Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi appear to have a new strategy for pushing health care reform through Congress… They’re going to demonize insurance companies:
A day after formally delaying a vote on a healthcare bill and having to accept a further weakening of a public option to compete with private insurers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lashed out at the health insurance industry and urged her members to do the same during the August recess.
“They are the villains in this,” Pelosi said of private insurers. “They have been part of the problem in a major way. They are doing everything in their power to stop a public option from happening. And the public has to know that. They can disguise their arguments any way they want, but the fact is that they don’t want the competition.”
As she prepares to send her members home for the month of August having not voted on a healthcare bill — a deadline the Speaker said she would meet for President Obama — Pelosi said she was urging those members to go on the attack against the private insurance industry to try to rally support for the strongest public option possible when negotiations resume in September.
“The more the public knows about what we’re doing, the more they support it, and especially if you’re talking about a public option, because that’s where the insurance companies are making their attack,” Pelosi said. “Our members have to go out there ready to take on a big special interest that has not made our country healthier, has made costs spiral upward, and for whom that is coming to an end.
“It’s almost immoral what they are doing,” added Pelosi, who stood outside her office long after her press conference ended to continue speaking to reporters, even as aides tried in vain to usher her inside. “Of course they’ve been immoral all along in how they have treated the people that they insure with pre-existing conditions, you know, the litany of it all.”
Not to be out done Harry Reid Had the following to say about insurance companies:
“I don’t think we should be crying great big tears about the insurance industry,” Reid said at a Capitol Hill press conference when asked whether insurance companies should be allowed to charge higher premiums for people with preexisting conditions.
“There is no business in America that makes more money than the insurance industry–over the last 10 years their profits have been increased by 450 percent,” Reid said. “So I’m not really in very much of a mood to worry about the insurance industry.”
The health insurance industry is so wealthy because it is exempt from anti-trust laws, Reid said: “The insurance industry, my friends, is the only industry other than baseball that is exempt from the anti-trust act, and that’s the reason they have 450 percent profit over the last ten years.”
Whew, talk about winning strategy… Take the least popular politicians in American and have them go off on half-baked rants about evil insurance companies. Their comments are nothing more than a blatant attempt to satisfy Democratic demands for a villain to demagogue in selling health care reform.
For all their talk about “competition”, they’re pushing one most anti-competitive measures in American History… With all due respect to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid, Democrats control the White House, have filibuster-proof 60 vote majority in the Senate and 256 seat Majority in the House… You don’t need Republican support to pass a health care reform bill.
The fact that Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid can’t get a reform bill through Congress has nothing to with insurance companies or Republican opposition. The simple truth is they are unwilling to work with centrists, the “Blue Dog” Democrats, in their own caucus who are apparently getting an earful from constituents who are vehemently opposed to Obamacare.
Oh, and by the way Harry, Nancy, you might want to read Stephen Carter’s Washington Post Op Ed on why corporate profits are a good thing… I’m sure it’ll be lost on you, but read it just the same. You might learn something.
Update (7:35 p.m.): I’m shocked, shocked I tell you… Jonathan Allen at CQ Politics is reporting that while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may think health insurance companies are “villains” she’s perfectly willing to keep their money. Most ethical Congress ever, heh.
- Senate Dems blame media for August health deadline – The Hill
- Police called on retirees at senator’s LA office – San Francisco Chronicle
- Barney Frank: Yes, a public plan will lead to a government takeover of health care – Hot Air