Yesterday afternoon, Paul Ryan addressed the AARP’s National Annual Conference in New Orleans. The GOP vice presidential candidate attacked Obamacare for taking $716 billion out of Medicare — the very same cuts he included in his budget by the way — and made the case for transforming seniors’ health care from a guaranteed benefit into a premium support “voucher” program.
So what do you think the response was? Well, it didn’t go over with the audience. Take a look at this clip:
It’s a good thing senior citizens are part of the 47% and Ryan and Romney don’t have to worry about them.
- Paul Ryan to Defend Medicare Plan at AARP (abcnews.go.com)
- Paul Ryan to seniors: Obamacare threatens Medicare (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Barack Obama: Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan “could raise future retirees’ costs more than $6,000.” (politifact.com)
- Obama jabs Romney at AARP: ‘Medicare and Social Security are not handouts’ (leanforward.msnbc.com)
It’s what it will cost you that you ought to think about.
I don’t know what age level you fall into, but knowing I’m being stripped of the money tobuy two years worth of groceries really pisses me off.
- Romney’s budget would require a 40% cut to everything but Medicare, Social Security, and defense (pattidudek.typepad.com)
- Obama: Romney plan for Medicare would cost seniors ‘thousands’ (thehill.com)
- Obama hits Romney with new Medicare study (miamiherald.com)
- Obama uses Medicare to court Florida seniors (washingtontimes.com)
- Romney-Ryan Want It Both Ways on Medicare – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Romney camp admits Medicare cuts will hit current seniors (dailykos.com)
My friend Ted Czukor sent me this essay and I am pleased to pass it on to you:
WHO GETS HELP AND WHO DOESN’T?
By Ted Czukor
I’d like to take a poll of all readers over the age of 30. How many of you think that life is going to unfold the way you had envisioned? It certainly hasn’t been like that for me! I’m 65 now, and on the one hand I’ve had some wonderful experiences that I never could have predicted, while on the other hand some experiences have been the sheerest crap; but very seldom in my life has my planning brought about the exact result to which I had looked forward.
One of the more disturbing surprises I’ve had recently is that finally getting Medicare health insurance is not necessarily a guarantee of receiving proper medical attention—because healthcare providers are sometimes slow to order medical tests. I say “sometimes” because it’s a very mixed bag. Sometimes our doctor may send us immediately to the lab for something that he feels is necessary, but other times we may have to come back to his office for multiple appointments over several months with the same persistent complaint before he will decide that the quickly-written prescription isn’t doing anything, and we really do need to have a tube stuck down our throat or a picture taken of our brain or joints to see what the hell is actually going on.
It’s hard to predict when our doctors will jump on a test immediately or delay one for several months—but it seems clear from the national discussion on TV that some tests are being delayed due to concerns about cost. Our healthcare system is losing money, and some patients are guilty of what the insurance industry calls “over-utilization of services”—which makes it damned hard on those of us who legitimately need the testing.
On the Today Show on Wednesday morning, August 28th 2012, Dr. Nancy Snyderman actually suggested that any medical test will come up with something treatable, so therefore people in their 90’s should hold off on such tests so that younger people with longer-expected life spans can benefit from the treatments instead! We like and respect Dr. Nancy, and we never expected her to take such a cold-blooded stance on the subject. It sounds logical and fiscally responsible on the surface, but how low on the age scale should we set the cutoff point? Age 80? 70? What about people over the age of 60? Shouldn’t other factors besides age be considered in such a decision?
Such a stance is easy to support, so long as the older people in question are generic groups whom you have never met. But when that older person is suddenly a personal friend or a member of your own family—or when, God forbid, it’s actually you—then you will probably take a second look and decide that in this case, at least, an exception should be made!
Another unexpected and recent surprise has been that we have to do our own diagnosing. More accurately, we have to research our symptoms on the Internet and take our questions about possible causes to our doctor, to get him to look into them and determine whether we are barking up the wrong tree—or not. Only our doctors and their labs can diagnose for certain, but we have to tell them what to look for! This is doubtless due to the overwhelming number of patients they see every day, with the result that even the most conscientious physician can only pay full attention to the patient who is right in front of him. As soon as that patient has left and a new one has come in, the first one better receive proper follow-up from the doctor’s staff, because the doctor himself will have forgotten about him until their next scheduled appointment.
