Category: Health Care

Bleeding Heart

I don’t write diaries because I’d rather counter punch than initiate.  Also, I fear my true self will be exposed, and it ain’t pretty.  I am a proud bleeding heart liberal, as are most of the people at this site, but I’m also a reluctant militant.  Peaceful means just don’t work in America, never have.

Recently, around MLK Day, King was praised for his great successes, and I disagreed.  Kids in the slums are worse off today than they were 40 years ago.  Their schools are still underfunded and poorly staffed, their healthcare is Bushian–the ER at the local hospital.  They stand a better chance of being incarcerated, of being poorly represented in court.  I really wish all Americans were forced to watch the Wire on HBO–it tells it exactly the way I saw it in NYC–and it’s ugly.  The only time ghettos saw an effort by government was in the 1960s–riots released federal hush money.

Politics looks better today because of Obama–and he’s a powerful symbol of Black advancement in America–except, I should add, that the advancement is only for super African Americans–you know, the Harvard educated guy.  Those old enough can be reminded of Sidney Poitier coming to dinner.  In the neighborhoods I worked in, successful men were drug dealers and pimps–and the kids wanted to be like Mike–the sports fantasy out of poverty.  On second thought, there were very few men around Bed/Stuy, many were “away”–euphemism for in jail.

Unions seem less discriminatory lately–many teacher unions are lead by people not white.  Maybe that’s because unions have been so weakened that it doesn’t matter anymore. Corporations have learned how to defend themselves–with governmental assistance–and very few strikes seem to take place, even less succeed.  MLK would have been mighty surprised by this turn of events because he was killed before St Ronnie’s paradigm of trickle down bullshit.

Before ending this rant, I want to include a counter punch I wrote today about party politics and healthcare, so here’s a quote from melvynny–my Dkos moniker–

Some of the money donated to the Dem party should be used to set up health insurance consultation offices and phone bank/web sites.  As Parade states, everyone with insurance eventually gets a claim rejected. If we had experts fighting for those claims we would accomplish 2 great things.  Everyone would be grateful to the Dem Party, and more people would get their claims processed correctly and promptly.

My  idea is to emulate Hamas’ tactic of giving social service and getting political allegiance in return.

My Covert Media Op to Save Public Hospitals

In early December, I diaried a proposed Medicaid Rules change, which, if it goes into effect in May as scheduled, will result in draconian cuts to public and teaching hospitals.  This is a non-partisan issue: the US v. the Bush Administration.  Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Sue Myrick (R-NC)  have introduced HR 3533, the Preserve Our Public and Teaching Hospitals Act into the house to block the odious rules change.  Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)have attemtped to introduce a moratorium on the rule in the senate.

Unfortunately, the good guys have not been able to muster the votes to extend an existing moratorium on the rules change, which would spare our frayed public health care infrastructure a possibly mortal blow for at least another year.

Go to SC w/me to work for John?

I’d filled out the little form online to say I could go to South Carolina and work for the primary on behalf of Edwards, my choice for president, but I didn’t expect they’d need me.

After all…I can’t pay for my accommodations, and can’t do a lot of walking or standing. But today someone from Edward’s campaign staff in SC called, asking me to come to volunteer –asap.

American Coffin Nails

Garfield County Colorado,  Tom Shiflett, 62, father of ten endures SWAT team raid, needs a new front door and was terrorized at gunpoint.

Why?  Because he refused medical care for his son.

How though did we get to this?  Well it’s a natural progression in this “the post 911 world”.

Family of Nataline Sarkisyan to Join Edwards Today on Campaign Trail

Cross posted from Dkos.

In the debate last night, John Edwards reiterated that the battle against the enrenched interests is personal to him.  He also spoke about Nataline Sarkiysan:

What’s happening now is insurance companies are running all over people. I mean, the case of Nataline Sarkisyan, which a lot of the audience would be familiar with — 17 year old girl who lost her life a couple of weeks ago because her insurance company would not pay for a liver transplant operation. She had health insurance, but the insurance company wouldn’t pay for it. They finally caved in a few hours before she died.


You know, we need a president who believes deeply in here, who believes deeply in this battle, and it is personal for me.

According to Ezra Klein, and Ben Smith the family of Nataline Sarkisyan will join Edwards today on the campaign trail.  It’s personal for them also.  Very personal.  Come around after the fold and let’s talk about why it’s personal.

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and the Superficial War on Christmas

Rep. King is furious.  Nine democrats in the House voted “No” on resolution he proposed stating that  “the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world.” The resolution recognized “the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.”

What could those nine have been thinking?   Could it have been something related to the separation of Church and State?  

More importantly, what was Rep. King’s motivation for such a resolution?

Speaking with FOX News Wednesday, King said he was motivated to push the resolution because of liberal activists and “secularists in the country who are trying to eradicate Christ from Christmas.”

“It’s time we stood up and said so and said to the rest of America, ‘Be who you are, and be confident, and let’s worship Christ and celebrate Christmas for the right reasons’,” he said

Below: Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir in the Mall of America.

Just Whining or Just Tattling

Grrrrr…….I’ve started all the paperwork needed to be reimbursed for the traveling expenses surrounding my sons last surgery.  I requested a change of who his PCM is and was granted that change from the commander of the Lyster Health Clinic at Fort Rucker.  Normally when you are part of an active duty family there is an existing mostly military operated healthcare structure close by that you must originate from on your healthcare journeys.  Most of the physicians who are part of that system right now are also soldiers.  There are a few doctors who are contractors involved as well but I haven’t been really happy with those that I’ve seen at Lyster because they only seem to want to punch the time clock and let’s face it…….if you are a kickin unowned physician you are kickin in your own practice.

