Facing South

Senate Dems against public option come from states with near-monopoly insurance markets

Facing South
Facing South
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small_Sen Blanche Lincoln(2).jpgAs followers of the health reform debate know, today the Senate Finance Committee voted down 15 to 8 a measure to include a public insurance option to the Senate bill.

All 10 Republican members of the committee voted against the amendment, introduced by Sen. "Jay" Rockefeller (D-WV), which includes what advocates call a "robust public option."

Five Democrats also voted "nay": Max Bacus of Montana, Tom Carper of Delaware, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Bill Nelson of Florida.

Yet these Democrats represent states that may be most in need of a public insurance choice to compete with private plans. Four out of five of the Democrats who voted "no" on Rockefeller's amendment come from states where one insurance company controls 42% or more of the market -- a level of market dominance that the Department of Justice legally defines as "highly concentrated."

Here are how these senators' states rate for insurance market concentration:

STATE -- % OF MARKET CONTROLLED BY BIGGEST COMPANY*

NORTH DAKOTA -- 89% controlled by Noridian/Blue Cross Blue Shield ND
ARKANSAS -- 75% of health insurance market controlled by Blue Cross Blue Shield AR
MONTANA -- 75% controlled by Blue Cross Blue Shield MT
DELAWARE -- 42% controlled by CareFirst/Blue Cross Blue Shield
FLORIDA -- 30% controlled by Blue Cross Blue Shield FL

Only one of the Democrats -- Sen. Bill Nelson from Florida -- comes from a state without a "highly concentrated" health insurance market, although it's notable that the state's top two insurers (BCBS and Aetna) together control 45% of the market.

Nation-wide, 94% of insurance markets are near-monopolies -- and as Facing South reported earlier, the metro area with the worst concentration in the country (Texarkana, 97%) falls in the district of fierce public option opponent and Blue Dog Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR).

* Most of this data can be found in the American Medical Association's 2007 report on competition in health insurance [pdf]; the North Dakota figures come from this recent report published by Health Care for America Now! Note that North Dakota figures include accident and health coverage.

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re: Senate Dems against public option come from states with near

Why do Americans need congress?

They are nothing more than worthless, corporate shills.

Why should our tax dollars pay their salaries?

Think of all the money we taxpayers can keep in our own pockets by not having to subsidize these useless, obstructionist members of congress.

Why should congress enjoy the best socialized health care OUR MONEY can buy?

And why should congress be allowed to double deal, by receiving massive amounts of money from lobbyists in exchange for favorable legislation, while betraying the best interests of the American people?

Congress consistently votes against the best interests of the American People in favor of the best interests of their corporate masters.

At least 90% of congress are nothing more than corrupt spokesmodels for their corporate sponsors.

Why shouldn't corporations be mandated to pay for congressional salaries, health care, travel, security and all other expenses since the corporate interest, not the American Peoples' interests, are being represented by congress?

re: Senate Dems against public option come from states with near

Why do Americans need congress?

They are nothing more than worthless, corporate shills.

Why should our tax dollars pay their salaries?

Think of all the money we taxpayers can keep in our own pockets by not having to subsidize these useless, obstructionist members of congress.

Why should congress enjoy the best socialized health care OUR MONEY can buy?

And why should congress be allowed to double deal, by receiving massive amounts of money from lobbyists in exchange for favorable legislation, while betraying the best interests of the American people?

Congress consistently votes against the best interests of the American People in favor of the best interests of their corporate masters.

At least 90% of congress are nothing more than corrupt spokesmodels for their corporate sponsors.

Why shouldn't corporations be mandated to pay for congressional salaries, health care, travel, security and all other expenses since the corporate interest, not the American Peoples' interests, are being represented by congress?

re: Senate Dems against public option come from states with near

So,all politics are local. These senators decided to "vote my district". Of course that vote maintains the status quo and harms the nation overall, but hey, protecting a key local constituency is the oldest rule in the third oldest profession.
what is more important is this data only now surfacing. I blame the WH for failing to plan some comprehensive organizing effort behind SOME kind of health care reform and inexplicably negotiating against itself by dropping single payor at the outset. Shouda, coulda woulda had better results with an "education campaign" explaining all te different kinds of health care reform options throughout the summer. Conclsion: Rahm is an idiot.

re: Senate Dems against public option come from states with near

Rockefeller and Schumer YOUR FANTASTIC! :-)

ATTENTION!! Congress Has The Votes Needed To Pass A Public Option - TODAY http://bit.ly/TCq7O

Why A Strong Public Option Is Essential - By jacksmith - Working Class

Robert Reich explains the pubic option: http://bit.ly/dDYSJ http://robertreich.blogspot.com/

Hollywood Supports The Public Option :-) http://bit.ly/3XLwPi

It's not just because more than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% republicans). Basically everyone.