In the last three years my wife and I have been successfully treated for degenerated hips and shoulders, melanoma and allergic reactions to various medications—but in every case we were the ones who had to self-diagnose the condition and then go to the proper specialist to have it verified! Until we did that, we were simply given prescriptions for pain or infection in an attempt to mask symptoms. It was never suggested that surgery might be needed, or that a medication should be discontinued because it might be messing us up. Suggestions of that nature had to be put forward by us.
I have two reasons for writing this essay and sharing it with others. For those in the medical profession, I want you to know that educated patients understand your dilemmas concerning healthcare costs and the limited time you are allowed to spend with each of us—but we insist that attention be paid to us as individuals, rather than as generic members of a certain age group. For my contemporaries who are experiencing the same frustrations that I am, I want to encourage you to Keep Doing Your Searches on WebMD, and Keep Asking Questions. Don’t take a doctor’s “I don’t know” for an answer. Get your facts lined up, and insist on getting tested for anything that alarms you and that your doctor isn’t completely sure doesn’t need a test.
For those of you who aren’t wealthy and are under 65 without health insurance, I empathize. I went without insurance for two years before finally making it to Medicare age. The best advice I can give is to do whatever you feel is necessary to maintain your functionality, until you can finally get coverage to see doctors again. The trick is to just stay alive. But remember that getting the insurance won’t be enough. You will have to be an active advocate for your own health and for the health of your spouse and parents.
- Doctor Shortage May Swell to 130000 With U.S. Cap – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- GOP team is wrong prescription for patients (jsonline.com)
- Republican Platform Goes There-Would Make Medicare A Defined-Contribution Voucher Program (washingtonmonthly.com)
- What is an accountable care organization and why should you care? (insurance.com)
- Medigap Plans A Through N – Compare Medigap Plans (medicaresupplementalinsurance.com)
- Truth about the Ryan-Wyden Medicare Proposal (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
Another set of facts necessary before listening to Republicans at their convention, thanks to Robert Reich…
Robert Reich is quite easy to understand and deserves a good listen:
- Worse than George W. Bush? Robert Reich says a Romney-Ryan ticket would destroy the economy (current.com)
- Robert Reich: Romney’s Lying Machine (yubanet.com)
- Robert Reich on Romney’s Lying Machine (underpaidgenius.com)
- Robert Reich: Whose Plan Destroys Medicare — Obama’s or Romney-Ryan’s? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Intellectual giant Robert Reich: Paul Ryan was no match for me! (twitchy.com)
- No Name Calling, Just 3 Minutes Of Facts On The Romney-Ryan Plan (upworthy.com)
Who knows Ryan better? This from United Wisconsin:
“Wisconsin is once again at the epicenter of the battle between big-money special interests and hard-working families. Today’s announcement that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has been tapped for Mitt Romney’s running mate will bring more big money and heated rhetoric to our already deeply divided state.
“As Governor Scott Walker has spent the last year and a half working to destroy our progressive Wisconsin tradition, Rep. Paul Ryan has stood by his side and defended his actions. After Scott Walker introduced his anti-working family budget repair bill, Paul Ryan told the media that he supports Walker’s union-busting laws and claimed that the peaceful protests that broke out in response to the bill were ‘riots,’ a claim later debunked by Politifact.
“In Congress, Ryan has proposed a budget that would end Medicare as we know it while handing out millions in tax giveaways to wealthy special interests at the expense of working families. Ryan has consistently opposed policies to improve health care, public education, and economic opportunity for working people. These are not Wisconsin values, but they are Paul Ryan’s values.
With Paul Ryan taking a more visible place on the national stage, all eyes will once again be on Wisconsin, but the eyes of Wisconsinites – and the progressive movement we have built – will be focused directly on Paul Ryan. We will hold Ryan accountable for his statements and actions on the campaign trail, ensuring he does not take Scott Walker’s failed policies to the White House.”
