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Super Congress in Session - More of the Cruel Charade


Wall Street and the big banks owe $1.5 trillion for the bailout (at least).  The Super Congress needs to cut $1.5 trillion over ten years.  Get the money from Wall Street and cancel the Super Congress.  Problem solved.

Tom Coburn & The GOP Target The Elderly

Via Think Progress,

Last week, ThinkProgress reported that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) believes that Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional. Turns out, he’s not he only one. At a town hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) appeared to embrace Perry’s claim that providing for America’s seniors is unconstitutional:

QUESTION: With more and more cuts in Medicare and Medicaid on the horizon, I’m really worried about protecting our frail elderly in the Medicare and Medicaid facilities. So I would like to know how Congress proposes to balance the budget and still make sure our frail elderly in these facilities are protected and have trained care staff.

COBURN: That’s a great question. The first question I have for you is if you look in the Constitution, where is it the federal government’s role to do that? That’s number one. Number two is the way I was brought up that’s a family responsibility, not a government responsibility.

The video is embedded below.

Think Progress provided a good rebuttal - check it out at their link.

And treat this as an Open Thread.

 

 

Sections: 

CareGiving Kos: Options for Care-Givers

Crossposted from the Daily Kos group CareGiving Kos.

As the population grows, the economy constricts and services face more serious challenges by the day, some of the options currently available to care-givers may change - some will fade as funding dollars for service programs dwindle, while other opportunities may arise to fill voids or address particularly troublesome unmet needs.1 It's often difficult to keep abreast of developments - navigating the state and federal options is usually a good starting point, but state options vary from state to state and region to region. Federal options aren't always easy to understand, or are limited.

One way we can improve this is to offer feedback and information about opportunities for help and support in our region, and provide feedback on those services and how they worked (or not) for our own care-giving needs. In some instances, we might note services and options that we weren't aware of but which are available - and anyone who has actually tried those services can offer their perspectives on them.

This particular diary is not meant to be a substantive start to that process, but an exploratory one: I'll touch on a couple of programs of national and state/regional scope, provide some information and commentary, and ask for any feedback or additional information. Ideally, folks will add other elements in comments (local/regional/state/federal services, etc.) and include what they know of them, and we'll be able to create a more substantive plan for a follow-up diary (or diaries). Ready?

Ok - jump the squiggle, and let's begin.

 

Sections: 

Michael Collins: The Budget Betrayal - Questions and Answers

This president will never do a single thing to oppose the the agenda of the ruling financial elite unless, of course, members of the ruling elite tell him to oppose something meaningless just for the sake of appearances.

Question: Why did President Obama put Social Security and Medicare on the table in the budget negotiations when 80% of the people oppose cuts to these programs?

Answer: The president is not in office to represent those people. He was selected, funded and carried over the finish line by corporate America. Look at the appointment of Wall Streeter Timothy Geithner, the bailouts, and the failure to prosecute any of the crooks who caused the current recession. He's serving the people who put him in office. Those people don't need Social Security and Medicare.

It's DeFault of The Rich

The kings and queens of the real world monopoly (and 10 digit welfare checks) are walking away from their million dollar homes now. Via Balloon Juice:

I can’t wait to hear how Republicans try to pin this shit on black people and Fannie Mae and Barney Frank.

A little bit from the article - "Biggest Defaulters on Mortgages Are the Rich" - below the fold.

Sections: 

Medicare spending rose an OUTRAGEOUS 5% !eleventy!!one!!!

That is according to the CBO:

Adjusted for timing shifts, Medicare spending rose by $7 billion (or 5 percent).

Of
course this is reason to be outraged at all that government spending
coming out of our pockets, right? Right? Thankfully those fiscally responsible Republicans have come up with the great idea of privatizing Medicare.

Rep. Paul Ryan self-destructively wants to destroy Medicare and Social Security:

He's shilling for Wall Street yet again as he usually
does. He wants to privatize medicare and social security although he
uses words like "vouchers" to mask what he's saying.

While I understand that pointing out a fact like that is called "attacking" their favoritest Republicans evah - and their ideas - by some defenders of the magic free market faerie dust.
And as a moderate liberal I have grown used to the reality of their
victim card being pulled out every time they are so wrong it is almost
embarrassing to enjoin them in debate... But for now, let
us look at how Medicare compares to St. Ronny's vaunted "free market",
the free market that Rep. Ryan wants you to turn to solve all of our
problems
:

The AFL-CIO calls out Anthem Blue Cross and Blue
Shield, which has requested a rate hike of up to 30 percent in
Connecticut, for example, while spending more than $9.5 million on
lobbying activities.
Similarly, UnitedHealthcare recently proposed
a premium increase for its Medicare supplemental insurance while
spending more than $2.6 million on lobbying activities in the first
half of 2009 alone.

Golly... You mean under the
Republican healthcare plan people could get off of Medicare's
outrageous 5% increases in costs and have the privilege of joining the
Free Market's 30% increases? And double their pleasure by giving
Corporate Welfare "vouchers" to the very people that cause 99% of the problems in American healthcare?


Since Republicans Want to Kill Medicare...

and Social Security too, a fact that may upset some GOP activists
because they have to deal with that reality in the trenches and this is not something most of them want to talk to voters about leading up to the next round of elections. And given the fact that I am just a moderate little "i" indy with no party affiliation - I
just play nicer on the left/Democratic party side of the Blogosphere
because, much like myself and for the most part, they deal from the
reality
deck - I thought I would point to a story in The New
Haven Independent covering CT-05's Rep. Chris Murphy discussing the
issue of Healthcare Reform with activists that understand the problems
we are all trying to deal with.

