Category Archives: Health Care

Ron Paul Appears on ‘The View’ and Gets Grilled on Abortion Position…

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Ron Paul wasted no time crossing the writer’s picket line to defend his anti-abortion position on the daytime talk show, The View…and he took a verbal beating while he did it.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to reach a stage where there will no abortions,” Paul said, before indicating he would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. Paul also repeated his position on state governments having the right to decide for themselves, “But I want to sort this out the way the constitution mandates, and that is at the local level.”

Ron Paul, a former OB-GYN, said his anti-abortion position was based on his view that a fetus was a human being with the same rights as any other person, just as he advocated personal privacy that would not give people the right to commit murder. Based on this, he does not view a woman’s claim to her own body as superior to the fetus’s right to life.

“It’s a legal position because I honor and respect the rights of the mother. I don’t want any government in your home: no searches without warrants, no cameras. But you can’t kill your baby in your home.”

Paul is the first candidate to appear on the popular daytime talk show since a writers strike began last month. Democratic candidates have said they would not cross picket lines to appear on The View while the strike persists. However, Paul did.

That speaks volumes on his position dealing with organized labor (post for another day). 

Paul’s and all the other candidates who have taken the – let’s-push-the-abortion-issue-onto-the-states, position, fail to understand one basic idea, and that is that the abortion issue has traditionally been used as a wedge issue to divide the electorate with the hope of distracting us from the unabated corruption that is perpetuated by both parties, and that most people know better. In fact, the only people that still seem to give a shit are the radical Christian right, and they’re a bit ignorant and naive anyways in my opinion (i.e. murdering abortion doctors, trying to convince people that the founding fathers were pro-religion and pro-God in government, etc.) 

If the test to see if you are a true liberal is woman’s right to abortion no matter the circumstances, than I guess that makes me conservative too! Can’t people just use birth control? The ‘pill’ can be gotten anywhere for free along with a ton of other free services for both men and women who are sexually active. I mean let’s be real here – they practically give condoms out like candy in most schools around the country. So what’s with the single moms with three kids by different dads?

Laziness I think. 

But the central problem with Paul’s position is that society has always acknowledged that compromise is necessary in circumstances such as rape and health concerns. Paul doesn’t buy into that, and that’s where he is wrong. In modern times there is birth control, contraception, day after pills, in addition to traditional abstinence. If you can’t handle the responsibility of having a child than you should be able to figure out how to avoid that possibility. However, if you are raped, why should you be held accountable? 

The fundamental flaw in Paul’s thinking and in the thinking of other anti-Supreme Court conservatives who claim that ‘liberal’ judges are legislating from the bench,  is that no United States court has ever legislated anything…ever…really! It is traditional in an adversarial legal system as we have in the United States, that the judicial branch is to determine the ‘constitutionality’ of our laws. This is what they did with Roe vs. Wade. They did not write a new law; rather, they interpreted the permissibility of existing law in the light of what the Constitution says. Seeing guys like Thomas Jefferson have been worm dirt for a few hundred years and we really cannot ask them how they feel about the issue in a modern context, we are forced to rely on the courts. Pretty simple really.

With all that being said, I think Roe v. Wade is on pretty sound legal footing. We do have the right to privacy even though it is not explicitly spelled out, and abortion rights should be based on this ideal as well as a woman’s right to bodily integrity. 
Abortion is not a big deal to me. 

I think the question we need to ask is – Why do we live in a world where we feel we might need to kill our children in the first place? Paul, nor do any other Conservatives, address this.  

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States Sue Over Poison Released Into the Environment…

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This a follow-up to a recent post on illegal chemical testing on U.S. citizens…  

Twelve states sued the Bush administration Wednesday to force greater disclosure of data on toxic chemicals that companies store, use and release into the environment.

The state officials oppose new federal Environmental Protection Agency rules that allow thousands of companies to limit the information they disclose to the public about toxic chemicals, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the lead attorney general in the lawsuit.

The change lets 100 polluters off the hook in New York alone, he said.

The EPA, however, said the change improves the Toxics Release Inventory law and eases requirements only on companies that can certify they have no releases of toxins to the environment.

