In a letter to the Congress yesterday, President Obama wrote this:
“We all believe that reform must be built around our existing private health insurance system.”
No we don’t.
Take Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).
Kucinich doesn’t agree that reform must be built around private health insurance corporations.
Kucinich took to the C-Span airwaves this morning to make the point this morning.
“I don’t agree with that,” Kucinich said about Obama’s statement. “The existing private insurance system is designed to create huge profits for health insurance companies at the expense of their subscribers. I emphatically disagree with that approach.”
Kucinich wants to put the private insurance corporations out of their misery and replace them with one public insurance pool – a single payer system.
“I don’t have a voice in the negotiations,” Kucinich said. “The American people don’t have a voice.”
“I’m not a rubber stamp for my party,” Kucinich said.
“The American people are saying – don’t try to force something down our throats,” Kucinich said. “Any kind of a solution within the current framework is bound to fail. The insurance companies are responsible to their shareholders.”
Kucinich was asked whether he was concerned that this whole health care overhaul could be scrapped?
“I don’t want to be part of locking in a privatization process without any controls over premiums. It’s just flawed.”
“Do we have to go back to square one? In state after state, people are beginning their own initiatives for single payer. There are initiatives happening all over this country.”
“This process in our Capitol is so totally flawed that it cannot and will not succeed. But some state is going to pass single payer.”
“Health Care for All Pennsylvania has a great web site. There will be a breakthrough at some point. I do believe that the ultimate solution is going to start at the state level and then be accomplished at the federal level.”
A caller into C-Span – Lawson from Minneapolis – ripped into his own Congressman – Keith Ellison.
“Ellison doesn’t seem to be getting the job done for us,” Lawson said – before complimenting Kucinich for standing for single payer.
Ellison and his colleagues in the so-called Progressive Caucus – with the exception of Kucinich and Eric Massa (D-New York) – have not lifted a finger to support single payer.
“We spend twice per capita on health care than any other country,” Kucinich said. “When we wring out of the system – corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing, the cost of paperwork – we take all of those savings and put it into care for people – and it’s enough money. It isn’t that we have to have a tax increase. We just have to reallocate the funds within the system. Right now people are paying for a national standard of health care – they are just not getting it, because it’s a for profit system.”
Another caller – Bruce from Westport, Kentucky – identified himself as an unemployed electrician and Vietnam Vet.
Bruce said that his bank foreclosed on his home after he was late in payment for two months and two days.
“We need health care for all,” Bruce said. “It should be a God given right. Jobs are going overseas. We’ve got thousands of electricians out of work right now.”
“He’s a Veteran, he served his country,” Kucinich said about Bruce. “When is his country going to serve him?”