Republicans tried to stop healthcare saying Americans will make MORE money

Mother Jones has a long post on this but I am going to keep my point short. This was a last ditch effort using an appeal to the parliamentarian on the basis of an obscure link to Social Security. The GOP claimed that because Americans were going to make more money they would be paying more to Social Security... But this is the only real takeaway from their own argument:

Republicans tried to stop you from making more money.

How else do you read this:

Hartford: 1000 people show up for free healthcare clinic

I was watching Countdown last night and Keith Olbermann had said
that 1000 people got free healthcare at the clinic in Hartford. Most of
them had not had access to a Doctor in years. Whether it was the
unemployed, the underemployed, the working poor.
The common thread
among them all is that access to medical professionals is beyond their
financial  reach because of our completely broken healthcare insurance
for profit. MSNBC's Ed Schultz broadcast from there yesterday, their
network had organized the fund raising for this effort, and he had some
harsh words for the politicians that are ignoring these people that are
in dire straights.

Lives were saved because of this.

Connecticut C.A.R.E Free Healthcare Clinic in Hartford

Updating with a bit of video from Countdown on Dorgan, Dodd, the Senate supermajority and the Free Clinics:

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I was going to write about this after seeing it on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night but someone beat me to it. Via Kirby at CtBob and coming to Hartford, CT, next month:

Volunteer Feb 3 PLEASE!

The National Association of Free Clinics is
bringing a free clinic to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford
on Wednesday Feb 3 from noon to 7pm. Volunteers are needed -- licensed
health professionals, people who can help set up the evening before,
those who can assist with registration, escorting patients and just
about anything else you can think of. Sign up here.

Keith Olbermann has been diligently working on setting up these free
clinics with NAFC and raising money in states in which senators have
fought health reform. I have been hoping we would have one here to show Joe LIEberman that
there are people who need this help right here in the Nutmeg state.

Tessa at My Left Nutmeg says:

"They need Doctors, Dentists, Psychologists, Translators, nice people
to register patients, strong people to set up the examination areas,

If you don't have time to make it to one of their clinics to help out, please consider donating to The National Association of Free Clinics towards supporting both their advocacy and free clinics. More volunteer info from their site below the fold:

Spy VS Spy OR Communication Breakdown?

Spy VS SpyYou have to wonder just what, exactly, they are digging into that they feel the need to leak it to the press?

Tonight on Countdown, Richard Wolffe dropped a bombshell (no pun
intended) about the situation with the Flight 253 "underpants bomber,"  by saying that there is a serious question
about whether or not there was foul play, information intentionally
withheld, and/or conspiracy.

According to Wolffe, the White House is investigating whether or not
the systemic failure was anything more than human error.  The questions
being asked are -- was this some kind of failure due to internal
tensions between intelligence communities?  Was information withheld
intentionally in order to "make someone look bad?"

Wolffe says that the White House is in very early stages of this investigation.

Olbermann reported that the president will make a statement [today] around 4pm.

Later on the Rachel Maddow Show, Wolffe walked the story back a bit, leaving me thinking that looking into this on the part of the White House is probably more a routine effort to touch all bases. But the fact that they would leak this kind of line of questioning seems a bit more revealing than just some routine review of this Security failure. Below the fold is the video from Countdown.

Howard Dean Tears Healthcare Bill a New One

From Howard Dean's WaPo Op Ed and after suggesting the Senate needs to kill this bill if they are not going to fix the real problems:

Real health-care reform is supposed to eliminate discrimination based
on preexisting conditions. But the legislation allows insurance
companies to charge older Americans up to three times as much as
younger Americans, pricing them out of coverage. The bill was supposed
to give Americans choices about what kind of system they wanted to
enroll in. Instead, it fines Americans if they do not sign up with an
insurance company, which may take up to 30 percent of your premium
dollars and spend it on CEO salaries -- in the range of $20 million a
year -- and on return on equity for the company's shareholders. Few
Americans will see any benefit until 2014, by which time premiums are
likely to have doubled. In short, the winners in this bill are
insurance companies; the American taxpayer is about to be fleeced with
a bailout in a situation that dwarfs even what happened at AIG.

From the very beginning of this debate, progressives have argued that a
public option or a Medicare buy-in would restore competition and hold
the private health insurance industry accountable. Progressives
understood that a public plan would give Americans real choices about
what kind of system they wanted to be in and how they wanted to spend
their money. Yet Washington has decided, once again, that the American
people cannot be trusted to choose for themselves. Your money goes to
insurers, whether or not you want it to.

To be clear, I'm not giving up on health-care reform. The
legislation does have some good points, such as expanding Medicaid and
permanently increasing the federal government's contribution to it. It
invests critical dollars in public health, wellness and prevention
programs; extends the life of the Medicare trust fund; and allows young
Americans to stay on their parents' health-care plans until they turn
27. Small businesses struggling with rising health-care costs will
receive a tax credit, and primary-care physicians will see increases in
their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates.

More constructive criticism, including last night's Special Comment from KO, below the fold because, honestly, this Bill resembles an insurance corporation dump on the Senate floor that needs to be flushed:

The Fight For Universal Health Care Is On

originally posted 2009-02-13 12:15:15 -0500

This clip from  Countdown with Keith Olbermannis must listening. He exposes how the Republicans have kicked off their campaign against Universal Health Care by attacking the Stimulus Bill, and follows the story from the Drudge Report and Rush Limbaugh to CNN and Lou Dobbs.

Paul Krugman picked up on the fact that funding for "medical research" which had been removed from the Stimulus Bill by the Senate Compromise has been put back into the final package. He links to one of his earlier blog entries where he discusses the issue involved. The point is to put data to substantiate abuses by drug companies and insurers. Here's Krugman's explanation of the issue and what's freaking the conservatives. He links to an earlier Wall Street Journal article that explains why the drug and medical-devide industries have been  mobilizing to gut a proviso in the stimulus bill on research comparing medical treatments. They right wing is raising the hoary spectre that this would be opening the door to government rationing.

Here's the link that Krugman provides to their excellent summary of the issues.


International Criminal Tribunal - U.S. Torture?

What Johnathan Turley says, with heavy heart and disbelief we've gone this far as a Country, should be brought into public discussion and possible implementation, as our Representatives seem to be hell bent on going along with the administrations shredding of the Constitution and the Laws of this Country!