The EPA this year rolled back a regulation on the law signed by President Reagan after the deadly Bhopal toxic chemical catastrophe in India in 1984, according to the states involved in the lawsuit. That law required companies to provide a long, detailed report whenever they store or emit 500 pounds of specific toxins.

The new rule adopted this year requires that long accounting only for companies storing or releasing 5,000 pounds of toxins or more. Companies storing or releasing 500 to 4,999 pounds of toxins would have to file an abbreviated form, said Katherine Kennedy, New York’s special deputy attorney general for environmental protection.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York City seeks to invalidate the EPA’s revised regulations.

“The EPA’s new regulations rob New Yorkers — and people across the country — of their right to know about toxic dangers in their own backyards,” Cuomo said. “Along with 11 other states throughout the nation, we will restore the public’s right to information about chemical hazards, despite the Bush administration’s best attempts to hide it.”

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the EPA’s action marginalizes a 20-year program that required companies to report the amount of lead, mercury and other toxins they released.

“Polluters can release 10 times more toxins like lead and mercury without telling anyone,” he said.

EPA spokeswoman Molly O’Neill had no comment on the suit. Companies that can show they release none of the toxins can avoid filing long and time-consuming reports, she said.

The change, O’Neill said, is “making a good program better.”

Not really Molly.

More than 300 companies in states like California and New jersey can conceal data under the new EPA rule, which is what the Bush administration wants. This rule change has no teeth at all. It is just another example of Republican ‘let-industry-police-itself’ policy not serving the public good.  

To combat this nonsense, states have chosen to file law suits, which I’m sure the Republicans will blame on trial lawyers as well.

“We feel the only course of action was to file suit and remedy this in the courts,” said Cuomo spokesman Jeffrey Lerner. 

Other states suing the EPA are Arizona, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Vermont.

This is what you get when you pack the EPA with a bunch of convicted ex-industry polluters and old oil executive buddies.

No surprise to me.
 

Is the U.S. Government Secretly Testing Americans…Again?

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Reprinted from KSLA-TV website, Shreveport, LA (November 9, 2007)

Could a strange substance found by an Ark-La-Tex man be part of secret government testing program?  That’s the question at the heart of a phenomenon called “Chemtrails.”  In a KSLA News 12 investigation, Reporter Jeff Ferrell shows us the results of testing we had done about what’s in our skies.

It seemed like some mornings it was just criss-crossing the whole sky.  It was just like a giant checkerboard,” described Bill Nichols.  He snapped several photos of the strange clouds from his home in Stamps, in southwest Arkansas.  Nichols said these unusual clouds begin as normal contrails from a jet engine.  But unlike normal contrails, these do ‘not’ fade away.

Soon after a recent episode he saw particles in the air.  “We’d see it drop to the ground in a haze,” added Nichols.  He then noticed the material collecting on the ground.
     “This is water and stuff that I collected in bowls.  I had it sitting out in my backyard in my dad’s pick-up truck,” said Nichols as he handed us a mason jar in the KSLA News 12 parking lot back in September after driving down from Arkansas.

KSLA News 12 had the sample tested at a lab.  The results:  A high level of barium, 6.8 parts per million, (ppm).  That’s more than three times the toxic level set by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA.

Armed with these lab results about the high levels of barium found in our sample, we decided to contact the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.  They told us that, ‘yes,’ these levels are very unusual.  But at the same time they added the caveat that proving the source is a whole ‘nother matter.

We discovered during our investigation that Barium is a hallmark of other chemtrail testing.  This phenomenon even attracted the attention of a Los Angeles network affiliate, which aired a report entitled, “Toxic Sky?” 

There’s already no shortage of unclassified weather modification programs by the government.  But those who fear chemtrails could be secret biological and chemical testing on the public point to the 1977 U.S. Senate hearings which confirmed 239 populated areas had been contaminated with biological agents between 1949 and 1969.  Later, the 1994 Rockefeller Report concluded hundreds of thousands of military personnel were also subjected to secret biological experiments over the last 60-years.

But could secret testing be underway yet again?  “I’d rather it be something inert and you know something that’s not causing any damage but I’d like to know what it is,” concluded Nichols.

