by TarHeel, Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:56:01 AM EST
pass a government mandate to use taxpayer subsidies to
give to private insurance companies -without increasing their choices
by TarHeel, Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:56:01 AM EST
by TarHeel, Thu Sep 17, 2009 at 09:34:27 AM EDT
too funny. I only wish there was video.
Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Union leaders denounced a proposed overhaul of the U.S. health system introduced today by Senator Max Baucus, saying it fails to pressure insurance companies for savings and would tax health plans.
Delegates at the AFL-CIO's convention in Pittsburgh chanted "bullshit" in response to the plan from the Senate Finance Committee's chairman. They were led in the chant by Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
by TarHeel, Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 06:03:29 AM EDT
A current Vice President for Wellpoint was Baucus' Chief of Staff last year. Baucus' Chief of Staff last year is a Wellpoint lobbyist this year. Enzi's former chief of staff is a wellpoint lobbyist.
The PDF of Baucus' outline showed Liz Fowler, a Vice President for Wellpoint last year as its creator.
Should the progressive caucus in the house force media coverage of Baucus' Bill as being illegitimate? I think they should have a press conference calling the Baucus Bill Caviar for Insurance companies and a crap sandwich for Americans.... Even today Di-Fi (Dianne Feinstein) on CNN emphasized how important the finance committee bill is for the final law that will be signed.
Still more evidence that Wellpoint wrote the Baucus plan: the insurance company's lobbying efforts in DC are headed up by Senator Mike Enzi's former chief health adviser at Senate HELP, Stephen Northrup. Enzi is a member of Baucus's so-called "Gang of Six" shaping the bipartisan compromise bill.
In fact, key provisions in the Baucus plan apparently draw on industry-inspired legislation first introduced by Enzi in 2006, while Northrup was still his chief health aide.
When Industry VPs Write Laws
Max Baucus' plan had the name of Liz Fowler, a former WellPoint VP who now works for the Finance Committee, in the metadata. When you have WellPoint personnel instrumental in writing the laws, you get little provisions like this:
A June 10 meeting between aides to Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and health-care lobbyists included two former Baucus chiefs of staff: David Castagnetti, whose clients include PhRMA and America's Health Insurance Plans, and Jeffrey A. Forbes, who represents PhRMA, Amgen, Genentech, Merck and others. Castagnetti did not return a telephone call; Forbes declined to comment.
If I were a congressperson who did not want the final bill to look like the finance committee bill I'd have a press conference using words like "lobbyist written", "not change we can believe in", "crap sandwich", "insurance wet dream" etc... to get some traction.
by TarHeel, Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:00:14 AM EDT
At Today's rally Obama basically repeated what he said Wednesday night. Including what I think is a good comparison of private/public insurance to private vs. public Universities and Colleges..
Also, look at this new wrinkle that supports a public Option but I don't think Obama even tried to make it.
this is APs coverage
He also pledged that with a public option "no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the coverage that you need."
AP gave us a new selling option. The government can guarantee no bureaucrat comes between you and the doc. With insurance we know bureaucrats administer health care to people.
by TarHeel, Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 01:53:56 PM EDT
Obama certainly gave a great speech about healthcare and was even lucky enough to have Joe Wilson embody what's left of the Republican Party: rude, crude, white male and southern.
We all know this is coming down to the end game. Is Harry Reid going to give up his seat by giving Nevadans the Baucus-Faucus Health Insurance Entitlement plan? Or would he get a public option through the senate by reconciliation or other means and actually get some netroots support?
Anyhow, this is the last chance to have some impact. Call your members of Congress and let them know.
Also, although a bunch of us gave money through actblue to "they took the pledge" for the public option - many of them seem pretty weak on the issue.
This is the preferred list of more robust supporters.
by TarHeel, Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 05:20:57 AM EDT
Didn't expect it from the politico but check out this opinion from Roger Simon. Seems pretty accurate and fair to me...
The public option is not, by the way, what the left wing of the Democratic Party wants, as some have charged.
The left wing of the Democratic Party wants a single-payer plan like Canada has. The mainstream of the party -- the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party -- wants a public option. Obama used to be part of that wing. We'll learn Wednesday night if he still is.
The reason for a public option is the one that Obama stated to the American Medical Association on June 15: "You will have your choice of a number of plans that offer a few different packages, but every plan would offer an affordable, basic package ... one of these options needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market ... [to] force waste out of the system and keep the insurance companies honest."
