Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL): “We all know the health care bill is missing one important thing – and that’s the public option.” The “Medicare You Can Buy Into Act,” HR 4789, currently has 80 co-sponsors. “It’s a simple 3-and-a-half page bill that would let everyone have access to Medicare if they were willing to pay for it.”
After all the secret deals, can we overcome the Individual Mandate without a Public Option (one of the largest corporate betrayals in U.S. history, which Rep. Grayson was a part of)? This, at least, should be a start. The new TAX and “Criminal” weight may remain. Yet, actual Competition and a partially acceptable Choice (while being forced) would result.
The Worst Thing About the Health Care Law That Passed?
It Bootstraps the New Homeless (An Open Letter to Michael Moore):
To Michael Moore, a (former?) champion for the commoners (03/22):
“Thanks to last night’s vote,” an Individual Mandate without even the slightest of a Public Option is a Reality. “Thanks to last night’s vote,”
it will be a Criminal Act if we do not buy a private policy from a corporation – whether or not we can afford one. “Thanks to last night’s vote,” during a Second Depression, we will have to spend 8% of our income toward coverage. But, we are not allowed to call that a new TAX (for those making less than $250,000). Yes, “It’s truly a banner day for these corporations.” As a result, many millions of us who were cheering you on for years are wondering why you are so enthusiastic over the flogging we (regular people/progressives) suffered on Sunday evening? This was not a “Canadian-loving,” “independent,” Victory. As written months ago, this was something the last administration would have rammed through. Remember those “13 problems with the current health care bills” you and Rose Ann DeMoro organized last September? The list remains – unfulfilled. Remember calling this bill a Joke? It still is (while a more proper term would be “Hoax”). What happened to you? Is this the answer? : “Pass it because, if President Obama takes a fall on this one, I don’t know if he’ll be able to get back up.” Now, you toe the party line — for politics’ sake? “A good night it was — important little steps were taken to bring our country into the civilized world.” Mr. Moore, most of the other “steps” within were not “little,” and they set us a major notch toward a total corporate state. Is that (accepting another broad redistribution of the bootstraps-mentality for the commoners by way of fascistic coercion) what you are presently considering as necessary modes of becoming more civilized? Before Rep. Kucinich succumbed, he also had a list:
“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?”
As opposed to yours, his is only inches away from being fulfilled (“Thanks to last night’s vote”).
Update: You and MoveOn.org are teaming up to promote “Capitalism: A Love Story.” 03/25: “MoveOn.org is launching a huge new campaign to take back democracyfrom the corporations and lobbyists.”
Considering the last two posts, and the timing of this letter/association, my head is still shaking.
MoveOn allied itself with a (sold out) center (NDC) – so far to the right that it would be considered republican/conservative in the year 1996. They are now agents/actors of/for the elite establishment (status quo). Any waves their organization purports to make will henceforth be highly projected – yet, only result in ripples (as intended). MoveOn asked ‘Which Side of History Will You Be On?‘ We responded: “May as many members of that organization as possible wake up to what this revealed, then renounce their associations – in Droves.” “Kucinich [wasn’t] holding out for a boondoggle, or a minority vendetta. He [was] staking a claim for a policy most people [wanted]” [the Public Option]. If a majority of the Majority had as much spine . . . ?
(The same reactions apply to any of the other groups who threatened those of us who were fighting against this Health Care Sham.)
Update(it’s over): On 03/17, Rep. Kucinich’s switch marked the end. There will be an Individual Mandate – without a Public Option. We supported people like him and Sen. Sanders for standing out. They failed us by not following through. Soon, people “will be herded like rebellious cattle into a ‘mandated’ slaughter by way of corporate pens (Policies).”
POLITICS (The Democrats Need to Call This a WIN!):
(Even) Michael Moore: “Within days, the House of Representatives will vote to pass the Senate health care ‘reform’ bill. This bill is a joke. It has NOTHING to do with ‘health care reform.’ It has EVERYTHING to do with lining the pockets of the health insurance industry. It forces, by law, every American who isn’t old or destitute to buy health insurance if their boss doesn’t provide it. What company wouldn’t love the government forcing the public to buy that company’s product?!” Yet, “Pass it because, if President Obama takes a fall on this one, I don’t know if he’ll be able to get back up.”
