Tuesday, September 18, 2007 10:27 AM

Hillary's Health Plan: Selling Out Not Standing Up

By Donna Smith, American SiCKO

DENVER -- What can I say? Hillary's long-awaited plan for health care reform is out, and it is just what I expected. It is not what I hoped for or what I prayed she had the courage to stand for, but it is in her best interests.

If she is to be elected our first woman president, she'll have to side with some of the big boys rather than stand up with we common folk. That's the political reality. And the Clintons have always been masters of the political reality.

So, we'll have universal, mandated coverage along with insurance reform, she says. Really? So let me get this straight. We all will have to buy an insurance policy, the insurance companies will have to take us even with pre-existing conditions and American business will get help with insurance costs. What's not to love for the big boys in the health industry?

Insurance companies will have a much larger customer base, revenue stream (oh, yeah, I mean risk pool) and much higher income. Hillary's plan does not say that every American will have access to the same care or coverage. The plan will still embrace and actually enhance the multi-tiered system which gives the best of care to those who can afford the best and the minimal care to those who cannot afford it.

The insurance companies will not be forced to provide the same coverage for all groups of risk. Prices will vary, plan-to-plan, and when you get sick, you will still be treated according to what your plan covers or doesn't. Providers (hospitals, doctors and clinics) are probably holding joint celebrations with their insurance and pharmaceutical friends. Hillary's plan enriches them tremendously.

Hillary seems to speak and write all the right types of messages about caring for every man, woman and child. But when the nuts and bolts of the plan are flushed out, the average American family with an average income will still not be protected from underinsurance and financial ruin in the event of serious illness.

Make no mistake, Hillary's plan is not universal health care. Nor as was depicted on CNN last evening are "dancing socialists" lining up to support this plan -- it isn't even remotely socialized medicine. The plan allows a systematic and horrifying blend of entanglements that leaves the best care for the wealthy under the guise of concern. I really don't like that sort of mind-game.

As for me, I still cannot get over why all of these brilliant people who now sit in powerful Senate seats and could be working for change now are allowed by we the people to plan for the future health care reform effort when they aren't even committed enough to work hard on it now.

The simple answer is the one the rich and the powerful have always understood in this nation. You don't get re-elected if you upset the folks who fund your re-election efforts. And you certainly don't get elected president if you make enemies of the most powerful lobbyists in this nation. The people be damned. It's the money, stupid.

And who do I want to be president? I don't know yet -- and that's a long way off. I'd like Hillary and her presidential-hopeful friends to tell me what they plan to do about the 50 Americans who will die today for a lack of care. Or explain to me why they are willing to allow another 25,000 to die in the months prior to the election before they might even touch the health care reform plans they all speak of now. None of them ever answers that kind of question.

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