9/20/09: The Struggle for Affordable, Accessible Health Care (In The United States) Part VIII

THE CULTURE
G.O.P. (Republican Party, Teabagger Party) gets favorable opinion … in the South. Everyone else thinks they suck.

WHAT WE’VE BECOME
Ron Paul’s Campaign Manager, 49, Dies Uninsured, Of Pneumonia, Leaving family $400,000 Debt Old story, July 7, 2008. But you probably missed it.

Harvard Study links 45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of insurance
1 every 12 minutes, more Americans than drunk driving and homicide COMBINED. And we have no gun control. 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.
Counter-argument:
The National Center for Policy Analysis, a Washington think tank that backs a free-market approach to health care, said researchers overstated the death risk and did not track how long subjects were uninsured.
Counter to the counter argument: “For any doctor … it’s completely a no-brainer that people who can’t get health care are going to die more from the kinds of things that health care is supposed to prevent,” said Woolhandler, a professor of medicine at Harvard.

THE INDUSTRY AT WORK AGAINST YOU
Medicare to investigate Humana (Health Insurance Firm) for sending out letters enlisting seniors on Medicare to help the company fight health care reform. The letters state that “millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so … (article cuts off at this point unless you subscribe to WSJ).
The Economist: Heading for the emergency room. NO ONE will be astonished to hear that health care costs more in Indiana than in India. However, a few might be surprised to learn that Americans spend more than twice as much per person on health care as Swedes do.

SENATOR MAX BAUCUS’ BILL
Remember, this is only the first of six (I think) bills that will compete for final approval of the Senate and House to be sent to the President’s desk. But it is considered THE primary bill that will be worked with.
This “sellout” bill is a dangerous game. We needed an honest attempt to bring down health costs and reform health care with fairness. This bill makes a major mistake in failing to guarantee the cost will come down. Everyone’s rates are virtually guaranteed to be excessive. The bill’s price tag is deceptively small: they cut its projected 10 year cost by slashing the provision to subsidize low income citizens.
First, “Free Market” Welfare for Wall Street: Now Max Baucus’s Welfare for Big Insurance and Big Pharma Senator Jay Rockefeller, knew that the Baucus bill could economically devastate the generally low-paid, poor, and unemployed of his home state of West Virginia, so he protested about the financing scam to once again redistribute wealth by getting those without many financial resources to enrich those who already have more money than they know what to do with.
Big Insurance to Government: You Make it Affordable, We’ll Gouge the Profit! Big Insurance and Big Pharma have the usual “free market” answer: let the taxpayers subsidize our profits!
Mighty Bill Maher roars again! The Baucus bill requires everyone to purchase private insurance — at higher rates! No public option to control costs. Higher rates for everyone. Poor get subsidized, but they must qualify, like for section 8. If you have a job, forget it. You pay full price. This is not health care reform. I hope a bill that is acceptable emerges soon.

OBAMA HITS THE ROAD FOR PUBLIC OPTION MAYBE HEALTH PLAN
Reaction: Peggy Noonan: Obama Media Tour “Boorish”
Reaction to Peggy Noonan – Daily Kos: “Obama is a boor because only a low class, rude person with no manners would reject the declaration of the Village elders in the media that health insurance reform is dead, actually insisting on a vote from congress and stuff. Doesn’t he know who they are?”

REMEMBER TO SPECIFY YOU WANT THE “STRONG” PUBLIC OPTION
Protect Insurance Companies PSA from Will Ferrell

The strong Public Option includes carte blanche powers to keep costs low for the care it provides its members, negotiating for lowest prices on prescription drugs and hospital stays.

New Poll: 77 Percent Support “Choice” Of Public Option. I wouldn’t doubt the numbers could go up into the 90s once people really know what public health insurance is. It is quality care. It is affordable care. It is the doctor you want. It would cut the deficit in half, not just be “deficit neutral”.

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