Olbermann On Health Care
On The Public Option
Health Care Insurers
Message to Congress, April 29, 1938
BUSH 3RD TERM | LYING | PROMISES | SIGNING STATEMENTS | HABEAS CORPUS | DRUG INDUSTRY | TORTURE | RENDITION | BERNANKE | EXECUTIVE POWER | ENVIRONMENT | STATE SECRETS | WIRETAPPING | LIBRARIES AND BOOKSTORES | BLACKWATER | CHINA | JUDICIARY
Today's Big Stories (11/30/09):
>Double Digit Unemployment Means Longtime Depression For Millions
DO THE MATH: Given the health care bills under discussion, if 50% of the states, being Republican controlled, reject the public option (actually, the consumer option, since 65% of our citizens want it), and if only the uninsured in the other states are eligible for the consumer option (one half of 13%), the consumer option will only cover 6.5%, leaving the other 58.5% of all Americans who want the consumer option still at the mercy of the private insurance "vampire squid....wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” --Politex
HISTORY OF OBAMACARE TO Nov.20, 2009: Universal HC: No (House: 96% (18 million uninsured), Senate: 94% (23 million uninsured), Today: 83%. Penalty For Not Having HC: Up To 2.5% Income; Industry gains 10 million new customers. (The basic plan would cover 70 percent of the cost of the benefits. Consumers would pay the remainder, in deductibles, co-payments and other charges.) Tax credits available to people with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level: Yes. Exemptions: American Indians, people with religious objections and people who can show financial hardship. Translation: Those who can't afford HC will not get it.) ; Single Payer HC: No; Medicare For All, A Savings Of $85 billion over ten years: No; Tax Surcharge On Those Earning Over $250k: No (House), Yes (Senate); Public Option Set By Gvt., As Does Medicare: No; Public Option With Medicare+ Negotiation: No; Public Option Only For 6.5% Population: Yes (Senate); Public Option Negotiated With Drs. and Hospitals, As Do Private Insurers. ("The Congressional Budget Office considers this so weak that it might attract only 6 million of an estimated 30 million people buying insurance." (NYT) "The CBO concluded that the public insurance plans envisioned in the House bill would likely have higher premiums that private plans." (WP) : Yes; Medicare Cuts To Drs. (21%) and Hospitals: Yes; No Cut Deal For Hospitals: Yes; No Cut Deal For Big Pharm: Yes (But "gives the government power to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries." --AP); Excise Taxes On Cost Of Medical Devices: Yes.
Medicaid For Those In Poverty+ Who Earn $33,000/$29,000 (H/S): Yes; No co-Pay: Yes; National (House) State (Senate) Insurance Exchang(es) Open to people who do not have qualifying coverage through an employer or a public program. (The exchanges would offer the basic plan (above) and three other benefit plans, covering 70 percent to 90/95 [S/H] percent of costs. The Congressional Budget Office says policies bought in the individual insurance market now average 55 percent to 60 percent.): Yes. Illegal immigrants could/could not (H/S) buy insurance from the exchanges, but could not get federal subsidies to help pay the costs: yes. Caps the financial responsibility that insured individuals will face when medical emergencies strike at 12% income: Yes; No Pre-existing Conditions: Yes (But see next item.); Bans insurers for dropping folks because they get sick: Yes (But" senators have indicated that they would allow insurers to continue operating outside [the exchanges], much as the health insurance lobby has sought....Even within the exchanges, there could be limits to consumer protections. The health committee bill would not explicitly guarantee consumers the right to an external appeal when a health plan refuses to pay for medical services." --WP Also, "older people" [see below] will be charged more.); Children Could Stay On parent's Insurance To 26/25 (H/S): yes. Children’s Health Insurance Program, which benefits children of the working poor. House: No (Medicaid coverage instead.), Senate: Yes. House bars coverage of elective abortions by low- and middle-income people through either federally supported insurance or private plans purchased with federal subsidies, Senate does not. : yes.
