Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Being in Bed with Big Insurance

The Washington Post reports that the Democrats who are holding out on health care reform are those who have their coffers full of campaign funds from the insurance industry. Here are the top 20:

1. Bob Etheridge (D-North Carolina) $505,157 Uninsured in District: 21%

2. Baron P. Hill (D-Indiana) $519,000 Uninsured in District: 14.3%

3. Michale Capuno (D-Massachusetts) $550,401 Uninsured in District: 6.8%

4. Melissa Luburic (D-Illinois) $551,000 Uninsured in District: 11.5%

5. Timothy H. Bishop (D-New York) $557,086 Uninsured in District: 11.3%

6. Dennis Moore $631,885 (D-Kansas) Uninsured in District: 12.9%

7. Betty Sutton $621,036 (D-Ohio) Uninsured in District: 13%

8. Marion Berry $634,417 (D-Arkansas) Uninsured in District: 21.7%

9. Rick Boucher $642,917 (D-Nevada) Uninsured in District: 16%

10. Ron Klein $648,778 (D-Florida) Uninsured in District: 19.4%

11. David Wu $671,035 (D-Oregon) 14.8% Uninsured in District: 14.8%

12. Bart Stupak $800,455 (D-Michigan) Uninsured in District: 15.3%

13. Ron Kind $841,913 (D-Wisconsin) Uninsured in District: 11.7%

14. David Obey $900,000 (D-Wisconsin) Uninsured in District: 12.9%

15. Jim Cooper $1 Million (D-Tennessee) Uninsured in District: 15.6%

16. Richard Edmund $1.1 Million (D-Massachusetts) Uninsured in District: 4.3%

17. Shelley Berkley $1.1 Million (D-Nevada) Uninsured in District: 28.3%

18. Carol Shea-Porter $1.2 Million (D-New Hampshire) Uninsured in District: 12.3%

19. Baton Jennings $1.4 Million (D-Tennessee) Uninsured in District: 14.2%

20. Earl Ralph Pomeroy $2.1 Million (D-North Dakota) Uninsured in District: 12.1%

Now, do you really think these campaign funds don't influence their vote? Do you really think that they care about us more than themselves?


septembermom said...

Those figures really do put their true allegiance into perspective. Thanks for sharing this info Judith.

Judith Ellis said...

Bart Stupak has been saying that he couldn't support health care reform because of the abortion language which is already law. It seems like a red herring to me now that I see that he's getting $800,455 and there are 15.3% uninsured in his district. Donna Brazile says that all of those Democrats who don't vote for health care reform should get challengers. I with her on this. Actually, I'm usually with her on most things.

Bob Foster said...

I have always been somewhat ambivalent about Michael Moore, but today I read his article in the “Huffington Post Daily Brief “regarding the very thing you are talking about—and, for me, it brought some very strong emotions to the surface. I know you follow the Huff Post, but if you missed this Daily Brief (3/18 issue) it might be worth a look back.

I would be interested to hear what you think of Moore’s post.

Judith Ellis said...

Bob - I looked for the article briefly and did not readily find it. I'll do a further search later and perhaps have something to say about it. The problem that I have with many people like Michael Moore is that they are talkers and not legislators. So, a lot of their rhetoric can't be adopted wholly, especially at the time that they are insisting on such. Often times the only things that can change legislatively and summarily with a stroke of a pin, and even then it's a major fight without an executive order, are issues of civil rights. But even consider the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which is clearly discriminatory. That is not to say that issues that accompany DADT should not be taken seriously. There is a reason that men and women are not allowed to bunk together. But I digress. :-)

JOHN O'LEARY said...

I see Michael Moore as the crazy cousin who's well-intended, talented in what he does, and lovable in many ways (because he's "family"). But he's still a pamphleteer who prefers not to deal with complexity and who is quick to assume mal intent in others' motives. I can get cranked up by his populist rhetoric (after all, it's SO easy to mock dumb GOP congressmen, NRA leaders, Wall Street traders, etc.) but I question Moore's solutions. In his interview on MSNBC he wanted to "punish banks" as if you can surgically accomplish that without unleashing more economic misery.

Judith Ellis said...

John - I could not have said it better! Thank you, my friend. I'll check out the link.

zorro said...

Michael Moore is a multi-millionare He is Rush Limbaugh for the left. I find him entertaining and I liked Fahrenheit 911, but I don't trust him. I have similar feelings about Dennis Kucinich. The spotlight is very seductive and these guys love being in it.

Judith Ellis said...

Excellent, Zorro. Thank you. The spotlight truly is seductive and one needs to constantly balance humility and service with that particular light. The thing about the spotlight is that it too gives a shadow. You bring up the issue of trust, an essential component of true leadership. These entertainer types are not often trustworthy. They're not often leaders. Have you seen Moore's latest movie, Capitalism, A love Story? I have not. Considering John's comment, I suppose that it probably evokes knee-jerk reactions, as movies often do.

zorro said...

I haven't see the 'Capitalism' movie and I probably won't. I saw lots of Moore interviews when Sicko was in the theaters and I wasn't impressed. So I didn't see that movie either.
I like it when someone makes an argument that I agree with and has some chance of changing peoples minds. Moore does not do this. At the moment, Obama might be doing this. The health care plan is moving up in the polls. If it passes, I think (and hope) it will continue move up.
Have you seen the latest Fox interview with Obama?
Obama handles this sort of thing well. The Fox interviewer was very disrespectful and Obama never got angry. Of course, the news spin says Obama got testy, but I didn't see it that way.