The public option keeps the insurance companies honest because it provides competition. Without the public option, the health care industry gets a huge bonus -- 46 million new customers -- but doesn't have to operate any better or less expensively.
more from Politico
And here is one other piece of unsolicited advice: Don't worry about winning over the crazies and the weasels. The crazies will call you a socialist, fascist, Hitlerite, Stalinist -- and born in Kenya, to boot! -- no matter what you say. Forget about them.
And forget about people like Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. A Republican, he had committed to work for bipartisan reform but went to a town hall meeting in Winterset, Iowa, and told the crowd it had "every right to fear" a government plan "to pull the plug on Grandma."
If you look up "weasel" in the dictionary, you'll see a picture of Chuck Grassley.
the reason I'm deeply disappointed in Obama (besides breaking his campaign pledges by requiring mandates to buy only junk insurance) is politically he's pulling his punches. Private insurance companies are an easy mark and the public option is the most powerful cost control that congress has scored.
Reading today's WashingtonPost story about Recission it's hard to understand why Obama hasn't taken on the insurance industry.
If you want to read why I'm down on healthcare reform and the "hope" that private insurance will behave on their own read this.
In a pending case, Blue Shield searched in vain for an inconsistency in the health records of the wife of a dairy farmer after she filed a claim for emergency gallbladder surgery, according to attorneys for the family. Turning to her husband's questionnaire, the company discovered he had not mentioned his high cholesterol and dropped them both. Blue Shield officials said they would not comment on a pending case.
by TarHeel, Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 12:45:52 PM EDT
I am in favor of doing nothing rather than the abomination of a plan the Baucus-FaucUs Caucus put out.
This is not change I can believe in..
If wall street healthcare stocks increase substantially more than the market Tuesday it tells you all you need to know.
Subsidies will be slashed so insurance will be a big rip off for most people, with nothing to control costs.
After the speech finished, Chuck Todd came on and said something like, "progressives have to be disappointed." Todd's point, I think, was that Obama didn't really mean it. It was weak tea designed to fire up Obama's labor audience but ultimately Obama was going to drop the public option.
And it may well have been.
But what Todd doesn't seem to get is that Obama stands to lose more if he utters those words--if he acknowledges our point, that the public option is key to real reform, to bringing down costs--than having not uttered them.
So while Todd may take Obama's weak tea mention of the public option as so much weak tea, he seems to be missing that any such a mention is only going to further inflame progressives if and when Obama sacrifices something he "believes" in just a few days.
If this is an improvement over the status quo, right now I don't see how.
This moves the ball into the Progressive Block's court, not into President Obama's. This draft proposal from Baucus is nowhere close to the type of health care bill they have said they can support. Off hand, it seems perfectly justified to send this bill down to defeat. However, as activists, we only have power to defeat or change this bill if the Progressive Block decides to hold the line. They are going to be asked to fold and compromise, so it is their time to demonstrate leadership. Let's see what happens.
No matter what happens, it is imperative that there is at least a vote on a robust public option in both branches of Congress. We need a roll call indicating who opposes a real public option, and is instead looking to force this crappy bill on us. Otherwise, there will be no way to hold Congress accountable.
by TarHeel, Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 05:59:55 AM EDT
You should really watch this video... The Progressive minded Dems are finally getting the talking point that mandating private insurance with no cost controls or public option is insanity: it will not control costs or reduce the deficit.. The progressives are also finally saying you don't need 60 votes only 50 in the senate.
Here's Representative Ellison on CNN. His is the one to watch, makes almost all the good points. Unfortunately CNN's embed doesn't work on this site.
In an interview on CNN's State of the Union, Rep. Keith Ellison laid down the battle lines for President Barack Obama, whose White House is wedged in the middle between conservative Senate Democrats and the conservative House Blue Dog Coalition and liberal House Democrats."Why should the liberals always cave?" Ellison said when confronted with the prospect that Obama might ask the liberal members of the party to compromise. Asked what he would like for the president to say Wednesday in a joint address to Congress that will focus on health care, Ellison stuck to his guns. "He could say, 'You know what, the public option is essential to reform.' He could say that a public option is the only thing that's going to hold insurance premiums down. . . . He could say that a public option with a large provider network is going to help promote better medical practices based on evidence. So, I'm hoping that he understands the essentiality of the public option."
Here's Maxine Waters on This Week emphasizing that the Progressives are only helping Obama get what he campaigned for. She also unprompted brings up budget reconcilliation.
Here's a piece urging Progressives to "kill" any bill that has mandates and no public option.
A no-public-option bill would mandate that every American buy health insurance while ensuring skyrocketing premiums. What sane politician would vote for a bill like that?
