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Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare’

There’s one positive political aspect to this epic fight for health care reform. We now know for sure which congressional Democrats have to be vigorously challenged and defeated the next time they come up for re-election.

The health care reform debate has forced the toxic slag to gurgle to the surface and consequently revealed a few Democratic senators who, at every turn in this process, have proved to be far more interested in protecting their own asses by way of protecting the asses of their bosses in the health care mafia.

Suffice to say, Joe Lieberman has to be sending lots of “thank you” gift baskets and ponies and backrubs to the offices of Max Baucus and Kent Conrad. In fact, Baucus and Conrad — the matchstick men of health care reform — have been so insufferable, I almost forgot about Lieberman. Almost.

In fact, apart from the Republicans from whom we expected outlandish lies and cartoonish behavior, Baucus and Conrad have been much more obstructionist and damaging to real health care reform, chiefly because they possess a disproportionate level of power in relation to the nine people in the upper Midwest they represent, and because their ideas would be laughable if they weren’t so ineffectual and dangerous.

To wit: Baucus Plan is just as craptastical as we all suspected it might be.

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Elephant in the room: Race also present in rebuke of Wilson

By William Douglas | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — In their effort to admonish Rep. Joe Wilson, both white and black lawmakers in the House of Representatives voiced deep concern over a string of what they think are racially motivated attacks on the nation’s first black president.

“There’s no question that if you look at some of the actions and comments being made, there’s a fringe element that has staked out a racial position towards African-Americans that never has been open for public display” until now, said Rep. Henry Johnson, D-Ga., a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Wilson “didn’t help the cause of diversity and balance with his remarks.”

The 240 to 179 vote Tuesday, largely along party lines, formally reprimanded Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, for shouting “You lie!” to President Barack Obama during his address last week to a joint session of Congress.

Wilson and the House GOP leadership protested, saying the measure was a diversionary tactic designed to deflect attention from the health care debate.

“It’s clear to the American people that there are far more important issues facing the nation,” Wilson said in his defense.

However, some Black Caucus members said that Wilson’s outburst is but the latest in a long string of ugly events rooted in racism, such as last week’s flap over Obama addressing the nation’s schoolchildren, protesters showing up outside Obama events carrying licensed firearms, and “birthers” questioning Obama’s citizenship. Black Caucus members say such incidents are designed to disrespect the office of the president now that a black man holds it.

MORE HERE

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Attention politicians and traditional media people. Important announcement.

Is everyone with me? Chuck Todd: stop applying your beard rouge and pay attention. Bartiromo: leave the cork on the fork.

Okay, here we go.

The public health insurance option as defined in both the Senate HELP bill and the House bill (HR 3200) is not a far-left liberal proposal. A far-left liberal proposal would actually be a single-payer plan. The public option is actually a program supported by almost everyone, despite the misleading way it’s currently being discussed by Republicans, town hall wingnuts, cable news “smackdown” panelists and other very serious members of the Washington establishment.

To wit, David Brooks’ column the other day urged the president to reconnect with “the center” on issues like healthcare reform, and to also exercise more “fiscal restraint.” Naturally, Brooks isn’t prescribing this approach in a vacuum. It’s all over Washington, including within certain corridors at the White House.

And it only takes a few minutes of cable news viewing to arrive at the assumption that the “centrist” position on healthcare reform, according to Brooks and other establishment people, is a bill without a public option. The health insurance lobby in collusion with both the corrupt and spineless Blue Dogs and the lying hacks who control the cartoonish Republican Party have successfully convinced large chunks of Washington that the public option is some sort of ultra-left concoction manufactured inside the secret underground Wellstone Memorial Lib-ratory located beneath Howard Dean’s cavernous walk-in Birkenstock closet.

The reality, however, is that a healthcare reform bill with a robust public option is both extraordinarily popular and fiscally responsible, while, on the other hand, the kind of “centrist” bill that David Brooks wants is actually more expensive and generally more corrupt. In other words, a bill without the public option can hardly be called “centrist” by any definition of the term.

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Bill Moyers: Money-Driven Medicine – The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much

By Bill Moyers and Maggie Mahar, Bill Moyers Journal. Posted September 1, 2009.

Bill Moyers teams up with financial journalist Maggie Mahar and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney to bring you the truth about America’s health-care system.

Editor’s Note: Maggie Mahar’s book, Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much (HarperCollins, 2009), forms the basis for a new documentary by Alex Gibney, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.) The film, Money-Driven Medicine aired on Bill Moyers Journal on Friday.

Warning: it will make you really, really mad.

Mahar, who covered finance for Barron’s, began her research by randomly calling doctors to get their side of the health-care story. To her surprise, nearly all of them (most of whom did not know her) called her back — so eager were they to ring the alarm on a system they see as having strayed far from its mission.

The filmmakers are making this presentation available to community groups, high schools and public libraries for a reduced price, and are providing resources for using the film to jump-start discussions and debates about health care reform. For more about the film, go to the Money-Driven Medicine Web site.

Below you’ll find Bill Moyers’ introduction to the segment he aired on his show and a clip from Money-Driven Medicine’s site, along with the transcript from the video:

***

Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Journal.

The world of medicine has changed radically since I was a kid in East Texas. Back then, Dr. Sam Tenney made house calls for a couple of bucks a visit. Dr. Granbury raced to a patient’s side with such speed you could hear his tires screeching around the courthouse square blocks away. And if you needed a prescription, Dr. Wyatt would offer to drop it off at your door on his way to the hospital — a non-profit community hospital, by the way, run by civic-minded citizens who counted every penny.