Small businesses would be exempt from the employer mandate if they had payroll less than $500,000 a year (House) or have fewer than 50 workers. (Senate) and provide tax credits to small businesses that want to offer coverage: yes; Get this: Gvt. Will (Senate) Will Not (House) Exempt Insurance Industry From Charges Of Price Fixing And Other Anti-Trust Laws: Yes; Tax Surcharge of 4.5% On 1%- Earning Over $500,000: Yes; Realistic Control Of The Cost Of The Plan: No ("The main revenue sources (for the needed $1 trilion, with 18 million uninsured/$850 billion, with 23 million uninsured) in the House/ senate bills include a 5.4 % surcharge on wealthy taxpayers making up less than 1% of the population, expected to raise $460 billion (Senate plan will only raise $150 billion) changes to Medicaid and Medicare worth between $400-$450 billion in cost savings over 10 years....provided Congress holds firm on slowing the growth rate of payments to health care providers serving Medicare." NYT, and fees of between $100-$120 billion charged to industry.Here are the specifics. Also, "older people" will be charged more. "Premiums for older people cannot be more than double/triple (H/S) the premium for young adults." --NYT While both the House and Senate plans are projected to reduce the national debt $139 billion/$130 billion, this will not directly benefit the average induvidual citizen, who, in our opinion, will have to pay more for less care.); Realistic Control Of Increasing HC Costs: No (With a non-competitive public option limited to a small minority and no across the board method of keeping insurance company prices in check, Obamacare promises to insure more people by shifting costs to the very wealthiest, the poor, and the retired at increasingly higher insurance rates for all. More) --Politex
NYT Headlines Underline Obama's Leadership Lack, CD
Consider the following crop of headlines, all from the New York Times, and all published in just the last week alone:
"49 Million Americans Report a Lack of Food"
If you get a sense from this list that the man holding the most powerful position on the planet is bound and determined to be an object of action, rather than a proactive force on the historical stage, there's a good reason for that feeling. That appears to be precisely his intention. --more
Hope? Obama Thus Far Is Pretty Dismal, Dowd
If we could see a [reduced] summary of Obama’s presidency so far, it would read:
Change? Will Obamacare REALLY Be Better Than Nothing?, HuffPo
What am I supposed to celebrate, exactly? That a health care bill will be debated? Even though, to get past a 60-vote cloture motion, it will have to be gutted even beyond the shadow of a bill it is now (the current bill has a weak public option, no other mechanism to really cut costs, and hands billions of dollars to the insurance companies who are a big part of the original problem)? I'm not saying I don't support this weak bill (it's better than nothing), but if it gets any weaker and cuts into the Constitutional right of women to choose, really, does the good still outweigh the bad?
...[Those who oppose health care reform] did not stage coups d'etat. No, they were elected by the majority of the voters of their states or districts. They were chosen by their constituents in democratic elections. And now it's time for democracy to do its job, so that the citizens of these states get exactly what they voted for. Why should we, as a country, spend taxpayer money to improve the health care of citizens who would send to Congress men capable of uttering baldfaced lies, all in the name of politics (trying to prevent the president from getting a "win") or protecting the special interests that fill their campaign accounts? And if they are telling their lies in defense of some kind of pure ideology that abhors the government's involvement in anything (except the bedrooms of its citizens, of course...), well, then, let's give their constituents what they want. Hell, [Alabama's Sen.] Shelby went after Medicare in his constituent letter, so I would be happy to let the states opt out of Medicare and Medicaid, too.
...Forgive me if I am not optimistic that a worthwhile health care reform bill will make its way past another cloture vote in the Senate, past an up-down vote in Senate, through a post-conference vote in the House, through yet another cloture vote in the Senate, and finally through a final up-down vote in the Senate, all while the Stupaks, Liebermans, and Lincolns of the world are standing in the way, not to mention the stop-at-nothing lies and scare tactics employed by the right. I am sorry, but I am firmly in I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it mode. The bottom line is that I don't want to be the messenger of doom. I would love to celebrate a health care reform victory. And when a real one arrives, I will. --more
All Palin, All The Time, Bill in Portland Maine (DK)
Obama's Afghan Soliloquy, Shakespeare, with Politex
To stay, or not to stay--that is the question:
"Nickled and Dimed": Obama's Compromised Administration, Dowd
Obama Ineffectual In Protecting Us From "Vampire Squid" Banks. O's Consumer Agency Plan Shields 98% Banks, Rich
Naive Obama "Furious" Because Banks Aren't Playing Nice, Krugman
Afghan Song: Obama's Undecided, Charles Shavers, Sid Robin, Jerry Politex
First you want more troops
Now you want to stay
We've been sitting on your fence
We know you've sent more troops
A group of about 100 people lined up at the corner of Quinn and Wilson Blvd., across the street from the small strip mall that is home to Youse Guyz Pizzas.
The man they were waiting to see emerged at 1:06 p.m. after serving President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and won cheers from those in the crowd that could see him. Wearing white shirt-sleeves, Fat Tony Stromboli stood outside his popular strip center pizza shop and waved to the departing dignitaries who had just awarded him the coveted White House Pizza Prize in a simple ceremoney.
