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Health & Healing => Health, Healing & Medical News => Topic started by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:19:14 am



Title: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:19:14 am
Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege

AP sources: House Dems favor insurance requirement

DAVID ESPO | June 8, 2009 09:41 PM EST | 




WASHINGTON — Senior House Democrats drafting health care legislation are considering slapping an unspecified financial penalty on anyone who refuses to purchase affordable health insurance, a key committee chairman said Monday.

In addition, officials said Democrats are considering a new tax on certain health insurance benefits as one of numerous options to help pay for expanding coverage to the uninsured. No details on the tax were immediately available, and no final decisions were expected until next week at the earliest.

These officials said drafters of the legislation will include a government-run insurance option as well as plans offered by private companies. The government option draws near-unanimous opposition from Republicans and provokes concerns among many Democrats, as well, although President Barack Obama has spoken out in favor of it.

Under the emerging House Democratic plan, individuals and small businesses would be able to purchase coverage from a "health exchange" and the government would require all plans to contain a minimum benefit, these officials added. No applicant could be rejected for pre-existing conditions, nor could they be charged a higher premium, they said.

House Democrats also are considering a wide-ranging change for Medicaid that would provide a uniform benefit across all 50 states and increase payments to health professionals, according to several officials. Medicaid is a state-federal program of health coverage for the poor.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a presentation to rank-and-file Democrats on Tuesday.

At the same time, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, confirmed the proposed penalty for those who refuse to purchase coverage they can afford, referring to it as "play or pay."

"There is no use having a mandate without a contribution," he said.





Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:19:40 am
Waivers would be available for those who could not cover the cost of insurance.

The disclosures came as the pace of activity quickened in both the House and Senate on health insurance legislation, a top priority for the administration. Obama is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon at the White House with several Democrats.

Democratic leaders hope to pass legislation in both houses by the first few days of August, and complete work on a compromise measure in the fall for Obama's signature.

Obama has stepped up his own involvement in the issue in recent days, and there has been a flurry of negotiations involving outside interest groups who have pledged to take steps to achieve savings within the private insurance market.

Alongside those efforts, financing Obama's plan to spread coverage more widely carries a price tag estimated at higher than $1 trillion over a decade. House Democrats are considering cutting projected Medicare payments to home health care, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, hospitals and others to cover costs.

The option for taxing insurance benefits is also under consideration as part of legislation taking shape across the Capitol in the Senate Finance Committee.

Numerous options are possible, many involving either a tax levied according to the value of an individual's employer-provided health plan, or on the benefits received by upper-income taxpayers.

The issue poses multiple potential problems for Obama, who has pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $250,000 and also ran commercials during the presidential campaign criticizing GOP rival Sen. John McCain's call for a tax on health benefits.

In recent weeks, the president and his aides have sought to straddle the issue, neither accepting it nor ruling it out.

Equally troublesome politically is the issue of a government insurance option. Critics argue it would render private companies unable to compete, and it has emerged as a key sticking point in the Democratic search for a bipartisan plan in the Senate.

All the Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee except one wrote Obama recently telling him he was making a mistake if he insisted on a government option. The exception was Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who has been trying to find a compromise that would make a government plan available as a last resort if health insurance remains unaffordable for many families even after Congress overhauls the system.

Even before last fall's general election, health care was a key issue in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama proposed requiring parents to buy health insurance for children, with a possible fine if parents refused. But he would not insist that all adults buy insurance.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was a New York senator at the time as well as a presidential candidate, said a mandate was essential. At one point, she said she was open to garnisheeing the wages of anyone who refused to comply.

___

Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:21:17 am
RJ EskowConsultant, Writer, Health Analyst
Posted: June 9, 2009
A Health Care Bailout For the Middle Class


It's on. The president's assuming direct ownership of the health debate. Draft bills are beginning to circulate on the Hill. Dozens of policy details are being debated. Universal coverage is one way to describe the objective, but here's one that might be better: We need a health care bailout for the middle class.

High-income Americans will make out fine, and public programs will be strengthened for lower-income groups. But medical illness caused nearly two-thirds of all bankruptcies, and most of these bankrupt debtors had medical insurance. That raises two questions:

1. What's the value of "universal coverage" if "coverage" isn't providing the financial security people need?

2. If we can rescue troubled banks, what are we doing to rescue families whose "toxic assets" consist of unpaid medical bills for urgently needed care?

It's a mistake to assume that health reform will inevitably ease the financial burden for financially imperiled households. Medical problems caused 62.1% of all bankruptcies in 2007. Three quarters of these bankrupt debtors had health insurance. And 92% of them had medical bills of at least $5000, or 10% of pretax family income.

"10% of pretax family income" is also the figure many health policy analysts say families should be prepared to spend for health care under a mandate. But for many people that was a burdensome figure even before the financial crisis. We can't assume that a policy forcing them to spend that much will be either effective or politically popular. Nevertheless, AP reports House Dems are floating the idea of "slapping an unspecified financial penalty on anyone who refuses to purchase affordable health insurance." That's what is known as an "individual mandate."

Insurance was originally designed to eliminate financial ruin for individuals by distributing costs among many people. Does it make sense to insist that people buy coverage that won't necessarily protect them from disaster?

Feelings run high about this issue among us health policy wonks. Most Democratic/liberal analysts insist that reform can't succeed unless all individuals are first mandated to obtain coverage. The idea's based on sound economics: If some people can opt out, the healthiest are most likely to do so. Then the system will be burdened with sicker enrollees, driving up costs and making it harder to achieve universal coverage.

That's why smart and knowledgeable people like Jonathan Cohn can imply, as he does here, that individual mandates are indistinguishable from "good public policy."

I understand the economics, but here's the concern: The underlying concept of "shared responsibility" is sound, but in other countries -- and in Medicare -- that responsibility is mainly shared through the progressive mechanism of taxation. Unless carefully designed, individual mandates run the risk of being overly punitive and politically explosive among middle-income Americans.

Consider Sen. Kennedy's new draft proposal. It offers more generous subsidies than other proposals, with a sliding scale of assistance that goes up to $110,000 in income for a family of four. But a lot can happen beneath and near that $110,000 mark, especially in these perilous times. Yearly premiums for family coverage reached $12,680 in 2008 and continue to climb. That's one reason why families struggling to make ends meet sometimes 'bet' that they won't have catastrophic medical costs. That may be a bad bet, but using the levers of government to force them to pay $8,000 to $13,000 in premiums alone might not be the best solution.

And the assumption that mandates are more politically liberal is just that: an assumption. Mandates could, in fact, be economically regressive. They could also give the GOP a hot-button issue for 2010 and 2012. Proposals like Jacob Hacker's, which limit out-of-pocket premium costs to $2,500, go a long way toward addressing those concerns. But they're also costlier from the government side, so they don't seem to be on the table right now (even if those costs could ultimately be offset by improved compliance).

What's the solution? At least one proposal that has been anathema to Democrats might help. The Democrats campaigned against McCain's plan to tax health benefits. But a health tax, like any other, can be either progressive or regressive. (There's a good discussion of the topic here.)

It's true that a tax on all workers receiving health benefits could be disastrous. And nobody's receiving overly luxurious benefits, despite what some partisans claim. As Merrill Goozner observes, there are no "Cadillac health plans" for employees, though that phrase is has become a buzzword. (And Cadillacs are made by GM, where a little help was also needed.)

Here's one possibility: a health benefits tax that kicks in at high income levels. That could conceivably pay for some Hacker-like caps on premiums. It would also have the added benefit of sensitizing corporate decision-makers to the true cost of medical care in this country. It might even motivate more of them to take a proactive stand on health issues.

There are a number of other possible ways to "bail out" the American middle class in health care, too:

1. Phase mandates in slowly, as overall health costs are reduced through other measures. (This one's unpopular with a number of analysts, but is still do-able.)

2. Emphasize the public plan option. (If you're going to lay a heavy cost burden on the middle class, it's a good idea to give them every choice you can.)

3. Develop innovative ways of helping consumers pay their health debts through easy-to-use financing tools at favorable interest rates.

4. Ensure than health benefits include appropriate caps on out-of-pocket costs.

Universal coverage without universal financial security would be a Pyrrhic victory. The President and Congress can ensure successful health reform by making sure that American families can receive the care they need at a price they can afford.

RJ Eskow blogs when he can at:

A Night Light
The Sentinel Effect: Healthcare Blog

It's on. The president's assuming direct ownership of the health debate. Draft bills are beginning to circulate on the Hill. Dozens of policy details are being debated. Universal coverage is one wa...
It's on. The president's assuming direct ownership of the health debate. Draft bills are beginning to circulate on the Hill. Dozens of policy details are being debated. Universal coverage is one wa...




Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:24:34 am
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont
Posted: June 8, 2009
Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege


Let's be clear. Our health care system is disintegrating. Today, 46 million people have no health insurance and even more are underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments. At a time when 60 million people, including many with insurance, do not have access to a medical home, more than 18,000 Americans die every year from preventable illnesses because they do not get to the doctor when they should. This is six times the number who died at the tragedy of 9/11 - but this occurs every year.

In the midst of this horrendous lack of coverage, the U.S. spends far more per capita on health care than any other nation - and health care costs continue to soar. At $2.4 trillion dollars, and 18 percent of our GDP, the skyrocketing cost of health care in this country is unsustainable both from a personal and macro-economic perspective.

At the individual level, the average American spends about $7,900 per year on health care. Despite that huge outlay, a recent study found that medical problems contributed to 62 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007. From a business perspective, General Motors spends more on health care per automobile than on steel while small business owners are forced to divert hard-earned profits into health coverage for their employees - rather than new business investments. And, because of rising costs, many businesses are cutting back drastically on their level of health care coverage or are doing away with it entirely.





Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:24:48 am
Further, despite the fact that we spend almost twice as much per person on health care as any other country, our health care outcomes lag behind many other nations. We get poor value for what we spend. According to the World Health Organization the United States ranks 37th in terms of health system performance and we are far behind many other countries in terms of such important indices as infant mortality, life expectancy and preventable deaths.

As the health care debate heats up in Washington, we as a nation have to answer two very fundamental questions. First, should all Americans be entitled to health care as a right and not a privilege - which is the way every other major country treats health care and the way we respond to such other basic needs as education, police and fire protection? Second, if we are to provide quality health care to all, how do we accomplish that in the most cost-effective way possible?

I think the answer to the first question is pretty clear, and one of the reasons that Barack Obama was elected president. Most Americans do believe that all of us should have health care coverage, and that nobody should be left out of the system. The real debate is how we accomplish that goal in an affordable and sustainable way. In that regard, I think the evidence is overwhelming that we must end the private insurance company domination of health care in our country and move toward a publicly-funded, single-payer Medicare for All approach.

Our current private health insurance system is the most costly, wasteful, complicated and bureaucratic in the world. Its function is not to provide quality health care for all, but to make huge profits for those who own the companies. With thousands of different health benefit programs designed to maximize profits, private health insurance companies spend an incredible (30 percent) of each health care dollar on administration and billing, exorbitant CEO compensation packages, advertising, lobbying and campaign contributions. Public programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the VA are administered for far less.

In recent years, while we have experienced an acute shortage of primary health care doctors as well as nurses and dentists, we are paying for a huge increase in health care bureaucrats and bill collectors. Over the last three decades, the number of administrative personnel has grown by 25 times the numbers of physicians. Not surprisingly, while health care costs are soaring, so are the profits of private health insurance companies. From 2003 to 2007, the combined profits of the nation's major health insurance companies increased by 170 percent. And, while more and more Americans are losing their jobs and health insurance, the top executives in the industry are receiving lavish compensation packages. It's not just William McGuire, the former head of United Health, who several years ago accumulated stock options worth an estimated $1.6 billion or Cigna CEO Edward Hanway who made more than $120 million in the last five years. The reality is that CEO compensation for the top seven health insurance companies now averages $14.2 million.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:25:04 am
Moving toward a national health insurance program which provides cost-effective universal, comprehensive and quality health care for all will not be easy. The powerful special interests - the insurance companies, drug companies and medical equipment suppliers - will wage an all-out fight to make sure that we maintain the current system which enables them to make billions of dollars. In recent years they have spent hundreds of millions on lobbying, campaign contributions and advertising and, with unlimited resources, they will continue spending as much as they need.

But, at the end of the day, as difficult as it may be, the fight for a national health care program will prevail. Like the civil rights movement, the struggle for women's rights and other grass-roots efforts, justice in this country is often delayed - but it will not be denied. We shall overcome!





Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:27:17 am
Obama to Forge a Greater Role on Health Care

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
Published: June 6, 2009
WASHINGTON — After months of insisting he would leave the details to Congress, President Obama has concluded that he must exert greater control over the health care debate and is preparing an intense push for legislation that will include speeches, town-hall-style meetings and much deeper engagement with lawmakers, senior White House officials say.

Mindful of the failures of former President Bill Clinton, whose intricate proposal for universal care collapsed on Capitol Hill 15 years ago, Mr. Obama until now had charted a different course, setting forth broad principles and concentrating on bringing disparate factions — doctors, insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, labor unions — to the negotiating table.

But Mr. Obama has grown concerned that he is losing the debate over certain policy prescriptions he favors, like a government-run insurance plan to compete with the private sector, said one Democrat familiar with his thinking. With Congress beginning a burst of work on the measure, top advisers say, the president is determined to make certain the final bill bears his stamp.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:27:38 am
“Ultimately, as happened with the recovery act, it will become President Obama’s plan,” the White House budget director, Peter R. Orszag, said in an interview. “I think you will see that evolution occurring over the next few weeks. We will be weighing in more definitively, and you will see him out there.”

On Saturday, while Mr. Obama was traveling in Europe, he used his weekly radio and Internet address to make the case that “the status quo is broken” and to set forth his ambitious goals.

Broadly speaking, he wants to extend coverage to the 45 million uninsured while lowering costs, improving quality and preserving consumer choice. His budget includes what he called a “historic down payment” of $634 billion over 10 years, accomplished mostly by slowing Medicare growth and limiting tax breaks for those with high incomes.

“We must attack the root causes of skyrocketing health costs,” Mr. Obama said, pointing to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and other institutions as among those that offer high-quality care at low cost. “We should learn from their successes and promote the best practices, not the most expensive ones. That’s how we’ll achieve reform that fixes what doesn’t work and builds on what does.”

The radio address was the start of a public relations campaign coinciding with a 50-state grass-roots effort that Organizing for America, the president’s political group, began Saturday to promote a health care overhaul. His hope is to provide what his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, called “air cover” for lawmakers to adopt his priorities. It is a **** by the White House that Mr. Obama can translate his approval ratings into legislative action.

“Obviously,” Mr. Emanuel said, “the president’s adoption of something makes it easier to vote for, because he’s — let’s be honest — popular, and the public trusts him.”

But as Mr. Obama wades into the details of the legislative debate — a process that began last week when he released a letter staking out certain specific policy positions for the first time — he will face increasingly difficult choices and risks.

Aides say he will not dictate the fine print. “It was never his intent to come to Congress with stone tablets,“ said his senior adviser, David Axelrod. But he will increasingly make his preferences known.

If he embraces a tax on employee benefits, an idea he attacked when he was running for president, he may infuriate labor and the middle class. If he insists on a big-government plan in the image of Medicare, he could lose any hope of Republican support and ignite an insurance industry backlash. If he does not come up with credible ways to pay for his plan, which by some estimates could cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years, moderate Democrats could balk.

Many Republicans are already angry over the emphasis Mr. Obama placed on the public plan in last week’s letter. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, said Friday that “the key to a bipartisan bill is not to have a government plan in the bill.”



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:27:56 am
Mr. Obama is well aware of these risks, advisers say. “This is what he is now very focused on,“ Mr. Orszag said. “What are the key things that are nonnegotiable? He is asking those sorts of questions: What are the drop-dead things that we need to have in order to have some hope of addressing long-term cost growth?”

Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, recalled how Mr. Obama made a personal pledge of bipartisanship when he and Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the committee’s Democratic chairman, joined the president for a private lunch at the White House last month.

“I said, ‘Yeah, it’s a problem,’ ” Mr. Grassley said of the public plan, “and he said something along the lines of, ‘If I get 85 percent of what I want with a bipartisan vote, or 100 percent with 51 votes, all Democrat, I’d rather have it be bipartisan.’ ”

On Friday, Mr. Grassley said he viewed the letter as “a political document, not a policy document,” intended to shore up Democratic support while letting Mr. Obama remain flexible.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who is a longtime proponent of revamping health care, said Mr. Obama seemed to be wrestling with how far he could push Congress.

“The president is very much aware that to bring about enduring change — health care reform that lasts, gets implemented, wins the support of the American people and does not get repealed in a couple of years — you need bipartisan support,” said Mr. Wyden, who was among two dozen Senate Democrats who met with Mr. Obama about health care last week. “So he’s grappling with, how do you do that?”

Mr. Obama began taking steps to make his case early in his administration. He convened a “fiscal summit” where health care was a major topic, followed by a “health summit.” Not long ago, he invited industry leaders to the White House, where they pledged to cut $2 trillion in health care costs over the next decade. But he has been restrained in his dealings with Congress.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:28:12 am
He has, however, shown himself willing to exercise his presidential muscle when he thinks it is necessary. In April, Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the Budget Committee chairman, balked at the idea of having the Senate consider health legislation under the fast-track process known as reconciliation, which could avoid a Republican filibuster. At a private meeting, Mr. Obama pressed him on it.

“ ‘I want to keep it on the table as an option,’ ” Mr. Conrad recalled the president saying. Not long after that, Mr. Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, visited Mr. Conrad on Capitol Hill. Mr. Conrad was not convinced, but decided not to stand in the way. “The Budget Committee chairman does not top the president of the United States,” he said.

Going forward, Mr. Emanuel said, lawmakers could expect “quiet one-on-one discussions” with the president.

But Republicans like Mr. Grassley say that after promising to leave the legislative process to Congress, Mr. Obama must be cautious about his words, and about the appearance of meddling.

He has, however, shown himself willing to exercise his presidential muscle when he thinks it is necessary. In April, Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the Budget Committee chairman, balked at the idea of having the Senate consider health legislation under the fast-track process known as reconciliation, which could avoid a Republican filibuster. At a private meeting, Mr. Obama pressed him on it.

“ ‘I want to keep it on the table as an option,’ ” Mr. Conrad recalled the president saying. Not long after that, Mr. Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, visited Mr. Conrad on Capitol Hill. Mr. Conrad was not convinced, but decided not to stand in the way. “The Budget Committee chairman does not top the president of the United States,” he said.

Going forward, Mr. Emanuel said, lawmakers could expect “quiet one-on-one discussions” with the president.

But Republicans like Mr. Grassley say that after promising to leave the legislative process to Congress, Mr. Obama must be cautious about his words, and about the appearance of meddling.

“He’s doing good by staying out of it as much as he is,” Mr. Grassley said. “He’d better use kid gloves at the start.”



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:33:52 am
WASHINGTON — Senior House Democrats drafting health care legislation are considering slapping an unspecified financial penalty on anyone who refuses to purchase affordable health insurance, a key committee chairman said Monday.

In addition, officials said Democrats are considering a new tax on certain health insurance benefits as one of numerous options to help pay for expanding coverage to the uninsured. No details on the tax were immediately available, and no final decisions were expected until next week at the earliest.

These officials said drafters of the legislation will include a government-run insurance option as well as plans offered by private companies. The government option draws near-unanimous opposition from Republicans and provokes concerns among many Democrats, as well, although President Barack Obama has spoken out in favor of it.

Under the emerging House Democratic plan, individuals and small businesses would be able to purchase coverage from a "health exchange" and the government would require all plans to contain a minimum benefit, these officials added. No applicant could be rejected for pre-existing conditions, nor could they be charged a higher premium, they said.

House Democrats also are considering a wide-ranging change for Medicaid that would provide a uniform benefit across all 50 states and increase payments to health professionals, according to several officials. Medicaid is a state-federal program of health coverage for the poor.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a presentation to rank-and-file Democrats on Tuesday.

At the same time, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, confirmed the proposed penalty for those who refuse to purchase coverage they can afford, referring to it as "play or pay."

"There is no use having a mandate without a contribution," he said.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on June 09, 2009, 11:34:08 am
Waivers would be available for those who could not cover the cost of insurance.

The disclosures came as the pace of activity quickened in both the House and Senate on health insurance legislation, a top priority for the administration. Obama is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon at the White House with several Democrats.

Democratic leaders hope to pass legislation in both houses by the first few days of August, and complete work on a compromise measure in the fall for Obama's signature.

Obama has stepped up his own involvement in the issue in recent days, and there has been a flurry of negotiations involving outside interest groups who have pledged to take steps to achieve savings within the private insurance market.

Alongside those efforts, financing Obama's plan to spread coverage more widely carries a price tag estimated at higher than $1 trillion over a decade. House Democrats are considering cutting projected Medicare payments to home health care, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, hospitals and others to cover costs.

The option for taxing insurance benefits is also under consideration as part of legislation taking shape across the Capitol in the Senate Finance Committee.

Numerous options are possible, many involving either a tax levied according to the value of an individual's employer-provided health plan, or on the benefits received by upper-income taxpayers.

The issue poses multiple potential problems for Obama, who has pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $250,000 and also ran commercials during the presidential campaign criticizing GOP rival Sen. John McCain's call for a tax on health benefits.

In recent weeks, the president and his aides have sought to straddle the issue, neither accepting it nor ruling it out.

Equally troublesome politically is the issue of a government insurance option. Critics argue it would render private companies unable to compete, and it has emerged as a key sticking point in the Democratic search for a bipartisan plan in the Senate.

All the Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee except one wrote Obama recently telling him he was making a mistake if he insisted on a government option. The exception was Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who has been trying to find a compromise that would make a government plan available as a last resort if health insurance remains unaffordable for many families even after Congress overhauls the system.

Even before last fall's general election, health care was a key issue in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama proposed requiring parents to buy health insurance for children, with a possible fine if parents refused. But he would not insist that all adults buy insurance.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was a New York senator at the time as well as a presidential candidate, said a mandate was essential. At one point, she said she was open to garnisheeing the wages of anyone who refused to comply.

___

Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on June 09, 2009, 12:04:43 pm
Gov't Health-care = Eugenics


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on June 09, 2009, 04:00:39 pm
FREE HEAT CARE.

In Former Yugoslavia Health Care was paid by State.If you in need to go abroad to have operation, or anything else, you just go.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Tom Hebert on June 09, 2009, 04:11:37 pm
Universal health care in America is long overdue!  We are way behind the other developed countries thanks to powerful lobbying interests.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Robert0326 on June 09, 2009, 05:27:46 pm
Gov't Health-care = Eugenics
Wrong.  Government health care = good for all Americans.

Canada has government health care and are they running Eugenics experiments?  Nooooooooo.  Tom is right about the powerful lobbying that the pharmaceutical and insurance companies put forth in Washington. 


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on June 10, 2009, 12:56:25 pm
Gov't Health-care = Eugenics
Wrong.  Government health care = good for all Americans.

Canada has government health care and are they running Eugenics experiments?  Nooooooooo.  Tom is right about the powerful lobbying that the pharmaceutical and insurance companies put forth in Washington. 


Then go to Canada and be put on a waiting list for treatment and pray you don't die while you are waiting for treatment.   :P


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Robert0326 on June 10, 2009, 01:11:18 pm
Wow man, is common sense and reason THAT foreign to you.  IF we do adopt Gov. health care and everyone keeps the same doctors and plans they have what is the problem with that?  But if you want to cry about cost or how we're going to pay for it, whether it's though taxes or whatever, aren't we paying for health care already through individual companies?  And if we pay the Gov. through our taxes and ends up being cheaper then wouldn't that be a good thing.  Anyways, that's my idea for Gov. health care.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on June 11, 2009, 03:31:10 am
Wow man, is common sense and reason THAT foreign to you.  IF we do adopt Gov. health care and everyone keeps the same doctors and plans they have what is the problem with that?  But if you want to cry about cost or how we're going to pay for it, whether it's though taxes or whatever, aren't we paying for health care already through individual companies?  And if we pay the Gov. through our taxes and ends up being cheaper then wouldn't that be a good thing.  Anyways, that's my idea for Gov. health care.

The problem is that when you get into it does the responsible health nut deserve to pay the same cost as someone who drinks aspartame colas will probably have liver cancer and whose treatment plan will drive up health costs ??  Do you think smokers really won't mind paying their fair share ?

Let's face it, the reason doctors charge so much is cuz Americans are so un-healthy.

Look at Osteoporosis, taking arginine and lysine for 2 months will solve 90% of the cases out there for like $40 over a 2 month period.  Does modern medicine do this ?  No they've got all kinds of expensive Big-Pharma treatments that run up costs and do nothing to address the problem.  Like Sally Field and her BONIVA  ::) ::) ::)  Take some arginine and lysine.

The reasons doctors and Big-Pharma can get away with all this is... AGAIN... an ignorant public.

So until Americans actually become health conscious like the Chinese, where they pay doctors only if they cure their patients and have $#!t-loads of herbs to stay healthy with then Americans will continue to pay through the nose for health-care due to our irresponsibilty, ignorance and laziness.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Robert0326 on June 11, 2009, 11:34:23 am
I know the pharmaceutical companies are "in it for the money" because there's no money for curing something.  Good ole Capitalism huh.  ::)  The last big disease we cured was frigging Polio way back when.  If it was in everyone's best interest I don't see why everyone wouldn't pay their fair share. But that's just me. 

Yous right about most people being ignorant about their health.  They believe their doctors only because who else are they gonna believe.  Doctors don't want to prescribe holistic treatments because it would take away money from them and the pharmaceutical companies.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Misty Ezelle on June 11, 2009, 11:45:25 pm
Gov't Health-care = Eugenics
Wrong.  Government health care = good for all Americans.

Canada has government health care and are they running Eugenics experiments?  Nooooooooo.  Tom is right about the powerful lobbying that the pharmaceutical and insurance companies put forth in Washington. 


Then go to Canada and be put on a waiting list for treatment and pray you don't die while you are waiting for treatment.   :P

There is no waiting in Canada, that is a Republican talking point.

Besides, you have to wait here even if you do have insurance. I know someone who has to wait two months to get a cist removed from her uterus, and she even has insurance!  Unless you go to the emergency room, you have to wait in America.

And you get a much bigger bill for the privilige!


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Misty Ezelle on June 11, 2009, 11:46:21 pm
Ryan Grim
ryan@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting

Dems' Bogeyman Luntz Schooled Reid, Other Dems On Messaging

First Posted: 06-11-09 05:34 PM   |   Updated: 06-11-09 07:21 PM
The Senate Democratic leadership attacked GOP pollster Frank Luntz at its weekly press conference Thursday, mocking Republicans for taking their health care advice from the man Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) repeatedly dubbed "Dr. Frank I. Luntz."

"What we're hearing from the Republican leadership on the floor of the Senate is vaguely familiar. Dr. Frank I. Luntz issued this plan," said Durbin, waving a copy of a memo that Luntz wrote several months ago, outlining rhetorical tactics to oppose health care reform.

Durbin highlighted arguments made by Republican leadership: "They tell horror stories about health care stories in other countries. That would be Dr. Frank Luntz's talking point number five." And on he went, referring over and over to the talking points outlined in the Luntz memo.

Shortly after Luntz had released his memo, Democratic strategist Paul Begala responded with his own point-by-point counter-memo. "Because they know they cannot win the argument honestly, Republicans are resorting to mendacity," Begala wrote. "Democrats must not let them get away with it."

But the Senate Democrats already knew all they needed about such mendacious methods: Luntz himself had briefed them at a Democratic retreat earlier this year. His co-panelist: Paul Begala.

Since that January retreat, he has also briefed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) personally, a Reid aide confirmed. The message to the leader and to the Senate Democratic caucus was the same: Words matter.

"He didn't talk about health care in particular," said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a member of Democratic leadership. "He talked about words, and words matter, and how important it is how you portray what it is you're doing. And obviously now he's advising Republicans what kind of language they can use to fight for the status quo."

The Luntz-Reid meeting was also about messaging. The majority leader and the Republican pollster had met several times over the previous several years, although only met once this year, other than the retreat, said a senior aide to Reid. Luntz didn't return several calls and e-mails.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Misty Ezelle on June 11, 2009, 11:47:33 pm
(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/85815/thumbs/s-FLUNTZ-large.jpg)

Reid is not averse to meeting with a wide variety of consultants, the aide said, naming Begala, Geoffrey Garin, Mark Mellman, Susan McCue, Jim Margolis and Third Way's Matt Bennett as folks who've met with him this year. "He might not listen to all of them, but he hears them out," the aide said.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) said that many in the room left with a grudging respect for Luntz. "I thought it was great," he said of the briefing. "He really showed his ability to put things in interesting terms and people had to concede that he was pretty good at the use of language."

Murray, too, was impressed by Luntz' skill, if not his ultimate political goals--if, in fact, he actually has any underlying political ideology.

"I think people listened to him with interest. He's an intelligent guy and his goal is to help you provide the language to fight for what you believe in. And certainly he's doing that right now for those who want to oppose any kind of change in health care," she said.

Democrats have been slow on the rhetorical battleground, according to Feingold. "I think people took to heart not only what he was saying but [were] closely following how he was trying to manipulate the health care issue," Feingold said. "After the experience in 1994 and various other issues, Democrats have learned the lesson that you can't just have the right policies, you also have to use the right language. It's a question we were a little slow in learning."

Republicans, meanwhile, are calling themselves less impressed by Luntz's memo, claiming that the arguments they make are their own.

"There may be some overlap between what pollsters say and what politicians say, but some of it's just common sense," said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "We're for reform."

But being on the side of reform is Luntz talking point number ten, the Huffington Post pointed out.

"We didn't need him to tell us that we're for reform," said Stewart.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Misty Ezelle on June 11, 2009, 11:54:15 pm
It's not every day that a sitting senator takes to the floor to call out a GOP strategist. But on Wednesday, Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley did just that, whacking messaging guru Frank Luntz for writing a blueprint for demonizing health care reform and Republican officials for dutifully following his lead.

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/85546/thumbs/s-MERKELY-large.jpg)

"Now, you may think that I'm raising this document before you, this -- this plan for how to kill health care, and that maybe it doesn't have any bearing on the real debate," said Merkley, a freshmen Democrat, from the floor, waving a thin set of white papers in his right hand. "But it absolutely does. These talking points are being echoed in this very chamber in order to kill health care."

