Tag Archives: Health-Insurance Reform

Enumerati

Fewer Americans Don’t Have Health Insurance

13.4%

The percentage of U.S. adults without health insurance in April, compared with 15.6% in the first quarter of 2014 and 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Gallup. The rate dropped most among blacks, Hispanics, and lower-income Americans.

Enumerati

Nearly Half of Americans Think Obamacare Has Been Repealed or Overturned

44%

Of Americans think the health-care law has been repealed, overturned by the Supreme Court, or are unsure whether it’s the law of the land, according to a new Kaiser poll.

Enumerati

Uptick in Support for Affordable Care Act after SOTUS Ruling

48%

Percentage of registered voters in a Rueters/Ispsos online survey who said they support the Affordable Care Act after it was upheld by the Supreme Court on Thursday. Support had previously been at 43 percent. Opposition fell by 5 percentage points, from 57 percent to 52 percent.

Verbatim

Bruce Bartlett on the Tyranny of Obamacare

A government with the power to force us to buy health insurance can also force restaurants to serve black people.

– Reagan and Bush I adviser Bruce Bartlett, on Facebook, via Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast

News & Comment

If Republicans on Supreme Court Kill ‘Obamacare,’ Ranks of the Uninsured Will Rise to 60 Million

photos-scotus-aca

When the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate later this year, the Republican-dominated court will either decide the case on its merits or it will play politics and vote to kill the mandate with a party line vote intended to help Mitt Romney, the putative Republican presidential nominee, get elected in the fall.

If the Republican justices rule based on the merits, it’s likely they will find that the mandate is constitutional, just as the GOP-dominated D.C. Court of Appeals did in November.

If the Republican Supremes vote their party line — as they did in Bush v. Gore, in 2000, with disastrous results — they will certainly help Romney get elected, which will achieve their political goal of ensuring a GOP corporatist majority on the court for a generation or more.

But, as with Bush v. Gore, a party line vote against the ACA by the Republican justices will produce dire consequences for the American people. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, if the Affordable Care Act is overturned, it will force another 10 million Americans into the ranks of the uninsured, raising the number of people without health insurance coverage in the United States to 60 million — which is roughly the population of Great Britain.

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News & Comment

Rick Scott Running Out of Running Mates

Carroll
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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Camera

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.

Verbatim

Verbatim

While former half-term governor Palin is certainly an expert in not being vetted, we put our trust in the judgment of the American people who rejected not only the broken policies she and Republicans continue to call for, but also this very kind of childish politics she continues to engage in.

DNC Press Secretary Hari Sevugan, commenting on Sarah Palin’s statement that Pres. Obama is not up to the task of being president, despite 18 months of proof to the contrary. Even as Pres. Obama has pulled the country back from the brink of Republican-induced economic collapse, succeeded where the last eight presidents failed at starting genuine health care reform, reversed Bush policies on torture, murder, mutilation, and humiliation of individuals in the custody of officers or agents of the federal government, and signed a strategic arms treaty with Russia that reduces both of our nuclear arsenals by one-third (without even being able to see the Russian shore), Palin said, “Some of this though is a result of he not having much experience and then a complicit media and maybe some voters who chose to not to allow him to be vetted very closely.”

News & Comment

Olbermann on Rep. Wilson: ‘This Government Cannot Endure Permanently Half-Smart And Half-Stupid’

Once again, Keith Olbermann speaks for the 80 percent of Americans who are able to think for themselves — this time about the growing threat presented by the 20 percent who can’t, and who have been brainwashed by Republicans and other agents of corporatism.

Here’s the money shot:

OLBERMANN: This nation can survive a president being disrespected by some nickel-dime congressman from Beaufort; the shame falls onto the shouter and not the one shouted at.

But this nation cannot survive the continued acceptance, the continued endorsement, the continued encouragement, the continued institutionalization… of stupidity I think if Mr. Lincoln were alive he might re-cast his most famous imagery in the light of the truest of our present crises:

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half smart, and half… stupid.

Complete Transcript:

And finally, as promised, a Special Comment about the shout of “You Lie” during the presidential address to the joint session of Congress last night on the matter of health care reform.

The 43rd president of the United States lied the nation into the war, lied 4,343 of his fellow citizens to death in that war, lied about upholding the constitution, and lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction.

He lied about how he reacted to Al-Qaeda before 9/11 and he lied about how he reacted to Al-Qaeda after 9/11.

He lied about getting Bin Laden, and he lied about not getting Bin Laden.

He lied about nation-building in Iraq, lied about the appearance of new buildings **in** the nation **of** Iraq, and lied about embassy buildings in nations like Iraq.

He lied about trailers with mobile weapons labs in them, and he lied about trailers with Cuban prostitutes in them.

He and his administration lied — by the counting of one non-profit group — 532 times about links between Al-Qaeda and Iraq. Only 28 of those were by that President, but he made up for that by lying 231 times about W-M-D.

And yet not once did an elected Democratic official shout out during one of George W. Bush’s speeches and call him a “liar.”

