Stephen Colbert once remarked, “There are some things that everybody knows, but nobody says.”
He was referring to something that I’ve endeavored to point out as the debate over health care reform has taken shape: namely, the fact that many of the lawmakers who have curbed the effort for effective health care reform are clearly acting against the authentic wishes of their constituents in favor of personal enrichment and the promise of swollen campaign war-chests, courtesy of powerful, moneyed interests.
Those interests are reaping the rewards of having their demands met. And, amid the exploding profits that the health insurance industry is enjoying as a bill that would eliminate market competition wends its way through the legislative process, Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald zooms in on one example of how this disconnected decision-making process manifests itself, to our detriment:
Just to put this boon to health insurance stocks in perspective: according [to] an Indianapolis Star article from June, Evan Bayh’s wife, Susan, “owns from $500,001 to $1 million in employee stock in WellPoint, the Indianapolis-based insurance giant on whose board she sits.” That would mean that the value of her personal holdings in that one health insurance company alone, in the last six weeks alone (since [Senator Joseph] Lieberman and her husband began menacing the public option), would have increased by a value of between $125,000 and $250,000. As part of the bonanza of health care industry board positions she magically received since her husband became a Senator, Susan Bayh is given a quarter-million dollars each year in stocks and stock options from Wellpoint. That’s just a microcosm for considering how well Obama’s so-called “special interests” have done as a result of this health care bill.
This is the divinity that shapes our ends, and I can promise you, it will go largely unremarked upon by your media.