KSLA News 12 discovered chemtrails are even mentioned by name in the initial draft of HR 2977 back in 2001, under the Space Preservation Act.  But the military denies any such program exists.

It turns out, until just nine years ago the government had the right, under U.S. law, to conduct secret testing on the American public, under specific conditions.  Only a public outcry repealed part of that law, with some “exceptions.”

Mark Ryan, Director of the Poison Control Center, explained that short term exposure to barium can lead to anything from stomach to chest pains, with long-term exposure causing blood pressure problems.

Ryan addressed concerns by chemtrail researchers that barium could be meant to wear down a person’s immune system.  “Anything that causes ill effects on the body long-term, chronically, is going to affect your ability, it’s just constantly working on the body.  So from that aspect yeah it’s a potential.”

Ryan told us he’s conducted research of his own about secret government testing on the public.  But he’s still a bit skeptical about chemtrails at the moment, especially considering that his Poison Control Center has seen no calls about barium exposure.

by: Jeff Ferrell

Disney to Alter Famous Ride to Accomodate ‘Fat’ Americans…

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Coming this January, Disney Land in Southern California will be closing its most famous ride – the one where visitors pile into flat-bottomed boats and go on a shiny plastic water tour of Planet Earth. The ride has to undergo some renovation…a retrofit to accommodate fatter riders.  

The reason?

Disneyland’s visitors have been getting bigger, wider and fatter, and the boats as they are currently constructed are not designed to carry the ‘extra weight.’ In fact, the boats have a habit of running aground under all the extra weight.

Of course Disney denies that is the reason. The official reason for the retrofit according to the company is because a series of fibreglass patches on the bottom of the waterway have created obstacles that need to be cleared.

However, people who frequent the park and employees have a different opinion.

Former employees and self-appointed ‘Disney watchers’ all attest to the frequent occasions on which the boats, orginally built in 1964 when we were thinner and smarter as a nation, on “It’s a Small World” ride, back up because a vessel carrying too much weight simply grinds to a halt. In fact, Disney employees operating the ride try their very best to calculate the girth and size of the riders coming down the line, ‘guest-imate’ their weight, and purposely leave a row or two empty on many boats.” Even, then, those tactics sometimes don’t work! Riders today just pack too much beef per rider.

The solution?

Disney will be digging a deeper fibreglass channel and replacing the old fleet of boats with new, ‘more buoyant’ upgrades. Because much of the ride is indoors and invisible to its operators, it can take up to 10 minutes to get a boat ‘un-stuck.” Then comes the gridlock. Then comes the unhappy patrons.

It has been reported that overweight visitors are a problem at other rides too, including the Pirates of the Caribbean, Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland.

The irony is that Disney has a joint marketing agreement with McDonald’s. At Disneyland and other theme parks, there is a plentiful supply of giant sodas, churros and ice cream, burgers, etc. And the Disney answer to people who get upset when their boat gets stuck?

The staff offers riders a free food ticket by way of apology.

Oh boy.

Democrats Must Stand Up to Bush on New War Funding Request for Many Reasons…

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The White House sent Congress a $189.3 billion request for funding for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader war on terrorism in 2008. The request adds $42.3 billion to the administration’s original request of $141.7 billion to cover 2008 war costs. It also includes 5.3 billion dollars that had been previously approved for mine-resistant armored vehicles known as MRAPS.US defense secretary, Robert Gates, outlined the rational for the additional war funding in congressional testimony on September 26. Monday’s action by the White House marks the formal request with all of the documentation to justify it the numbers. Gates said the request would include $6 billion to maintain US “surge” forces in Iraq through July.Gates and the Bush administration may have justified the increase in funding regarding the necessary costs of a war of their making, but they have not justified the human cost. After the veto of the SCHIP legislation last week the Democrats, as I have mentioned in prior posts, need to press this president on his priorities. The Democrats, in good conscious, cannot approve additional war funding until Bush concedes on SCHIP. The health and well-beings of children in this country is at least as important as the lives of the troops. Moreover, if the Democrats approve this request, they will have ultimately proved once and for all that they are more concerned with politics than principle. Bush already has the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent people on his hands and has shown a blatant disregard for human life. Do the Democrats want to be his willing accomplices?It is time to take a stand. Bushes approval rating is down to 25% and continues to plummet. Congresses approval rating stands at 27%. Most Americans want war funding cut specifically. What are Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of these Democrats afraid of? Practically speaking, they have absolutely nothing to lose. They have talked the talk but nothing more. There is no way this country punishes the Democrats next Fall for pulling the war funding. The only thing they really need to be concerned about is how the right-wing spin machine will try to demonize them for the move. If they prepare for that predictable eventuality (which has already started really if you’re paying attention), then they should be able to do the right thing by the American people and still retain their political capital.