Response to Miles Mogulescu: Your work reveals what should be Front Page news, nationwide – resulting in a long-term scandalous exposition. Yet, of course, it won’t. Since the Reagan era, objectively independent and investigatory journalism has been erased so far from the mainstream that the few controlling conglomerates would finally proclaim victory, openly – if the internet (and alternative venues like Democracy Now) were somehow quelled. This confirmation of another grand, secret deal (in a series) exposes the sheer level to which the public was “bamboozled” and “punked.” On stage: “I’m a champion for the common people. Corporations, lobbyists, and power brokers will not tell me what to do.” Backstage: “Ladies and gentlemen (of the corporations, lobbyists, and power brokers), tell me what you are wanting to do. Then, after a selling period (mixed with some populist posturing) I will make that happen.” Norman Solomon, Zero Public Option + One Mandate = Disaster: “a stunning, deeply structural transfer of humongous power and wealth that would greatly boost the leverage of an already autocratic corporate state.” Exactly.
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 mandatewas a solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house.”
Partial Reality: Howard Dean: “This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.” Corporately-Compromised Response: Sen. Durbin: “I disagree with Dr. Dean. I think if he would sit back and look at 31 million Americans who would have health insurance as a result of this bill. How do you say to them: ‘Sorry you can’t have health insurance. We think this bill can be better.'”
Yes, “31 million [additional] Americans . . . would have health insurance” – because, as voiceless and powerless serfs, they would be Compelled into buying Private Plans/Coverage. Right now, you could say to them: “Sorry you can’t have health insurance” – because you cannot Afford it. And, when we are done, it will cost even more. Yet, that’s not a problem with the Corporately-sponsored Senators or Representatives. That’s your problem, “because, hey, [they’re solving] the health care crisis! Everyone will have health care!” No Single-Payer. No Public Option. No allowance for people between 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare. No competition for private insurers. No re-importation of drugs from Canada (because of another secret White House deal with Big Pharma). Then, finally, Senator “I can be bought, often” Lieberman and his allies can be pleased with the outcome. “Is This the Best We Can Do?” Again, no. But, since a majority of the New Majority have revealed themselves for what they actually are, and who they really serve, we can take a step back and see more Truth of how “the meek” and their circumstances are regarded by the elite. Mantra: Kill the Health Care Bill, Save 31 Million. Kill the Health Care Bill, Save 31 Million.
Postscript (as an Open Letter): Senator Lieberman: “I think my colleagues know . . . that I’ve been opposed to a government-created, government-run insurance company.” Why do you hate Medicare, Sen. Lieberman? Is it because of the “Socialistic” focus on providing medical insurance as well as prescription drug coverage for people who are older, and/or those who have certain disabilities – like Veterans? Would you prefer them to be subject to “personal responsibility” mandates – even if the result was exponential agony on the streets? Does this quote from Darwin often ring in your mind? : “We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind.” Why do you love private (corporate) insurance monopolies – whose focus is not on providing health care, but on denying as much treatment as possible and on canceling policies – according to a Wall Street profit model? Did you also envy Enron? Further, did it bother you that so many lost their life savings in that worldwide scam? Or, was the latter plundering their own fault for not being the fittest at the top of the chain in a dog-eat-dog survival game (pyramid)? Why do you hate regular people (us)? Is it because we did not pull up our bootstraps far enough to have stored $3 million in the bank for medical emergencies? Or, is it because our stature in life was preordained – according to you and your kind (the elect, prosperous, and chosen), whose laws are sealed within Social Darwinism?