What followed was a point-by-point comparison of Luntz's 28-page memo, distributed to congressional Republicans, to some of recent talking points coming straight from the mouths of GOP leadership. Said the Senator:

Here we go. Frank Luntz's memo, that's his memo on how to kill health care, came out in April. It says - talking point number five - "Health denial care horror stories in Canada and other countires do resonate, but you have to humanize them. You notice we recommend the phrase 'government takeover' rather than 'government run' or 'government control.'" Why? Because government takeover sounds even scarier.
So what did we hear in the chamber from our minority leader just recently? I quote - "Americans are concerned about a government takeover of health care and for good reason." And it goes on. So recognize that that is a point that's coming from a document about how to kill health care, not a responsible debate about the plan we have in front of us.


Merkley's remarks represent a new line of political debate about the reform process. The extent to which Democrats can establish that opposition to greater government involvement in health care is driven by poll-tested talking points, as opposed to legitimate ideological disagreements, could go some ways towards affecting the legislative process.

To be certain, progressive health care advocates also have well-tuned talking points and polling data at their disposal. But the conventional wisdom going into the upcoming reform battle has held that the Clinton-era effort at an overhaul was, in part, derailed by massive and correlated effort between private industry actors and sympathetic Republicans.

There is little public appetite for that happening again. Hence the benefits in putting Luntz at the center of the debate.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on June 13, 2009, 05:48:27 pm
Americans are not health conscious therefore health-care reform is a big joke.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Janilee Wolff on June 18, 2009, 11:20:38 am
No, all the pols are paid off by the health insurance industry, therefore, the idea of ever getting any reforms in it is a really big joke!


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Janilee Wolff on June 18, 2009, 11:21:51 am
Sam Stein stein@huffingtonpost.com |
Daschle Urges Obama To Drop Public Health Care Plan


(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/87077/thumbs/s-DASCHLE-large.jpg)

The man once slated to head Barack Obama's health care system overhaul is now coming out against one of the chief components of that effort.

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said on Wednesday that the Obama White House would likely have to scrap a public option for health insurance coverage if it wanted to get the votes needed to pass systematic change.

"We've come too far and gained too much momentum for our efforts to fail over disagreement on one single issue," the Senator and one-time HHS Secretary nominee said, according to ABC News.

The remarks came after Dashcle, along with former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Howard Baker introduced his own proposal for health care reform that. That plan actually included a pseudo-version of a government-run option. The Daschle proposal calls for (among other things) public insurance pools to be administered by state government, not the feds.

In coming out against a public plan, Daschle adds kindling to an already roaring debate on health care reform. On Thursday morning, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean repeated the mantra that you cannot have effective legislation if it does not include a public option. At the White House on Wednesday, several state legislators who had met with current HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued the same point.

Certainly, the public seems to be weighed in Dean's favor. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted on Wednesday night showed that 76 percent of respondents wanted a choice between a public option for insurance coverage and private providers.




Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Janilee Wolff on June 18, 2009, 11:22:55 am
You SUCK, Daschele!  Sure glad you didn't get in charge of the Obama health care plan.  I guess it is to hell with everybody who doesn't have insurance, right?


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Janilee Wolff on June 18, 2009, 11:24:56 am
Sam Stein stein@huffingtonpost.com
Obama Boost: New Poll Shows 76% Support For Choice Of Public Plan

First Posted: 06-17-09 11:19 PM   |   Updated: 06-18-09 12:02 AM

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/87008/thumbs/s-OBAMA-large.jpg)

New poll numbers from NBC/Wall Street Journal produce two major and potentially conflicting story lines when it comes to the Obama administration's efforts for a health care overhaul. On the one hand, the American public overwhelmingly favors a choice between getting insurance coverage either through the private market or a government run option. Indeed, 76 percent of respondents said it was either "extremely" or "quite" important to "give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance."

With the public option being such a lightning rod in the current health care debate, progressive activists are already emailing around these numbers as evidence that voters are way ahead of the politicians. Certainly, the findings provide a boost of sorts to President Obama, who has stood by the public plan even as Republican opposition has crystallized.

That said, the president still has his work cut out for him. In the same NBC/WSJ poll, only 33 percent of respondents said they thought the president's health care plan, to the extent they knew of it, was a "good idea;" 32 percent said it was a bad idea.

In short: the administration has yet to complete the sale. An additional 30 percent of the public had no opinion of Obama's proposal for reform. But when read a description of the general outline -- requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, an employer mandate, tax credits for lower income families to buy coverage, and tax increases on wealthier Americans to pay for it - the number of respondents in support rose to 55 percent.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Janilee Wolff on June 18, 2009, 11:27:42 am
Who makes these decisions?  Not the people, who support it 76%!

Congress is a bunch of bribed and coerced blowhards who **** for the greedy insurance companies.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on June 19, 2009, 02:20:04 am


There is no waiting in Canada, that is a Republican talking point.

Besides, you have to wait here even if you do have insurance. I know someone who has to wait two months to get a cist removed from her uterus, and she even has insurance!  Unless you go to the emergency room, you have to wait in America.

And you get a much bigger bill for the privilige!

Are you aware of how many Canadians come to America for life-saving surgeries cuz they would rather pay a higher bill now than risk dying from being on the waiting list ??

You need to look into that.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on June 19, 2009, 02:23:31 am
Who makes these decisions?  Not the people, who support it 76%!

Congress is a bunch of bribed and coerced blowhards who **** for the greedy insurance companies.

I'm curious Janilee...

Do you and all the other ladies here drink diet colas ??   ???


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Janilee Wolff on June 19, 2009, 02:37:19 am
Quote
Are you aware of how many Canadians come to America for life-saving surgeries cuz they would rather pay a higher bill now than risk dying from being on the waiting list ??

You need to look into that.

I can answer that, Volitzer, the answer is:

0

Canadians DON'T have to come here for life saving surgeries, that is a right wing MYTH!

And, if you don't believe me, ask Qoais!  She is from Canada.

And you have to wait HERE for life-saving operations, by the way, which are always done at the specialist's convenience, so don't hand me that.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Janilee Wolff on June 19, 2009, 02:41:30 am
Single-Payer National Health Insurance


(http://www.pnhp.org/images/cartoons/hightower_cartoon.gif)

Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.

Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 45.7 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.

The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.

Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.

Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.

A single-payer system would be financed by eliminating private insurers and recapturing their administrative waste. Modest new taxes would replace premiums and out-of-pocket payments currently paid by individuals and business. Costs would be controlled through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.

The links below will lead you to more specific information on the details of single-payer:

http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single_payer_resources.php


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on June 19, 2009, 03:25:06 am
Quote
Are you aware of how many Canadians come to America for life-saving surgeries cuz they would rather pay a higher bill now than risk dying from being on the waiting list ??

You need to look into that.

I can answer that, Volitzer, the answer is:

0

Canadians DON'T have to come here for life saving surgeries, that is a right wing MYTH!

And, if you don't believe me, ask Qoais!  She is from Canada.

And you have to wait HERE for life-saving operations, by the way, which are always done at the specialist's convenience, so don't hand me that.

http://www.amsa.org/studytours/WaitingTimes_primer.pdf


Summary
What is clear from this analysis is that Canadian waiting lists are undoubtedly a problem
for many Canadians on certain elective procedures. What is not clear, however, is the magnitude
of the problem, and it is certainly not necessarily true that there is a Canadian "waiting list crisis."
• The lack of quality data on waiting lists from the Canadian government, coupled with the
limitations of surveys (e.g. differing methodologies), makes it very difficult to conclude
with any certainty the size of the true waiting list problem.
• The Canadian experience with waiting times will necessarily be uneven, as waiting times
vary by specialty, procedure, province, and region. That is, any given individual
Canadian will have different experiences with waiting times. This may partly explain the
existence of anecdotal reports of intolerable waits from certain individual Canadians
(such stories often are dramatized in the media), juxtaposed with the denial of the
problem from other Canadians.
• The U.S. does not experience problems with waiting lists as much as Canada does,
although the problem does exist for some Americans.
• There is a small minority of Canadians who receive care in the U.S., and even a smaller
minority who specifically come to the U.S. to receive care. The idea that hordes of
Canadians cross the border to avoid waiting lists is a myth.

So you are wrong on the 0 Canadian point, apparently just a few but you were right on it being largely a myth that throngs of Canadians are coming over.   :-[

Tell you the truth I've heard that talking point for years too.   :-X


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Linda Dahlberg on June 21, 2009, 03:47:20 am
Hi Volitzer, not only is there no waiting list in Canada, but the insurance company decides what tests you can or cannot have (often ex medical people who serve as medical directors), and it is far more costly in the U.S., because, unlike Canada, it is a FOR PROFIT system.

Put the government in the picture and the profit incentive is removed, thus making all the costs cheaper.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Kaiyla Faust on June 22, 2009, 07:39:46 am
HEALTHCARE
Medical bills play a role in 62% of bankruptcies, study says

(http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2009-06/47299086.jpg)

President Obama meets with Senate Democrats to discuss healthcare at the White House. A study by Harvard researchers showing an increase in bankruptcies in which medical bills were a contributing cause could give Obama's bid for healthcare reform a boost.

Findings by Harvard researchers show that medical-related bankruptcies have increased from 55% in 2001. The report could boost Obama's bid for healthcare reforms.
By Lisa Girion
June 4, 2009
President Obama's push for healthcare reforms gets a boost today from a new study by Harvard University researchers that shows a sizable increase over six years in bankruptcies caused in part by ever-higher medical expenses.

The study found that medical bills, plus related problems such as lost wages for the ill and their caregivers, contributed to 62% of all bankruptcies filed in 2007. On the campaign trail last year and in the White House this year, Obama had cited an earlier study by the same authors showing that such expenses played a part in 55% of bankruptcies in 2001.

Medical insurance isn't much help, either. About 78% of bankruptcy filers burdened by healthcare expenses were insured, according to the survey, to be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

"Health insurance is not a guarantee that illness won't bankrupt you," said Steffie Woolhandler, one of the authors, a practicing physician and an associate medical professor at Harvard.

"Lots of health insurance comes with big co-payments, deductibles and uncovered services," she said. "So you can be insured and still end up with big bills. At the same time, even if you have good insurance through your employer, you can lose it if you get sick and can't work."


Most people who filed medical-related bankruptcies "were solidly middle class before financial disaster hit," the study says. Two-thirds were homeowners, and most had gone to college.

The study does not suggest that medical expenses were the sole cause for these bankruptcies, but it does identify them as a contributing factor. The increase in such filings occurred despite a 2005 law aimed at making it more difficult for individuals to seek court protection from creditors.

And the latest study probably understates the current burden of medical expenses because it is based on bankruptcies filed before the recession hit.

The findings by a team of Harvard researchers from the law and medical schools are expected to help fuel the debate over what type of healthcare system is right for the U.S.

In a letter Wednesday, Obama made another push for a healthcare overhaul, reiterating his concern about the financial burden the current system places on families and businesses.

"Soaring healthcare costs make our current course unsustainable," he wrote in the letter to Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who are leading efforts to develop healthcare legislation. "It is unsustainable for our families, whose spiraling premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are pushing them into bankruptcy and forcing them to go without the checkups and prescriptions they need."

Momentum has been growing in Congress for healthcare reform. Such change can't come soon enough for Mary McCurnin.

She and her husband, Ron, filed for bankruptcy and nearly lost their home near Sacramento after a series of medical crises, including her breast cancer and his open-heart surgery. Ron, 63, lost his insurance coverage when the company providing it lost its California license after paying 10% of his hospital bills. Mary, 59, managed to get on Medi-Cal after they "went broke."

Despite the ordeal, she said, the self-employed illustrators feel fortunate that they survived and managed to hang on to their home. "The healthcare industry is killing people," she said. "There's no other way to put it. We just got lucky."

Linda and Jeffrey Somach pay $800 a month for health insurance. But the Staten Island, N.Y., couple filed for bankruptcy a month ago when their out-of-pocket medical expenses surpassed $40,000.

Linda Somach, a psychologist, can earn $80,000 a year if she sees patients full time. But she had to scale back to care for Jeffrey, who has terminal brain cancer. That reduced their income. At the same time, she is constantly getting bills for out-of-network charges, deductibles and medical care that their insurance doesn't cover.

"We put so much of the medical stuff on credit cards," she said. "My patients do it too."

The study suggests that such plights are routine.

Woolhandler is on the board of Physicians for a National Health Program, a group that advocates for a single-payer system, in which government, not private insurers, brokers healthcare. She said the study showed that private insurers had failed in their core mission: protecting consumers from financial ruin in the event of a medical crisis.

"We need to rethink health reform," Woolhandler said. "Covering the uninsured isn't enough. Reform also needs to help families who already have insurance by upgrading their coverage and assuring they never lose it."

A spokesman for private insurers said the industry recognized that uncovered and expensive medical care imposed a burden on families and businesses. But he said that private insurers were in a better position to rein in spiraling medical costs and that the industry had a plan for protecting people from being forced into bankruptcy over medical expenses not covered by insurance.

"In fact, in our comprehensive reform proposal we recommended in December that Congress should look at an out-of-pocket spending cap and a system of tax credits for low-income people," Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group.

"If an individual's health expenses reached a certain level, there could be tax credits or other assistance to help those individuals," he said.

The study found that medical-related bankruptcy filers with private insurance reported average medical bills of $17,749. By comparison, people who filed for bankruptcy without insurance reported average medical expenses of $26,971.

Individuals with diabetes and neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, had the highest medical bills, averaging $26,971 for those with insurance and $34,167 for those without. Hospital bills were the largest expense for about half the families that filed health-related bankruptcies.

lisa.girion@latimes.com
 
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-medical-bankruptcy4-2009jun04,0,4193398.story


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jonetta Galetka on June 23, 2009, 01:02:59 am

Ryan Grim
ryan@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting

Conrad Moves Closer To Public Health Care After Negotiations

First Posted: 06-22-09 06:46 PM   |   Updated: 06-22-09 07:15 PM

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/87974/thumbs/s-KCONRAD-large.jpg)

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) moved sharply toward public health care Monday, saying that he could "absolutely" support major parts of Sen. Chuck Schumer's compromise proposal for a public option after closed-door negotiations.

Conrad has backed a health care co-op proposal that advocates of a public option have thoroughly rejected. Schumer (D-N.Y.) took their side on Sunday in comments made to the Associated Press. "I don't think I could say with a straight face that this [co-op proposal] is at all close to a nationwide public option," Schumer said. "Right now, this co-op idea doesn't come close to satisfying anyone who wants a public plan."

The wheels looked to be coming off with health care reform last week. But a poll showing huge public support for a public health care option and a strong bill from the House of Representatives have changed the dynamic.

Schumer and other backers of a public option insist that any plan must be national in scope, have substantial funding at the beginning from the federal government, and include national purchasing power in order to negotiate lower prices.

Conrad ticked off the areas of agreement that were reached Monday.

"National structure: I believe to be effective there has to a national entity with state affiliates and those affiliates have to have the ability to regionalize. I think his concern there can be addressed," said Conrad. "Second, he believes there needs to be national purchasing power. I think that's a good point that the national entity would be able to do purchasing on behalf of the state and regional affiliates and on behalf of the national entity itself."

Schumer wants $10 billion to start the plan, after which it would be self-sustaining. Conrad said the "state of negotiations" is that $3 to $4 billion would be provided.

Schumer wants the board overseeing the plan to be appointed by the president. Conrad said that according to the state of negotiations, the Health and Human Services Secretary would be charged with appointing the board.

Conrad wants the board to be temporary and eventually disappear, leaving the co-op to be run by its members. Schumer, said Conrad, still wants the board to be permanent.

"Poll numbers, as you know, are here today and gone tomorrow. What's going to decide what passes here are votes," said Conrad. "Votes of members. And the reason I was asked to get involved in this was an effort to find a compromise. And what I read in Senator Schumer's comments are that he's continuing to negotiate, and negotiate in a forthright, aggressive way. Good for him."

As Conrad spoke to reporters, Schumer stepped off the Senate floor and passed the conversation.

"My remarks were not directed at him, they were directed at someone on the other side of the aisle," Schumer quipped, underlining, if only in jest, the new Democratic unity that seemed to be forming.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jeanetta Clash on June 24, 2009, 11:20:50 am
Most Want Health Reform But Fear Its Side Effects

By Ceci Connolly and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A majority of Americans see government action as critical to controlling runaway health-care costs, but there is broad public anxiety about the potential impact of reform legislation and conflicting views about the types of fixes being proposed on Capitol Hill, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Most respondents are "very concerned" that health-care reform would lead to higher costs, lower quality, fewer choices, a bigger deficit, diminished insurance coverage and more government bureaucracy. About six in 10 are at least somewhat worried about all of these factors, underscoring the challenges for lawmakers as they attempt to restructure the nation's $2.3 trillion health-care system.

Part of the reason so many are nervous about future changes is a fear they may lose what they currently have. More than eight in 10 said they are satisfied with the quality of care they now receive and relatively content with their own current expenses, and worry about future rising costs cuts across party lines and is amplified in the weak economy.

President Obama, in a news conference yesterday, sought to leverage that apprehension.

"Premiums have been doubling every nine years, going up three times faster than wages," he said. "So the notion that somehow we can just keep on doing what we're doing, and that's okay, that's just not true."

Debra Matherne, a 43-year-old lawyer in Pennsylvania, agreed, saying she is contemplating leaving a job she loves because health insurance premiums for her family have jumped to $2,000 a month.

"That's just a crazy figure," she said.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jeanetta Clash on June 24, 2009, 11:21:01 am
The midday news conference was part of an orchestrated attempt by the White House to draw public attention to the need for landmark health legislation. Earlier in the day, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a report documenting the growing financial burden that medical bills are placing on families.

On Wednesday, Obama will host a health-care meeting with a bipartisan group of governors and later participate in a televised town hall session dedicated to the issue.

Obama also used yesterday's news conference to rebut criticism of one of the more contentious ideas being considered: creation of a government-sponsored health insurance program that would compete with private firms.

Insurers and many Republicans warn that the "public option" included in bills filed in the House and Senate "would dismantle employer-based coverage, significantly increase costs" and add to the federal deficit.

"If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care; if they tell us that they're offering a good deal, then why is it that the government, which they say can't run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business?" Obama said. "That's not logical."



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jeanetta Clash on June 24, 2009, 11:21:21 am
(http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2009/06/24/GR2009062400119.gif)


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jeanetta Clash on June 24, 2009, 11:22:16 am
After months of cordial relations between the industry and the White House, Obama's comments were the sharpest to date and come at a time when there is widespread debate and confusion over what the public wants. One of the reasons is the complexity of the issue, something not easily captured in a poll question.

Survey questions that equate the public option approach with the popular, patient-friendly Medicare system tend to get high approval, as do ones that emphasize the prospect of more choices. But when framed with an explicit counterargument, the idea receives a more tepid response. In the new Post-ABC poll, 62 percent support the general concept, but when respondents were told that meant some insurers would go out of business, support dropped sharply, to 37 percent.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jeanetta Clash on June 24, 2009, 11:22:29 am
Support for an "individual mandate," requiring every American to carry health insurance, ranges from 44 percent to 70 percent depending on the specific provisions.

"The president needs to understand that this is about patients and preserving their options," said Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), a key player in bipartisan negotiations in the Senate. "Losing their health insurance is not the kind of change Americans were hoping for."

Even as Obama and the insurers ratcheted up the tenor of the discussion, both sides made clear there is still plenty of room for compromise.

"We are still early in this process, so we have not drawn lines in the sand," Obama said.

Karen Ignagni, head of America's Health Insurance Plans, said that she sensed an opening in the president's enthusiasm to create a government-sponsored plan modeled after the private-market plans from which federal workers choose.

In the poll, 58 percent said they see government reform as necessary to stall skyrocketing costs and expand coverage for the uninsured, while 39 percent said they fear any federal action would do more harm than good. The numbers split sharply along partisan and ideological lines: Ninety-two percent of liberal Democrats said they see government intervention as essential, compared with 19 percent of conservative Republicans.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jeanetta Clash on June 24, 2009, 11:22:39 am
Beyond general backing for governmental action, a few specific provisions under consideration on Capitol Hill receive significant levels of public support, including higher taxes on households with incomes above $250,000, a limit on medical malpractice amounts and, under certain conditions, a law requiring all Americans to carry health insurance. A large majority, 70 percent, opposes a new federal tax on employer-paid health insurance benefits that exceed $17,000 a year.

Majority support for certain new government action, however, does not come with high hopes: Half of all Americans said they think the quality of their health care will stay about the same if the system changes, and 31 percent expect it to deteriorate.

"We're spending a lot and not necessarily getting the bang for our buck," Philip Arms, 58, of Northwest Washington, said in a follow-up interview. Despite his desire for reform, "I'm not necessarily convinced it won't make things worse."

The poll was conducted by telephone June 18 to 21, among a national random sample of 1,001 adults; results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.






Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Lars Worthington III on June 24, 2009, 01:07:12 pm
10 Reasons We Can't Have Health Care for Everyone!

1.  It is far too expensive to cover everyone. Besides, what kind of a country would we have if people no longer had to work to get health care? 

2.  It would impede upon the profits of health insurance companies.  Our health insurance companies make some of the finest profits in the world.  If there was a "public option" available to people, a government run system, these people would flock to it instead and these companies would lose money.  Take pride in the profits of insurance companies, people, these are American companies!  You should want to see them do well.

3.  If everyone could get health care, how would that make the wealthy feel?  Doesn't achieving a good living count for anything anymore? If everyone could get the same level of health care, what would be the point of being rich?

4.  Campaign contributions.  The health insurance companies have deposited some of the biggest campaign contributions of both Republican and Democrat politicians that these politicians have received.  Shouldn't they be entitled to something back for all that cash?

5.  Don't put the government between yourself and your doctor, only health insurance companies should be there!  There are paid medical directors in the best position to decide what should be covered or not and what you have to pay.  The big bloated government would simply make hospitals write down excessive medical bills, impinging on profits!  Yes, the government should not be between you and your doctor.

6.  Pharmaceutical profits.  A government takeover of the health insurance would impinge on pharmaceutical profits.  The government tries to "cure" diseases, while it is far more profitable to simply keep treating the symptoms.  We have to keep the profit in prescription drugs, or else more areas of the economy will continue to suffer!

7.  America is a debter society, not a creditor society!  Imagine what would happen if people didn't owe money on medical bills. They would be able to pay off their houses, buy more cars and do more shopping. The dollar would, no doubt, go sky high because everyone would have money!  And, again, this would also diminish the importance of the rich in our society.

8.  Many people are staying at jobs they dislike simply for the health insurance.  Give them affordable health insurance, and they would leave for other horizons, perhaps even start small businesses of their own.  This, again, would sooner or later impinge upon the profits of our large corporations and, once more the economy would suffer.

9.  A government insurance program would make America more like Europe!  All the countries of Europe have government health insurance, you don't want to be like France do you? We are Americans!

10. Rationing - currently, we have a system where those with great insurance coverage as well as the rich can get top tier health care.  What would our system look like if just anyone could get treatment for their afflictions?

No, no, no, we must not have government sponsored health care, my friends. America has the best, the brightest and the most profitable system of health care available in the world right now.  We have to keep it that way!


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Lars Worthington III on June 24, 2009, 01:08:08 pm
Take that liberals!


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on June 25, 2009, 12:40:29 pm
10 Reasons We Can't Have Health Care for Everyone!

1.  It is far too expensive to cover everyone. Besides, what kind of a country would we have if people no longer had to work to get health care? 

2.  It would impede upon the profits of health insurance companies.  Our health insurance companies make some of the finest profits in the world.  If there was a "public option" available to people, a government run system, these people would flock to it instead and these companies would lose money.  Take pride in the profits of insurance companies, people, these are American companies!  You should want to see them do well.

3.  If everyone could get health care, how would that make the wealthy feel?  Doesn't achieving a good living count for anything anymore? If everyone could get the same level of health care, what would be the point of being rich?

4.  Campaign contributions.  The health insurance companies have deposited some of the biggest campaign contributions of both Republican and Democrat politicians that these politicians have received.  Shouldn't they be entitled to something back for all that cash?

5.  Don't put the government between yourself and your doctor, only health insurance companies should be there!  There are paid medical directors in the best position to decide what should be covered or not and what you have to pay.  The big bloated government would simply make hospitals write down excessive medical bills, impinging on profits!  Yes, the government should not be between you and your doctor.

6.  Pharmaceutical profits.  A government takeover of the health insurance would impinge on pharmaceutical profits.  The government tries to "cure" diseases, while it is far more profitable to simply keep treating the symptoms.  We have to keep the profit in prescription drugs, or else more areas of the economy will continue to suffer!

7.  America is a debter society, not a creditor society!  Imagine what would happen if people didn't owe money on medical bills. They would be able to pay off their houses, buy more cars and do more shopping. The dollar would, no doubt, go sky high because everyone would have money!  And, again, this would also diminish the importance of the rich in our society.

8.  Many people are staying at jobs they dislike simply for the health insurance.  Give them affordable health insurance, and they would leave for other horizons, perhaps even start small businesses of their own.  This, again, would sooner or later impinge upon the profits of our large corporations and, once more the economy would suffer.

9.  A government insurance program would make America more like Europe!  All the countries of Europe have government health insurance, you don't want to be like France do you? We are Americans!

10. Rationing - currently, we have a system where those with great insurance coverage as well as the rich can get top tier health care.  What would our system look like if just anyone could get treatment for their afflictions?

No, no, no, we must not have government sponsored health care, my friends. America has the best, the brightest and the most profitable system of health care available in the world right now.  We have to keep it that way!

Are you serious ??    ::) ::) ::)

Please tell me you are a COINTELPRO hack ??

Healthcare costs are the burdensome tumor that keeps the American economy from flourishing.  Americans pay more for healthcare than any other industrialized nation yet we are way behind in life-expectancy.

We are simply not getting our money's worth.

That and the eugenicrats in government that put out all the fluoride, aspartame, estrogenoids plus all those harmful pHARMiceuticals that get approved by the FDA.

Puh-lease !!!!!!!    ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on June 28, 2009, 04:25:25 pm
@



                                   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY7HccFXjZU&feature=featured


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Nikkohl Gallant on July 01, 2009, 11:09:46 am
Bernie Sanders Demands Dems Commit To Stopping Health Care Filibuster

Sam Stein stein@huffingtonpost.com |
HuffPost Reporting
One of the Senate's most vocal progressives is demanding that the Democratic Party commit to voting against filibustering health care legislation now that, with the impending arrival of Al Franken, the party has 60 caucusing members.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), called on the White House and Democratic leadership in Congress to ensure that party members agree unanimously to support cloture on legislation that would revamp the nation's health care system. Democratic senators on the fence, he added, could still oppose the bill. But at the very least they should be required to let the legislation come to an up-or-down vote.

"I think that with Al Franken coming on board, you have effectively 60 Democrats in the caucus, 58 and two Independents," Sanders said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "I think the strategy should be to say, it doesn't take 60 votes to pass a piece of legislation. It takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster. I think the strategy should be that every Democrat, no matter whether or not they ultimately end up voting for the final bill, is to say we are going to vote together to stop a Republican filibuster. And if somebody who votes for that ends up saying, 'I'm not gonna vote for this bill, it's too radical, blah, blah, blah, that's fine.'"

"I think the idea of going to conservative Republicans, who are essentially representing the insurance companies and the drug companies, and watering down this bill substantially, rather than demanding we get 60 votes to stop the filibuster, I think that is a very wrong political strategy," Sanders added.

Coming hours after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Franken the winner in a nearly eight-month recount process, Sanders' remarks reflect what will likely be a more aggressive political ethos from within the Democratic Party. Having a sixtieth caucusing member in the Senate gives the party the margin it needs to stave off a Republican filibuster, which seems all but certain should health care reform include a public option for insurance coverage. But the reality remains that the Democratic caucus is far from united. Corralling all of its members behind one piece of health care legislation -- especially the public option -- remains elusive.

Sanders' advice, which he hinted at in a separate interview with the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, is to simply take the parliamentary hurdles out of the process. The Party wouldn't have to worry about whip counts and could, in the end, get a more favorable final product, he believes.

"I think that politically that is something everybody can handle. You say, 'Look, I think there should be a vote. I'm gonna vote against it for A, B and C reasons. But I think the process has to move forward and it's unacceptable that Republicans keep trying to stop everything," said the Vermont Independent, who added that "The White House could play a very important part in this process"

"I think it would be great if we could have 100 senators voting for this, but what is important is the product that you get, not bipartisanship," Sanders went on. "So we should ask Republicans to support it. If they choose not to they do so at their own political risk. The focus should be on a strong bill trying to get Republican support rather than a weak bipartisan bill."




Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Nikkohl Gallant on July 01, 2009, 11:11:26 am
(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/89835/thumbs/s-BERNIE-SANDERS-large.jpg)

To this point, Senator Ben Nelson has hinted that he may oppose a public option for insurance coverage but has told constituents in Nebraska that he could very well support cloture despite opposing the bill itself. Other Democrats on the fence include Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan, of North Carolina, and Diane Feinstein of California.

As for the actual legislation itself, Sanders said he expected a strong public option to come out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions final product, But he worried that it would be "watered down" in order to bring Republican lawmakers on board. The concern, as Sanders expressed it, was that key Democrats in the process -- namely Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. -- were structuring their efforts to recruit Republican support rather than the best policy. He ridiculed the so-called "Coalition of the Willing," a group of four Republicans and three Democrats, organized by Baucus to help craft his reform proposal.

"The people who are sitting around who may determine health reform in the Senate are a majority of Republicans," Sanders said, incredulously.

In its place, Sanders proposed a Coalition of Unwilling -- as in a group of lawmakers unwilling to sacrifice a progressive bill for the sake of bipartisanship.

"Something is very wrong," he said. "What Sen. Baucus said is that the strategy should be to reach out to Republicans. All of them, without exception oppose a public plan. So what you'll end up having is a very weak piece of legislation probably regressively funded. My strategy is different."



