THE BLOG

Health Care Politiku

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Not at all surprising, when I sent out my Health Care Politiku submission query I was swamped with phenomenal submissions. The delay in posting, however, had less to do with the volume of submissions I had to parse, process, and select and more to do with the subject matter. Health care scares the crap out of me.

I wont try and pretend there is anything insightful, useful, or even unique about this fear. In fact, I would even venture to attribute their extendo waffle iron dance to the fact that health care scares the crap out of Congress, also.

So, how do we -- Congress and myself -- make meaningful progress towards facing our fears when the insurance companies we depend on are run by racketeers?

Compare our racketeer run private health insurance with the alternatives:

There are medications here in the United States that Canadians are denied because Canada's universal health care plan wont shell out for the really pricey stuff -- even when it is medically necessary. Moreover, do we really want to have to wait ten months for surgeries that patients here in the United States can get within ten days? We must acknowledge where those systems fall short and learn from them.

So, back to racketeer-land. Back to the place where the revenue generated from your unsubstantiated claim denials fund your health insurance company's efforts to lobby to protect their rights to exploit you -- aren't you scared, too?

Here's the comforting part, now. Though as rare as a solar eclipse, there are reformed racketeers. Racketeers who are now actually trying to educate both the general public as well as the political movers and shakers on what health insurance racketeers have been doing all this time to kill the public option in the House and in the Senate. Wendell Potter, a featured Health Care Politiku contributor, happens to be one of those rare as an eclipse, reformed racketeers.

After admitting that he "did not want to be involved in yet another PR and lobbying campaign to kill or gut reform," Potter says, he "finally came to question the ethics of what [he] had done and been a part of for nearly two decades." Potter's current lobbying campaign is considerably different than what it used to be and he is even kicking-off the Health Care Politiku.

Wendell Potter Politiku
Wall Street-run health care:
Bad for your health and your wealth.
Public option. Now!

Wendell Potter left his position as the head of corporate communications and legal and public affairs at Cigna and began advocating for meaningful health care reform. He now serves as the Center for Media and Democracy's Senior Fellow on Health Care.

Jennifer Jaff Politiku
How can we not reach
out to those who need our help
and extend them our hand?

Jennifer Jaff is the Founder and Executive Director of Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, Inc. She is also a patient with Crohn's Disease.

Dr. Robert Levine Politiku
Will realistic
reform ever make it through
contentious Congress?

Dr. Robert Levine is a neurologist in private practice in Norwalk, Connecticut and the author of Defying Dementia and Aging with Attitude, winner of a Choice Award of the American Library Association. His latest book Shock Therapy For America's Health Care System is in stores now.

Bobby Goode Politiku
Practice medicine?
I practice paperwork and
insurance these days.

This individual works in the health care industry and therefore asked to be credited as "Bobby Goode."

Greg Howard Politiku
Small businesses face
Even more regulations
Reach for the aspirin

Greg Howard, Director of Marketing Communications at TriNet, an HR outsourcing vendor that is actively engaging in health care debate due to the impact it can have on our small business customers

Bart Windrum Politiku
Die in peace we say
and avoid that at all costs
zombies 'til the end.

Bart Windrum is an advocate for individual, social, and policy change regarding end-of-life awareness, hospitalization, and alternatives.

Diane Stollenwerk Politiku
Costs keep going up
Poor health, avoidable deaths
Can it get much worse?

Diane Stollenwerk is the Director, Communication and Development & Local Project Director, Aligning Forces for Quality Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Puget Sound Health Alliance

Robert E. Simon Politiku
The left, lacking guts,
Hides from the direct gaze of
The few with answers

Karen L. Newman Politiku
laid off from my job
company changed insurance
COBRA gone away

Brad Post Politiku
A Healthcare quick fix
So many tough bits to solve
By act of Congress?

Alex Speier Politiku
I am poor as shit.
For fuck's sake, give me health care!
Please! Please? Please? Please! Please

David J. Undis Politiku
Love the IRS?
Love the Post Office? You'll love
socialized health care.

Sam Gravina Politiku:
Autumn springs life new
Years of dentist, doctors, bills
All ending in death.

Phil Fox Rose Politiku
Stubborn Democrats
fear-fanning Republicans --
Obama, please lead.

Stephen M. Wilson
Lost an eye waiting
21st Century now ...
bionic one soon?


Marilyn Wann

Trillions in profits
demonize my fat, healthy,
still uninsured ass.

Donald Bassman Politiku
It is easier,
said Webster, to fan discord
than subdue its flames

Sally Johnson Politiku
Throw the dice and lose!
Diabetic, tied to job
Life shaped by health care

Imran Jaffery Politiku
A nation dying
Places hope in Obama
Now, stand up and fight.

Michael O'Brien Politiku
Aetna's skilled surgeons
Slice cancerous folks from ranks
With sharp Denied stamps

Susanna Speier Politiku
We can do better
I know it wont be perfect
but I love to live