Archive for the ‘health care’ Category
Posted in 2012, Affordable Care Act, health care, Health Care Reform, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Obama 2012, Obamacare, President Barack Obama, President Obama, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Uncategorized, tagged 2012, Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama, health care, Health Care Decision, Health Care Law, Health Care Reform, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Healthcare Supreme Court, Obama, Obama 2012, Obama Care, Obama Health Care, Obama Supreme Court, Obamacare, Politics News, SCOTUS, supreme court, Supreme Court Health Care, Supreme Court Health Care Decision, Supreme Court Health Care Ruling, Supreme Court | Tagged Affordable Care Act on June 28, 2012 | 2 Comments »
Posted in 2012, Affordable Care Act, health care, Health Care Reform, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Obama, Obama 2012, Obamacare, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, tagged Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama, health care, Health Care Decision, Health Care Law, Health Care Reform, Healthcare Supreme Court, Obama Care, Obama Health Care, Obama Supreme Court, Obamacare, Politics News, supreme court, Supreme Court Health Care, Supreme Court Health Care Decision, Supreme Court Health Care Ruling, Video on June 28, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
By- Mike Sacks
Posted: 06/28/2012 10:10 am Updated: 06/28/2012 11:16 am
WASHINGTON — The individual health insurance mandate is constitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, upholding the central provision of President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.
The controlling opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld the mandate as a tax, although concluded it was not valid as an exercise of Congress’ commerce clause power. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined in the outcome.
The decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius comes as something of a surprise after the generally hostile reception the law received during the six hours of oral arguments held over three days in March. But by siding with the court’s four Democratic appointees, Chief Justice Roberts avoided the delegitimizing taint of politics that surrounds a party-line vote while passing Obamacare’s fate back to the elected branches. GOP candidates and incumbents will surely spend the rest of the 2012 campaign season running against the Supreme Court and for repeal of the law.
Five justices concluded that the mandate, which requires virtually all Americans to obtain minimum health insurance coverage or pay a penalty, falls within Congress’ power under the Constitution to “lay and collect taxes.”
“The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”
Ginsburg, writing separately for the four liberals, said they would have upheld the mandate under the commerce clause too. “Unlike the market for almost any other product or service, the market for medical care is one in which all individuals inevitably participate,” she wrote. “Virtually every person residing in the United States, sooner or later, will visit a doctor or other health care professional.”
Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito joined in a dissent.
Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 03/02/2012
The Washington Post By- Jamila Bey
Radio host Rush Limbaugh is so keen on pornography, he’s suggested an entirely new genre of it.
In an attack against the Georgetown University law student, Sandra Fluke, who House Republicans wouldn’t let testify at a hearing on insurance coverage for contraception, Limbaugh shared his ideas about what should happen to women who dare disagree with him on women’s health.
He said, “So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.”
He also called Fluke a “slut” and a prostitute after she argued that birth control should be covered by health insurance at religious institutions.
The Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger argued in an earlier piece that Fluke may not have been the best witness for a very different reason: As a student, rather than an employee, of Georgetown, her insurance coverage would not change one way or the other under the Affordable Care Act as currently written, with or without a religious exemption to institutions like the Jesuit school Fluke attends.
So Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who best exemplifies the soulless Randroid bean-counting dweeb demographic, has decided to release his plan to “reform” entitlements this week. As you can imagine, it completely sucks:
Ryan also said that he would propose changing Medicare, the popular health program for seniors, into what he called a “premium support plan” similar to the Medicare prescription drug program. [...]
Seniors would be able to pick from a list of private plans competing for their business, Ryan said. Seniors would pick the plan of their choosing, and Medicare would subsidize that coverage.
Children, let’s stop and think about this for a moment.
Do you know why Medicare was established in the first place? That’s right — because retirees had difficulty getting affordable health insurance due to their higher medical liabilities. And of course, even those who could afford such insurance would find their policies rescinded if their care got too expensive — in essence, a private-sector death panel.
So we created Medicare! And it has been one of the most successful government programs of the past century, helping countless seniors get quality care without putting themselves into bankruptcy paying for private insurance. And now Paul Ryan wants to turn it into another corporate welfare scam.
As Ezra Klein notes, this is not going to improve care or really even save money:
The current Medicare program would be dissolved and the next generation of seniors would choose from Medicare-certified private plans on an exchange. But that wouldn’t save money. In fact, it would cost money. As the Congressional Budget Office has said (pdf), since Medicare is cheaper than private insurance, beneficiaries will see “higher premiums in the private market for a package of benefits similar to that currently provided by Medicare.” [...]
