I figure my son’s medical care cost more than $750,000 before he died — more than two-thirds of it for chemo alone. His funeral expenses are not included in that tally. He could have been helped for about $50,000 if his cancer had been caught early.
But the insurance companies wanted nothing to do with him because of his risk of getting colon cancer.
Instead, they spent $102 million on trying to defeat the law that could have saved my son’s life, had it been in place in 2005.
A new report by National Journal shows that the industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) transferred almost $88 million to the National Chamber of Commerce in 2009 and another $16 million in 2010 so the Chamber could attack the Affordable Care Act and the Democrats who supported it.
I remember AHIP president Karen Ignani meeting with President Obama and promising to play nice. I guess her fingers were crossed behind her back the way I used to do when I promised to be nice to my little sister.
During this time, AHIP pretended to support reform, but its money tells the truth about where insurance companies stand. That money paid to influence public opinion with attack ads. They don’t care who dies, as long as they can keep raking in the money.
According to the Journal, “… in its 2009 IRS filing, AHIP reported giving almost $87 million to unnamed advocacy organizations for ‘grassroots outreach, education and mobilization, print, online, and broadcast advertising and coalition building efforts’ on health care reform. That same year, the chamber reported receiving $86.2 million from an undisclosed group. … The $86 million accounted for about 42 percent of the total contributions and grants the chamber received.”
The same thing — a donation of $16 million — happened in early 2010, before the law was passed and signed in March.
While none of this surprises me, it does really piss me off. The other thing that makes me furious is that you won’t see this in the mainstream media, because the media are owned by more of the wealthy thugs who oppose reform of our health care system.
I just wonder how many lives could have been saved with that $102 million or the tens of millions more spent by Big Insurance and others to prevent health reform.
And the money is still flowing, by the way, to influence the way states will set up their insurance benefits marketplaces. Will there be sanctions for companies that overcharge or underpay? Who will govern the marketplace? Will insurance companies sit on those boards so they can oversee themselves? What will patient appeal processes look like? Will there be more protections for insurance companies than there are for consumers?
All this is still at stake and you can bet insurance companies’ money is being spent to influence the outcome.
Millions — perhaps billions — will be spent during the election this year to influence Americans to vote against their own best interests.
It probably would cost less to just offer health care to all Americans, but these people just want their own way, and they can afford to buy it.