tagged w/ Health Insurance Reform
Who left the burning head of broccoli on the CJ's front lawn?
Handy little reference map for the differences in cost to 25 year old women and 25 year old men.
Yeah, maternity costs... but when states are trying to limit access to birth control, won't those costs go up? Won't that mean insurers will try to find more ways to charge women? And with some states trying to weaken laws against domestic violence, will more women end up in the ER due to failure to protect them?Handy little reference map for the differences in cost to 25 year old women and 25... more
By David Edwards
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 16:37 EST
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Tuesday charged that the Obama administration was full of “elite snobs” who were looking “down their nose at the average American.”
The former Pennsylvania senator went on the attack against President Barack Obama and Democrats for rejecting Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) to replace the current Medicare program with a voucher scheme.
“They don’t believe you can make these decisions,” Santorum told a crowd in Boise, Idaho. “They need to makes these decisions for you because if you were left to make decisions you will obviously jump off a cliff.”
“Don’t you see how they see you? How they look down their nose at the average American — these elite snobs.”
He continued: “Guess what Paul Ryan’s plan is modeled after? Members of Congress’ plans. It is the same model, exactly the same. It says because members of Congress have the same plan as every federal employee, which is a pretty good plan. … It gives everybody the opportunity to go out and get what they need. What they think they need.”
Although Ryan told NBC that his his plan “works exactly like the health care I have as a member of Congress and federal employees have,” Princeton economics professor Uwe E. Reinhardt says there is at least one “huge difference.”
Under the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP), the government contribution rises at the rate of average premiums charged by private insurers. But Ryan would only have Medicare spending tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has historically not kept up with health care costs.
“Indexing the federal contribution to Medicare beneficiaries to the C.P.I. can thus be expected to shift an ever-larger share of the total health spending on Medicare beneficiaries from the books of government to the household budgets of these beneficiaries,” Reinhardt wrote in May.
“It is fair to wonder whether members of Congress would ever pass a bill indexing the federal contribution to their insurance premiums only to the C.P.I. rather than, as now, to the growth in insurance premiums.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Feb. 14, 2012.
"Elite Snobs!!! Yup that's why I Abhor Both Parties!!!"By David Edwards
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 16:37 EST
Republican presidential... more
Elliott Gould warns us not to believe the myths about single payer health care. “Single payer is no more socialized medicine than the police department is socialized crime fighting,” he says. California OneCare is publicly financed, privately delivered health care, and poll after poll has shown that not only do doctors and nurses want it, but so do two-thirds of the people.Elliott Gould warns us not to believe the myths about single payer health care.... more
All of these companies paid their CEO millions while they refuse health care to children.
INDIANAPOLIS — Several health insurers say they will stop selling new child-only individual insurance policies as they face a health care reform provision that will prevent them from excluding children with potentially costly pre-existing conditions.
An insurance industry representative said the decision affects a relatively small population and is being made to keep costs down for all policyholders. But a Georgetown University researcher said some middle-class children could be left vulnerable by the ensuing lack of coverage options.
Several provisions of the health care overhaul went into effect Thursday, six months after it was signed into law.
One of those could help parents who have struggled to find coverage for children with expensive medical conditions. Under the provision, insurers will not be able to exclude children from coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. This means they will no longer be able to deny coverage or agree to cover the child except for services related to certain conditions.
However WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc., Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. and Humana Inc. — the five largest publicly traded health insurers based on enrollment — all have said recently they will stop selling child-only individual policies, although those children can still get coverage through a family plan in the individual market.
Individual insurance is coverage that is not offered through an employer and includes both single and family coverage.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39314403/ns/health-health_care/All of these companies paid their CEO millions while they refuse health care to... more
Throughout last summer, the winter, and into the spring, Americans struggled with reforming our health insurance system. Finally, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act became Public Law 111-148 on March 23. Now, beginning in September, hundreds of thousands of people who patronize the dozens of hospitals and health care facilities in the Pittsburgh area will finally see benefits of the new health insurance reform law.
Read more . . . . http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-14931-Pittsburgh-Public-Policy-Examiner~y2010m7d12-Patients-Bill-of-Rights-takes-effect-soonThroughout last summer, the winter, and into the spring, Americans struggled with... more
President Obama reportedly will call a joint session of Congress next week to give a big speech on health care. These sessions are rare, which underscores how important health care reform is to the President. Now while administration officials have not said much about what policy recommendations Obama will include in the speech, Talking Points Memo says that their sources say progressives should get ready to be disappointed.
