Blog Archives

Report from the Field in the Republican War on Women.

 

All the discussion in the last couple of days about Abortion as a response to rape has raised so many women’s issues and shown the true face of the Republicans.

First take a look at the overall view of the 112th Congress, it is impossible to miss the big picture that Republicans have used a multi-faceted approach in their war on women, especially in their right to choose their own health coverage. For the past couple of days, there has been a firestorm over comments made by Representative Todd Akin regarding what he calls “legitimate rape,” and although it is a big story, it is just a small part of the entire GOP’s view of women.

Akin

Republicans – even Rush Limbaugh –  abandoned and condemned Akin over his remarks on legitimate rape and conception, especially when the Republican congessmen trying to make him quit the race, have voted with him to eliminate a women’s right to choose throughout the 112th Congress.

The Romney campaign team swtated in writing: “Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,” but critics began connecting Paul Ryan to Akin. It became glaringly obvious that Ryan and Romney have also promoted his twisted pro-life position. Ryan co-sponsored, with Akin, a national personhood bill that defines a single-celled zygote as having all the rights of an American citizen, and Romney tapped him for vice-president.

Romney said he would scrap the Title X program (Medicaid coverage that handles contraception and abortion) entirely to cut costs. But, according to the Guttmacher Institute, every dollar spent helping women avoid pregnancy saves $3.74 in Medicaid spending. The issue is not cutting costs, but ending women’s right to choose when they give birth. And what is the basis of Ryan, Romney, Akin, and the rest of the Republicans’ pro-life stance? It is based entirely on the Christian bible and not fiscal conservatism.

If any woman in America has not yet figured out that Republicans, all Republicans, hold them in contempt and believe their place is on the birthing table, then they better take a better look at more than just Todd Akin.

 

My wife posted this on Facebook…

If you wonder what an important piece of legislation Obamacare is and want to know the kinds of things it corrects, then read this short letter about her late father that she posted on Facebook:

To my wonderful friends and family. When I was growing up, we were deeply affected by the “pre-existing clause” in health insurance. We grew up with a father who suffered quietly with leukemia for 18 years and could not leave his job… his anti-semitism infested job. He could not leave it because he would lose his health insurance since his leukemia was a pre-exisitng condition.

I realize that the republicans could vote this out before 2014 when it goes into effect but for today, June 29, 2012 I am happy to say “Daddy, you were not alone!”

Love Ellen X0X0

Romney Added to his Lies last week:

 • Romney said Obama’s record includes “the first trillion deficit in history.”

That’s a blatant lie — the day Obama was inaugurated, there was a $1.3 trillion deficit Bush had left for him to clean up.

In New Hampshire, Romney saidObama is “focused on taking away from those who have the least.”

That’s blatantly untrue in an ironic sort of way. Romney’s tax plan calls for higher taxes on those at the lowest end of the income scale. He also intends to cut food stamps, Medicaid, and educational spending, which benefit those who have the least.

Romney summarized his message to young people: “It’s so critical, in my view, for you to consider what’s in the best interest of not just yourself, but of America, over the coming century, and it is to stop the excessive overspending.”

Annual domestic spending is already on track to become the smallest share of the economy since Dwight Eisenhower’s administration.

Romney said once “Obamacare” is implemented, “government at all levels” will “consume” 50% of the American economy.

David Corn explained this week that this is Romney’s arguably “biggest fib,” which falls “somewhere between ‘ridiculous’ and ‘stupid.’”

• “The Obama administration has decided that it has the power to mandate what Catholic charities, schools, and hospitals must cover in their insurance plans…. Here we are, just getting started with Obamacare, and the federal government is already dictating to religious groups on matters of doctrine and conscience.”

In Massachusetts’ governor for one term, Romney took the same position Obama has adopted. He somehow forgot to mention this.

Thanks to Steve Benen over at the Rachel Maddow Show who puts out Romney’s lie list every week. Mitt seems to think we don’t pay attention.