“Aetna Forcing 600,000 to Lose Coverage in Effort to Raise Profits”: “Officials at Aetna announced that in an effort to improve on a less-than-anticipated profit margin in 2009, they would be raising prices on their consumers in 2010” (“ensuring that each customer is priced to an appropriate margin”). Thank you, President Obama, Sen. Majority Leader Reid, Speaker of the House Pelosi, Corporate Blue Dogs, and all other appeasers, for what we can now look forward to – on a never-ending basis. Thank you for, during a Second Depression, delivering us right into the hands of these vultures. Thank you for giving us an additional (mandatory) monthly bill – and basing the yearly cost on spending up to 8% of our income – while still proclaiming that no new taxes will be imposed on those making under $250,000. Thank you for, like the “Healthy Forests Initiative” and the “Patriot Act,” making “Affordable” the first word of the “Health Care for America Act.” Thank you for all the faux posturing, then purposely taking us “from Single-Payer to a Public Option to a fragmented Option (‘Opt-Out’) to a Trigger” (or even further, to a “Hammer”). Thank you for, with a new Majority, accomplishing exactly what the republicans under Bush would have rammed through – had they been on a mission to “reform” health care (you know, just like they “reformed” overtime and the Justice system?). Thank you for proving to us that, especially in the U.S., corporations rule and control policy – regardless of who holds the greatest number of seats. But, most of all, thank you – for helping those of us who still had Hope to be able to finally see the True Light.
Update: Not even a “Hammer.” Not even a buy-in to Medicare if you are 55 – 64. Since there will mainly, and only, be an Individual Mandate – citizens can be assured that businesses all across the nation will take advantage of this by dropping their coverage as a means to push them toward their new “responsibilities” (while further solidifying bottom lines).
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.”
“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.”
Again, health insurance will become a requirement – by mandate. At this point, will it be a requirement for the government to Provide coverage? No. Employers (big business)? No. Yet, for individuals, they must soon Provide for themselves (bootstraps) – you know, like in “personal responsibility,” just like they have since the corporate bailout, eight years of rampant Enronesque collusion, and more than a quarter-century of deregulation via the setup of Reagonomics. Yes, “It would expand coverage to millions who lack it. . . .” However, that expansion is coming – by force – and, will be based on mandatoryspending (up to 8%) of income toward a policy – sold by Private insurers (a new major tax – especially on those making under $250,000, and an endless cycle of the same abuse these “providers” are known for: Rape is a pre-existing condition. Your baby is overweight/underweight, so, your policy is canceled. Your cancer treatment, or liver transplant, or brain surgery, etc., is too expensive, so, we’ve decided to no longer cover those procedures in your state. Further, once we have 50 million new customers, we are going to raise rates by more than 100% – because there will be no article against it). If there is a Public Option, “states would be permitted to drop out. . . .” Won’t that be wonderful for people who are at the mercy of Governors like Rick Perry, who serve their corporate masters’ vulturous ideology? “Feingold: No Public Option A ‘Strong Reason’ Not To Support Reform.” Exactly. Step by step: From Single-Payer to a Public Option to a fragmented Option (“Opt-Out”) to a “Trigger.” This was planned, from the beginning. “It’s just politics” – without morals or souls. The president sold us out, from day one (just like in other areas). He is not a Progressive, though he promoted himself as one. In fact, he is closer to the obstructionist republicans than those blue dogs. While witnessing a national con job, we must now prepare for those second and third jobs.
A New York Times editorial, “The Public Plan, Continued,” stated that “All versions of the legislation would require these people to spend specified percentages of their income toward the premium and a government tax credit would then pay the rest.” Let us correlate these facts with previous assertions: “White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said . . . that President Obama would be unwilling to sign a health care bill that raised taxes on those making under $250,000. But Gibbs would not draw a similar line in the sand when it came a bill that lacked a public insurance option. ‘The president … believes we should have choice and competition for people entering the private insurance market. . . .’” As written earlier, for people below the median income who do not currently have coverage, being “Mandated” into buying an insurance policy without a 100% subsidy – and, basing the difference on forced spending of 10% or more of income – it will be the same as having their Taxes Raised, considerably. During these times, where 10% of the population is unemployed, and wages along with hours are getting slashed, how many of us would be drastically affected by a new requirement (do it or get fined) that we spend 10% of income on a bill we did not have before? Consider the FICA tax rate: 7.65% (1.45% = Medicare) for employees and 15.30% for the self-employed. Along with the upcoming “Mandate” to buy policies from (as of now) Private insurers, wouldn’t it only be logical to add 10% to each of the latter figures – since we will have to spend that much of our income before receiving any subsidies? As a result, might citizens react in outrage at new required “deductions” from earnings of 17.65% and 25.30% – as if the promise of no new taxes for those making less than $250,000 was a blatant lie? Final questions: The Social Security portion maxes out at $106,800 of earnings. Does that mean a Health Care CEO grossing $10 million has the same SS tax weight as one grossing $106,800? If so, wouldn’t the scenario be as repulsive as it is regressive? Also, remember speeches promoting a changing of those terms as a means to solve so many disparities and shortfalls? Of course. But, that was before millions had a realization of getting “punked.” “Without (at least) a Public Option, there will be No Choice or Competition (and the insurance companies will have the biggest ongoing celebration they ever imagined).” Again, “With these types of ‘solutions,’ one could swear to God that we are the middle of the last administration (and former majority).”
