Before it ever arrived at the president's desk for signature, the health reform act contained a fatal poison pill.
The most creative sector of the business community has a dagger at its heart in the form of the relentless, unyielding, and over burdening cost of health insurance. The self-employed and very small businesses have seen their insurance premiums climb 20% to 75% since 2009. To purchase an adequate family plan, a self-employed person will pays an amount 50% to 70% of the nation's median personal income, $32,000 a year, for family health plan. This includes premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket expenses. That is twice the cost for relatively generous plans at medium to large size companies. Very small businesses, two to twenty employees, pay about the same (Image: Paul Henman)
Wasn't health reform supposed to take care of just this sort of inequity? Didn't the title of the bill say it all? The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act There is no protection for the self-employed when they have these stark choices facing them due to unaffordable insurance rates. They can give up working for themselves; buy adequate insurance and take a huge hit to income; buy a substandard plan and hope that whatever comes up is covered; or, abandon insurance at real risk to their health and, in some cases, their lives.
A tip of the hat to Connecticut's Representative Chris Murphy because what he did probably saved this young girl's life. I don't care what other people on the other side of so many arguments might think about it or what kind of political hammer he may have given them to hit him with. He did the hard right instead of the easy wrong, a little girl will live and I am going to go into the weekend smiling about it.
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.
Hat-tip to EmersonHost of DelphiForums for the heads-up.
The following Johnson & Johnson products have had a voluntary recall issued. Click the image to get to the McNeil Consumer Healthcare page for more information pertaining to specific lots involved in the recall.
Hat-tip ametrine of DelphiForums.
With healthcare and insurance reform still topping the charts as hot topics, Jimmy Wellington of The Fake News blog posted a good bit of snarky humor: Woman Denied Health Coverage After Chance Encounter With Jack Bauer
Below are the top 12 pre-existing conditions for which someone could get denied health coverage in Jimmy's piece -- but do go read the whole thing.
- Do you ever beam down to an alien planet while wearing a red shirt?
- Does your boyfriend or relative have supernatural powers that he uses to save innocent people on a regular basis?
- Do you do menial work for the Dharma Initiative?
- Is your best friend a werewolf?
- Are you a black person who finds themselves and their group of white friends in a scary or supernatural situation?
- Do you ever find yourself between Al Sharpton and a camera?
- When the entire world blacks out and sees 6 months into the future, did you see nothing?
- Does your school librarian keep many books about witchcraft, werewolves, and, most importantly, vampires?
- Have you recently seen a car with two good-looking FBI agents and a lot of sexual tension between them?
- Are you frequently in a car driven by a member of the Kennedy family?
- Have you seen a 1950’s British Police Box in your neighborhood – especially if you don’t live in the 1950s or Britain?
- Did you have a dream of you and all your friends dying in a horrible accident, but told everyone about your premonition and saved most of you?
I must say, perhaps I'm a tad prudish but I wasn't overly fond of the Kennedy reference -- p'raps because of the relatively recent passing of Senator Kennedy, and need for MA residents to elect someone to finish his term. But otherwise, my favorite references were the red-shirt and Doctor Who ones...yeah, I'm a sci-fi nut.
Anywho, those ought to give folks a few moments of illusory enjoyment before the crushing realities of the day encroach on our minds once again...
Updating with a bit of video from Countdown on Dorgan, Dodd, the Senate supermajority and the Free Clinics:
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.
"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:
Promoted. Originally posted 2009-12-20 13:00:45 -0500 by CTMan on behalf of Slinkerwink. -- GH
Crossposted with permission and written by slinkerwink
There's currently a diary on the recommended list making arguments in favor of the Senate health bill which was recently amended to include the Nelson amendment which places severe restrictions on women's reproductive rights, and that diary does not include that Nelson amendment as a part of its argument in why the Senate bill should pass.
It also makes false assumptions about the bill which I'll rebut in several points below the jump. The first huge glaring assumption is that the bill is 'good' enough to pass. It's not at this point with regards to the weak regulations, the subsidies, the mandate and the lack of a public option to compete against private insurers which
currently are not subject to anti-trust laws.
Self-bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2009-12-10 15:40:12 -0500. Also available in orange. -- GH
Because of a thread that hit the flame folder here where the original poster was demonstrably uninterested in reality, I'm posting this -- feel free to add, amend, correct, elucidate, qualify or quantify.
