healthcare reform

A Real Public Option In Connecticut?

So it would seem.

The other day in an open thread I commented on "the intended public option that should be Sustinet in Connecticut," and it would seem that is to be the case if the Sustinet Health Partnership Board of Directors get their way according to the report they handed in to the Connecticut General Assembly. Jon Walker has the key report paragraphs at FDL and summerizes it all too well, as anyone that has followed Healthcare reform closely would be aware of these realities:

Open Thread - State Healthcare Reform Horse Race

Politico has a short list of "6 states to watch on health reform" as it all moves forward. This policy analysis should be taken with the appropriate grain of salt, IMHO, as politico quotes:

"Rader Wallack who, previously co-chaired Massachusetts’ Cost Containment Committee"

A state that produced similar reform to what we have seen that resulted in this quote:

"less-heartening numbers loom in the background: the state’s health care costs continue to rapidly outpace general economic growth."

Looking back, the Cost Containment Committee may have to patch some gaping holes in Massachusetts. And it remains to be seen if it can be done with arguably circumventable cost controls built into the recent reform out of DC. Just sayin'.

As we mark the passing of the latest phase of health reform laws implemented on January 1st (scroll the comments there and you will see some interesting comments pointing to what I mean about cost controls and other issues, OK?), the six states Politico suggests following are Alaska, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Wisconsin for various reasons ranging from the most resistant to reform in Alaska, to the intended public option that should be Sustinet in Connecticut, and all the way over to the Single Payer movement in Vermont. I would not count Single Payer as out of the question in California, either, though there is no mention of that large movement behind it.

Before we move on to comments, I'd like to wish ePM's very own Luaptifer a belated and very happy birthday. Here is to everyone's health in the New Year and welcome to 2011's first Open Thread!

Dear CNN: Tell us something liberals did not already know about healthcare reform

"Taxes are popular and Americans want Americans to pay more progressive taxes, too. Healthcare reform would be popular if it were not for a mandate to buy crappy private insurance."
- Liberal America

CNN did a poll on healthcare reform and taxes and it is interesting to note that the minority of Americans that are conservative are the minority of Americans that are conservative. Do the math. If they were not, why would the liberal's view of these issues hold so true across the board on the big issues of our day? D'uh! Andthe fact that, exactly as the liberals told everyone, the mandate would be unpopular across the board is supposed to be surprising?

They got a lot damned gaul talking like that:

It was bad enough listening to the Obama administration and Democratic party politicians, in general, talking about student loans and using all of the same arguments we were making for Single Payer as the reasoning to change that system but refusing to use the same arguments for healthcare...

But watching the GOP use the same Single Payer arguments to protect Big Oil from the high costs of insuring their own disasters?

Just way beyond the pale:

OMG! The Unwashed Have Healthcare and May actually Use It!

After a year long debate where the GOP, the Tea Party and their conservative cohorts insisted that the poor did have healthcare because they could all walk into emergency rooms when they were so sick the illness was intolerable... They are shocked that the poor, the ones who could not honestly afford to get healthcare, even in those emergency rooms of last resort, may actually have access to them now:

Could this healthcare reform benefit encourage more layoffs?

Call me silly, but it seems to me this could just encourage more layoffs - and layoffs of higher paid taxpayers, to boot - at the precise time that we really need to be encouraging broadening the tax base:

Open Thread - BP, The King Of Torts And Healthcare

Via MSNBC, a report that I read this morning in Bloomberg Businessweek and might be worth your eye contact for a few moments.

The tort lawyer and the BP oil disaster.

By Ken Wells

Fri., May 28, 2010

Daniel Becnel Jr., speed dialing over a speaker phone, places a call to a lawyer for a defendant in the British Petroleum-Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill.

"This is the king of torts calling," he says when he reaches the attorney's executive assistant.

"Oh," she says. "Then it must be Danny Becnel."

Becnel, adjusting his gold-rimmed glasses, nods appreciatively from his mahogany desk strewn with an impressive pile of legal papers. It's from here, in a French colonial-style office in Reserve, La., population 10,000, that he orchestrated the filing of the first federal lawsuit eight days after the Apr. 20 blowout, and where he tracks the legal squadrons gathering to sue BP and its contractors for claims that experts say could add up to a half-a-trillion dollars or more. About 110 suits have been filed so far, according to Becnel, and dozens more appear to be on the way.

I am trying to remember which party is always talking about tort reform - except when they are calling it a government takeover of healthcare - and who would benefit from it the most? It is not like keeping caps on Big Oil's disaster costs low has helped stop any disasters as evidenced by the history of BP and other repeat offenders. This is part of why I have always viewed the idea of tort reform in healthcare that the GOP, mostly, has pushed for as an invitation to even greater healthcare disasters when healthcare remains in the hands of the private sector profiteers.

When you cap Big Oil's responsibilities for disasters at a mere 75 million dollars  - as the GOP and some Blue Dogs have fought to keep in place - it destroys the free market's and the government's ability to hold the worst offenders accountable:

Open Thread - If you only do one thing today...

This is the one thing that you can do that might make a difference in real health insurance reform:

Holy Crap! Leahy Introduces Anti-trust Amendment Today!

So what can we do to ensure this antitrust exemption amendment passes? For starters, you can pick up that phone and CALL your Senator to vote in favor of the Leahy antitrust exemption amendment for private insurers.


This is the amendment number below:
-Leahy #3823 (health insurance antitrust enforcement)

This is our chance to give another kick in the pants to the murder by spreadsheet industry, so please pick up that phone and CALL in support of the Leahy amendment today! Please don't let that amendment die on the vine.

Below the Open Thread fold is a little bit from the Daily Show's Back in Black taking on Glen Beck's little problem.

Open Thread: If you voted for Obama Dr. Cassell will not touch your penis

Tea party-goer can't buy forgiveness after aggressively degrading opponent

Man who threw money at Parkinson’s patient calls behavior ‘shameful’

Health-care bill opponent says he snapped during confrontation at rally

The healthcare reform debate has familiarized many people with increasingly ugly events that are difficult to imagine as right-wing protests against progress on health-care reform legislation.  

Except that the vitriolic tone of attacks mirrors the expressions of  GOP leadership from their seats in elected office or the wide-open commercial market of ideas, on Fox.

As far as I know, they've not killed anyone.  Yet, at least, but it seems that this phase of the GOP's Waterloo has only begun.

Larson: "We have the votes now" for Healthcare Reform

[update] mcjoan at dKos: "House Health Insurance Reform Debate Starts" Me: Buckle up because this could still be a bumpy ride. [Update 2 and from BooMan Tribune]: "The Roll Call on the Rule is a proxy for for the final vote. It passed 224-206, with 28 Democrats losing out on a chance to be seen in a good light by history."

Via Politico:

Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) said Sunday would be an historic day, and said: “We have the votes now, as we speak.”

MSNBC provides a preview of the day's events and will go live on this at about 6 P.M. if their tweets are to be believed.

A Sunday health care viewer's guide
What you need to know about the House vote, and the fight ahead

Via Adam Blomeke's "Live Blog Mothership" on the Healthcare vote at dKos below the fold are some links to follow including CSPAN which is giving Gavel to Gavel coverage...