The public option is essential to the success of the reforms - not merely for political reasons, but for fundamental policy reasons.
Simply put, if you want other reforms like elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions, you need a public option because:
* Reforms such as eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions only work if you have an individual mandate.
* If you have an individual mandate, rates will skyrocket unless you have a public option to provide competition (or rate controls, which aren't even on the table).
The Chris Matthews Show finally had a guest on that pointed out that the first electoral victims of no health care reform are the blue dogs.. to paraphrase Tweety said "congresspeople from New York and LA aren't going to lose their seats"..
by TarHeel, Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:02:19 PM EDT
I can't tell you how disappointed I am from a policy standpoint, a political standpoint, and a personal standpoint on Obama's decision to Sista Souljah his only dependable supporters. The best the whitehouse can possibly hope for is Sista Souljah, the worst is political suicide.
What really pissed me off is that the whitehouse never rebuts any stupid Dems like the blue dogs or blanch lincoln today who claim they can't support a public option because it costs too much. In fact according the to CBO the public option in the House cuts costs to taxpayers by 15%.
I am officially a supporter no more. I unsubscribed from whitehouse.gov a couple weeks ago and today unsubscribed from OFA.
I left a note explaining exactly why (in the unsubscribe box) and also called my states field director. She said the state field directors do get to talk to the whitehouse and she appreciated my call. I'd urge you to unsubscribe and call your state field director's phone number. I found mine's by google...
Rather than re-hashing all the ways that this stinks, I will post prominent bloggers thoughts on this and remind everyone that Obama campaigned for a "public plan" and against "mandates". Now we are getting the worst of both..
The problem with triangulation
by Jed Lewison
The thing they need to be careful of is that when you triangulate, you don't want to do it with the least popular position of all -- individual mandates without a serious cost-control mechanism. And you especially don't want to do it when that position is the exact opposite -- on both counts -- of your position during a campaign that you won by a wide margin.
The Obama administration is sending out its strongest signs yet that it's willing to scrap a public option in order to move a health care bill forward. White House adviser David Axelrod tells ABC News that what remains of Obama's desire for a public option is largely theoretical. "The spirit that led him to support a public option is still very much at play here and so you know he wants competition. He wants choice."
Here's an important point that the field director had no answer for...
The White House is making the calculation that the hit they suffer when they drop the public plan is only with the "far left," that they can survive that and actually use it to their advantage by triangulating against "the blogs."
It's just a guess, but when average Americans understand that "health care reform" means they will be forced to pay Blue Cross more money than they do now for worse insurance or be fined 2.5% of their income, I have a feeling it's not just going to be a couple of radical lefties who are pissed off about what amounts to an increase in middle class taxes. Unfortunately, since all the liberal interest groups ceded the bank bailout debate to the teabaggers and there was no pushback against the White House's decision to coddle AIG, the right owns that particular real estate and will be well poised to make the most of it.
by TarHeel, Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:08:00 AM EDT
Maria Bartiromo is a "journalist" and "news anchor" for CNBC.
In my opinion she is exhibit A, why Obama and Dems in Congress should completely ignore polls on healthcare. Face it, our country is loaded with dummies.
In March, 2006, Bartiromo appeared as a contestant on celebrity Jeopardy. Matched against CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper and Kweisi Mfume, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. After two rounds Bartiromo finished with $0, having only attempted to answer two questions in the Double Jeopardy round, answering only one correctly. Because her balance of $0 following the Double Jeopardy round would have made her ineligible for the Final Jeopardy round, Maria was 'gifted' $1,000 in order to keep playing. Maria answered the Final Jeopardy question incorrectly, and finished the game with $300 of the $1,000 she had been 'gifted'.
Now watch this. she's a "journalist" and news anchor and doesn't seem to know you have to most often be 65 to be eligible for medicare..
She keeps huffing about Erbitux not being approved in england.. the reason being it's very expensive and does not cure anything only adds one month of survival
In the 1,125-patient pivotal FLEX (First-line in Lung cancer with ErbituX) multinational phase III study, in which Erbitux was combined with vinorelbine and cisplatin, a statistically significant improvement in overall survival was observed in the three-drug treatment arm. Median overall survival was 11.3 months in patients receiving Erbitux compared with 10.1 months in those receiving chemotherapy alone (p=0.044).
Avastin is basically the same story.. it is not a cure simply a slightly longer survival time.
These drugs are her arguments against universal single payer healthcare (which no one is even proposing in the U.S.)