- DADT: Obama hasn't demonstrated any overt leadership on this, and appears to be dragging his heels. But he also has reaffirmed that he will get it repealed/replaced, and other promising signs of culture-shifts that recognize the importance of full equality and non-discrimination are emerging.
- EFCA: (Employee Free Choice Act) Obama was an original co-sponsor of this while he was still in the Senate, and pledged to sign it into law upon becoming President. The qualifier, of course, was that Congress had to pass the legislation so it would appear on his desk for him to sign -- as it is with any law. The Obama WH had reiterated support for the legislation, but it has so far been stalled by the GOP and a group of wayward Democrats.
- Economy, Wall Street and the Banks: This is a mess that Obama inherited from his predecessor -- a stinking, seething pile of sh!t festering throughout the economic and social infrastructure of the nation, with vast ties to the world economy. Made ever-more complicated by the expansive reduction in regulatory controls that the GOP's unfettered majorities of the preceding 12 years made possible, this is one of the biggest messes to clean up. Obama has made several unpopular decisions, some of which appear to be strategically necessary and others which appear unfathomable betrayals...yet, behind the scenes, other steps have been taken that have garnered less attention and move us further toward unraveling the twisted knots of red tape. (See House Committee votes to let regulators break up Too Big to Fail Banks, for example.)
- Healthcare: Under Obama's initiative, a healthcare reform bill was taken up -- and subsequently ding'd repeatedly as Dems caved and capitulated to the GOP (and other screwheads) -- and yet, a better-we-have-had-to-date bill looks to be on the verge of passing. Behind the scenes, other actions are helping to lay and set a foundation for improvements that will also make further future reforms easier while reducing overhead cost and bureaucracy. One of the little-recognized big changes that looks like it may stay in the current form of the bill is the push to keep 90% of premium money focused on health care, not administrative costs. Wile this may result in hiked premiums (there's little regulatory strength to help ensure affordable premiums are raised beyond a fair limit), it does stand to significantly impact the insurer's bottom lines and fat margins.
See CTMan's earlier front-page post for some in-depth perspective and more information.
So, yeah -- Obama's been making progress, not always in a popular way, but against insane opposition, increasing security threats and a huge mess.1, 2, 3 If you're having issues with his performance given the size and heft of the sh!t sandwich he was handed, and upon which the GOP, the teabaggers and recalcitrant politico Dems keep dolluping more crap, then grab a mop.
Here's an eclectic collection of items to start the day, courtesy of Google News:
- The man behind the netbook craze, by Michael V. Copeland, Senior Writer @ Fortune.
- The Henry Ford of Heart Surgery, by Geeta Anand of the Wall Street Journal.
- Court: Army Corps of Engineers liable for Katrina flooding by Ashley Hayes of CNN.
- A Dental Shift: Implants Instead of Bridges by Jane E. Brody of the New York Times.
This is an Open Thread.
Do you REALLY still believe this is a democracy?
From the New York Times, In House, Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists’
Members of Congress submit statements for publication in the Congressional Record all the time, often with a decorous request to “revise and extend my remarks.” It is unusual for so many revisions and extensions to match up word for word. It is even more unusual to find clear evidence that the statements originated with lobbyists.
The e-mail messages and their attached documents indicate that the statements were based on information supplied by Genentech employees to one of its lobbyists, Matthew L. Berzok, a lawyer at Ryan, MacKinnon, Vasapoli & Berzok who is identified as the “author” of the documents. The statements were disseminated by lobbyists at a big law firm, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.
In an e-mail message to fellow lobbyists on Nov. 5, two days before the House vote, Todd M. Weiss, senior managing director of Sonnenschein, said, “We are trying to secure as many House R’s and D’s to offer this/these statements for the record as humanly possible.”
Months ago the Republicans promised their own health plan, and then didn’t deliver. Now they are finally delivering – but the plan they’re unveiling is actually a plan to obstruct the deliberation process.
Boehner is starting to dribble out a teeny health plan, which he wouldn’t be doing unless there was a serious danger (to the Republicans) that the Democratic plan would pass. This is after Kyl was dangling in front of the Democrats the promise of a compromise on the opt-in plan. So clearly they know Obama wants a bipartisan bill if possible, and they will try to drag things out and confuse people with a dozen dangle-the-football-in-front-of-Charlie-Brown “compromises” that sound good in Fox sound bites but are really bad policy.