health insurance reform

Dean: "Sanders has got the right idea, You might as well kill this thing"

Gov. Howard Dean on MSNBC:

"The biggest time bomb in the short run is the Public Option. Without a Public option, basically the activists of the Democratic party sit on their hands in 2010. Obama is not on the ballot. There's no reason to go out and vote for a Democratic Congressman or give them any money if they can't pass a healthcare bill that's worth anything. And that's a huge problem for the Democrats if its not in there and so it looks like some of the, a few of the folks aren't going to let it in there. [snip] [The Public Option] has been watered down, it's about as as watered down as it can get and still be a real bill. So there's not a lot left in this bill. For example, there's really no insurance reform in this bill. [snip] I think Sanders has got the right idea. You might as well kill this thing because the people are going to be furious if it passes if it doesn't have a Public option."

Also, over at HuffPo and via TomP at dKos, Howard Dean makes a few points that some who are willing to pass a crappy bill are ignoring:

John King Pitches "Gotcha" Questions to Sebelius

I listened to John King (a Republican shill) interview Kathleen Sebelius on State of the Union. He was playing "gotcha" and Sebelius rolls over to let him scratch her belly. I have to paraphase this because there isn't  a transcript yet. John King asked:



Secretary Sebelius, according to President Obama in this NYT op-ed; he says if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Is it true in the coming market after reform that you can guarantee you will be able to keep your doctor? I mean if your employer changes plans or goes to the Public Option will you be able to guarantee you can keep your doctor?


Who Believes the $80B Pharma Pholly?

A couple weeks ago pharmaceutical companies pledged to "voluntarily" reduce their revenues by $80 Billion over 10 years. Forgive me for not standing up to salute that initiative.


Maybe it's because I can... like, do the math in my head.


$80 Billion / 10 years = too damn little $8 billion per year.


That won't stop the spinmeisters who are brazenly pushing this as a great sacrifice, however, some people see this offer for what it is.



To be sure, $80 billion is less than one-tenth the projected cost of healthcare reform. But by striking this cost-sharing deal with one of the reform effort's leaders--Sen. Max Baucus--and the White House, drugmakers could shame other providers into cutting their prices, too.


Nancy Snyderman's Fluffy Health Care News Show

Crossposted from DailyKos.

It yanks my chain whenever I see a show like MSNBC is putting on at noon Monday through Friday. Health care is at a tipping point, so what does MSNBC do? They put on fluff. She gets meaty guests, then flubs it. This interview with Tom Daschale is all broad strokes and no nitty gritty. She asks some tough questions, but lets Daschale skate without answering them.

Dr. Snyderman has been around tv for years. She was on ABC regularly. Now she's got her own spot on MSNBC at noon. The problem is she relies too much on her "authority" as an MD and she doesn't do what it takes to back up what she says.

Dr. Snyderman, trying to win an argument by saying, "Because I said so" or "I've read the research and it says I'm right on this" (without citing the source) doesn't do it for me. Take a page from Ross Perot's book and do the charts and show them to your audience. Cite your sources, don't use suspect sources. Spend less time grinding your ax and spend more time exploring ideas different than your own.

What Health Care "Choices" Are They Talking About?

Cross-posted from dKos with permission of author, JDWolverton.

It happened again this morning. Some talking head on CNN was talking about making sure consumers had adequate choice in health care. What the heck was he talking about? I don't have a lot of choices when it comes to "choosing" my health insurance. ...and I don't have a lot to say about what my doctor recommends for me.

My choice for health insurance is either

  • Take my company's plan
  • Take my spouse's company's plan
  • Go out on the individual market which offers less coverage at a higher price
  • Go bare and pray we don't get sick

Similarly, my choice of health care treatment is

  • Select and pay the balance (after my insurance pays) for the treatment my physician orders.
  • Cajole my physician into ordering a treatment my insurance company allows that will most likely be less effective or the doctor would have ordered it in the first place.
  • Go against physician advice and skimp on care or skip care.
  • Pay the mortgage, car payment, electric bill or skip on food or get health care.

This "choice" meme is particularly irritating to anyone who has faced these "choices".