Saturday, August 08, 2009

Insurance Industry Is Targeting Blue Dogs To Shape Health Reform In Its Favor

From Think Progress:

In a new cover story, BusinessWeek claims that the "health insurers have already won" the battle over health care reform. According to the magazine, their strategy has been to “quietly” focus on “shaping the views” of more conservative Democrats. Central to the health insurers’ strategy is to target the Blue Dog Coalition, which includes Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR):
Impressing fiscally conservative Democrats like Matheson, a leader of the House of Representatives’ Blue Dog Coalition, is at the heart of UnitedHealth’s strategy. It boils down to ensuring that whatever overhaul Congress passes this year will help rather than hurt huge insurance companies. [...]

Matheson, whose Blue Dogs command 52 votes in the House, can’t offer enough praise for UnitedHealth, the largest company of its kind. “The tried and true message of their advocacy,” he says, “is making sure the information they provide is accurate and considered.” [...]

Fifteen years after the insurance industry helped kill then-President Bill Clinton’s health-reform initiative, Ross is frustrating the Obama White House by opposing proposals for a government-run insurance concern that would compete with private-sector companies.

And it is working. . .

Blue Dog Mike Ross Boasts: "We Held Bill Hostage," Killed Single Payer

Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas boasted about how his Blue Dog coalition "held the [health care] bill hostage in committee for 10 days" and prevented a single player plan" to protect insurance company profits.

We ensured that if there is a government option, it will be just that -- an option -- and it won't be mandated on anybody. If it had been based on Medicare rates, I can assure you that it would have eventually ended up resulting in a single payer-type system, because Medicare has really good rates, because they're negotiating for every senior in America. Private insurance companies could not have competed with that.

Like hell we won't attack them... Selling out citizens for profit really is criminal.

Read more at Huffington Post. | Listen to Ross brag on YouTube.

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