Friday, August 7, 2009

Whose Side Are You On, Senator Nelson?

A very interesting piece I first saw on Rachel Maddow's show, August 5, puts the question to Senator Ben Nelson, (D-Nebr): Are you on the side of the small business owners of Nebraska, or, are you on the side of the Health Insurance Companies?

An ad is running in Nebraska, "Who's side are you on?" addressed to Senator Nelson. It features a restaurant owner in Ralston, Nebraska who just received notice that his insurance premiums were going up 42% the coming year. Here is a realistic look at the plight of the small business owner. Check out the ad .

So, Senator Nelson says that if this type of publicity about Health Care reform continues, the whole project may be dead by the end of August. In essence he is saying: Attack my position and I might just kill the entire thing.

President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers* last Saturday (August 1) stressed these points:

  • Small businesses (those with less than 100 employees) employ around 30% of all uninsured Americans.
  • If small businesses are able to insure their employees, they pay 18% higher premiums than large companies pay.
  • Right now (the status quo) health care is priced out of reach for most small businesses.

That’s why President Obama is arguing for a public option in the current debate. Unless some means of making insurance companies compete is included in the proposed plans, the insurance companies will have free reign to raise premiums and deductibles and refuse service. Those practices are absolutely necessary in order for them to increase profits and satisfy shareholders---and pay legislators to do their bidding.

Your comments below are appreciated.
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* copied on 8-7-09..