss ways to wring cost savings from the health system. The trade groups are expected to present Obama a letter pledging to reduce the growth of health spending by 1.5 percentage points annually through more efficient practices, according to White House officials who briefed reporters on the event. The cost savings would be achieved through steps such as streamlining paperwork and changing the way hospitals deliver and bill for services to patients. Annual savings to families would grow from $500 to $2,500 within five years as the plan is phased in. Obama aides also said that given the explosion in healthcare costs projected to take place in coming years as the U.S. population ages, the slower growth rate for health care would save $2 trillion over 10 years. This proactive attempt at getting out ahead of government initiated reform by the healthcare industry is strategically smart but offers frankly not much.  Healthcare will continue to be increasingly expensive for consumers, if you believe this comittment to save 1.5%, then the estimated 7% per year inflation in health care costs will become 5.5% per year inflation.

Meanwhile Rick Scott a multimillionaire investor and controversial former hospital chief executive, who is founder of a group called Conservatives for Patients Rights’ who perhaps should be known as ‘We Want to Keep Our Huge Profits’ is opposed to any health-care reform plans that Congress is expected to take up later this year. Scott argues that whatever effort Obama is likely to put forth will put the country on a slippery slope toward a bureaucratic, British-style national health service.

According to the Washington Post, Scott is using $5 million of his own money and up to $15 million more from supporters to run television ads that began airing last week feature horror stories from Canada and the United Kingdom: Patients who allegedly suffered long waits for surgeries, couldn’t get the drugs they needed, or had to come to the United States for treatment. The campaign is being coordinated by CRC Public Relations, the lovely group that created the “Swift boat” attacks against 2004 Democratic presidential candidate  John F. Kerry, and is inspired by the “Harry and Louise” ads that helped torpedo health-care reform during the Clinton administration.  Many though accuse Scott and his insurance-company friends of wanting to keep things as they are so they can continue to make millions from the broken system we have now. Scott is the former head of a Columbia/HCA health-care company who left amid a fraud investigation in the 1990s. The firm eventually pleaded guilty to charges that it overbilled state and federal health plans, paying a record $1.7 billion in fines. Scott, defends his past saying that he was never charged with any wrongdoing and that other health-care companies were also fined for overbilling problems.


Comments

5 Responses to “Before Obama offers healthcare plan anti-health reform ads are already airing”

  1. Rex on May 11th, 2009 7:48 am

    The problem is that the horror stories are right.
    They do ration medical care in England and Canada.
    If you are woman who has a questionable breast X-ray and wants a cat scan or MRI and have to wait 6 months I wouldn’t be for the new US health care program either.

  2. Before Obama offers healthcare plan anti-health reform ads are … on May 11th, 2009 9:34 am

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  3. Old Man Dotes on May 11th, 2009 11:24 am

    Even poor health care is better than no health care, and in the UK and Canada, patients still have the right to use private (e.g., non-government -insured) health care facilities.

    The USA is ranked with many Third World countries for the percentage of citizens who have health insurance. So-called “conservatives” would be better called “frustrated slave-owners” from their attitude towards people who can’t afford good health insurance. Personally, I am lucky enough to be employed at a firm that provides excellent health insurance at an affordable price, but there are literally millions of American children who have no health insurance at all. To use the same emotional appeal that the Ultra-Right-Wingers use to try to get us to give up our rights, “Do it for the children!”

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