Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

"They Dump the Sick to Satisfy Investors"

Last night I watched Bill Moyers interview former Cigna executive, Wendell Potter. Then I found on-line that Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviewed him as well. Please take the time to read or watch these interviews and forward them to your peeps. Wendell Potter knows the strategies to defeat health care reform from the inside. Here is the "game plan."
Well, the game plan is based on scare tactics. And, of course, the thing they fear most is that the country will at some point gravitate toward a single-payer plan. That’s the ultimate fear that they have. But currently—and they know that right now that is not something that’s on the legislative table. And they’ve been very successful in making sure that it isn’t. They fear even the public insurance option that’s being proposed, that was part of President Obama’s campaign platform, his healthcare platform. And they’ll pull out all the stops they can to defeat that.

And they’ll be working with their ideological allies, with the business community, with conservative pundits and editorial writers, to try to scare people into thinking that embracing a public health insurance option would lead us down the slippery—excuse me, slippery slope toward socialism and that you will be, in essence, putting a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor. That is—you know, they’ve used those talking points for years, and in years past they’ve always worked.

It's time to go John the Baptist on these people:

So [John] would say to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You spawn of Satan! Who warned you to flee from the impending doom? Well then, start producing fruits suitable for a change of heart....The crowds would ask him, "So what should we do?" And he would answer them, "Whoever has two shirts should share with someone who has none; whoever has food should do the same." Toll collectors also came to be baptized, and they would ask him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He told them, "Charge nothing above the official rates." Soldiers also asked him, "And what about us?" And he said to them, "No more shakedowns! No more frame-ups either! And be satisfied with your pay." (Scholars' Version, Luke 3:7-14)

And in a recently discovered manuscript, the passage continues...

And the insurance executives and the elected officials who were in their pockets came to him and said, "What about us? What should we do?" He told them, "You dump the sick to satisfy investors. The hottest places in Hell await you. Care for people, not profits, and turn no one away. Stop your lying and fear-mongering about single-payer and public option."

The people were filled with expectation and everyone was trying to figure out whether John might be the Anointed. (Luke 3:15)

You know folks, we need to get "anointed" with passion about this.

Here is a piece of the transcript from Bill Moyers' interview with Potter. Watch this interview or at least read the transcript. This is a juicy section in which elected officials read the health insurance industry's script:

BILL MOYERS: I have a memo, from Frank Luntz. I have a memo written by Frank Luntz. He's the Republican strategist who we discovered, in the spring, has written the script for opponents of health care reform. "First," he says, "you have to pretend to support it. Then use phrases like, "government takeover," "delayed care is denied care," "consequences of rationing," "bureaucrats, not doctors prescribing medicine." That was a memo, by Frank Luntz, to the opponents of health care reform in this debate. Now watch this clip.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER: The forthcoming plan from Democratic leaders will make health care more expensive, limit treatments, ration care, and put bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions rather than patients and doctors.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: Americans need to realize that when someone says "government option," what could really occur is a government takeover that soon could lead to government bureaucrats denying and delaying care, and telling Americans what kind of care they can have.

SEN. JON KYL: Washington run healthcare would diminish access to quality care, leading to denials, shortages and long delays for treatment.

REP. JOE WILSON: How will a government run health plan not lead to the same rationing of care that we have seen in other countries?

REP. TOM PRICE: We don't want to put the government, we don't want to put bureaucrats between a doctor and a patient.

BILL MOYERS: Why do politicians puppet messages like that?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, they are ideologically aligned with the industry. They want to believe that the free market system can and should work in this country, like it does in other industries. So they don't understand from an insider's perspective like I have, what that actually means, and the consequences of that to Americans.

They parrot those comments, without really realizing what the real situation is.

In today's JC Press, We discover that our own Rep. Phil Roe wants a meeting with Obama. On Roe's webpage he parrots the insurance corporations' talking points like a good little corporate puppet.

One proposal I am opposed to is a takeover of our healthcare system by Washington bureaucrats. Whether you call it a “public plan” or a “government-run option,” the long-term result is a system where care is dictated not based on need but based on a budget.

He uses all the scare words in two sentences! "Takeover, bureaucrats, dictated."

It is time to go John the Baptist on him before he meets with Obama. Give him a call:

Washington D.C. Office
419 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6356
Fax: (202) 225-5714


  1. It feels like treason, what the RNC and its members are doing.

  2. It's all about the RNC doing what's good for the RNC. Phil Roe's agenda seems to be much more supportive of the Republican Party and less for the benefit of the common folk. If we've learned anything since 1996 it's that Repubicanism and the public good have almost nothing in common. Phil is turning out to be a disappointing clone.

  3. I agree. I voted to get David Davis out of office, and all I got was a [oh so slightly] less transparent version of the same thing.