The crowd cheered and clapped loudly, and one person called for a speech. But Fat Tony was too busy waving goodby to Obama in the motorcade, departing from his shop at 1:08 p.m. The pizza joint’s owner was ecstatic after the visit, calling it "one of the greatest days of my life. I guess he was missing some good pizza from Chicago that he always talks about but never gets to eat," Fat Tony quipped.
The initial reaction of the other customers: "Madness," one said. The crowd was unable to settle down, and went on to discuss watching Obama and Biden eat their large pizza on a spare table with condiments and a paper towel roll just under the period horror movie posters that line the wall.
Obama purchased pizzas not only for himself and Biden, but also for members of the press pool that tailed him to lunch across the Potomac. The President also deposited a $5 bill in the tip jar.
A few customers remained in the small, pizzas-only joint to savor the moment and finish their meal after Obama left. "I had lunch with the president," exclaimed Lou Mangeni to nobody in particular. Another customer proudly showed off the cell phone camera shot he took of the jacket-less Obama and Biden awarding the coveted White House Pizza Prize to Fat Tony.
Later, Stromboli went back behind the counter to keep pushing out pizzas, but took the time to greet another store owner in the small Rosslyn strip. "That'll be good for the center, won't it?" he asked with a smile.
Enaged critics of Obama policy who were informed of the Pizza Prize were not so sure: Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said, “That pizza joint's only been open a few months." Glen Beck, a Fox pundit, wondered if Stromboli's pizza would be served at the Rio Olympics. Grimacing neocon John Bolton pointed his finger and suggested Fat Tony should have declined the prize. When asked for a comment, a red-faced Rush Limbaugh simply puffed out his cheeks and waved his arms as if he were a very large bird trying to take off.
Comics, Politicians, What's the Dif?, Politex, JoeBama Watch
Here's how Maureen Dowd ended a recent column, Men Behaving Madly:
"Letterman’s talent doesn’t give him a free pass — he described his own behavior as 'creepy' — and his wife (a former staffer at NBC) has a right to be deeply hurt and furious. But it’s absurd to compare a jester (unmarried at the time) to Bill Clinton and other philandering pols. Officeholders run as devoted family men upholding old-fashioned values. They have ambitious public agendas and loyal acolytes whose futures depend on whether these leaders succumb to reckless dalliances.
"As Craig Ferguson, whose show is produced by Letterman, joked: 'If we are now holding late-night talk-show hosts to the same moral accountability as we hold politicians or clergymen, I’m out.'...Unlike Clinton, Letterman trusted the public — and his bond with them — enough to tell the truth."
Perhaps Dowd and the others, like Tom Shales, writing in the Washington Post have it wrong. Actually, it's absurd to compare a politician to a jester. Jesters become celebrities the old fashioned way: they work at their job to make people laugh until they get a big enough platform to be known to the nation. Politicians work at collecting enough money to become celebrities and get elected, then they work at their job: to get re-elected. Sometimes celebrities, like Ronald Reagan, become politicians, most of the time with bad results. Like Ronald Reagan.
One thing some jesters have in common with liberal politicians is that by the time their name becomes a houshold word, they're no longer funny. See Jay Leno. By the time liberal politicians become household words, they no longer act on their campaign promises. Take Barack Obama. Please. This rule does not apply to politicians who are puppets of industry. Unfortunately, by the time their names become household words, they ignore the fake moderation in their campaign promises and go for the nation's jugular. Like George Bush.
The jury's still out on what happens when jesters become politicians. Like Al Frankin. This seldom happens because most jesters know better than to tangle with professionals.
Reagan to Obama: Both Parties Loot For Wealthy; Dems, Fast, GOP, Faster, Green
Wall Street Knows Obama's A Wuss, Rich
‘We’ll have a dictatorship soon in the US’ , Gore Vidal Interview
Previous Big Stories:
>All Palin, All The Time
Last Month's Stories:
>House Crapcare Bill: Krugman Says Hold Your Nose And Vote "Yes"
>Senate Crapcare Bill Will Exempt Insurance Industry From Anti-Trust Laws
>Progressive Congressmen To Do-Nothing Obama: Pelosi's Gutted Public Option Stinks
>Health Care Hypocrites: Congress Pays $42 A Month For Socialized Medicine
>Pelosi Says Health Care Hypocrites Forced Her To Water Down Compromise On The Compromise On...etc.
>Lieberman Is "Lying His Ass Off" About Health Care Reform
>Who Will The Dems Bribe To Get That 60th Vote?
