Tag Archives: Health Care Reform


Republican Priorities are Different From Yours


Number of opportunities, as of this week, that House Republicans have given themselves to be able to say that they voted against all or part of the Affordable Care Act. None of the votes made it through the Senate, but they did serve their intended purpose: to make House Republicans look like they are doing something when in fact, they are just hanging out in expensive suits and air conditioned offices, listening to one another talk as health care for them and their families is paid for by taxpayers.

News & Comment

U.S. ‘Free Enterprise’ Employer-Based Health Insurance System Is ‘Coming Apart at the Seams’


In the upside-down world of the tea party GOP, the individual mandate — a solution to the health insurance crisis that was created by an ultra right-wing think tank that requires all working Americans to be covered by private health insurance — is “socialism.”

That’s right. In the topsy-turvy minds of Fox-watchers, Dittoheads and teavangelical neo-Confederates, a system that would create as many as 50 million new customers for giant private health-insurance corporations is not capitalism on steroids, it is the stuff of godless communism.

In the United States in which we collectively pay for socialist public schools and universities; socialist public hospitals; socialist fire, police and emergency services; socialist highway, airport and seaport construction — as well as socialist pensions (Social Security) and socialist health-care coverage for seniors (Medicare)

In reality, the “socialist” approach to health-care coverage is a single-payer system — which also happens to be the system deployed by most industrialized democracies in the world, including all our major competitors in Europe and Asia. These countries do not require their automakers, software companies, real-estate developers and the rest to pay for their employees’ insurance — which means that the owners of those companies aren’t forced to inflate the price of their goods and services to cover the cost of their employees’ insurance. That cost is born by the citizens of the country, collectively.

That is socialism. It is similar to the “socialist” systems we have in the United States in which we collectively pay for socialist public schools and universities; socialist public hospitals; socialist fire, police and emergency services; socialist highway, airport and seaport construction as well as socialist pensions (Social Security) and socialist health-care coverage for seniors (Medicare).

For three years, tea party Republicans have promised that they will repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it, ostensibly with a “free enterprise” solution. The fallacy here — the upside-down absurdity in this argument — is that the system we have now is a “free enterprise” system, and, as this new study from the National Institute for Health Care Reform [PDF] shows, it is collapsing before our eyes:

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Americans Confused About Health Care Law


Total proportion of Americans who are confused about the Affordable Care Act, according to a new Kaiser poll. 22% said they thought the law was recently repealed, while another 26% weren’t sure if it’s still in effect. We’re betting this 48% refers to the reforms as “Obamacare.”


Justin Bieber Is Smarter Than a Republican

You guys are evil. Canada’s the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don’t need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you’re broke because of medical bills. My bodyguard’s baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby’s premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home.

Canadian pop star Justin Bieber16, proving he is smarter than America’s Republicans.

News & Comment

GOP AZ Gov Brewer, Legislature Kill Transplant Funding for Uninsured – Republicans’ ‘Death Panel’ Selects Who Will Die Based on Income

Faced with the need to cut government budgets, Republicans reflexively start with programs for the poor, the ill, the elderly and children. In Arizona last year, the state’s Republican governor, Jan Brewer — best remembered for pushing the state’s “papers please” anti-immigrant law and then getting caught lying when she asserted that the Arizona deserts were littered with headless bodies — and the GOP state legislature chose to cut a $5 million state program that provided transplants for uninsured Arizonans.

Arizona Gov. Brewer and the GOP legislature used $1.7 million in Stimulus money just last year to repair the roof of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

These Republicans could have covered the shortfall by directing funding from the Stimulus for this life-saving program, but chose instead to spend over $1 million in Stim money to repair the roof of a sports stadium. What’s worse, had they applied the Stim money to save the transplant program for the uninsured, the state would have been eligible for an additional $15 million in matching funds from the federal government.

During the debate over health care reform, insurance company lackeys like Betsy McCaughey and Sarah Palin floated the lie that a beneficial aspect of the legislation — its coverage of the costs of living wills and end-of-life counseling — was something evil: a “death panel” of bureaucrats who would decide whether patients were too ill or elderly to receive certain procedures, even if the procedures might save the patients’ lives.

