Fifth Nick’s Crusade Video Blog: “A Seat At The Table” Determining Health Reform, Doesn’t Include People With Disabilities

Posted by – May 18, 2009

Fifth Nick’s Crusade Video Blog: “A Seat At The Table” Determining Health Reform, Doesn’t Include People With Disabilities from Alejandra Ospina on Vimeo.

In my fifth video blog, I go after the administration’s health reform deliberations for their lack of inclusiveness.

Full transcript of the video, with supporting links and footnotes

Hello, this is Nick Dupree for the Nick’s Crusade blog.

This is day 262 of me being in an institution, and tonight I’m gonna talk about Barack Obama and the insurance industry.

Lately, the administration has been really ramping up, and saying that health care is their #1 domestic priority.  The health secretary, and Joe Biden have both said, that this is #1 on the agenda.

Now there have been a flurry of meetings at the White House about the health care package and what’s it gonna look like, what’s gonna be in it, what’s not gonna be in it.  And recently, Barack Obama met in the Roosevelt room with the top insurance executives.  On HealthReform.gov, they released this picture1, with the caption that these are the health care “STAKEHOLDERS.”  Look at this picture.  It’s all white people! (except for the president)   And it’s all MEN, except for the two women beside the president, there’s another woman, an industry lobbyist, an industry lobbyist who’s at the table.  The administration keeps talking about “a seat at the table,” that the industry has “a seat at the table,”   And they’re offering them “a seat at the table” so they won’t oppose the plan.  Now … where’s MY “seat at the table?”  Where’s YOUR “seat at the table?”   Where’s the “seat at the table” for the black people and the people in wheelchairs?  You don’t see any people in wheelchairs at the table do you?   You don’t see any black people,or Hispanics, or Asians, or any minorities around this table, do you?

We’re giving the “seat at the table” to the people who already have the power.  And the insurance industry, they already have the power; they don’t need help from the administration.  They’re making trillions2.  And they’re getting trillions, by denying life-saving care to millions of people.   They’re trying to limit the use of life-saving medical care; they’re sending denial letters like they did with my little brother.

They’re trying …  they’re SQUEEZING the American people.  They’re basically these giant leeches on the American economy, and the American people3.  Everyday people are getting SCREWED by these guys, and Obama is offering them “a seat at the table.”

In exchange, they’re offering to lower the explosive growth of health care costs.  They’re not offering to lower costs, let’s make this clear.  They’re not offering to lower any costs; they’re offering to slightly slow the growth of costs.4

This is a promise that they made during the Jimmy Carter presidency5, and we all see…and we all see how that worked.  They didn’t keep their promise, and I see no reason why they’ll keep their promise this time.

Voluntary regulation does not work, and I see no reason why these guys are getting “a seat at the table” and people… people with disabilities, get no “seat at the table.”

I don’t think that’s right. And I think that’s something that needs to CHANGE.

Footnotes

1. this picture.

The photo was originally captioned “President Barack Obama met with healthcare stakeholders in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on May 11, 2009.

In this photo from HealthReform.gov, President Obama meets with various corporate pigdogs from the Health Care industry.

In this photo from HealthReform.gov, President Obama meets with various corporate pigdogs from the Health Care industry.

I found the above photo on HealthReform.gov (though it’s now been replaced, along with the related links, in one of their near-daily updates)

2. “The US health care sector has combined revenues of 1.5 trillion annually.  Hoovers.com Industry Overview: Healthcare Sector. (for comparison’s sake, the entire continent of Africa has a combined annual GDP of 1.3 trillion)

3. Publications and Research: Study Shows More People Go Without Health Coverage as Insurance Costs Outpace Income Eightfold

4. http://healthreform.gov/factsheethealthreformstake.pdf

5. From a quote from a Carter administration official, in “No One’s Falling For Big Health’s Bogus Promise to “Reform”” By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted May 13, 2009.

This is the first video blog edited by myself independently