In both cases, what saves money is not the reform. It’s the cut. For Medicare, the cut is that the government wouldn’t cover the full cost of the private Medicare plans, and the portion they would cover is set to shrink as time goes on.
Hear that, Granny? Your health care is about to be sacrificed at the altar of Aetna and Cigna! I hope you like it!
But hey, not everyone’s doing quite so poorly. Take a look at what Charlie Sheen’s been up to:
My, they really are hypocrites of the highest degree, aren’t they? After all the water they carried for the insurance industry for Medicare Part B, and during the health care debate, they’re going to try to pin AARP with making money on insurance? What happened to their much-loved free market? Guess it only works when the businesses support the Republicans!
I’m not always a fan of AARP (they do provide affordable insurance to people who otherwise couldn’t get it). They did a lot of work to push the Affordable Care Act, and they stand up for consumers on a wide variety of issues.
Bottom line? Even if I didn’t like them at all, the fact that the Republicans have targeted them would make me want to defend them. After all, sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend!
Newly empowered House Republicans are getting ready to renew their attacks against AARP over its support for the healthcare reform law, The Hill has learned.
The Ways and Means health and oversight subcommittees are hauling in the seniors lobby’s executives before the panel for an April 1 hearing on how the group stands to benefit from the law, among other topics. Republicans say AARP supported the law’s $200 billion in cuts to the Medicare Advantage program because it stands to gain financially as seniors replace their MA plans with Medicare supplemental insurance — or Medigap — policies endorsed by the association.
The hearing will cover not only Medigap but “AARP’s organizational structure, management, and financial growth over the last decade.”
An embarrassing hearing would not only hit AARP back for its support of the law, but fits in with the GOP’s mantra that the law was written behind closed doors to favor Democratic allies. And policy-wise, it could empower Republicans to tackle Medigap policies, which many conservatives want to reform because they believe they contribute to over-utilization of the medical system by reducing out-of-pocket contributions.
Imagine the nerve of old people actually going to the doctor’s, taking care of their health and extending their lifespan. Shame on them!
Posted in Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, health care, Healthcare, Jan Brewer, tagged Arizona Health Care Cuts, Arizona Medicaid Cuts, Brewer Health Care Cuts, Brewer Medicaid Cuts, Jan Brewer, Jan Brewer Health Care Cuts, Jan Brewer Medicaid Cuts, Medicaid Cuts on March 7, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Reuters- via HuffPost
First Posted: 03/ 6/11 07:05 PM Updated: 03/ 6/11 07:05 PM
PEORIA, Arizona (Reuters) – A pacemaker and defibrillator fitted to carpenter Douglas Gravagna’s failing heart makes even rising from the couch of his Phoenix-valley home a battle.
But it is not congestive heart failure that is killing him, he says. It is a decision by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to stop funding for some organ transplants as the state struggles to reduce a yawning budget deficit.
“She’s signing death warrants — that’s what she’s doing. This is death for me,” says Gravagna, 44, a heavy-set man who takes 14 medications to stay alive.
Gravagna is among 98 people denied state Medicaid funding for potentially life-saving transplants and at the forefront of a harrowing battle over the state’s public finances.
The measure enacted last October by Brewer trimmed spending on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program, to help close a projected 2012 budget deficit of $1.15 billion.
It eliminated coverage for transplants including lung, heart, liver and bone marrow after weighing the success and survival rates for certain transplant procedures.
Posted in Economy, GOP, health care, Health Care Reform, Republicans, tagged Debt, Deficit, Economic Stimulus Package, Economy, Federal Budget Deficit, GOP, health care, Health Care Reform, national debt, Newt Gingrich, Obamacare, Pete Sessions, Republicans, Stimulus on October 20, 2010 | 1 Comment »
If you happen to be a swing voter who’s considering the Republican slate next month, you’re being tricked. That’s not to say you’re an idiot, but the Republicans are doing an excellent job masking over what they really stand for, and millions of Americans seem to be falling for it.
The Republican strategy for this midterm election is simple: Treat voters like easily manipulated hoopleheads. The GOP and its various apparatchiks are spending untold millions of dollars, much of it from anonymous donors and, perhaps, even some illegal foreign donors, in order to play out this nationwide swindle. They’re investing heavily on the wager that Americans are so kerfuffled by the slow-growth (but growth nevertheless) economy that they’re willing to buy any line of nonsense as an alternative solution.
