Public Option a fight worth winning

June 18, 2009 at 11:21 AM (Uncategorized) (, )

Dear Senate:

Your constituents are dying
Your constiuents are bankrupt due to medical costs.
Your constituents are denied heathcare coverage under the current system due to so many factors from preexisting conditions to sexual orientation
Your constituents are risking costly emergency care by avoiding earlier preventive coverage since they are uninsured.
Your constituents who are insured are stuck with high deductible junk insurance through their employers, and their economic solvency is threatened as well.
Suck it up, spit in the eye of the lobbyists, and do what’s right for your constituents, or you may not have any constituents if you decide to run for reelection.

Plain and simple: public option Now. No obfuscation, no caving, no whining. Do It Now.

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Oh, brother….

May 5, 2009 at 11:31 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

From the NYT:

Well we knew HMO’s/PPO’s would continue the minute the private health insurers voices were invited as stakeholders into the health care debate.

The so-called public option still exists.  But it’s fairly toothless.  Senator Schumer’s compromise points (presumably to satisfy private insurers that they could still rake in $$$ and ‘compete.”)

The public plan must be self-sustaining. It should pay claims with money raised from premiums and co-payments. It should not receive tax revenue or appropriations from the government.

The public plan should pay doctors and hospitals more than what Medicare pays. Medicare rates, set by law and regulation, are often lower than what private insurers pay.

The government should not compel doctors and hospitals to participate in a public plan just because they participate in Medicare.

To prevent the government from serving as both “player and umpire,” the officials who manage a public plan should be different from those who regulate the insurance market.

The plan should also establish a reserve fund.

Not, Quite, Right.

If we *must* continue with private insurers as part of the plan let’s requote the text and shift it a bit shall we? And FYI I used to work in the Illlness Exploitation Industry, so I know a bit whereof I speak.

The public plan must be goverment funded for at least a percentage, the percentage to be determined in committee and be no less than 30 and no more than 50 percent with option to revise that downward should expenses be met. It should pay most of its claims with money raised from premiums and co-payments.

The public plan’s rates and Medicare’s rates should match, and Medicare’s rates should be increased to be more in line with present private insurance rates. Specifically, take the highest private reimbursement for a covered benefit and the lowest private reimbursement in a given area and *split the difference* !.

The government should compel doctors and hospitals to participate in a public plan. However, doctors can limit the *number* of appointments per week they take from recipients, should they choose to and hospitals can also decide not to take it for anything elective. (I don’t like to cut, but they will expect some, so…)

To prevent the government from serving as both “player and umpire,” the officials who manage a public plan should be former administrators of county hospitals, and other public health entities, not business people who think insurance companies are their own personal bank accounts, and yes these would be different from those who regulate the insurance market.

The plan should also establish a reserve fund. (I’m OK with that)

Private insurers, this public option, Medicare and Medicaid should also establish incentives to care for patients in the home rather than institutionally.

It’s *cheaper!* (Union leaders of groups of nursing home employees and the nursing home lobby, I’m talking to you! Get out of the *** **** way!)

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Businesses love single payor health care.

September 20, 2008 at 8:32 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

Because it’s one of the factors that saves them boatloads of money when they outsource jobs overseas or to other countries…

How is it, that they can *recognize and document and use* the savings to themselves because they don’t have to pay (as much) of overseas workers health care costs…and fight so hard to block any healthcare reform here…

They’ll pocket the money they get by leaning on systems many on the right brand as ‘socialism, ‘ and yet sit and chuckle with the US healthcare lobby to make sure no changes happen.

Oh yes, let’s remove competitive restrictions from private health insurers.

Let’s privatize Social Security.

Just like we did with the banks whom taxpayers will have to bail out one way or another to the tune of 700 billion dollars.

For the love of whatever-one-holds-dear….*somebody* bleed those private health insurance lobbyists dry so that we can move toward a universal access and affordability system, and from there to single payor.

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Broken cipher

June 16, 2008 at 4:46 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

When did I turn left,

That corner, bend, crosstreet that means ‘liberal’

I was bent that way quick and painful…but I would have gotten there by the scenic route anyhow.

The family, you see. They’ve been wondering. When did I become a member of the ‘Democrat Party’ (cue shudder for wrong spelling)

I never was ‘on the right.’ Just wanted to be apolitical, research from the primary sources,case by case…

It began in March of ’89 when I was advised my beloveds clock was ticking…

Or, did it begin in 1987 when our first friend Ray died?

Or, was it 1982, before he returned to my life, when I knew nothing, and he was given Hobson’s choice, take the factorate, sign the waiver and you’ll-never-be-able-to-sue-but-you-will-be-able-to-be-treated-for-your-existing-life-threatening-condition?

