Public Options, Single-Payers, and Bootstraps

July 18, 2009

In his post, “The six deadly hypocrites,” Paul Krugman notes that “the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 . . . denied Medicare the right to bargain for lower drug prices. . . .”  Where are the proposals to overturn this aspect of the Act in the debate?  Easing restrictions on imports?  True reform, taking away the pharmaceutical and insurance industry’s absolute monopoly (or, at least, not forcing us further into their hands)?  Moreover, with any outcomes of the health care legislation carrying such essential importance (weight) for all of us, why the mad push/rush to get the bills passed before an August recess?  Is that a primary focus on our (long-term) well-being?  Or, is it mainly politics – as usual?  While passing a “Public Option” would be progress, terms at the heart of the measures include mandates (requirements) for everyone to get/buy an insurance policy – without considering the impact (enough) on those between the poverty and median income level.  Especially during these times (a Second Depression), forcing a new monthly bill/burden (of even $100) on our people is both outrageous and wholly regressive.  Congress should be making changes in the proposals – where, since they (obviously) aren’t brave enough to stand up for Single-Payer, then, in the least, they could offer/champion subsidized coverage of all costs for those under a certain point ($40,000?) of the median income.  (In relation, my Congressman informed me of (unacceptable) 92% subsidy provision possibilities).  After being sold out to corporate powers during Clinton’s administration, and having our entire structure/system (purposely) finished off (ENRON-style) during Bush II’s, the common people have peaked out in “personal responsibility” – and absolutely cannot afford, or find, additional “Bootstraps.”

Health Care Solved!  Are You Poor?  Sorry.

H.R. 676: Single-Payer Faq

FAIR’s Petition

Horatio Alger Bootstraps

Update: A Real Win for Single-Payer Advocates
“By a 25-19 vote, the House Committee on Education and Labor on Friday approved an amendment to the House’s health-care reform bill allowing states to create single-payer health care systems if they so choose.  Congressman Dennis Kucinich . . . proposed the amendment.”  “Rose Ann DeMoro, the executive director of the California Nurses Association . . . , said ‘This is a historic moment for patients, for American families, and for the tens of thousands of nurses and other single-payer activists from coast to coast who can now work in state capitols to pass single-payer bills, the strongest, most effective solution of all to our healthcare crisis.'”
Update: Are health care options ultimately affordable?
(Bills would require coverage, but uninsured may struggle to pay)
“Under the House bill and a similar measure approved by the Senate health committee, premium subsidies would be available to families with incomes up to four times the poverty level. . . .  But lawmakers said that federal aid for low-income families could be pared back as Congress struggles to hold down the overall cost of the legislation.”
Bill Moyers: Dangerous Alliance of Health Industry and Right-Wingers “The big drug companies are already so pleased . . . that they’ve brought back Harry and Louise — the make-believe couple who starred in TV ads that helped torpedo the Clinton health care plan — but this time they’re in favor of reform.”
Update: Harry Reid promises committee bill by recess
“The Finance Committee remains hung up on how to pay for the package, but the panel negotiators have been moving toward dropping the public option for insurance. Reid today was vague on whether he supported the public option. . . .”  Without a Public Option – the purported line in the sand, where nothing would be passed if it was not included.  Remember?  Does that mean the Mandate to get a policy also disappears?  If not, wouldn’t that be the same as “solving” the health care crisis by forcing all of us right into the private insurers’ hands – since everyone will have to buy some version of their collusively-priced product?  Not even a Public Option, in order for commoners to at least have a sense of a way out (of their traps).  No 100% subsidies for those under the median income level.  No new prescription bargaining power.  Nothing to compete with the status quo.  Nothing reformed.  The majority gives, gives in, and gives away – until there’s nothing left.  Then, once again, they (the corporate powers) win it all.  And, the lower classes suffer deeper and deeper wounds (which will never heal) under the ever-increasing weight of “shared” and “personal responsibilities.”
Update: Deal with ‘Blue Dogs’ sets up health care vote
“The House changes, which drew immediate opposition from liberals in the chamber, would reduce the federal subsidies designed to help lower-income families afford insurance. . . . ”  Medicaid: $10,830 ($5.21 hr.) x133% = 14,404 ($6.90 hr.) (does not even equal new minimum wage).  Subsidies: (What percentage?) $32,490 ($15.62 hr.) and below.  “Close to 86 percent of small businesses — those with an annual payroll of $500,000 or less — will be exempt from the mandate to provide employees with health insurance, according to the terms of the compromise.”  So, businesses (up to the elite level) will be EXEMPT from most of the new burdens?  Correct.  What about REGULAR people?  Not a chance.
Update: Speaker Pelosi: “Let me assure you: There will be a health care reform bill passed and it will make a big difference in the lives of the American people.”  We, the proletariat, are aware of the “Big Difference[s]” on the horizon, Speaker Pelosi.  They can be relieving, uplifting, and freeing.  Or, they can be regressive, oppressive, and destructive (under the guise of “no excuses” and bootstraps as “shared”).  It comes down to this: Will the common people be “Provided” for?  Or, will they be herded like rebellious cattle into a “mandated” slaughter by way of corporate pens (Policies)? : “It’s only a new $200.00-a-month bill.  Rise up Horatio. The butcher is now to be taken as your friend.”
Update:The deal also slightly reduced the cost of premiums for the uninsured, from 12 percent of a household’s annual income to 11 percent.”  Make $21,000?  Does that mean your new (forced) bill, a bill you did not have before, will be at least $2,300 per year?  A person making $21,000 does not qualify for Medicaid, and would be lucky in most areas of this country to be able to even afford an apartment.  How much of an impact would he or she feel?  A new $200-a-month bill might just impact that person – right into the streets.  Consider the soon-to-arrive 11% of Annual Income – TAX – a Tax Burden you did not have before – with this: “I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” With these types of “solutions,” one could swear to God that we are the middle of the last administration (and former majority).

