"...it's hard to have a really intelligent conversation with a Republican."
- Dana DXallabetta, 54 year old breast cancer survivor now without health insurance -
"Tax the very wealthy to make everybody healthy!"
- Vigilante, Sozadee, CA -
"This is a vote for one thing - are you for the insurance companies or for the American people?"
- Howard Dean -
"I think they should just shove it through and f*** the Republicans!"
- Dana Dallabetta -
Dana Dallabetta, a breast cancer survivor who was booted off her health insurance plan for missing one COBRA payment, speaks for the no-longer-so-silent majority of Americans who want major health care reform enacted NOW. More than 1,000 of these Americans are protesting in Washington, D.C. in front of the swanky Ritz Carlton hotel, where the group America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is holding its annual conference. These protesters are demonstrating against health insurance industry greed and unfair practices, and this blogger applauds their activism.
Poll after poll after poll have shown that a majority of our citizens support significant health care reform and an end to insurance company practices of exclusion for pre-existing conditions and booting others off insurance plans because their treatment costs have become high. A lesser number, but a majority nonetheless, favor a public option to compete with insurance companies, whereby the federal government would provide health care at a lower and more competitive rate than is currently done by these greedy private insurers who comprise AHIP's membership. Of course, lying Republicans like Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Representative John Boehner (R-OH) insist that the overwhelming majority of Americans feel otherwise. I don't know who these liars are talking to, to make a preposterous claim like that. They are clearly on the side of huge, for-profit insurance companies, and not looking out for the best interests of everyday citizens who are reeling under ever-jumping insurance costs and nearly 50 million (1 in every 6.5 of us!) who currently have NO health insurance coverage.
To be sure, the Senate bill which was passed that both McConnell, Boehner, and the rest of their conservative Republican cronies so vehemently oppose, and which must be voted on by the House, is indeed a very flawed bill. But it is a beginning, and the time to make this beginning is now. It will insure 30 million more people than are covered now, and that is a step in the proper direction. It will also provide some much needed and long overdue regulation over the greedy, loose-cannon insurance industry. Despite its flaws, this bill must pass, as a foot in the door to improvements and better legislation down the road. And that is what the protesters all believe.
Former Vermont Governor/DNC chair Howard Dean and AFL-CIO President Richard Trunlie got the crowd going with stirring speeches. Protesters were mass deputized and urged to make citizens' arrests of profiteering health insurance company CEOs within the conference. Inside the conference, a health insurance industry spokesman stated that they don't pay much attention to anti-industry bloggers or demonstrators. That's for damn sure, and the same holds true for our American public, who are used and abused and money-siphoned by these profiteers every day, and millions of others who are excluded from coverage. For this corrupt and bloated industry is obsessed with profit and cares for nothing else. They think nothing of spending $1 million per day on TV ads that lie and attempt to scare the public away from supporting regulation or a public option, even as they turn away millions of people so they can cherry-pick those who will be most profitable for them to cover.
I applaud these demonstrators, for, unlike the teabaggers, these people actually know the score and understand how badly we are being ripped off by insurance companies and their conservative Republican defenders. These people, unlike the teabaggers, haven't been fed talking points by huge corporate interests. Their demonstration is informed and genuine.
Unlike last summer's phony, orchestrated teabagger protests, this time, it's for real!