Or, was it 1981 again, before me and after me, when he actually believed with Falwell on the projection screen that it was gods-vengeance-against-the-gays…

It began for me in 1987, when I began to form my own opinion about the conflicting medical data and four allegedly private, allegedly medical providers,who had allegedly used unsafe places to get medicine and allegedly unsafe practices in preparing it.

Or, completely separately my own cancer, having nothing to do with him, when I was first told I was in immediate danger of death, and then the story changed…I’d have to wait three weeks have someone actually start holding off death, to go to another hospital. God obliged, I suppose, because I lasted those three weeks.

Or a brief bit of political hilarity in 1992 when my mother in law was scandalized by the husband’s “Jessie Jackson– Jobs Peace Justice” t-shirt. He wore it to mow her lawn and drink a well deserved beer in her kitchen….he’d made quite a journey from Falwell to Jackson, and voted for Clinton…the guy who lied and then, nobody died. And then Jesse Helms sent him correspondence that informed my husband that his ticket was punched for hell. And made my husband cry.

(I think the husband wouda been a Hilary person, today…maybe Obama, maybe not.)

Was it In 1996 when I read that: Allegedly in June 1982 Six*months*after*they*were*allegedly told by the *alleged* govenment watchdog agency that they must retool, relearn the process to avoid *alleged* contamination of the *alleged medicine. that had previously not been the alleged instrument of his death, but the thing that kept him alive…

Why would anyone think I could trust a corporation after that? About anything?

Don’t trust them when they give you products and don’t trust them when you work for them.

Just don’t.

Or in 1998 when my life and Trent Lott’s intersected briefly.

He was holding up some small sliver of justice regarding my spouse’s demise and I sent him an email:

“Shame on you, Senator.”

It was, in fact my first ‘political dissent’

And then 9/11 forced us all to look at the whole world, not just our own personal little mistrusts.

2002. They make stuff up, and we start a second war. Money, disability,civilians women children soldiers….wrong war wrong place….And always my grim pragmatism outside of any moral outrage, “Who, for f***’s sake said we had *money* to give away to wage war like this?” I certainly didn’t.

Afghanistan I might have agreed with a blank check for in the beginning. (Yes, I’m the sort of bleeding heart liberal that wants Osama’s head on a pike in Times Square. I’m all soft and squishy like that.)

Not Iraq.

And even for Afghanistan: Torture? I never agreed to that.  If we torture, then *they will too.* I don’t want the torturing of US soldiers on my conscience thanks.  Gitmo? Well *that* worked out well, didn’t it.

Throwing CIA people under the bus to make political points. Ditching the Geneva Convention. More wiretapping of all of us here, so they don’t have to do it over there…Didn’t agree to that either.

The legal concept of Posse Comitatus stripped away, and not yet restored. (Habeas Corpus is on it’s way back, though. ) The politicization of the Departments of Education, Vocational Rehabilitation and Justice.

And then 2005. I admitted I was impaired and read a flood of blogs about neglect, abuse, abandonment, invisibility,disrespect…and began wishing that the Democrats would not just work for us, but know about us too.

And Katrina showed just how much this great country could do for it’s poor and/or minority and/or impaired people if they were trapped with no way out

Why would I trust that govermnent. About anything?

And (deep breath) That, family of mine, is why I am a Democrat.

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Campain

April 6, 2008 at 7:50 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Here, someone tells us that patients with an illness condition or impairment, shouldn’t bring their informed stories to the campaign trail…

just hope that it [cancer] doesn’t become a common occurrence on the campaign trail. The cancer conversation is best left to the experts, researchers, and doctors

Just for the record: This guy works for the candidate that wants to exclude anybody with a preexisting condition from his healthcare plan…..

(update) Countdown had Elizabeth Edwards on tonight to discuss this….She supports Clinton’s plan over Obama’s and details that preexisting conditions would be not be covered under McCain’s Plan

People *with* conditions/ilnesses/impairments: ….Are People! People with rights. People who vote.

When I was a person newly diagnosed with cancer, the person who made me decide to seek treatment and live…was a survivor! A woman on the other end of a phone call from the American Cancer Society who explained what my options might be, the downsides and upsides of treatment…and who laughed a lot.

John McCain gets to speak about cancer. He’s had it.
Elizabeth Edwards gets to speak about cancer. She has it.

Mr Malek, *also* gets to speak about it, he’s involved in research.

But no one gets to dictate what patients can and can’t speak about.

If people with ilnesses or impairments (they are different) don’t speak about their experience during an election year:

Lives won’t improve
Lives won’t be saved.

And policy makers in a position to improve quality of life or even life expectancy won’t get eletcted.

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