Home | Commentary | Memo to Sarah Palin: There are Death Panels, they’re called health insurance companies

Memo to Sarah Palin: There are Death Panels, they’re called health insurance companies

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K. J. Lansing

Make no mistake. There are Death Panels.

This is what the American public gets when it listens to craven, whacked-out tea baggers: A Republican takeover of Congress in the last election, which means there’s no chance in hell of doing anything about unscrupulous, corrupt, uber-greedy health insurance companies, or passing legislation that the American public got on their hands and knees and begged for: Single Payer.

If single payer was dead-on-arrival when the health care bill -- written by insurance companies and big pharma -- was passed, it’s now absolutely out of the question.

Happy, Sarah?

Just four days into his job as the new insurance commissioner of Californina, Dave Jones faces a daunting challenge: Strangling the greed of California Blue Shield and their latest bid to raise premium rates for its 200,000 private policy holders by a WHOPPPING 59 PERCENT!

Did I get you attention, Sarah of Death Panel fame? Your scare tactics weren’t entirely wrong, but your target you aimed at was way off for someone who can blithely shoot the eyes out of a defenseless moose from a helicopter.

You should have taken dead-aim on health insurers; they are the Death Panel culprits!

I don’t know what kind of health coverage you have for yourself and your family, but with the millions you’re making from your sleazy books, reality show and speaking engagements, I’m sure you have enough money to hire your own Michael Jackson live-in-style physician. After all, with that kind of income, why would you give a damn if your insurer raised your premiums by 59 PERCENT?

For an individual who pays $300 a month the increase would be a paultry $177 a month; nothing more than chump change for you. Frankly, I don’t know where people get $300 a month for health insurance, let alone $477. And if you're insuring an entire family, the premiums are a helluvah lot more.

So, what to do about this despicable act of greed and death sentencing for people who will have to cancel their policies, Sarah?

The first thing Jones did was to ask California Blue Shield to delay the rate increase for 60 days, noting that recent increases throughout the entire industry are alarming.

“I believe the premium increases are unsustainable,” Jones said in a meeting with The Los Angeles Times, referring to successive rate hikes in recent years by Blue Shield and its competitors in California. “I think we need to scrutinize everybody.”

And, Sarah, not only has California Blue Shield incurred the wrath of Jones, but their action did not go unnoticed by consumer groups, members of Congress and President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

 “The people of California have a right to be concerned when they see this kind of rate increase month after month,” Sebelius said in a statement. “We have reached out to Commissioner Jones and know he is doing everything in his power to help consumers. We stand ready to assist him and the people of California in any way that we can.”

I hope you’re happy now, Sarah. You got your Death Panels, but so did we, only now they're worse than ever. 

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