Regarding that nonsense, just about every GOP solution and every GOP idea reveals either a hilariously obvious contradiction or an utterly transparent hypocrisy. Say nothing of unchecked awfulness like Southern Strategy race-baiting or bald-faced lies. But it doesn’t seem to matter much because they’ve buried most of it under heaping piles of inchoate outrage and fear. Just like always. It’s not unlike the 2000s all over again. They’re engaging in the same bumper sticker sloganeering and myopic agitprop, but with updated content for 2010.
If you’ve seen any of the Republican TV spots this cycle, you’re probably familiar with the focus-group-tested duet of fear: “Obamacare and Stimulus.” For example, that infamous John Raese commercial featuring two not-West-Virginian West Virginians in full “hicky” regalia discussing why they’re voting Republican. Among the reasons: “Obamacare and Stimulus.” No specific reasons why those items are evil, they’re just two scary things the hicky guys are pissed about.
And why aren’t there any specific gripes cited along with those two items? Because the actual gripes are ridiculous.
Let’s start with “Obamacare,” then hit “Stimulus” presently.
Posted in health care, Health Care Reform, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, tagged cancer, Health Care Reform, health care reform act, heart disease, Insurance Companies, MD Anderson Cancer Center, medical bills, medical care, medical costs, mesothelioma on May 31, 2010 | 5 Comments »
Many Americans assume the new health care reform act will benefit mostly the poor and uninsured and hurt everyone else, according to polls. As Matt Yglesias wrote, “Basically, people see this as a bill that will take resources from people who have health insurance and give it to people who don’t have health insurance.” Those who still oppose the reform say that people ought to pay for their own health care.
We all believe in the virtues of hard work and self-reliance, but these days it’s a fantasy to think that anyone but the mega-wealthy will not, sooner or later, depend on help from others to pay medical bills. And that’s true no matter how hard you work, how much you love America, or how diligently you take care of yourself. The cost of medical care has so skyrocketed that breaking an arm or leg could cost as much as a new car. And if you get cancer or heart disease — which can happen even to people who live healthy lifestyles — forget about it. The disease will not only clean you out; it will leave a whopping debt for your survivors to pay.
And the truth is, we all pay for other peoples’ health care whether we know it or not. When people can’t pay their medical bills, the cost of their health care gets added to everyone else’s bills and insurance premiums. When poor people use emergency rooms as a doctor of last resort, their care is not “free.” You pay for it.
Another common fantasy about medical care is that the “free market” provides incentives for medical companies to develop innovative new drugs and treatments for disease without government subsidy. It’s true that private enterprise is very good at developing profitable health care products. But not all medical care can be made profitable.
For years, the U.S. government has been funding medical research that the big private companies don’t want to do because there is too much cost for the potential profit. This is especially true for diseases that are rare and expensive to treat. An example of a recent advance made possible by government grants include new guidelines for malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment developed by MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers. Another is a blood screening test for mesothelioma developed by thoracic surgeon Dr. Robert Taub. The health reform act provides for more dollars for such research, from which even many of the tea party protesters will benefit.
The biggest fantasy of all was that people who had insurance didn’t have to worry about health care costs. But the fact is that in recent years millions of Americans have been bankrupted by medical costs, and three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance. And yes, insurance companies even dumped hard-working, law-abiding patriots. But the health care reform act will put an end to that, and now America’s hard-working, law-abiding patriots are more financially secure, whether they like it or not.
Posted in health care, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, President Obama, Tea Party, tagged Boehner, G.O.P., health care, President Obama, Rage, Tea Party, Teabaggers, violence, violence at Congressional offices on March 28, 2010 | 7 Comments »
The Rage Is Not About Health Care
The New York Times- Opinion
But the laughs evaporated soon enough. There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank. And as the week dragged on, and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the F.B.I. and the local police had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families.
How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht. The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window. So far.
No less curious is how disproportionate this red-hot anger is to its proximate cause. The historic Obama-Pelosi health care victory is a big deal, all right, so much so it doesn’t need Joe Biden’s adjective to hype it. But the bill does not erect a huge New Deal-Great Society-style government program. In lieu of a public option, it delivers 32 million newly insured Americans to private insurers. As no less a conservative authority than The Wall Street Journal editorial page observed last week, the bill’s prototype is the health care legislation Mitt Romney signed into law in Massachusetts. It contains what used to be considered Republican ideas.