Tag: Single Payer

Healthcare: The Big Issue, The Big Test for Obama

I want to try to take buhdy’s essay, “Obama uses his Loud Voice on Health Care” one step further into activism.  So often on this blog, we ask, “But what can we do?”  I want to offer an answer to this question.

We must get Obama’s back on this issue.  In massive, massive numbers, with really loud voices, we must get behind him and push, massively, loudly, strongly.  I want every person on this blog to reach out to friends, family, e lists, and every contact we have to move folks in the direction of REAL healthcare reform.

Buhdy correctly identifies this as the defining issue.  This is the issue Obama wishes to succeed.  If he can win on healthcare reform, if we can keep his back on healthcare reform so that he can win, then we will have a solid basis for further progressive successes in the future.  

Please continue beyond the fold—

Infant mortality rates highest in Republican leaning states

The bottom ten states by ranking are

1. Mississippi 11.4/1000
2. Louisiana 10.1/1000
3. South Carolina  9.4/1000
4. Alabama  9.4/1000
5. Delaware  9.0/1000
6. Tennessee  8.9/1000
7. North Carolina  8.8/1000
8. Ohio  8.3/1000
9. Georgia  8.2/1000
10.West Virginia  8.1/1000

    We need a public option in health care reform, preferably a single payer plan, and we need it now.

    We have to fight for quality public health care as if our lives depend on it. Literally. Lives depend on it.

    Sadly, the District of Columbia has the highest percentage of Infant Mortality, with 14.1/1000

    Infant mortality is defined as the number of deaths of infants (one year of age or less) per 1000 live births.  

    If the best indicator of the policies followed by our political leaders is the quality of health, education and prosperity that their constituents enjoy, we can safely say that our nations private health care system and Republican leadership have failed miserably.


    Many factors effect the infant mortality rate. First and foremost among these factors are the availability of medicine and health care to the public itself, and the amount of wealthy or poverty in which that population lives.

    In instances like this many issues seem to converge. Racism, empathy, health care reform, poverty, the economy, all these issues add up to this sad fact; the same people who fear empathy, reverse racism, health care reform and all the strawmen they can raise do not care one bit about the fact that American infants die at a higher rate than any other nation of our stature that has a single payer public health care system and a strong social safety net for those who are less fortunate than others.

    In this case, personal responsibility literally translates into “if you wanted to have a better chance at survival you should have been born into a family that wasn’t as disadvantaged. I am not responsible for your problems. ”

    The nearly 10-year decline in U.S. infant mortality rates has stalled and disparities between black and white infant mortality persist, according to CDC data, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the data, black infants are 2.4 times more likely to die before age one than white infants.

    In 2005, 13.26 black infants died per 1,000 live births, which is similar to the rate in some developing nations, the Journal reports. Among white infants, the mortality rate increased slightly to 5.73 deaths per 1,000 live births, up from 5.66 deaths in 2004, according to the data. Overall, the U.S. infant mortality rate increased from 6.78 deaths per 1,000 births in 2004 to 6.86 deaths per 1,000 births in 2005. According to the Journal, infant mortality rates had “steady declines” in the 1990s and early 2000s, particularly among white infants.

    CDC officials say the higher rates in large part can be attributed to low birthweights, shorter gestation periods and premature births. Experts say that it is difficult to identify a link between race and higher infant mortality but noted that higher rates of poverty, limited access to health care and dietary differences are possible contributors (Abkowitz, Wall Street Journal, 7/30).


    More often than not, those of us who lack basic health care and preventative medicine are those people who are poor and disadvantaged. Often, those same people are minorities, women and people who are not born into the wealth that gives people greater opportunity. It should be telling that, as a society, we have failed to provide for the majority of our citizens as well as other nations that are not as profit hungry.

    The divide between the rich and poor in America can be plainly seen here.

Me & Baucus

I got an email from democrats.com with a click and sign petetion for single payer. I clicked and recommend that we all click. It is probably not going to happen but we may get a stronger public option by pushing.Anyhow, here is an email I sent to Baucus.

Senator Baucus

I want single payer for my grandkids and for generations unborn and for the homeless vets who sleep under the bridge nearby. Don’t worry I take them a load of blankets from BIG LOTS every fall with a $5 bill tucked in each. You could have helped them more but you came up short, not in contributions in performance.

The anger over single payer among us war vets is thick enough to slice. We remember when it was defeated in 60’s and 90’s and now we can add the 00’s. When I saw you say on teevee that maybe you should have left the single payer option in as tho it was merely an oversight I lost it. In addition you magnanimously dropped charges on the thirteen nurses and doctors you had arrested. What a guy!

