Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sick and Tired

Mike Rogers is a Serious Guy when it comes to health care. He warned us about those liberals who wanted to take Grandma's oxygen tank -- and her "choice" in health care coverage while they're at it.

Well, Mr. Rogers is back with a regurgitated plan for health care reform. He gets points for alliteration ("Costs," "Control," "Choices" and "Cures"), but other than that it's a tired retread of GOP slogans that do nothing to make realistic changes in health care policy.

In a breathtaking reversal (or re-reversal), Mr. Rogers now supports expanding the SCHIP program.
Important safety-net programs - like Medicaid and SCHIP - should be strengthened by expanding premium assistance programs which give low-income families new insurance options.
(You may recall that Mr. Rogers spent most of 2007/2008 fighting tooth and nail against expanding SCHIP, the program which helps working families to pay for their children's health care coverage.)

He also trots out the GOP 85/15 talking point -- that the 85% of Americans who are insured should not have to face higher costs or less choice to cover the 15% who are uninsured.

On the face of it, this sounds reasonable.

It sounds reasonable until you read the recent American Journal of Medicine study which finds that in 2007, 62% of all bankruptcies were linked to medical expenses -- and nearly 80% of the folks who filed had health insurance.

So much for choice and control.

Speaking of control, can you name the two industries which have been the top contributors to Mr. Rogers during his Congressional career? No points for guessing health care and insurance; the pharmaceutical industry is in fifth place for donations to the Rogers cash machine.

Guess we shouldn't expect too much from Mr. Rogers in this summer's health care debates.

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