We’ll keep our eyes on Wisconsin. Of course, many of us wish we could have rid ourselves of Scott Walker when we had a chance.
- Rep. Paul Ryan: Will also run in November for his Wisconsin House seat (blogs.suntimes.com)
- Ryan will excite the GOP base, Walker says (jsonline.com)
- Wisconsin: Capital of the Obama resistance (politico.com)
It’s official. Mitt Romney‘s choice for vice president will be Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. It was announced this morning that Ryan, a more conservative Republican then Mitt, will be the candidate for vice president on the Romney ticket.
Ryan is considered to be much more conservative than Romney. Known for several new budget proposals and changes in Medicare, Ryan is probably the candidate that the Democrats are most happy to have running with Mitt. The fact that Mitt is not nearly as conservative as Ryan will be The cause of potential changes in his campaign.
The choice is interesting since Romney has not actually been nominated yet. This will all occur during the Republican convention. It does, however, make Romney appear more Republican then he has in the last few weeks. He appears to be doing this because it will make the members of his party be more supportive than they have been.
I am looking forward to traveling to Wisconsin for my son Buddy’s wedding In Milwaukee next week, and I’m looking forward to hearing what Wisconsinites have to say about their congressman being on the Republican ticket. I’ll be reporting that information here on Under The LobsterScope.
- Quick Thoughts on Romney Veep Announcement (themoderatevoice.com)
- AP Source: Romney Picks Ryan for Running Mate (usnews.com)
- Source: Mitt Romney to select Paul Ryan as running mate (fox6now.com)
- Romney has picked Paul Ryan as running mate, Republican source tells the AP (foxnews.com)
- Romney “picks” Paul Ryan for VP in a DELUSIONAL fit to pretend like he has the GOP nomination. (jeenyuscorner.com)
- Republican official confirms to @AP: Romney will choose Paul Ryan for running mate (ksl.com)
Last Friday he achieved his peak
with thirty lies in just one week…
He treats the voter like a twit
by feeding him this Romney shit.
That’s the opposite of the truth. According to the CBO and other nonpartisan budget estimates, killing the law would make the deficit go up, not down, and would cost, not save, the country hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years.
2. In the same interview, Romney said, “I think a lot of people forgetting is there is only one president in history that’s cut Medicare by $500 billion and that is President Obama.”
Romney says this a lot. He’s not telling the truth.
3. Romney also said, “I see people holding up signs, ‘Don’t touch my Medicare.’ It’s like, hey, I’m not touching your Medicare.”
Romney endorsed Paul Ryan’s House Republican Budget plan, which ends the Medicare program and replaces it with a private voucher scheme.
4. In the same interview, Romney said President Obama has “never had the experience of working in the private sector.”
Actually, that’s not true. Obama worked at a private-sector law firm before entering public service.
5. Romney also told Hannity Obama went on “an apology tour” in his first year.
As Romney surely knows by now, he’s lying.
6. Romney, trying to talk about foreign policy, said Syria is Iran’s “route to the sea.”
Iran doesn’t share a border with Syria, and Iran already borders two bodies of water.
7. At a campaign event in Stratham, New Hampshire, Romney claimed, “Bill Clinton and so many other mainstream Democrats are revolting against the backward direction President Obama is taking his party and our country.”
In reality, Bill Clinton supports the president’s re-election and recently said a Romney presidency would be “calamitous for our country and the world.”
8. At an event in Cornwall, Pennsylvania, shared an anecdote about a local optometrist who was forced to fill out a “33-page” change-of-address form — several times — at the post office.
9. At the same event, Romney said Obama is “taking away” scholarships and charter schools for “kids in Washington, D.C.”
This has become a line in Romney’s stump speech, but it isn’t in any way true.
10. Romney also claimed, “This president has put together almost as much public debt as all the prior presidents combined.”
11. Romney went on to say, “It’s immoral in my view for my generation to pass on to these kids the burden of our generation. I think it’s wrong. It’s got to stop. And if I’m president of the United States I will get us on track to have a balanced budget.”
12. At a campaign stop in Weatherly, Pennsylvania, Romney said the president’s “trillion- dollar stimulus” failed to “create jobs.”
