“Even though the U.S. spends twice as much per person as any other developed country on health care, the U.S. is the only developed country that fails to provide universal coverage for all its citizens.” -Carole Simpson - Leader-In-Residence in the Journalism Department of Emerson College.
There are two underlying themes in this issue of Mullin's World and they are uniquely tied together. They are Health Care Reform and the mindless madness of people on the Far Right being led and lied to by the Becks, Limbaughs, and the rest of the Right Wing media including the Right Wing Evangelical Christian leadership like Dobson's “The Family”, and other Right Wing radical demigod preachers.
The president has said that the public option is still alive and that means he will push for a public option. Baucus' proposed bill has no public option and without a public option it is worthless. The health insurance companies are cheering Baucus on, for them it is more profit, profit, profit at the expense of the public. It is up to the Democrats to fight for the public option regardless what the Republicans think. A major spokesman and standard bearer for the public option is Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.V., who is oppose to a bill without a public option.
The Right has rallied it's troops with the support of the Right Wing media. The Right Wing media, of Fox White Man News, now is becoming an advocate for Right Wing policy and is no longer serving in it's roll as a news reporting body. They have a clear agenda, they have become biased and partisan. The have become the house organ for Big Business and the Republican Right Wing fringe nut cases.
The stupidity of it all is that while the poor saps on the Right especially seniors are screaming “keep government out of my health care”, they wouldn't have health care if it wasn't for a Democrat named President Lyndon Johnson, who was opposed by Republicans every step of the way, and who called it socialism. It took thirty years going back to President Harry Truman, another Democrat, who first proposed it, and was stopped by the Republicans. And these geniuses on the Right want the government out of their health care, stupid bastards, it's the government that is providing it. There are really some dumb people out there who are out to hurt themselves and don't know what the fuck they are talking about. The same for Social Security. FDR, oh gee another Democrat, fought hard, and was apposed by, guess who? Your right, the Republicans. FDR fought for Social Security so that the seniors in America would have a safety net when they retire. These poor boobs on the Right are being duped and they need to Wake Up! They are being lied too and fucked over by scumbags, like Dobson, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Baucus and the rest of the, bought and paid for by the Health Insurance Industry, politicians on the Republican Conservative Right.
Time Reports-The Democrats and progressives are opposed to much of the Baucus proposed bill, the following five reasons spell it out.
"1. The Public Option
All four other versions of health-care-reform legislation that have emerged from the House and Senate include a government-insurance option that would compete with private plans to help keep costs down. Republicans across the board have denounced the proposal, with many calling it the first step to socialized medicine. In a nod to the concerns of his GOP colleagues and some moderate Democrats, Baucus introduced an alternative to the public plan: nonprofit state or regional cooperatives that, except for some seed money from Washington, would be exclusively financed by members' premiums. The hazy concept of co-ops has been pushed by North Dakota Democrat Kent Conrad, who was part of the bipartisan so-called Gang of Six that worked to draft the Baucus bill, but many health-policy experts view it as a poor substitute for a public plan; in fact, the Congressional Budget Office, in its scoring of the deficit impact of the bill, stated that it didn't believe the co-ops as proposed by Baucus would attract many members. Liberals see the plan as letting insurers off the hook. "Senator Baucus' health-care bill released today is like a dream come true for the insurance industry," screamed a statement by Justin Ruben, executive director of the progressive group MoveOn.org
This issue emerged in the final days of negotiations as a key flashpoint. To help keep the costs down, Baucus provides comparatively less-generous subsidies to help low- and middle-income people purchase insurance. "The House bill clearly does more to make coverage affordable for more Americans," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in welcoming Baucus' bill. "As this proposal evolves, we hope to see modifications that result in the Senate bill better reflecting the work of the House to make health care more affordable for all Americans."
Rep. Joe Wilson may have gotten himself into trouble when he yelled "You lie!" at President Obama during the address to the Joint Session of Congress, but it certainly seems that Democrats took his outburst to heart. Senate Finance negotiators went back to the table and rewrote the bill to ensure that not only would illegal immigrants be prevented from receiving government subsidies to buy insurance, but that they couldn't purchase insurance on the so-called exchanges even if they could pay for it in full. The plan also tightens the rules for some legal immigrants to qualify for government subsidies on the exchange. Both points have angered Latino lawmakers such as Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, who are seeking to modify the provisions. Health policy experts say it makes absolutely no sense to prevent illegal immigrants from purchasing insurance, since taxpayers end up covering the costs anyway when the undocumented inevitably go to the emergency rooms to get their medical care. But with almost all politicians afraid of being painted as soft on illegal immigration, it's hard to see enough lawmakers supporting scaling back the provisions.
Baucus has held down the fiscal impact of his legislation by proposing to cut a hefty $500 billion in Medicare costs. The bill claims to do this by trimming a lot of fat out of the system and setting up an independent, non-partisan panel that will take the power away from Congress to set Medicare payment policies and reimbursement rates. But, most controversially, the bill takes a big chunk of money from the Medicare Advantage program, which essentially subsidizes insurers. "We are committed to working with policymakers and stakeholders to find savings in the Medicare program, including Medicare Advantage, but it is important to ensure seniors' health care choices are protected," said a statement from America's Health Insurance Plans, the powerful lobbying group that represents private health insurance companies.
Baucus would expand Medicaid coverage currently topping out for people who make 100% of the poverty level to 133% of that level ($29,327 for a family of four), a shift that is expected to cover an additional 10 million Americans, including childless adults who have previously not been eligible for the program. Medicaid, however, has always been a partnership between the states and the federal government, and Baucus wasn't willing to absorb all of the costs of expanding the program. Under his proposal, the federal government would pay most of the new Medicaid costs: at least 80% in wealthy states like Connecticut and up to 95% in poorer ones like Mississippi." www.time.com more...
Public Health Insurance Option is not dead "Creating a public health insurance option, which is supported by Obama and Democratic congressional leaders, could be a "dealbreaker" for some Republicans and insurance companies whose support would ease the way for a health care overhaul, the AP/Miami Herald reports. According to the Commonwealth Fund, a public coverage program similar to Medicare would reduce projected health care costs by about $2 trillion over 11 years, and reduce premiums by about 20% on average. Within about a decade, 105 million people would be enrolled in the public plan, and about 107 million would have private insurance, according to the Commonwealth Fund. www.kaisernetwork.org " MORE...
"Here's the catch," Moyers says after showing video clips with protesters decrying "the lies" coming from the Obama administration. "Something these marchers who came to Washington at Armey's urging could hardly be expected to know. For most of his adult life, their leader has benefited from just the kind of government tax-supported health care he's fighting to keep them from having too."
Today, conservatives are expressing outrage that Rep. Nancy Pelosi had the nerve to raise concerns about the onrush of violent political rhetoric. The Noise Machine claims it has no idea what Pelosi's talking about. But the truth is, America's most famous bouts of political violence (i.e. JFK, Oklahoma City, etc.) have always been accompanied by waves of radical, right-wing rhetoric. Given that history, the GOP's insistence that the hate now filling the streets couldn't possibly inspire violence seems woefully naive. www.alternet.org
"If rightwing operatives succeed in bringing down the community group, Democrats and minorities will have lost a valuable ally"
Brad Friedman www.bradblog.com
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