One of the most frustrating aspects of the health care reform landscape right now is the health insurance lobby’s efforts to set themselves up as the good guys in advance of the upcoming fight for real change that puts people’s health before insurance company profits.
See, we’ve got a fundamental problem.
Health insurance is NOT health care. And health insurance companies are just that: companies. They exist to make money and do so by hedging their bets and then fudging the rules when it looks like the endgame may not pan out in their favor.
So any assumption that AHIP or any of its cohorts intend to come to the table with a solution that concedes even an ounce of profit for the sake of the public good is lunacy.
With all that said, we shouldn’t just be skeptical right now. We should be completely dismissive. AHIP keeps putting out statements and sending out email applauding President Obama and Congressional movement on health care reform-related activity. Why? Because they want you to think they’re on your side. That way, when it gets ugly, you’re more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.
It’s sneaky and dishonest, and the best we can be doing right now is calling them out on their bullsh*t at every turn. Like this:
“Strengthening the health care safety net is an essential component of comprehensive health care reform. Today the Senate took a critical step forward by voting to help ensure that no child falls through the cracks of our health care system. This legislation gives children access to essential health care services and eases the burden on working families who are struggling during the slowing economy. Policymakers should build on this momentum and pursue health care reform that gives every American access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage.”
Strengthening the health care safety net has been a central component of the comprehensive health care reform proposals AHIP began releasing in November 2006. For several years, AHIP has collaborated with a broad coalition of stakeholders in support of SCHIP reauthorization.
First off, SCHIP still leaves some 6 million children without health care coverage so saying “no child” is falling through the cracks is ridiculous. And second, if your platform is solid and reinforced, why do you need to strengthen the safety net? Think about it. The net catches what falls. If nothing’s falling because the system actually works, then you can scrap the net altogether.
Oh, and if AHIP’s been releasing comprehensive reform proposals since November 2006, how can they say their so-called “listening tour” was ever anything more than going through the motions? Nothing’s changed because nothing was ever going to change.
Forget having to read between the lines. With AHIP, if you just read the lines, it’s not tough to figure out where they’re truly coming from.