It's not just because according to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. With 79% of seniors supporting creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!!

It's not just because it will lower cost. Because a strong public option will dramatically lower cost for everyone. And dramatically improved the quality of care everyone receives in America and around the World. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

It's not just because it will save trillions of dollars and prevent the needless deaths of millions more of YOU, caused by a rush to profit by the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

It's not just because every expert in every field, including economist, and Nobel laureates all agree that free market based healthcare systems don't work. Never have and never will. The US has the only truly free market based healthcare system in the World. And as you all know now, IT IS A DISASTER!

It's not just because providing or denying medically necessary care for profit motivations is wrong. Because it is WRONG! It's professionally, ethically, and morally REPUGNANT!, Animalistic, VILE and EVIL.

THE REASON THE PUBLIC OPTION IS ESSENTIAL:

The public option is ESSENTIAL because over 200 million of you are trapped in the forest of the wolves. Which is the forest of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! With no way out except through needless inhumane suffering, and DEATH. While the wolves tear at your flesh, and rip you limb from lib. Then feast on your lifeless bodies like a dead carcase for transplant parts.

At the most vulnerable times of your lives (when you were sick and hurting), millions of you have had to fight and loose cruel, but heroic battles. Fighting against the big guns of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! in the forest of the wolves. All because you have no place else to go. You have no other CHOICE!

But the PUBLIC OPTION will give you someplace safe to go. And it will give us someplace safe to take you. The public option will be your refugium (your refuge). Where the wolves cannot get at you when your down, hurting, and vulnerable. Where everyone who needs it can find rest, security, comfort and the care they need. Protected by the BIG GUNS of We The People Of The United States. THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE AND COUNTRY ON EARTH.

This is why it is so critical that we do not lead another 50 million vulnerable, uninsured Americans into the forest of the wolves, without the protections of a Strong Government-run public option. We The People Of The United States MUST NOT LET THAT HAPPEN to any more of our fellow Americans. If healthcare reform does not contain a strong public option on day one. YOU MUST! KILL IT. Or you will do far more harm than good. And millions more will die needlessly. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

To those who would continue to obstruct good and true healthcare reform for the American people, and who seek to trap millions more vulnerable Americans in the forest of the wolves. We will continue to fight you. We are prepared to wage all out war against you, and will eagerly DESTROY! you. Time...is...UP! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! No Co-op's! No Triggers! NO INDIVIDUAL MANDATES! without a Strong public option on day one.

Healthcare reform can be the GREATEST! Accomplishment of our time and century. A time when future generations may say of us, that we were all, AMERICAS GREATEST GENERATIONS.

BUT WE MUST ACT!

I therefore call on all my fellow Americans and the peoples of the World. To join us in this fight so that we may finish becoming the better America that we aspire to be for everyone.

SPREAD THE WORD!

I have been privileged to be witness as many of you fought, and struggled to take your first breath, and your last breath on this earth. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Life is precious.

Whatever the cost. WE! MUST SUCCEED.

God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

jacksmith - Working Class

Things You Can Do To Help NOW! http://www.everydaycitizen.com/2009/09/tired_of_watching_people_die_n.html

No Triggers! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-rosenbaum/a-trigger-for-the-public_b_277910.html

Triggers http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/weve-seen-these-triggers_b_283583.html

Krugman on heathcare (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-health...)

Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

John Garamendi on the Public Option and the Grassroots: http://bit.ly/TJMty

Howard Dean on the Public Option http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SKfW2dUnow&feature=player_embedded

We're Number 37! in quality of health care http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVgOl3cETb4&feature=player_embedded

Twitter search (#welovethenhs #NHS #hc09 #hcr #healthcar #obama #p2 #topprog #) Check it out.