Healthcare, Lobbyists and Unemployment

healthcare imagesWellPoint, the biggest health insurer in America that pays its CEO roughly $10 million, just announced it is cutting back on the health benefits to its own employees. WellPoint also announced that it will eliminate some jobs at the company and increase deductibles and premiums for employee health benefits. The healthcare industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to block the introduction of public medical insurance and stall other reforms supported by Barack Obama. The industry and interest groups have spent $380m (£238m) in recent months influencing healthcare legislation through lobbying, advertising and in direct political contributions to members of Congress. The largest contribution, totalling close to $1.5m, has gone to the chairman of the senate committee drafting the new law - Max Baucus. Still the best congress money can buy...from a company that whose 9 million dollars a year CEO apparently cares more about profits than her own employees.

About unemployment...Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said on ABC's This Week, "My own suspicion is that we're gonna penetrate the 10 percent barrier and stay there for awhile before we start down."  Greenspan, however, doesn't support another stimulus package. National Director Michael J. Wilson with Americans for Democratic Action, disagrees on "the close to 10% unemployment numbers." He said, “The real unemployment rate released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 17%, over 7 points higher than the officially reported rate." The real rate includes workers who who are discouraged and stopped looking plus part-timers who are looking for full-time work.  We cannot have a recovery in this country without people getting back to work. We need to change our trade policies and reject corporate free trade so we can bring our jobs and industry back home.  Without actually making things other than military hardware, our nation will become more and more inpoverished.

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