The GOP’s Fox channel promoted the death panel allegation so heavily that a poll during the debate found that about three-quarters of Fox viewers believed the lie to be true. Faced with the outrage ginned up by the Republicans’ pernicious lying, Democrats removed coverage of end-of-life counseling from the law.

While this represented only a small victory for the giant private health-care corporations, whose multi-billion dollar annual profits were left untouched, it was a big defeat for middle-class and poor Americans who will continue to have to pay out of pocket for counseling during what it arguably the most difficult time in anyone’s life.

But the McCaughey-Palin-Fox death claim was a lie — those death panels were not real. What the Republicans in Arizona have done is real — and it is eerily the same thing they falsely accused Democrats of doing: letting government bureaucrats choose whom should live or die. And, tellingly, the criteria of the GOP death panels is typically Republican: Income level. People in need of transplants who are ineligible to buy private insurance or who can’t afford it, will not be covered.

Because of the GOP death panel law, about 100 people in need of transplants are facing death today in Arizona. In the video above, Keith Olbermann interviewed two of them, both fathers of young children.

Rough transcript from MSNBC, with some corrections:

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News & Comment

Health Care Hypocrisy: New Anti-Reform Extremist Rep Has Meltdown Over Having to Wait 28 Days for Govt Health-Care Coverage

Incoming Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), health-care hypocrite
Incoming Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), health-care hypocrite
Here’s another shining example of the fact that the tea baggers who were elected to Congress this month are just retreads of the same old Republican hypocrites who led the country into its current quagmire.

Via right-leaning Politico.com:

A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-[health-care reform] platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in.

Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist [from] Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 — 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.

“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning.”

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

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News & Comment

What That Whole Health Care Debate Was All About

If you start to believe the tea bagger and rightwing nonsense about how health care reform is socialism, watch this video. Better yet, have a tea bagger or the Republican of your choice watch it.

News & Comment

Must See Video! Florida’s New Lt. Gov. Candidate Trashes Running Mate Rick Scott

The cameras rolled this week when Tea Party billionaire and fired CEO Rick Scott chose Florida Rep. Jennifer Carroll (R-Orange Park) as his running mate in his quest for governor. Fortunately, they also rolled a couple of weeks ago, when Carroll addressed her county RPOF chapter and stated all the reasons you should not support Rick Scott. Watch until the end, when Carroll really drives it home.

News & Comment

Rick Scott Running Out of Running Mates

Florida Dist. 13 Rep. Jennifer Carroll
Finding a running mate hasn’t been easy for Florida Governor candidate Rick Scott. The disgraced former HCA/Columbia Healthcare CEO left scorched earth between himself and the Republican Party of Florida in his primary campaign with state Attorney General Bill McCollum. And while state party partisans were quick to claim “unity” after the voters’ decision, they aren’t casting their personal fortunes with Scott.

The long list of people to turn down a chance to be Scott’s Lieutenant Governor include state Sen. Paula Dockery, former Lt. Gov. (under Jeb Bush) Toni Jennings, University of North Florida Pres. John Delaney, and state Reps. Mike Weinstein and Juan Zapata. It got to the point earlier in the week that Florida politicos were tweeting in jest, “Deeply honored but must turn down Scott running mate offer. Would take too much time from family.”

As Scott finds the field of Number Twos narrowing, persistent rumors point to his selection of state Rep. Jennifer Carroll (R-Orange Park). Like Scott, Carroll has had more than her share of ethics questions during her years of pubic service.

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Recap of Republican Disinformation Points on Manhattan Islamic Center, Courtesy of Florida Governor Candidate

Disgraced HCA Columbia Healthcare CEO Rick Scott (who was forced to resign rather than face criminal charges in the nation’s largest Medicaid fraud case, resulting in a $1.7 billion fine) sums up all the Republican lies about the Islamic Center in New York in one TV spot, going FOX News one better by tying construction of the facility to health care reform. Why Scott, who is running for governor of Florida — a state which will have little if any say in the issue — would chose this as a campaign platform is unclear.