Even when the president was George W. Bush, even when he was assailed from sidelines like mine, even when the lies came down so thick the nation needed a hat… he was still the President and if he didn’t earn any respect, the office he held demanded respect.

More over, that President and his Congressional tools like Congressman Addison Graves “Joe” Wilson of South Carolina insisted not just unquestioned respect for the office; they wanted unanimous lock-step compliance with the man.

And when the blasphemy of mere respectful criticism somehow came anyway — say by, or built on that by, the real Joe Wilson — lord help he who might have made the slightest factual error in that criticism.

Congressman Wilson and his masters and the flying monkeys of right-wing media would pursue the erroneous critic to the ends of their careers, firing hot accusations of moral or intellectual confusion and incompetence at the unbelievers.

And that is the line Congressman Wilson crossed last night when he shouted “you lie” at this President of the United States.

Not the respect line.

The stupid line.

Hey, Mr. Wilson!

“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” you hurriedly said last night as a nation caved in on you, and your own party’s leadership coerced you into saying something. “While I disagree with the President’s statements, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”

For the lack of civility, Congressman?

Is that what you think this is about?

Of course your comments were inappropriate and regrettable — you are a Republican trying to de-legitimize the elected president of the United States — that’s all you do, and that’s all you’ve got.

Of course you let your emotions get the best of you. At a figure of $435,296 in campaign donations from the Health Sector, of course your emotions would take over when your gravy train was threatened.

It isn’t about “inappropriate and regrettable,” Sir!

Your comments were inappropriate and regrettable and…. **wrong**!

You got up in front of the world, embarrassed your district, embarrassed your state, embarrassed your party, embarrassed your nation, shouted at the President like he was a referee at a ballgame and you were a drunk in the stands, and you were wrong.

House Bill 3200 specifically says, Sir, in language made precise and binding — in section 246 — under the heading, quote:

“NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS”

Look, Congressman!

All capital letters!

For the benefit of the factually-challenged!

“Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”

You got it wrong!

There is no ambiguity, Sir. There is no disagreement!

The bill says those here illegally will not be covered; yet whether through stupidity or a willful attempt to mislead the gullible, you decided to spend whatever credibility remained to you, on a position in which you are utterly, inarguably, and — in a manner obvious to newborns and the more sophisticated of farm animals — wrong!

You apologize for your lack of civility?

When are you going to apologize for your lack of… being right?

Wrong-Way Wilson.

Whatever it is, it’s congenital.

Wrong-Way Wilson just wrote an op-ed, on August 27th for the Columbia, South Carolina newspaper “The State,” about the non-existent death panels that he and Mrs. Palin saw in their dreams — or something:

“Those who have stood up and shown up to have their voices heard have already made a difference in this debate.”

Perhaps henceforth Mr. Wilson should soft-pedal the “have their voices heard” part.

“…citizens have discovered and brought to light numerous aspects of the health care overhaul (H.R. 3200) that are deeply troubling. These include the end of life counseling program, which has been correctly highlighted by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a program which could lead to seniors being encouraged to seek less care in order to protect the government’s bottom line.”

Perhaps henceforth Mr. Wilson should soft-pedal the Palin Paranoia, since **he** caught enough of it that last night, he made himself look like an uninformed eight-year old screaming at an adult.

“Americans… want and deserve this honest debate.”

Perhaps henceforth Mr. Wilson should remember that the word “honest” is as important as the word “debate.”

The latter without the former is better known as Political Tourette’s Syndrome.

The evidence that Wrong-Way Wilson and reality are strangers goes back much further than last night.

When Congressman Rob Filner said the U-S had helped Saddam Hussein’s chemical and biological weapons, Wilson went nuts.

Worse, he accused Filner of a quote “hatred of America,” and insisted “you shouldn’t say that” and “you should retract it” and “you know it is not true.”

It was true.

It had been confirmed by the Commerce Department… in 1994.

Wrong-Way Wilson was… wrong.

A year later, when it was asserted that Senator Strom Thurmond from Wrong-Way’s home state had fathered a daughter with a black woman, Mr. Wilson called the assertion a quote “smear on the image” of Senator Thurmond.

This was after Senator Thurmond’s family had acknowledged not just paternity, but the fact that the Senator had maintained a secret relationship with his daughter, and provided her money, for decades.

**After** this was admitted, Congressman Wilson considered references to it a “smear” and said Thurmond’s daughter should have kept it to herself.

Coincidence, of course, Wrong-Way, that it would be **you** who would consider the confirmed, acknowledged bi-racial child of Strom Thurmond as a “smear”…

And then it would again be you who — in the middle of a festival of blind racial rage dressed up as a health care debate — would shout out, “you lie” at a bi-racial President of the United States as he addressed Congress.

And just a coincidence that you’re a member of a radicalized, insurrection-glorifying group, accused of harboring white supremacists, called “Sons Of Confederate Veterans.”

Back to **this** incident. You have swallowed some of the Kool-Aid you mix up for those damn fools who believe you, Congressman.

You sounded as pathetic as one of those poor souls, stampeded by corporate funding from the insurance and health care industries, who shout out nonsense at those demonstrations of willful stupidity that have been mislabeled “Town Halls”… these places where a citizen’s life is reduced to acting out that ridiculous maxim, if you’re going to be wrong, be wrong at the top of your voice.

