Monday, June 22

I (Heart) Charles Pierce

ON the publicly celebrated, fer chrissakes, God-given Freedom to kick unprofitable customers off insurance rolls:
Watersheds just ain't what they used to be, I guess. There was a time, and not so long ago, when a story like this would have been a game-changer in the debate over reforming the nation's healthcare system, if anything as capricious, and vicious, and utterly random as what we have can rightly be called a "system." Executives of the insurance companies got up in front of the Congress and said, quite calmly, that, yes, they would continue to deny coverage to sick people in order to make themselves even wealthier. That should have resulted in sufficient political pressure to infuse a spine even into the members of this Congress. But we no longer are a viable self-governing political commonwealth, and our representatives know that, and truly don't give a damn, and the people in the elite political media could care less. (Hey, Mark Halperin, go clean a bedpan, OK?) It is on health issues where the gulf separating the inside and out Beltway realities swallows up common sense and, in doing so, causes the most material damage. The Schiavo case was a garish and noisy example, but the idea that a Democratic president and a Democratic congress can't craft a health-reform package that contains a substantial public option that 75 percent of the people out there want because the Democrats are overly sensitive to intramural political imperatives is the Schiavo case writ unacceptably large. This is a political class responding only to itself, speaking its own language, operating by its own rules while real people get ground up in a system that everyone knows is a rigged game. Hell, at 75 percent, the president has enough "political cover" to put a single-payer option back "on the table." But he won't. Some corrupt old white man might yell at him.

I've been trying to say that for 1745 posts.


stavner said...

But doesn't Obama want the public option?

Don't you think it's a bit early to assume that the public option won't pass?

If we get more people to pay attention to the stupidity inside the Beltway, maybe the people outside the Beltway would actually put pressure on Congress and the President to defy the insurance companies and "corrupt old white men". I know I've been telling the President and my congressman about it!

Captain Goto said...

Mr. Pierce is a public treasure.

Lessee now--
Here: Ross Douthat and Bill Kristol, holding forth regularly at The Gray Lady and the Neocon Post, respectively, presumably for substantial coin, also presumably for their Keen Insight Into All Things Serious And American And All That Shit.

There: Charlie Pierce, while probably doing quite well what with the Globe, Esquire and NPR gigs, a guy who could destroy both of these guys both stylistically and factually with one hand and his Enter key tied behind his back, yet never seen within a parsec of either Op-Ed page.


Christopher said...

From the article:

"Sassi said rescissions are necessary to prevent people who lie about preexisting conditions from obtaining coverage and driving up costs for others."

So, essentially, they have to deny healthcare to people this way because their other methods of denying people health care aren't working well enough.

Fuck. Them.

I'm going to college, and the insurance doesn't cover pre-existing conditions for the first six months. On the other hand, the program I use to get free medicine doesn't cover you if you have any prescription coverage at all. The cost for that six months of medicine would be a couple thousand dollars, which would be hard for me to manage.

Of course I'm just not going to tell the free medicine people that I have insurance until it actually covers my medicine.

People are talking about limiting rescission to fraud. So it's only moral to throw out people if they knowingly lied in order to get necessary health care the only way they possibly could. Fuck fuck fuck the people who run this country

StringonaStick said...

This shit's gone on for years, but it is only (1) the recession/depression, and (2) the destruction of the middle class that has made enough of 'Murika notice that perhaps we are getting well and truly screwed. Being a wealthy media whore or elected federal level politician means top shelf health insurance for life, which translates to "fuck you little people, I got mine".

True story from 1990: friend has nasty bicycle accident, ruptures spleen, nearly dies, has to have second surgery due to intestinal adhesions from spleenectomy. Insurance company denies coverage for everything. Why? Because she failed to note that she takes birth control pills on her insurance application, thus covering up a "pre-existing condition". Obviously her use of BCP's made that bike accident happen, right?

Joyful Alternative said...

Well, shit, String! That accident could have been a whole lot more expensive had your friend not had the preexisting condition of not being pregnant. That insurance company should have counted its blessings.