What do you want Obama to say on health care reform? What do you think he should include or get rid of and how do you think he can inspire the bipartisanship he so badly wants (or can he at all)?
Get involved in the conversation here.President Obama reportedly will call a joint session of Congress next week to give a... more
Here is some pretty big evidence that the states who are suing have very little chance of winning their case.Here is some pretty big evidence that the states who are suing have very little chance... more
As the majority leader of the Senate, the power to pass a public option is squarely in Reid's hands. Will Reid let three or four corrupt Senators owned by the insurance industry hold the public option hostage? Or will he use the reconciliation process to allow a simple majority vote on a public option?
The choice is Reid's and Reid's alone.
A petition circulates to Harry Reid: Get lobbyist-owned Democrats in line, or use reconciliation to pass a public option: http://action.firedoglake.com/reconciliation
During debate in the Senate this weekend, a handful of corrupt Democratic senators like Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu, who have taken big donations from insurance companies, promised to vote against health care if it included a public option. If Harry Reid can't get them in line for a simple procedural vote, then he can use "reconciliation" and call for a majority vote on the public option. Otherwise, Harry Reid is using his power as Majority Leader to allow a handful of corrupt senators thwart the democratic process.
Goldman Sachs expects insurance stocks to rise by 59% in 10 years if there is no public option, but drop by 36% if there is one. That's what happens when nobody likes your product. Their fat profits depend on being the only game in town.
The American people understand that. That's why 72% support a public option, to end insurance monopolies, increase competition and control the crushing burden of health care costs for American families. A majority in the Senate understands that, too -- that's why 51 have said they will vote for a bill with a public option.
It comes down to a simple question: will Harry Reid allow for majority rule? Or will he let corrupt members of his own caucus block a majority of the public and Congress who want a public option?As the majority leader of the Senate, the power to pass a public option is squarely in... more
Latino voters in the United States see health care reform as the most important priority for the country and a solid majority expresses support for universal health care that includes a public option.
These are among the findings of a poll of 1,000 registered Latino voters, conducted November 1-14 by Impremedia, Latino Decisions and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, in the 21 states that have the largest Latino populations.
http://www.impre.com/laopinion/noticias/2009/11/30/latino-voters-see-universal-he-161380-1.htmlLatino voters in the United States see health care reform as the most important... more
This is the latest trailer for the 116 minute film, "Got Healthcare?", an out in the street survey of what people have to say about health care in America, the recent goings on in Congress, and the government; plus numerous statements from President Obama. In making this film I attended mostly healthcare town halls and rallies, almost always in support of either a single payer system or a public option. There are always also anti-reformers on hand making noise and trying to disrupt these events. I have not had a crew and I filmed this on my own with a consumer HD camcorder that actually produced, what I consider, passable big screen movie quality sound and picture (though I have yet to see it on a big screen). This is possibly an advantage in that it’s much easier to move around in the crowds as one person with a camera on a monopod than it would be with a cameraman and soundman.
To be released in 2010.
Press Kit: https://www.withoutabox.com/03film/03t_acc/03t_view_entities/03t_view_project.php?film_id=1881357&gopage=7This is the latest trailer for the 116 minute film, "Got Healthcare?", an... more
Some are applauding the House passage of heath care reform. Some aren't. But try to get a straight answer on what the proposed legislation will do and you'll be lucky to find someone with a clue. The bill passed in the House, HR3962, was nearly 2000 pages long, while a simpler more direct approach, HR626 introduced and then withdrawn at the last minute by Congressman Weiner, is only 32 pages and simply expands medicare to cover all Americans.
In a letter to the New York Times some young Obama supporters are asking, what will this mean for me? They aren't finding any answers, only more questions.
Sam Rosenberg asks:
When the House passed its version of a health care reform bill on Saturday night, I saw the update on television while out celebrating the 27th birthday of a friend. Almost everyone in attendance was in their mid- to late 20s and college-educated and had voted for President Obama.
But we all had different insurance plans. Some were insured by their jobs; others by their unions; and some, recently unemployed or self-employed, were not insured at all.
And while we all celebrated the president’s and the House’s achievement, not a single one of us was able to answer two seemingly basic questions — how will this bill affect my current benefits, and how will this bill affect my current payments?