Bookmark and Share


‘New Atheists’ and Evolution

July 13, 2009

In Robert Wright’s article, “Why ‘New Atheists’ [?] are Right-Wing on Foreign Policy,” he states, conclusively: “People are survival machines built by natural selection.”  True, humans have evolved in many ways – including their Spiritual understanding.  For example, interpretations and reactions relating to an out-of-body/after-death experience in 500 B.C. would most likely differ essentially from those in the 21st century.  Let’s say the occurrence was one where (after dying) an individual went up/out (per our cognizance level), and arrived at the feet of a large (Lincoln Memorial-size) entity sitting on something like a throne.  Immediately thereafter, the traveler started to smile, while suddenly feeling an onset: overwhelming senses of purity, enlightenment, and Home.  Then, just before going further, toward what was expected (like it had happened before), he heard a loud voice say Go Down.”  Thoroughly shocked, feeling betrayal – akin to being “cast out” (though that was not the case), the individual fell a long distance, eventually (after earthly clouds) approaching a Lake of Flames as wide as a Starred City.  And finally, the (spiritual) person held back from screaming – until hitting those flames.  What took place afterward could not be remembered, upon coming back to (this) life.  In 500 B.C., it might have been seen as unrealistic ranting from a nightmarish dream, or even an omen, relative to then-current mythology.  To others, it may have been taken as a Vision (worthy of chronicling), and found a way into first drafts of stories considered for the Bible.  In the 21st century, with distinct knowledge of The New Testament and Jesus Christ (as well as contexts relating to “A History of Heaven: Journeys to Heaven”), one could interpret/react as if the occurrence was actual, and a Gift, though profoundly disturbing – since (this not being a focus of foretelling) a return (Deliverance) was also given.  Most important, there is considerable doubt that the experience, by way of an atheist (then or now), would leave him/her denying God’s (“Higher Power“) Existence.

In His Name + For His Glory:

Starred Cities

“Y”

Bookmark and Share


Congress Shocked by Credit Card Predators?

July 6, 2009

05/19: Senator Reid: “We stood up for consumers and stood up to abusive credit card companies.  We said that big banks can no longer take advantage of hardworking Americans.”  Off The Record: “Well, you know, (like in December 08′) we are going to trust them to not go after their customers as predators (on a third wave) before these new measures go into effect.  And, despite giving them a year’s head start, we are certain they will not come up with other ways to bypass everything we have accomplished.”

Step-by-Step:
(1) They Let Us Down (05/21): Credit Card Protections With…Holes
Did not: “cap interest rates on credit cards, explicitly cap credit card fees, take effect immediately, limit interchange fees, or prevent issuers from finding new fees.”
(2) The Media Colludes In a Setup (06/15): Credit Card Defaults Rise
(3) And Finally, the Results (06/30): Citi Raises Card Rates On Millions

Are you Shocked, Sen. Reid and Rep. Maloney? (07/06):
“Citi has boosted interest rates on some cards to as high as 29.99 percent, according to a Credit Suisse report.  Chase raised rates as high as 23.99 percent. . . .  Capital One has kept rates steady for now, but warned consumers they will be increasing over the next year.”  “‘We expect purchase APRs to continue to trend higher ahead of the recently passed Credit Card legislation, slated to go into effect February 2010,’ wrote Credit Suisse analyst Moshe Orenbuch.”  “‘Issuers during this crisis should be using this period to adapt to the new rules about to take effect, not raising rates and changing terms on those who are already meeting their obligations’: Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the prime sponsor of the bill.”

Nothing passed in May (beyond a 45-day notice) was immediate.  Caps on interest rate proposals by Sen. Sanders and a few brave others were overridden.  The credit card companies (and newly formed banks) were given another seven months (minimum) head start.  Did you really stand up for us, Senator Reid?  Are the banks continuing to “take advantage”  (after having received billions upon billions in taxpayer-funded bailout money that was supposed to “free up” the credit markets)?  Did you really expect anything different, Rep. Maloney?  Did you think there was any (actual) chance these Vultures would do what they “should be doing before the new measures took effect?  To them, this is what they Should Be doing – just like they were – since (before) December 08′ (and the 1 ½ year’s notice).

Update (11/19):  Credit Card Rate Freeze Killed

Time For a Credit Union Movement:

Bookmark and Share