The Democrats were elected on a wave of anti-war sentiment. It is time to cash in the chips and deliver on what was promised…an end to this senseless war. But more importantly, Bush and the Republicans must understand that their arrogance and hubris can be restricted – if only to breath some life back into our system of checks-and-balances.     

Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats Fail Once Again…This Time on SCHIP…

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US congressional Democrats today have failed us again. Another piece of key legislation went up in smoke as the House failed in their attempt to override President George W. Bush’s veto in response to their bid to expand a health care program aimed at millions of poor children.

The House of Representatives backed the override vote by Democratic leaders by 273 votes to 156, but fell 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to check Bush. Bush vetoed the bill on October 3, arguing it was a step towards “socialized medicine,” complaining it would be too expensive and would tempt some families now using private insurers to switch to government-funded coverage.

A CNN poll found this week that 61 percent of Americans though Congress should override the veto.

Democrats immediately ripped into Bush after the vote. Maybe they should have ripped into themselves.

Nancy Pelosi may go down in my mind as the worst Speaker of the House in history. If you need someone to engage in wonkish debate that results in nothing – she’s your gal! However, if you need someone to crack some political skulls and get a policy that 72% of the American people wanted to begin with (SCHIP) and 61% now want passed via override, then she’s not your horse. You’re probably saying…but Matt, the Democrats are doing everything they can! There’s not enough votes! Bush is heartless and a moron to boot! Blah. Blah. Blah. I say, how about a quick look back to the President’s ‘Medicare Perscription’ bill.

In 2003, Bush famously signed into law the most expensive health bill in our nation’s history. The Democrats wilted. That bill had a price tag of $400 billion over 10 years compared to SCHIP which would cost half that over the same amount of time. It almost didn’t pass as you might recall. Tom DeLay had to strong arm one fiscal conservative with a political threat against his son to get the necessary vote! The press learned later that the administration already knew that the price tag was being understated by over $100 billion, but the actuary with that information was being muzzled by his boss, so Congress might pass it anyway! Here’s the real kick in the head, the money spent on Bush’s ‘Pill Plan’ would line the pockets of pharmaceutical companies and HMOs, and in the end, some seniors saw an out of pocket cost increase! Some projections have a ten year cost on Bush’s Medicaid fiasco as high as $1 trillion! 

I WANT MY DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS TO FIGHT LIKE REPUBLICANS DO…DIRTY!!!!

Enough of this political small talk. Enough Bush bashing. Nothing is going to change this knucklehead’s position on anything that the Democrats propose to help the middle class. I personally prefer RESULTS and so do the American people (take a look at Congresses approval rating). Instead what we got is another dropped ball. The Democrats do not twist arms like Republicans or they simply will not. The results have been monumentally disappointing.

Here is how they should respond.

The President’s beloved ‘No Child Left Behind’ bill is up for re-authorization shortly. The Democrats should make no mistake here. Stick it right up Bush’s ass. He needs Democratic votes to get it re-authorized. In no way should the Democrats cave on this. They are bashing Bush as heartless toward the needs of children and he will inevitably bash back, saying Democrats have abandoned the educational needs of our children.

So be it.

If this ass of a President wants to play obstruction pinball, then let’s play. At least we can claim stalemate. If the Democrats do cave in, that will be the last straw for me. I will personally begin an online campaign for the removal of Nancy Pelosi as speaker and I will also punish my party by crossing over for the first time in 2008. I am also prepared to support Cindy Sheehan’s Congressional election efforts.