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Austin Heller on July 02, 2009, 11:12:41 am

New HELP Bill Covers 97 Percent Of Americans, Costs $600 Billion

DAVID ESPO | July 1, 2009 09:49 PM EST |



(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20090701/us-health-care-overhaul/images/f3962327-4cd6-4609-a6c5-c25d0058c30b.jpg)

President Barack Obama speaks about health care during a town hall meeting at the Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., Wednesday, July 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — Democrats on a key Senate Committee outlined a revised and far less costly health care plan Wednesday night that includes a government-run insurance option and an annual fee on employers who do not offer coverage to their workers.
The plan carries a 10-year price tag of slightly over $600 billion, and would lead toward an estimated 97 percent of all Americans having coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd said in a letter to other members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The AP obtained a copy.
By contrast, an earlier, incomplete proposal carried a price tag of roughly $1 trillion and would have left millions uninsured, CBO analysts said in mid-June.
The letter indicated the cost and coverage improvements resulted from two changes. The first calls for a government-run health insurance option to compete with private coverage plans, an option that has drawn intense opposition from Republicans.
"We must not settle for legislation that merely gestures at reform," the two Democrats wrote. "We must deliver on the promise of true change."
Additionally, the revised proposal calls for a $750 annual fee on employers for each full-time worker not offered coverage through their job. The fee would be set at $375 for part-time workers. Companies with fewer than 25 employees would be exempt. The fee was forecast to generate $52 billion over 10 years, money the government would use to help provide subsidies to those who cannot afford insurance.
The same provision is also estimated to greatly reduce the number of workers whose employers would drop coverage, thus addressing a major concern noted by CBO when it reviewed the earlier proposals.
Kennedy, D-Mass., and Dodd, D-Conn., circulated their letter a few days before lawmakers return from their July 4 vacation, with the Health Committee one of several panels expected to take action on health care legislation that President Barack Obama has placed atop his domestic agenda.
Kennedy, the committee chairman, was diagnosed with a brain tumor more than a year ago and has been absent from the Senate for weeks, although he and his aides have been heavily involved in the deliberations on a health care bill. Dodd, the next senior Democrat on the committee, has presided at committee sessions and taken an increasingly public role.
With its government option, the proposal is unlikely to gain any bipartisan support in the committee.
Separately, Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are at work trying to reach agreement on an alternative that calls for creation of nonprofit cooperatives to sell insurance in competition with private industry. Agreement has been elusive on that and other issues, and it is not clear whether a deal is possible before Democrats opt for a more partisan approach.
In their letter, Kennedy and Dodd said the Congressional Budget Office "has carefully reviewed our complete bill, and we are pleased to report that CBO has scored it at $611.4 billion over 10 years, with the new coverage provisions scored at $597 billion. ...The completed bill virtually eliminates the dropping of currently covered employees from employer-sponsored health plans.
"In addition, our bill, combined with the work being done by our colleagues in the Finance Committee, will dramatically reduce the number of uninsured _ fully 97 percent of Americans will have coverage, a major achievement."
Three committees in the House have been at work for weeks on a plan expected to come to a vote by the end of July.




Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Austin Heller on July 02, 2009, 11:14:44 am
Jason Rosenbaum
Activist living in Washington, DC; works for Health Care for America Now
Posted: July 2, 2009 11:46 AM
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All 13 Democrats are voting for new HELP health care bill
The HELP Committee has released their final version of a health care bill, including a public health insurance option and a provision for shared responsibility:
Democrats on a key Senate Committee outlined a revised and far less costly health care plan Wednesday night that includes a government-run insurance option and an annual fee on employers who do not offer coverage to their workers.The plan carries a 10-year price tag of slightly over $600 billion, and would lead toward an estimated 97 percent of all Americans having coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd said in a letter to other members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The AP obtained a copy.

By contrast, an earlier, incomplete proposal carried a price tag of roughly $1 trillion and would have left millions uninsured, CBO analysts said in mid-June.

You got that cost number right - $611 billion. If you'll remember, the last version of the HELP bill - without a public option or shared responsibility - came in at $1 trillion. Clearly, these changes saved money. (And remember when John Boehner, Republican leader in the House, said the public option would cost over $1 trillion? He's dead wrong.)

On the conference call announcing the measure, Senators Dodd, Brown, and Whitehouse said that all 13 HELP Democrats would be voting for this bill. That's right, every single one.
Richard Kirsch, Health Care for America Now's national campaign director, had this to say:
The HELP Committee's bill will give Americans all across this country what they want - a choice of a strong public health insurance option that will provide lower costs and keep the insurance companies honest. The public health insurance option included in the HELP bill will be available on day one, giving Americans a new alternative to the private insurance industry. It will also encourage the delivery of better health care at a lower cost. The public health insurance option, combined with other key sections of the HELP Committee legislation, makes this bill a good prescription for health care reform. More specifically, the bill invests enough resources to make good, affordable health care available to middle-class families and includes strict rules to stop insurance company abuses.

We urge the Senate Finance Committee and the full Senate to follow Senator Kennedy and his fellow Democrats' lead in giving everyone a choice of keeping their current health insurance coverage or selecting a new public health insurance option. That public health insurance option would be a real alternative to the private insurance companies that have failed to make health care affordable while regularly delaying and denying needed care.

I concur. The HELP Committee is standing up today and doing the right thing for the American people, and indeed, doing something they deeply support. Finance should follow suit.

(also posted at the NOW blog)


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Austin Heller on July 02, 2009, 11:14:54 am
New Budget Estimate Of Public Plan Proves It Lowers Cost And Covers More Americans

A couple of weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a preliminary score of the health care legislation under consideration in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. The bill was estimated to cost $1 trillion over 10 years, while reducing the number of uninsured by “only” one-third. As many informed bloggers noted at the time, the cost estimate was incomplete because the legislation that the CBO reviewed did not contain language about a public health insurance plan or an employer mandate.
Nevertheless, Republicans seized on the opportunity to engage in merciless political attacks, citing the incomplete CBO score as proof that health care reform is not worth doing:
John McCain: “[The CBO estimate] should be a wake up call for all of us to scrap the current bill and start over in a true bipartisan fashion.”
John Boehner: “[T]he public option would cost over $1 trillion, and would cause 23 million Americans to lose their private health care coverage.”
Lindsey Graham: “The CBO estimates were a death blow to a government run health care plan.”
The HELP Committee has since added language for a public plan option to its legislation, as well as an employer mandate provision. The AP reports the new results:
The plan carries a 10-year price tag of slightly over $600 billion, and would lead toward an estimated 97 percent of all Americans having coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd said in a letter to other members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. [...]
The [employer mandate] provision is also estimated to greatly reduce the number of workers whose employers would drop coverage, thus addressing a major concern noted by CBO when it reviewed the earlier proposals.
In other words, the addition of the public plan dramatically reduced the overall cost of the bill and ensured coverage of almost all Americans. So what excuses will McCain, Boehner, Graham, and other Republicans offer now? Their attacks were not only found to be baseless, but their concerns about the costs and coverage have also been addressed.
UpdateThe incoming president of the American Medical Association, Dr. J. James Rohack, said his organization now supports a public plan, after initially indicating its opposition. The AMA supports an “American model” that includes both “a private system and a public system, working together,” he said.
UpdateRead CBO's letter here. Jonathan Cohn explains why the final cost of the bill will likely be somewhere between $1-1.3 trillion.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Austin Heller on July 02, 2009, 04:38:34 pm

AMA open to government-funded health insurance option
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/07/01/AMA.health.care.reform/index.html?eref=rss_politics
(CNN) -- The new president of the American Medical Association, which represents the interests of the nation's doctors, said Wednesday the group is open to a government-funded health insurance option for people without coverage.
Dr. J. James Rohack told CNN the AMA supports an "American model" that includes both "a private system and a public system, working together."
In May, the AMA told a Senate committee it did not support a government-sponsored public health insurance option.
"The AMA does not believe that creating a public health insurance option ... is the best way to expand health insurance coverage and lower costs across the health care system," the organization wrote, explaining that a public insurance plan could lead to "an explosion of costs that would need to be absorbed by taxpayers."
Rohack, who recently became AMA president, suggested Wednesday that the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program available to Congress members and other federal employees could be expanded as a public option. That would avoid having to create a new program from scratch, he said.
"If it's good enough for Congress, why shouldn't it be good enough for individuals who don't have health insurance provided by their employers?" Rohack said.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Denielle on July 06, 2009, 03:23:33 pm
Sam Stein
stein@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting

Schumer: With Franken Seated No Need To Compromise On Public Option


First Posted: 07- 6-09 11:55 AM | Updated: 07- 6-09 12:23 PM

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/90723/thumbs/s-CSCHUMER-large.jpg)

One of the leading Senate Democrats in the health care reform battle said that the seating of Al Franken has given the party the purpose and direction it needs to ensure that a public option for insurance coverage remains in any bill.
"If you did a consensus within the Democratic Party, you would find the level-playing-field public option to be the answer," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "And now that we have 60 votes, it seems to me like we don't have to turn it inside out for something we don't like."
In an interview with the Huffington Post conducted over the July 4 weekend, Schumer offered a detailed and frank assessment of the political landscape of the current health care debate. Predicting that the final bill will include a public plan, he painted the Republican Party as rigid to a fault when it comes to negotiations.
"This is where we are going to end up," he said of a health care overhaul that included a public plan. "And I think, it would be much better for the Senate Finance Committee if we did it in the committee... I think the Senate HELP committee compromised already, because you have a lot of members on the HELP committee who would've liked [the public option] to be much closer to Medicare. The idea seems to be catching everybody's imagination, and sense of fairness. And the only holdouts are sort of ideologues on the Republican side of this saying no government involvement whatsoever."
At this juncture, Schumer added, there were potentially nonnegotiable divides between the proposals offered by the few moderate Republicans and the sentiments of the vast majority of the Democratic Party. This included the notion of having a public option with triggers, which because it would require that certain economic conditions be met before the government plan became operational, is seen as a possible compromise approach.
"My bottom-line criteria is that it has to be strong, national, and available to everyone on day one, to keep the insurance companies honest and I'm not sure we can get there," Schumer said. "I've been talking to [Sen.] Olympia [Snowe] about this," he added, referring to the trigger option's main proponent in the Senate, "but I'm not sure we can bridge that gap."
Similarly critical remarks were offered for the idea of replacing a public plan with health care co-ops, which Schumer described as insufficient and unpractical.
"[Sen. Chuck] Grassley hasn't closed the door, but it seems in general that his model of co-op is little co-ops popping up like they do in farm country," he said. "And the model that we are saying we need is they have to be strong, national and available everywhere from the first day. And I think we are very far apart on this."


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Denielle on July 06, 2009, 03:23:48 pm
"So I don't think the co-op way can work," Schumer added. "So let's go back and do what we should be doing: a public option."
Over the past few months, Schumer has taken a leading role in charting the Democratic Party's approach to the health care debate. He has often pushed the envelope further than any of his colleagues, drawing lines in the sand on a public option and eagerly calling out the GOP, when the modus operandi among most Democrats has been to pursue bipartisanship. In public, the progressive community has praised his leadership. In private, they've wished that the Obama White House would adopt a similarly aggressive posture.
"The White House has stuck with me on a public option and they consulted with me early on and so far so good," said Schumer, when asked if the president had been too passive in his approach to health care. "On public option, I think Obama's stayed pretty strong. And I think the idea of him coming in when needed is important. And the main function he's been having is not taking any specific provision but saying 'get it done, get it done, get it done.' That's [Chief of Staff] Rahm [Emanuel]'s mantra. And that's helpful."
The next few weeks, as Schumer noted, could be the most critical yet in the process of crafting a health care bill. The Finance and HELP committee will begin seeing how and where their two bills can be combined. At the same time, lobbying efforts are expected to be stepped up on the Hill, with the targets likely to be Democrats already skeptical of the public plan.
That said, the past week included two key breakthroughs for progressives hoping to lead the reform process. The first was the Congressional Budget Office scoring the HELP committee's proposal at a relatively slim $600 billion. Though Schumer noted that the figure could rise with amendments, he added, "what the CBO is saying, if you're a fiscal conservative you ought to be for a public option because it saves money."
The other advance was the seating of Al Franken as Senator of Minnesota, which, theoretically, should give the Democratic Party the voting margin it needs to withstand a Republican filibuster.
"I think Democrats, now that we have 60, it's an opportunity but it's a greater responsibility," said Schumer. "And unity among ourselves is very important."


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Whitney on July 15, 2009, 01:38:58 pm
Top Obama Aides: We Could Pass Health Care Reform Without GOP
Obama Open To Partisan Vote On Health Care Overhaul

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/92871/thumbs/s-OBAMA-large.jpg)


First Posted: 07-15-09 09:11 AM | Updated: 07-15-09 09:19 AM
Bloomberg:
President Barack Obama may rely only on Democrats to push health-care legislation through the U.S. Congress if Republican opposition doesn't yield soon, two of the president's top advisers said.
"Ultimately, this is not about a process, it's about results," David Axelrod, Obama's senior political strategist, said during an interview in his White House office. "If we're going to get this thing done, obviously time is a-wasting."
Read the whole story: Bloomberg


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Kris Conover on July 20, 2009, 11:22:27 am
Nancy Pelosi: Make millionaires pay for health care
Tags:Health Care, Health Care Reform, Taxes, Nancy Pelosi Back to top  Listen Print Comment Email Recommend  Subscribe By MIKE ALLEN | 7/20/09 4:07 AM EDT Text Size- + reset
 
(http://images.politico.com/global/news/090719_pelosi_schwartz_297.jpg)

Nancy Pelosi opens up about her plans for health care.
Photo: Michael Schwartz
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POLITICO 44Trying to sell a historic health bill to a balky caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told POLITICO in an interview that she wants to soften a proposed surcharge on the wealthy so that it applies only to families that make $1 million or more.


The change could help mollify the conservative Democrats who expect to have a tough time selling the package back home. Their support is the single biggest key to meeting the speaker’s goal of having health care reform pass the House by the August recess.


The bill now moving through the House would raise taxes for individuals with annual adjusted gross incomes of $280,000, or families that make $350,000 or more.


“I’d like it to go higher than it is,” Pelosi said Friday.


The speaker would like the trigger raised to $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for families, “so it’s a millionaire’s tax,” she said. “When someone hears, ‘2,’ they think, ‘Oh, I could be there,’ because they don’t know the $280,000 is for one person.


“It sounds like you’re in the neighborhood. So I just want to remove all doubt. You hear ‘$500,000 a year,’ you think, ‘My God, that’s not me.’”


Pelosi also told POLITICO she will push to “drain” more savings from the medical industry — hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and health insurers — than they have given up under current health-reform agreements with the Senate and White House.


Asked whether she believes the industry players will wind up contributing more to the package, Pelosi replied: “I don’t know. I know they can, to the extent that the special interests are willing to cooperate. ... They could do much better. ... Frankly, I think all the money [to pay for health reform] could be drained from the system, if they were willing to do that.”


The speaker said she will try to wring more concessions, setting up a potential battle with health care players who torpedoed President Bill Clinton’s health-reform efforts but have been eager participants in the negotiations this time around.


Pelosi said she is open to other changes — that she is taking an “agnostic” approach to getting a bill, rather than working from a “theology” of reform: “You have to just judge it for: Does it lower costs, improve quality?”


Pelosi now faces more pressure than she ever has in her career — obligated to repeatedly deliver tough votes for an ambitious and popular president, but anxious to minimize the midterm election losses that traditionally befall the party holding the White House.


The speaker professed bemusement at the persistent question she gets about whether it was better to be speaker with a Republican president or a Democratic president.


“Oh, please!” she replied. “Why do people ask that question? Do you have any idea? Like night and day. When people ask it, I think: Would you think that it would be easier to have a Republican president who doesn’t share your values? No, no, no.


“Nothing is easy. It’s challenging to get the job done and live up to the expectations and the hopes of the American people, as the president has taken them all to a new height. ... But ... it’s like having a 1,000-ton anvil lifted off your shoulders.


“People would ask, ‘Now, you’re not going to be the No. 1.’ And I say, ‘This is what I’ve hoped, prayed, dreamed and worked for.’ And it absolutely goes beyond my expectations of what it could be.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25144.html


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Kris Conover on July 20, 2009, 11:23:20 am
Some House members are concerned that they’re being asked to take a tough vote that may be for nothing if the Senate doesn’t follow through. Some Pelosi advisers had considered keeping the House in session into August so that leaders could be sure the Senate was going to vote before House members take the risk themselves.


But Pelosi is plunging ahead. “We’re just staying on our own course, and we hope that the Senate will stay on a parallel course, to have this done by [early August]. Whatever it is, we will be ready. ... As I always say, we’re going forward when we’re ready. And I’m sure we’ll be ready.”


Pelosi said she has felt a certain “serenity” ever since she became speaker and says she’s “ready for all of this.” Ticking off the year’s remarkable agenda, she praised the stamina of her members, chairs and leaders, calling the Democratic team a “partnership.”


“I have the confidence when I go down a path that we are going down that path together,” she said. “It is a heavy lift, sometimes. But it one based on respect for the members. So we’ll take the time, have the conversations, do what needs to be done. ... It’s such a tremendous honor to be speaker of the House. To be able to serve with Barack Obama is really a joy. He’s a great leader ... with a vision, a strategic approach to it and the eloquence to take it to the American people.”


Pelosi said White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee who has tight relationships throughout the House, is “doing an excellent job.”


“He’s great, and I knew he would be,” she said. “The only thing is, I certainly would still like to have him here. There’s no question about that. But I’m so proud of him. I take some level of pride in his success, having appointed him to the DCCC, only in his second term, and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee.”


POLITICO spoke with Pelosi on Friday afternoon in her suite of offices on the West Front of the Capitol, overlooking the National Mall. She spoke proudly of that morning’s two committee votes on health care, starting in the wee hours with the Ways and Means Committee and continuing after breakfast with the Education and Labor Committee.


“It’s such a big day for us,” she said. “I don’t’ think anybody would have ever thought that would be happening on schedule, the way it is. So it’s pretty exciting. It’s historic.”


Her challenge now is to keep making history, against ever harsher odds. Despite the onus on her to turn President Barack Obama’s promises into legislation, Pelosi is relishing the pinnacle of a lifetime in and around politics.


Now, she’s arguably the second most powerful person in government, yet obliged to court fickle members, vote by vote. Some friends said the nail-biter vote for Obama’s climate-change plan was the most difficult thing she’d ever done. But she said health care would probably be “the most exciting.”


“Every single person in America is an expert on his or her health care,” she said. “The differences among members are regional, they’re generational, they’re ethnic — concerns that are really not necessarily political, partisan. We want this to work for the country. So we have to listen to everybody.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Whitney on July 20, 2009, 04:32:44 pm
GOP TRYING TO TORPEDO HEALTH REFORM
Kristol: "This Is The Week" To "Go For The Kill"... Steele: Health Care Is Obama's Waterloo... Obama Hits Back
(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/93913/thumbs/r-STEELE-KRISTOL-huge.jpg)


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Whitney on July 20, 2009, 04:33:54 pm
Sam Stein
stein@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting


Steele Calls Obama Health Care Socialism, Agrees This His Waterloo



First Posted: 07-20-09 10:19 AM | Updated: 07-20-09 01:48 PM


Asked on Monday whether President Barack Obama's plan for health care reform represented socialism, RNC Chairman Michael Steele didn't waste words.
"Yes," he declared, "next question."
In a speech that even he admitted was meant to be more about politics than policy, Steele issued a whole host of similar accusations, with the type of rhetorical flourishes for which he is well known. At the end of the address he was asked by the Huffington Post whether he agreed with Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) assessment that health care reform could be Obama's Waterloo -- a chance for the Republican Party to break the president politically. "I think that's a good way to put it," he responded.
Earlier in the address he was equally biting. "This is unprecedented government intrusion into the private sector," Steele said. "Period. And you can sweeten that anyway you want but it still tastes bitter."
"Mr. President, you are putting your party's entire big-government wish list on America's credit card," he offered at an earlier point, "But that card comes with a bill. It is more debt our children will have to pay because this reckless administration has an unrestrainable urge to splurge."
Roughly thirty times in his half-hour speech, Steele accused Obama of "experimenting" with America's health care, pursuing a government-dominated approach that would bankrupt the country without reforming the system. The RNC Chairman also announced a new website -- www.barackobamaexperiment.com -- and a new advertising campaign that the committee is launching on Monday.
The president wasn't the only target. Democratic leadership also found itself on the receiving end of acid-tongued Steele sound bite.
"We all remember Harry and Louise," the RNC Chairman said. "Harry and Louise helped save us from Hillary Clinton's health care experiment in 1994. This year, Harry and Louise have been replaced by another couple -- [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi. Harry and Nancy aren't really doctors...but they are playing doctor in Washington, experimenting with health care, insisting on a big government takeover."

Even the Blue Dog Democrats -- who have been publicly skeptical of the president's health care proposals and could be the lawmakers who help Republicans derail reform in the House -- found themselves besieged by the RNC Chair.
"Back in 1994, when Hillary Clinton tried to jam a massive health care bill down Congress' throat, Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a highly respected Democrat, gave a speech on the Senate floor in which he flatly stated that he would not vote for a bill, which did not have Republican support," Steele said. "I am waiting for a Democrat--any Democrat--to show that sort of courage today. And please do not mention the Blue Dogs to me. Their press releases may talk about fiscal responsibility but, in the end, they have been Nancy Pelosi's most reliable voting bloc."
Speaking before a half-empty room at the National Press Club, Steele, at times, treated the event as if it were a presidential campaign rally, even flipping Obama's main slogan on him. "Candidate Obama promised change," he said. "President Obama is conducting an experiment."
But his address was short on details. Pressed repeatedly during the question and answer session why the GOP had not actually released its plan for health care reform -- and then on specific policy proposals -- Steele demurred to his GOP colleagues in Congress.
"Look I don't do policy," he said. "I'm not a legislator. My point in coming here was to establish a tone."
He even grew a bit snippy with the press when he was asked whether the health care reform debate had already been "litigated" in the 2008 election. "Yeah, we lost the last election so that means we shut up?" he asked. "That's a serious question?" he added, somewhat incredulously.
In the end, the majority of scorn was saved for the president, who Steele accused of playing "Russian roulette" with the American economy. The White House is ignoring the greatness of the current health care system, the RNC Chair insisted. The president was operating blind in trying to craft reform. And he wasn't making the serious efforts at bipartisanship that were promised during the election.
"We like coming down to the White House and having a beer and watching a game," Steele said, "but someone is going to lose a health care opportunity if we don't do this right."


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Whitney on July 20, 2009, 04:34:44 pm
Bill Kristol: This Is The Week To Kill Health Care

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/93858/thumbs/s-KRISTOL-large.jpg)

The Huffington Post | Rachel Weiner


At the Weekly Standard, editor Bill Kristol has declared war on health care reform, telling Republicans now is the time to "go for the kill."
With Obamacare on the ropes, there will be a temptation for opponents to let up on their criticism, and to try to appear constructive, or at least responsible. There will be a tendency to want to let the Democrats' plans sink of their own weight, to emphasize that the critics have been pushing sound reform ideas all along and suggest it's not too late for a bipartisan compromise over the next couple of weeks or months. [...]

[T]his is not the time to let them off the ropes. This is the week to highlight every problem, every terrible provision, in the Democratic bills: from taxes and spending to government control and rationing to federal funding for abortion and government-required death-with-dignity counseling sessions for the elderly. Throw the kitchen sink at the legislation now on the table, drive a stake through its heart (I apologize for the mixed metaphors), and kill it.
Kristol sang the same tune in 1994 -- only then he was more blunt, telling Republicans to forget the policy implications and kill the bill to keep Democrats down. It worked then. But as Joe Klein writes at Time, "That was then. The conservative tide was still flowing strong. It's ebbing now, although many Congressional Democrats haven't figured that out yet."
Kristol isn't the only conservative media figure to go all out against reform. Media Matter has compiled a video of right-wing pundits and talk show hosts throwing the kitchen sink at health care legislation:



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Whitney on July 20, 2009, 04:35:32 pm
Obama Urges Action On Health Care Reform: "We've Talked This Problem To Death"

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/93932/thumbs/s-OBAMA-large.jpg)

AP/Huffington Post
First Posted: 07-20-09 01:44 PM | Updated: 07-20-09 03:01 PM
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says it is time for the country to take action on his proposed health care overhaul because "we've talked this problem to death."
Obama said that out-of-pocket costs for Americans are spiraling while health insurance companies have reaped record profits. He also said families are spending more for less care.
Obama visited a children's hospital Monday and spoke with doctors and nurses about the shortcomings of the health care system. He said hey are forced to work in a system that favors drug companies and insurance companies, not care.
The president responded directly to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who said last week that health care reform could be the president's "Waterloo."
"Now, there are some in this town who are content to perpetuate the status quo, are in fact fighting reform on behalf of powerful special interests," Obama said. "There are others who recognize the problem, but believe -- or perhaps, hope -- that we can put off the hard work of insurance reform for another day, another year, another decade.
"Just the other day," he continued, "one Republican senator said -- and I'm quoting him now -- 'If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.' Think about that. This isn't about me. This isn't about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses, and breaking America's economy."
Obama said the need for change is urgent and indisputable. He says those who oppose him want to preserve the status quo. He says changing the system is more important than politics or his personal reputation.




Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Whitney on July 20, 2009, 04:39:41 pm
What a bunch of bastards. 

These rich a**hole Republicans are all ready to torpedo health care reform anyway just so they can to keep the greedy, profit hungry insurance monsters in business.

Wise up, America!  This is your last chance to get health care that you can afford where you won't need to go BANKRUPT just because you get a major illness. 70% of all bankruptices are due to MEDICAL BILLS. 

Don't let these Republican/Bluedog Democrat Neocons rob you of your chance to have a better quality of life, like most of the rest of the industrialized world has. 


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Fawn Aberkorn on July 21, 2009, 11:14:03 am
We have a Congress filled with paid whores, all bought and paid for by the insurance companies.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Fawn Aberkorn on July 21, 2009, 11:26:07 am
Drug industry, Pfizer lead in health lobbying
ALAN FRAM | 07/21/09 12:02 AM | 


WASHINGTON — The drug industry's trade group and one of the nation's biggest pharmaceutical companies reported spending more money than other health care organizations on lobbying in the second quarter of this year.

With the fight over President Barack Obama's effort to revamp the nation's health care system escalating, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said it spent $6.2 million lobbying in April, May and June, according to reports to Congress due Monday. Pfizer Inc., the New York-based producer of numerous drugs, ranked second in the health care sector at $5.6 million.

In reports filed by 11 p.m. Monday, 22 health-related associations and companies had reported spending at least $1 million each lobbying during the quarter.

The stakes are huge for the health industry. Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation that could cost roughly $1 trillion over the coming decade, paid for in part by cuts in federal health care programs such as Medicare. Lobbyists have been flooding Capitol Hill for months, and many interest groups have already invested millions of dollars in ad campaigns favoring or opposing various portions of the emerging bills.

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the health sector reported spending $127 million in lobbying during the first three months of this year, more than any other area.

It can take many days for all the reports to be filed. In the second quarter of 2008, 28 health care concerns reported spending at least $1 million lobbying.

Of the thousands of reports filed by Monday evening covering lobbying on all subjects, only three organizations reported spending more during the second quarter than PhRMA, the drug industry trade group. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity reported spending $11.3 million lobbying at a time when Congress is considering energy legislation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business group, reported spending $7.4 million, and the General Electric Co. reported $7.2 million in lobbying expenditures.

Including its latest report, PhRMA has now spent $13.1 million lobbying so far this year. Pfizer has reported $11.7 million in lobbying expenses for 2009.

Other top lobbying spenders among health-related organizations for this year's second quarter included the American Medical Association, $4 million; Eli Lilly and Co., $3.6 million; the American Hospital Association, $3.5 million, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, $2.8 million.

Also, GlaxoSmithKline, $2.3 million; CVS Caremark Inc., $2 million; Bayer Corp. and America's Health Insurance Plans, representing the health insurance industry, $1.9 million each; Novartis and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, each $1.8 million, and Metlife Group Inc., $1.7 million.

Also, Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Inc. reported spending $1.6 million in the second quarter; Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. $1.6 million; Merck & Co. Inc. $1.5 million; F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. and its affiliates, $1.5 million; the American College of Radiology Association, Wellpoint Inc. and Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, each $1.2 million, and Siemens Corp. and UnitedHealth Group Inc., $1 million each.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Fawn Aberkorn on July 21, 2009, 11:26:30 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/21/phrma-pfizer-lead-in-heal_n_241702.html


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on July 22, 2009, 08:49:46 pm
Obama vows healthcare reform this year

President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to push affordable healthcare reform through this year and keep it from swelling the US deficit in a fresh bid to convince Americans to back his ambitious plan.

“We will pass reform that lowers cost, promotes choice and provides coverage that every American can count on. And we will do it this year,” he said, according to prepared remarks released by the White House.

The excerpts were released ahead of a prime-time press conference, as Obama, battling slumping poll numbers, seeks to counter growing criticism of his economic and health policies.

“I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade — and I mean it,” he said, adding that spiraling healthcare expenses must be brought under control.

“If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit.”

But a USA Today/Gallup poll earlier showed his approval ratings have fallen to 55 percent and his disapproval ratings were up 16 points to 41 percent.

The downturn in Obama’s once stratospheric poll numbers parallels the decline in the US economy, as Americans grow more pessimistic about how long it will take for the recession to end.

Critically, the survey also found that 50 percent of the US public disapproved of the president’s healthcare policy, with 44 percent in support.

While questions on Iraq and tensions with Israel may also get some play at the news conference starting at 8:00 pm (0000 GMT Thursday), domestic issues were set to top the agenda.

Against the backdrop of mounting deficits and ever-rising unemployment, healthcare reform looks set to be Obama’s biggest test yet.

His far-reaching plans to bring affordable health insurance to all Americans have left many worrying who will foot the bill, and many players within his own Democratic Party remain skeptical.

But Obama warned: “If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket. If we do not act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day.

“These are the consequences of inaction. These are the stakes of the debate we’re having right now,” Obama said in the remarks.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that some Republicans were working with Democrats to draft legislation to provide health insurance for all, including the 46 million Americans who currently have no coverage.

But he conceded: “I don’t doubt that there are some that have philosophical differences. I also think there are some, as we enumerated yesterday, that are intent on playing political games.”

