Dennis Kucinich: Why I Voted NO

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by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Nov 7 , 2009

After voting against H.R. 3962 – Affordable Health Care for America Act, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:

“We have been led to believe that we must make our health care choices only within the current structure of a predatory, for-profit insurance system which makes money not providing health care. We cannot fault the insurance companies for being what they are. But we can fault legislation in which the government incentivizes the perpetuation, indeed the strengthening, of the for-profit health insurance industry, the very source of the problem. When health insurance companies deny care or raise premiums, co-pays and deductibles they are simply trying to make a profit. That is our system.

“Clearly, the insurance companies are the problem, not the solution. They are driving up the cost of health care. Because their massive bureaucracy avoids paying bills so effectively, they force hospitals and doctors to hire their own bureaucracy to fight the insurance companies to avoid getting stuck with an unfair share of the bills. The result is that since 1970, the number of physicians has increased by less than 200% while the number of administrators has increased by 3000%. It is no wonder that 31 cents of every health care dollar goes to administrative costs, not toward providing care. Even those with insurance are at risk. The single biggest cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. is health insurance policies that do not cover you when you get sick.

“But instead of working toward the elimination of for-profit insurance, H.R. 3962 would put the government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care. In H.R. 3962, the government is requiring at least 21 million Americans to buy private health insurance from the very industry that causes costs to be so high, which will result in at least $70 billion in new annual revenue, much of which is coming from taxpayers. This inevitably will lead to even more costs, more subsidies, and higher profits for insurance companies — a bailout under a blue cross.

“By incurring only a new requirement to cover pre-existing conditions, a weakened public option, and a few other important but limited concessions, the health insurance companies are getting quite a deal. The Center for American Progress’ blog, Think Progress, states “since the President signaled that he is backing away from the public option, health insurance stocks have been on the rise.” Similarly, healthcare stocks rallied when Senator Max Baucus introduced a bill without a public option. Bloomberg reports that Curtis Lane, a prominent health industry investor, predicted a few weeks ago that “money will start flowing in again” to health insurance stocks after passage of the legislation. Investors.com last month reported that pharmacy benefit managers share prices are hitting all-time highs, with the only industry worry that the Administration would reverse its decision not to negotiate Medicare Part D drug prices, leaving in place a Bush Administration policy.

“During the debate, when the interests of insurance companies would have been effectively challenged, that challenge was turned back. The “robust public option” which would have offered a modicum of competition to a monopolistic industry was whittled down from an initial potential enrollment of 129 million Americans to 6 million. An amendment which would have protected the rights of states to pursue single-payer health care was stripped from the bill at the request of the Administration. Looking ahead, we cringe at the prospect of even greater favors for insurance companies.

“Recent rises in unemployment indicate a widening separation between the finance economy and the real economy. The finance economy considers the health of Wall Street, rising corporate profits, and banks’ hoarding of cash, much of it from taxpayers, as sign of an economic recovery. However in the real economy — in which most Americans live — the recession is not over. Rising unemployment, business failures, bankruptcies and foreclosures are still hammering Main Street.

“This health care bill continues the redistribution of wealth to Wall Street at the expense of America’s manufacturing and service economies which suffer from costs other countries do not have to bear, especially the cost of health care. America continues to stand out among all industrialized nations for its privatized health care system. As a result, we are less competitive in steel, automotive, aerospace and shipping while other countries subsidize their exports in these areas through socializing the cost of health care.

“Notwithstanding the fate of H.R. 3962, America will someday come to recognize the broad social and economic benefits of a not-for-profit, single-payer health care system, which is good for the American people and good for America’s businesses, with of course the notable exceptions being insurance and pharmaceuticals.”

see

kucinich.us – A Petition Establishing Health Care as a Civil Right

House OKs historic health care overhaul, with one GOP vote By David Lightman

Battle Of the Sexes: GOP Males vs Dem Females on HCR + Conyers Singles Out Kucinich & Weiner for Their Work

Kucinich: Why is it we have Finite Resources for Health Care but Unlimited Money for War?

Kucinich Raises Questions about Stand Alone Vote on National Single Payer + No Bill is Better Than a Bad Bill

Kucinich: The Insurance Companies are the Problem not the Solution

12 thoughts on “Dennis Kucinich: Why I Voted NO

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  6. In response to the above comment. In no way shape or form do we have capitalism in the US. The country has always favored the wealthy from its very beginning. It was only the demand of an outraged public that forced corporate owners to pay a livable wage, and to open land to homesteading, and to give the right to vote to everyone, regardless of whether they were a property owner.

    As a farmer, you suffer the outrageeous behavior of the federal government in the form of the USDA; however, without some of the stability that the USDA insures, you, the farmer would be at the mercy of the JP Morgans and John D. Rockfellers who manipulated the commodity markets to destroy farmers so that they could pick up their properties for pennies on the dollar.