>Time For The 51 Vote Solution: Dem Rogues Gallery
>The Conservative Reading Of The 51 Vote Solution
>America Down The Tubes: "Being American Has Become A Spectator Sport"
>Obama,Congress In Wall Street's Pocket, Ignore Good Advice
>Opt-Out Public Option: 51% Nation's Population Controlled By Republicans
>Those In Republican States "Far More Likely" To Lack Health Insurance
>Small Minority (13%) In States Accepting Public Option Would Be Eligible
>Bush Finds His Niche As The "Idiot" Of The People
>Secrecy and Injustice: Obama Supporting "Shameful" Bush Policies
>Realistic Cost Controls Must Come Before Universal Health Care
>Feingold: Nixes Obamacare Without A Public Option Or With A Trigger
>Schumer: Public Option Will Be Limited To Small Minority, And Only From Some States
>Insiders Say Turncoat Obama Is Fighting The Public Option (Pt. 1)
>Betrayer Obama's Fantasy "Trigger" Protects Private Insurers; Bush Used "Trigger" To Kill Drug Reform (Pt. 2)
>Sen. Rockefeller Blasts Obama's Non-Competitive "Trigger"
>Hersh: Military waging war with White House
>R. Crumb's "Book of Genesis" "lascivious," "Nothing left out!"
>Soupy Sales, Slapstick Comedian, Dies at 83
>Iran, US, Russia, France Nuke Deal Would Defuse Crisis Breaking: Iran Rejects "Unilateral Deadline"
>Conservatives Leading In Britain, Nix Blair As EU Prez
>U.S. Caution Re China Money Policy "Makes Little Sense"
>Bush-Obama Bailout Lie; Gvt. In Finance Industry Pocket
>Like States and British Newspapers, Ailing U.S. Newspapers Could Subsidize News With Legal Gambling
>Since Reagan: From Democracy to Plutocracy.
>Obama's Afghan Soliloquy.
>"Nickel-and-Dimed": Obama's Compromised Administration
>Biden Threatens More "Bipartisanship" If We Vote Dem in '10
>Obamacare Ineffectual In Protecting Us From "Vampire Squid" Banks. O's Consumer Agency Plan Shields 98% Banks
> Naive Obama "Furious" Because Banks Aren't Playing Nice
>Global Neglignce: Obama's Bad Influence
>Like Bush: Despite Promises, Obama Makes Himself Dictator
>Israel should "cut the posturing and deal with reality"
>Public Option (AHIP="No") Will Strengthen Individual Mandate (AHIP="Yes")
>Fact: 30 Senate Republicans "Voted For Gang-Rape" (Jon Stewart video)(text report)(Morford's Take)(Senate list)
>10 Ways Obamacare Is Killing Health Care Reform
>Afghan Song: Obama's Undecided
>Insurers' Attack On Own Plan Makes Case For Public Option
>Why Is O Supporting A Fraudulent Mafia in Afghanistan?
>Cheney Clan To Open D.C. Lie Agency
>Obama Talks Afghanistan, While His Violent Inner Chicago's In a Depression
>NYC: Nation's Worst GED System Drives 20% Towards Poverty
>Insurers Promise Higher Prices Without Strong Opt-Out Penalties
>Crapcare: Experts Predict More Insured At Higher Costs For All
>Like To Gamble? Eat A Hamburger
>Obama Awards Pizza Prize To Youse Guyz. Conservatives Enraged.
>Will Obam Listen to Those Who Have Defeated Us On Afghanistan, As He Has Listened To Those Who Have Defeated Us On Wall Street?
>W Dwells On O's Nobel
>"Obama's relationship with gay activists has been rocky since his election"
>"Don't Task, Don't Yell": Will Obama Tell Gays To Back Off?
>Comics, Politicians, What's the Dif?
>"No I Can't": Dems Disgruntled With Obama
>Obama Given the Nobel Peace Prize. (For Afghanistan? Israeli Nukes?)
>Fox News' Smith Blasts GOP Senator For Being Anti-Public Option
>GOP and Blue Dog Dems Socialist When Protecting Property over People
>Wall Street Digs Socialism. For Wall Street. Not Jobless.
>Reagan to Obama: Parties Loot For Wealthy; Dems, Fast, GOP, Faster
>O'Hoover: Unlike FDR, Obama Blase About Growing Jobless
>World Powers Hold Secret Meetings To Nix Dollars For Oil
>UN's Best Place To Live: Canada 4th, France 8th, US 13th (interactive)
>Swiss Health Care Works Because Insurers Are Nonprofit
2008: Obama Campaign and Victory...
2009: January...February...March... April-May... June... July... August... September... October... November... ...
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