TheFatLadySings's blog

Goldman Sachs on Health Care Reform

In a comment to a post by Rabbi Michael Lerner in Tikkun Daily, Kucinich Denounces Health Care Sell Out by House Dems, Jill Schmidt asked:

I don't get why insurance companies aren't for a bill that will get them 21 million more clients. If anyone out there gets it, please reply.

Jill poses an excellent question that is shared by hard-working, thoughtful Americans from coast to coast. Fortunately, Goldman Sachs revealed the answer in a perverse ten page report posted in its entirety by Huff-Po reporter Sam Stein. (Kudos to Sam for his excellent work!)

The answer also explains why we must continue to work with the Democrats who actually voted for a health care reform bill to end the tyranny of insurance corporations over our personal lives.

Action Diary: Pass the Public Option Today!

The battle for health care reform remains fluid. Various proposals have been working their way through Congress. At each stage of the process, a different sort of concerted action is required to insure a meaningful bill and a robust public option. We have reached another critical juncture, and your help is badly needed. (ConnecticutMan1 posted a news round up on this issue yesterday.

Health Series: Bingaman Video Exclusive

Originally posted Wed, 09/30/2009 - 23:05, bumped for addition of Buzzflash of post - standingup

I had the good fortune to travel to Washington, DC., and interview Senator Jeff Bingaman on September 18 about Medicare for All, the Baucus Bill and other topics related to health care reform.

Everybody's favorite diarist, Land of Enchantment, was kind enough to edit my video and post it on YouTube.

Thank you LoE for putting up with me and editing the video! It is embedded after the fold. A summary (not a transript) of Parts One and Two follows the videos for the YouTube impaired.


First, a disclaimer:

I am not a professional journalist and I happen to like my Senator. Last winter, a few New Mexico County health directors got wind of a quiet Bush Administration plan to eliminate emergency rooms serving the uninsured through an arcane change of regulations. We could not believe the lack of news coverage, and went to Senator Bingaman for help. He took on the issue (with no help from leadership in either party, or any other Senator), and successfully pushed through a moratorium on the rules changes as an amendment to the budget for Iraq.

I diaried our Medicaid Rules Adventure here and here.

He could just as easily have let all the indigent and teaching hospitals go under and then blamed the Republican Party. That's why I like him.

Here's the vid in two parts. Please don't hold the camerawork against me!

Part 1

NM Congressman's Single Payer Bombshell

I had the opportunity to interview New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan in his Washington office on Thursday September 17. Limited internet access while traveling, unfamiliarity with mp3 files, Rosh Hashanah and the complete failure of our household plumbing conspired to prevent me from posting the interview and transcript until today. I apologize in advance for the poor sound quality.

And I must add the following disclaimer: I am not a hard-nosed professional reporter, but rather a constituent of Congressman Lujan. I like the policies he supports. What follows is a friendly dialogue about health care between a Congressman and a constituent.

Several main points of interest emerged.

Forced Circumcision: The New Right Wing Meme

Perhaps disappointed that death panels failed to frighten the tar and feathers out of the average American, the right wing appears to have settled on a new meme to undercut healthcare reform: the CDC will force males to undergo circumcision. (h/t Avahome.)

Organizing for Spiritual Healing

Netroots Nation has posted a video of my panel, Organizing as a Healing Process: A Fresh Look at PTSD.

Panelists discussed PTSD as a soul wound, an altered spiritual state that enables the sufferer to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances such as war, and severe personal or historical trauma. We related troop PTSD to the symptoms suffered by refugees and the survivors of disaster or genocide. People experiencing soul wounding have witnessed the naked face of humanity stripped of the divine. They are messengers, encouraging awareness of injustice and all that is wrong with our ordering of our world. Organizing heals the wounds of the sufferer, empowering her to tell her personal story, and allowing the rest of us to listen.

bwiuBS Building Diversity Among the Netroots

Just a short diary today... Cross-posted at DKos

If there's one thing we have all learned over the last two years, it is that the Republican Party has imploded due to its breath-taking lack of diversity. This should serve as a warning. We are vibrant as a movement because we include participants from every ethnic, socio-economic and geographic category, even Hawaii. We dialogue about our experience, even when our experience differs. Legitimacy always flows from the bottom up.