    The unions have been destroyed in this country by big business, and people who mistakenly believe the market can work everthing out. All the market does is concentrate big money into fewer and fewer hands. It is uncaring whether you lose your farm or if you eat. Without some sort of government with its socialistic tendencies, the market would walk over everyone.

    For the US to once again compete in the world market, the skyrocketing healthcare expenses have to be brought under control. Private insurance doesn’t want to provide healthcare, it wants to increase its bottom line. The rub in this matter is that we are talking about people, and people dying to the tune of increasing the bottom line. Sure the market is great if you don’t much mind a few dead bodies here and there (as long as it’s not you), and living in the streets (let them) while bankers and Wall Street brokers and insurance companies own millions of vacant homes. Hell! It ain’t you. You work hard, and anybody that can’t make it–the hell with them. Even if they were a doctor–they got sick and didn’t plan for it. To hell with themn. To hell with everybody. Let God–Let the market sort it out. I’ll take my crop subsidy. It ain’t socialism. I work hard, and these people who want single payer want the government to pay for everything. Where to they think the money comes from. It don’t grow on trees. Unless you’re a banker. Please excuse all my typos.

    • Simply put, how in G-D’s name have the unions been destroyed?

      They now own most of the auto industry, have a back door entrance directly to Obama and are poised to latch onto the health industry.

      I again urge you to look to right wing answers to any perceived insurance industry injustices.

      TORT reform and transferable policies would alone SAVE billions.

  7. Not wishing to cause an uproar, but I still am at a loss as to how this single payer thing is in any way “fair.” Yes, I’m right wing, but is taxing those who produce to provide for those who do not make any sense?

    I only ask that you at least consider the common sense presented by conservatism and its free market principles instead of the nanny state mantra of Kucinich.

    Vilify the free market all you like, I fear many of you may one day come to regret it.

    Freedom is far more favorable over communism.

    Freedom rewards hard work, communism rewards the elite. Including Kucinich.

    No dis-respect DS…

      • Just thought I’d mention again to your readers I’m a “slight” social liberal to maybe ease the tension? Pot good, religion in school bad etc…

        Anywhoot.

        Are -elected- socialist(D) currently in office not capitalist themselves?

        Do they not profit?

        Are -elected- “republicans” currently in office not self serving shits?

        Do they not profit?

        Yes and yes.

        Speaking as a working farmer .. we don’t want anymore government regulation dictating how we earn a living, feed YOU and certainly don’t want to be told how much we can profit from our damned hard work.

        Help me understand how leftist American communism is anything more than “Leninism”.

        Assuming you understand history.

        • Please remember that I am not a Democrat but a Socialist. I find very little difference betw the Dems and the Repubs in Congress. Both are owned by corporations and take their orders from them instead of their constituents (unfortunately). The Dems in office are not Socialists, far from it. Many people talk about how Obama is a Socialist but they have no idea what real Socialism is and most probably don’t have any interest in learning.

          I didn’t know you were a farmer, very cool, and another thing we have in common. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorri37/3992415854/

          The laws that are made favor large agribusinesses not small or family farms.

        • I’ve read Communist Manifesto several times and ( I’ll probably be hit for this) J. Edgar Hoovers book, “A Study Of Communism” several times as well. Could you recommend a book that will explain what your definition of socialism is? I’m pretty sure I get it, enlighten me please.

          In theory I absolutely applaud the “ideals” of socialism, but its simply a step towards ultimate communism and history has shown us repeatedly how that turns out.

          Bad.

          It just won’t work, … there’s too many crazy, freedom loving, individualist, right wingers like myself out there for it to ever stand a chance of working.

          With that said, I pose a question I have often (maybe to the point of annoyance) asked at my own treasonous right wing site:

          Our country is clearly divided, it will never, ever, ever find common ground on any of the matters that are clearly dividing us.

          Should we as a former united republic recognize this and simply part ways?

          By that I mean, devise a plan that would let those who wish to live under the current leftist oligarchy to live that way on their own soil and simply leave the rest of us alone.

          Of course we should be civil and divide up farm lands, ports and shared borders mind you.

          No, I’m not kidding…

          Anywhoot…

          Yeah farming, as you know I’ve been a soldier for many years then dabbled in real estate in Florida.. we all know how that turned out, and am currently signed on to a large agri operation. Pork, beef, corn and soy..(pork will not give swine flu) I have a whole new appreciation for what it takes to feed a republic.

          Funny inappropriate fact, I recently found a copy of “Progressive Farmer” lying around and hurriedly read it… I’ll just say, I am not a fan of the word Progressive.

          Thanks for the civil conversation.

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