January 25, 2010
“Today, default/delinquency/foreclosure rates continue to skyrocket and soon there will be more prime mortgages in arrears than subprime ones. More than 25% of all homes are now ‘under water.’ Millions more families are at risk. Foreclosures continue to rise. The housing crisis at the center of the financial crisis has not been ‘fixed.’”
Continue to think about that figure: “25% of all homes.” In this (undeniable) Second Depression, what would happen to the individuals and families in those homes if they were hit with an additional (Mandatory) Monthly BILL? If 14 million are headed to (or already on) the streets now because of this (ENRONesqued) crisis, how many more millions might end up there because of an Individual Mandate (without a “Robust” Public Option to compel meaningful competition on the private insurer monopolies)? Moreover, regarding the “new homeless” that are still working, how might they feel about not only getting run out of most public areas (“no camping”), but also having to face new IRS fines and “criminal” labels for not fulfilling their personal/family health care purchase responsibilities (8% of income / NOT A TAX)? : “Hey kids, we may not have a house or enough food to eat, but, at least we have the comfort of forced coverage by Blue Shield!!” Too fat? Canceled. Too skinny? Canceled. Homeless? We just increased your subprime premium by 189%. Why? Because there are special diseases out there for people who live like that (not enough showers), and simply, because we can. Petition your government for another subsidy, and we will be happy with the difference.
“These are the stock-in-trade tactics of the ‘power elite’ that C. Wright Mills wrote so poignantly about back in the 1950s.”
Again, Thank You, New Majority.
[“If a mandate was a solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house.”]
October 29, 2009
Headlined as “History In The Making” and “Historic: House Releases Health Care Bill,” Ryan Grim promoted a tone of celebration – as if we should be overlooking facts/fates – and rejoicing: “The ceremony . . . marks the greatest progress toward the Democratic Party’s top domestic priority goal in more than half a century.” How much more insult are we to endure – even from our (supposedly) progressive (and objective) press/media? As written previously, we went “from Single-Payer to a Public Option to a fragmented Option (‘Opt-Out’) to a ‘Trigger’” (still not enough for the likes of Sen. “Money Talks” Lieberman). Once the final combined bills are stripped further – in order to placate a minority – there will be nothing “robust” left of what the (True) majority wished, fought, and voted for. Under the guise of needing 60 votes (with spines, 51 votes would have sufficed), we have been “bamboozled.” (Remember Obama using that term last year?) This constant watering-down has already set us up for realizing “the cost of health care” as “increasing” – in direct opposition to what would have resulted from a Single-Payer focus. Consequently, the “Affordable” reference in the “Health Care for America Act” is just as Orwellian as the “Freedom” in McCain’s “Internet Act.” Does this sham of “reform,” which mainly just mandates us into private insurers’ hands, really equal “the greatest progress” that could have been made? No. But, the answer as to why is explicit in another HuffPost title from today: “Big Pharma Ready For ‘Hand To Hand Combat’ To Defend White House Deal.”
Congressman Kucinich: Is This the Best We Can Do?
“Is this the best we can do? Forcing people to buy private health insurance, guaranteeing at least $50 billion in new business for the insurance companies?
“Is this the best we can do? Government negotiates rates which will drive up insurance costs, but the government won’t negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies which will drive up pharmaceutical costs.
“Is this the best we can do? Only 3% of Americans will go to a new public plan, while currently 33% of Americans are either uninsured or underinsured?
“Is this the best we can do? Eliminating the state single payer option, while forcing most people to buy private insurance.
“If this is the best we can do, then our best isn’t good enough and we have to ask some hard questions about our political system: such as Health Care or Insurance Care? Government of the people or a government of the corporations.”
September 29, 2009
Rose Ann DeMoro & Michael Moore
13 problems with the current health care bills (partial list):
1. No cost controls on insurance companies. The coming . . . increases in premiums, deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, etc. will quickly outpace any projected protections from caps on out-of-pocket costs.
2. Insurance companies will continue to be able to use marketing techniques to cherry-pick healthier, less costly enrollees.
3. No restrictions on insurance denials of care that insurers don’t want to pay for. In case you missed it, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee uncovered data on the California Department of Managed Care website recently that found six of the biggest California insurers rejected, on annual average, more than one-fifth of all claims every year since 2002.
4. No challenge to insurance company monopolies, especially in the top 94 metropolitan areas, where one or two companies dominate, severely limiting choice and competition.
5. A massive government bailout for the insurance industry through the combination of the individual mandate requiring everyone not covered to buy insurance, public subsidies which go for buying insurance, no regulation on what insurers can charge, and no restrictions on their ability to decide what claims to pay.
6. No controls on drug prices. The White House deal with Big Pharma, which won bipartisan approval in the Senate Finance Committee, opposes the use of government leverage to negotiate real cost controls on inflated drug prices.
7. No single standard of care. Our multi-tiered system remains with access to care still determined by ability to pay.
8. Tax on comprehensive insurance plans. That will encourage employers to reduce benefits, shift more costs to employees, promote proliferation of bare-bones, high-deductible plans, and lead to more self-rationing of care and medical bankruptcies.
9. Not universal. Some people will remain uncovered. . . .
10. No definition of covered benefits.
11. No protection for our public safety net. Public hospitals and clinics will continue to be under-funded and a dumping ground for those the private system doesn’t want.
12. Many reforms don’t go into effect until 2013.
13. Nothing changes in basic structure of the system; health care remains a privilege, not a right.
Again: This is a call-out to the truly brave Progressives in Congress: If fifty-three or more in the House of Representatives, and twenty or more in the Senate, vow to kill the entire health care proposal (by voting against anything submitted without a Public Option, or which maintains the Mandate) they could show the nation what it means to be honorably brave and genuinely principled.
No Public Option; No Mandate.
Health Care Solved! Are You Poor? Sorry.
Big Pharma & Health Insurance Companies Salivate
Mandated slaughter by way of corporate pens (Policies)