Unfortunately, diversity fell victim to the recession at this year's NN. We must organize to insure that next year's conference is the most diverse NN ever!

Michael Jackson's PTSD Archetypes (Health Series)

THURSDAY NIGHT IS HEALTH CARE CHANGE NIGHT, a weekly Health Care Series (cross-posted at Daily Kos)

A radical change in the social infrastructure of any society must be preceded or accompanied by a change in its consciousness. This week, I will talk about PTSD symbolism in Michael Jackson's music videos as it relates to America's changing collective awareness. Next week, I will discuss our "Thursday Night is Health Care Change Night" panel at Netroots Nation on organizing as a means of healing PTSD.

I particularly want to discuss Jackson's frequent invocation of two powerful archetypes central both to the experience of PTSD, and to the evolution or maintenance of empire: playful Hermes, puer aeternus, child genius, trickster, thief, messenger, god of healing, the lyre and all that is liminal; and the more menacing Dionysius, lychenthrope, trickster, Lord of the Animals, Beast Within.

Health Series Meets DK Greenroots!


Proper environmental management is the key to avoiding the quarter of all preventable illnesses which are directly caused by environmental factors. The environment influences our health in many ways — through exposures to physical, chemical and biological risk factors, and through related changes in our behaviour in response to those factors.

Senator Bingaman SUPPORTS Public Option (with Quotes)

I work in the health care field in New Mexico, and have had the honor of collaborating closely with Senator Jeff Bingaman and his staff three times. I can say from personal knowledge that he is a genuine champion of health care reform.

Swine Flu Nonsense Round Up

An amazing amount of gibberish has been uttered about swine flu 2009 H1N1 virus in recent days. I would like to share some highlights (including antics of Collins and Perry) along with links to one or two items that actually make sense.

Ellinorianne and Fish Out of Water have both written excellent diaries about Smithfield Farms possible involvement in the outbreak of flu in Mexico.

A number of organizations have been warning about the dangers of factory farming in the west, and the role farming may have played in the first outbreaks in Asia of Avian flu. The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Production published a report a year ago warning of the environmental dangers of factory farms.  

Pandora's Pond detailed the role of contaminated water in the genesis of Asian bird flu. The gist of the article is that fish farms were located in close proximity to pigs and chickens, and human excrement was added to the water for enrichment. Humans, pigs and chickens can exchange the influenza virus. The excrement in the water spread a human strain of influenza to wild birds who then infected chickens. Pigs ate the chicken poop. The cycling of the virus between pigs, chickens and wild birds allowed an extremely virulent form of flu to pass from birds to humans. Fortunately, it was never easily spread from human to human.

Mark Penn: WSJ's New Expert on Blogging

 I hardly know what to make of this oddball collection of supposed facts about the lucrative world of blogging that appeared in the Wall Street Journal and was linked to in Huffington Post. According to Penn, at least 1% of all American adults earns some income from blogging, and more people earn their primary income from blogging than firefighting.

Just for kick I checked a few of his sources.

Feds Ask, "Did you Have Butt Sex 100 Times"?

 I run jail-based drug treatment programs for a rural Hispanic County. One day in 1998, John, a staff member, came charging into my office waving a GPRA  manual in my face.

At that time, GPRA was the new set of assessment tools required by the feds to measure the impact of all programs. The GPRA tool we used measured improvement in substance-abuse related behaviors.

"I was doing an assessment on a big guy named Jesus!" John shouted. "He had a crucifix tattooed on his bicep. He was in for aggravated battery. I was supposed to ask him, 'Have you had unprotected anal intercourse more than one hundred times this month?'"

"Are you trying to get me killed?!"

If you want to know why the feds demanded that John ask inmates about their sexual habits, and why the OMB's failure to report the results is endangering health care reform today, read on.