Judith Ellis said...

Zorro - I did not see Sicko either. I agree with you about the desire to see things in a different light. The problem with rhetoric and ideology is that they rarely offer insight that brings about change. They are often not pragmatic in approach or application. They are stagnant by their very nature.

Yes, I saw that Fox interview and it was really extraordinary. I sincerely believe in giving honor where honor is due. When President Bush was president I never spoke ill of him, even when I did not agree with his policies. There is also something to be said for disagreeing with others and allowing them to complete their sentences. After all, President Obama was a guest on their news network. The interviewer was dishonorable.

My brother tells me that Hardball reported that President Obama was interrupted 25 times during this interview. There is no question that President Obama is always cool. Testy? Not even! You know the saying: "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Bob Foster said...

As you pointed out in your post, Judith, the insurance industry paid the top 20 Dem holdouts around $17 million in campaign funds. Can we even imagine what the total bill was for the entire Congressional body? Big money now “owns” Congress.

We can discuss among ourselves the pros and cons of this bill or that bill…or this politician and that politician, but unless we are listed on the Fortune 500, our voices will never be heard in Washington. It is sad to think that all we have speaking for we common people are blustering loudmouths like Limbaugh and Moore, and a few others, talking from their bully pulpits.

To make matters worse, the average voter has no idea of what is really going on in Congress—we only know what the campaigners, the media, and the pundits tell us. How many of us can read and understand the health care reform bills that have been bandied about? I tried to read the House bill once and gave up—it was written by lawyers (almost all lawmakers are lawyers), and it is lawyers and the courts that will interpret the bill after it is passed.

I have this sense of our society “circling down the drain”—and it gives me a helpless feeling…like watching a horrible accident happen in front of you while knowing there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Judith Ellis said...

Bob - I understand that feeling and if you add to that the Supreme Court's recent decision which essentially says that corporations are people too, we can really feel hopeless. But we must "keep hope alive" by demanding and insisting upon change. We must ask more from our representative and we have to awaken and be more active citizens, beginning on the local level.

Once Jack Bogle told me that he is encouraged because the "young people really get it." This was so very encouraging for me, especially coming from such a wise man who has seen and done so much, not to mention from a man who has lived so many years.

Regarding the bill the eleven-page synopsis that President Obama outlined was rather succinct and to the point. But, of course, you know what they say, "the devil is in the details." :-) But be encouraged, I think that the American people can be awakened to the importance of maintaining our republic. It is not really a democracy. From what you have described here, we have more of an oligarchy.

I think it was Jefferson who said when a woman asked him "what have you given us?" he replied, "a republic if you can maintain it." This is not a direct quote but quite similar. The Founding Fathers knew history, dating back to the Greek. They knew the peril that awaited in the effort to maintaining a republic.

In my brief research today on various systems throughout the world with emphasis on ours, I read that the word "democracy" is not written anywhere in our founding documents. I was rather shocked by this statement. I shall do a bit more research and reading. In the meantime, "keep the faith."

Pamela said...

Wow! This information is incredible. I knew this was the issue and the hang-up but to have it all in black and white is amazing. It's sickening to know the people don't matter to these guys--the dollar does. It's disheartening to know those suffering waiting for healthcare reform who so desperately need it are being neglected because of such greed. I have stated before I worked in medical administration for years and it is big business. I am not a fan of Michael Moore, he may be grandstanding I don't know, but I do know this the system is weighted to profit. This list of politicians (not servants to the people) have gotten into bed with them and rolled over on the people they have been elected to represent.

I did not watch the Fox news interview; I will not watch Fox news. They are capitalizing on the anti-Obama Republican--Tea Party people camouflaging it as Conservative and making money from it because I am so sure they have increased their ratings and advertisement dollars.

And you are right he is the President & Commander and Chief he is due respect.

Judith Ellis said...

Pam - Thank you for your words. I agree. I did not personally see the Fox news interview. A brother told me about it. He mentioned that it was reported that President Obama was interrupted 25 times. That's remarkable! Does anybody know how long the segment was? One segment is a mere 10 minutes, max, no? I saw clips of the interview on other news networks and the interviewer, Bret Baier, behaved dishonorably. (Did any interviews with President Bush go down like that on Fox? I don't think so. Isn't Fox the news network that touts "Fair and Balanced?" Ha!) President Obama could not even answer Baier's questions as a mere guest on his show. All guest, no matter who they are, should be given this decency, no?

zorro said...

"(Did any interviews with President Bush go down like that on Fox? I don't think so. Isn't Fox the news network that touts "Fair and Balanced?" Ha!) "

I don't think there has ever been an instance of any American President being treated as badly by an interviewer.

Judith Ellis said...

I think you're right, Zorro. It was quite offensive, just rude.

Bob Foster said...

Judith – You are correct, our founding fathers never wrote about democracy in our founding documents. They built the Constitution on the structure of a republic. The term “Democracy” came along outside of the founder’s contributions.

Just out of curiosity, I wonder what our high school students are being taught about this issue, and what they know about the difference between a republic and a democracy—and where the U.S. fits?

Incidentally, you might enjoy something that Winston Churchill once said during a speech in the House of Commons:

“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government—except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Yes Judith, I will keep the faith.

Judith Ellis said...


Thank you for your comment.

With what's occurring right now in Texas with textbooks I shudder to think what our young people are being taught. What's going on elsewhere? I think we need a universal education system where kids are taught the same thing from state to state. I don't understand why this isn't already so. Methods may vary but what is being taught should not.

Love the Winston Churchill quote! Thanks!