There, I said it.

Some states have already run out of funds, and in instances children may be literally dying because their parents can’t afford the procedures they require. Get these people on the ball Nancy and let’s start doing the shit work we need to do, in order to get a win on something…anything…please! Dig for dirt, rat out Republicans if you have to. Play Tom Delay style ball. If the Republicans are willing to go over the hill with Bush then make them pay – all of them. No more ‘No Child Left Behind’, no more war funding, no more anything. It stops now.

So far, the Democrats as a whole have accomplished nothing. Personally, I’m tired of nothing.

Bush Slaps Children in the Face with Heartless Child Healthcare Veto…

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President Bush on Wednesday vetoed legislation that would expand a children’s health insurance program by $35 billion over five years. The program called, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), was designed to fill the gap between families who made too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to provide health care for their kids – the key word being kids. Bush said he vetoed the bill because it was a step toward “federalizing” medicine and inappropriately expanded the program “beyond its focus on helping poor children. I believe in private medicine, not the federal government running the health care system.”

Inappropriate? Wasn’t the point of all this to make expanded health coverage for children appropriate? 

What’s not appropriate for old George, is that the program would cut into insurance companies’ profit pie. The government’s policy should be “to help people find private insurance” Bush said.

Ahh! Now that makes more sense! The corporate pay-masters think it’s a bad idea to cover all kids who need it under a federal program, so they just let their puppet president wield the veto sword. I’ve got it now.

The disgusting part is that the bill enjoyed wide bipartisan support in the Senate and House of Representatives. “I think that this is probably the most inexplicable veto in the history of the country. It is incomprehensible. It is intolerable. It’s unacceptable,” said Sen. Edward Kennedy. I’m with you Ted. No matter what faces these heartless Republican bastards, they simply will not throw the middle class a crumb – not even to kids. The Senate voted 67-29 last week to expand the program and has the required 2/3 for a veto.

“It’s very sad that the president has chosen to veto a bill that would provide health care to 10 million American children for the next five years. It is a value that is shared by the American people across the board,” Nancy Pelosi said. House Democrats also were quick to compare the bill’s $7 billion annual cost to the money spent each month on the Iraq war. Where were these ‘fiscal conservatives when we went to war in Iraq? There was plenty of money then. Maybe we should ask the Chinese for the money again? Hell, they already own us like a pet dog anyways, so lets just finance this too! 

Of course there are just enough narrow minded House Republicans that agree with our moron president to quash any override. “The public can see that we’re playing more political ‘gotcha’ than we are at really solving problems,” said Rep. Todd Akin, R-Missouri, who said the legislation contained “all of these little hidden gizmos, among other things that we’re going to provide health care to the children of illegal immigrants.”

Okay, what if the illegal immigration coverage gets dropped?

Akin also said the bill would have led to “a massive expansion of, basically, ‘Hillary’ socialized medicine,” a reference to Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and her unsuccessful health care efforts in the 1990’s. Gee, I guess you’re right Senator Akin. We are playing ‘Political Gotcha.’ If Hillary is for it, it must be bad – and we can’t give her any momentum for 2008 now can we?

In response, Democrats denied the bill would provide coverage to illegal immigrants and denied Akin’s charge.

I checked the language – the Democrats are right – so that makes Akin and every other Senator who voted against this bill an petty obstructionist and a liar.

What these anti-American middle class Republicans do not grasp is that healthcare is simply out of reach for many people in this country and that situation is only getting worse. Under this legislation, 4 million to 8 million more children will be covered.  It would only cost a maximum of $12 billion for the next five years. We’re spending over $2 billion a week in Iraq.

Sen. Orrin Hatch is as conservative as it gets, and he split from the president. “It’s very difficult for me to be against a man I care so much for,” he told his colleagues on the Senate floor before the vote. “It’s unfortunate that the president has chosen to be on what, to me, is clearly the wrong side of this issue.”

A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted September 27-30 found over 70% surveyed favor the program. 

