Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Obama Plays Hardball" on the insurance industry (with video)

John Cole, (Balloon Juice), with video (06:06):
The NY Times reports:

President Obama mounted a frontal assault on the insurance industry on Saturday, accusing it of airing “deceptive and dishonest ads” to derail his health care legislation and threatening to strip the industry of its longstanding exemption from federal anti-trust laws.
In unusually harsh terms, Mr. Obama cast insurance companies as obstacles to change interested only in preserving their own “profits and bonuses” and willing to “bend the truth or break it” to stop his drive to remake the nation’s health care system. The president used his weekly radio and Internet address to push back against industry assertions that legislation will drive up premiums.

“It’s smoke and mirrors,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, ‘Take one of these, and call us in a decade.’ Well, not this time.”

Rather than trying to curb costs and help patients, he said the industry is busy “figuring out how to avoid covering people. And they’re earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exemption from our anti-trust laws, a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing.”

I’m wondering if when this is all over, people will look back to the BS report from Price Waterhouse Coopers as the turning point in the debate.
Howie P.S.: Greg Sargent goes to Twitter to say
Of course, if Prez really wants to take on insurance industry he could always try a bit harder to make the public option happen.

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