Posted by: shannynmoore | August 4, 2009

Begich Birthday Lunch With Obama

Yes, President Obama’s birthday is today, and instead of clearing brush in Crawford, he WAS WORKING ON HEALTH CARE.

This just in from Ms. Hasquet:

“After meeting with President Obama today for nearly two hours, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said health insurance reform is vital for America’s future and pledged to push for a Senate floor vote on the issue in September when Congress returns from its August recess.

Begich joined members of the Senate Democratic Caucus who met with the President for lunch at the White House today. The discussion, led by the President, focused on the need to reform the nation’s health insurance and health care systems.

“I hear horror stories nearly every day from Alaskans who can’t afford decent health care, are being rejected by insurance companies for pre-existing conditions or are fighting with insurance companies over their medical bills,” Begich said. “It’s simply unacceptable that nearly one-fifth of Alaskans lack adequate health insurance in one of the wealthiest states in one of the richest countries in the world. There’s no excuse for not doing better.”

Begich stressed that reform is essential for individuals and the business community. In 2009, health care expenditures are approximately 18 percent of GDP, and without major reform, health care’s share of GDP will rise to 34 percent within 30 years. “That’s one-third of our economy going just to health care,” Begich said. “It’s totally unsustainable.”

In the past decade family insurance premiums have doubled in Alaska, from about $6,000 in 1997 to $12,200 in 2006 – the most recent year state-level data is available. Without reform, these premiums are expected to double again by 2016.

Begich also said Alaskans with insurance pay a hidden tax because hospitals pass on the cost of covering the uninsured – uncompensated care – to those with coverage. Nationally, the average family pays a hidden tax of $1,100 to help cover the uninsured.  In Alaska, the average is $1,900 per family.”

How is that hitting you?


  1. Thank You Shannyn for staying on this health care issue. You have been a very busy girl lately. I support single-payer, like HB 676. I think it is time to say NO to big insurance and their buddies and take back our health care.

  2. I spoke with a friend today, who, as a result of working for a chemical company for 40 years, has a number of potentially serious ailments. He pays over $400 a month for health care and is worried that Obama will “mess with it.” I couldn’t believe my ears. He also refuses to apply for VA assistance.

  3. HB 676, sponsored by John Conyers, is the only way to go. Single Payer!

    When Senator Begich runs his first town hall meeting, I am showing up with wet tea bags. I will toss them at the first Tea Bagger to disrupt the meeting. Bring it on!

  4. Thank you Senator Begich. Earlier this month I was afraid he’d be counted with the Blue dog Dems, thank goodness he hasn’t walked that path! I’m gonna send him a thank you email.

    I am self employed and cannot afford to purchase any kind of insurance for my business, much less hire an employee and cover them! My husband works for a health care coporation and we are very inadequately covered through Premara/Blue Cross Blue Shield and it still costs us 1/3 of our combined earnings.

    I had a Republican relative congratulate me recently on making my business a “success”. It was such a left-handed (though unintentionally) compliment. I can only think if what my business would look like today if I had affordable health care coverage and other “governmental support” systems that would have made my starting my own business – and keeping it – easier.

  5. Single payer! Now there are a bunch of Health? Insurance Companies that need to go bankrupt.

  6. My authentic Kenyan birth certificate is here. We are very proud that a son of Kenya is your president. The denizens of your country are most fortunate. Please peruse it.

  7. I am turning to you for help – I have set up a petition to have paid health care
    removed from our representatives in Congress until such time as they reform
    health care – to include a strong public option – for ‘we the people’ who they
    are supposed to represent.

    If you agree with what I am doing – I am going to ask you to do what I have been
    asking others to do…spread the word to anyone and everyone you know!

    I am but one person – and cannot make a difference on my own…but there is
    strength in numbers and with assistance and determination, all things are
    possible! Please do what you can to help us further the cause of health care with a strong public option! Thank you!

  8. One comment…in addition to paying a ‘hidden tax’ on care for the uninsured, we pay a 30% surcharge to provide the executives and shareholders of big Insurance corporations with exhorbitant salaries and profits.

  9. Don’t let up on Sen Begich as far as health care reform goes. I received a letter from him in response to my urging him to support Obama’s health care reform and he said in one part: “I remain open to all ideas achieving these priorities, and have not ruled out an option allowing public access to health care.” I thought it was a little weak and responded that he needs to actually support a public option.

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