I could think of little but extreme profanity when I found out this week that our health insurance here at the Aurora Sentinel was going to skyrocket 17 percent this year.
Whether we’re in good company, we’re in plentiful company. The average screaming rate hike for health insurance in the region is about 15 percent.
So much for health care reform without real government control and a public option.
The Denver Post this week reported that health insurance company profits this year for Big Health are up 56 percent over the previous year. Big Health pooh poohs all of that, saying 2008 was a “bad year.”
Make no mistake. We are being soaked, to use words acceptable at the dinner table. Mentally, my description of what the health-care industry is doing to us is much more energetic.
I now agree with right-wing conservatives. Repeal Obamacare. Now. It’s become nothing more than a license for insurance companies to fleece Americans while we all stand helplessly by because gutless Democrats and disingenuous Republicans refused to legislate real insurance controls to prevent what’s happening this very minute. We have been betrayed by our own.
But Congress must not repeal what has become not only bad, but dangerous, legislation, they must force insurance companies to roll back rates to 2007 levels. And then start over.
This time, Congress must create either an expansion of programs like Medicare or Medicaid, or create a new non-profit insurance system. It would obviously attract a tidal wave of consumers anxious to see their health-care dollars go for health-care and not the bloated health-insurance bureaucracy made fat with big salaries and even bigger corporate profits.
These greedy, shady companies would either be forced to lower costs and improve services, or go the hell away.
Americans must stand together on this. It’s laughable that so many conservative and liberal Americans alike scream bloody murder at the idea of any kind of a tax increase, especially when the economy and individual Americans are so economically vulnerable. But these same people willingly fork over giant annual hikes of 15 percent for health insurance, whopping hikes in home-heating bills and even bigger blows to the wallet at the gas pump, because, hey, it’s a free-market country.
Like hell it is. This is nothing more than the biggest, legally protected anti-trust scam ever pulled on the country.
Get with it, America. It doesn’t matter who we send to Congress next year. If they don’t protect Americans from health-insurance companies, throw their sorry asses out and get someone there who will.
I have had enough, and I hope the rest of you have, too.
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