My friends and I support health care reform because we believe the current system is failing. But now that change may finally be coming, we want to know exactly what that change entails.
The point of contention here is the health insurance industry and all the related services such as medical debt. In the U.S., unlike any other country, people often go into debt to pay for medical treatment to merely survive. So the banking industry has a big stake as well as the insurance industry. Obama has said that these industries amount to one-sixth of our economy. But in an economy that is top heavy with the 1% most wealthy people owning more wealth than 95%, you have to ask, how many people are actually affected by this particular one-sixth of the economy? An awful bug chuck of that one-sixth has to be attributed to that top 1%. Should we forsake the 95% for the 1% just because they are greedy enough to take one-sixth of the economy for themselves, a lot of it in the form of foreclosures on people forced to pay up just to live?
So now we have the Senate focused on how to preserve the status quo for the health insurance industry, that one-sixth of the economy, while forsaking 95% of the people.
Whop-dee-doo. We passed health care in the House.
Image is from Deavere Smith in her one-woman show “Let Me Down Easy,” now playing Off Broadway, a story ten years in the making of one man's comeback from death and the heath care system he dealth with in the process. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/health/10easy.htmlSome are applauding the House passage of heath care reform. Some aren't. But try... more
Tough fight still ahead in Senate, and two versions have wide differences
Triumphant Democrats passed landmark health care legislation in the House late Saturday night, spurred by a summons from President Barack Obama to "answer the call of history" and expand coverage to millions who lack it.
The final vote was a narrow 220-215. Only one Republican — Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana — voted for the measure; 39 Democrats voted against it.
Nearly united in opposition to the health care bill, minority Republicans cataloged their objections across hours of debate on the 1,990-page, $1.2 trillion legislation.
Earlier, the House approved an abortion amendment and rejected a Republican substitute for the legislation, paving the way to final passage.
After months of struggle, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had likened the bill to the creation of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare 30 years later.
In the runup to a final vote, conservatives from the two political parties joined forces to impose tough new restrictions on abortion coverage in insurance policies to be sold to many individuals and small groups. They prevailed on a roll call of 240-194.
The vote added to the Democratic bill an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and others, that prohibits individuals who receive insurance subsidies from purchasing any plan that pays for elective abortions.
More @ link
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33748707/ns/politics-health_care_reform/Tough fight still ahead in Senate, and two versions have wide differences... more
Yes there are positives touted by Pelosi et al. But the negatives outweigh the positives:
- No effective cost containment mechanisms
- A negligible pubic option (you remember the public option don't you?)
- Will not result in making health care more affordable
- Many provisions that will benefit corporate stakeholders (no kidding, it was written by insurance lobbyists)
- This loophole has been added—“while making sure that such a
change doesn’t further destabilize the current individual health insurance
- No say over reimbursement and
All of this from a progressive health reform website. The article contines with the following:
In sum, this $1.055 trillion plan over ten years will not fix the major problems of cost and affordable access to health care in our deteriorating system, will add new layers of bureaucracy and complexity to the present system, is not fiscally responsible, and is not sustainable.
What to do now? Rather than accept an unworkable bill that is politically expedient, we would be better off to make a major course change. The best first option would be to call for a floor vote, as originally promised by the House Speaker Pelosi, for the amendment proposed by Anthony Weiner (D-NY) to substitute HR 676, a single-payer proposal, for HR 3962. If that fails, shelving this bill would be the best option, but if that is not possible, lawmakers should be pressed to retain the amendment proposed by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) to allow states to experiment with single-payer plans, as a number of states would like to do (eg. California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, New York and Pennsylvania). That amendment has already been passed by a rare bipartisan vote of 27-19 in the House Education and Labor Committee.
Yes there are positives touted by Pelosi et al. But the negatives outweigh... more
i received the following report from one of the Pelosi 12 arrested today:
Around 3PM this afternoon I was one of 12 single payer activists who were
escorted from the reception area of Nancy Pelosi's office in the San
Francisco Federal Building and arrested by members of the Federal Protection
Service of U.S. Homeland Security.
Just before noon we went to Pelosi's office to ask Dan Bernal, the district
director, make a phone call either to Pelosi herself or Terri McCullough,
Pelosi's chief of staff in Washington. We wanted to directly communicate two
demands: that the Kucinich amendment be included in the health care bill
that will soon be brought to a vote in the House and that the Weiner
amendment be voted on by the House, as previously promised by Pelosi.