That’s the opposite of the truth.
13. At the same event, Romney said about Obama, “He was told that one small business was having a hard time dealing with Obamacare. He said he hadn’t heard that.”
That’s not what happened. In fact, the small business wasn’t having a hard time dealing with Obamacare, and was hurt by policies Romney wants to pursue.
14. Romney went on say, “I was in Las Vegas and met a woman who was worried. She has a business renting furniture to casinos and to conventioners that come to Las Vegas. And when the president said, don’t bother coming to Las Vegas for your company meetings a few years ago, her business dove.”
Obama actually said, in reference to Wall Street recklessness, “You are not going to be able to give out these big bonuses until you pay taxpayers back. You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime. There’s got to be some accountability and some responsibility.” To blame the failure of some random business in Nevada on this is ridiculous.
15. Romney added, “If we stay on the road we’re on, we’re going to become like Europe…. I don’t believe Europe works in Europe. I don’t want it here.”
The irony is, Europe is trying to grow through austerity, just as Romney intends to do here. He’s lying in a self-refuting sort of way.
16. In his “Face the Nation” interview, Romney said of Obama’s new immigration policy, “If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with the illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months.”
That’s remarkably misleading. Obama has pushed for the DREAM Act for years, and would have signed it into law in 2010 had it not been blocked by a Republican filibuster.
17. In the same interview, Romney said about health care, “I will continue to describe the plan that I would provide, which is, number one, to make sure that people don’t have to worry about losing their insurance if they have a preexisting condition, and change jobs.”
This is the kind of answer that’s clearly intended to deceive. Under Romney’s approach, millions of people with pre-existing conditions would be denied coverage — and occasionally his campaign even admits it.
18. Also on health care, Romney said the president “jammed through a bill” and “didn’t really try and work for a Republican vote.”
This is laughably untrue. Obama worked for months to find someone — anyone — in the Republican Party who would work with him in good faith, including delaying progress while the “Gang of Six” engaged in pointless talks.
19. Romney also said, “I’m not looking for a tax cut for the very wealthiest.”
Either Romney hasn’t read his own tax plan, or he’s lying.
20. Appearing via video at the “Faith and Freedom Coalition” annual event, Romney applauded the far-right group’s leader: “Ralph Reed has been a real champion in fighting for the fundamental values that have made America the nation that it is.”
21. In the same speech, Romney said, “When you put in place a bill like Obamacare, you attack the freedom of people to make a choice about their own insurance and what kind of coverage they want to have.”
That’s not true. Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers would choose from competing plans as part of a health care exchange. Romney knows this — it was part of his own plan.
22. Romney went on to say, “[M]edian income in this nation has dropped by 10 percent over the last four years.”
That only makes sense if we count Obama’s first year in office, which relies on a standard Romney believes is fundamentally unfair.
23. He also argued, “Government at all levels is about 37 percent of the economy today — 37 percent. And if Obamacare were allowed to stand, government would control about half of the economy of America.”
That’s demonstrably ridiculous.
24. At the same event, Romney said that Obama “insists” that “Israel return to the ’67 borders — indefensible borders.”
25. At a campaign event in Brunswick, Ohio, Romney claimed that Obama said “if you let him borrow all that money, he’d keep unemployment below 8 percent.”
As Romney surely knows by now, that’s simply not true.
26. At the same event, Romney said under Obamacare, we’ll get “a healthcare system run by the government.”
There is no universe in which this is true.
27. At a campaign event in Janesville, Wisconsin, Romney argued, “[T]he path we’re on, spending $1 trillion more every year than we take in, is leading us to Greece.”
That’s painfully untrue.
28. At a campaign event in Holland, Michigan, Romney claimed that, as a result of the Dodd-Frank reforms, “small banks and community banks are finding it harder and harder to make loans to small businesses.”
According to community banks, this is false. These banks have actually gotten stronger after Dodd-Frank, and the president of Independent Community Bankers Of America recently said, “I am sick of Wall Street using community banks as their shills to scare community bankers into stampeding Congress into undoing provisions of law that finally attempt to deal with too big to fail and Wall Street overreach.”