Critics have said their concern is that parents might be prompted to drop private coverage for their children to get cheaper coverage under the bill. Can’t these knuckleheads get it through their thick skulls that the people who would be helped by this bill HAVE NO DAMN INSURANCE BECAUSE THEY CAN”T AFFORD IT!!!!! There is no switching to be done! We’re talking about the working poor here! They’re among us all and they just want to help their kids! What do we have to do with Bush and the rest of these jackasses who simply cannot wrap their simpleton heads around this issue – whip it into them with a stethoscope until they finally get it?  

…of course given the sexual behavior of some of these guys as of late…they might enjoy that.

For Profit Care Destroys the Life of the Elderly too…

 

Residents at nursing homes are worse off, on average, than ever before according to an analysis by The New York Times of data collected by government agencies from 2000 to 2006. Data shows that nursing homes acquired by large private investors have cut expenses and staff, sometimes below minimum legal requirements, in the name of profit. Watchdog groups say residents at these homes have suffered at the hands of corporate greed and have fared more poorly than residents over the past twenty years, from issues like depression, loss of mobility and loss of ability to dress and bathe themselves, according to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Typically nursing homes acquired by large private investment companies scored worse than national rates in 12 of 14 categories that regulators use to track ailments of long-term residents. Ailments such as bedsores and easily preventable infections, are all on the rise, which indicates lack of staffing and cost cutting operating procedures. Before they were acquired by private investors, many of those homes scored at or above national averages in similar measurements. Conclusion? Profit equals bad care. Don’t try to tell that to a conservative nursing home investor though.

Residents’ families often respond to such circumstances by suing large for-profit nursing home owners, and regulators have levied fines against nursing home chains where under-staffing led to lapses in care. But as you might imagine, private investment companies have made it very difficult for plaintiffs to succeed in court and for regulators to levy chain-wide fines by creating complex corporate structures that insulate offenders from such lawsuits, with the help of the Bush administration of course. By contrast, publicly owned nursing home chains are required to fully disclose who owns and manages their facilities in securities filings and other regulatory documents.

Privately owned homes also make it more difficult for regulators to know if one company is responsible for multiple centers, and corporate legal structures help managers bypass rules that require them to report when they pay themselves from programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Investors, as you might have guessed, defend these structures claiming they are common in other businesses and have helped them revive an industry that was on the brink of widespread bankruptcy – while they rake in millions in profit on the backs of the elderly. So according to them, the only way to fix things is to introduce profit – all other options like government subsidies, lowering unreasonable costs, overhauling medicaid and medicare, introducing a national healthcare plan that makes sense, partnering with regional not-for-profit agencies, etc., are not viable. Only profiteering can do the trick.

Families of residents say those for profit homes unjustly protect investors who profit while care declines. I agree.

When are people in this country going to accept the fact that high levels of patient care and high profit are not bed-mates? Time and again we are faced with situations across multiple health-care scenarios where corporate profiteers are willing to turn people away, charge exorbitant fees or deliver sub-par care in the name of the almighty dollar. We already know that the people who perpetuate such non-sense are morally bankrupt as they pursue their tunnel-visioned, financially secure existence, oblivious to a continually pressed middle class – but at some point don’t we need to put these people in check in the name of humanity? Can’t their be one area of the American economy that operates as not for profit? Just one? Or is our economy so fragile that marginalizing profit in the health-care industry would lead to financial chaos on a national level? Maybe it would. So this begs the question…instead of milking the elderly for all the gold they can give after a lifetime of giving into a hopeless for profit system, shouldn’t we be growing other sectors of the economy with the goal of supplementing our G.D.P., as we work to transform health-care into what it should be…a right for all, especially the elderly, not simply a privilege for the wealthy?

Vote Republican in 2008, and it will be more of the same.

Republicans Are ‘Universally’ Against Hillary’s Healthcare Plan…

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About 47 million Americans are without health insurance, 8 million of those being children. In response, Hillary Clinton unveiled her “American Health Choices Plan,” during a speech at a hospital in Iowa. “Here in America people are dying because they couldn’t get the care they needed when they were sick. I’m here today because I believe it is long past time that this nation had an answer,” Clinton said. “I believe America is ready for change. It’s time to provide quality affordable health care for every American,” ahe went on to proclaim, “And I intend to be the president who accomplishes that goal finally for our country.”

