Private industry has sunk to a new low in trying to get their way. Documents recovered and shown in the mainstream media television outlets show a public relations firm hired by the insurance industry has been organizing an "astroturf" rebellion (a phony grassroots organizing effort) to disrupt town meetings during the month of August while Congress is in recess and discussing proposed changes to the health care delivery and insurance system.
Whatever the public decides it wants to do about the changes presently being debated in Congress, a civilized, informative discussion should be allowed to take place without heckling, shouting, and shutting down constituent questioning of their Representative about this issue. What is the industry afraid of, that an open, rational discussion might actually convince people this plan is not a government takeover of health insurance? What is wrong with allowing an option to participate in a private plan or a public one? Where are all of these so-called free marketers who say that competition is best? If the private sector is better at doing things then let them prove it by providing better coverage at reduced cost. All the industry is offering at this moment is to do away with the pre-existing illness disqualification for insurance coverage in return for a mandate that everyone be covered. That means they get 40 million new customers with no commitment to control costs or stop denying individual procedure coverage. Sounds like a pretty shitty deal to me.
Whatever your views about healthcare reform, this new tactic of funneling private industry money to disrupt town meetings is new low, and should be soundly criticized by all Americans. It's a new form of corporate Naziism, akin to sending Brownshirts to stir up trouble. In this case the Brownshirts are misinformed and frightened people who have unwittingly become dupes in a Washington power struggle. Don't let them shut down the discussion. Contact your representatives and newspapers and tell them you don't appreciate be told what to think or how much information you are allowed to hear to influence your decision-making. Corporations funding lobbying efforts in Washington is one thing. Using their unlimited financial resources for disruption and intimidation is another, and should be unacceptable in a democracy.