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More proof out this week that the insurance industry’s sweet words for health care reform are dripping with hypocrisy. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), which has been pushing a sham health care reform campaign masquerading as a grassroots initiative, now seems to be using dirty tricks and outright falsehoods in an attempt to keep some of their most profitable programs.

Jason Rosenbaum writes on Health Care For America Now! that AHIP is sending letters to Massachusetts newspapers under the names of real seniors—who are unaware their names are being used—demanding that their representatives in Congress protect the Medicare Advantage health care program.

Medicare Advantage is George W. Bush’s privatization experiment, which put millions of dollars in the hands of private insurance companies. President Obama has proposed to stop subsidizing private insurers through Medicare Advantage.

Here’s how Rosenbaum describes AHIP’s skullduggery:

“I did not write a letter to the editor. It’s not from me,” said Gloria Gosselin, 75, of Lawrence. Gosselin’s name was on one of three strikingly similar letters touting the Medicare Advantage program that were sent to The (New Bedford) Eagle-Tribune.

A tip-off to the true origin of the letters, Rosenbaum says, came when The Eagle-Tribune received a call from a man who turned out to be an intern at the Boston office of the Dewey Square Group, a national political marketing and consulting firm.

The man, who identified himself as Noah, wanted to know if Gloria Gosselin’s letter had been published. Asked what interest he had in the letter, Noah replied that he was Gosselin’s grandson. Gosselin does not have a grandson named Noah working in Boston.

Click here to read Rosenbaum’s blog.

Unlike the health insurance industry, a large majority of Americans supports President Obama’s plan to finance national health care reform by eliminating tax breaks for the rich, according to a poll by Lake Research Partners.

The poll shows a clear majority of Americans (63 percent) favor a health care funding proposal to raise taxes on those who earn more than $250,000 per year by decreasing their tax deductions. An even larger majority of those polled (80 percent) oppose funding health care reform by treating employer health care benefits as income.

Obama’s budget sets aside more than $630 billion over the next 10 years as a reserve fund to help finance reforms to the nation’s health care system. To help pay for it, Obama will allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent to expire in 2010 and will eliminate other tax breaks for those making more than $250,000 a year.

Support for this approach to funding health care reform has majority backing in every region of the country and among independent voters (52 percent) and Democrats (85 percent), according to Lake’s poll.

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