Health Insurance Crisis — Even Worse Than You Thought
Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat wrote a recent column about skyrocketing health insurance premiums. In today’s column he says he got a lot of negative comments from readers because that column was too understated. He didn’t go far enough.
A 70-year-old woman said: “I don't know where you got the numbers you're reporting, but they're way too low.” Her own monthly payments — Regence Blue Shield — had gone up 98%, from $98 to $195.
That same 98% increase was reported by another reader, also a customer of Regence Blue Shield.
Another commenter said: “This year saw my premium go up SEVENTY-SIX PERCENT. Not 17%, or even the infamous California 39%.”
Another reader whose premiums had just gone up 76% said: “I can't feel too sorry for those whose premiums were raised 20% — they were lucky.”
Another person, whose monthly payments had gone from $1,150 to $1,692, said: “I don't know — you vote for people who you think might solve some of these problems. But it never seems to happen.”
And another comment: “I'm divorcing myself from both political parties. They're fighting among themselves so much they're not taking care of the United States.”
What else is new…
Republicans will continue digging in their heels because health care reform is “Obama’s Waterloo,” as a certain South Carolina Retard put it. And Jonathan Alter says it a different way:
“This is the Big One, the Super Bowl, for all the marbles. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner can scowl, but Republicans are now nearly irrelevant to the process. The only real question is if Democrats are in the mood to slit their own throats. The bill is complex, but the politics are simple: if health care doesn't pass this spring, Obama's domestic presidency is finished. The Democratic Party will be, to borrow a phrase from Nixon, a ‘helpless, pitiful giant.’”
He also says:
“This is Politics 101, a class that many Democrats apparently flunked. The House Democrats who voted for the bill at the end of 2009 have no choice but to vote for it again if they have any clue as to what's in their political self-interest; the he-was-for-it-before-he-was-against-it ads write themselves. And the more conservative Blue Dog Democrats who voted against it need to understand that no matter how toxic health care is in their districts right now, things will be a lot worse if they have to run under the banner of a failed president. Voters won't reward them for being fake Republicans—they'll vote for the real ones instead.”
We need a lot more of this. We needed it last year, but better late than never.
The SEIU has told Rep. Mike McMahon (D—NY) that if he doesn’t vote for the health care reform bill, the union will throw their support behind a primary challenger.
This is the exact kind of warning — followed by ACTION — that every wavering cowering Democrat needs to hear. If you won’t spine up, you’ll be replaced by someone who will.