If any of them were around today, they would surely marvel at our high-tech medicine. But as prudent folks, they would also marvel – in a horrified way, I think — at the cost of it all. How did we get here?

Maggie Mahar wanted to find out. She’s one of our best financial journalists — now, after years of research, she has written:

Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much.

During their summer recess, if every member of the House and Senate would read it before returning to Washington, the outcome of the health care debate might be very different.

In this broadcast we will share with you a film based on Maggie Mahar’s work. The book and the film couldn’t be more timely as our country wrestles with what to do about money-driven medicine.

VIDEO & MORE HERE

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Dennis Kucinich on Health Care

July 26, 2007: Dennis Kucinich speaks truth to power during his Wake Up America campaign. Needless to mention the corporate media and “the powers that be” decimated him to being a voice in the wilderness.

There is still time for this country to demand real change. Healthcare is the single most important issue, and our so called representatives in government are condoning what I call “Corporate Healthcare” and “Welfare for the Elite”.

As we speak, I am listening to a quote by our president, on Air America, recommending that we all fill out a living will. I have done one my self he says, which makes me wonder…What’s the point? Healthcare is what we need and we need it for everybody, not just for the folks that can afford it.

So…zzzzZZZZ* I looked on Obamas website, whitehouse.gov, for some information and transparency on the healthcare issue for the sheeple…) :

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 29, 2009

Statement from the President on Health Insurance Reform Efforts in Congress

“I want to thank the members of both the Senate and House of Representatives for continuing their work on health reform to provide more stability and security for Americans who have insurance, and quality, affordable coverage for those who don’t. I’m especially grateful that so many members, including some Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee, are working so hard to find common ground. Those efforts are extraordinarily constructive in strengthening this legislation and bringing down its cost.”

Obama’s Doctor is 86’ed from White house talks

Democracy Now

July 24, 2009

DR. DAVID SCHEINER: The question of who—the question of who was responsible, of course, is hard to know, whether it was ABC or whether it was somebody at the White House.

AMY GOODMAN: What would you have asked?

DR. DAVID SCHEINER: I would have asked about single payer, insofar as we already have one that works, and why we just couldnt have universal Medicare and eliminate the insurance companies, which are causing incredible costs and havoc on the system.

It only hurts when you cough…G:

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The other day, I overheard a random “Republican analyst” on MSNBC’s The Ed Show suggest that the public option should never be implemented because of the DMV. This was her whole thing. The DMV. According to her logic, the DMV, which is run by state governments, is really slow and awful and therefore the public option would force us to wait in line for medical treatment.

My first reaction was that this lady has clearly never been to an emergency room. When I crashed while cycling last year, I waited in an ER exam room with a fractured T10 for nearly two hours before a doctor popped into the room. And I was pretty lucky to be seen so quickly. Contrastingly, I’ve never once waited in line at a DMV for any longer than 10 or 15 minutes in my entire life.

The last time I renewed my driver’s license, it took less than five minutes. If I ever have the privilege of sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room and, subsequently, the exam room, for less than five minutes I’ll voluntarily pay triple the fee and send the doctor an enormous gift basket filled with, you know, a Lexus.

All in all, we can only wish that private healthcare was as efficient and speedy as the DMV.

But this DMV crap on a stick is only one of many crazy attacks against the president’s healthcare reform agenda and the public option. Predictably, as healthcare reform grows larger in the window, the claims from the far-right are becoming increasingly bizarre and ridiculous, topping, in some cases, the psychotic claims of, say, the Obama birthers.

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Iowa Democrats Tweet Limbaugh’s drug addiction in healthcare debate

Raw Story- Stephen C. Webster
Published: Monday March 9, 2009

It appears the Democrats’ plan to enshrine Rush Limbaugh as the true “de facto leader” of the GOP is having its very own trickle-down effect.

Legislation which would allow Iowa workers to choose their own doctors through the workers compensation program is meeting stiff resistance from state Republicans and business groups. The fear, they say, is that allowing a citizen to choose their doctor would encourage “doctor shopping.”

Iowa House Democrats bit back with a single sentence and link, fired off from their Twitter page.

“Doctor shopping … is this what ABI means? http://tinyurl.com/boc5dh

The tinyrul link points to a Palm Beach Post story about Republican pundit Rush Limbaugh’s admitted addiction to OxyContin from 1998-2002. He professed to obtaining the drug, also commonly known as “hillbilly heroin,” by “doctor shopping,” or obtaining overlapping prescriptions from multiple practitioners.

“The ABI mentioned is the Association of Business and Industry, which has launched a series of radio ads in Iowa opposing the choice of doctor legislation,” said the Iowa Independent.

The Iowa GOP Tweeted back, in a manner of speaking, paraphrasing Iowa Republican party chairman Matt Strawn, who alleged that allowing workers to choose their doctors will “devastate area’s small businesses.” The feed did not provide any links to supporting evidence.

“Currently, 35 states have some form of employee choice of doctor, including all of Iowa’s surrounding states except Missouri,” the paper reported.

Limbaugh was facing a third degree felony for his doctor shopping, an offense punishable by up to five years in prison. He struck an agreement with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, ultimately paying a $3,000 bond and agreeing to a common court diversion program. The charges were dropped after 18 months.

Following his repeated sentiment that he hopes President Obama “fails,” Democrats have gleefully piled on, even launching a parody Web site that mocks top Republicans in government who’ve been embarrassed by and apologized to the pundit.

The wish for failure is “arguably treasonous,” remarked Daily Show host Jon Stewart. “He’s a fat, pill-popping idiot,” exclaimed Rolling Stone‘s Matt Tiabbi during a recent appearance on MSNBC.

MORE HERE

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