For two hours Bernal refused to meet with any of us. Then he called in the
police and had them arrange for a meeting with himself and three of us in
the reception area. The doors between the reception area and the hallway
were closed. Two policemen stayed in the room. The other activists and other
police stood outside the closed doors in the hallway. Instead of working out
how a call could be made so that we could discuss our demands, Bernal
promptly and brusquely said he'd just listen to what we wanted and then all
of us had to leave the building. As soon as we said that wasn't why we had
agreed to the police's conditions to meet with him, Bernal broke off the
meeting, left the reception area and went back inside the locked doors to
Then the police took us from Pelosi's office on the second floor to the
basement, where they processed our arrests. Because Bernal was too cowardly
to file an official complaint, an elaborate charade was worked out by
Bernal, building management and the Federal Protection Service. The
misdemeanor charged against all of us was based on a technicality: our
singing and chanting for single payer was not in accord with the rules and
regulations of the federal building. This technicality was then extended to
mean that we had "disobeyed" the police officers. We were issued citations
and told that we would be summoned to court later. Then we were dismissed
from the building.
From noon until we emerged from the basement with our citations in hand,
there was a spirited rally for single payer taking place across the street.
The demonstrators included a large contingent of members of the California
School Employees Association, some of whom had come from Sacramento and
Stockton. The rally also included members of California Nurses Association
and Single Payer Now.
The "Pelosi Twelve" are members of organizations such as ActforSinglePayer,
AFSCME District Council 57, California Alliance of Retired Americans,
California School Employees Association, Gray Panthers, and Health Care for
All of us today, those who were arrested and those who rallied in support of
us, will keep fighting to get the Kucinich amendment in the House health
care bill. And we'll keep fighting to win single payer in California and the
nation. Republicans, Blue Dog Democrats or sell-out Democrats, like Nancy
Pelosi, will not prevent us from succeeding.
Health Care for All-California
I believe the video here explains why people remain in favor of a single payer plan and are frustrated with Pelosi's doubletalk: http://current.com/items/91366767_pelosi-12-arrested-at-her-san-francisco-office.htm
http://outinthestreetfilms.comi received the following report from one of the Pelosi 12 arrested today:
12 were arrested in San Francisco at Pelosi's office in protest of her promise to keep single payer on the table - the people's table.
Ten to twenty people engaged in a sit-in at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco Office in the afternoon on Tuesday. The sit-in was a response to Pelosi’s decision to not bring health care reform legislation to a vote with the Kucinich Amendment, an amendment that would have gave states the option to enact single-payer health care.
Buff Whitman, who was arrested for participating in the direct action, explained that the individuals engaging in the action “wanted to have a conversation with Nancy Pelosi” and they knew she was in Washington but wanted staff to call her and allow her to talk to them about breaking a promise she had made on the Kucinich Amendment.
Those participating in the action also wanted to draw attention to the fact that the Weiner Amendment had been dropped. The Weiner Amendment would have given representatives in the House a chance to vote on single-payer health care.
This video was shot at the Anthem Blue Cross offices in L.A. on October 15, 2009 and I believe it explains why protesters remain steadfast and persist at these rallies around the country, almost daily now, for a single payer system to be put back on the table.12 were arrested in San Francisco at Pelosi's office in protest of her promise to... more
Doctors have been traveling across the U.S. in a road show they call "Doctors; Mad as Hell". They want to see serious health care reform. Most support a single payer system. They met with Obama on October 5, 2008 and continue to hold rallies around the country.Doctors have been traveling across the U.S. in a road show they call "Doctors;... more
Protesters read a statement about a woman who's life saving treatment was denied by Anthem Blue Cross. Police arrested them on orders from Anthem Blue Cross who released a statement that insurance rates are high due to medical costs. Meanwhile insurance companies rake in a 30% profit margin on insurance, reaping record profits in the past year despite the downturn in the economy for everyone else, while other countries and other plans like Medicare have overhead rates of 3% to 4%.
http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=188760&catid=3&GID=LqwA%20ve%20%20cBRF%20dhug8r8u77qP1m06S/jvls50agN3A=Protesters read a statement about a woman who's life saving treatment was denied... more