Healthcare reform has bedeviled many administrations, including that of former president Bill Clinton who tried, and very publicly failed, to change the system.

And Republicans are loudly fretting over the cost of Obama’s plans.

The “Democrats’ reforms are designed to push an ever-increasing number of Americans into a government-run health care plan,” Republican Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal wrote in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday.

He added the reforms could hurt private health care providers and lead them to be “driven out of business,” warning that could lead to higher costs for all and a decline in the overall quality of health care.

Obama has received support in some Republican quarters however, including from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said reform was needed “right away.”

“I would support him 100 percent in health care reform, because I think it’s necessary,” Schwarzenegger told ABC television, adding it was “inexcusable” that so many people remained uninsured.

http://rawstory.com/08/afp/2009/07/22/obama-vows-healthcare-reform-this-year/


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Kaitlyn on July 23, 2009, 12:46:48 am
Dig deeper and people aren't so much unhappy with Obama's handling of health care, they are pissed that he isn't fighting harder for it! 

We have the worst health care system in the industrial world, bar none. 

And Bush actually still gets the blame for the poor economy.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Qoais on July 23, 2009, 09:40:50 am
I can't believe Americans wouldn't want health care.  And I don't know why the drug companies would be upset, they would still have all the business.  Health Care doesn't cover the cost of medicine, unless it's an extended health care plan, such as a person gets through their employment.  What it does pay for is all your visits to the Dr., it pays for hospital stays, it pays for operations and for physio and home care after an operation. 

I think it's pretty obvious how the drug companies have been ripping and gouging you people if they're willing to spend so much money on lobbying against health care.  They've got you all brainwashed that you can't afford it.  Ha!  You can't afford not to have it.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on July 23, 2009, 10:26:42 am
I can't believe Americans wouldn't want health care.  And I don't know why the drug companies would be upset, they would still have all the business.  Health Care doesn't cover the cost of medicine, unless it's an extended health care plan, such as a person gets through their employment.  What it does pay for is all your visits to the Dr., it pays for hospital stays, it pays for operations and for physio and home care after an operation. 

I think it's pretty obvious how the drug companies have been ripping and gouging you people if they're willing to spend so much money on lobbying against health care.  They've got you all brainwashed that you can't afford it.  Ha!  You can't afford not to have it.

Yes Qoais, you make a point.
It is just a greed for more and more money from people.I was living in a country with a better health care than in U.S. , and it wasn't so rich and powerful like U.S. .State was paying all costs of any kind of medical treatment you need.
People in the U.S. really are brainwashed.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Luke Hodiak on July 23, 2009, 11:21:42 am
I agree, the hold up is the lobbying.  The insurance and pharmaceutical industries pay millions to the politicians' poltical campaigns, so consequentially, laws are written for the benefits of big corportations, not the people.

Any complaints about your Canadian system, Qoais?  There is all sorts of misinformation in the U.S. about it here.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on July 23, 2009, 01:53:43 pm
Obama press conference: Evasions and lies on plan to slash health care for workers

By Patrick Martin
23 July 2009


President Obama’s press conference Wednesday night was an hour-long effort to conceal from the American people the sweeping impact of the cuts in medical benefits that will be imposed in his administration’s planned restructuring of the US health care system.

With major health care bills proceeding through both the House and the Senate, and the White House engaged in detailed negotiations with congressional Democrats and Republicans, Obama focused his opening statement on the issue and nearly every question from the White House press corps followed suit.

The opening statement made only one mention of the 47 million people now without health insurance, and did not repeat Obama’s election campaign promises of universal coverage. Instead, he spoke almost exclusively about the need to slash spending on medical care, particularly on the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs which underwrite health care for the elderly, the disabled and the poor.

“The biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid,” he said. “So let me be clear: If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit.”

“I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it,” he added, pointing to a plan to “create an independent group of doctors and medical experts who are empowered to eliminate waste and inefficiency in Medicare on an annual basis.”

As always is the case in a US presidential press conference, Obama was addressing two basic audiences—the ruling elite and the general population. But rarely have the messages being delivered been so fundamentally at odds. Obama combined vague promises of improvements in health care for the American people with direct pledges to the financial aristocracy that his plan would cut health care spending.

Obama repeatedly stressed that his number one priority was to slash spending on medical care, both by corporate America and by the federal government. At one point he declared that unless costs are reduced, “Medicare and Medicaid will break the federal budget.” No such considerations have restrained his administration’s open-ended bailout of Wall Street—at a direct cost of $4.7 trillion, with another $19 trillion in guarantees—or the spending of trillions on continuing and escalating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To working people, Obama offered examples of the abuses inflicted by private insurance companies—cutting off benefits, arbitrary rate increases, refusal to pay for life-saving procedures—making a show of sympathy with the victims of medicine-for-profit, even as he pushes ahead with plans to make these conditions even worse.

In response to reporters’ questions about the sacrifices he was prepared to ask of ordinary people, Obama was careful to disguise the real implications of the measures now being prepared. One reporter asked if he would support a list of cost-cutting measures—fewer tests, fewer choices, less end-of-life care. Obama evaded the issue with a glib phrase, saying he would ask people only to “give up paying for things that don’t make you healthier.”

Another reporter asked the US president to detail “specifically what kind of pain and sacrifice” he was prepared to demand of current or future Medicare beneficiaries. Here Obama simply lied, saying that he “won’t reduce Medicare benefits” but would “make delivery more efficient.”

The final questioner along these lines asked Obama to guarantee that under the public insurance option proposed as part of his plan the government would not reduce benefits or coverage for anyone. Obama first made a diversion, defending the public option against Republican criticism and citing record insurance company profits. Then he gave an evasive answer, saying he “can’t guarantee there will be no changes in the health care delivery system.”

Given the opportunity to promise there would be no reductions in benefits or coverage under his health care plan, Obama refused to do so—a much clearer indication of the real direction of government policy than all his pretended empathy for working class families facing the loss of jobs, health insurance and their homes.

At one point, asked about his bottom-line requirements for a health care bill, Obama said that he would not sign a bill that increased the federal deficit or failed to cut health care costs. He made no such pledge to reject a bill that failed to cover the uninsured or imposed cuts in the availability of medical procedures, tests or drugs.

Obama said that he did not want the additional tax revenues required under his plan to be “completely shouldered” by middle-class families, an indication that a substantial portion of the costs will be imposed on working families.

No reporter, in line with the general media coverage of the health care issue, raised the simple fact that it is impossible to combine expanded benefits and drastically reduced spending, or improve health care for masses of people on the basis of a plan supported by the giant pharmaceutical and insurance companies. In fact, Obama’s drive to restructure health care represents a frontal assault on the social conditions of the working class.

His talk about eliminating “inefficiencies” and cutting the “quantity but not the quality” of health care can only mean, within the framework of a for-profit health care system based on the capitalist market, an attack on both the quantity and quality of health care for broad masses of people.

The dimensions of the coming assault are suggested by two figures cited by Obama. He pointed to the projected $7.1 trillion in federal deficits over the next decade, declaring that his health care plan was an essential part of cutting that deficit. And he noted that the annual average cost of health care in the United States was $6,500 more per person than in other industrialized countries—a gap that puts American corporations at a disadvantage against their international rivals.

The class character of Obama health care plan is demonstrated by the process through which the plan has been put together.

The last few days have seen extensive press reporting on the millions in campaign contributions from the health profiteers to leading congressional Democrats like Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus. At the same time, the Obama administration has refused to release the names of top health care company CEOs and lobbyists who have been visiting the White House to ensure the legislation is drafted to their satisfaction.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, health care companies gave a staggering $170 million to congressional candidates in 2007 and 2008 combined, 54 percent of that total to Democrats. This spending spree is accelerating. According to the Washington Post, “The industry already set records from January to March, when health care firms and their lobbyists spent money at the rate of $1.4 million a day.”

The horror stories about insurance company abuses cited by Obama in his press conference could be multiplied endlessly. It is no exaggeration to say that thousands die needless deaths every year and millions are condemned to suffering because the health care system is driven not by human needs, but by the profit interests of drug and medical equipment manufacturers, hospital chains and insurance companies.

It is precisely these corporate interests that are working in close collaboration with the White House and Congress to write the Obama health care plan, whose aim is precisely to deny tests, medicines, procedures and treatments to working class people and restructure the health care system more directly and openly along class lines. The outcome will be cut-rate, third-class care for the vast majority, while the affluent few will have access to the best care available.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on July 23, 2009, 03:33:54 pm



                                                       (http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/8080/20090722kalpr.jpg) (http://img11.imageshack.us/i/20090722kalpr.jpg/)


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on July 23, 2009, 04:14:01 pm
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Obama health-care claims disputed

S.A. Miller

Even as President Obama delivered a prime-time sales pitch for his embattled health care reform plan Wednesday, basic facts about coverage, cost and who foots the bills remain in dispute and many of the president's favorite talking points are challenged not only by Republicans but also by independent fact-checkers.

For example, Mr. Obama promises that people who are happy with their current health insurance can keep it. That's a claim contradicted by Factcheck.org, a nonpartisan consumer advocacy group at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The group found that while the government would not require people to change their health insurance, proposals by Senate Democrats would result in some people losing health care benefits from employers, either because it would become too expensive or because workers would be able to get a better deal elsewhere.

Such inconsistencies between the rhetoric and the reality cloud much of the health care debate as Mr. Obama retools some of his claims to fend off criticism and adjusts positions he staked out on the campaign trail.

One of the more startling shifts since the campaign was the dropping of Mr. Obama's oft-stated promise to provide universal health care coverage. The House bill leaves about 17 million off the insurance rolls, and one of the Senate bills leaves out about 34 million.

The administration says it is a matter of how you define "universal" and that some people were always expected to slip through the cracks.

Mr. Obama also changed his tune on requiring individuals to buy insurance or pay a fine. He opposed that idea on the campaign trail but has warmed to the idea as it became an element of the package being drafted by Congress.

Then there is the money.

Striving to calm concerns in his own party about the plan's budget-busting $1 trillion price tag, Mr. Obama pledges that the overhaul will be "deficit neutral" and funded, in part, with savings from "bending the curve" of skyrocketing health care costs.

But the Congressional Budget Office, Congress' nonpartisan accountant, last week said the bills taking shape on Capitol Hill would not lower costs and would drive up government spending at an unsustainable pace.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, insisted the bills are a work in progress and there are more savings to come. She also claimed the CBO analysis did not accurately account for savings from preventive and wellness measures that will spawn a population that is healthier and less expensive to treat.

Mr. Obama reportedly summoned CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf to a closed-door meeting Monday at the White House - an unusual move for a president that drew sharp criticism from Republicans.

"This reeks of the type of Chicago-style politics that Americans were warned about," said Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee. "The CBO was created to be independent and nonpartisan. To spoil that with political dealings in the West Wing only adds to American cynicism about the presidents misguided health care plan."

White House officials said there was nothing underhanded about meeting.

"The president invited Mr. Elmendorf to the White House to discuss strategies for bringing down health care costs," White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said. "He's committed to getting costs under control, and he'll continue to seek opinions from experts on the best ways to do so."

Factcheck.org has challenged other assertions by Mr. Obama:

• The president claimed that the cost of treating uninsured people raises the cost of health care for the rest of Americans by $1,000 per family. The Web site pointed to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation that showed the $1,000 figure is "clearly an exaggeration."

According to the foundation, the amount of costs that care providers can shift to the privately insured is only about $8 billion, which Factcheck.org calculated comes to about $200 per family per year.

Mr. Obama tweaked the claim in a speech to the American Medical Association in June, saying higher premiums, higher taxes and higher health care costs attributable to the uninsured result in families paying $1,000 more a year. The Web site said the change in language largely supported the $1,000 figure.

• Mr. Obama claims that nearly 46 million people in the U.S. are uninsured, but that includes about 6 million illegal immigrants and about 14 million with high enough incomes - more than $75,000 year - that they likely could afford insurance, according to Factcheck.org.

The Web site notes, however, that just because you can afford insurance doesn't mean you can get it. About 28 percent of applications for insurance are rejected for medical or nonmedical reasons, and about 11 percent who get insurance pay more than they requested, according to a study by American Health Insurance Plans.

Reply 1 - Posted by: Skipalong, 7/23/2009 4:49:30 AM     (No. 5711190)

He stood there reading his teleprompter and spinning for an hour. What a nut!

Reply 2 - Posted by: OceanLover, 7/23/2009 4:51:51 AM     (No. 5711194)

Of course the Hussein claims are untrue. If you are elderly and on Medicare you will be denied life-saving treatments, such a prostate surgery in favor of younger men. This will cause you to die a terrible painful death from bone invading metastases. This is the choice African-Americans so joyfully make now in support of the African-not-American they love so much. Blacks have the highest rates of prostate cancer in case you did not know.

Reply 3 - Posted by: Beamer, 7/23/2009 5:18:50 AM     (No. 5711214)

But Oboma means well. Hey who would buy this piece of dung if he told the truth about it? I can't understand how the media lets his lies go unchallenged? They just say, wasn't that speech peachy? Isn't he the one?


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on July 23, 2009, 04:35:58 pm
Oh, bs. The reason for the press conference originally was because he was going to announce a final deal for the health care bill, but the Blue Cross Democrats (all paid for by the insurance companies) backed out of it in the meeting they had on Monday.

So, he couldn't very well cancel the meeting after it was already scheduled.

Our Congress is despicable - they all **** themselves out to whoever produces the most campaign contributions.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on July 23, 2009, 04:37:35 pm
United Healthcare up 155% profits in Second Quarter: 
(By Denying Insurance Claims to the sick)

Health Insurance should NOT be a for profit industry.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Qoais on July 23, 2009, 06:26:05 pm
I agree, the hold up is the lobbying.  The insurance and pharmaceutical industries pay millions to the politicians' poltical campaigns, so consequentially, laws are written for the benefits of big corportations, not the people.

Any complaints about your Canadian system, Qoais?  There is all sorts of misinformation in the U.S. about it here.

The main complaint is poor quality of care.  This is due to the cut backs in Provincial Government tho, as our Premier wanted to spend all the money the province has, and a lot it hasn't, on the stupid 2010 Olympics.  He cut back on the nurses in the hospitals, so hospitals had to close beds, cut down on operations, x-rays, tests, etc. etc.  There are long wait times to get anything done.  If you're told you need an MRI, you have to wait months to get one.  It's paid for, but you wait for it.  Operations are cancelled and you have to re-book and wait in line for months and months. 

British Columbia could not afford to hold the Olympics and the Premier should get a swift kick for being so stupid.  We will be paying for this for years and years and years, when we can't afford to re-vamp some of our dis-used buildings into homes for the homeless.  The irony of it all is, now the scientists are saying we aren't going to have any snow for the event!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They're predicting it's going to be so warm, there will be no snow.  Most Americans probably don't realize that British Columbia is unlike any other province in Canada, in that the weather here is much, much more mild than anywhere else in Canada.  IF we get snow in winter, it's at the higher elevations, and if we get it down below, it's only for a few days and it's melted already.  That's why most people from the prairies, retire out here on the coast.  They don't have to shovel rain!!!!


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on July 23, 2009, 06:38:30 pm
Ron is right, why not?

http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/07/22/ron-paul-cut-overseas-spending-to-pay-for-health-care/

http://www.alternet.org/world/97913/the_us_has_761_military_bases_across_the_planet,_and_we_simply_never_talk_about_it/?page=entire


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Qoais on July 24, 2009, 12:08:31 am
I agree that the military should receive a LOT less funding.  If the US is going around telling everyone else to solve their problems peaceably, they should make themselves an example, a role model.  Besides - the wars of the future will not be obvious blood and guts.  It will all be done on the sly with no tell tale bullet holes or bomb blasts to be seen.  Death will come like a thief in the night.  There are tons of places where money could be saved.  The whole flippin budget needs a complete overhaul.    They sent out a questionairre years ago, here in Canda, with a list of what the government spent money on, and we were asked to do a survey and say where we thought funding should be cut.  We couldn't believe some of the crap they were funding!  It fell on deaf ears anyway.  You're lucky you have a president that can see the needs of the people and knows that it's the people that make the country, not just the rich.    It's true.  Health Care should be a non-profit enterprise.  Then everyone would benefit, especially those that NEED it the most.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Meredith Sierrita on July 24, 2009, 11:10:13 am
Enter Rahmbo
Emanuel Holds 3-Hour Meeting With Blue Dogs... Compliments Critics For "Honesty"


(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/94815/thumbs/r-AP-large.jpg)


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Meredith Sierrita on July 24, 2009, 11:11:19 am
Rahm Negotiates With Blue Dogs, Says Bill Could Come Next Week
Rachel Weiner
First Posted: 07-24-09 08:59 AM   |   Updated: 07-24-09 09:30 AM

 In an interview with NPR, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said that the House could vote on a health care bill next week, despite disagreements with conservative Democrats.

"I can tell you what I know, which is that the speaker today announced to the caucus that their intention is to go next week, and she is working toward that goal," Emanuel said.

The top Obama staffer met for several hours with Blue Dogs on Thursday in a hastily-called negotiating session. "We don't have an agreement, but we continue to talk and that's a good thing," Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), said after the meeting. White House aides were also optimistic that the talks would result in a floor vote for next week.

Emanuel also said he was pleased by Republicans' vows to obstruct the bill.

Emanuel shrugged off Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) comments Wednesday that health care is Obama's "Waterloo" and remarks Thursday by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) that Republicans are plotting the bill's demise on a "week by week" basis.

"At least they're honest about their motivation. Their view about health care is about defeating President Obama," he said. "Politically, I actually appreciate what they said."


"I'm OK with politics, as you well know," Emanuel elaborated. "They're seeing it in political terms, and they've decided that if they can beat the president on health care reform, they've scored a big political victory. But what they've also guaranteed in policy terms is that you have the status quo. I actually appreciate what Senator DeMint said and Senator Inhofe. I'm different than everybody, I'm not going to criticize them. I compliment them. They're honest."




Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Meredith Sierrita on July 24, 2009, 11:14:44 am
Obama Dismisses GOP Senator DeMint's "Waterloo" Warning: "I'm From Chicago. I Don't Break"
President Obama returns to Chicago
Tags:Barack Obama, Health Care Reform, Chicago, DNC Back to top  Listen Print Comment Email Recommend  Subscribe By CAROL E. LEE | 7/23/09 9:30 PM

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/94736/thumbs/s-OBAMA-CHICAGO-VISIT-large.jpg)

POLITICO 44

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio - President Obama left the Cleveland area and an afternoon of health care reform events for two Democratic National Committee fundraisers in Chicago, where he struck a defensive and at times defiant tone about his top priority.


After touching down in his home city for the first time in more than five months, Obama first attended a $15,200-a-person dinner at the Lincoln Park home his campaign fundraiser Penny Pritzker, where he took a shot at the media for what he deemed its "lack of sustained focus on the facts" concerning health care reform, which he said "makes it very difficult" for him.


Then he moved on to an event at the Hyatt Regency, where he defiantly told a crowd of about 750 donors, "We are going to pass health care reform in 2009."


And he used the backdrop of the street-fighter politics that define his home city to fire back at his Republican critics — one of whom, Sen. Jim DeMint, he said has told the GOP that defeating health care reform would “break” Obama.


Let me tell you something," Obama said. "I'm from Chicago. I don't break."


Obama tried to put the best face on the setback to his reform plans he was dealt Thursday, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's announcement.

"So even though we still have a few issues to work out, what's remarkable about this point is not how far we have left to go, it's how far we've already come," Obama said.


"I understand how easy it is for folks in Washington to become consumed by the game of politics."


He did his fair share of criticizing Washington and "the status quo" on health care, and declared the country to be "at an unmistakable crossroad."


"There's some in Washington who want us to go down the path that we've already traveled for the last decade or so," Obama said, "the path where we just throw up our hands and say, 'Oh this is just too tough.'"


Earlier Obama worked a room of over 100 people and posed for pictures at Pritzker's home, where guests nibbled on gazpacho shooters and watermelon salad.


He told the donors that opposition to his health care reform bill "gets on my nerves. It frustrates me that we'd even be suggesting the status quo is the best we can do."


He also praised his administration, saying that it had "reset relations not just with Russia" but with the world.


"Anti-Americanism is no longer fashionable," he said.


He made similar statements at the Hyatt fundraiser, where he also credited his administration with being able to "pull the economy back from the brink."


The Hyatt event was billed as a "Welcome Home" reception, where Obama met the coach and quarterback of the Chicago Bears — Lovie Smith and Jay Cutler — as well as retired Chicago Bulls point guard B.J. Armstrong and Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets.


"I'm honored to be a part of the welcoming group to welcome home my favorite son," Smith told the crowd. "I have the audacity of hope that the Chicago Bears will someday be visiting the White House giving the president a Chicago Bears football to toss around on the South Lawn."


Obama was basking in a sports glow after his favorite baseball team pitched a perfect game, and said somebody asked him which was a bigger deal: the White Sox's perfect game or the Dow going over 9,000.


"And I said I promise you, I promise you, a perfect game," Obama said. "That's big."


The president wrapped himself in the hometown welcome. Some of the first words he spoke during remarks at the Hyatt were, "It's good to be home."


"It has now been six months since Michelle and Sasha and Malia and Marian Robinson, my mother-in-law, said goodbye and moved into a nice little spot in Washington, D.C.," Obama said. "And we arrived there at an incredibly difficult moment in this country's history."


At one point in his remarks a woman yelled, "Give 'em hell, Barack."


Obama reiterated his pitch that "health insurance reform" is not just about the uninsured — although he said helping them is "a moral imperative" — but about lowering costs and increasing quality for Americans who have coverage.


The two events are expected to raise as much as $3 million for the DNC.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25368.html#ixzz0MC5jYPHs


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Meredith Sierrita on July 24, 2009, 11:20:32 am
Dems mull skipping panel, bringing healthcare to floor  By Jared Allen 
Posted: 07/23/09 06:24 PM [ET] 
House Democrats, still searching for a way to pass their healthcare bill before August, are considering bypassing the Energy and Commerce committee altogether, where the bill has stalled, and proceeding right to the floor.

“The preferable course would be to go through the committee,” Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) said Thursday night. “But all options will be on the table.”

Larson’s comments came as he and the rest of the Democratic leadership team emerged from a meeting where they hosted Ways and Means Committee and some Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats.

Earlier in the afternoon, leaders met for hours with the group of seven Energy and Commerce Blue Dogs who have vowed to block the bill from passing their committee. Those Blue Dogs still have disagreements over regional Medicare reimbursement disparities and insufficient health care savings.

Leaders, including Larson and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said progress is being made, but have announced only their intention to continue meeting.

The Energy and Commerce Blue Dogs have not said much more.

“We continue to discuss the items that I've talked to all y'all about for two weeks,” said Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.). “I like to think we're making progress, and the talks are continuing, and that's a good thing.”

Bypassing Energy and Commerce, which cancelled it’s markup of the healthcare bill on Thursday, would clear one hurdle, but it wouldn’t necessarily solve the Democrat’s vote problem. Hoyer for one has noted since last week that regional concerns about Medicare are not limited to the Blue Dog Coalition.

At the same time, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been adamant, even as recently as Thursday morning, that she has the votes to pass the bill on the floor.

Asked about shuffling the healthcare bill right to the floor, Pelosi on Thursday night said: “I don’t want to do that.”

Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) was not immediately available for comment on the idea of scratching the rest of his markup.

At least one member of his panel, though, indicated that she believes the markup will proceed.

“We've been asked to clear our calendars for Saturday,” said Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) who joined with six other members of the Committee on Thursday to announce an amendment package they intend to introduce if and when the markup resumes. “I have a busy day in Los Angeles, but I might be spending that busy day in Washington, D.C."
 
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/dems-mull-skipping-panel-bringing-healthcare-to-floor-2009-07-23.html


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on July 24, 2009, 01:14:59 pm
No health care vote before August break, top Democrat says
Story Highlights
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says no vote before recess

Obama says the spiraling costs of current system would bankrupt the nation

Obama: "Reform may be coming too soon for some in Washington"

Some Republicans say they like the current system, but it must be less costly

updated 9:33 p.m. EDT, Thu July 23, 2009Next Article in Politics »

 Read VIDEO
     
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate said Thursday the chamber won't vote on a health care reform bill until after the August recess.


(http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/23/health.care/art.reid.gi.jpg)
 
Sen. Harry Reid says Congress won't meet President Obama's August deadline.

 1 of 2  The announcement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada goes against President Obama's stated timetable for the House and Senate to turn out bills by the August break.

In response, a senior administration official said Reid's announcement does not change Obama's timetable, with the president still wanting House and Senate votes before the upcoming recess.

"My attitude is I want to get it right, but I also want to get it done promptly," Obama said. "Our target date is to get this done by the fall. That's the bottom line."

Obama's desired schedule already appeared in doubt because of fierce Republican opposition and cost concerns by fiscally conservative Democrats over the $1 trillion package proposed so far.

Reid said leading Democrats and Republicans of the Senate Finance Committee, who are negotiating a compromise plan, have asked for more time to complete their work.

"The decision was made to give them more time," Reid said. "I don't think this is unreasonable. ... "I think that it's better to have a product that is one that's based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than trying to jam something through."

Obama has said his timetable is more a target than a make-or-break deadline, intended to spur Congress into action. He wants a health care reform bill on his desk by the end of the year to both capitalize on momentum of his new administration and avoid the thornier political climate of midterm congressional elections in 2010.  Watch more of Obama's comments on health care reform »

The president took his reform pitch to Ohio on Thursday afternoon, touring the Cleveland Clinic -- a hospital he has repeatedly praised as a model of high-quality, low-cost care -- and hosting a town hall meeting in Shaker Heights.

He repeated criticism of Republican leaders, saying they were trying to delay progress on health care reform. He singled out recent comments by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele that the process was moving too quickly.

Steele, Obama said, is "seeking to stall our efforts" and "recently went so far as to say that health insurance reform was happening 'too soon.' ... I think that's a little odd. We've been talking about health reform since the days of Harry Truman."

Don't Miss
Obama forges ahead with health care push
Obama takes health care push to primetime
Obama concluded that "reform may be coming too soon for some in Washington, but it's not soon enough for the American people."

Bills considered so far by House and Senate committees include Democratic proposals for a government-funded public health insurance option, mandates for people to be insured and employers to provide coverage, and an end to lack of coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

Republicans oppose a government-funded option and any requirement for employers to provide coverage. They also call for limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, which Democrats don't favor, along with a number of provisions contained in the Democratic bills, including increased efficiency in Medicare and Medicaid and a focus on preventive health programs.

On the House side, Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated Thursday that she wants the chamber to vote on a bill before the August break, despite remaining differences among House Democrats.

She had a tough meeting with House Democratic leaders Thursday morning, with House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina describing it as "one of the most contentious" whip meetings since he assumed the party post.

Also Thursday, representatives of the Congressional Black Caucus, voicing the concerns of Obama's liberal political base, predicted that inaction this year would have dire ramifications on millions of Americans.

Several Black Caucus representatives have insisted the health reform plan as drafted is affordable, drawing a sharp contrast with more fiscally conservative Democrats who have raised cost concerns.

Later, several of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee met with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and committee chairman Henry Waxman of California to try to resolve their differences over the House proposal. The three-hour meeting ended with two of the Blue Dogs -- Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas and Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana -- saying they would continue to seek common ground.

"I'd like to think we're making progress," Ross said. "The talks are continuing and that's a good thing."

Pelosi downplayed talk of a Democratic split, saying she believes the party "will reach consensus" on the issue.

"I am more confident than ever," Pelosi told reporters. "When we work out some of the differences that we have, it will be very apparent to everyone else that the momentum is there. When the bill is ready, we will go to the floor and we will win."

Pelosi also echoed Obama's remarks from a prime-time news conference Wednesday night, in which the president repeatedly emphasized that the spiraling costs of the current system would bankrupt the nation while denying coverage to millions more Americans.

Meanwhile, Clyburn and the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois, raised the possibility of Congress continuing to work on health care reform into the August recess.

Clyburn warned that going on break without passing a bill would bring headlines of failure to act.

"It is much better to postpone, if not cancel vacation -- our August break -- and stay here until we get this done," Clyburn said. "This is too important."

Durbin noted there wasn't time before the August 7 recess for the Senate Finance Committee's compromise plan to be debated by the full panel, then blended with a separate Democratic bill from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee before going to the full chamber.

"Count the days," he said. "Either we are going to go into overtime, which is always a possibility, or have to face the prospect of doing it after August."

In response, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, the third-ranking Republican in the House, said he wasn't interested in staying longer to talk only about what he called Democratic plans to take over the health care system.

Instead, Pence said, "we can do some modest changes that will lower the cost of health insurance for families and small businesses, but that's not what they're trying to do here."

Obama and Democratic leaders say the problems are deeper and systemic, with spiraling costs that eventually will bankrupt the country and with more than 12,000 people a day being added to the current figure of 46 million without health insurance.

The Senate Finance Committee talks do not include a government-funded public insurance option favored by Obama and top Democrats, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said Wednesday. Instead, negotiators are looking at setting up health insurance cooperatives that would provide collective policies.

Obama dropped direct mention of that provision from his opening remarks Wednesday night and Thursday. Both times, he later spoke of the benefits of a public option in response to questions, mentioning how it would provide competition to private insurers to drive down prices.


Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware said the goal was to bring that competition to the system, regardless of the form or label.

"What we want to do is make sure, whether it's a public option, whether it's a cooperative, whether it's a fallback plan or trigger plan with a public option, we want to make sure that we're going to hold the private sector honest," Carper said. "We're going to make sure that competitive forces work."


CNN's Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/23/health.care/index.html


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on July 24, 2009, 01:16:59 pm
Understand what this is all about!  Each month, up to four thousand more people are dropped by their insurance companies for being sick, or their claims are not paid for pre-existing conditions.

Delays only allow the insurance companies to run more ads and try to kill this proposal again and again, as they have done for all the last seventy years, since good old Harry Truman first proposed it.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jeanetta Clash on July 24, 2009, 04:40:59 pm


 7.23.2009
The Healthcare Timeout is Fine.
by Nate Silver @ 7:39 PM



To hear the defeatism and paranoia on some liberal blogs this afternoon, the "timeout" that Harry Reid and the Senate called on health care today -- they won't vote on the measure before the August recess -- is just about the stupidest thing since Chris Webber, pictured at left, called a phantom timeout in the 1993 finals, costing his team a technical foul and the Michigan Wolverines the national championship.