29. In a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials yesterday, Romney argued that President Obama “has not completed a single new trade agreement with Latin America.”
Romney does realize that Panama is part of Latin America, right?
30. Romney went on to argue, “Unfortunately, despite his promises, President Obama has failed to address immigration reform.”
Actually, Obama has addressed it quite a bit, taking executive action where the law allows, and pushing Congress to pursue comprehensive reform based on a bipartisan plan he presented last year.
– Thanks to Steve Benen, Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity
- Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXIII (maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com)
- Willard Romney’s Lies of the Week (3chicspolitico.com)
- President Obama Reportedly Rejects Crowd’s Boos Directed At Romney (mediaite.com)
- Obama Leads in Three Key Battlegrounds (politicalwire.com)
- Obama and Biden strike at Romney on overseas jobs – Boston.com (articles.boston.com)
- Romney’s Incredible Dishonesty Ignores How the Filibuster Destroys Democracy (elections.firedoglake.com)
Conservatives don’t like left-wing Government-run solutions; Liberals don’t like right-wing Government-run solutions…
But, oddly enough, both have had a share in creating Government-run health care plans.
For a long time, the debate between left and right was about how to design the welfare state, not about whether to have one. Conservatives wanted to scale it down and deliver services through the private sector, rather than government, but they accepted the idea that society had some obligation to provide certain services and supports.
The consensus was already eroding by the 1990s, when Newt Gingrich famously called for letting Medicare “wither on the vine.” But the consensus still had power as recently as the last decade, when the Bush Administration created Medicare Part D. That program gave seniors prescription drug coverage, as liberals had long advocated, but it offered less generous benefits than liberals wanted and channeled coverage through private insurers rather than government. (It also didn’t pay for itself, but that has frustrated liberals as much as, if not more than, it has conservatives.)
It’s hard to imagine today’s Republicans endorsing anything like Part D.
Cohn describes the position of Michael Leavitt, the former Utah governor and former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush, who has been put in charge of Romney’s transition team.
The editorial page of the conservative Washington Examiner called Leavitt’s place in the Romney heirarchy a “red flag.”
Read the article and find out WHY.
- The Partisan Divide in America (underpaidgenius.com)
- Conservatives ♥ Big Government Too (reason.com)
- Liberals vs. Progressives: What’s the Difference? (readersupportednews.org)
- Romney: Man of Pastel (ConservativeActionAlerts.com)
- Conservatives Wonder Why Romney Picked Obamacare-Loving Mike Leavitt To Lead Transition Team (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Romney Appointment Evinces Healthcare Intentions (markamerica.com)
- Romney Isn’t Signing Up for Medicare (blogs.wsj.com)
- Medicare (socialsecurityhome.com)
- Medicare fight is not over yet (politico.com)
- What Liberals Miss on Medicare Reform (theatlantic.com)
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!
- Paying for nursing home care (nursinghomeadmissions.wordpress.com)
- Media Begins To Awaken To Impending Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect Crisis (chicagonursinghomelawyerblawg.com)
- Personal Care Contracts And Medicaid (indianatrustestateplanningelderlawblog.wordpress.com)
- Special Reports for NY Seniors Facing Ruinous Health Care Cost; 25 Strategies to Prevent Financial Ruin & Alzheimer Patient Strategies (prweb.com)
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.)
- CBO: The Affordable Care Act Will Save Even More Money Than We Thought (duanegraham.wordpress.com)
- The Truth About Affordable Care Act Costs (alan.com)
- GOP’s Distortion Of New CBO Estimate Exposes The Weakness Of Their Arguments Against Health Reform (thinkprogress.org)
- Updated Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act (bespacific.com)
- CBO Update Shows Lower Costs for the New Health Care Law (whitehouse.gov)
- GOP Determined to Spoil ObamaCare’s Birthday (pjmedia.com)
- Romney Celebrates Health Care Reform Anniversary By Lying About It (thinkprogress.org)
- Why Seniors Could Pay $5,900 More for Health Care Under the Republican Budget (thinkprogress.org)
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.