 

Thanks to Victoria Lamb Hatch for a clarifying statement on Republican actions…

I often quote other articles on this blog, but rarely do I repost other reader’s comments on posts. However, I was reading a Think Progress article on the Republican proposal to cut social programs but leave military funding alone and found this comment by Victoria Lamb Hatch:

Let’s see — we need to trim the budget. What to cut, what to cut? (thinking)

Should we eliminate military equipment that even the Pentagon says they don’t need? No.

Should we close some tax loopholes that benefit mostly the rich and large corporations? No.

Should we eliminate tax subsidies that go to corporations making billions of dollars in profits? No.

Should we take away school lunches from low-income children, and gut programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and other social services that benefit people who are struggling? Of course. They can’t afford high-priced lobbyists.

I can remember a time when I believed the GOP to be a party with a political ideology that differed from mine. Now I just see them as hateful and cruel.

See what I mean? A clear statement that you can carry to the bank.

If we don’t make cuts across the whole spectrum AND return to taxes on corporations and the wealthy to bring back our economic health, then we might as well toss the two-party system into the trash.

Romney’s 18 Lies of the Week…

Steve Benen, over at the Rachel Maddow Blog, has been documenting Romney’s lies for 16 weeks. You can see this week’s list HERE.

My 2 favorites:

9. In New Hampshire, Romney said Obama is “focused on taking away from those who have the least.”

That’s blatantly untrue in an ironic sort of way. Romney’s tax plan calls for higher taxes on those at the lowest end of the income scale. He also intends to cut food stamps, Medicaid, and educational spending, which benefit those who have the least.

10. Romney also vowed, “I want to help the poor.”

First, see #9. Second, he specifically said earlier this year, “I’m not very concerned about the poor.”

I know the poor are thrilled that Romney wants to help them…help them right out of society.

Economic Quote: Krugman asks a question…

“14 million is a minimum estimate of the number of Americans who would lose health insurance under Mr. Ryan’s proposed cuts in Medicaid; estimates by the Urban Institute actually put the number at between 14 million and 27 million.

So the proposal is exactly as President Obama described it: a proposal to deny health care (and many other essentials) to millions of Americans, while lavishing tax cuts on corporations and the wealthy — all while failing to reduce the budget deficit, unless you believe in Mr. Ryan’s secret revenue sauce. So why are centrists rising to Mr. Ryan’s defense?”

Paul Krugman in the NY Times

Krugman calls it the “Gullible Center”, and I would agree. Why people who would suffer the most from Ryan’s budget accept the anti-Obama rhetoric coming from the right as their health needs are pushed into the economic toilet in order to favor tax cuts for the wealthy is beyond me.

An overall accomplished and hard working president is constantly attacked by Republicans, by lying Super Pacs and by corporations that benefit most from increased health care costs. The center must become educated so it won’t be “gullible.”

And what is the best way to do that? You tell me.

House budget eliminates nursing home funding through Medicaid

1% of us think this makes America Better.

Under the proposed budget resolution passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives, nearly a million nursing home residents could immediately lose coverage for nursing home care. Further, all of the standards that govern nursing home care today could disappear.

Republicans are saying that their Budget Resolution does nothing to change Medicare for new beneficiaries until 2022. However, for current Medicare beneficiaries living in nursing homes, the overwhelming majority of whom rely on Medicaid, the impact of the Budget Resolution would be immediate and devastating.

If you have an elderly parent whose nursing home care is being paid through Medicaid, in 30 states — so far — the legal responsibility for those bills would then fall on you.

Since 1965, the Medicaid program has kept nursing homes from requesting or requiring contributions from residents’ families. Adult children have never been legally responsible for their parents’ nursing home care under Medicaid. That provision disappears if Medicaid is repealed.

If this gets through the Senate and becomes law, so many years of positive protection of the elderly disappears. And let’s not even get into the elimination of Food Stamps!

More here:

http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/2011/04/21/what-happens-to-current-nursing-home-residents-if-the-house-budget-resolution-becomes-law/

And what are the main complaints the Repiglicants have concerning the Affordable Care Act

In an article called “More good news about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare): CBO says it will save money“, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub (a great blog, btw) brings one of the most important results of “Obamacare” to plain view: The Congressional Budget Office shows it will save money:

Remember, without the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. was experiencing health care cost inflation of about 15%annually.