It isn't. It is, first of all, inevitable, and second of all, about as likely to do the Democrats some good as some harm, although that may depend on certain exogenous factors that are relatively outside of their control.

Ten days ago, I wrote a piece entitled, "Why Democrats Have No Time to Waste", the thesis of which was basically that Obama's approval ratings were liable to decline over the near-to-medium term and so Democrats had better get busy on health care while they could.

But a couple of things have happened since then.

Firstly, the media environment has become very treacherous. There's been all sorts of piling on, for instance, about last night's satisfactory press conference -- this is almost certainly the most sustained stretch of bad coverage for Obama since back when Jeremiah Wright became a household name after the Ohio primary.

I don't think the media has a liberal bias or a conservative bias so much as it has a bias toward overreacting to short-term trends and a tendency toward groupthink. The fact is that there have been some pretty decent signals on health care. Yes, it has stalled in some committees, but it has advanced in others; yes, the Mayo Clinic expressed their skepticism but also the AMA -- surprisingly -- endorsed it; yes, the CBO's Doug Elmendorf got walked into a somewhat deceptive and undoubtedly damaging line of questioning about the measure's capacities on cost control, but also, the CBO's actual cost estimates have generally been lower than expected and also favorable to particular Democratic priorities like the public option. This all seems pretty par for the course, even if you wouldn't know it from reading Politico or Jake Tapper, who giddily report on each new poll telling us the exact same thing as though there's some sort of actual news value there.

The media likes to talk about "momentum". It usually talks about the momentum in the present tense -- as in, "health care has no momentum". But almost always, those observations are formulated based on events of the past and sloppily extrapolated to imply events of the future, often to embarrassing effect: see also, New Hampshire, the 15-day infatuation with Sarah Palin, the Straight Talk express being left for dead somewhere in the summer of 2007, the overreaction to "Bittergate" and the whole lot, and the naive assumption that Obama's high-60's approval ratings represented a paradigm shift and not a honeymoon period that new Presidents almost always experience.

I also believe that the media can, in the short term, amplify and sometimes even create waves of momentum. But almost always only in the short term. And that is reason #1 why it's not such a bad thing that the Democrats are getting a breather on health care. They're at, what I believe, may be something of a 'trough' or 'bottom' as far as this media-induced momentum goes. By some point in August, the media will at least have tired of the present storyline and may in fact be looking for excuses to declare a shift in momentum and report that some relatively ordinary moment is in fact the "game changer" that the Democrats needed. This is not to say that the real, underlying momentum on health care has especially good -- and the Democrats' selling of the measure certianly hasn't been. But it hasn't been especially poor either . As I've said before, the health care process has played out just about how an intelligent observer might have expected it to beforehand.

The second reason why the delay might be OK for the Democrats is because of the economy. Nobody much seems to have noticed, but the Dow is now over 9,000 and at its highest point of the Obama presidency; the S&P is nearing 1,000 and the NASDAQ has gained almost 55 percent since its bottom and has moved upward on 12 consecutive trading days. There are ample reasons to be skeptical about the rally -- it isn't supported by strong volumes, and it's almost entirely the result of surprisingly solid corporate earnings numbers rather than the sorts of figures that Main Street cares about. But, there are two big dates to watch out for. On July 31, an advance estimate of second quarter GDP growth will be released, and on August 7th, we'll get the monthly report on the unemployment situation. If either of those reports reflect the optimism elicited by the corporate earnings numbers -- in this context, a job loss number under ~250,000 or a 2Q GDP number somewhere close to zero -- there will be a lot of quite optimistic chatter about the end of the recession which might not penetrate to Main Street, but which will at least have some reverberations on Capitol Hill.

A few hours ago, I asked our readers what they expected Barack Obama's Gallup approval rating to be on August 31st, when the Senate's recess will be just about over and the health care sausage-making will begin again. The average guess was 55 percent, which is exactly where it is today (a new low for Obama, we should mention). I should caution that our readers lean probably 2:1 or 3:1 liberal, and so there might be some optimism bias in this unscientific sample. But that strikes me as about the right assessment. Obama's numbers don't have much more room to fall before they hit the 53 percent threshold that actually elected him last November. And I don't think they're liable to go too much below that mark unless something actually and tangibly bad happens -- a bad unemployment report (or a sharp reversal of the market rally), the actual collapse of health care, some bona fide major gaffe, etc. Any of those things, indeed, could happen. But just as likely Obama will benefit from some good economic numbers or simply some reversion to the mean as the media firing squad picks up and plays golf for a month.

The Democrats could find themselves in a better position after the August recess or they could find themselves in a worse one -- how's that for a bold prediction! But liberals' doom-and-gloom, conservatives' glee, and the media's nearsighted reporting are all equally uncalled for.
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/07/healthcare-timeout-is-fine.html


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on July 24, 2009, 05:15:23 pm
I agree that the military should receive a LOT less funding.  If the US is going around telling everyone else to solve their problems peaceably, they should make themselves an example, a role model.  Besides - the wars of the future will not be obvious blood and guts.  It will all be done on the sly with no tell tale bullet holes or bomb blasts to be seen.  Death will come like a thief in the night.  There are tons of places where money could be saved.  The whole flippin budget needs a complete overhaul.    They sent out a questionairre years ago, here in Canda, with a list of what the government spent money on, and we were asked to do a survey and say where we thought funding should be cut.  We couldn't believe some of the crap they were funding!  It fell on deaf ears anyway.  You're lucky you have a president that can see the needs of the people and knows that it's the people that make the country, not just the rich.    It's true.  Health Care should be a non-profit enterprise.  Then everyone would benefit, especially those that NEED it the most.

Great post!

Just emagine 761 Military Bases Across the Planet and no money for Health Care!




Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Qoais on July 24, 2009, 09:18:30 pm
I am totally stunned by the cost per month you people pay for your health care.  For my husband and I, we pay $48.00 each a month, and we pay every 3 months.  It's mandatory here in BC to have the health care and if you can't afford it, they pro-rate you on your income so you can have it anyway.  So - if we couldn't afford the $48.00 each per month, they would look at our income, and we would be charged at a certain per-centage of our income.  If you have super low income, health care is about $15.00/month.  If you're on welfare, you're covered automatically.  I will say this - tons and tons of people are quitting smoking because A) they can't afford it, and B) it cuts way down on health care - or it will in the future - for smoking related diseases.  In some extended coverage plans, like thru work, you get a better rate if you're a non-smoker.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jeanetta Clash on July 24, 2009, 11:37:03 pm
Qoais,

Can you believe that there are some people here that are so spooked by government health care that they don't even want to change?  The media bashes the idea and gives the Republicans all the air time they want to spread their lies.

Here, health care is linked to your job.  If you are between jobs, they will charge you anywheres from $1,000 dollars a month and upwards, with usually a 20% raise in premium every year.  Most people can't afford it so if they get a major illness like cancer, and they aren't working anywhere, it is basically a death sentence, or a bankruptcy, meaning you lose everything.

Even some people who have insurance have to take $6,000 deductibles just to be able to afford it.

All the politicians are being paid off by the lobbyists for the insurance industry who know that government run health care will ruin their profits, so that's what the delay is all about.

We are the only industrialized country without government run health care!!!  It's pathetic. All these politicians are like prostitutes, and they have government run health care themselves!


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Qoais on July 25, 2009, 10:01:28 am
People there that are spooked should do a little research instead of listening to all the big mouths who lead them around like sheep. 

Years and years ago, the province of Saskatchewan was the first province to instigate health care.  The doctors all banded together and said find, if you bring in health care, we'll all leave the province.  They did.  (A few stayed and really worked with the new system).  Actually, there was a documentary about it not long ago, and one of the doctor's that stayed was interviewed.  Anyway, most of the doctors left, and guess what the province did?  Ran ads in other countries for doctors.  This allowed doctors with excellent qualifications to emmigrate here, it gave the people doctors that were super qualified, and it most of all, it allowed everyone to have affordable health care.  Now, the doctors that left, wanted to come back when they saw how well the imported doctors were doing under the new system.  Let me assure you, our doctors are still doing just fine and driving Beamers!!


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jessica Hamler on July 26, 2009, 04:02:08 am
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator from New York
Posted: July 23, 2009 02:38 PM

Help Me Fight for a Public Option

There is a historic effort underway in Washington right now to finally address the health care crisis in this country, and I need your help.

As I've written over at DailyKos and as I told Howard Dean last week, I believe that a robust not-for-profit public option must be a part of the health care reform package Congress passes this year. I feel that opening up a Medicare For All type system to everyone would lower costs and increase efficiency by injecting some much needed competition into the market.

I was very pleased to see the Senate HELP committee pass a bill out of committee last week that included a public option, and I assure you, I am going to do everything in my power to ensure that a public option remains in the final bill. I feel that not only must the public option be national and accountable to Congress, but it must be made available to all Americans right away. We've kicked health care reform down the road for far too long already. As others have said -- I think rightly -- a public option has already been triggered.

As you know, we are at a critical time in the health care reform debate, which means we must keep the pressure on. That's where you come in. The online community has done so much already -- and trust me, those of us fighting for real reform feel encouraged by your advocacy and those who are opposed to it are feeling the pressure. Will you help me keep the pressure on? Please join me in advocating for a public option by signing my petition today. I truly believe that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that the time for real reform -- including a public option -- is now. As the President said last night, the status quo is not an option and with you by my side, I intend to continue to fight for the real reform that Americans deserve.

Thanks for all your hard work.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Jessica Hamler on July 26, 2009, 04:03:59 am
I really like the Canadian system, Qoais.  I actually looked into moving there, but they have a waiting list to accept Americans from south of the border!  That sounds familiar.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Qoais on July 27, 2009, 12:33:12 am
We do?  Interesting.  Perhaps you should move to India first and try from there ::)


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Spirit of Vengeance on July 27, 2009, 01:09:41 pm
I would think that the culture shock from America to Canada is not quite the same as that from America to India, which is very poor, has lots of terrorist violence and still a third world nation.   :(


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Spirit of Vengeance on July 27, 2009, 01:10:11 pm
HORROR STORIES
Woman Refused Breast Cancer Surgery Because She Had Acne... Man's Policy Rescinded Because He Was Inaccurately Weighed

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/95174/thumbs/r-HEALTH-CARE-large.jpg)

The Baseline Scenario
What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it
Health Insurance “Innovation”
with 61 comments
The This American Life crew, once again proving that they can cover any topic they want better than anyone else in the media,* has a segment in this weekend’s episode on rescission of health insurance policies – insurers’ established practice of looking for ways to invalidate policies once it turns out that the insured actually needs significant medical care. (The segment is around the 30-minute mark; audio should be available on that page sometime on Monday.) The story describes a couple of particularly egregious cases, such as a woman who was denied breast cancer surgery because she had been treated for acne in the past, and a person whose policy was rescinded because his insurance agent had incorrectly entered his weight on the application form.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Spirit of Vengeance on July 27, 2009, 01:11:10 pm

The legal basis for rescission is that when you sign an insurance application, you are warranting that the information on the application is true; if it turns out not to be true, the insurer can get out of your insurance contract. It’s particularly nasty in practice because the insurer does not immediately investigate your application to determine if it is accurate before selling you the policy (that would be impractically expensive); instead, the insurer waits – years, in many cases – until you actually need expensive health care, and then does the investigation, which at that point is worth it because of the payments the insurer could potentially avoid. Also, you can lose your coverage for innocent mistakes, which are easy to make since the application form asks you if you have ever seen a doctor for any one of a long list of medical conditions that you are certain not to recognize or understand. (In a Congressional hearing, the CEO of a health insurer admitted that he did not know what several of the conditions listed on his company’s application were.)
This reminded me of nothing so much as all of those “innovations” created by credit card companies, such as universal default, penalty rates, and double-cycle billing, which are really just ways to generate fees that you are unlikely to accurately estimate at the time you sign up for the card. It’s legal; it makes more money for the insurer (or credit card issuer); once one company does it, other companies have to, or they won’t be able to compete; it’s disclosed in such a way that customers don’t understand what they are getting into; it nails you when can least afford it; and it even has a plausible economic justification. Credit card issuers claim that their arsenal of hidden fees makes the cost of credit more closely reflect the riskiness of the borrower, and without the fees they would have to charge higher interest to everyone; health insurers claim that rescission is necessary to deter fraudulent applications, and presumably without it they would have to charge higher premiums to everyone.
Also, it’s definitely an innovation. I’m sure health insurers have always had fraud investigation units, which looked for red flags on new insurance applications to identify suspicious customers. But the idea that you should (a) target customers precisely because they get sick and need health care and (b) go after them for innocent mistakes is not an inherent part of the insurance business, and is something that some clever person came up with as a way to make more money – not a way to provide more coverage or better service to customers at lower cost.
And it’s terrible. Basically, anyone who had to fill out a medical underwriting application to get health insurance (this is basically the individual market, not the group market that people are in if they get insurance through their employers) is at risk of finding out that that insurance doesn’t actually exist precisely when he or she needs it most. The insurers claim that rescission is very rare; at the Congressional hearing, two of three industry representatives said it happens to less than 0.5% of policies per year. But that is a deeply misleading number. That means that if you are in the individual market for twenty years, you have a 10% chance of your policy being rescinded; 30 years, and it goes up to 14%. There is a big difference between health insurance and a 90% chance of having health insurance. And remember, insurers only try to rescind policies if you turn out to need them; so the percentage of people who lose their policies when they need them is even higher. (The denominator should exclude all those people who never need expensive medical care, at least not before 65 when they go onto the single-payer system.)
I know that rescission does not logically prove that some private health insurance system cannot work. For one thing, Congress could simply pass a law banning the practice except in cases of intentional misrepresentation (although the free marketers would complain about increasing government interference in the “free market”). But it is evidence that the private health insurance system we have does not work. Yes, it’s just the individual market, but it’s the individual market that’s growing, not the employer-based market. And the system we’ve got, like the credit card industry, is one where the name of the game is finding ways to make the product you sell worth less to the customer than the customer thinks it is worth. (The more common way this is done is by burying exclusions and limits in the fine print.)
This is the system that the politicians who are dug in against health care reform – and everyone knows who they are – are defending. I’d like to see them try to defend it openly, instead of hiding behind the tattered banner of fiscal responsibility.
* OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. I am really a huge fan, so I get carried away sometimes.

 http://baselinescenario.com/2009/07/27/health-insurance-innovation/


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Spirit of Vengeance on July 27, 2009, 01:12:14 pm
Proof again that the entire insurance industry is peopled with the lowest form of reptilean life; coldblooded, ruthless, creepy, and bent entirely on selfpreservation and engorging the beast. Health insurance must be nationalized, or socialized. Insurance companies need to disappear, or more accurately be dismantled. Health insurance companies are evil in the purest sense, depriving the people who need them most in the most dire circumstance and raping everyone else with exhorbidant unnecessary and abusive fee’s and costs in the process, that falsely drive up the cost of healthcare in every arena for every individual. Eliminate these vulchers, leeches, and vampires, and provide universal insurance for every single American from the moment of birth to death. Subtract insurance costs from healthcare, – and America’s longterm health commitments are solved. Insurance companies are evil!!!
http://baselinescenario.com/2009/07/27/health-insurance-innovation/



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Qoais on July 28, 2009, 12:12:47 am
I would think that the culture shock from America to Canada is not quite the same as that from America to India, which is very poor, has lots of terrorist violence and still a third world nation.   :(
I think you missed the point!!


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Mandy Esser on July 28, 2009, 01:22:05 pm
What point are you trying to make?


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Mandy Esser on July 28, 2009, 01:22:39 pm

AP sources: Senators near bipartisan health deal
DAVID ESPO and ERICA WERNER | 07/28/09 11:15 AM

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators is closing in on a health care compromise that omits key Democratic priorities but seeks to hold down costs, as lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol struggled Tuesday to deliver sweeping health legislation to President Barack Obama.
In the House, Democratic leaders continued to negotiate with conservative and moderate rank-and-file party members with time running out for a vote before lawmakers leave Friday for a monthlong vacation.
The fiscally conservative Blue Dogs were at odds with the leadership over how to pay providers in a government-run health plan that would compete with private insurance. The House bill models the payments based on Medicare, but the so-called Blue Dogs want a negotiated rate similar to private insurance. Other issues remain sticking points for the Democrats.
"We're not ready to support a bill yet," said Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., a member of the Blue Dog group, who added: "We'll get there. We are going to pass a health care bill, whether it's now or in the fall remains to be seen."
Without the backing of the 52-member Blue Dogs, it would be difficult for Democratic leaders to pass a bill, especially since no Republican supports the legislation.
"I think there's still a bit of daylight between the positions," said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. "I think the bottom line of Blue Dogs has not been met as of this time."
Democratic leaders are still holding out hope of floor passage before the summer break, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is looking at keeping the House in session some days past its scheduled Friday adjournment date.
After weeks of secretive talks, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee were edging closer to a compromise that excludes a requirement many congressional Democrats seek for large businesses to offer coverage to their workers. Nor would there be a provision for a government insurance option, despite Obama's support for such a plan, officials said.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Mandy Esser on July 28, 2009, 01:22:55 pm
The Finance senators were considering a tax of as much as 35 percent on very high-cost insurance policies, part of an attempt to rein in rapid escalation of costs. Also likely to be included in any deal was creation of a commission charged with slowing the growth of Medicare.
"We're going to get agreement here," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee chairman, said Monday. "The group of six really wants to get to 'yes.'"
Obama has outlined two broad goals for legislation he is struggling to win from Congress: expansion of health insurance coverage to millions who lack it, and reining in increases in costs. The president is participating in an AARP town-hall meeting on health care Tuesday.
The president's top domestic priority has suffered numerous setbacks in recent weeks and a Senate vote has been postponed until September. Administration and Democratic leaders hope to show significant progress before lawmakers begin their monthlong August recess.
In the House, seven fiscally conservative House Democrats who have held up action in the Energy and Commerce Committee by demanding more cost savings and other changes negotiated late into the night Monday with the committee's chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Waxman's is the only one of three House panels with jurisdiction on the health bill that has yet to act.
The Blue Dogs have enough votes in the Energy and Commerce Committee to potentially block passage there, but time is running out for their negotiations with Waxman. A voting session in Waxman's committee that has been on hold for a week must resume quickly, probably by Wednesday at latest, if there's any chance for the committee to pass a bill and send it to the full House for action before the summer recess.
In the Senate, officials stressed that no agreement has been reached on a bipartisan measure, and said there is no guarantee of one, with numerous key issues remaining to be settled.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss matters under private negotiations.
They said any legislation that emerges from the talks is expected to provide for a nonprofit cooperative to sell insurance in competition with private industry, rather than giving the federal government a role in the marketplace.
Obama and numerous Democrats in Congress have called for a government option to provide competition to private companies and hold down costs, and the House bill includes one – another concern for the Blue Dogs.
Officials also said a bipartisan compromise in the Senate would not subject large companies to a penalty if they declined to offer coverage to their workers. Instead, these businesses would be required to reimburse the government for part or all of any federal subsidies designed to help lower-income employees obtain insurance on their own.
The legislation in the House includes both a penalty and a requirement for large companies to share in the cost of covering employees.
___
Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Dalbeck on July 29, 2009, 03:27:08 pm
Sam Stein
stein@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting

/feeds/reporting/sam-stein/news.xml /feeds/reporting/sam-stein/news.xml
Obama's Doctor: President's Vision For Health Care Bound To Fail


First Posted: 07-29-09 09:58 AM | Updated: 07-29-09 12:59 PM
(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/95692/thumbs/s-DOCTOR-large.jpg)

The man Barack Obama consulted on medical matters for over two decades said on Tuesday that the president's vision for health care reform is bound for failure.
Dr. David Scheiner, a 70-year Chicago-based physician who treated Obama for more than 20 years, said he was disheartened by the health care legislation his former patient is championing, calling it piecemeal and ineffectual.
"I look at his program and I can't see how it's going to work," Scheiner told the Huffington Post. "He has no cost control. There would be no effective cost control in his program. The [Congressional Budget Office] said it's going be incredibly expensive ... and the thing that I really am worried about is, if it is the failure that I think it would be, then health reform will be set back a long, long time."
Scheiner, who prefers a more progressive approach to reform, was hesitant about trying to divine the president's motives, although he said he believed that "in his heart of hearts" Obama "may well like a single-payer program."
"His pragmatism is what is overwhelming him." Scheiner added: "I think he's afraid that he can't get anything through if he doesn't go through this incredibly compromised program."
Admitting that he was not a political practitioner, Scheiner said he felt compelled to speak out because of his unique relationship with the president and this critical moment in the health care debate. A champion of a single-payer health care system, Scheiner noted repeatedly that he came to the debate from the perspective of having dealt with the hassles and pitfalls of the current system. His speaking out is part of a larger effort, launched by Physicians for a National Health Program, to push Congress to consider single-payer as an alternative to current reform proposals.
As Scheiner sees it, all alternatives simply fall short. Keeping private insurers in the market, he warns, would simply maintain burdensome administrative costs. He argued further that the pharmaceutical industry is not being asked to make "any kind of significant sacrifices" in the current round of reform negotiations. As for a public health care option, Scheiner insists that the proposal remains vague and inadequate.
"First of all, they haven't really gone into great detail about the public option," he said. "How much is it going to cost, are they going to really undercut private health insurance by a considerable amount? Will there be any restriction that you can get for public option?"


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Dalbeck on July 29, 2009, 03:28:06 pm
Despite his policy critiques, Scheiner's affection for his long-time patient is quite obvious. He recalled the president as being "gracious" and "never pulling rank" when he came to his office. "Part of my shtick, is I sing songs and I love humor," Scheiner said. "I remember last time I saw him I told him a joke, he said, 'Doc, you told me that joke before.' I was so impressed he can remember my bad jokes -- this guy has to be really bright."
During the course of the campaign, Scheiner became one of the many mini-celebrities in Obama's orbit. When the then-Senator released a one-page summary documenting his health, criticism for its brevity was laid on the doc's doorstep.
"The guy was healthy, you know," Scheiner recalled. "What can you say? His only problem was that he smoked ... But there wasn't that much to say. If I had added anything it would have been pure drivel. There wasn't anything serious in his record. He'd never had anything. The guy is built like a rock, he could probably bench-press me...
"I think my most impressive time was when Jon Stewart actually mocked my report," he added. "I thought that was wonderful."
All of which makes his current criticism of Obama's health care policies all the more difficult. While Scheiner raved about the president's intellectual curiosity, he was at loss for words as to why Obama had consulted with private industry executives more than primary care physicians. And while he spoke glowingly about the president's oratorical talents, he expressed disappointment that Obama had not done more to explain the benefits of single-payer coverage to the American public.
The White House has said that the president moved away from a single-payer approach both because of philosophical objections (consumers should be allowed to keep their coverage) as well as political realities (limited support for the proposal in Congress). The administration's position increasingly resembles the maxim, Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
"It's a good question," Scheiner said, when asked if having watered-down reform become law was better than getting a single-payer system stalled in Congress. "Is something better than nothing? That is a hard one for me. That is a difficult one, because, in the end, I think [Obama's] program is going to fail."



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Dalbeck on July 29, 2009, 03:28:50 pm
Health care progress seen on Capitol Hill
LIZ SIDOTI | 07/29/09 02:14 PM | 

(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20090729/us-health-care-overhaul/images/53c099f1-f118-4716-852d-d82e3fb1ce98.jpg)President Barack Obama holds a town hall on health care reform, Wednesday, July 29, 2009, at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Congress reported progress on legislation to overhaul the nation's health care Wednesday as President Barack Obama introduced a retooled message asserting his plan would protect Americans and limit insurers' power.
"We have a system today that works well for the insurance industry, but it doesn't always work well for you," Obama told more than 2,000 people in a North Carolina high school gymnasium. "What we need, and what we will have when we pass these reforms, are health insurance consumer protections to make sure that those who have insurance are treated fairly and insurance companies are held accountable."
Obama also acknowledged a setback in the drive to enact his top domestic priority, saying he doesn't expect Congress to vote on legislation until the fall because bills aren't even out of committees. The White House had pressed for passage before the House and Senate left for their August break.
"We did give them a deadline, and sort of we missed that deadline. But that's OK," Obama said.
"We don't want to just do it quickly, we want to do it right," he added. But he also signaled that he won't be patient if negotiations continue to drag, saying: "The American people can't wait any longer. They want action this year. I want action this year."
Back in Washington, there were signs of significant movement after a period of stalemate.
House lawmakers indicated they were moving ahead on their version of the health care legislation after leaders and fiscally conservative Democrats worked out a deal.
Four of the seven so-called Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said they resolved their differences with Chairman Henry Waxman of California and have agreed that the full House would not vote on the legislation until September so lawmakers can read the bill and listen to constituents. The lawmakers also had been meeting with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Dalbeck on July 29, 2009, 03:29:09 pm
Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., head of the Blue Dogs health care task force, appeared pleased with the agreement, saying: "It cuts the cost of the bill significantly by over $100 billion. It protects small businesses and it saves our rural hospitals and ensures that if there is a public option, it will be just that. It will be an option providing consumers more choices. It will not be mandated on anyone. And it now will clearly be on a level playing field."
Senators trying to reach a bipartisan compromise also reported progress in paring the costs of the plan as they push for an agreement they hope will appeal to the political middle.
Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the Democrat leading the negotiations among three Democrats and three Republicans, said new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office show the plan that's taking shape would cover 95 percent of Americans by 2015, and cost about $900 billion over 10 years – under the unofficial $1 trillion target the White House has set.
As Congress continued to haggle over various bills on Capitol Hill, the president flew to North Carolina to emphasize consumer protections that he said would be in any bill he would sign. He was making the same pitch later in Virginia.
Among those protections: Insurers would be required to set annual caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses, would have to fully cover routine tests to help prevent illness and would be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder paid the premium in full. Insurers also would be barred from refusing coverage because of pre-existing conditions, scaling back insurance for people who fall very ill, charging more for services based on gender or and placing limits on coverage. And, they wouldn't be able to deny children family coverage through age 26.
"Whether or not you have health insurance right now, the reforms we seek will bring stability and security that you don't have today – reforms that become more urgent and more urgent with each passing year," Obama said.
Many, if not all, of the consumer protections are included in legislation under discussion in both houses. But conservative-to-moderate Democrats are balking at the bills, making the legislative process move slower than the White House would like and presenting political challenges to the Democratic president.
The president is seeking legislation to extend health insurance to millions who lack it, even as he is asking lawmakers to slow the growth in the skyrocketing cost of medical care overall. To coax legislation from Congress, the president is making a major investment in his time and political capital. His trips outside of Washington and retooled message are part of that effort.
Greeted with cheers, he bounded onto a North Carolina stage backed by four huge American flags, a scene reminiscent of last year's presidential campaign. The audience was friendly, its questions hardly critical. The White House said people signed up for a drawing to get tickets through a Web site and phone number.
The welcome was in contrast to criticism Obama met as his motorcade made its way from the airport to Needham B. Broughton High School. Thick groups of protesters held signs that said "Obamacare is Socialism," "Politicians + Health Care Disaster," and "Hands Off Our Health Care."
Once inside, Obama got hearty applause as he introduced each element in his introductory remarks.
As he has nearly every day for weeks, Obama countered concerns about costs to taxpayers and the scope of government in any overhaul, saying, "No one is talking about some government takeover of health care. ... These folks need to stop scaring everybody."
He cast the debate as a choice between doing something to bring down rising costs, provide better insurance and control exploding deficits – and doing nothing, which he said would have disastrous consequences by doubling health costs over the next decade, making millions more Americans uninsured and bankrupting federal and state governments.
Obama dismissed critics' claims that he was playing politics with health care, telling the crowd: "You know this isn't about politics. This is about people's lives. This is about people's businesses. This is about our future."
____
Associated Press Writers David Espo and Erica Werner contributed to this report.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Shayla on July 30, 2009, 11:34:03 am
stein@huffingtonpost.com
Blue Dog Compromise Removes Billions In Savings From Public Plan
First Posted: 07-30-09 09:34 AM   |   Updated: 07-30-09 11:53 AM

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/95955/thumbs/s-BLUES-large.jpg)
Despite Blue-Dog claims that a compromise they engineered Wednesday would trim $100 billion from the cost of health-care legislation, their weakening of the public option for insurance coverage could end up erasing those savings.

Over the past two weeks, the seven Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have demanded that legislation crafted by their own party's leaders include more cost controls. On Wednesday, four of those seven ended their opposition after a series of changes -- some cosmetic, others substantive -- were made to the legislation.

They got the headlines they wanted -- "House Democrats Trim $100B From Health Bill," The Washington Post wrote - but sources on Capitol Hill and outside of government say the changes to the public plan could actually increase the cost of the bill anywhere between $60 billion and $100 billion, wiping out all or most of the ostensible savings..

Going into the Energy and Commerce debate, House Democrats had proposed a fairly robust public option that would have structured payments for doctors and health care providers at a rate modified from the one used by Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, such a system would cover around 10 million people and would have an operational cost that was roughly 10 percent lower than that of private health insurance.

On Wednesday, Blue Dog Democrats pared down that outline. The compromise bill would still have a public option. But it would allow doctors and other health care providers to negotiate their payment rates.

The Congressional Budget Office has not yet made an estimate of how cost-effective the revised public option would be. But The Walker Report blog, which has done detailed analysis of all variations of health care legislation, noted that the new public option is similar to that put forward by the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The CBO was vague on how much the HELP Committee's public option would cost, but Walker writes that it "would not be noticeably cheaper than private insurance or save the government much money."

Politico, meanwhile, reported on Wednesday night that the savings lost by switching to the Blue Dog public plan would be $60 billion.

On the far end of cost-savings analysis is a June 2009 report issued by the Common Wealth Fund, a private foundation that conducts health care analysis and promotes a better performing health care system. Titled "Fork In The Road," the report concluded that a public option paying providers Medicare rates (which are lower than any proposal put forward to date) would produce savings for the government of roughly $3 trillion. A public plan that provided rates somewhere between Medicare and private plan rates (where the Blue Dog approach would likely be) would yield only $2 trillion in savings.




Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Shayla on July 30, 2009, 11:39:33 am
Progressive House Democrats Balk At Health Care Compromise
AP/Huffington Post
First Posted: 07-30-09 08:28 AM   |   Updated: 07-30-09 12:30 PM



WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats are determined to show progress on health care overhaul by pushing President Barack Obama's top domestic priority through two critically important committees before they head home for their August break.

Wednesday in the House, Democratic leaders gave in -- at least temporarily -- to numerous demands from rank-and-file rebels from the conservative wing of the party. The so-called Blue Dog Democrats had been blocking the bill's passage in Energy and Commerce.

The House changes, which drew immediate opposition from liberal lawmakers, would steer away from using Medicare as the blueprint for a proposed government insurance option, reduce federal subsidies to help lower-income families afford coverage, and exempt additional businesses from a requirement to offer health insurance to their workers.

The House deal was worked out over hours of talks that involved not only Democratic leaders but also White House officials eager to advance the bill. Senior congressional aides cast it as a temporary accommodation, saying leaders had not committed to support it once the bill advances to the floor of the House in the fall.

As word of the agreement spread, liberals fired back. "We do not support this," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. "I think they have no idea how many people are against this. They can't possibly be taking us seriously if they're going to bring this forward." At a press conference, she said, "[W]e might have to come back and start over."

Plans to convene the Energy and Commerce Committee for a vote slipped until Thursday as leaders sought to allay concerns of liberals.

"Waxman made a deal that is unacceptable," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told Politico, after meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday.

"We signed a pledge to reject any plan that doesn't include a robust public option, and this plan doesn't have a robust public option," he added.


"We just need to get everybody on board," said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., who chairs the panel's subcommittee on health.

In the Senate, the pace of negotiations appears to have accelerated in recent days, with lawmakers all but settling on a tax on high-cost insurance plans to help pay for the bill, as well as a new mechanism designed to curtail the growth of Medicare over the next 10 years and beyond.

More problematic from the point of view of most Democrats is a tentative agreement to omit a provision in which the government would sell insurance in competition with private industry. In its place, the group is expected to recommend nonprofit cooperatives that could operate at the state, regional or even national level.

Nor is any bipartisan recommendation likely to include a requirement for large businesses to offer insurance to their workers. Instead, they would have a choice between offering coverage or paying a portion of any government subsidy that noninsured employees would receive.

Like the House bill, the bipartisan proposal under discussion would expand eligibility for Medicaid to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

It provides for federal subsidies for individuals and families up to 300 percent of poverty, less than the 400 percent in the House measure.

Even if the negotiations succeed before the Senate's vacation, which starts next week, it isn't clear when the Finance Committee would vote.

_____

Associated Press writers Liz Sidoti, Alan Fram and David Espo contributed to this rep

 
 
 


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Tory Patrick on July 30, 2009, 01:31:08 pm
PELOSI BLASTS INSURANCE "VILLAINS"
"They've Been Immoral All Along. They Are Doing Everything In Their Power To Stop A Public Option"


(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/96040/thumbs/r-PELOSI-large.jpg)


Forget the Blue Dogs, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday. The real "villains" in the fight for health care reform are insurance companies.

Work on the legislation resumed Thursday morning after more than a week of delays to accommodate conservative Blue Dog Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Blue Dogs won significant concessions and also forced delay of a full House floor vote on the final bill until after Congress returns from its upcoming month-long recess.

But Pelosi on Thursday cast the blown deadline as a positive, arguing that the process is further along than it would have been with no date set. Meanwhile, her blistering attacks against health insurers offered a good preview of what to expect from Democrats trying to rally support for reform back at home.

"They are the villains in this. They have been part of the problem in a major way," Pelosi said of the insurance industry after her weekly press conference. "It's almost immoral, what they are doing," she said, referring to industry lobbying against a public insurance plan option. "Of course, they've been immoral all along. They are doing everything in their power to stop a public option from happening, and the public has to know about it."

The current system works so well for insurers that they don't even want subsidies, Pelosi claimed. "They've had a good thing going for a long time at the expense of the American people and the health of our country," she said, adding that it will be tough to keep them from getting their way. "This is the fight of our lives."

Pelosi referred to the health insurance industry's campaign against reform -- specifically, the public option -- as "carpet bombing" and "shock and awe" during the press conference. She also sought to present a unified Democratic front, dismissing complaints from progressives that they have been shut out of negotiations dominated by swing Blue Dogs on Energy and Commerce.

"Progressives have been well represented," she said, noting that all three House committees that have worked on health care bills are chaired by progressives.

The public option currently outlined in the Energy and Commerce Committee is significantly weaker than the other two House committee bills, and more closely resembles that of the Senate health committee, in that it unlinks the plan from Medicare rates, leaving negotiation to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Pelosi reiterated her desire for a stronger public plan Thursday, but did not commit to it.

"I am for the strongest possible public option," she said. The Senate health committee bill "is one that I think would be okay. It's not my preference. My preference is a stronger bill. But it meets the test of having an effective public option."




Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Tory Patrick on July 30, 2009, 01:33:17 pm
Mike Lux
Author, The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be
Posted: July 30, 2009 11:59 AMWho Wins the Battle During August Recess Will Determine the Fate of Health Care Reform

Usually when I leave DC for a few days, as I did recently, my mood and hopefulness about the country improves -- it's a lot easier to be hopeful when you meet real people working in their communities for change. And usually when I talk with my insider Democratic friends in DC, my optimism fades because everyone in DC tends to be so cynical and overly-cautious. But on this trip, I got really depressed with the steady drumbeat of bad news coming out of the traditional media about health care. When I got back yesterday, though, and started talking to people who were actually working on things here, I remembered how relentlessly negative big media tends to be, how every story emphasizes the conventional wisdom story line about how health care reform is impossible to pass.

This health care fight is just one motherf-er of a battle. Every step of the way will be really hard and really painful. The final trade offs will **** virtually everybody off. Passing something real, something that actually matters, has never been more than a 50/50 proposition. But talking with people on the Hill and at the White House, and watching what has happened over the last 24 hours, I now believe our chances at real reform are still alive.

The fact is, Henry Waxman and Nancy Pelosi forged a deal with the Blue Dogs that didn't require them to give up anything that really mattered very much on the substance. While the Energy and Commerce bill will be the worst of the 3 bills reported out of House committees, it still has most of the important things you would want to see in a health care reform bill, including a decent public option. It is a great thing that progressive members of the House are pushing back hard against the bad compromises that were made, though, because progressives need to send a clear signal that they will not be rolled. When the 3 bills are merged during the August recess, that pressure will help deliver a very solid version of the legislation.

Speaking of the August recess, while I am not thrilled that the House put off the floor vote until after it happens, that is also not a disaster for us. But it is a test for those of us who believe in serious health care reform. The battle over who wins the organizing and message fight in the August recess -- grassroots reformers or the astroturf insurance lobby in league with right wingers everywhere -- will decide the fate of health care reform, pure and simple.

The conventional wisdom in the media is simply wrong about the nature of the health care fight: the Senate Finance committee is not determinative. That's what the Republicans, the insurance lobbyists, the conservative Democrats want everyone to believe, and that mantra is being pushed day and night in the offices and hallways of the DC establishment. But it doesn't have to be that way. Four committees out of five did the right thing, and the signal that I'm getting from the White House is that they are still fighting hard for the public option, and Senate Finance is not the end all and be all. What will change the dynamic is progressives winning the organizing and messaging fight in August. Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate, and at least two Republican Senators from a small progressive-leaning state in play. If our side out-organizes the insurance/right wing astroturfers, if the White House and Reid and Pelosi put every bit of muscle into winning the fight for real reform, it can still happen. Everything is at stake here, as I wrote yesterday: if we don't win this fight, the Obama Presidency, Democratic prospects in the 2010 election, and any hopes we have for victories on other big issues are all in deep, deep trouble. But we still have a real shot at winning this battle, and now is when we need to pull out all the stops to do it.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Shayla on July 30, 2009, 11:42:58 pm
Laura Dean ldean@huffingtonpost.com
Reid Blames Press For August Deadline, Baucus Hedges

First Posted: 07-30-09 05:44 PM   |   Updated: 07-30-09 06:03 PM

 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he is "cautiously optimistic" that a health care bill will make it out of the Senate Finance Committee before senators head home for their summer recess. But he accused the media of inflating the importance of an August finish.

"You folks have created the deadline," Reid chided, asserting that President Obama's original goal was simply to pass legislation by the end of the year.

Senate Finance Committee Max Baucus (D-Mont.) was also cagey when asked about the progress of his high-profile committee. "We'll just keep working," he said, "We're ready when we're ready."

At a press conference with family physicians, Sens. Reid, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) discussed the legislation in language liberally laced with medical metaphors.

"America's had a check-up and the prognosis is not very promising," Reid opened.

"You've heard the diagnosis," warned Durbin, "the health care system is chronically ill."

The plan is supported by 450,000 doctors and medical practitioners, said Jim King, a family physician of Selma, Tennessee. "That's enough to fill Wrigley Field 11 times over -- imagine, 11 Wrigley Fields, full of doctors."

Joe Stubbs, president of the American College of Physicians, pressed for a timely resolution: "Debate must not be the excuse for delay." He ended on an emphatic note. "My patients will experience irreparable harm... if we leave it to a future Congress."

Reid seemed to ignore the growing fissures in his own party when he called the Republican leadership in the Senate and the House the only causes of obstruction in passing the legislation. However, he was quick to point to the inclusion of 161 Republican-authored amendments in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) bill and emphasized his admiration for Sens. Snowe (R-Maine), Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) for "hanging in."

Durbin was rather more critical of Republican stalling, and joked: "What you're hearing from the other side is light up, eat up, drink up and live it up -- that's not the way to get well."


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Shayla on July 30, 2009, 11:43:23 pm
(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/96134/thumbs/s-REID-large.jpg)


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on July 31, 2009, 04:52:41 am
Health-Care is Orwellian-speak for eugenics under Obama.

They aint building the FEMA Camps and stockpiling coffins for nothing.

http://www.disclose.tv/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6705


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Qoais on July 31, 2009, 10:30:23 am
What?  Coffins for giants?  Those boxes are bigger than an average human.  What do they need coffins for Volitzer?  If you want to hide the fact that you've killed people, why would you bury them where their remains can be found in the future?  Why wouldn't you do like the Nazi's and burn them?


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Casey Palmettiri on July 31, 2009, 10:43:25 am
The latest Republican lie is that the Obama health care plan is out to encourage Seniors to kill themselves or "plan their deaths." 

I am just floored at how stupid people are in America that this has caught on. 

People have to declare bankruptcy for their medical bills, have to pay monthly $1000 premiums and are even denied care if they don't have insurance.  And they are letting the muli-billion dollar health industry scare them into resisting change again?

Come on!  Don't be stupid again, America.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Colleen Gallion on August 04, 2009, 01:27:41 am
Keith Olbermann Special Comment On Health Care Reform

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbWw23XwO5o


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Colleen Gallion on August 04, 2009, 01:29:01 am
Republican (and some Democratic) prostitutes for big Pharma and the Insurance Industry! 


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Colleen Gallion on August 04, 2009, 01:38:22 am
Health-Care is Orwellian-speak for eugenics under Obama.

They aint building the FEMA Camps and stockpiling coffins for nothing.

http://www.disclose.tv/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6705

More paranoid propaganda to get YOu to let the health insurance companies continue screwing you over.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 05, 2009, 09:12:54 pm
Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody
http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=print/content/top-ten-ways-tell-your-president-his-party-arent-fighting-health-care-everybody


(http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/1662/bruceu.jpg) (http://img148.imageshack.us/i/bruceu.jpg/)
By Bruce A. Dixon
Created 07/29/2009 - 10:30

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With the corporate media relentlessly distorting the public discussion around health care reform, it time for some clear, bright lines to help us tell who is doing what to whom, and whether any of it leads to health care for all of us.  Here are ten of them.

Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Barack Obama and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate were swept into office on a promise they would deliver affordable and accessible health care for all Americans. But the corporate media journalism limits the national health care conversation to what insurance companies, drug companies, for-profit health care professionals, their executives, lobbyists and politicians of both parties and other hirelings have to say. So it isn't as easy as it ought to be to tell what the politicians are doing about accomplishing health care for everybody. Hence we offer these ten points. This is how you can tell whether your president and his party are fighting for the health care you deserve.

1. Their plan [1] doesn't cover the uninsured till at least 2013 [2].

2013 isn't “day one.” It's not even after the midterm election. It's clear after the president's second term, if he gets one. Congress passed Medicare in 1965 and president Lyndon Johnson rolled out coverage for millions of seniors in eleven months, back in the days before they even had computers.

22,000 Americans now perish each year because they can't get or can't afford medical care, and this year three quarter million personal bankruptcies will be triggered by unpayable medical bills. Why this president and these Democrats are in such a hurry to pass health care now that doesn't take effect till two elections down the road doesn't make sense in any kind of good way.

2. Their “public option” isn't Medicare, won't bring costs down and will only cover about 10 million people.

The “public option” was sold to the American people as Medicare-scale plan open to anybody who wants in that would compete with the private insurers and drive their costs downward. But in their haste not to bite the hands that feed them millions in campaign contributions each hear, the president and his party have scaled the public option back from a Medicare-sized 130 million to a maximum of 10 million, too small to put cost pressure in private insurers [3]. Worse still, the president and his party are playing bait-and-witch, not telling the public they have reduced the public option, to nearly nothing.

This remnant of a public option is not Medicare, as Howard Dean insists, and it will not lead to the sort of everybody-in-nobody-out health care system that most Americans, whenever they are surveyed say they want.

Some Senate and House Democrats want to ditch even the pretense [4] of a “public option” in favor of something they're calling a private insurance “co-op [5]”, which as near as anybody can tell has the same relationship to an actual cooperative that clean coal has to actual coal.

3. The president and his party have already caved in [6] to the drug companies on reimporting Canadian drugs, on negotiating drug prices downward and on generics.

This explains why Big Pharma, the same people who ran the devastatin g series of anti-reform “Harry and Louise” ads to spike the Clinton-era drive to fix health care are spending $100 million [7] to run Obama ads using the president's language about “bipartisan” solutions to health care reform.

4. The president and his party have received more money from private insurers and the for-profit health care industry than even Republicans, with the president alone taking $19 million in the 2008 election cycle alone, [8] more than all his Repubican, Democratic and independent rivals combined.

Democratic senator Max Bacaus got $1.1 million in 2008. Democratic senators Harkin, Landreau and Rockerfeller each got over half a million, and Senator Durbin got just under half a million. Other Democratic senators got a little less. Four Democrats in the House, Rangel, Dinglell, Udall and Hoyer got over half a million apiece in 2008, with other Democrats not far behind.

Is there any wonder that the insurance companies, like the drug companies are also running “bipartisan health care reform” commercials using the president's exact language?

5. The president's plan, and those of Republicans and Democratic blue dogs too, will require families to purchase health insurance policies from private insurers.

This is something the policy wonks call an 'individual mandate [9]”, under which Individuals will be “mandated” to purchase affordable insurance, though companies would not be required to offer it. In Massachusetts, the prototype state for the Obama plan, a family with an income of $33,000 can be required to spend $9,000 in deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses before the insurance company is obligated to pay a dime. As in Massachusetts, public money is used to purchase private insurance for the very poorest citizens. With the revenues of insurance companies on the decline, individual mandate programs are a welcome bailout for the private insurance industry.

6. The president's plan, and those of Republicans and Democratic blue dogs too, could force you to buy junk insurance [10].

Think about an insurance policy that costs a lot, but is full of loopholes, exceptions and steep deductibles and co-payments. That's junk insurance, and for many it's the only insurance companies offer. Even more pernicious is the widespread practice among insurance companies of “recission” in which claimants are routinely investigated and disqualified in the event that they finally make a claim. Insurance companies admit they do this to half of one percent of policies per year. That means if you hold a health insurance policy twenty years, you don;t have insurance – you have a ninety percent chance of having insurance.

7. The president's plan, as well as those of Democratic “blue dogs” and Republicans, are to be funded in part with cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.

Private insurance companies have always hated Medicare because it is far more efficient than they are. Medicare's administrative expenses are under five percent, as compared with the one third of every health care dollar taken by the for-profit insurance companies for their advertising, bad investments, billing and denial machinery, executive salaries and bonuses. Private insurers have, over the years, purchased enough influence in Congress and previous White Houses to restrict Medicare's payment rates and partially privatize it. But president Obama's plan, perhaps the most friendly to Medicare and Medicaid, calls for over $300 billion in cuts [11] to the programs that now provide medical care to those with the fewest options, while failing to guarantee that care will come from elsewhere. In Massachusetts right now, hospitals are turning away poor people they used to be able to provide care for because funding that used to go to those institutions is now plowed into the state's “individual mandate” system.

8. The president, with the cooperation of corporate media and the Republicans is trying to make the argument about himself instead of a discussion on the merits of his policy.

The president and his critics are happy to talk about whether this will be “his Waterloo [12]”, or his Dien Bien Phu, as if that matters more than the 22,000 Americans who die each year from lack of medical care, or the three quarter million who will go bankrupt because of unpayable medical bills. The concentration on whether the president looks good or bad takes up air, ink, and coverage time that might otherwise be spent explaining what is and isn't in the various proposals, and why.

If the president were not afraid of his own supporters publicly examining the merits and demerits of his proposals, he would mobilize those 13 million emails and phone numbers collected during the campaign. The reason he has not sone so already is that most of his own supporters favor a Medicare-For-All single payer health care system, HR 676.

9. The president and his party, and the corporate media [13] have spent more time and energy silencing [14] and excluded the advocates of single payer health care, mostly the president's own supporters, than they have fighting blue dogs and Republicans.

But no matter how diligently the spokespeople for single payer are excluded from media coverage and invitations [15] to Obama's policy forums and round tables, no matter how many times the White House cuts their questions [16] from transcripts and video of public events, the calls, emails and letters keep pouring into Congress and the White House demanding the creation of a publicly funded, everybody-in-nobody-out system, a Medicare-for-All kind of single payer health care plan.

10. Despite the president's own admission that only a single payer health care system will deliver what Americans want, he and the leaders of his party insist that Medicare For All, HR 676, us utterly off the table.

Before he became a presidential candidate, Barack Obama identified himself as a proponent of a single payer health care system. All we had to do, he told us, was elect a Democratic congress and senate, and a different president. Now that this has been done, he insists that “change” is just not possible, and we have to settle for less. The president continues to admit that only a single payer health care system will cover everybody, but insists that America just can't handle that much change.

The truth is that Barack Obama campaigned as the candidate of change, and a health care system that covers everybody from day one with no exceptions is what people imagined they voted for when they swept him and an overwhelming number of Democrats into office.

A single payer Medicare-For-All system will eliminate 500,000 insurance company jobs and replace them with 3.2 million new jobs in health care for a net gain of 2.6 million new jobs [17] according to a study by the National Nurses Organization. That's as many jobs as the US economy lost in all of 2007. Single payer will create hundreds of billions in annual wages and local and state tax revenues for cash strapped cities and towns. It will lift the shadow of bankruptcy for medical reasons from two thirds of a million American families yearly. It's what we deserve.

It's what we voted for, and we won't stop demanding it.

Bruce Dixon is based in Atlanta GA and is managing editor at Black Agenda Report. 

He can be reached at bruce.dixon@blackagendareport.com.

ShareThis [18]

single payer health care Obamarama

Source URL: http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/top-ten-ways-tell-your-president-his-party-arent-fighting-health-care-everybody

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Links:
[1] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3200
[2] http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hiiWnivT__38YVG-emF9zy6xVW_AD99ICP600
[3] http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10400/07-26-InfoOnTriCommProposal.pdf
[4] http://www.pnhp.org/blog/2009/07/28/does-the-congressional-progressive-caucus-care-about-its-public-option-principles/
[5] http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=arrJ7R3CbF18
[6] http://robertreich.blogspot.com/2009/07/obamacare-is-at-war-with-itself-over.html
[7] http://www.greenchange.org/article.php?id=4733
[8] http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/recips.php?ind=H&cycle=2008&recipdetail=P&mem=N&sortorder=U
[9] http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/7/27/758427/-Health-Care-Reform:-Pros-and-Cons-of-Individual-Mandate
[10] http://www.consumerreports.org/health/insurance/health-insurance/overview/health-insurance-ov.htm
[11] http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/14/nation/na-obama-radio14
[12] http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/07/20/obama_pushes_back_against_talk.html
[13] http://www.opednews.com/articles/Poll-Excludes-Single-Payer-by-Jerry-Policoff-090312-353.html
[14] http://www.prosperityagenda.us/node/909
[15] http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/march/obama_to_single_paye.php
[16] http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=132&topic_id=8311060&mesg_id=8311060
[17] http://www.calnurses.org/research/pdfs/ihsp_sp_economy_report_charts_011509.pdf
[18] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/top-ten-ways-tell-your-president-his-party-arent-fighting-health-care-everybody


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on August 05, 2009, 11:47:29 pm
What?  Coffins for giants?  Those boxes are bigger than an average human.  What do they need coffins for Volitzer?  If you want to hide the fact that you've killed people, why would you bury them where their remains can be found in the future?  Why wouldn't you do like the Nazi's and burn them?

The idea is the NWO is going to kill us faster than they can cremate us so they are having those coffins made to hold an average of 3 humans.  That way they can stockpile them at the FEMA Camps while they incinerate others.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on August 05, 2009, 11:57:59 pm
The government needs to do something to regulate healthcare but NOT run healthcare.

The costs of healthcare in this country has caused many companies to go overseas and to Canada where there is some regulation of costs and companies can be profitable again.

However I've heard that in a single payer system the young get prioritized in healthcare and the older are put on a waiting list and die while waiting for treatment.

We need to work on our system like governmental price ceilings in the free-market of medicine.  That refusing treatment to the irresponsible.  Like all these idiots that drink TAB and all these diet colas.  How much liver cancer has aspartame caused over the years ??  That and smokers.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on August 06, 2009, 02:14:14 am
Quote
The government needs to do something to regulate healthcare but  NOT  run healthcare.

Wrong.  The only way that prices are controlled is for government to be involved in setting them, NOT the insurance industries.

Quote
However I've heard that in a single payer system the young get prioritized in healthcare and the older are put on a waiting list and die while waiting for treatment.

You heard wrong!  There is some rationing but it is based on need, not age.  There is NO DISCRIMINATION when it comes to health care.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Qoais on August 06, 2009, 09:52:36 am
You must have trouble sleeping at night Volitzer, being so paranoid.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 06, 2009, 09:21:41 pm
I got this email from a friend of mine, a friend who is former airforce, not a truther or someone who is related to that movement, he's actually a Glenn Beck lover, but he sent me this and I got to say, I'm glad he has the balls to do this lol:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Friends, Family, Glenn, and government,

First read this or my rant may not make sense... http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2308686/posts

As in the book 1984... Freedom is having the freedom to say 2+2=4.
Well you know what, NOW I WILL SHOUT FROM THE ROOF TOPS AND MAKE A FEDERAL CASE OF IT!!!  TURN ME IN! GO FOR IT, I also forwarded this to flag@whitehouse.gov. I turn myself in!  I am willing to be the front runner on this I will not put up with any attempt to silence an apposing view point from ANY point of view. We Still have freedom of speech and freedom of thought; and you know what? I appose this Heath care plan and will do my best to PEACEFULLY  stop it by using my GOD given (not government given) rights!   

Also this Bull that they are pushing about how you can keep you current health care coverage if you like it... Well, I Like mine but my employer has already told me that if this crap passes then he will drop our coverage and move us to the public option.  Why I asked? Its simple, Why the heck would ANY business pay for both the taxes on public option and pay for private coverage? This is just a fast track to a single payer system and the government thinks we are too stupid to figure this out! You cant keep it if your employer takes your private option away!

I encourage everyone who has an opinion on this topic to speak out, BOTH SIDES need to NON VIOLENTLY hash this out.  Lets actually have the debate, and not just dismiss facts as "disinformation" and "look to the world" as the Libs like to shout... and see that this has NEVER worked anywhere it has been tried in the past and the ones that are currently on it hate it!  when was the last time you spoke to a Canadian or a Brit about there health care? if you have the time and are not board out of your mind with my rant by now I encourage you to watch this video also.  to some, this is just preaching to the choir, to others this my be new information that can be used to make a more informed decision on the topic.

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/scrowder/2009/07/13/must-see-undercover-expose-of-socialized-healthcare/

Thank you for your time,
(name removed)
(town removed), TX
(number removed)
I WILL NOT FEAR my government!  because when that happens... We will have tyranny.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As you can see he is a Beck follower lol, but I love him anyways despite his sin lol.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Michael Terranova on August 06, 2009, 10:35:01 pm
Quote
Also this Bull that they are pushing about how you can keep you current health care coverage if you like it... Well, I Like mine but my employer has already told me that if this crap passes then he will drop our coverage and move us to the public option.  Why I asked? Its simple, Why the heck would ANY business pay for both the taxes on public option and pay for private coverage? This is just a fast track to a single payer system and the government thinks we are too stupid to figure this out!

I hope that is the case.  Single Payer is cheaper for everybody in the long run, all the other industrialized countries already have it, and we are just getting royally RIPPED OFF by not having it here. 

For private insurance, the monthly premium is as much as a person's mortgage and then they don't even cover everything.  In fact, they DON'T cover if you have a pre-existing condition and, as soon as you get sick, they drop you.

What a bunch of grimy, thieving mother fuckers.  I hope that the public option happens, that it leads to single payer and that it puts all those greedy SOBs out of business.  If ever an industry deserved to go broke, it is the health insurance industry.

The people shilling for the health insurance industry, like the guy above ^ are most likely doing it because they are getting paid to do so, or are too stupid to realize they are being used, like all those white racists now trying to disrupt the town meetings.  Screw them.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 06, 2009, 11:26:42 pm
What real Americans think of Obamacare.


AARP Town Hall Meeting on Health Care - Dallas, August 4, 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoMNDdQ1_h0


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 06, 2009, 11:33:46 pm
Protesters drown out Tampa health care summit
http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/article1025529.ece
By Adam Smith, Times political editor
Posted: Aug 06, 2009 08:03 PM


TAMPA – Bitter divisions over reforming America's health care system exploded Thursday night in Tampa amid cat calls, jeering and shoving at a town hall meeting.

"Tyranny! Tyranny! Tyranny!" dozens of people shouted as U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor struggled to talk about health insurance reforms under consideration in Washington, D.C.


"There is more consensus than there is disagreement when you get right down to it,'' Castor offered, immediately drowned out by groans and boos.

She pressed on, mostly unheard among the screams from the audience of more than 200.

"Tell the truth! Tell the truth!"

"Read the bill!"

"Forty-million illegals! Forty million illegals!"

The spectacle at the Children's Board in Ybor City sounded more like a wrestling cage match than a panel discussion on national policy, and it was just the latest example of a health care meeting disrupted by livid protesters. Similar scenes are likely to be repeated across the country as lawmakers head back to their home districts for the summer recess.

Thursday's forum/near riot was sponsored by state Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa, and the Service Employees International Union, who apparently had hoped to hold something of a pep rally for President Obama's health care reform proposal.

Instead, hundreds of vocal critics turned out, many of them saying they had been spurred on through the Tampa 912 activist group promoted by conservative radio and television personality Glenn Beck. Others had received e-mails from the Hillsborough Republican party that urged people to speak out against the plan and offered talking points to challenge supporters.

An overflow crowd of critics was left waiting outside the building – and in some cases pounding on the meeting room doors – while health care reform activists complained that Democrats and union members were guided into the room for prime seats.

"They can't even run a meeting, and they want to run health care?,'' scoffed Kevin Grant, a Tampa printing business owner, standing near someone wielding a "Shame on you America. You sold your soul to the Devil" sign.

The nationally televised images of protesters lashing out at politicians sympathetic to President Obama's health care proposal certainly drive home the keen opposition to the health care plan. Some Democrats, though, argue that engaged, disruptive protesters only serve depict the GOP as unwilling to work on solutions.

"These groups are not concerned about Americans' access to quality heath care, but are extreme ideologues, only interested in 'breaking' the president and thwarting the change Americans voted for last November," said state Democratic chairwoman Karen Thurman.

Polls show mounting public concern about the nation's debt and deficit, and a CNN poll released this week found 50 percent of those surveyed supportive of the president's plan and 45 percent opposed.

U.S. Rep. Castor said a strong debate is healthy but suggested that many of the protesters who have shown up at town hall meetings in recent weeks would have staunchly opposed the creation of Medicare and Social Security a few decades ago.

"The insurance industry and … Republican activists are manufacturing a lot of these phony protests,'' said Castor, who has been closely involved in the health care debate and said she won't support any bill lacking a government-run insurance option.

She left before the forum ending, which drew more boos. State Rep. Reed said she encouraged Castor to leave because nobody could hear her any way.

Protesters said there was nothing phony about their strong showing, just a bubbling of grass roots anger.

"It's the backlash to the arrogance of our government that you're seeing here,'' said Brad Grabill of Temple Terrace.

Adam C. Smith can be reached at asmith@sptimes.com.

[Nice name!]


Youtube vid
Kathy Castor Town Hall Erupts in Tampa Florida, August 6th, 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX4F_cb9AXk

Your supposed to work for us....  ;) 


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on August 07, 2009, 10:28:08 pm
Big Corporate Money Funding Anti-Healthcare Protests

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I80KUI54pBY


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Volitzer on August 07, 2009, 11:00:20 pm
Quote
The government needs to do something to regulate healthcare but  NOT  run healthcare.

Wrong.  The only way that prices are controlled is for government to be involved in setting them, NOT the insurance industries.

Okay let the government regulate the insurance industry too and not run it.

Quote
However I've heard that in a single payer system the young get prioritized in healthcare and the older are put on a waiting list and die while waiting for treatment.

You heard wrong!  There is some rationing but it is based on need, not age.  There is NO DISCRIMINATION when it comes to health care.

I hear all the time where older people are left to die in the halls of Canadian Hospitals while the doctors treat a younger less riskier patient.   Don't believe me talk to some Canadians.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on August 08, 2009, 05:05:55 pm
Yeah, I have talked to some Canadians, and guess what?  Not one would change their system for here.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 08, 2009, 05:54:13 pm
Canada's Health isn't what it used to be in the 60's and 70's

http://health.dailynewscentral.com/content/view/0001031/39/

Canada's Health System to Undergo Sweeping Changes

 11 June, 2005  17:11 GMT

'The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care,' the Supreme Court ruled. The Canadian Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Quebec law banning private medical insurance in a decision that represents an acute blow to the publicly financed national health care system.