- Allen West Email Prompts Congresswomen To Call For Apology From GOP Lawmaker (huffingtonpost.com)
- Rep. Allen West Calls Debbie Wasserman Schultz “Vile, Unprofessional And Despicable” (alan.com)
- Allen West Thinks Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is Despicable and Should STFU (passthedoucheys.com)
- Congressman Allen West (R-FL) Smackdown of Debbie Wasserman Schultz (sfcmac.wordpress.com)
- Congresswomen call on West to apologize for tirade (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- In Your Face Wasserman Schultz! (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- The Caucus: West Calls Wasserman Schultz ‘Vile’ (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- “Just resign, Congressman. You’re making a jackass out of yourself…AGAIN,” says Keith Olberdouchebag to Allen West (barenakedislam.wordpress.com)
…then a creative solution may be your only choice. Take James Verone of Gastonia, North Carolina:
The best comment I saw about James Verone’s situation (and that of millions of others) was on Mickey Mills’ blog, The Prodigal Scribe:
“The story behind this story is the one that really grabs me. We can put a man on the moon. We are the richest country on the planet. We arguably have the best colleges and universities putting out the brightest and the best.
“And we can’t figure out how to get health care for the needy. Between the greedy insurance underwriters, lawyers and drug companies, we have created a medical behemoth that is strictly for the haves — the have nots be damned.”
My question is when are we going to finally get the Health Insurance companies out of our pockets and realize that medical care for all is a right and not a commodity for profit?
- Vouchers for Medicare-a different point of view (quinnscommentary.com)
- Misleading Medicare Mantra (economistsview.typepad.com)
- Support home health bill (bendbulletin.com)
- Man Robs Bank for $1 So He Could Get Healthcare in Prison-Is This What Happened in California Where The Sick are Being Released From Jail Now? (ducknetweb.blogspot.com)
- Actually Sen. Lieberman, We Should Be Expanding Medicare (fdlaction.firedoglake.com)
- Pulling It Together: Medicare, Medicaid, and The Multiplier Effect – Kaiser Family Foundation (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Man Robbed Bank for $1, Hoping to Be Sent to Prison, So as to Obtain Health Care (9news.com)
This article, reproduced here in full, is from Firedoglake. Read it and see why I don’t like Max Baucus:
How Libby, Montana, Got Medicare for All
By Kay Tillow
In 2009 when the Washington beltway was tied up with the health care reform tussle, Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the all powerful Senate Finance Committee, said everything was on the table–except for single payer. When doctors, nurses and others rose in his hearing to insist that single payer be included in the debate, Baucus had them arrested. As more stood up, Baucus could be heard on his open microphone saying, “We need more police.”
Yet when Senator Baucus needed a solution to a catastrophic health disaster in Libby, Montana, and surrounding Lincoln County, he turned to the nation’s single payer healthcare system, Medicare, to solve the problem.
Baucus’ problem was caused by a vermiculite mine that had spread deadly airborne asbestos killing hundreds and sickening thousands in Libby and northwest Montana. The W. R. Grace Company that owned the mine denied its connection to the massive levels of mesothelioma and asbestosis and dodged responsibility for this environmental and health disaster. When all law
suits and legal avenues failed, Baucus turned to our country’s single payer plan, Medicare.
The single payer plan that Baucus kept off the table is now very much on the table in Libby. Unknown to most of the public, Baucus inserted a section into the health reform bill that covers the suffering people of Libby, Montana, not just the former miners but the whole community—all covered by Medicare.
They don’t have to be 65 years old or more.
They don’t have to wait until 2014 for the state exchanges.
No ten year roll out—it’s immediate.
They don’t have to purchase a plan—this is not a buy-in to Medicare—it’s
They don’t have to be disabled for two years before they apply.
They don’t have to go without care for three years until Medicaid expands.
They don’t have to meet income tests.
They don’t have to apply for a subsidy.
They don’t have to pay a fine for failure to buy insurance.
They don’t have to hope that the market will make a plan affordable.
They don’t have to hide their pre-existing conditions.
They don’t have to find a job that provides coverage.
