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dcsmart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:30 PM
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White House Forum on Health Reform

On Thursday, President Barack Obama hosted a White House Forum on Health Reform. The gathering of politicians, health care industry lobbyists and reform advocates produced no concrete policy proposals. Rather, it advanced broad "guidelines" for reform, all tailored to protect the profits of the major insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and health and medical organizations (HMOs).

The US has the worst functioning health care system of any advanced capitalist country. Currently, nearly 50 million Americans, or one in six, are without health insurance, and a majority of the population carries on with either inadequate or unaffordable insurance plans. Americans pay more per capita for health care than residents of other developed countries, yet generally see worse results. Between private and government spending, health care consumes well over $2 trillion annually. In large measure this money does not go toward providing services, but to line the pockets of health industry CEOs and investors.

The gathering was emblematic of the fraudulent character of Obama's "change." While he ran for the presidency on a promise to "overhaul" the health care system and vastly extend medical coverage, his Forum on Health Reform provided a venue for the major health industry interests to dictate terms for future legislation. Behind Obama's claims of "bipartisanship" and gaining cooperation from all interested parties is a simple reality. His health care reform, like his administration as a whole, will serve the interests of the financial elite.

This message was received by industry representatives and lobbyists, who expressed satisfaction with the forum. Among these were Karen Ignani, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, Rich Umbdenstock of the American Hospital Association, the CEO of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Jeff Kindler, and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America head Billy Tauzin.

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