You might not know it if you read conservative blogs, watch Fox News, or listen to the Republican candidates for president — all of whom seem to have their fact panties on wrong — but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects the bill will reduce federal spending, still, even after accounting for recent changes in law and changes in the economy that will increase costs of the bill’s provisions.

Yeah, Obamacare saves money.

The new law will  not eliminate the problem of people not having insurance coverage to guarantee access to health care, a sad result of Republican efforts to cut the bill’s effectiveness.  But it’s a great first step to making America better, healthier, and economically more sound.

I guess you haven’t heard about the savings of the ACA from the garbage the Repiglicants are spreading in their goal to have the Supreme Court tear it down.

Now, certainly, the ACA could have been better… it could have been a single payer program which would have wiped the greed of insurance companies off the dish, leaving us with security for all.

Perhaps this could happen in a second Obama term. If he doesn’t make it in… if the Dems don’t retake the House and hold onto the Senate, we’ll probably never know.

If you’re an aging diabetic like me, with an increasing dependance on Medicare and, possibly, Medicaid, you will have a certain view of the efforts to kill ACA. If you are not, or are not related to someone who is, consider yourself very lucky (and probably in the minority.)

A quote for the evening…

Bernie Sanders in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN:

“If you look at the ideology of these right wing Republicans, more tax breaks for rich, cut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, deregulate Wall Street after Wall Street caused this horrendous recession we’re in, more unfettered free trade so we can lose more jobs to China. Do you know how many people believe in that ideology? Maybe, 15, 20 percent max.

“The real issue is why Democrats aren’t winning by 30 or 40 percent.”

Yep. That’s the real issue. Looks like the media (as represented by Blitzer and buddies) are spending a lot of time pushing the Republican agenda.

Mr. President: Take the New Deal off the Table…

OK…Now go HERE and sign the petition. I did.

Which Candidate Sucks More? Bachmann or Perry?

It looks like the Republican Party has now given up decades of cross-country representation (remember when there were Moderate…even Liberal…Republicans?) and have taken on an identity from the far right, the religious right and the Tea Party.

They are not people of compromise. They are not people who respect (or even recognize) other religions or atheism as American beliefs. They are people who wish to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They want to privatize public schools and destroy teachers’ unions. They won’t create enough income to pay our worldwide debts… in fact many were willing to go into default.

And now they seem to have focused on three candidates: Romney, who changes his opinion and point of view daily depending on the audience… who rejects things he accomplished as Massachusetts Governor… and who, frankly, is living a lie; Bachmann who has taken on representation of the Tea Party… whose knowledge of American History is constantly displayed as, at the least, flawed… who also lies or miscommunicates her own history, both personally and in politics; and Perry, who throws out accusations like “treason” and “socialist” like they were confetti…who uses his religion to mold his constituency… and who also lies or creates illusions about his record and reputation.

So I come down to the question: Who sucks more? Bachmann or Perry? Let me know.

 

 

Here’s an evening quote to ponder – from someone who seems like a total schmuck…

From: Allen West
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
To: Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

Allen West joins the Ranks of the Inverted

Look, Debbie . . . let me make myself perfectly clear . . . you are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. . . You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!”

– Excerpts from an email by Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

If you’d like to join the rest of us who are protesting the sexist behavior of Allen West, go to Emily’s List and sign the petition.

And what caused this attack on Wasserman-Schultz/ here is a summary from The Christian Science Monitor:

Wasserman Schultz offended West’s sensibilities Tuesday when she went after “the gentleman from Florida” on the House floor for supporting the now-passed “cut, cap, and balance” legislation, which requires deep cuts in federal spending. She noted that West represents thousands of Medicarebeneficiaries, as does she, and “is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries, unbelievable from a member from south Florida.”

She also complained that the legislation “slashes Medicaid and critical investments essential to winning the future in favor of protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires, and companies who ship American jobs overseas.”

Standard rhetorical fare, especially for a national party chair. But West took offense, and turned the dial up a few notches.

Well, that sure sounded vile, despicable and unprofessional to me… and btw, representatives are not allowed to directly address other representatives in the House… they may only address the chair, which Wasserman-Schulz did.