Baucus inserted a clause in the Affordable Care Act to make special arrangements for them in Medicare, and he didn’t wait for any
Congressional Budget Office scoring to do it.
Less than two months after the passage of the health reform bill on March 23, 2010, Nancy Berryhill of the Social Security Administration in Denver joined personally in
setting up an office in Libby to sign up these newly eligible people. “This is a new thing,” Berryhill told the Missoulian. “No other group like this has ever been selected to receive Medicare.” Berryhill issued a nationwide alert to inform anyone who had lived or stayed in Lincoln County of their eligibility. She opened a storefront in Libby at the old downtown city hall where she signed up 60 people on the first day. She plastered the towns of Whitefish and Eureka with pamphlets explaining the program and added three new staffers to the office in Kalispell.
Berryhill said she did not know how much the care would cost. That kind of analysis was beyond her directive to sign the people up. There have been no reports of competition from the private for-profit Medicare Advantage plans. The sick are not profitable.
No one should begrudge the people of Lincoln County. The mine wastes were used as soil additives, home insulation, and even spread on the running tracks at local schools. Miners brought the carcinogens home on their clothes. The W. R. Grace Company dumped much of the clean up costs onto the federal government. A June 17, 2009, order by the Environmental
Protection Agency, the first of its kind, declared Lincoln County a public health disaster. The Libby Medicare provision in the health reform law is based on the area covered by that EPA order.
Baucus gave his reasons to the New York Times for its only story on this unique benefit: “The People of Libby have been poisoned and have been dying for a decade. New residents continue to get sick all the time. Public health tragedies like this could happen in any town in America. We need this type of mechanism to help people when they need it most.”
Health tragedies are happening in every town. Over 51 million have no insurance. Over 45,000 uninsured people die needlessly each year. Employers are cutting coverage and dropping plans. States in economic crisis are slashing both Medicaid and their employees’ plans. Nothing in last year’s reform law will mitigate the skyrocketing costs. Most insurance is threadbare and doesn’t cover. More than 50% of us now go without necessary care. As Baucus said of Medicare, “We need this mechanism to help people when they need it most.” We all need it now.
Bill Clinton recently stated that the U. S. could give coverage to all for one trillion dollars a year less than we now pay if we adopted the system of any other advanced nation. (Unfortunately, he did not say this when it would have mattered most during the 1993 and 2009 health care reform debates.)
Other industrialized countries have found that to cover everyone for less they must remove the profit-making insurance companies. Congressman John Conyers has reintroduced HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which does exactly that. There are 60 cosponsors. It would cover all medically necessary care for everyone including dental and drugs by cutting out the 30% waste and profits caused by the private insurers.
So as the Ryan Republicans try to destroy Medicare and far too many Democrats use the deficit excuse to suggest cuts in its benefits, let us counter with the Libby prescription to clean up the whole mess. Only a single payer, improved Medicare for All, can save and protect Medicare, rein in the costs, and give us universal coverage.
Medicare will celebrate its 46th birthday on July 30, 2011, and all are invited to join in the festivities. Medicare was passed in 1965 and implemented within less than a year. When we pass HR 676, this single payer bill, we can all be enrolled in the twinkling of an eye.
So write and call your Reps and Senators and the President and tell them to get insurance companies out of healthcare and get us all on Medicare. We’ll save money (government AND the people), we’ll have a healthier nation, and we’ll join the rest of the civilized world in the 21st Century.
- Considering a single payer model for health reform (kevinmd.com)
- Sexy Wilde for Single-Payer (foxnews.com)
- Actually Sen. Lieberman, We Should Be Expanding Medicare (fdlaction.firedoglake.com)
- Both Ryan and Obama cut Medicare (sfgate.com)
- Medicare for all? Q&A with Ohio’s leading single-payer physician advocate (medcitynews.com)
- Private Insurers Fail at Keeping Prices Down in Massachusetts (fdlaction.firedoglake.com)
- Yes, Medicare Is Sustainable In Its Current Form (krugman.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Some Medicare Ideas Worth Considering (swampland.time.com)
- Joe Lieberman’s Cruel Plan To Make Medicare Truly Awful (crooksandliars.com)
… 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.