Strong words for someone who tried the same thing in 1994 and couldn’t make it fly, mainly for the same reasons it may not fly this time – every Republican within galaxies reach of her podium opposes it because they fundamentally do not care about the plight of the average American.  The plan calls for “mandated healthcare” much like states that require auto insurance by statute, and would offer tax credits to help pay for the coverage while calculating monthly payments based on income. In other words, the rich would pay more, and the poor would pay less, or possibly nothing. The plan also bars insurance companies from charging higher premiums for those with chronic illnesses, and allows you to keep your current doctor and coverage if you shoose to do so. Of course the conservative reaction was predictable. The rich pay more? Well…we certainly can’t have that now can we? It’s socialized medicine!!!!! Damn communist Democrats! Who do they think they are anyway – helping the serfs?

Here is a brief summary of reactions from the field of 2008 Republican presidential candidates…

McCain:

“I haven’t seen it, but if it’s anything like the last time around where they wanted to have a complete government takeover of the health care system in America with a huge number of new bureaucracies being invented for government, I will oppose it vigorously.”

Romney:

“Hillary Care continues to be bad medicine.”

“In her plan, it’s crafted by Washington; it should be crafted by the states. In her plan, we have government Washington managed health care. Instead, we should rely on the private markets to guide health care.”

Thanks Mitt. If want advice on having a harem, I’ll call you. Let’s leave the important stuff to someone else.  

Giuliani:

“Let’s not have HillaryCare – Hillary in charge of our health care. (Had to clarify what HillaryCare meant I guess…thanks for the heads up Rudy.) “Let’s put people in charge of our health care. (What is Hillary? A reptile?) “And the reality is the only thing that brings down cost and increases quality is a large consumer market, not government command and control. Government command and control only increases costs and decreases quality.” (I couldn’t tell by the $483.00 out of pocket my wife and I pay every month in the lower cost “consumer market.”)

In anticipation of such an acidic response, Clinton noted , “I know my Republican opponents will try to equate this plan with government-run health care. Well don’t let them fool you again…” Clinton went on to say that her plan would allow participants to “keep the doctors you know and trust” while it would expand “personal choice” and keep costs down.

Sounds good to me. Realistically, can it be worse than what is going on now? What do we want – greasy corporate pigs sucking us white in the name of profit as 47 million of us go without, or do we give Hillary, or anything else for that matter, a shot? I say let’s try it. All we have to do now is wait to see if the Republicans try to screw us again in the name of their corporate pay masters?

Buffalo Bills’ Everett will walk again…Medical Miracle…

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Kevin Everett of the Buffalo Bills voluntarily moved his arms and legs on Tuesday when awakened, prompting a neurosurgeon to say the Buffalo Bills’ tight end would walk again. Just one day before, the prognosis was grim. 

“Based on our experience, the fact that he’s moving so well, so early after such a catastrophic injury means he will walk again,” said Dr. Barth Green, neurological surgeon at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Green said he’s been consulting with doctors in Buffalo since Everett suffered an injury at the beginning of the second half. At full speed, the hit to Everett didn’t look like much, but was enough to cause a life threatening injury after ducking his head while tackling the Denver Broncos’ Domenik Hixon. Everett dropped face-first to the ground after his helmet hit Hixon high on the left shoulder and side of the helmet.

Asked whether Everett will have a chance to fully recover, Green said: “It’s feasible, but it’s not 100 percent predictable at this time. … But it’s feasible he could lead a normal life.”

In a report Tuesday evening, Buffalo’s WIVB-TV in Buffalo quoted Cappuccino as saying: “We may be witnessing a minor miracle.” Bills owner Ralph Wilson said the team has been in contact from the beginning with doctors in Miami and the news appears to be very promising. 

Everett’s agent, Brian Overstreet, also said Everett’s mother told him the player moved his arms and legs when awakened from a deeply sedated sleep.

“I don’t know if I would call it a miracle. I would call it a spectacular example of what people can do,” Green said. “To me, it’s like putting the first man on the moon or splitting the atom. We’ve shown that if the right treatment is given to people who have a catastrophic injury that they could walk away from it.”