If you are tired of hearing Republicans tear down the Affordable Care Act…

… then this video from the Kaiser Family Foundation will give you an overview of what is actually covered, what it costs and how it keeps more people safe than not having it:

Those candidates who “debated” last night should sit down and watch this all the way through.

Here’s something I agree with 100% – but it won’t happen.

I picked this up over at BuzzFlash:

Let Congress Test Out Paul Ryan‘s Medicare Plan on Themselves and Their Families: That Would Kill It Right Quick

by MARK KARLIN, EDITOR FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Why is this man smiling?

If the politicians in DC are so serious about deficit reduction, then why don’t they start by cutting their own pay, health care benefits and pensions?

Doesn’t budget control begin at home?

And if Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan is so terrific, why don’t Ryan and other Congressional supporters of his budget immediately pass a bill that will replace their health care benefits with the Ryan plan?

In fact, why not run a test program with the Koch brothers, members of their Americans for Prosperity and elderly Tea Party supporters? All of them should volunteer to immediately go on the Ryan Medicare, drastically limited “voucher program” – which would leave a high percentage of seniors unable to afford medical insurance – as sort of a test model of Ryan’s plans for privatizing and shrinking Medicare.

Then we can see the actual results of a plan that would raise health care costs by adding the profits of corporations and administrative costs to Medicare, while drastically reducing benefits due to the small amount of money allocated to vouchers for each senior – and the for-profit insurance industry profit motivation to deny as much care as possible.

If Ryan is the “visionary” much of the corporate media makes him out to be, let Americans see his “vision” actualized by a trial implementation of his proposed program.

Let Ryan be the first volunteer, after he cuts his pay, pension and other Congressional benefits.

So what do you think? Any chance Ryan and his buddies will take Mark Karlin up on this one?

Yeah… you bet.

So what happens when Corporations control things? Say, in preventing premature births…

There is a new product out called Makena (Ma – Kee – na) which prevents pre-term labor in women who are prone to premature birth. The drug is a form of progesterone, and, for years, has been available to doctors from special compounding pharmacies at a patient cost of $10. to $20. a shot. And it has been pretty effective.

But things can change… and sometimes the change is devastating.

After years of exploration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in association with The March Of Dimes carried out their program of tests and finally issued their support for the drug. Since it is FDA approved, the drug could be signed to a major manufacturer, in this case KV Pharmaceutical of suburban St.Louis, who won government approval to exclusively sell the drug. That means compounding pharmacists can no longer make Makena (or any similar progesterone) for doctors. So what is wrong with that?

KY has increased the cost per required weekly injection from $10. to $1500.

Nope. That wasn’t a typo. KY has increased the price 150 times, causing a rage among both doctors and patients. Dr. Roger Snow, deputy medical director for Massachusetts’ Medicaid program commented on the price change:

“That’s a huge increase for something that can’t be costing them that much to make. For crying out loud, this is about making money.”

NPR has cited some other doctors at major organizations:

“I’ve never seen anything as outrageous as this,” said Dr. Arnold Cohen, an obstetrician at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

“I’m breathless,” said Dr. Joanne Armstrong, the head of women’s health for Aetna, the Hartford-based national health insurer.

The thing that concerns doctors the most is that the cost is going to prevent middle and lower-class women from taking Makena, causing an increase in premature births which the standard progesterone compounds have caused to go down.

KY says the cost is justified to avoid mental and physical problems that come with premature births…a premie can add $51,000 in unexpected medical costs to new parents. This is according to KV Pharmaceutical chief executive Gregory J. Divis Jr.:

“Makena can help offset some of those costs. These moms deserve the opportunity to have the benefits of an FDA-approved Makena.”

The FDA plays no part in setting the price for any drug. KY has hired a marketing company to promote it and is supposedly setting up a patient assistance program to help uninsured and low income women. But “uninsured” is the point. Currently insured women will be hit with the $1500 price – which could easily be disapproved by their insurance companies… or else cause the price of insurance premiums to go way up.

In other words, an organization that gets our tax money, the FDA, and a non-profit that we give donations to (and have since we were children in school), The March Of Dimes) have paid to develop a product that has been given to a Corporation, KY, whose major interest is profits over people.

