Crushing Health Care Reform

Alone in the galaxy of developed nations

By Richard Bartlett

We've known for a long time that the reason we alone in the galaxy of developed nations do not have universal health care is those vast sums of money big pharma and for-profit insurance companies spend on lobbying (bribery) and advertising. The 5 largest health insurers and their PAC spent $6.4 million on lobbying in just the first quarter of 2009. Pfizer (the world's largest drugmaker) alone spent more than $6.1 million just from January to March, 2009.

Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the senate's health committee gets the largest bribe of all.

Both houses of congress, both sides of the aisle, are recipients of this obscene gold rush. It is maddening when you think about it.

The source of all that money being spent to prevent us from getting the kind of health care we need is us. We ourselves. Those dollars come from our skyrocketing premiums and our overpriced prescriptions.

Our own money is being used against us! Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the senate's health committee gets the largest bribe of all. No wonder he says single-payer is off the table. But even just a public plan to bring down costs is said to be in jeopardy.

The AMA has come out against even the most elementary reform.

Now the AMA has come out against even the most elementary reform. Don't the good doctors who help us recover when we are stricken by disease or injury want everyone to have the right to good care? They will still prosper, even if we no longer get gouged.

Doctors with any compassion should oppose the AMA negativity. The "do no harm" philosophy that guides physicians surely must encompass financial harm to the victims of the economy. Idealism used to motivate doctors. Can it now be greed? We want to see them demonstrate their sense of responsibility by speaking up in support of President Obama's reforms now, while the issue is being resolved.

Richard C. Bartlett, Cotuit

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