How Obama’s Health Care “Reform” Kills Health Care

Healthcare costs

Shamus Cooke: The ability for millions of people to see through the muddle in Washington points to a larger distrust of the two-party system. Even as “progressive Democrats” and other liberal pundits bow before the health care industry by urging passage of “an imperfect” health care bill, workers, the poor and the elderly aren’t taking the bait.

Bust Up the Health Insurance Trusts

health-insurance-reform

Robert Reich: Regardless of what happens at the White House’s health care meeting , we’ve got to make sure health insurers compete for every one of our dollars. The Federal Trade Commission should launch an investigation immediately, and end the health care trusts.

Public Option Only Way Out of Health Care Mess

Obama_and_Reid

Paul Hogarth: Polling in key states where hot Senate seats are in play (Illinois, Colorado and Harry Reid’s own Nevada) shows the public option is still popular, and putting it back in the health care bill would improve things. Only 34% of Nevadans liked the Senate bill that passed in December, but 56% like the public option. The gap grows to 31 points in Illinois and 37 points in Minnesota, so why not use it?

It’s Time To Enact Health Care With 51 Senate Votes

GOP-empty-heads

Robert Reich: My free advice to the President: If you want to get healthcare enacted you must use reconciliation and quickly. Host your bipartisan gab fest at the White House on Thursday. Then tell the House and Senate to get to work on putting their bills together (or tell the House Dems to enact the Senate bill and then save their disagreements for reconciliation), and tell Harry Reid you want the Senate bill on a fast track of reconciliation.

LA Progressive: February 7-13, 2010 — Table of Contents

Articles this week by Tom Hall, David A. Love, Kenneth Weisbode, Andrea Christina Nill, Denis Campbell, Robert Reich, Michele Wasdin, Jasmyne Cannick, Rev. Irene Monroe, Robert Letcher, Sharon Toji, Berry Craig, Anthony Samad, Randy Shaw, K.C. Johnson, Tim Gatto, Ron Wolff, Mary L. Dudziak, Sharon Kyle, Paul Kiel, Joseph Palermo, H. Scott Prosterman:

The National Anthem: Why We Need Health Care Reform So Desperately

Private Health Insurance

Robert Reich: Anthem obviously believes it can raise its rates by as much as 39 percent without losing every one of its remaining customers with average or even somewhat above-average medical needs. The only way it could possibly raise its rates so high and expect to keep its customers would be if Anthem’s customers have no other choice.

Medicare-for-All: The Answer to a President’s Call and a Nation’s Woes

Obama-sotu

Dr. Margaret Flowers: I was overjoyed to hear you say in your State of the Union address on Wednesday night: “But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.” My colleagues, fellow health advocates and I have been trying to meet with you for over a year now because we have an approach which will meet all of your goals and more.

Blue Shield Cares — About What?

Hairdresser

Wendy Block: My criticism of Blue Shield (substitute Blue Cross or Aetna or…) is that the medical experts who know and have treated me for many years, got disgusted and finally left. My HMO doc gives me normal prescriptions and orders routine lab tests. But often, normal isn’t enough.

Democrats Never Had Sixty Votes; Sixty Votes Never Mattered

Obama Massachusetts

Paul Hogarth: With Scott Brown now pledging to be the 41st vote to kill health care reform, Democrats cannot react by ramming through a bill before the Senate seats him. Republicans are not interested in governing; it’s time to pass a real bill through reconciliation.

Blaming the Left

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)

Randy Shaw: The Democratic Party is facing a voter revolt because it once again allowed its corporate wing to set its agenda. And while the media blames the left Obama and the Democrats either implement a progressive agenda and shape the midterm elections around populist themes, or face further electoral “upsets” in November.

The Last Big Question: Will Health Care Reform Be Paid For By The Rich or the Middle Class?

Public Option

Robert Reich: Some say the Senate’s excise tax is the only way to control long-term health care costs. Baloney. If a portion of the middle class loses their health care, they won’t get the preventive care that’s so crucial to containing long-term costs.

“Hands off My Medicare”: The Deadly Legacy of Social Insurance

Medicare

Colin Gordon: As the House and Senate hammer together the controversial health-care bill, a historian of the issue warns that the new law may be doomed by the American system of treating government benefits as bought and paid for.

Hypocritical Outrage: Why the Process of Engineering This Health Reform Bill Is No Uglier Than the Rest of Congress’ Handiwork

mitch mcconnell

Tanya Acker: Twice last week I was on panels with Republicans who expressed surprise about the “unseemly” tactics employed by Democrats in passing health care reform. The horsetrading was so “venal!” The process so “hyperpartisan!” Noble Americans, we should all be so very shocked! Well, not really.

A Year of Fall and Decline

sarahs-book

David Swanson: This year opened with the United States Supreme Court claiming further power to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, specifically by further opening up elections to the highest bidder.

No, No, Joe!

Lieberman-orderley

Jerry Drucker:
In his 2006 primary fight against Ned Lamont, No No Joe told the voters he was all for universal health care for all Americans and they needed him in office to push it through. (He must have meant ‘push it through the exit door.’)

