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.

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.

An Open Letter to Harry Reid on Controlling Health Care Costs

Harry

Wrap these reforms together — a public option open to everyone (allow states to opt out of this if they dare), Medicare-negotiated drug benefits, no 12-year monopoly for new drugs, and a major squeeze on Medicare reimbursements for doctors — and have CBO score the savings. I guarantee you, the number will be large. Then you should dare anyone, Democrat or Republican, to vote against saving Americans so much money in years ahead.

Is Health Care a Human Right?

Eleanor Roosevelt

Since World War II the United States has gradually broadened its understanding of human rights for minorities, women, gays, and others. Is it not time to continue moving forward by now recognizing a right that most leading democracies and exponents of human rights have come to accept–the right to accessible and affordable health care?

Death Panels in Perspective

As a longtime resident of Wasilla, Alaska, I wonder if my hometown will ever escape its current association with partisan politics in the minds of people elsewhere. More specifically, will the American public ever be able to engage in an adult conversation about end-of-life medical issues? Too many people, it seems, don’t realize that death [...]

HR 3962 Passes After Generations of Americans Ignored

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962.  It’s being touted as a major step forward but for those who support Single Payer, it is anything but. From the house floor, Speaker House Nancy Pelosi called the passing of H.R. 3962, “an historic moment for our nation”. [...]

The Next Phase of Healthcare Apartheid

Public-Option

The official position of the California Democratic Party is unequivocally in favor of single-payer healthcare. And yet Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, did what she could to sabotage the single-payer position of her own party in her own state.

Solicitor General Appeals HSPD-12 Case to Supreme Court

elena kagan

The Solicitor General has opened a Pandora’s Box, permitting the Supreme Court to possibly erase all protections that citizens might have against government snooping into the most intimate details of their private lives. The government could engage in a wholesale invasion of privacy.

Health Care Debate Triggers Mass Confusion

Palin_obamacare

The media gives false credibility to claims by insurance company-owned politicians that their real motivation is fiscal prudence. No matter that the prospect of large budget deficits never deterred these politicians from supporting wars of choice or deficit-creating tax breaks for the rich.

The Public Option vs. the Ghost of Jefferson Davis HR 3962

But in considering what compromise measure Reid DID include in the bill to make it more acceptable to the right, and to attract votes that he isn’t going to get and doesn’t need, I am deeply disturbed by the way that we chose to identify this “trigger” as the deal-breaker at the expense of fighting something else which is indeed wholly unacceptable.

States Permitted to Worsen But Not Improve Healthcare?

Lobby

The very best possible bills now under consideration in Congress are largely bailouts for health insurance companies at public expense. The “public option,” which was originally sold to us as a path toward a single-payer solution or Medicare for all, has been reduced to — at best — a token mitigating factor in a catastrophically bad law.

It Takes a Village to Make a Public Option Work

LarryWinesTiedToTheTracks

Our village could afford to provide health care to everyone, if we weren’t spending so much to fund the war profiteers who keep us living in fear. The village providing health care to everyone would be the Public Option.

Fear of Illness

medication

The virus, though, only appears to be as deadly as other yearly viruses as the deaths associated with the new virus are at a minimum. But the fear is now established and people want the vaccine.

Like Letterman, Obama Needs to Refuse to Pay Hush Money

Letterman-color

But if Obama doesn’t weigh in forcefully and say “no” to the hush money for Big Pharma, big insurance, and the AMA, America’s middle class will get walloped. And if the walloping starts before 2012, Sarah Palin or some other right wing-nut populist will wallop Obama.

Protesters Hated Medicare

Medicare was once just as hated as the public option by the right.  But it didn’t take long for them to adjust to the idea. Listen to Dr. Don Broder discuss his personal accounts of the opposition to Medicare.

So Much Happening in Washington and So Little to Show for It, So Far

Politics Elephant cartoon

The public doesn’t know what’s going on because the national media would rather report on the sexual escapades of famous people or social trends or high finance (a recent Pew study of economic reporting shows the vast majority of stories about the Great Recession have focused on Wall Street rather than Main Street).

Not the Belly of the Beast

locked-out

Thanks Max Baucus and the ObstructaDems and the GOP and Fox and the medico-insurance complex. You’ve really done a number on America. The question for the rest of us is: Why are we sitting at home reading this instead of storming Washington demanding the change we voted for?

Medical Journal Health Affairs Bends Over and Coughs for Aetna

Uncle-Sam

Health Affairs made a deal with Aetna to sponsor the current issue of the journal. The problem is that the theme of the edition is “Bending the Cost Curve.” That’s wonk speak for “controlling or containing medical costs in ways that send shivers up the spine of Aetna.”

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...