This is huge in so many ways, to many for a non medical professional like myself to break it all down.
Tag: health care reform
Jul 15 2010
Apr 04 2010
The critics of Health Care Reform have a point – its expensive. At least $940 Billion worth of expensive over a 10 year period, maybe more. Sure, almost all of it is off-set by taxes and fees.
But what if I was to tell you that I knew of a way to pay for it, and more, without raising taxes or making any cuts at all?
It sounds too good to be true, right?
And yet its still true. The trick is hidden in a GAO report from three weeks ago that didn’t get any media attention.
Improper Payments: Federal entities reported estimates of improper payment amounts that totaled $98.7 billion for fiscal year 2009, which represented about 5 percent of $1.9 trillion of reported outlays for the related programs.
That’s nearly $100 Billion in payments that should not have been made, and $26.2 Billion more than last year. Or to put it another way, that’s more than one year of the cost of health care reform right there.
Mar 31 2010
New Health Care Law a Republican Plan That Should Make Insurance Companies Proud
By: Jon Walker Tuesday March 30, 2010 2:22 pm
This new law at its heart is a pro-private health insurance, pro-big business Republican bill. It is not liberal or progressive, and it would be hard to justify even calling the law “centrist” because it lacks very popular elements like a public option and drug re-importation-reforms wanted by the broad “center” of the country.
It is nearly identical to previous Republican bills and laws. It is strikingly similar to a plan from the Heritage Foundation. It almost exactly follows the same proposal put forward over a year ago by the health insurance industry itself. After it passed, the drug companies spent big on ads thanking Democrats for passing this massive giveaway to their industry.
The law is a completely wasteful and poorly designed piece of corporate welfare. It is nothing for progressives to be proud of. If you want to argue that we should have supported it because the rampant corruption in our Congress and the fact that a huge number of senators are wholly owned by the health care industry means that this wasteful, pro-corporate bill was the only way to get some help to some people in need, I can at least accept the honesty of that argument. But let’s all stop pretending this was some great victory over the health care industry and for progressive policy.
Mar 28 2010
Just the other day, I declared my liberation from politics and talk radio and blogs that promote the party line. With this liberation came a renewed interest in the only man outside the system, Ralph Nader.
Today, I got this email from him on health care. It contained the usual stuff that we all know. The bill is corporate welfare and was written by the health care corporations. Many people recognize the Obama spin for the lie it is, and it contains many money quotes from Chris Hedges and others who know that when it smells like a skunk, looks like a skunk, well you know the rest of that.
I have copied and posted the entire email below in case someone wants to donate to the single payer cause; but there is one short paragraph on Howard Dean in the email that caught my attention. I bolded it because I think it is important. Apparently Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders got their pound of flesh for
their support shutting up. Bernie got clinics for the people, and Dean got – well read it for yourself.
Mar 27 2010
Burning the Midnight Oil for Progressive Populism
Now that the Republican Health Care Reform legislation of the early 90’s has been passed with no Republican votes, I’ve been musing on the Path Ahead.
The path ahead for health insurance reform seems straightforward, at least for as long as the Republicans remain trapped in a strict “Repeal” stance by the angry and noisy opposition to health insurance reform that corporations have stirred up in their base.
It has always been a misnomer to call the current legislation “health care reform” when it has always been primarily health insurance reform. Yet there is a necessary-through-not-sufficient relationship that applies here. Just as arriving at a less broken health insurance system was necessary to even apply bandaids to the health care system, a not-at-all broken publicly administered, not-for-profit health insurance system will allow actual reform of the health care system to proceed.
But then, thinking about how to organize to work for progress on Health Insurance Reform leads to thinking more broadly about achieving progressive social change in the face of our thoroughly corrupted political establishment
Mar 25 2010
David Dayen at Lake du Fire Dogs has been watching the Senate vote on the Reconciliation side car “fix” to the Health Insurance Bailout bill this morning.
It passed, 56 to 43. V.P. Joe Biden was there, indicating that the administration didn’t quite trust the Democratic Senators to behave themselves. Senators Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas (OPEC API IPAA, Mellon Scaife, & Koch Oil, Mutual of Omaha, & Walmart, LLC) voted against the reconciliation bill.
Surprise ! It has to now go back to the House again for another vote, saith the Parliamentarian
Remember when there was talk of how the amendment process in the Senate would only need a simple 50 vote majority under the rules of reconciliation, and therefore some Senator could offer an amendment with a Public Option, and there was Sen. Bennett’s (D, CO) letter http://bennet.senate.gov/newsr… going around with the signatures, and the People in Charge said Absolutely Not, we are taking no amendments on this because we can’t risk the Republicans delaying with their own ? An everybody got into line?
Surprise ! They were just kidding.
How about putting it in the year 2011 Budget, Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota ?
“I’d be unwilling to kick up dust on some new matter before we’ve resolved this one,” he told reporters.
A status quo You Can Believe In.
They say over 25 million Americans will be left out of coverage. It’s more. They’re wrong, there’s 300 million who were planning on the Constitution covering them, and it’s still random, depending on which state you reside in.
