Sunday, October 04, 2009

Republican Health Care Reform: Don't Get Sick and Die Quickly

When lobby firms are spending millions ($380 million in the last few months) fighting Obama healthcare reforms, and considering there are six lobbyists for every member of Congress, I'm afraid propriety and protocol just won't do.

Finally, a Democrat with guts, who doesn't sound like he will cave to special interests, stood up to the Republicans regarding health care reform. Alan Grayson, a Democrat with guts Harvard educated attorney and former businessman from Florida, took to the floor of the House of Representatives with a set of cards that demonstrated his interpretation - based on a recent Harvard study that concluded the US health care crisis is costing more than 44,000 lives each year and that uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40% higher risk of death than their insured counterparts - of the Republican Health care plan.

The first card stated that step one of the Republican health care plan was “Don’t get sick”. Step two stated: “And if you do get sick...”. Step three stated: “Die quickly”.

When Republicans demanded an apology, Grayson issued an apology to the dead:

"In the face of demands for an apology from the House GOP, he went back to the floor on Wednesday and offered an apology -- not to the GOP, but "to the dead," people who've died for a lack of health insurance. "I apologize that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America," he said. On CNN, he called Republicans "foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals."
Later, Grayson issued another apology, but again, not the Republicans, but to the Anti-Defamation League, saying, “In no way did I mean to minimize the Holocaust… I regret the choice of words, and I will not repeat it."
America's healthcare industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to block the introduction of public medical insurance and stall other reforms promised by Barack Obama. The campaign against the president has been waged in part through substantial donations to key politicians.

Supporters of radical reform of healthcare say legislation emerging from the US Senate reflects the financial power of vested interests ‑ principally insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms and hospitals ‑ that have worked to stop far-reaching changes threatening their profits.

The industry and interest groups have spent $380m in recent months influencing healthcare legislation through lobbying, advertising and in direct political contributions to members of Congress. The largest contribution, totalling close to $1.5m, has gone to the chairman of the senate committee drafting the new law.


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