The high court stopped short of striking down the constitutionality of the country's vaunted health care system nationwide, but experts across the legal spectrum said they expected the decision to lead to sweeping changes in the Canadian health care system.

"The language of the ruling will encourage more and more lawsuits and those suits have a greater likelihood of success in light of this judgment," said Lorne Sossin, acting dean of the University of Toronto law school.

An Element of Timely Care

Patrick Monahan, dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto and a well-known critic of the national health care system, was even more emphatic about the importance of the decision.

"They are going to have to change the fundamental design of the system," he said. "They will have to build in an element of timely care or otherwise allow the development of a private medical system."

The Canadian health care system provides free doctor's services that are paid for by taxes. The system has generally been strongly supported by the public, and is broadly identified with the Canadian national character. Canada is the only industrialized county that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services.

But in recent years patients have been forced to wait longer periods for diagnostic tests and elective surgery while the wealthy and well connected either sought care in the United States or used influence to jump medical lines.

The court ruled that the waiting lists had become so long that they violated patients' "life and personal security, inviolability and freedom" under the Quebec charter of human rights and freedoms, which covers about one-quarter of Canada's population.

Delays Can Be Deadly

"The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care," the Supreme Court ruled. "In sum, the prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services."

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Jacques Chaoulli, a Montreal family doctor who argued his own case through the courts, and George Zeliotis, a chemical salesman who was forced to wait a year for a hip replacement while he was prohibited from paying privately for surgery.

Chaoulli and Zeliotis lost in two Quebec provincial courts before the Supreme Court decided to take their appeal.

There was no immediate impact on the national system outside Quebec, since the justices split by a vote of 3-3 on the question of whether the Quebec ban on private medical insurance violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada's bill of rights, as the two plaintiffs contended.


Yet an another view:

Americans Who've Used Canada's Health-Care System Respond to Current Big-Lie Media Campaign
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-mann/americans-whove-used-cana_b_215256.html

 The scare ads and op-ed pieces featuring Canadians telling us American how terrible their government health-care systems have arrived - predictably.

There's another, factual view - by those of us Americans who've lived in Canada and used their system.

My wife and I did for years, and we've been incensed by the lies we've heard back here in the U.S. about Canada's supposedly broken system.

It's not broken - and what's more, Canadians like and fiercely defend it.

Example: Our son was born at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital. My wife got excellent care. The total bill for three days in a semi-private room? $21.

My friend Art Finley is a West Virginia native who lives in Vancouver.

    "I'm 82, and in excellent health," he told me this week. "It costs me all of $57 a month for health care, and it's excellent. I'm so tired of all the lies and bulls**t I hear about the system up here in the U.S. media."

Finley, a well-known TV and radio host for years in San Francisco, adds,

    "I now have 20/20 vision thanks to Canadian eye doctors. And I haven't had to wait for my surgeries, either."

A Canadian-born doctor wrote a hit piece for Wingnut Central (the Wall Street Journal op-ed page) this week David Gratzer claimed:

    "Everyone in Canada is covered by a single payer -- the government. But Canadians wait for practically any procedure or diagnostic test or specialist consultation in the public system."

Vancouverite Finley: "That's sheer b.s."


I heard Gratzer say the same thing on Seattle radio station KIRO this week. Trouble is, it's nonsense.

We were always seen promptly by our doctors in Montreal, many of whom spoke both French and English.

Today, we live within sight of the Canadian border in Washington state, and still spend lots of time in Canada.

Five years ago, while we were on vacation in lovely Nova Scotia, the Canadian government released a long-awaited major report from a federal commission studying the Canadian single-payer system. We were listening to CBC Radio the day the big study came out.

The study's conclusion: While the system had flaws, none was so serious it couldn't be fixed.

Then the CBC opened the lines to callers across Canada.

Here it comes, I thought. The usual talk-show torrent of complaints and anger about the report's findings.

I wish Americans could have heard this revealing show.

For the next two hours, scores of Canadians called from across that vast country, from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

Not one said he or she would change the system. Every single one defended it vigorously.

The Greatest Canadian Ever

Further proof:

Not long ago, the CBC asked Canadians to nominate and then vote for The Greatest Canadian in history. Thousands responded.

The winner? Not Wayne Gretzky, as I expected (although the hockey great DID make the Top 10). Not even Alexander Graham Bell, another finalist.

The greatest Canadian ever?

Tommy Douglas.

Who? Tommy Douglas was a Canadian politician - and the father of Canadian universal health care.


http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/medicine/article1019355.ece

Oh, Canada, where health care for all 33 million is free

By Susan Taylor Martin, Times Senior Correspondent
In Print: Sunday, July 19, 2009

 WINDSOR, Ontario

Ask Emily Whitehead, a Canadian, what she thinks about her country's health care system and she'll tell you a little story.

Years ago, she and a friend had babies at the same time. Afterward, they compared notes.

The friend, who lives in Michigan, was in the hospital for two or three days. Her bill: more than $3,000.

Whitehead, a diabetic, was in the hospital for two months. So was her premature infant, who at one point had to be transported in a specially equipped ambulance with two nurses and two paramedics.

Total bill for the Whiteheads: $16.95, for TV and a long-distance call.

Today, Whitehead is battling cancer, but once again the bill is the least of her worries. The Ontario government is paying for all of her hospital stays and doctor visits.

"When you consider the cost between the U.S. and Canada, there is no comparison,'' says her husband, Dennis. "People who go to the hospital here don't face financial ruin.''

Straddling the world's longest peaceful border, the two countries have much in common by virtue of language, culture and closely entwined economies. But there is a major difference — their approach to health care.

Canadians pay higher sales taxes — 13 percent in Ontario compared with 7 percent in Tampa — but all 33 million are entitled to hospital and physician services at government expense. No Canadian ever goes bankrupt because of medical bills.

Across the border, where Americans are declaring bankruptcy in near-record numbers, 62 percent of filings are at least partly because of health care costs. Some 46 million have no insurance. Millions more are underinsured.

And while the United States spends more per person on health care than any other country, Americans aren't even the world's healthiest. Canadians, Britons and residents of 27 other nations all live longer.

President Barack Obama wants Congress to pass a major health care reform bill before its August recess, saying, "We can't afford to wait."

The most contentious idea is a government-funded insurance option for those who might otherwise lack coverage. Critics howl, calling it socialized medicine that could drive private insurance companies out of business.

The controversy has focused attention, not all of it favorable, on Canada.

"Government-run health care systems like the one in Canada not only deny, but also delay care for weeks, months and even years,'' U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, recently charged.

Canadians freely admit that their system is not perfect, citing shortages of doctors in many places, often long waits for elective procedures like cataract surgery, too few nursing homes so the elderly often stay in hospitals far longer than they should, tying up beds.

But Canadians say that everyone who needs care gets it. And they say their single-payer system — doctors bill one payer, the government — is inherently more efficient than the U.S. system, in which payment might come from Medicare, Medicaid or countless private insurance plans, none of which cover exactly the same services or pay exactly the same amounts.

Dr. Diane Normandin learned that the hard way.

A graduate of Montreal's McGill University, Normandin moved to Clearwater in 1994 because she thought U.S. doctors had more freedom. But she spent an inordinate amount of time trying to tell whether a patient's insurance covered visits to a particular lab or specialist.

"You had maybe five minutes with the patient but 20 minutes of paperwork and the ridiculous sorting out of where the patient could go,'' says Normandin, who needed six employees to handle the workload. "It was crazy.''

In 2003 she went back to Canada and opened a family practice near Montreal. Now she has one employee.

• • •

The 1984 Canada Health Care Act (PDF) guarantees basic services for all citizens. But there are actually 10 separate health care systems run by the 10 provinces.

The largest is the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, or O-HIP, as everyone calls it. All Ontarians carry a green and white identification card, about the size of a driver's license, that they present at the doctor's office or hospital.

The patient never sees a bill. The doctor gets paid by the Ontario Ministry of Health according to fees negotiated between the ministry and the provincial medical association.

Fanning out a little sheaf of white slips, Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull says, "This is the total paperwork for 40 patients.''

President-elect of the Canadian Medical Association, Turnbull is chief of staff at the main hospital in Ottawa, Canada's capital. On a recent morning, he met with several residents, a nurse and a pharmacist to review the charts of patients admitted overnight.

Among them was Mrs. K, a chronic alcoholic. And Mr. R, with colon cancer. And Mrs. L, with a spinal injury.

Turnbull's team discussed each patient, ordering costly tests for several. Insurance was never mentioned.

"There was not one word today about could they afford anything,'' Turnbull says. "You would have heard that in the U.S.: 'We need to do a CAT scan. Oh, do they have insurance?' There were rich and poor on that list. The great asset we have in the health care system is its equitability.''

• • •

The No. 1 myth about the Canadian system is that egalitarian is the same as socialist.

In a true socialized system like Britain's, doctors work for the government. Most Canadian doctors work for themselves or in groups.

Nor has universal coverage driven private insurers out of business. Through their jobs or at their own expense, two-thirds of Canadians have insurance for dental work, eye care, prescription drugs and private hospital rooms — none of which are generally covered by the government plans.

A second pervasive myth: Canadians can't choose their own doctors.

The truth is they have a choice of doctors, though it is more limited than in the United States. Windsor, part of a metro area of 400,000, has five cardiologists; St. Petersburg (population 245,000) has more than 40.

A major reason for the shortage is that in the 1990s the government restricted medical school admissions, concerned that Canada would have too many doctors. "It underestimated population growth and aging,'' says Dr. Amr Morsi, a Windsor cardiologist.

The last myth? Canadian doctors are controlled by the government.

"I can do whatever test I want. I just happen to bill one payer, and that's the government,'' says Turnbull, the Ottawa physician.

He and others acknowledge that the government imposes de facto controls by not approving payment for tests considered experimental or of dubious value. Because Ontario is one of the few provinces that still doesn't pay for PET scans, used to diagnose cancer, doctors hesitate to order a scan that can cost a patient $2,400 out of pocket.

• • •

One irrefutable truth about the Canadian system is that people often have to wait weeks, even months, for non-emergency care.

Early last year, Don Praill of Amherstburg, Ontario, was told it would be nine months before he could have surgery for a painful back condition. His wife, Betty, went online and found a spinal institute in Tampa that could operate almost immediately.

But the cost, $40,000, was prohibitive. Praill finally had the surgery in Canada in January.

"A lot of people here have gone to Detroit because things are so much faster,'' Betty Praill says, "but in Canada everything is free.''

One reason for the long delays is a shortage of diagnostic equipment like MRIs and CAT scans. Canada has six MRI machines for every 1 million people; the United States has 26.

And "some surgeons are just known to be great and everyone migrates toward them so the wait times are longer,'' says Mark Fathers, controller of Windsor Regional Hospital. "It's not that the others are incompetent.''

In recent years, the provinces have made a major push to reduce waiting times, establishing benchmarks for treatment. In Ontario, at least 75 percent of cancer patients now start radiation within the prescribed four weeks. They get cataract surgery within four months and coronary bypass surgery, hip replacements and knee replacements within six months.

That is still far longer than Americans have to wait — assuming they have good insurance.

"Access to health care in the U.S. was fantastic. I was very impressed with the speed of care,'' says Raj Kumar Goel, a urologist who trained at the Cleveland Clinic before recently returning to Windsor. "But one of the challenges that was hard to swallow was seeing patients who had lost their jobs or had a change in insurance carriers not able to undergo surgery they had been booked for. In Canada that wouldn't happen.''

• • •

While critics of the U.S. health care system look to Canada for guidance, Canadians say they have learned a lot from Americans.

On visits to the States, David Musyj, president of Windsor Regional Hospital, picks up ideas that have transformed his once bland facility into a more welcoming place. There are umbrella bags for rainy days. Brahms' Lullaby is played for every newborn. On release, patients get Musyj's personal phone numbers to register complaints or praise.

"What has changed over the last 20 years is a clear focus on the patient and customer service,'' he says. "Previously, because the hospitals are free, the attitude was: 'If you don't like it, sit down and be quiet.' ''

Canadian hospitals are nonprofits that get most of their budget from the government but must raise the rest themselves. Windsor Regional and the city's other hospital, Hotel Dieu-Grace, have been able to spruce up rooms by charging local businesses $50,000 in exchange for naming rights. Patients might be in a room with "Devonshire Mall'' or "CKLW Radio'' over the door.

Canadians have also become more demanding because of reporting requirements that enable them to compare hospitals by infection rates, length of stay and other factors. Hospitals are almost obsessive about reducing emergency room waiting times that in major cities like Toronto have run as much as 36 hours.

"Every Monday morning we huddle and look at what we can to do knock off even five minutes,'' says Theresa Morris, director of Windsor Regional's ER, where average waits are within the target eight hours. But she notes that her hospital — like many others — is often at 100 percent capacity.

"When there's nowhere to put them upstairs,'' Morris says, "it gridlocks.''

• • •

The long waits have sparked a robust debate over whether Canada should move more closely to a U.S.-style system in which those who have money or good insurance can get faster access to health care.

In 2005, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down a Quebec law that banned private insurance for government-covered procedures, noting that some patients had died while waiting for public care. "Access to a waiting list is not access to health care,'' the court said.

Canada already has a number of private clinics that charge patients. The most controversial is one in Vancouver started by orthopedic surgeon Brian Day, former president of the Canadian Medical Association.

"In a free and democratic society . . . the state has no business preventing you and me from spending our own money on health care,'' Day told the New York Times in 2006, adding that a dog in Canada could get a hip replaced faster than a human could.

But critics say the growth of facilities like Day's would draw doctors, nurses and other resources away from Canada's public system, resulting in a two-tier system in which only the rich got top-notch care.

"My feeling is that we can fix the public system because I think that has the greatest potential,'' says Turnbull, the medical association's president-elect. He and others say waits could be reduced by greater use of electronic medical records, more emphasis on preventive care and more alternatives to hospitalization for the old and chronically ill.

"What's right about our system is that we have a single-payer system that's dramatically reduced costs and provided universal coverage,'' says Dr. Michael Rachlis, one of Canada's top experts on health care policy. "Americans have ideological blinders about 4,000 miles tall and cannot see that something with the word 'government' in it could be more efficient than something without government in it.''

Emily and Dennis Whitehead tend to agree. While she undergoes cancer treatment with no worries about the cost, an uninsured friend in Alabama is recovering from major heart surgery.

"I asked my friend how he's going to pay his $110,000 hospital bill and he has no idea,'' Dennis Whitehead says. "They'll probably turn it over to a collection agency and harass him for the rest of his life.''

Susan Taylor Martin can be contacted at susan@sptimes.com.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/medicine/article1019355.ece


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on August 08, 2009, 07:21:39 pm
From your post:

Bill Mann
TV-Radio Critic www.dcweasels.com
Posted: June 13, 2009 05:48 PM
Americans Who've Used Canada's Health-Care System Respond to Current Big-Lie Media Campaign


The scare ads and op-ed pieces featuring Canadians telling us American how terrible their government health-care systems have arrived - predictably.

There's another, factual view - by those of us Americans who've lived in Canada and used their system.

My wife and I did for years, and we've been incensed by the lies we've heard back here in the U.S. about Canada's supposedly broken system.

It's not broken - and what's more, Canadians like and fiercely defend it.

Example: Our son was born at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital. My wife got excellent care. The total bill for three days in a semi-private room? $21.

My friend Art Finley is a West Virginia native who lives in Vancouver.

"I'm 82, and in excellent health," he told me this week. "It costs me all of $57 a month for health care, and it's excellent. I'm so tired of all the lies and bulls**t I hear about the system up here in the U.S. media."
Finley, a well-known TV and radio host for years in San Francisco, adds,

"I now have 20/20 vision thanks to Canadian eye doctors. And I haven't had to wait for my surgeries, either."

A Canadian-born doctor wrote a hit piece for Wingnut Central (the Wall Street Journal op-ed page) this week David Gratzer claimed:

"Everyone in Canada is covered by a single payer -- the government. But Canadians wait for practically any procedure or diagnostic test or specialist consultation in the public system."
Vancouverite Finley: "That's sheer b.s."

I heard Gratzer say the same thing on Seattle radio station KIRO this week. Trouble is, it's nonsense.

We were always seen promptly by our doctors in Montreal, many of whom spoke both French and English.

Today, we live within sight of the Canadian border in Washington state, and still spend lots of time in Canada.

Five years ago, while we were on vacation in lovely Nova Scotia, the Canadian government released a long-awaited major report from a federal commission studying the Canadian single-payer system. We were listening to CBC Radio the day the big study came out.

The study's conclusion: While the system had flaws, none was so serious it couldn't be fixed.

Then the CBC opened the lines to callers across Canada.

Here it comes, I thought. The usual talk-show torrent of complaints and anger about the report's findings.

I wish Americans could have heard this revealing show.

For the next two hours, scores of Canadians called from across that vast country, from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

Not one said he or she would change the system. Every single one defended it vigorously.

The Greatest Canadian Ever

Further proof:

Not long ago, the CBC asked Canadians to nominate and then vote for The Greatest Canadian in history. Thousands responded.

The winner? Not Wayne Gretzky, as I expected (although the hockey great DID make the Top 10). Not even Alexander Graham Bell, another finalist.

The greatest Canadian ever?

Tommy Douglas.

Who? Tommy Douglas was a Canadian politician - and the father of Canadian universal health care.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 08, 2009, 07:43:13 pm
Yes but a main thing is this.

'The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care,' the Supreme Court ruled.

The high court stopped short of striking down the constitutionality of the country's vaunted health care system nationwide, but experts across the legal spectrum said they expected the decision to lead to sweeping changes in the Canadian health care system.

"They are going to have to change the fundamental design of the system," he said. "They will have to build in an element of timely care or otherwise allow the development of a private medical system."

But in recent years patients have been forced to wait longer periods for diagnostic tests and elective surgery while the wealthy and well connected either sought care in the United States or used influence to jump medical lines.

The court ruled that the waiting lists had become so long that they violated patients' "life and personal security, inviolability and freedom" under the Quebec charter of human rights and freedoms, which covers about one-quarter of Canada's population.


"The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care,"

"Government-run health care systems like the one in Canada not only deny, but also delay care for weeks, months and even years,'' U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, recently charged.

The long waits have sparked a robust debate over whether Canada should move more closely to a U.S.-style system in which those who have money or good insurance can get faster access to health care.

One irrefutable truth about the Canadian system is that people often have to wait weeks, even months, for non-emergency care.


                                                               http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2jijuj1ysw

                                                     


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on August 08, 2009, 07:59:37 pm
Brad Miller Death Threat: Capitol Police Looking Into Phone Call Made To Congressman Over Health Care Reform


DINA CAPPIELLO | 08/ 7/09 11:19 PM | AP


WASHINGTON — A North Carolina congressman who supports an overhaul of the health care system had his life threatened by a caller upset that he was not holding a public forum on the proposal, his office said Friday.

Democratic Rep. Brad Miller received the call Monday, one of hundreds the congressman's office has fielded demanding town-hall meetings on the health care proposal, said his spokeswoman, LuAnn Canipe. She said the callers were "trying to instigate town halls so they can show up and disrupt."

"We had one of those kind of calls that escalated to what we considered a threat" on the congressman's life, said Canipe. "These are some strong-arm tactics, and we are trying to deal with and trying to talk to people in good faith about health care reform."

Democratic lawmakers expected protests and demonstrations as they headed back to their states and districts over the August recess to sell health care reform legislation. Earlier this week, White House officials counseled Democratic senators on coping with disruptions at public events this summer.

In the week since the House began its break, several town-hall meetings have already been disrupted by noisy demonstrators.

The latest occurrence was at back-to-back town hall meetings held by Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., which got so raucous police had to escort people out.

Dingell vowed Friday to push ahead with Democratic-led efforts to extend coverage to all, saying he won't be intimidated by protesters.

"I am eager to talk about the bill with anyone who wants to discuss it. That doesn't open the door to everyone who wants to demagogue the discussion," Dingell said in a statement.

The boos, jeers and shouts of "Shame on you!" at the events in a gym in Romulus, Mich., mirror what other Democrats are encountering around the country. Activists have shown up at town-hall meetings held recently by Arlen Specter, D-Pa. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was greeted by about 200 protesters at an event in Denver, about half supporting Democrats and half opposed.

In Saratoga Springs, N.Y., about 20 protesters showed up at an event held by Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy to let him know they oppose the health care plans in Washington. They carried signs saying: "Obamacare Seniors beware! Rationing is here," and "If socialized medicine is best ... why didn't Ted Kennedy go to Canada?"

The episodes have drawn widespread media attention, and Republicans have seized on them as well as polls showing a decline in support for President Barack Obama and his agenda as evidence that public support is lacking for his signature legislation.

Pushing back, Democrats have accused Republicans of sanctioning mob tactics, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused protesters earlier this week of trying to sabotage the democratic process.

Miller never had plans to hold a town-hall meeting during the August recess, Canipe said. Instead, he was sitting down with smaller groups of people to discuss the plan. During one of those smaller gatherings on Friday, hundreds of people from a group called Triangle Conservatives peacefully protested at Miller's Raleigh office.

The threatening caller, when told by a staffer that Miller was not planning a meeting, claimed the congressman didn't want to meet with people face to face because he knew it would cost him his life, according to Canipe. The staffer then asked if the caller was making a threat. The caller, said Canipe, replied that there are a lot of angry people out there.

The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed Friday they were looking into a threat against a congressman, but wouldn't provide further details.

___

Associated Press Writer Erica Werner contributed to this report.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 08, 2009, 08:45:36 pm
                             Dear Mr. President, I’d Like to Report a Fishy Drug Deal

                                                    (http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/2507/fishy22.jpg) (http://img195.imageshack.us/i/fishy22.jpg/)



By Linda Anselmi on August 7, 2009 at 10:00 PM in Health Care, Linda Anselmi

Dear Mr. President:

I read a post on the Whitehouse blog called “Facts Are Stubborn Things” http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/ that said:

Scary chain emails and videos are starting to percolate on the internet, breathlessly claiming, for example, to “uncover” the truth about the President’s health insurance reform positions.

And that:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there… These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

I understand your concern about misinformation distorting the healthcare debate. Healthcare is too important to let special interests use fears and smears to sway citizenry. And I agree that only through truth and transparency can we reach decisions that are in the best interest of the American people.

Remember back in June, when you proclaimed a “major step forward” in the comprehensive reform of health care by announcing that the pharmaceutical industry had agreed to cut the cost of prescription drugs for seniors through Medicare?

From CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/22/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5103607.shtml

In the deal, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has agreed to reduce its draw of revenues by $80 billion over 10 years by discounting the cost of medicines in Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program for some seniors by as much as 50 percent. The discount would go to seniors who fall into the “doughnut hole” — a gap in Medicare Part D coverage. Currently, once seniors have received $2,700 worth of drugs, they are left to pay the full cost of their medication until that cost reaches $6,100.

“This gap in coverage has been placing a crushing burden on many older Americans,” Mr. Obama said. The agreement, he said, will make health care “more affordable for millions of seniors and restore a measure of fairness to Medicare Part D.”

The agreement with PhRMA was negotiated with the White House and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who is leading health care reform as chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Baucus stood by the president on Monday as he praised the agreement, as did Sen. Chris Dodd, who is leading health care deliberations in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and Barry Rand, head of the senior citizens’ advocacy group, AARP.

The president pointed out that the pharmaceutical industry stands to benefit from the millions of more customers it could receive as a result of reform. Therefore, he said, “it’s only fair” that pharmaceutical companies do their part to reduce costs.

Since drugs represent about 10 percent of the U.S. healthcare budget and you yourself have warned many times that the U.S. health care system was a huge drain on the Treasury and threatens economic growth, I was a bit disappointed to learn that this PhRMA deal did not provide for the federal government to use its weight to negotiate down drug prices or facilitate the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada.

Don’t get me wrong, it gladdened my heart to learn Medicare “doughnut hole” seniors would be helped by your efforts. But I, and many other Americans, had really hoped to hear you come out with a deal that would help all Americans. After all, it is not just the seniors being hurt by the extraordinarily high drug prices in the U.S. And both importation and negotiation were a part of your healthcare campaign promise (h/t janicen):

Obama will allow Americans to buy their medicines from other developed countries if the drugs are safe and prices are lower outside the U.S.

Obama will repeal the ban on direct negotiation with drug companies and use the resulting savings, which could be as high as $30 billion [a year], to further invest in improving health care coverage and quality.

Which made it even more disappointing to learn that: http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE55K18P20090622?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

Analysts said while the deal would crimp profits for the companies, the $80 billion in discounts they were offering was less than initially feared. The government had opened negotiations asking for $130 billion.

So okay, as a first step in the overall march to healthcare reform in general and on prescription drugs in particular this big PhRMA deal included a few too many stubbed toes and skinned knees to be a boot-stomping, butt-kicking success. But since the real process of overhauling and reforming healthcare was yet to come, I still had hope.

Then, just the other day, I read in the New York Times that White House Affirms Deal on Drug Cost http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/health/policy/06insure.html?_r=2&th&emc=th

Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion.

…the White House explicitly acknowledge for the first time that it had committed to protect drug makers from bearing further costs in the overhaul. The Obama administration had never spelled out the details of the agreement.…

A deputy White House chief of staff, Jim Messina, confirmed Mr. Tauzin’s account of the deal in an e-mail message on Wednesday night.…

Mr. Tauzin said the White House had tracked the negotiations throughout, assenting to decisions to move away from ideas like the government negotiation of prices or the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada. The $80 billion in savings would be over a 10-year period. “80 billion is the max, no more or less,” he said. “Adding other stuff changes the deal.”

After reaching an agreement with Mr. Baucus, Mr. Tauzin said, he met twice at the White House with Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff; Mr. Messina, his deputy; and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the aide overseeing the health care overhaul, to confirm the administration’s support for the terms.

“They blessed the deal,” Mr. Tauzin said.

Immediately upon reading this, I thought, it can’t be true. The President wouldn’t make a deal for just the seniors and only for a miserly $80 billion over 10 years, and leave the rest of us Americans to pick up the bill of wildly escalating drug costs. So I madly searched the Internet to prove this was false, but every source was saying the same thing. You approved the deal.

Then it dawned on me. This big PhRMA drug deal is fishy. Really fishy. The fishy confirmation email from deputy White House chief of staff, Jim Messina. That fishy PhRMA guy, Mr. Tauzin switches sides from drug industry overseer to lobbyist http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/drugs/2004-12-15-drugs-usat_x.htm (h/t bayareavoter). The fishy contributions of nearly $1 million from healthcare and PhRMA (h/t elise) to Senator Baucus’ campaign committee http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00004643&cycle=2010 . And fishy is exactly what the Whitehouse blog warned about.

So I’m following your instructions Mr. President. I’m reporting this fishy drug deal to flag@whitehouse.gov. I know you’ll get to the bottom of this and clear up all the rumors and misinformation so the American people can understand simply and clearly what truly is in (and not in) your drug deal with PhRMA.

Thank you Mr. President.

Sincerely,

A Fellow Concerned Citizen for Truth and Transparency


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 08, 2009, 09:11:28 pm
Video: ACORN Using Police to Keep Obamacare Opponents Quiet

                            http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/video.aspx?v=Gdnzprpr4z


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Brandon on August 10, 2009, 01:47:23 am
Its a shame that there is so much anti-Obama propaganda in this thread are there are good questions out there about how much change we'll actually see:

Drug Industry to Run Ads Favoring White House Plan

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: August 8, 2009


WASHINGTON — The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on television commercials supporting President Obama’s health care overhaul, beginning over the August Congressional recess, people briefed on the plans said Saturday.

The unusually large scale of the industry’s commitment to the cause helps explain some of a contentious back-and-forth playing out in recent days between the odd-couple allies over a deal that the White House struck with the industry in June to secure its support. The terms of the deal were not fully disclosed. Both sides had announced that the drug industry would contribute $80 billion over 10 years to the cost of the health care overhaul without spelling out the details.

With House Democrats moving to extract more than that just as the drug makers finalized their advertising plans, the industry lobbyists pressed the Obama administration for public reassurances that it had agreed to cap the industry’s additional costs at $80 billion. The White House, meanwhile, has struggled to mollify its most pivotal health industry ally without alienating Congressional Democrats who want to demand far more of the drug makers. White House officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Many Democratic lawmakers have railed for years against what they consider the industry’s excessive profits and pointedly insisted in recent days that they do not feel bound by the White House’s commitments.

Sources briefed on the drug industry’s plans, speaking on condition of anonymity because the details remain confidential, say top officials of the industry’s trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, are scheduled to meet next week to finalize its fall plans. The final budget could be less or more than what was authorized, the sources said.

By comparison, President Obama’s presidential campaign spent about $236 million on television commercials while the campaign of the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain of Arizona, spent about $126 million. Few expect the opponents of the health care overhaul to muster as much advertising muscle as its backers, including sympathetic business groups, labor unions and ideological allies. The drug makers stand to gain millions of new customers from the expansion of health care coverage.

Ken Johnson, a spokesman for PhRMA, declined to discuss the specific sums. “Our board has agreed to make a significant investment in support of comprehensive reform,” he said. “Our August plan is pretty much in place, but we have not finalized all the details of the fall campaign.” He said it would include grassroots outreach as well. The scale of the drug industry’s plans was first reported Saturday by The Associated Press.

The drug industry has already contributed millions of dollars to advertising campaigns for the health care overhaul through the advocacy groups like Healthy Economies Now and Families USA. It has spent about $1 million on similar advertisements under its own name.

All of the commercials closely echo common Democratic themes about medical care for all, consumer protection and “health insurance reform.” Some supporters of the overhaul have hired public affairs and advertising firms with close ties to the White House and Senate Democrats, including GMMB, which worked on the Obama campaign, and AKPD, which previously included David Axelrod, who is now the president’s top political adviser.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/health/policy/09lobby.html?_r=1


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 10, 2009, 01:50:17 pm
George Soros Pledges $5 Million To Bankroll Health Care Reform Push, Group Says
http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/health-care/george-soros-pledges-5-million-to-bankroll-health-care-reform-push-group-says/


In another sign of the urgency gripping the pro-health care reform camp, billionaire George Soros has pledged to sink $5 million into the fight, the group getting the money confirmed.

