For example, five days after Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas announced he and the other Blue Dogs were unhappy about the health care bill, “Ross was the guest of honor at a special ‘health-care industry reception,’ one of at least seven fundraisers for the Arkansas lawmaker held by health-care companies or their lobbyists this year, according to publicly available invitations,” Eggen writes.
[T]he group has set a record pace for fundraising this year through its political action committee, surpassing other congressional leadership PACs in collecting more than $1.1 million through June. More than half the money came from the health-care, insurance and financial services industries, marking a notable surge in donations from those sectors compared with earlier years, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.
Let’s see, what’s the number of Americans who die every year because they lacked health care? Somewhere between 18,000 and 20,000, last I heard. I suspect that’s a low estimate. Money taken from the health insurance industry to block health care reform is blood money. There is no other way to look at it.
Lot’s of people are just plain being ground down for lack of decent health care. They don’t necessarily die prematurely, but they suffer more health care problems than they should.
There was an article in Roll Call recently that deserves more attention. Atul Grover (chief advocacy officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges) and Michael Johns (chancellor at Emory University) noted that states whose citizens have the least access to health care also have the highest Medicare costs.
In Louisiana and Mississippi, where poverty rates are 19 percent and 21 percent respectively, both states spend less on health care per capita than the U.S. average, while spending more on Medicare beneficiaries than the U.S. average of $7,439.
Why is it then that the health of citizens in these two state lags far behind the nation as a whole? Could it be that once given health insurance and other benefits — by way of reaching the dual entitlements of Medicare and Social Security — when they turn 65 years of age, Louisianans and Mississippians must eventually pay a heavier price for a lifetime of neglected health needs?
Babies in all three states [Alabama, Mississippi and Texas] have among the lowest life expectancy at birth — not because of what’s invested at the age of 65 and beyond, but rather because of what is not invested in children and young adults all of their lives.
Of course, the state legislatures of those states never tire of finding ways to “save” babies by blocking access to abortion.
See also Joe Conason, “Blue dogs Heel When Lobbyists Whistle.”