The Snowe Job, and Why a “Trigger” for a Public Option is Nonsense

Olympia_Snowe

The best way to give Blue Dogs cover is for the President to explain clearly and boldly why the public option is essential to health care reform, and why he’s ready to veto any bill that doesn’t include it.

Obama’s Last Chance on Health Care

Obama’s desire to find a common ground was part of his attraction. This is not what most progressives find troubling. Rather, it is Obama’s reluctance to use the vast powers of the presidency to drive the enactment of his top domestic priority that many of his longtime supporters simply cannot understand.

So Is Health Care for All Really Un-American?

John Winthrop, first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

Whatever the merits of recent objections to the public option, it is simply untrue that the plan is un-American. We have only to turn to our founding generations to see that government provision for the sick is health care in the American grain.

The Lessons from History on Health Care Reform

free-market

The ideal of universal care has revolved around two poles. In the 1930s, liberals imagined a universal right to health care tied to compulsory insurance, like Social Security. Johnson based Medicare on this idea, and it survives today as the “single-payer model” of universal health care, or “Medicare for all.” The alternative proposal, starting with Eisenhower, was to create a market for health care based on private insurers and employers.

Dick & Sharon’s Excellent Town Hall Adventure

caam_3

For this corner of the world, with people who worked hard to elect Barack Obama, whose lives have already been profoundly changed by his election—just look at their faces—and who desperately want him to succeed, Obama needs to deliver on his promises to fix America’s broken healthcare system

“Just Old Men Talking” at the Playhouse Theatre

Just-Old-Men-Talking-Flyer

“Just Old Men Talking,” Written by Grady L. Mackey III, Directed by Sharon L. Graine/. September 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13. Playhouse Theatre Players, 600 Moulton Avenue, Los Angeles. Reservations at 323.227.5410

California’s Initiative Process Could Lead the Way on Real Health Insurance Reform

Propositions

Given a chance to do something simple, clear, and fair to limit insurance company death panels and to punish bad faith insurance decisions, many people might stand up for beginning health insurance reform the way they stood up for car insurance reform.

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Half Measures and Lukewarm “Reform” Won’t Save the Middle Class

liberty

The 30-year class war the rich launched against the working people in this country (and reached its apogee during the George W. Bush years), has left the middle class reeling and wounded. Only bold federal action that puts something concrete in the palms of middle-class Americans can begin to turn these dire social conditions around.

What Obama Must Demand from Congress on Health Care

werewolves

In order to get anything meaningful through this session of Congress, then, the President will have to give Congressional Democrats far more leadership and more cover. Doing so is harder now than before the recess, when he was still basking in the afterglow of a honeymoon and 60% favorabilities.

My Wonderful “Socialist” Life

socialized-healthcare

I’ve paid slightly higher taxes for and benefitted from life- and sight-saving treatment in my 12-years abroad. They each tackle the issue very differently AND… everyone is covered.

When “Public Options” Serve the Public—and When They Don’t

Democracy

But where an active citizenry avails itself of its democratic rights to provide for the general welfare, public options work just fine. Let’s use and cherish them.

The Guns of August, and Why the Republican Right Was So Adept at Using Them on Health Care

private-insurance

What we learned in August is something we’ve long known but keep forgetting: The most important difference between America’s Democratic Left and Republican Right is that the left has ideas and the right has discipline.

He Saw the Promised Land

Teddy

Rather than enshrine him in a giant marble bust to sit alongside Henry Clay’s, as some have suggested, this is their time to follow in the footsteps Everett Dirksen trod in 1964 and yield to an idea whose time has come, and to build a far greater monument to the legacy of their fallen friend. It’s what Ted would want.

Beware Authoritative “Inside Washington” Sources Who Say The Public Option is Dead

Lorry

Sometimes reform has to occur in a big way, everything or nothing, if it’s to happen at all. That’s the way it is with health care reform at this stage. Every moving piece is related to every other one. That’s also why a public option is necessary.

Cry, The Beloved Country

helathcare-mob

Meanwhile, to my knowledge, only one elected Republican official has called for this to stop. I guess crazy is a pre-existing condition, as Paul Krugman notes in his blog.

Health Care Reform? Yes We Can!

obama-progress

Although health care nightmare stories abound across the United States, we don’t have to focus simply on the negative. Why not cultivate a positive vision for the kind of health care we deserve as a nation?