To be blunt, Murphy thinks the Democratic party needs to come out swinging and drive reform through.

Instead
of running from health care reform, Democrats need to swing back, and
not dumb it down in reaction to right-wing talking points.

Myself,
personally? I agree. Healthcare reform has been one of my pet issues
for years. I have written about the fact that it is quickly becoming
the anchor that will sink the entire US economy. And it is precisely
because of the fact that the for-profit driven insurance madness
currently sucks up about 16 to 17% of the USA's GDP, an astronomical
number compared to almost every other nation that we have to compete
with in the global market.

In
2007 I wrote about the fact that "each vehicle assembled in the United
States cost GM $1,525 for health care; those made in Canada cost GM
$197."

But it is not just applicable to the
auto industry. The competitive disadvantage this puts us at in the
global market and in every industry is mind boggling. Meanwhile, while
we suffer the consequences of not only being at a severe competitive
disadvantage, the for-profit insurers deny care to an ever growing number
of people.

Because of our dysfunctional system pitting
profits against the value of a real person's life or a real person's health, the uninsured have
zero access to basic primary and preventative care, the only care they
may have access to is costly hospital emergency room care, and a
growing number of people are seeing their private plans disintegrate in
value or being dropped completely by their employers. And the insured
still have to deal with ever rising co-pays that literally put access
to actually using their insurance out of their financial reach and have
to deal with insurance companies that pay bonuses to a herd of people
hired to do nothing but deny you care you already paid for in your
policy.

There are better answers. 

And these better answers come from the reality side of the aisle I was talking about earlier in the post. While not all in the left nor on the Democratic side agree with this action, it is an action that they all admit would work:

Senator Dodd on Kucinich Amendment Protecting States Rights for Single Payer

At the end of the blogger outreach on Saturday, September 26th, '09, I talked to Senator Dodd on the Kucinich Amendment Protecting States' Rights to move forward on Single Payer. Essentially, Dodd refers to Senator Bernie Sanders' efforts and Sanders legislation to deal with Erisa laws and allow Single Payer in States that want to start an SP system. Dodd makes no commitment to support it, but he will look at it. Sanders had previously introduced a partial fix to the system and it was rejected in the Senate HELP committee BUT if we can get him to reintroduce it, or even a stronger fix? One possibly more sympathetic and newly minted Chairperson may have the will to twist a few arms:

How the White House's Deal With Big Pharma Undermines Democracy

by Robert Reich and posted with his permission.


I'm a strong supporter of universal health insurance, and a fan of the Obama administration. But I'm appalled by the deal the White House has made with the pharmaceutical industry's lobbying arm to buy their support.

GOP Massacre: If Government-run Healthcare is Bad, Why Not Eliminate Medicare?

Hat-tip to sluggahjells of DailyKos for the heads-up to this wonderful smackdown of GOP hypocrisy regarding healthcare reform.

This is just a classic smackdown -- no if, and or but about it. It's beginning to look like the GOP's plan to turn the Healthcare initiative into Obama's "Waterloo" has actually turned into the GOP's own rendition of Custer's Last Stand at Little Big Horn.

A Fairness Doctrine for Healthcare?

I have been following the healthcare reform debate with increasing fear that this opportunity to produce meaningful change in the way healthcare is paid for in this country will be squandered.  Considering that this is the first real chance of making serious change since Harry Truman was President, it would be reasonable to guess that if we pass this one up, it will be decades before we have another such chance.  


Health Care Series: This will make you weep

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-06-25 21:03:17 -0400. -- GH

Come over here for a moment. I’m going to lift the curtain on a private world, a world I hope you’ll never have cause to inhabit. Take a glance at this world and the people in it. This is the world of dialysis patients and their families.

What you are about to read is not at all uncommon in the dialysis community. We (dialysis patients) often give each other this sort of advice. I am partly prepared, when my own time comes, to divorce the one I love and go on Medicaid myself if I have to. It may be the only way I can get health care once I max out our employer insurance, the one with the $2 million cap.

The names I use here are real. The people are real. The words are their own, appeared on a dialysis patient email list, and are quoted with permission. Their zip codes, also used with permission, are real. Their stories will make you rage, and break your heart.

Open Thread: Congressional Leaders Release Statement on Healthcare Reform

Press Release:



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ways and Means Contact: Matthew Beck (202) 225-8933
Energy and Commerce Contact: Karen Lightfoot (202) 225-2927
Education and Labor Contact: Rachel Racusen (202) 225-0853


June 9, 2009


House Committees Brief Members on Draft Health Reform Outline


Effort will reduce costs, protect current coverage and preserve choice to ensure affordable, quality care for all

A physician "comes out"

What appears below is crossposted from Daily Kos, where it stimulated very lively discussion. I appreciate the invitation to post it here as well.

I was inspired yesterday by a diary on Daily Kos written by nyceve, an articulate and powerful advocate for single payer health care, to crystallize my thinking about health system reform in a direction that many other factors in my life have pushed me away from.

You see, I'm a physician, and a very close family member is a physician. I am a delegate to the AMA -- which, as you know, remains steadfastly opposed to a single-payer solution, although it has developed an extensive reform proposal based upon providing insurance to everyone via tax credits -- subsidized health insurance.

But I have come to the conclusion that our insurance based system is simply not reparable.

I've decided it was time to come out.

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