But only the Democratic Party could try to get away with it, having drawn such courage from watching the Republicans cheer them on as they continue to thumb their noses at the core constituency who actually voted to put them in office, and had bothered to read the quaint old thing.
AHIP Already kicking sick kids to the curb
nyceve has posted this story about America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP, think Karen Ignagni the lobbyist) which wrote much of the bill incognito, saying that it intreprets the new law as not requiring insurers to cover all child applicants this year. They would prefer to wait until 2014.
This bill is being “sold” as finally making insurance available for all children (except non legal residents) this year. Supposedly the Sec of HHS is going to issue a sternly worded clarification, or something. But insurers can jack up rates in the meantime-
Mar 24 2010
The stress of the past few weeks has reminded me of both the benefits and the drawbacks of being an adult. Perhaps you yourself can relate. Throughout the course of my daily existence, I expend a huge amount of energy attempting to navigate the world of interpersonal communication. Often I have to take account for the frailties, neuroses, personality defects, and defense mechanisms of those with whom I regularly encounter. It can at times be overwhelming and frustrating trying to not step on toes or to minimize conflict by means of damage control mode when I inadvertently do so. And as cobble together an apology and take stock of the situation, I find myself resenting the cruelty and sadism of humanity, which gives many people ample reason to build walls around themselves by means of protection. These attitudes only complicate crucial communication and trust and keep us separate from each other.
The anger of the Tea Party devotees upsets me, but what upsets me more is the degree of hostility and bitterness that has come to typify this entire process. I recognize that expecting otherwise is probably foolish, but I mourn when our nation’s fabric is rent asunder for any reason. Though this sentiment has long sense passed into platitude, we are all Americans, and moreover we are all human beings who share the same land. I do not enjoy, nor particularly thrive in an atmosphere where a ceaseless war of words rages. To be sure, I do not shirk away from these situations when they arise, but after a time the constant back and forth proves to be toxic and noxious, not just to me, but to everyone.
I didn’t have an especially happy childhood. Even when I was a child, I wished to be an adult. Adulthood to me represented a time where I would be taken seriously and where everyone else around me would be more or less on the same page. Now I find that this is true only up to a point. Among some I am taken seriously and among other I never will be. And as for my being on the same page with all, well, that’s a matter for debate. What I have discovered that with age often comes a rapidly growing history of psychological damage, increasingly guarded personal conduct, and all of these manifestations a form of the many lingering effects of internalized pain. Anger is really only a form of hurt, after all.
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I understand why many people enjoy working with children. They are unguarded, honest, vulnerable, and often endearingly sweet. Their basic nature stands in great contrast to the games we play as adults. When I still lived in Birmingham I would periodically take my turn to watch the children while the adults worshiped. When I did, I often found solace in the company of little ones who were largely nonjudgmental and lived only in the present moment. This isn’t to say that children can’t be just as cruel and vicious to each other as adults can, but that in conversing with them, one has less minefields to gingerly walk through and less need to plan for exit strategies.
Forgive me this question, but, friends, why must it be this complicated? What if we didn’t have to read the latest New York Times bestseller just to understand how to properly interact with each other? What if it didn’t take hours of therapy and thousands of dollars just to be able to be honest with our own pain and ourselves, to say nothing of the pain of others? What if we could bear to leave the armor down long enough to separate friend from foe? While some find it fascinating to observe and note the ways in which we are twisted and wizened, noting the unique nature of our scars, I find the combined impact deeply unfortunate and tragic. People to me are not a scientific experiment gone awry, they are individuals seeking love. And by love I don’t necessarily mean romantic love, but agape—charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional love for ourselves and for others. If we are ever going to begin the slow, but necessary process of healing, we must commit ourselves to it, all the time recognizing that the best offense isn’t necessarily a good defense.
Let us resolve to be honest with that which is broken in all of us. Throw open the doors wide. Don’t automatically reach for cynicism and skepticism in all situations, nor expect the worst for fear of not attaining the best. Don’t recoil and draw back at someone else’s immaturity or hurt directed in inappropriate ways towards inappropriate targets. Consider being like little children in all the best ways. Perhaps peace of mind isn’t so elusive after all. What do we have to lose?
Mar 23 2010
Since the demise of the public option and single payer health care, what I’ve been hearing from some on Docudharma is that we should pursue solutions that are not to be had from the Federal government, like true universal non profit health care for all, from the states. I’ve even recommended some of those posts out of sympathy or friendship.
But, to me, there’s a problem, here, Houston.
You see, the GLBT movement has already gone this way many times. Where we have been rejected by our Federal government, many of us look to our states to make things better, to provide that which our central government is unable or unwilling to do.
Without engaging in hyperbole, there are some things I think people should think about when they talk about working on state-by-state solutions to the crises of social and economic equality and basic human welfare that bear consideration:
1. One of the problems progressives have with the Federal government is the degree to which the central government is willing to countenance social and economic inequality. This problem is exacerbated, not diminished, by going to the states.
What you are really doing is adding state level inequality to class and social inequality.