I’m not anti military doctor either.  Some are good and some not so good but Dr. Campbell who is the creator of the titanium rib device and procedure that saved my sons life started out as an Army doctor.  He told me that he always desired to be a doctor but his family couldn’t even begin to pay for that schooling so he did what a lot of impoverished future doctors do and sold himself to the military for awhile and they got him the schooling.  My son has been passed onto Dr. Simmons now.  Dr. Simmons is an orthopedic surgeon who put together wounded soldiers coming out of Iraq.  Dr. Campbell knew this Simmons character while in the service and knew that he rocked as an orthopedic surgeon so told him that when his time was up in the military he needed to work with him helping these kids with horrible scoliosis be able to live and Simmons did.  So how could I sanely be anti military physician?

Random Economics Question

Easily my favorite thing about blogger Megan McArdle (the former Jane Galt) is her willingness to deal with economics questions in conversational terms, without often resorting to mathematics or theory.  Often, it makes her look bad to the casual reader, but I generally find it to be extraordinarily daring.  Politics is a realm where the ultimate sin is to say anything, true or false, in a manner which can be taken as offensive (paging Rep. Stark!). 

Today, Ms. McArdle made a post about charity in response to a comment which Ezra Klein highlighted on his blog.

Interestingly, this is exactly the argument that was offered for why socialism would be better than capitalism. I don’t find it ridiculous; indeed, in 1935, I’m sure I’d have found it incredibly compelling. It took a genius like Friedrich Hayek (and ultimately, the collapse of the Soviet Union) to show why giant national solutions rarely outperform a competitive market.

The problem, it turns out, is that the central planners with the big picture have to design one-size-fits all programs that by their nature have more error built in because they don’t have good local information. Also, when the planners make mistakes, as they inevitably will, those mistakes are bigger. They are also harder to detect because again, the planners have a much poorer grade of information about what is happening on the ground than local players do. And because there’s no competition, there is no one to grade your performance against, and also, much less incentive to fix mistakes–particularly since those mistakes tend to generate constituencies devoted to protecting them. (See subsidies, farm.)

(You should follow the link to see the comment from Klein’s blog and the full response from McArdle)

“Health” Fairs Past and Present

In those good old days open enrollment at work meant signing up for next years annual health care choices and optional benefits packages.  One year I think we had a choice between five different medical plan providers.  Tufts, Bay State, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Blue Cross, those wonderful names where presented to us in colorful books listing all the benefits and in the plan doctors and hospitals.

Today’s “health” fair consisted of a single copied page listing the “benefits” of our new health care provider, United Health Care. There was also a table where they would take your blood pressure.  I thought no, this subject pisses me off to make this particular reading totally bogus.

This studiously crafted document could only be the result of hours upon hours of debate by the highest paid attorneys money can buy.  What is “covered” is not you but them, and the killer keyphrase?
100% of Eligible Expenses
100% of Eligible Expenses
100% of Eligible Expenses
Ok, that doesn’t sound too bad does it?
Nah, think like a lawyer, notice the world, eligible.
But it says 100% covered right?
OK, now think like a lawyer, and his business agent who is employed by Satan himself.  Eligible, do you have a clear picture what eligible means?  Do you have in legalese type writing proof of your definition of “eligible”?

Eligible means you don’t get to decide, they do after you get the bill followed by a minimum half hour phone call to people who won’t resolve your dispute anyway.



But at least HIPPA makes my records private right?


In short whenever a politician opens his mouth on the subject of health care he is one of two things.
An employee of Satan.

This is a true testament from a resident of mAssachusetts, a state where this shit is not only unregulated, people are forced to buy it.  Let this NOT become a MODEL for a national plan.  If it does you might not want to call them on your cell phone either.


By The Numbers: 5.5 vs. 1.12



They serve as the ultimate descriptive methodology. They can be misleading, but if used responsibly they also are vital to understanding the way the world works.

To me, they serve as a starting point for discussion.

I believe health care and education are the twin pillars of an equitable society. They should be the two most important areas of government involvement. The two numbers in the title of this essay – 5.5 and 1.12 – are linked to health care and education in a big way.

Any guesses as to their meaning? Details below the fold.

Gore uploads three campaign-style videos on

Crossposted at  dailykos

This will be a short, hit-and-run diary. People need to go to and view the three short videos Gore uploaded last night, one entitled Healthcare is a right,, one called Americans deserve more protection and the third entitled Get the troops home (H/T Lorikat). All Gorites and those with an open-mind, head over to and view the clips! Then sign up to the site so you can discuss them.

let me get this straight

cross-posted at dKos

From Michelle Malkin’s blog

The most buzzworthy story on the right side of the blogosphere this weekend concerned young Graeme Frost… propped up by Democrats desperate to avert the president’s veto of S-CHIP legislation, which would have massively expanded the government health care entitlement.

It appears that Ms. Malkin is concerned about massively expanding the government’s health care entitlement. So I’m pretty sure that Ms. Malkin simply wants to make sure that our taxes dollars are not diverted to something so mundane and middle class as health care. I’m pretty sure she just wants to protect the worthy entitlement programs described below the fold…

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