Dec 16, 2010

Republican politicians display stunning hypocrisy on health care insurance reform

Americans United for Change is calling out U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, on his hypocrisy of saying repealing the historic health care insurance reform law is his “top priority,” yet he has no problem accepting his own government-subsidized health plan.

In response to Upton’s declaration earlier this week that his “top priority will be full repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, progressive issue-advocacy group Americans United for Change challenged the incoming Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to practice what he preaches and start by dropping his own government subsidized health plan. It only seems fair considering that repealing health reform would effectively deny thousands of Michigan families access to the same kind of quality, affordable health care choices Upton enjoys as a Member of Congress.

“You first, Congressman,” said Tom McMahon, Executive Director, Americans United for Change. “If Fred Upton insists on going down this path towards denying thousands of Michigan families access to quality, affordable health care, shouldn’t he start with his own family and forgo his government subsidized health plan?”

The Republican hypocrisy on this issue has been stunning, like that of U.S. Rep.-elect Andy Harris, R-MD. Harris, another fervent proponent of repealing the Affordable Care Act, recently made national headlines when he brazenly complained to his colleagues that his congressional health benefits weren’t kicking in soon enough for his liking. It would be funny if it weren’t so hypocritical. It has led Americans United for Change to launch a radio and Facebook ad campaign in Maryland calling on Harris to “Drop It or Stop It.”

But Upton is just one of many GOP hypocrites.

“If Congressman Upton had his way and the new health law were repealed, the insurance companies would go right back to dropping people’s coverage when they get sick, young adults under 26 would be kicked off their parents’ plans, insurance companies could go back to imposing lifetime limits on care and denying care to those with “pre-existing conditions”, and seniors would again have to fear falling into the “doughnut hole” prescription coverage gap,” McMahon said. “Why does Congressman Upton want to put the big insurance companies back in charge?”

But we also have another stunning example of hypocrisy right here in Michigan with extremist Republican Congressman-elect Tim Walberg, R-Tipton. Blogging for Michigan revealed that the Lenawee County extremist will opt out of federal health-care coverage. But Walberg, conveniently, forgets to tell you that he already receives lifetime government-subsidized health care insurance because of the 16 years in spent in the Michigan House.


Not Anonymous said...

There is nothing hypocritical about Uptons calling for the repeal of Obamacare while he gets coverage. He is an employee of the people. It's his job and if health care is going to be offered on the job, then he's perfectly reasonable in repealing Obamacare.

The second step however, is to put his health insurance in line with other policies.

Andy Harris, if your comments are true, is being silly. He doesn't take his seat until January 5. His job starts on that date, and that's the date his insurance should kick in.

There is abolutely nothing wrong with insurance companies offering health care to the American people After all, they are an insurance company selling health insurance as well as life insurance and other types of insurance.

Why would we want the government being the new insurance company. They can't move from one seat to the next in their own chambers without spending billions of dollars that belong to other people. An example is the current appropriations bill with $1.1 Trillion of earmarks.

We need health insurance reform. We need to allow companies to sell across state lines, opening up more competition, which lowers prices. So far, the only thing that Obamacare has done is increase insurance rates on people and caused some to lose their insurance as companies decide it's cheaper for them to pay the penalty and let people get Obamacare instead.

There is nothing wrong with profits. There is something wrong with the government dictating what care you get, if you're worthy of care at all.

We have the best health care in the world. It needs to be reformed, but it's still the best. Obamacare is a giant leap off the cliff and should be repealed. 52% of Americans also agree that Obamacare needs to be repealed.

Communications guru said...

Gee, why am I not surprised that you see no problem with Upton getting his while he works to kick 30-50 million people off health care.

Of course my comments on Andy Harris are true. I’m still waiting for you prove I have ever lied. Actually, many benefit plans don't take effect until you have worked for 90 days.

No one ever said there was anything wrong with insurance companies offering health care to the American people.

“Why would we want the government being the new insurance company?? That’s easy; because it far more efficient than private health insurance. Medicare is by far more efficient, more people are satisfied with it and more money goes to actual health care than any other system or company.

We have health insurance reform, but this is just a start. Health insurance reform has not increased insurance rates. As for this false talking point about companies deciding “it's cheaper for them to pay the penalty and let people get Obamacare instead” is, unfortunately, not true. Wouldn’t it be great if the Big 3 U.S. automakers could compete directly with Japanese automakers that have universal health care for their employees provided by the government instead of having to add that to the price of the car?

No one said there is anything wrong with profits, but there is something wrong with insurance company CEOs raking in huge salaries while they raise rates, the top 1 percent of American earners taking in 23.5 percent of the nation’s pretax income or CEO’s of the largest American companies earning an average of 531 times as much as the average worker when just in 1965 that ratio was only 24-1. The government doesn’t dictate what care you get. For profit insurance companies certainly do, but not the government.

I agree, we do have the best health care in the world, but millions of Americans don’t have access to it. When they get the correct information, a majority of Americans support the health care insurance reform, just like they did when this was started. Those 52 percent must be Faux “news” watchers who got the full effect of the Faux strategy of slating the debate, at least according to the leaked emails.

Once again, anonymous coward, I am still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

Johnny C said...

Funny Repugs want to repel something they already have. I wish someone say this to dingbats like Michele Bachmann if you dislike government run healthcare so much forgo your tax pay payer funded government health care. I bet she gives that person a look like if that person just called her mother a whore.

I hope the Democrats use this as a political issue in 2012, from Tim Walberg not giving up his government run healthcare to that douche that demanded his government healthcare on his first day being in Washington.

I never seen people on that side of the political fence who side with people that would slit their throats for a dollar.

K. said...

America emphatically does not have the best health care system in the world; no amount of saying we do can change that. In fact, it's not even a system: It's a fragmented loose coupling of single payer, government insurance, private insurance, employer insurance, and out-of-pocket payments. If you are under 65, health care is most available to those who need it least and most closed to those who need it most.

Moreover, American health care is riddled with overtreatment, plagued with "silos" that discourage communication between providers, supply-driven instead of demand-driven, and filled with perverse incentives that make it more profitable to perform open heart surgery than to prevent a heart attack. There are no standardized definitions of outcomes; we are embarrassingly behind the times when it comes to information technology.

We have done little in terms of policy and public health to contain the five chronic diseases that eat up 75% of health care expenditures. Moreover, obesity has reached epidemic proportions (35% of the country is obese; 60% is overweight) and there is no public health response. Why do we care if people let themselves go? Because obesity is a contributing factor to asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, and heart disease -- the five chronic conditions that cost so much.

Whatever this is, it is not the best health care system in the world.