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.
President Obama’s NYTimes editorial: Not a word about “Public Option[s]” (or, heaven forbid, Single-Payer). “But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary – truly risky – is the prospect of doing nothing.” What’s truly atrocious – truly regressive – are (corporate) democrats (and your administration) selling out every progressive/liberal aspect, resulting in the uninsured being handed over to the private insurers as “fresh meat,” – then, spinning it as Reform. “First, if you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of high-quality, affordable coverage. . . .” These are typically vague (hyperbolic) assertions, discounting the new weight (Mandate) about to be forcefully imposed on regular people – conveniently sidestepping all the uproar over Big Pharma/insurance company and neocon giveaways. “Affordable” is the never-ending catch phrase. It succeeds in putting everyone below the median income in bootstrap modes – because soon, there will be “no excuses.” The health care crisis is about to be solved (since we will all have to have policies – or get fines)! “Second, reform will finally bring skyrocketing health care costs under control, which will mean real savings. . . .” That would be “savings” – like in the hidden deal where Pharma agreed to just “lock in their doubling of prices.” Furthermore, would someone grossing $28,000 consider a new monthly $200 bill as “savings”? “Third, by making Medicare more efficient, we’ll be able to ensure that more tax dollars go directly to caring for seniors instead of enriching insurance companies.” In other words, if insurance companies are not satisfied with the mega-billions they are about to reap from these fifty million new “cash cows,” then, they must be “too big to fail” and/or too big to satisfy. “Lastly, reform will provide every American with some basic consumer protections. . . .” Since there will be no Public Option (or enough 100% subsidies), once we are herded into lines at the likes of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, what are the chances that those previously uninsured will feel newly protected? Additionally, if our president wanted to undeniably stand up and out, regardless of monied powers, for a Public Option – wouldn’t he threaten to Veto any measures that came across without it? Good news: “Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, said it would be difficult to pass any legislation through the Democratic-controlled Congress without the promised public plan. ‘We’ll have the same number of people uninsured,’ she said. ‘If the insurance companies wanted to insure these people now, they’d be insured.’” Truthout: “Any health care legislation that does not include a public option is a fraud.” With these realities there is a final question: how many millions of people will find themselves weighing the “options” of paying that yearly Fine – and being able to survive, or, buying a policy – and getting a second job? 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 proposalby voting against anything submitted which maintains the current sellouts, or, at least the “Mandate,” they could show the nation what it means to be honorably brave and genuinely principled.
“It says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada — and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.” Why am I not shocked? “Obama is walking a tightrope here. He wants to keep PhRMA from opposing the bill. . . .”
“Keep PhRMA from opposing the bill?” Oh yeah, we wouldn’t want to have a bill that PhRMA opposed – not with a Majority in Congress – and, a President who was going to champion Change through Reform. Instead, PhRMA is investing $150 million for a media blitz – in Favor. After step-by-step revelations of this variety, how much REFORM should rational people expect? This is the same “appeasement” mentality which has kept the disgraceful republicans empowered, as evidenced by their ongoing and concerted campaigns, polluted with the escalation of the most scandalous (“Death Panel,” “Nazi”) and vociferous Lies. It leaves us (Progressives, commoners) trapped in a (worsening) status quo- while the other sides continue notching victories, though outnumbered 70% to 30%. Seeking bipartisan support and consensus can be valuable in bringing together ideas toward solving certain problems. It is in how far one (or a group) goes with that aim in mind that the original goals may evolve from advancement to insignificance, from welcoming to intrusive. Leaders who propose major revisions regarding a cause are also expected to teach, from a solid, sustainable viewpoint – while being able to discern the quality of shared lessons. If only unreasonable or regressive alternatives are offered as replies from an audience that is shut off from learning, or unyielding to progress, a leader with conviction will not give in and diminish the results of the revisal to such a level that a skeleton remains of an initial objective. Moreover, in an adversarial debate, if one side is mollified to such a degree that the other loses its core, the adversary does not become an ally – since it triumphs at the giver’s overwhelming expense.