Soros — whose operation carefully guards the privacy of such donations — made the pledge to Health Care For America Now, the leading coalition of pro-reform groups, unions and providers, HCAN chief Richard Kirsch confirmed in an email that was forwarded to me.

Kirsch was asked by a prominent liberal blogger to comment for a post on Soros’ $5 million pledge, which the blogger had heard about. “Thanks for the heads up,” Kirsch emailed in reply. “HCAN is pleased to be supported by people and organizations who support our campaign to win quality, affordable health care for all.”

The blogger, who didn’t end up writing about the donation, passed the email along, and an HCAN spokesperson didn’t dispute the email or the figure when I asked about it.

The Soros pledge is noteworthy, because both sides will seize on it. The right will say it shows the real astroturfing is coming from the pro-reform side — billionaire bogeyman Soros is bankrolling this fight!

The left will cite the donation to demand that HCAN show real results. Some on the left, such as blogger Jane Hamsher, have been asking why heavily-bankrolled HCAN hasn’t been able to secure more commitments from Dem members of Congress to stand firm behind a public option.

HCAN officials regularly appear at a big weekly meeting of progressive groups — the one where Rahm Emanuel famously demanded last week that groups stop attacking other Dems. The question is whether HCAN will heed Rahm’s command and refrain from pressuring Dems to stand up for core reform principles. If so, the question becomes, What are you using all this money for?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The very fact it is "so important" to them to have this Healthscam Bill passed, is the one reason it is "so important" that it does not.  It is probably .001% health plan and the rest "takeover."

How do we counter a $5 million push?  This is my question.  Obama supporters are so blind.  Our countrymen are in such need of basics and things like health care.  Indeed, what do we have if we don't have our Health?  So, I guess I can understand the "blindness."

It is nwo operations right out of the Communist Manifesto to divide the populace in getting us to fight amongst each other on petty issues.  This is accomplished by false-empowerment of groups through their very personal thoughts.

Politically correct?  I am offended about Obama's "Moms go back to school."  What about Dads?  What about childless women?  oh. He can't say "women" because it is politically incorrect.  But "Moms" evokes an emotion and acceptance.  Who would be against "Moms" huh?

I am so sick of their evil garbage.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on August 11, 2009, 12:03:26 am


PhRMA Walks Back Claim Of White House Deal

First Posted: 08-10-09 08:32 PM   |   Updated: 08-11-09 12:44 AM

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/97519/thumbs/s-WHITE-HOUSE-large.jpg)

In yet another in a series of evolving statements and backtracks, an official with the country's major pharmaceutical lobby said on Monday that it never struck a "quote, unquote secret deal with the White House" that would have prohibited the government from negotiating lower drug prices for Medicare.

"It was never brought up at the meeting," said Ken Johnson the senior vice president for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, just days after his boss told the New York Times that the White House's commitment to not support price controls was, as far as he was concerned, "a done deal."

Johnson was referencing reports that the White House had agreed to not allow the government to use its purchasing power to lower drug prices in exchange for $80 billion in promised cost savings from Big Pharma over the course of ten years. The White House, on Monday, denied that such a deal was ever discussed.

All of which didn't mean that an arrangement of sorts wasn't implicit in separate discussions. Johnson told the Huffington Post that during negotiations with the Senate Finance Committee PhRMA had made it crystal clear that there were certain provisions it would never support.

"In the beginning, when God created earth, we said we will help pass comprehensive health care reform but we cannot support price controls," he said.

Johnson said that PhRMA negotiated around this understanding with the Senate Finance Committee and its chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, (D-Mont.) and that the White House "blessed" that policy agreement. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has also said the administration supported the deal.

"As our contribution to health care reform, we agreed to reduce costs by $80 billion," Johnson concluded.

But what kind of arrangement was made between Finance and PhRMA remains vague. The White House has referred reporters to the statement on the Committee's website. But that statement, issued on June 20, 2009, includes no information beyond the $80 billion promised by PhRMA.

On June 22, the President hailed the "deal" as a win-win-win for the pharmaceutical company, American public and the government. "Drug and insurance companies stand to benefit when tens of millions more Americans have coverage," he said. "So we're asking them, in exchange, to make essential concessions to reform the system and help reduce costs. It's only fair."

But industry observers were already raising red flags, predicting that this was an attempt by PhRMA to head off more costly legislation down the road.

"Our initial take is that this is a win for the industry because it appears to short-circuit the prospect of direct government price negotiation," read an analysis by Leerink Swann and Company, a health care equity research company.

Last week, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both reported that Leerink Swann's prediction was correct - the White House had "embraced" a package that would limit the government's ability to negotiate lower drug prices. In a subsequent piece by the Huffington Post, administration officials said that any measures that would pursue cuts to prescription drug prices should be considered outside the health-care overhaul legislation.

In the end, both Johnson and the White House may be trying to draw a distinction without a difference. Both PhRMA and the administration are on record saying that $80 billion worth in concessions is an appropriate amount. "We feel comfortable with the amount of money that has been talked about at this point," Gibbs said in response to a question from the Huffington Post last week.

PhRMA is on record saying it would oppose health care legislation that contained "price controls." The White House, meanwhile, said on Monday that it was committed not to include one measure that could achieve those controls: rebates which would have bridged the prescription drug prices between Medicaid and Medicare.

The questions that still need to be answered are: Will PhRMA renege on its $80 billion pledge if Congress passes health care reform that allows the government to negotiate for lower drug prices? And will it abandon its pledge to run $150 million worth of television ads in favor of the president's agenda if it believes price controls are still on the table?


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on August 11, 2009, 12:07:19 am
Quote
The very fact it is "so important" to them to have this Healthscam Bill passed, is the one reason it is "so important" that it does not.  It is probably .001% health plan and the rest "takeover."

How do we counter a $5 million push?  This is my question.  Obama supporters are so blind.  Our countrymen are in such need of basics and things like health care.  Indeed, what do we have if we don't have our Health?  So, I guess I can understand the "blindness."

It is nwo operations right out of the Communist Manifesto to divide the populace in getting us to fight amongst each other on petty issues.  This is accomplished by false-empowerment of groups through their very personal thoughts.

Politically correct?  I am offended about Obama's "Moms go back to school."  What about Dads?  What about childless women?  oh. He can't say "women" because it is politically incorrect.  But "Moms" evokes an emotion and acceptance.  Who would be against "Moms" huh?

I am so sick of their evil garbage.

More bs.  To the conservacons its a "health care takeover."  Anything that might impinge on their greedy profit margins is "evil" to them.  They had their turn in charge and they failed, eight years, hundreds of thousands dead!

The incident didn't happen under Bush that they didn't manage to **** up:

9/11, the Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, the Depression we're in right now.

Go the **** away, stupid conservatives, no one is buying  your Corporatist bull **** anymore.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on August 11, 2009, 12:34:31 am
(http://images.politico.com/global/v3/blog_images/headerlarge_glennthrush.jpg)

July 28, 2009
Categories: Bad Behavior
Rep. Kratovil hung in effigy by health care protester UPDATE

(http://washingtonindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/hangingKratovil-1.jpg)

If this is the face of anti-health care reform protest, the GOP has a serious problem.

This unidentified man decided he was doing the Tea Party-anti-reform effort a real solid by hanging freshman Maryland Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil in effigy [note the creepily expert knotted noose] with a placard "Congress Traitors The American [and a word that looks like "idol"].

The event -- a rally in Salisbury, Md. on the Eastern Shore -- was attended by members of the business-funded Americans for Prosperity, a group that includes James Miller, a Federal Trade Commission chairman and budget director during the Reagan administration.

UPDATE: The rally wasn't officially sanctioned by AFP -- but the group's members attended the protest, which coincided with an AFP health care meeting, says a spokeswoman for the group.

"We held an event the previous night, where this man passed out flyers asking people to join him the next day at the office for a protest. That is how some AFP members ended up coming, but they were disgusted by his behavior. I repeat, this gathering WAS NOT an AFP event or sponsored by us in any way," writes AFP's Amy Menefee.

"Frank has no problem with people letting him know how they feel about legislation or him in general, but of course he feels that this one guy was way out of line and most reasonable people would agree that an effigy doesn’t add anything productive to what is a very important debate," said a Kratovil spokesman.

"He has had a lot of constructive conversations with constituents where he has expressed his concerns with the bill and they have done the same, he prefers to focus on those."

Last month, some anti-energy bill protesters tarred and feathered an effigy of Rep. Alan Boyd (D-Fla.) in Panama City. And some genius hung an effigy of Sarah Palin in L.A. last Halloween.

The pic was snapped by the conservative Salisbury News, which supported the rally but was repulsed by the noose guy.

SBYNews blogger Joe Albero, who apparently took the photo, writes:

    My hat is tipped to ALL of the AFP individuals who chose to walk away as they refused to partake in such ignorance and abuse. You know me Folks, I call it like I see it.

    I firmly believe in any one's first amendment rights. However, there comes a time when that right is abused and IMHO this is one of them.

    To The Kratovil Family, my apologies for posting this image but it had to be done and these people had to be called out for their actions.

h/t Washington Independent

UPDATE: As it turns out, the dangling of a noose has distant but painful historical resonance on the Eastern Shore.

The Salisbury area was the site of the last two racial lynchings that took place in the state of Maryland -- both in the 1930s, according to Polly Stewart. a former Salisbury University professor interviewed by NPR earlier this year.

Stewart, a folklorist who researched the crimes, detailed the reaction of predominantly-white local historical society when she confronted them with evidence of the lynchings in the mid-1980s:

"I thought that because I was in a position of prestige at the university, or the college then, and because I was socially friendly with a lot of this people, I would be able to present to them some theory which would explain why the lynchings had happened... [W]hat did happen was that I was attacked. They were furious with me. They were in flames. They were just shaking with rage, some of them.

She added, "[T]he result of it was really that I was iced out of the upper crust for the next 20 years. I was there for 30 years and 20 of those years I was - my name was mud."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0709/Rep_Kratovil_hung_in_effigy_by_health_care_protester_.html


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 11, 2009, 03:36:10 pm
http://www.examiner.com/x-1087-Denver-News-Examiner~y2009m8d11-President-Obamas-New-Hampshire-health-care-town-hall


President Obama's New Hampshire health care town hall

August 11, 12:41 PMDenver News ExaminerEd Duffy

 
President Obama was in full campaign mode today in Portsmouth, NH. At the townhall style meeting he vowed to put to bed all the "misinformation and scare tactics" out there that have lead to waning support for his health care plan.

Here is what he said his plan will do. Insurance companies would have to cover you regardless of pre-existing conditions. There will be no limits on coverage by year or by lifetime. There will be limits on co-pays. There will be a public option for health care coverage that will "keep insurance companies honest". Health care costs will come down.

Here are the legitimate concerns that wont be asked or answered by today's adoring crowd. How do you mandate unlimited liability while limiting revenue and expect private sector insurance companies to survive? Although the president has said the public option will not crowd out private insurance companies, how do private companies compete with a publicly supported entity that will be "too big to fail" on day one? Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are essentially tax payer subsidized mortgage companies. They are still hemmoraging cash and nearly destroyed the entire financial industry. Why is the health care version going to succeed where the mortgage version failed?

At the outset of the meeting, President Obama cited Medicare as a reason that we must pass reform now. He pointed out that Medicare and Medicaid will go broke within ten years if nothing is done. Not twenty minutes later he pointed to Medicare as a hugely successful government run health program that we should emulate. It's proof that "government run" can work. Is it a system on the verge of collapse or a system we should emulate and expand? It can't be both.

He said the rumors of government "death panels" are completely false. It's the insurance companies that ration care based on what's good for their bottom line. Now the government wants to create this public option, which it says will not be tax-payer subsidized. If that's the case how can money be "no object"? If money is a concern, then there will be rationing. Why is government rationed health care better than insurance company rationed health care?

A health care system that gives everyone everything, anytime at a fixed price is just not possible. Worse than that, trying to force the issue could have devastating consequences. The pie in the sky vision the President put forth sounds great. His energetic proclamations make for great campaign sound bites. Now he is in new territory, however. It's time to do the math. Don't tell me your going to give me unlimited, unrestricted top notch health care for life at a fixed affordable rate. Tell me exactly how you propose to make that happen. If it's as simple as passing a bill that says "make it so", why not just pass legislation banning people from getting sick or injured? Problem solved.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 11, 2009, 08:24:30 pm
Meltdown: Democratic Congressman David Scott of Georgia Goes Berserk at Town Hall


                                                       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BttTtjhlvmY


Man, they can't wait to start enforcing the hate bill propaganda. I smell it a mile away.

Do they all want to be dictators or am I hallucinating.

Turning on the public, finger pointing, yelling, come on guys this is to much. Isn't it obvious they feel above  us, way FN above us. And we are privledged to ask a question.
Ya, just sit there like Joe FKhead and clap, or get screamed at.

WELL F-H.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 11, 2009, 09:15:42 pm

                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV1jmvMHsS0



35 year old non-Republican...

"This is not about left, this is not about right. This is about the systematic destruction of this country."

"YOU HAVE AWOKEN A SLEEPING GIANT!"

"When are we going to go back to the founders and the constitution?"


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Harconen on August 13, 2009, 01:23:46 am
The aim of totalitarian regimes has always been to keep the 'workers' just well enough, long enough to perform their slave labor to 'retirement' age ... that is per the actuarial tables ... but no longer. A serviceable body and a weak mind is the perfect vehicle to serve the agenda, as far as they are concerned.

What does "Universal Healthcare" mean to the NWO?

It means, "... keep them young bucks strappin' strong ... got to get as much work out of 'em as possible!"

"But them youguns ... no siree! And them old farts too damaged by fluoride and aspartame and vaccines to get the job done ... to hell with 'em!"

Our Moms and Dads ... the Useless Eaters ... do not apply.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ezekiel Emanuel: Death to Those With Dementia, as Useless Eaters

July 21, 2009 (LPAC)-- Ezekiel Emanuel, the top healthcare adviser at Obama's Budget Office and brother of his chief of staff, believes it is "obvious" that people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia (estimated as one of three people who live beyond the age of 65) should be denied health-care, since they are "irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens." An essay published in the Hastings Center Report (Nov-Dec 1996) by Emanuel, Norman Daniels and Bruce Jennings, says in part:

"This civic republican or deliberative democratic conception of the good provides both procedural and substantive insights for developing a just allocation of health care resources. Procedurally, it suggests the need for public forums to deliberate about which health services should be considered basic and should be socially guaranteed. Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity - those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberation - are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."

http://dyn.politico.com/members/forums/thread.cfm?catid=2&subcatid=30&threadid=2724097

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/5485/zeket.jpg) (http://img195.imageshack.us/i/zeket.jpg/)
Ezekiel Emanuel ... brother of Rahm Emanuel

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2009/02/dr_ezekiel_emanuel_rahms_broth.html

http://www.slu.edu/x26866.xml

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2009/07/26/ezekiel-emanuel-deny-coverage-to-elderly-and-disabled-for-the-greater-good.php

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Obama advisor would ration medical care to seniors, young children, the demented

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Obama-advisor-would-deny-medical-care-to-seniors-demented-51414342.html

By: Mark Tapscott
Editorial Page Editor
07/22/09 2:57 PM EDT

No wonder President Obama is in such a rush to get his health care reform package through Congress before the August recess. And before the public finds out about Ezekiel Emanuel, special advisor to Peter Orzag, Obama's director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and brother to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel has written in medical journals of how health care should be rationed, with priority given to younger people over seniors and over those suffering from dementia, according to John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). Ezekiel also believes that very young children should be lower on the priority list than younger people who have received public educations.

Goodman cites an article Ezekiel co-authored with two other men that appeared in the January 31, 2009, edition of the British medical journal, The Lancet. Goodman also cites a 1996 article by Ezekiel that appeared in The Hastings Report. In the latter, which was titled "Where civic republicanism and deliberative democracy meet," Ezekiel argued for limiting health care for “individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.”  He cited "not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia” as an example.

Goodman offers additional analysis on his blog of Ezekiel's presence among Obama's health care advisors. Goodman notes that the health care reform legislation now being crafted in Congress includes a provision designed to ration the availability of MRI, CT and other advanced technology scans that often are critical to identifying dangerous diseases at a sufficiently early stage to enable life-extending treatment:

“An example of what can be done is actually in legislation being written on Capitol Hill. Buried somewhere in the 1,000 plus pages is a provision to severely limit what Medicare pays for CT and MRI scans performed in doctors' offices. This would force elderly patients, for example, to go to the hospital for their radiology — where there are often lengthy waits. Patients in rural areas who must travel long distances to get to hospital-based testing facilities may be discouraged from getting the tests done at all.”

“individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.”  Emanuel wrote, “An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

Goodman notes that the World Health Organization estimates that 25,000 cancer patients die in Britain annually as a result of such restrictions on medical scans


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on August 19, 2009, 11:13:37 am
Democrats Seem Set to Go It Alone on a Health Bill Sign in to Recommend
By CARL HULSE and JEFF ZELENY
Published: August 18, 2009
WASHINGTON — Given hardening Republican opposition to Congressional health care proposals, Democrats now say they see little chance of the minority’s cooperation in approving any overhaul, and are increasingly focused on drawing support for a final plan from within their own ranks.

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Senator Charles E. Grassley, a leader in bipartisan talks, at a town meeting on health care reform in Adel, Iowa last week.



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Times Topics: Republican PartyTop Democrats said Tuesday that their go-it-alone view was being shaped by what they saw as Republicans’ purposely strident tone against health care legislation during this month’s Congressional recess, as well as remarks by leading Republicans that current proposals were flawed beyond repair.

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said the heated opposition was evidence that Republicans had made a political calculation to draw a line against any health care changes, the latest in a string of major administration proposals that Republicans have opposed.

“The Republican leadership,” Mr. Emanuel said, “has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama’s health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day.”

The Democratic shift may not make producing a final bill much easier. The party must still reconcile the views of moderate and conservative Democrats worried about the cost and scope of the legislation with those of more liberal lawmakers determined to win a government-run insurance option to compete with private insurers.

On the other hand, such a change could alter the dynamic of talks surrounding health care legislation, and even change the substance of a final bill. With no need to negotiate with Republicans, Democrats might be better able to move more quickly, relying on their large majorities in both houses.

Democratic senators might feel more empowered, for example, to define the authority of the nonprofit insurance cooperatives that are emerging as an alternative to a public insurance plan.

Republicans have used the Congressional break to dig in hard against the overhaul outline drawn by Democrats. The Senate’s No. 2 Republican, Jon Kyl of Arizona, is the latest to weigh in strongly, saying Tuesday that the public response lawmakers were seeing over the summer break should persuade Democrats to scrap their approach and start over.

“I think it is safe to say there are a huge number of big issues that people have,” Mr. Kyl told reporters in a conference call from Arizona. “There is no way that Republicans are going to support a trillion-dollar-plus bill.”

The White House has also interpreted critical comments by Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican negotiator in a crucial Finance Committee effort to reach a bipartisan compromise, as a sign that there is little hope of reaching a deal politically acceptable to both parties.

Mr. Grassley, who is facing the possibility of a Republican primary challenge next year, has gotten an earful in traveling around his home state. At one gathering last week, in a city park in the central Iowa town of Adel, a man rose from the crowd and urged him to “stand up and fight” the Democratic plans. If he does not, the man yelled, “we will vote you out!”

The White House, carefully following Mr. Grassley’s activities, presumed he was no longer interested in negotiating with Democrats after he initially made no effort to debunk misinformation that the legislation could lead to “death panels” empowered to judge who would receive care.

Citing a packed schedule, Mr. Grassley has also put off plans for the bipartisan group of Finance Committee negotiators to meet in either Iowa or Maine, the home of another Republican member of the group, Senator Olympia J. Snowe, before Congress resumes.

Further, Mr. Grassley said this week that he would vote against a bill unless it had wide support from Republicans, even if it included all the provisions he wanted. “I am negotiating for Republicans,” he told MSNBC.

In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Grassley said he had simply been repeating earlier comments that he would not support a measure that did not have significant Republican support. He said that raucous town-hall-style meetings might have made the job of reaching a compromise harder, but that he had not given up.

“It may be more difficult than it was before,” he said. “I am intent on talking. I am intent on seeing what we can do.”

Administration officials, who maintain that Republicans are badly mischaracterizing the legislation that has emerged from three House committees and the Senate health committee, said they had hoped to achieve some level of bipartisan support. But they are becoming increasingly convinced that they will instead have to navigate the complicated politics among varying Democratic factions.

The officials said the White House hoped to make the case to the American people that it was Republicans who had abandoned the effort at bipartisanship. Republicans countered by saying that they simply opposed the legislation and that the public outcry had validated their view and solidified their opposition.

This week’s careful administration maneuvering on whether a public insurance option was an essential element of any final bill was seemingly part of the new White House effort to find consensus among Democrats, since the public plan has been resisted by moderate and conservative Democrats who could be crucial to winning the votes for passage if no Republicans are on board.

For the second time in two days, Mr. Obama did not mention health care on Tuesday, a marked departure from the aggressive public relations campaign he mounted in July and early August. The White House is striving to stay out of the fray, aides said, until the president can get away on vacation this weekend.

Even as the administration showed some flexibility, angering liberal Democrats who consider a public plan essential, Republicans turned their attacks from the public option to the health care cooperative idea being promoted by some Senate Democrats.

In what Democrats regarded as further evidence that Republicans were not serious about negotiating, Mr. Kyl and Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking House Republican, described a co-op as a public option carrying another name.

The continuing opposition was noted Tuesday by Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, who said of Republicans that at best “only a handful seem interested in the type of comprehensive reform that so many people believe is necessary to ensure the principles and the goals that the president has laid out.”


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on September 03, 2009, 10:42:33 pm

Ryan Grim
Ryan Grim
ryan@huffingtonpost.com
Where Is Kent Conrad Getting His Whip Count?


There are 60 members of the Senate's Democratic caucus -- so why is Sen. Kent Conrad insisting that that there aren't enough votes to pass a public health insurance option as part of comprehensive reform bill?

"The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option, there never have been, so to continue to chase that rabbit is just a wasted effort," Conrad said on Fox News Sunday.

Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota (pop. 641,481), is presumably assuming that a bill containing a public option would need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. But even if that is the case, not a single member of the Democratic caucus -- including Conrad himself -- has actually announced that he or she would support such a filibuster. And a few Republicans -- Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine -- might not support it either.

"Senator Conrad should leave the vote counting to the leadership," a peeved Democratic leadership aide told the Huffington Post.

Conrad, the Budget Committee chairman, is also a key Finance Committee member, and is one of the bipartisan "Gang of Six" that has taken on the role of lead health care negotiators.

One thing to keep in mind is that there may not be a separate vote on the public option; it could simply come down to an up or down vote on the entire bill, with the public option included. For instance, even if the Finance Committee bill doesn't include a public option, the Democratic leadership, when it combines the bill with the health committee version, could include it. Another outside possibility is that senators could be faced with a bill coming out of conference committee that includes the public option, even if their chamber didn't vote for it initially.

Conrad, somewhat morbidly, appears to be assuming in his whip count that two members of the caucus, Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Bob Byrd (D-W.Va.), will be too ill to vote. Conrad has previously noted to reporters that both may not be able to vote because of health concerns.

Byrd, however, made it to several votes just before recess. And health care reform is the defining policy and political goal of Kennedy's life. If both showed up, someone from the Democratic caucus would have to break ranks to kill the public option. Who would do it?



Posted: 08-17-09 05:20 PM


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Krista Davenport on September 03, 2009, 10:44:13 pm
(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/99269/thumbs/s-CONRAD-large.jpg)

Even Conrad himself is not a definite no. His spokesman said he has yet to take a personal position on the public option.

At least three other caucus members have spoken critically about the public option: Mary Landrieu (La., pop.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Landrieu, however, has said that despite her opposition, she could still vote for a comprehensive reform package that included a public option, depending on the details. She told the Huffington Post recently that it's too early to say whether she should support a filibuster of a bill that included a public option.

Nelson, too, is leaving his options open, saying that there is no bill yet. He told a local Nebraska official in June that he wouldn't filibuster a public option. (Neb. pop.: 1,783,432.)

Lieberman has also said the he is open to supporting it as part of a broad package.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) previously expressed some doubt about the public option but wound up voting for it in the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, as did Sen. Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), the third Democrat in the Gang of Six, along with Conrad and Finance Committee chair Max Baucus of Montana (pop. 967,440).

Centrist Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey also voted for the public option in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; and moderates Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) have publicly signed on to the idea.

In May, six other possible no votes -- Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Arlen Specter (D-Penn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) -- told the Huffington Post that they were at least open to considering a public option.

When it comes to an up or down vote on the entire bill, one factor all Democrats will surely keep in mind is the cost to their party if health care reform fails.

In a speech in Pittsburgh Thursday to liberal bloggers, former President Clinton argued that the passage of a reform bill will lead to a spike in Democratic approval. By contrast, Democrats paid a high price -- both the House and the Senate -- for failing to reform health care in 1993 and 1994.

And even if a few Democrats either can't make the vote, or defect, three Republicans -- North Carolina's Richard Burr, along with Snowe and Collins -- have said they're open to some form of public option.

"It's okay if you want to have a government option, but you've got to leave the private sector private," Burr told a local paper on Friday. (HuffPost contacted Burr's office and has started the walk-back clock on that one.)

OpenLeft's Chris Bowers has his own whip count going, as does blogger and statistician Nate Silver. They consider a host of alternate scenarios, and reach no firm conclusions, other than with more than 40 firm votes, Democrats could themselves successfully filibuster any attempt to strip the public option out of the full bill

FireDogLake's Jane Hamsher, meanwhile, raises a subject that the Senate doesn't often like to consider: There are, in fact, two chambers of Congress. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has floated her own vote tally, saying that health care reform without a public option doesn't have the votes.

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, responded to the wavering around the public option by reiterating the threat to block reform that doesn't include it.

"As we have stated repeatedly for months now, a majority of the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus will oppose any healthcare reform legislation that does not include a robust public option. Our position has not, and will not, change," he said. "As Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues to develop comprehensive legislation that allows all Americans to choose the healthcare plan that's right for them and their families. But I will not support any bill that does not include a public option."


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Tresa Gilbert-Diehme on September 20, 2009, 03:38:36 am
Acne, Pregnancy Among Disqualifying Conditions

By David S. Hilzenrath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 19, 2009

A proposal to make preexisting health conditions irrelevant in the sale of insurance policies could help not just the seriously ill but also people who might consider themselves healthy, documents released Friday by a California-based advocacy group illustrate.

Health insurers have issued guidelines saying they could deny coverage to people suffering from such conditions as acne, hemorrhoids and bunions.

One big insurer refused to issue individual policies to police officers and firefighters, along with people in other hazardous occupations.

Some treated pregnancy or the intention to adopt as a reason for rejection.

As Congress and President Obama work on legislation to overhaul the nation's health-care system, one of their main objectives is to stop insurers from denying coverage on the basis of health status. Proposed legislation would prohibit insurers from denying coverage to individuals with preexisting conditions or charging them higher premiums because of their medical history -- practices known as medical underwriting.

Even the insurance lobby has endorsed that goal as part of a larger reform package in which the government would extend coverage to the uninsured, greatly expanding the market for insurance.

Guidelines that insurance companies have written for professionals involved in selling policies offer a glimpse inside the underwriting process.

"What these documents show is the lengths to which insurance companies are willing to go to make a profit," said Jerry Flanagan, health-care policy director of the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, which distributed the documents Friday. "What it shows is that insurance companies want premiums without any risk."


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Tresa Gilbert-Diehme on September 20, 2009, 03:39:02 am
Consumer Watchdog argues that consumers should be given the option of enrolling in a government-run health plan. It obtained the documents from a California insurance broker, Flanagan said.

A PacifiCare "Medical Underwriting Guidelines" document from 2003 lists under "Ineligible Occupations" such risk-takers as stunt people, test pilots and circus workers -- along with police officers, firefighters and migrant workers.

Uninsurable conditions included pregnancy, and being an "expectant father" was grounds for "automatic rejection." So was having received "therapy/counseling" within six months of the application. There was also this more general disqualifier: "currently experiencing/experienced within the last 12 months symptoms for which a physician has not been consulted."

The PacifiCare document "is completely outdated and predates the acquisition of PacifiCare by United Healthcare," Cheryl J. Randolph, a spokeswoman for the parent company, said by e-mail. She declined to provide current underwriting documents.

"Underwriting enables insurers to adequately assess risks, keeping premium costs lower for more consumers," she added.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Tresa Gilbert-Diehme on September 20, 2009, 03:39:22 am
Health Net guidelines for 2006 say that people could be denied coverage or charged higher premiums if they were taking certain medications, including Zyrtec, an allergy remedy, and Lamisil, which is widely advertised as a treatment for toenail fungus.

Pregnant women could be rejected, as could expectant fathers, the document said.

A Health Net spokeswoman did not respond to requests to comment.

Blue Cross of California guidelines for 2004 said potential disqualifiers included chronic tonsillitis and, under certain circumstances, varicose veins.

Kristin E. Binns, a spokeswoman for parent company WellPoint, said by e-mail that she could not comment on the guidelines because they are from years ago.



Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Byron on December 20, 2009, 07:12:33 pm
Senate Health Care Reform Takes Major Compromises


First Posted: 12-19-09 11:22 PM   |   Updated: 12-20-09 01:03 AM



(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/127659/thumbs/s-HEALTH-CARE-OVERHAUL-large.jpg)
New York Times:

Thirty million people without health insurance stand to gain coverage under a deal announced on Saturday by Senate Democrats.

To get the 60 votes needed to pass their bill, Democrats scrapped the idea of a government-run public insurance plan, cherished by liberals, and replaced it with a proposal for nationwide health plans, which would be offered by private insurers under contract with the government.

The legislation also includes a proposal that would limit insurance coverage of abortion.


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Byron on December 20, 2009, 07:13:05 pm
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/20/health/policy/20care.html?hp


Title: Re: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege
Post by: Byron on December 20, 2009, 07:15:21 pm
Liberals don't matter.

- Rahm Emanuel

(a@@hole)