It’s so lovely to quote our dear Senator from Arizona, Jon Kyl.
From the WSJ,

“The health insurance industry is one of the most regulated industries in America,” said Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) on the Senate floor Monday. “They don’t need to be ‘kept honest’ by the government.”

While the Los Angeles Times, reporting on Congressional hearings last month:

The documents show, for instance, that one Blue Cross employee earned a perfect score of “5” for “exceptional performance” on an evaluation that noted the employee’s role in dropping thousands of policyholders and avoiding nearly $10 million worth of medical care.

Well Point’s Blue Cross of California subsidiary and two other insurers saved more than $300 million in medical claims by canceling more than 20,000 sick policyholders over a five-year period, the House committee said….
The committee investigation uncovered several rescission practices that one lawmaker called egregious, including targeting every policyholder diagnosed with leukemia, breast cancer and 1,400 other serious illnesses. Such investigations involve scouring the policyholder’s original application and years’ worth of medical and pharmacy records in search of any discrepancies.

To this a friend from the right argued in support of the status quo:

“Interesting! Sounds bad. How much government interference do we need is the question! Any official that has been in Washington for any period of time is subject to lobbyist influence on both sides of the isle. Any of them above the temptation to be swayed?”

To which I responded:

I agree, that is the question. But what does Kyl think the role of government, if not to “keep honest” industry. Perhaps he has befriended corporate sponsorship too long and views government as an impediment to big business. Maybe he should try representing the rest of us ordinary folk for a change.

If I can use a sports analogy, Government has the role of officials. Corporations are the players. We are the fans. Without a play book and referees, there would be chaos. Big business is no less cut-throat than pro football, so imagine the insurance game or the investment game without supervision.

This is how I see government. They establish the rules and regulations of play and pass out penalties for infractions. Too many rules makes for a slow game, but anyone who claims, players — without supervision — will hold to a sense of fair play; that laws of conduct are unnecessary, is either representing a vested interest angling for a position of gain (like Senator Kyl), or is fooling himself.

A case can be made, that while supporting for-profit health care business, right-wing politicians fear-monger expressly to frighten their constituency. The most vocal defenders of health insurance companies, rely on xenophobia — delivering a fact-free rhetoric, reinforced by conservative talk radio. Zero-content message redundancy as truth is the definition of propaganda.

As hate-mongers amp up the verbiage by comparing government regulation to Nazi fascist methodology; these corporate sponsored shills, disrupt town hall meetings. Intransigent and chaotic, these louts offer no meaningful solution to rising health care costs. Their goal is to impede without discourse — the antithesis of American democracy.

Ironically, these procedures epitomize brown-shirt Nazis tactics, in their efforts to curtail discussion among the more open-minded town hall attendees. This is not the finest hour for American politics. When will the Republican leadership disavow such thuggish behavior and despicable advocacy?

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