Another Great Swindle: Doctors, Hospitals, Pharma as Much to Blame as Insurers

Physician-Fee-Chart

While the health insurance industry’s immoral, amoral and, sometimes, illegal treatment of policyholders is an appropriate prime culprit and target in the current push for reform, the fact is that physicians, hospitals and drug companies are getting an undeserved pass by much of the media.

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.

Why I Am Risking Arrest for Medicare for All

margaret-flowers

I am going to be arrested because I believe that it is my professional responsibility to advocate on behalf of those patients who are suffering and because it is clear that traditional advocacy tools are not working.

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

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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.

Margaret Flowers Makes the Continuing Case for Single-Payer Reform

According to PNHP, this would save more than $400 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.

The Audacity of Greed: How Private Health Insurers Just Blew Their Cover

Health Care System Lock Out

So, insurance companies, we’ve got news for you. We’re going to make sure Americans have the freedom to choose a public insurance option that’s cheaper and better, and you’re going to have to work hard to keep them your customers.

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.”

The Public Option Lives On

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Big Pharma and Big Insurance hate the public insurance option even more than they hate big Medicare discounts. And although the President has sounded as if he would welcome it, political operatives in the White House have quietly reassured the industries that it won’t be included in the final bill.

Health Insurance Inaction More Likely to Kill You Than a Drunk Driver or Psychotic Murderer

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In roughly the time it takes to read this article, one American dies of not having health insurance or access to care. Take two down if you are a slow reader.

Senate “Minority Rule” Is the Disease, Not the Cure, for Health Care Reform

No

So it’s not just the senators’ credibility on the line if they fail to provide to all Americans a similar level of health care benefits that they themselves enjoy as senators. It’s the very democratic legitimacy of the body in which they serve.

To Succeed, Obama Needs to Channel His Inner LBJ

Obama should let any Democratic foot-draggers know that if they do not get with the program, he will un-elect them and put in Democrats more in tune with his priorities. The threat would be credible, as he is one of the great campaigners of modern political history.

When Has “Compromise” with Olympia Snowe Ever Been Good?

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Despite a brutal August recess where right-wing Teabaggers disrupted Town Hall meetings, the American people generally trust Obama on health care and want to see meaningful reform.

New Study: Public Option Popular In Blue Dog Districts, Across Nation

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Isn’t it w-a-y past time for the president, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to call out Democrat opponents for what they are: Lying shills who are in the pocket of insurance companies, and who have no regard for the problems of their constituents.

America’s Failed Model for the World

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The US used to lecture us in Europe about just about everything, but what does America have to teach now? Maybe America should learn something from Europe.

Time for the Yellow Dogs to Bite the Blue Dogs

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Where is the spine of the rank and file? When I see ten thousand crazy fascists in the streets in Washington DC with our President demeaned as Adolf Hitler, I get angry at the silence of our so-called leadership.

Why Olympia Snowe Should Vote Against the Baucus Plan

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How is it that a decision next week by a single Senator from Maine will almost certainly determine whether America’s future healthcare system is still in the hands of private for-profit insurance companies and Big Pharma or enables more Americans to get better health care at lower cost?

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and the 10th Amendment

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minnesota)

Somehow, I suspect Pawlenty is more interested in the impact of his idiotic comments on the GOP’s dwindling base of lunatics than he is in my comments. If I hear back, I’ll let you know.

Why Is Max Baucus Even a Democrat?

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus finally produced his own health care bill earlier this week – and it’s an absolute gift to the insurance industry.

Cut the Crap: Compared to America, Canada’s Health Care Is a Utopian Dream

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I’ve experienced health care on both sides of the 49th parallel and can tell you that, compared to what happens when you get sick in the US, Canada is utopia.

GOP Thugs Warn Collins, Snowe: Oppose Health Care or Face Primary Challenges

Maine Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe

Now we have proof that the crazies grabbed control of the asylum and bullies are shaking down and thumping – not entirely figuratively – Republicans in the halls of the US Senate.

Healthcare Reform Is America’s Anti-Theft Device

roadblock

If healthcare reform is to succeed, its proponents must reframe the issue as one of nationwide criminality. The current health insurance system is a recurring act of national theft.

Obama Didn’t Deliver for Progressives, But Paved Way For Success

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the Obama Administration knows that the final health care bill won’t get a single Republican vote – and is preparing to make it possible to pass a public option. But it will only become a reality if progressives focus like a laser beam in order to make that happen.

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