We come bearing gifts
Over the weekend I heard stunning news: many of the nation’s largest health care organizations are banding together and offering to help President Obama reduce health care costs!!
That they’ve gotten together and made the offer, I can believe. That they really want to help … bullshit. These are the same groups that have been milking America’s health care system for years; they’re only trying to save their own skins … er, profits. They see that the president is serious, they sense that change might be coming this year, and they are now — now that the gun is being aimed — offering to “help.”
The letter to the president was signed by executives of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade group for insurers; the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA); Advanced Medical Technology Association, a lobby for medical device manufacturers; the American Hospital Association (AHA); the American Medical Association (AMA); and the Service Employees International Union.
Looking at that list, you can draw your own conclusions.
Lobby groups, trade groups, and unions exist solely to reap bennies for their members. You can bet these guys are no different, and they aren’t in this to give anything away. Big Pharma’s reputation is well known, as is my opinion of them (see previous posts). And the last time I looked, the shrinking AMA had become little more than a PAC for doctors — and fewer than one-third of the doctors in the country, at that.
Bottom line, we know we need what these groups provide. But so do they. And they aren’t in business to give it away.
Or, as fellow cynic Paul Krugman put it:
“Remember that what the rest of us call health care costs, they call income.”