When the GLBT movement got little traction at the federal government level, the battle largely shifted to the states.
Despite the battles that have taken place, a curious thing has happened: With few exceptions, the level of freedoms and rights LGBT people enjoy at the state level largely mirrors or corresponds with the pre-existing level of social acceptance already in those states to begin with. There has been, with notable exceptions like Iowa, very little of the phenomenon of social acceptance of LGBT people spreading from state to state, as incrementalists would have people believe.
Oh, to be sure, many of the high profile battles have taken place in what the average American would deem “liberal” states. Proposition 8, for example, lost in California, what most people would think of as a liberal accepting state. But this obscures the fact that the rights LGBT people enjoy in California is already higher than in other states, less marriage, to begin with.
California has domestic partnerships which are in every sense the equivalent of the best civil unions available in other states. Battles over LGBT rights are taking place in states that have, already, reasonably good track records, compared to the worst states.
But in Colorado, gay people have no domestic partnerships or civil unions. This is not on the horizon, either. To be fair, Colorado is rather middle of the road when it comes to LGBT acceptance. We cannot legally be fired from our jobs on account of merely being gay, for example, which is not the case in other states. But this is not my point: My point is the social and economic inequalities which do exist between the states vis a vis gay rights tend to be “locked in” over a long period of time, and the battles consist of getting people rights that are in the final analysis willing to be given by the people.
When it comes to health care, or other areas in which the Federal government has failed in its duty to its citizens, there is every reason to believe that the GLBT model and history would apply: States with a record and history of being willing to provide for their citizens are where these battles would occur and have a chance of winning, while citizens of other, lesser equal states will be told to suck wind and have few options.
In some cases, these could be different states than in the LGBT experience, but there is a dangerous overlap, and it’s the pattern that applies: Inequality increases, it doesn’t decrease.
Mar 23 2010
Building on the President’s Health Care Agenda
The President’s vision is the right one, […] Congress should enact specific policy changes that are consistent with that vision and that would fulfill its promises. However, Congress should be bolder than the White House and broaden the scope of change well beyond the President’s specific policy recommendations by:
— Expanding the proposed tax provisions to cover all health plans, not just HSA-qualified plans;
— Encouraging health insurance portability through individual ownership, a defined-contribution system, and establishment of a consumer-based “health exchange” marketplace; and
— Transforming the health care market into a more consumer-based system in which individuals are empowered to take direct control of their health care decisions.
Nina Owcharenko, 05/11/06
That is the advice from the Conservative Think-Tank — the Heritage Foundation!
AND the President they are talking about — is George W. Bush!
SO … a Health Exchange Marketplace = Marxist Socialism ???
Mar 22 2010
This writer would be the first to agree that the bill passed yesterday represented a huge wet kiss, planted firmly on the (well, you designate the body part) of large health insurers, Big PhRMA, and corporate health care providers. Despite including almost everything in this bill that Republicans had recommended in times past, not a single Republican voted in its favor.
Mar 20 2010
Crossposted at Daily Kos
The Republican wing of the Democratic party. The Blue Dogs. The ConservaDems. These assholes licked Bush’s fingers for a taste of his dinner and now they are biting Obama’s hand every time he reaches out to them. WHAT THE FUCK!!!!
So here is the deal. I already despise the Corporatist sell out Blue Cross/ Blue Shield dogs. They undermine Democratic ideas and damage our brand, and if they stay quiet and out of the way I can suffer them, but mark my words . . . .
If BlueDogs sink HCR I will put my foot so far up their a$$es they’ll be flossing with my shoelaces
This will be a short diary, as what I have to say is fairly simple. Any politician who votes NO on this bill is officially my mortal enemy. They are rooting for my illness and poverty at best, and my death at worse. Why? Because they do not represent people, but instead they represent the greedy, bloodthirsty insurers, and the profit motive for a politician who does the insurers bidding is the bribe of campaign donations, all so the insurers can keep making their blood money profits. FUCK THAT AND FUCK THEM.
With that being said, I can safely say that PeanutButterPAC will do it’s best to kick the ass of every NO vote on this Health Care Bill so hard their asses will be up near their armpits, and if you want to join up and help us, the more the better.
Rant continued below the fold . . .
Mar 19 2010
Crossposted at Daily Kos
Paging Ed Shultz, psycho talk in the wingnut isle.
Screw going to 11. The Conservative Freak Out continues to go to infinite and beyond.
Witness Rep. Paul Broun as he flat out rewrites history in a disgusting attempt to compare Health Care Reform into something scary, such as that “Great war of Yankee aggression”. In the reality based world, we call that THE CIVIL WAR!
Watch . . .
BROUN: If ObamaCare passes, that free insurance card that’s in people’s pockets is gonna be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the War Between The States – the Great War of Yankee Aggression.
So Ronald Reagan will replace that Yankee agressor President Grant on the $50 bill because Reagan’s accomplishments (cough – Jack Shit- cough) are greater than FREEING THE SLAVES?
Holy revisionist history, batman! WTF?
More below the fold . . . .