Green said the key was the quick action taken by Cappuccino to run an ice-cold saline solution through Everett’s system which effectively put him in a hypothermic state. “We’ve been doing a protocol on humans and having similar experiences for many months now,” Green said. “But this is the first time I’m aware of that the doctor was with the patient when he was injured and the hypothermia was started within minutes of the injury. We know the earlier it’s started, the better.”

Everett remains in intensive care and will be slowly taken off sedation and have his body temperature warmed over the next day, Green said. Doctors will also take the player off a respirator.

“It’s an amazing group of circumstances. It’s a home run. It’s a touchdown,” Green said.

All of us here in Buffalo wish Everett and his family the best and we are all pulling for a speedy and full recovery.

Americans Financing Good Health????

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I did it. Earlier this year my dentist solemly informed me that I had advanced Periodontis, and advised me that if I wished to have a continuing relationship with most of my teeth, I should get in the neighborhood of $2000.00 worth of dental work done immediately. I had no problem with the dental procedure part, however I did have an issue with the ‘immediate’ part. What to do??? My dental coverage only paid for approximately half of the proposed procedure – the other half would have to come from…somewhere else. In my case, the somewhere else would be my HSBC Discover account.

Zero-interest financing, a typical sales incentive at car dealerships, is now being utilized by the medical retail industry (as I have come to call it) as a marketing tool to woo clients (customers as I have come to call them) to the newest big-ticket market – expensive medical stuff your insufficient insurance policy doesn’t pay for. 

When first introduced by companies like GE Capital and Capital One Bank, this type of low or no interest financing was used primarily for procedures like laser eye surgery, $6,000 ceramic tooth implants (or other implants not rated PG), not typically covered by insurance. Of course, going into debt to pay for medical procedures is nothing new for many people, however as health costs continue to sky-rocket, large corporate lenders will invariably prey on the middle class with higher interest rates and procedure rates (sticker prices as I have come to call them). 

Big insurers, too, are devising new financing plans with various kickbacks to doctors. Casual observation of the ‘market’ suggests that rising deductibles, unfair co-payments and the shear fact that Americans aren’t making as much or saving as much money as their parents did, may force more of the nation’s 40 million uninsured people to finance out-of-pocket expenses for even basic medical care.

Is there no limit to the depth’s the corporate power and money elite will sink to in the name of driving this sham debt-driven economy to preserve our democratic village, even if that means burning the village to the ground in the process? When are we, the screwed, going to stand up and demand fundamental change in our laws to protect the middle class from these predatory vultures? It’s a disgrace. Again I ask, where is my Democratic Party?

     

Leaked ‘Sicko’ Memo has Capital BlueCross Executive Fitpatrick Reeling…

It was bound to happen. Some stuff shirt HMO empty suit has gone on the offensive to damage control Michael Moore’s latest documentary ‘Sicko’. In a leaked memo, the not for profit (a kinder gentler way to charge outrageous premiums) Capital Blue Cross  CEO Barclay Fitzpatrick, authored a memo that explains how Moore’s latest work would have a “negative impact on our image in this community.” Moore’s work would have a negative impact? Could someone please tell this guy – once he pulls his head out of his ass – that most everyone already thinks that HMO’s and the medical industry in general are nothing more than a lot of slimy maggots who should all be dealt with in the same fashion that I deal with their kin found on rotten meat in my garbage cans? – with bleach and a heat gun. Moore just puts these crimes against the middle class on film to expose these scumbags who profiteer off the backs of the chronically ill for who they really are – a power money elite who are offended by the needs of an increasing desperate working America.

In the memo, Fitzpatrick crafts talking points that can be used to counter Moore’s commentary, thus essentially offering a weapon for corporate America to use in it never ending crusade to anal rape as much money as humanly possible out of the middle class. To read the memo, link to our ‘Books, Essays & Evidence’ page or click the link below and download a copy from Michael Moore’s website…it’s a must read.

http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/news/article.php?id=9996

More commentary to come…

Posted by Matthew Podoba 7/6/07