Greg Palast: “The Big Pharma kingpins did not actually agree to cut their prices. Their promise with Obama is something a little oilier: they apparently promised that, over ten years, they will reduce the amount at which they would otherwise raise drug prices. Got that? In other words, the Obama deal locks in a doubling of drug costs. . . .”
No confrontation. No hard-fought battles. No standing up, regardless of outcome. No glory. (We have seen the same scenario with respect to Wall Street (repealing the “Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act?”), unchallenged Machiavellian bankruptcy laws, nothing immediate in credit card legislation (or even capped rates), torture as “policy” differences, various other war crimes overlooked, nationalized propaganda campaigns deemed legal, etc.) We were sold on a warrior for change. What did we get when it came to fighting for what was promised? Yes, he still gives soaring speeches. However, there will be no “Red Badge of Courage” given – if all the proletariat are left bleeding in the trenches, without ever seeing their leader elevated – beyond words.
No Reform. No Single-Payer. No (Meaningful) Public Option. No 100% Subsidies (for those under the median income). No Price Controls. Then, Take Out The Mandate That We All Have To Buy a Policy. PERIOD.
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.”
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 ofpremiums for the uninsured, from 12 percent of a household’s annual income to11 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 yearwill 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).
With so many millions of us without health insurance (or even the ability to afford it), something had to give. Right? Well, remember all the promises during last year’s campaign? Solutions! Solutions! “Health care for all!” I, for one, sensed a disaster – for the POOR. Why? The stage was being set with proclamations of “mandatory” requirements for citizens to buy Private Policies.
And here it is: House Democrats Unveil Plan For Health Care Overhaul “House Democrats on Friday answered President Obama’s call for a sweeping overhaul of the health care system by putting forward a . . . bill that would requireall Americans to obtain health insurance. . . .”
Senators Durbin, Leahy, and Schumer: “We support a Public health insurance option that would foster greater competition in the marketplace.” Does the word “option” mean we may choose to participate? Or, will we find ourselves forced into making a choice between only two options? “This month, Congress is working on new reform legislation that will make quality health care available and affordable for all Americans.” Multitudes who were looking to you to actually provide health care through a Universal (Single-Payer) system will wonder where you discovered figures somehow making this “affordable,” since, to them, you are about to put so many on the street. “The whole reason for health insurance in the first place is to spread costs among as large a group of people as possible, so we all pay a reasonable amount for quality health care….” Again, “a reasonable amount,” – just where and how did you come up with those figures? How “reasonable” do you think a man or woman grossing $23,000 a year will consider it? Any chance they, or even husbands and wives grossing $34,000, might prefer health care – as provided – at no cost – as opposed to being required/mandated (like car insurance – where you get fined without it)? We know the covers, like “for those making under a certain amount, it will be free.” Yeah, and that’s how it all starts. Later, the gates widen with a “reasonable/affordable” co-pay – even for the minimum-waged. Further on, it becomes only rational, within “personal responsibility”: Even they (the poor) should work out payment plans when the time comes to cover those new “deductible” requirements/mandates.
Of our citizens, 63% support a Universal/Medicare-for-All/Single-Payer system. It’s the Will of the people. Obama has the presidency – anda majority in Congress. There are no tactics, or waves, of propaganda that would have arrived in this battle which could not have been overcome. And still, they did not have their own Will – to stand up. Instead of fighting (all the way) – primarily for the people, the weak-kneed cohorts cowered (once again) in the face of corporate and politically minor powers.
Update (06/25): “Health Care Reform Bill Price Tag Goes Down.” How? “Senate Finance Committee members said they found $400 billion in savingsearlier this week, largely byreducing the amount of subsidies for low-income people to buy insurance.” It’s only the beginning. Prepare your bootstraps and find those third jobs.
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