If this doesn’t make us reject the idea of corporate control of things the government should protect citizens against, I don’t know what will.

Today and tomorrow we have the Health Care Repeal legislation…

I started today listening to a panel of extreme right wingers and Libertarians point out everything wrong with the Health Care Bill (and Medicare, and Medicaid, and even a smattering of Social Security.) Then I watched a Democratic hearing on Health Care with citizens who have gained advantage from the Bill.

Let me say that at no time was there a mix of Democrats and Republicans actually debating real issues on modifying the existing law to solve the righties problems, but keeping the legislation intact to solve the lefties problems. The only mix is through people like me, who watch C-Span (and can all afternoon because I am retired and am in one or more of the Health Constituencies they are discussing: Senior citizen, pre-existing condition, limited income. ) Right now I have to deal with no fewer than 4 doctors on a regular basis and have pharmaceutical needs including 10 different pills and 4 injections a day. So, you see, I am interested.

Republicans are going to try to pass a law in the House which has no chance in the Senate… and even if it did, it would be vetoed by the President. They do not have enough votes to override a veto. So they will waste two days of our time where they will not be establishing job-creation programs, nor will they improve the health laws where it is possible without destroying the program.

I’ve been signing petitions (my Congresswoman, Shelley Moore Capito, will campaign and vote for repeal so she doesn’t represent me in any sense of the word. I have written her before, too, receiving lovely form letters, written by her staff, decorated with her picture, and signed with a rubber stamp. Once again I will look forward to supporting whoever challenges this useless woman in 2012.

How the House Voted Last Year (Thanks to Congress.org)

Click through the links below to see how your lawmaker voted:

1. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Passed (219-212)

In March, the House passed this bill, which would overhaul the nation’s health insurance system and require most individuals to buy health insurance by 2014.

2. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania Amendment; National Defense Authorization Act, FY2011
Agreed to (234-194, 10 Not Voting)

During the defense authorization bill debate in May, the House adopted this amendment that would repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the military.

3. Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
Passed (237-192, 4 Not Voting)

The House passed the final version of the financial regulation reform legislation in June.

4. Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act
Passed (247-161, 25 Not Voting)

In August, the House passed this bill to provide $16.1 billion to extend increased Medicaid assistance to states and $10 billion in funding for states to create or retain teachers’ jobs.

Fox Calls for Repeal of the 20th Century

This is an article lead-in from Truthout. Matthew Gertz has written a neat piece, so go in and read it all:
clipped from www.truth-out.org
Since President Obama’s election, Fox personalities have expressed opposition to or called for the repeal of virtually every progressive achievement of the 20th century, including Social Security, Medicare, the Americans with Disabilities Act, portions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution.
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Social Security is a federal social insurance program funded through payroll taxes that provides benefits to the elderly and disabled and their survivors. It was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935. Medicare and Medicaid were established by the Social Security Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. They provide health insurance to the elderly and the poor. All three programs have been defended by progressives and opposed by conservatives for decades.
Beck: Social Security and Medicare “represent socialism and should have never been created.”
more:
blog it

Lieberman doesn’t support a Public Option in Health Care. Are you surprised?

Say a candidate receives $101,400.00 from Health Insurance companies. Say he receives $196,540.00 from Drug companies. Say a candidate’s wife is on a Drug company payroll and he represents the state that supports Insurance Companies like Aetna, CIGNA, The Hartford, and more.

“If we create a public option,” says Lieberman, “the public is going to end up paying for it.”

Well, yeah… We’re paying the Health Insurance companies and Pharmaceutical companies NOW, aren’t we?

“My fear is…[health care providers] would end up getting levels of reimbursement from the public plan…comparable to what they get today from Medicaid,” says Lieberman, who receives the Federal Government program which comes out of Medicaid… doesn’t it?

“I stand with the small minority of Americans who oppose Public Option,” says Lieberman.

A small minority, Joe. That means that most of us… that means most of YOUR constituents wants it. Perhaps you could decide once and for all that you are not really a Senator, do not really represent anyone but yourself, and are such a small-time crud that your very presence on the Senate floor requires a cleanup.