I paid my American Express Credit Card $51.19 today. It was not due yet but I could not cancel it as long as there was a balance. In making the cancellation I mentioned your oversight on single payer and the $50,000 they gave to your campaign. I am not a constituent but a war buddy is and he is going to supply a vote and I am kicking in $50. Guess who gets them in your next election.

signed dungaree

Healthcare on Demand

Part 2 of our ongoing “If you build it” new coalition activism series. (WWL version)

Docudharma Version here

In our effort to make a list of DEMANDS rather than suggestions, that can be brushed aside as “not feasible at this time” today we will address Health Care.

Let me repeat the Mantra:

A person and their doctor walk into a room. They decide what avenue will best keep that person healthy and alive. No bean counters. No multiple referrals. No putting it up for review with a bunch of multiple churches. They GET the care necessary.

The term “single-payer” confuses most Americans anyway. It makes it sound like THEY, a single individual must pay, a term probably chosen as a way to create a Pavlovian rejection, even while it is in people’s best interests.

Gottlieb suggested, “While single payer is the goal, I suggest we start with something achievable and that is “the public option” plan. The Public Option is the vehicle which can grow into single payer.” but I don’t agree. Any compromise we make will be used to stall and to thwart the process in the interests of the Healthcare Profit Industry to continue to make profits as “insurance” companies. (Sorry darlin, but we must commit to this)

If we could turn factories overnight into tank and bomber factories with 1940’s technologies, this too can and SHALL be done.

Our commitment must be in stone.

Warning! This Country Has Already Been Infiltrated by Single Payer and Socialized Medicine!

The Single Payer Scourge.

There is already a very large single payer health care system operating in this country.  It’s called Medicare.   It has been around since 1965, beginning 44 years ago.  The relevant Wikipedia article reads, in part…

“Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria. Medicare operates as a single-payer health care system …(emphasis mine).”

Did you note that the first sentence described Medicare as a “social insurance program?”  If the talking heads on the major television networks are to be believed, doesn’t that sound like socialism, which is at least a first cousin, if not an identical or fraternal twin of communism?  

Single Payer Health Insurance: My Japanese Experience

As the debate about Health Care continues to heat up with the usual suspects from the Health Insurance industry begining their campaign to convince Americans that Universal Health insurance is against their best interests, would decrease quality of care, limit options, increase wait time (as if those under the current system don`t have similar issues)and all the other usual lies they spout hoping to scare a large enough portion of the electorate to dash the hopes of us who want Health Care reform.

I would like to share with you MY experience under a single payer system which we have here in Japan. It is called National Health Care Service or for those of you who can read Japanese: (grrrr..why cant I post Japanese characters? Every time I try here I get this error message:java.sql.SQLException: Incorrect string value: ‘xE5x9BxBDxE6xB0x91…’ for column ‘mainText’ at row 1)

Of course first I should tell you how it`s paid for before I go into the details of how it works.

Every month a certain percentage is deducted from my pay check which includes both my National Health Care and my National Pension. This amount is matched by my employer. While I don`t wish to discuss my finances in detail, I can tell you every month they deduct roughly 40,000 yen (around $385 dollars) by comparison my wife who is a stay at home mom pays roughly 7000 yen (around $65) for her coverage. All children under 15 are covered for free.  

Damn Those Welfare Queens: Health Care

Imagine vice presidents, Board of Directors, and stock holders all cashing in on denying you benefits while collecting your premiums.  If you are uninsured, try calling any one of the 23 CEOs listed below and see if they will give you free insurance.  

Image:  Seppo LeinonenPhotobucket

Labor’s ‘Medicare for All’ Advocates Test Strength

Original article, by Mischa Gaus, via labornotes.org:

Labor activists from 31 states gathered in St. Louis last weekend, solidifying their strategies to push “Medicare for all”-and to oppose the half-hearted health care plans circulating in Washington.

EENR for Progress: Americans are Dying

For the sixth year in a row, the percentage of uninsured Americans is on the rise. Just in 2006, 2.2 million Americans joined the ranks of the uninsured. Back in 2002, The Institute of Medicine released its second installment of a six part report on what happens to thousands of Americans who lack health care coverage in America. The result was shocking, 18,000 Americans die every year because they lack health care coverage.  

EENR for Progress: Health Care is a Human Right

Health care is a human right. In my own definition of the progressive movement, I count that as a basic progressive principle.

For various reasons, from my own personal perspective, it is simply unacceptable to settle for anything less than true universal health care. Some of those various reasons are my experiences with health care in the United States, as well as those of my friends and family, some of whom have serious or chronic conditions.

In tonight’s EENR for Progress, we look at why we need universal health care, proposals for universal health care, and what progressives can do to achieve it.

If you want Universal Health Care, vote Kucinich!

And so we see the field narrowing again!  John Edwards appears to be on CNN’s not viable list.  My advice to Edwards and his supporters:  Be like my candidate, Dennis Kucinich!  Fight the bastards every step of the way.  And while your at it, embrace Dennis’ call for Universal Health Care!  🙂

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