But Congressman — you’re not supposed to be a Town Hall panicker, you’re not supposed to be a Rube defending the efficacy of the Snake Oil, you are a Congressman — and still you were wrong at the top of your voice!

Town Halls, Death Panels, Oligarhys, a multi-racial president who is accused of hating half his own ancestry, neuroses about communist artwork, the idea that fascism and socialism aren’t mutually exclusive, grass-roots protests bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporations, scared seniors terrified enough to turn to insurance companies for protection against reformers who want to increase their coverage and cut their rates, Birchers, Birthers, Deathers, the voices in Michele Bachmann’s head, the Republican rebuttal to the President of the United States given by a guy who thought he could become “Lord Boustany” by paying a couple of English con men…

And now to top off this pile of stupidity: Congressman Wrong-Way Wilson, who — when a President publicly, and ostentatiously, gave credit for part of his health care reform proposal to the very Republican he swamped in the election last year — Wrong-Way Wilson… followed that bi-partisan gesture, by shouting “you lie” as soon as he heard the truth.

It is… this week, evident… that the greatest threat to the nation… is not terrorism… nor the economy… nor H1/N1… nor even bad health care.

It is rank, willful stupidity.

When did we come to extol stupidity ahead of information, and rely on voo-doo, superstition, and prejudice ahead of education?

How many Republicans believe in Death Panels… and Brownies and Elves?

When did we start to listen to — to elect — the impregnably dense?
I was almost too fearful of using the word “impregnably” because of the prospect that Governor Palin would go after me the way she went after Letterman.

The time has come to rise up and take this country back, to again make it safe… for people who actually completed the seventh grade.
The crime of Wrong-Way Wilson was not reflected in his emotions, nor his disagreement, nor his inappropriate conduct, nor in his incivility. It was in his prideful wrong-ness.

There are many vague portions of this bill, but section 246 says it plain: “NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS.”

I defend Congressman Wilson’s right to incivility. A little incivility six years ago might have stopped the Iraq war. He can shout anything he wants, at anybody he wants, in any circumstances he wants.

Providing that he is willing to suffer the consequences of his actions, I am willing to suffer him.

This nation can survive a president being disrespected by some nickel-dime congressman from Beaufort; the shame falls onto the shouter and not the one shouted at.

But this nation cannot survive the continued acceptance, the continued endorsement, the continued encouragement, the continued institutionalization… of stupidity I think if Mr. Lincoln were alive he might re-cast his most famous imagery in the light of the truest of our present crises:

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half smart, and half… stupid.

Section 246 is written expressly: there will be no health care funding for those who are here illegally; that there will be no mechanism created to establish such funding.

I fear Section 247 will have to be rewritten expressly: so that there will be a mechanism created to establish… Stupid Panels.

News & Comment

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., Yells ‘You Lie’ at Obama During Presidential Address

photo-rep-jopre-wiprlsonEchoing the GOP’s spittle-spewing astroturfed town-hall hissy fits this summer, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., heckled Pres. Obama during his address to a joint session of Congress tonight.

“You lie,” Wilson yelled after Obama asserted that reform proposals do not include covering non-citizens.

Could be that Wilson was in a celebratory mood. Earlier today, his son Alan announced he is running for attorney general of South Carolina.

As he returned from his August vacation, Wilson told the State newspaper that he received standing ovations at town hall meetings when he stated his opposition to health-insurance reform:

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican who lives in Springdale, also spoke to the biggest crowds of his political career in town hall meetings dominated by health care — 1,700 people at Keenan High School in Columbia, 1,500 at Lexington High School, 1,200 at Hilton Head High School.

“Ninety-five percent of the people supported my position of promoting health insurance reform, but not a government takeover,” Wilson said. “I received standing ovations when (the meetings) concluded.”

Wilson, Rep. Gresham Barrett, a Republican from the Upstate, and Rep. Henry Brown of Charleston are among 28 co-sponsors of the Empowering Patients First Act, one of the main GOP alternatives to the House Democratic plan.

Among its reforms, the bill makes individuals’ premiums tax deductible, gives states incentives to create high-risk insurance pools, allows people to shop across state lines and establishes administrative “health courts” in states to hear medical malpractice claims.

From Wilson’s Wikipedia page:

In September 2002, during a debate on the possibility of going to war in Iraq, Wilson called Congressman Bob Filner “viscerally anti-American” and claimed that he had a “hatred of America” after Filner suggested the United States supplied chemical and biological weapons to Saddam Hussein. Wilson said later that he didn’t intend to insult Filner.

Wilson is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker.

Joe Wilson represents South Carolina’s 2nd District, which ranges from Columbia in the center of the state to Hilton Head Island on the coast.

UPDATE: As of this morning (Sept. 10), Democratic fundraising group ActBlue has raised $69,000 on behalf of Wilson’s opponent, Rob Miller. Within the first two hours of Obama’s speech last night outraged voters had contributed $25,000 to ActBlue.