You didn’t think that the health insurance industry — wildly profiting from their role as penny-pinching middlemen between physicians, hospitals, drug companies and the patients who require their services — would react quietly to the growing public clamor for a universal healthcare system that would reduce or even eliminate their place in America’s current medical system, did you?
Fear not, those of you who may prefer the existing private “death panels” to the possibility of a government system — one that would ultimately be accountable to voters — making decisions about your healthcare options.
United Healthcare CEO David Wichmann surely wasn’t thinking about the threat that the Medicare for All proposals being advocated by progressive Democrats would pose to his over $17 million in annual compensation when he warned investors today that the adoption of these proposals would “surely jeopardize the relationship people have with their doctors, destabilize the nation’s health system and limit the ability of clinicians to practice medicine at their best.”
Of course, health insurance companies are the first to begin fear-mongering the moment anyone threatens to allow American citizens the same level of healthcare that civilized nations are already offering their own populace at lower per capita cost and more effective patient health outcomes around the globe.
Wichmann also seems to ignore the fact that the way most modern American medical practices operate according to corporate standards of efficiency — and profit maximization — patients barely get the opportunity to develop relationships with their doctors whom they may only see for a few minutes to discuss test results after they’ve been tended to by nurses, medical orderlies, and interns.
The United Healthcare CEO singled out Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as the bogeymen in his vision of a transformation of U.S. healthcare in such a way that “the inherent cost burden would surely have a severe impact on the economy and jobs — all without fundamentally increasing access to care,” as Wichmann claimed without evidence.
UnitedHealth CEO warns Sanders', AOC's 'Medicare for All' plans would 'destabilize' US health system https://t.co/gF2qdsdJG4
— CNBC (@CNBC) April 16, 2019
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez saw the health insurance mogul’s propaganda against universal health care and felt compelled to respond on Twitter to correct his mischaracterizations and point out the massive failure of our current system which allows rapacious medical providers to inflate costs beyond affordability, harming patients while lining their own pockets.
If by “destabilize,” he means “disrupt for-profit insulin schemes bc the discovering scientist freely gave away the patent bc he didn’t want us to price-gouge life saving medicines,” then yes.
(PS:#MedicareForAll is @RepJayapal’s bill, not mine – and am I proud to cosponsor it!) https://t.co/O7niFMc2WH
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 16, 2019
As the dynamic advocate for health care as a human right points out — if stability means remaining stuck with a broken system of overly expensive care that remains out of the financial reach of many while providing worse results than comparable nations worldwide —then de-stabilize away, please.
Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet also shows that she is not merely trying to steal the spotlight with her advocacy of a Medicare for All plan by rightfully attributing the authorship of the bill to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
Expect to see health insurance companies join with the Republican recipients of their sizable campaign donations in spreading copious amounts of misinformation between now and the 2020 elections to try to defeat the kind of universal healthcare legislation that the majority of Americans support.
Ignore what they say as the self-protective promotion of their own interests over the health of the entirety of the country. America must join the rest of the world in making affordable health care as basic a right as access to food, water, shelter, and education.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.