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Medicare Battle Set: Obama To Announce Entitlement Reform

April 10, 2011


The President wants to get out ahead of the debate over healthcare, i.e. MEDICARE. I heard on CBS news this morning the President will be announcing his own plan for entitlement reform. It will be everyday American who will have to come out in force and en masse to protect Medicare from privatization.

Here are the buzz words for entitlement “reform”:

– Reform is a Republican code word for cuts to favored Democrat programs

– Title shift is shifting the cost from the Federal government – public sector – to the private insurance sector in a significant way.

– Premium support – the Federal government would provide premium support in the form of vouchers to help seniors purchase private insurance.

– Block granting would shift responsibility for overseeing the “public portion” of the reformed medical coverage to the States. The states would determine the eligibility, or rationing of health coverage.

I just wrote on this last week and I have been writing on PRIVATIZATION for months. I hope people are taking heed to this potential fundamental shift in our country. Let me review what PRIVATIZATION means again. Let’s start with who is who, and what is what.

First off, as a United States citizen you own your government. Essentially you have an undivided interest in the structure we call a Constitutional Republic. You are a stakeholder with tremendous rights as embodied by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Your rights are inherent in your birthright. They are not granted, nor are they privileges. Every United States citizen except some criminals, have the right to vote. This is a fundamental right tied to the principle of self-determination for our citizenry who choose our leaders and determine the course of action for our country.

As Alexander Hamilton and James Madison summed it up, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

In a corporation you do not own it unless you are a shareholder. As a shareholder, you have a small interest unless you are what is called a major stockholder with 30, 40, 50% or more interest. You have proxy voting privileges and very limited influence. You have virtually no rights in the decisions on how the corporation is run. An elected small group of people, called the board of directors, make all the major decisions along with the executive management, which is another small group of people. There are bylaws and articles of incorporation which layout the basic structure of the company. There is no function of self-determination in a corporation. The motive of all corporations is to make a profit through the selling of goods and services.

Public versus Private
Health insurance corporations make money by selling goods and services at a PROFIT. The government when providing Medicare for its citizens does not extract a profit. Tax revenues are used to subsidize these government programs. Elected public servants, i.e. legislators and the Health and Human services department decide how Medicare is run. Corporate boards and analysts decide how to run their health insurance program.

Medicare was voted into law by an act of Congress.
Health insurance is decided by a small group of corporate heads and boards of directors.

Medicare is designed to serve the mass majority of American citizens; its benefits are available to everyone over sixty-five, regardless of need, and by linking payments to the existing private insurance system.

Health insurance is designed to make a profit and limits coverage so as to limit its liability and outlay of funds. Note: 44 million Americans cannot afford private health insurance.

Medicare was implemented as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society domestic program agenda meeting one of the two main goals of social reform: the elimination of poverty and racial injustice.

Today in America, the number one reason for personal bankruptcy is medical debt obligation. That obligation is due to the high cost inflicted upon our citizenry by a predatory health system which at its center is the private health insurance industry.

From March 2010 Report on Health Insurance Profits:
The top five earning insurance companies averaged profits of $12.2 billion, an increase of $4.4 billion, or 56 percent, from 2008. And in 2008 (the last year for which data was available), CEO compensation for these companies ranged from $3 million to $24 million.” See table of a partial list of insurer/CEO profits, click here.

Insurer profits increased even in the midst of the current recession. Last week, during a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, WellPoint admitted that it increased premiums to keep up with medical costs and maintain a 2% profit. The company’s 2009 fourth quarter net income “was more than $2.7 billion, a 727 percent increase from the fourth quarter of last year” — even as membership declined by some 4 percent.

Read: Think Progress – Health Insurance Industry Defends Massive Profits

See related post: Forget Medicare! 70 Million Boomers Healthcare is a Goldmine for Corporations – click here


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