The United States is the only wealthy industrialized nation that doesn’t have a universal health care system. The current administration is trying to fix the problem; however, we must remember that two of the largest and strongest lobbyist groups in Washington represent the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. So, is Congress listening to folks from Main Street or still following the lead of special interest groups?
Today’s health care insurance industry is controlled by large pharmaceutical companies; their grip on Congress remains strong. For instance, Congressman Billy Tozan (R-LA), who pushed through the current Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Plan D), retired soon after it went into effect accepting $2 million a year as the president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the main lobbyist group in DC. Also, Medicare boss Thomas Scully, who threatened to fire Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster if he reported how much the bill would actually cost, was negotiating a new job as a pharmaceutical lobbyist at the same time the bill was working through Congress.
Lobbyists don’t belong in the conversation about efficient and economical health care in America. And this is not a partisan fight outside the walls of Congress. A recent poll showed 72% of Americans supported a public health care option including 50% of Republicans polled.
Contact Representative Betsy Markey, Senator Mark Udall and Senator Michael Bennet and ask them to support a public option-privately delivered health care program for all Americans now.