Weather Forecast


Time to speak up about spiraling Big Medicine

What does it mean when the highest paid person in Minnesota runs an HMO? What does it mean when people in one of our poorest counties oppose a plan to reduce health care costs and to extend coverage to them? What it means is that the health care industry is immensely profitable and through its propagandizing has convinced a lot of people to act against their own self interest.

National media in the last week of August reported that one of our largest insurers, with about 80,000 employees nationwide, strongly encouraged their employees to attend and organize protests. That was only one company with, on average, over 1,000 employees per state. If they convince a few of their friends, it is easy to appear to have a grass-roots opposition to anything.

Then there are the frequent and expensive ads on television that are intended, through various vicious fictions and sound bites, to convince us all that A) the insurers are in favor of reduced costs, and that B) we will lose our freedom to choose either treatments or our physicians.

A) runs completely counter to the basic capitalistic insurance industry, and B) has nothing to do with the proposed health care bills.

Wake up people! You live in the most expensive nation in the world for health care costs and not even in the upper quarter among developed nations in any measure of quality, except for expensive access to advanced options that most of us cannot afford.

We see posters every week requesting our presence at another benefit to help someone pay for life supporting medical bills that are driving them under. Only in our country are thousands going bankrupt because of medical bills.

Finally we have proposals that could address these issues, though we should wonder how the lobbyists are manipulating them to once again benefit Big Insurance, Big Pharma and Big Medicine generally.

Let's not do their bidding by joining the protests which are based on fear mongering and fabricated delusions. Instead let us inform our legislators that we appreciate the need for health care reform and that many of will vote for them if they support efforts that broaden coverage and reduce overall costs to our entire population.

Charlie Parson