September 25, 2009



Health care tidbits
by Jim Hightower

Step up and get your tidbits, right here! We've got hot heath-care tidbits for you.

The bruhaha over health care reform has produced a generous serving of tidbits — little oddities, facts and perverse twists that give a glimpse into some of the realities that don't get much coverage.

For example, insurance corporations are infamous for denying coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition — things like cancer or that ingrown toenail you had 20 years ago. The National Women's Law Center, however, recently revealed another "condition" that can preclude coverage: domestic violence. Yes, eight states allow insurance giants to categorize "getting beat up by your spouse" as a pre-existing condition!

Then there are those mythological Obama "death panels" that Republicans have screamed about. While they never did exist in Obama's reform plan, guess where they do exist? In that Republican-led, state of Texas! The Texas Futile Care Law allows a corporate hospital committee to overrule families and pull the plug on granny if the hospital deems any more treatment to be "futile." It was signed into law by — guess who? — Gov. George W. Bush.

And now, three quickies from the Washington Money Game. First, how much clout do health industry lobbyists have in this reform fight? So much that they got a copy of Sen. Max Baucus' draft legislation even before President Obama did. Second, just hours after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would no longer demand the "public option" that health insurers vehemently opposed, an insurance lobbyist announced a $5,000 per-firm fundraiser for her in his Washington home. And finally, Rep, Joe "You lie!" Wilson, who loudly opposes Obama's reform, has pocketed $240,000 in campaign funds from the industry.

Sometimes, the real story is in the tidbits.

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