Pass the Health Care Bill: Then Improve It

Healthcare_Collision

Peter Dreier: It is incredibly irresponsible for some radicals and progressives to call for killing the health care bill. It is important to push for changes that would improve the Senate version of the bill. For example, the House funding plan (a tax on families with incomes over $1 million) is much better than the Senate version (a tax on so-called “Cadillac” health insurance plans). That’s what the labor movement, liberal and progressive Democrats in Congress, pro-choice advocates, and others will be doing in hopes of putting a better bill on President Obama’s desk, as Harold Meyerson discusses in his latest Washington Post column.

Reconciliation Is Conventional, Not Nuclear

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia)

Richard M. Mathews: With the death of the public option in the Senate version of the health care reform bill, more attention is being paid to the budget reconciliation process. The House-Senate conference could bring back the public option, but a filibuster could still kill it. The reconciliation process would allow the bill to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes rather than the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.

Healthcare Bill Cedes Too Much to Insurance Industry

Leeches

NNU and nurses will continue to work with the thousands of grassroots activists across the nation to campaign for the best reform, which would be to expand Medicare to cover everyone, the same type of system working more effectively in every other industrial country. The day of that reform will come.

My Blue Shield Experience Embodies Our Stupid and Wasteful Health Insurance System

GOP-Health

With a single payer system, one entity would coordinate everything. Eliminating the majority of paper-pushing companies and employees with their cubicle-bred mindsets (forget expertise!) could lead the way for Janet and other competent people to run things.

Hey, Hey, LBJ! What Kind of Bill Would You Kill Today?

At a Christmas party a couple weeks ago, back when it looked as if the Senate bill’s compromise would include the Medicare buy-in, a friend of mine told me that he predicted Harry Reid was gong to go down in history as the next LBJ. When I reminded him that the deal was not yet [...]

The Oligarchy Wins Again!

CEO

Something, anything, has to be done at some point to show that the Obama Administration is not just the latest group of good people with good ideas that are absorbed into a system that makes Hamid Karzai look like a clean government activist. The corporate money so clogs the arteries of our body political the whole damn thing is sclerotic, choked off from the life-giving oxygen of democracy.

Rationing Medical Care: Health Officials Struggle With Setting Standards

A triage training exercise at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey in April 2005. (Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

“The partisan attacks of the health reform debate have set back the public discussion of resource allocation in a very serious way by putting things in terms of ‘death panels’ or ‘it’s un-American to limit resources,’ as if American insurers don’t do that all the time.”

Senate Speech Heralds New Social Movement

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

It is time for the health of human beings to prevail. It is time to end the insurance cartel. Please join us as we continue forge the movement that will win Medicare for All. Onward to single payer.

Slouching Toward Health Care Reform

Dead-in-the-water

Real reform has moved from a Medicare-like public option open to all, to a public option open to 6 million without employer coverage (still in the House bill), to a public option open only to those same people in states that opt for it, or about 4 million (the original Harry Reid version of the Senate bill), to no public option but expanded Medicare (the Senate compromise) to no expanded Medicare at all (the deal with Joe “I love all the attention” Lieberman).

Joe Lieberman Is “Unbalanced”

Lieberman

At the same time, senior Senate aides from both sides of the aisle report that while Lieberman has always been unpredictable and difficult to work with, it’s a trait that became magnified after he lost his primary challenge to Ned Lamont in 2006.

Senators, Thanks For Reminding Us Why We Don’t Like You

Lieberman-Plumber

If Washington is the place where “good ideas go to die,” as candidate Obama liked to say, then the Senate is the slaughterhouse. This white millionaires’ club where the biggest egos on Earth tell us how goddamn important they are has just screwed the middle class in this country — a middle class that is reeling after years of being beaten down by these Senators’ masters in private industry.

The Day the Democrats Died

rahm

But with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel bullying the Senate to cut a deal – any deal – just to save face, the pressure proved too much. Those who hoped Obama would use Rahm to strong-arm a liberal agenda were wrong. If the President really cares about “change,” he wouldn’t have his henchman dampen progressive spirits.

How a Few Private Health Insurers Are on the Way to Controlling Health Care

Little-healthcare

Without some mechanism forcing private insurers to compete, we’re going to end up with a national health care system that’s controlled by a handful of very large corporations accountable neither to American voters nor to the market.

Medicare in Crisis: The Devastating Impacts of a Corporate Health Care Bill

Pill-bottle

But now the dust is starting to settle, and the Congressional vision for health care in the U.S. is emerging. Instead of being “progressive,” it will amount to a massive, corporate-inspired attack on American workers, the elderly, and the poor.

Harry Reid and What Happened to the Public Option

Republican-option

I’m still not giving up. I want every Senator who’s not in the pocket of the private insurers or Big Pharma to introduce and vote for a “Ted Kennedy Medicare for All” amendment to whatever bill Reid takes to the floor. And if this fails, a “Ted Kennedy Real Public Option for All” amendment. Let every Senate Democratic who doesn’t have the guts to vote for either of them be known and counted.

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