A Progressive Dream: Obama’s Poker Game on Healthcare

obama_-bw

Once upon a time, in a land far closer than we care to admit, a leader was elected, not selected, by a majority of those who voted, based on a dream of hope. The hope was that he was smarter than the last leader, willing to make us less fearful, safer, and better than we [...]

Hope for Health Reform Fading

public-option

The White House showed a white flag last weekend, discarding its commitment to a “public option” that would compete with private health insurance. Since then, despite efforts to backtrack, the signal keeps flashing: Obama won’t go to the mat for a public option after all.

The Spirit of Ted Kennedy

ted-kennedy

In the words of US Senator Ted Kennedy, “we will end the disgrace of America as the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t guarantee health care for all of its people.”

Wake Up California Assembly! Who Are You Punishing with This Prison Budget?

prison_2

If we can’t make sensible reforms to save money in our corrections’ system, then more children will lose their health care, more teachers will be laid off, and more health and safety programs will be cut. Inevitably, we will have more people stealing more pizza and headed off to the only government program left: prison.

They Say Obama Lies and Grandma Dies. Grandma Dies Anyway Because Co-Pays Are Too High

Any talk of healthcare reform has to take into serious account the skyrocketing costs of co-pays and prescriptions. On the one hand, we can’t play up the benefits of preventative healthcare but then charge the patient an arm and a leg, no pun intended.

How Bad Is America’s Healthcare Crisis?

public-option

Drawn from a presentation Dr. Matt Hendrickson gave at a Single-Payer Healthcare forum given in Santa Monica last month, our LA Progressive survey was designed to underscore just how dire America’s healthcare system has become—and to give you a chance to test your knowledge and intuitions.

Why the Gang of Six is Deciding Health Care for Three Hundred Million of Us

Senate Finance "Gang of Six," clockwise from upper left: Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota;Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming., Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico; and Olympia Snowe R-Maine.

Why has it come down to these six? Who anointed them? Apparently, the White House. At least that’s what I’m repeatedly being told by sources both on the Hill and in the Administration.

Remember When Health Insurance Was a Great Idea?

rightwing-healthcare

The fact of the matter is that the medical delivery system can certainly use improvement, which is being done by, among other things, the importation of systems-management procedures; and clinical trials of various sorts; but the insurance industry is of no help in either effecting these improvements or in the diagnosing or treating of patients. It merely adds another obnoxious burden, the aggravation and financial cost that all of us must bear.

Mainstream Media Fails to Report the Facts on Healthcare Reform

Major media outlets have failed the public again.

Mr. Becerra: Go to Washington! We Need a Hero in Health Care Reform

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Xavier Becerra

I met you at a town hall meeting and was so impressed with how conscientiously you listened to every person in attendance and how sensitively you represent our district. I know you will not fail us now on this most important issue of health care reform.

How Tough Is Our President?

President Barack Obama jogs in to speak at a town hall meeting on health care in Belgrade, Mont. Friday, Aug. 14, 2009.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The President’s centeredness, calm, and dignity inspire trust but also suggest a certain lack of combativeness, a reluctance to express indignation, and an unwillingness to identify enemies — resulting in a tendency toward compromise even at the early stages of controversy.

How Bad Is America’s Healthcare Crisis?

The questions for this survey were drawn from a presentation by Dr. Matt Hendrickson, founder of the Southern California Chapter of Physicians for National Healthcare Program, which we reported on in “A Long and Winding Road to Universal Healthcare.” Our recent “Healthcare Myths and Realities” is another good source of myth-busting facts. Correct answers are [...]

Citizen Chuck in Health Care Land, and the End of Civilization as We Know It

hidden-health-costs

Today, as I left the market, a paid signature gatherer asked me to endorse cutting state spending. I asked her if she knew that, after adjusting for inflation and population, California’s state spending has grown insignificantly in the past two decades. The state’s deficits exist because we reduced taxes, starting with proposition 13.

The Public Option’s Last Stand, and the Public’s

obama-crisis

Without a public, Medicare-like option, health care reform is a bandaid for a system in critical condition. There’s no way to push private insurers to become more efficient and provide better value to Americans without being forced to compete with a public option.

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