Health Care Reform

Rick Scott Pays $360 a Year for State Health Insurance

Governor  Voldemort is at it again…

Mother Jones

Florida’s anti-Obamacare governor and his tea party allies in the Legislature pay less for state-funded health insurance than janitors, cops, or teachers.

Last year, political neophyte Rick Scott spent $73 million of his own money to bring the tea party’s anti-government, pro-privatization agenda to the Florida governor’s office. Today, the former executive pays just $30 a month for health care—and lets taxpayers cover the rest.

The governor, a proud bearer of the Republican Party’s deregulation standard, has spent his first half-year in office decrying government waste: He’s laid off thousands of Sunshine State employees, slashed their benefits, turned down (most of) the federal government’s health care dollars, and put extra financial pressure on Florida retirees and Medicaid recipients. But Scott and his dependents pay one-fifth what a janitor in the state Capitol pays for health insurance…and less than 3 percent of what a retired state trooper pays for life-saving coverage.

When asked about the double standard, a spokesman for Scott declined to comment, calling his family’s cheap state coverage “private matters.

But the matter has huge implications for citizens of the state. Scott sits atop an upside-down benefits system that heavily subsidizes health care costs for the best-off state employees while forcing loyal rank-and-file workers to spend more of their shrinking paychecks for basic coverage. According to Gary Fineout, the longtime Tallahassee reporter who broke the story:

Scott is among nearly 32,000 people in state government who pay relatively low health insurance premiums. It’s a perk that is available to high-ranking state officials, including those in top management at all state agencies. Nearly all 160 state legislators are also enrolled in the program that costs just $8.34 a month for individual coverage and $30 a month for family coverage.

[...]

So who pays to give Scott and his cronies their cut-rate coverage? Taxpayers do. It’s not clear how many of the state’s 32,000 top-ranking VIPs cover themselves, and how many get their entire families on the state plan. Depending on that breakdown, Floridians are paying between $1.3 and $4.8 million every month to extend this perk to their political elites. That could amount to as much as $57.6 million a year—12 times what the state spent on public broadcasting before Scott decided to defund the radio and TV stations, calling them “a special interest.

Continue reading here… 

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Man Robs Bank of One Dollar

Someone once said that desperate times call for desperate measures.  However, I honestly think this fella took the phrase a bit too literally…

The Daily Beast

Richard James Verone allegedly walked into a bank and handed a note to the teller saying he was armed and demanding a single dollar. He then sat down and waited for the police to arrive. “He’s sitting on the sofa as you walk in the front door,” the teller said in the 911 call. Verone, who was unarmed, demanded such a small amount because he wasn’t interested in making money; he wanted to get sent to prison, so he could receive health care to treat a growth in his chest and two ruptured disks. “I’m sort of a logical person and that was my logic, what I came up with,” Verone said in a jailhouse interview. “If it is called manipulation, then out of necessity because I need medical care, then I guess I am manipulating the courts to get medical care.”  He appears in court June 28.

Read it at ABC News

 

Rep. Anthony Weiner Calls On Republicans to Defund Their Own Health Care Plans

Crooks & Liars

Since as Rachel Maddow noted on her show [last night], John Boehner decided to allow open debate and endless amendments during the House debate on the budget, we got to see Anthony Weiner giving this speech. Rep. Weiner asked the House Republicans to defund their own health care plans since they don’t want every day Americans to have the same options that they have as members of Congress.

I still want single payer but if we’re going to argue about how completely hypocritical Republicans are on this issue, Congressman Weiner is exactly right. There are a couple of models you can take with reforming the health insurance industry and with making sure you provide affordable services to everyone in the country. You either have the government replace the insurance industries and they manage the plans or you still have everyone pay in to private corporations and you regulate the insurance industries the way utility industries are regulated and they are not allowed to make excessive profits from those who are covered.    More…

Full repeal of health care law fails in the Senate

Can I laugh now or later?

Politico

Republican efforts to repeal the health care reform law died a quick death in the Senate Wednesday, with a united Democratic caucus voting down a GOP repeal bill that cleared the House last month.

A procedural vote ended the repeal effort, 47-51, as expected. Democrats framed the Republican amendment as an attempt to take health benefits away from Americans.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed the amendment – the repeal bill the House passed last month – to the Federal Aviation Administration’s reauthorization bill. He called the vote an opportunity for health reform supporters to say, “yes, maybe my vote for this bill was a mistake, and that we can do better.”

Just holding the vote is a victory for Republicans: McConnell managed to bring it to the floor of a Democrat-controlled senate. And some moderate Democrats, who voted against the health law last year, are now on the record with a vote in favor of President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

The country is relatively split in its support for the law, particularly in states where moderate Democrats have to face reelection in 2012.

Republicans hope that support for the law erodes further, forcing Democrats to reconsider their support for health reform.

Democrats put up a budget point of order, a procedural tool designed to highlight the fact that repeal would add about $230 billion to the deficit, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. Republicans have strongly objected to the figure, arguing that the reform law would add to the deficit.

McConnell has promised that he will force numerous votes against the health care reform law.

Obama Ridicules Conservative Disinformation On Health Reform: ‘Granny Is Safe!’

Barack Obama at the University of Nevada, Las ...

Image via Wikipedia

The GOP and their lies about health care reform should be ridiculed at every turn…

Think Progress

The conservative campaign against President Obama’s health care reform law has been built around baseless distortions and fabrications about the policy, such as its mythical “death panels” that would “pull the plug on grandma,” the false claim that the law is “job killing,” and the equally false claim that the law will “explode the deficit.” President Obama has largely avoided taking on this disinformation directly, but in a speech today sponsored by the pro-reform Families USA, the president lambasted these conservative falsehoods, saying the fear mongering “just doesn’t match up to reality.” And noting that conservatives tried to claim the law is “granny-threatening,” Obama joked, “I can report that granny is safe!”:

OBAMA: Now as important as what is happening right now, is what isn’t happening right now. You may have heard once or twice that this is a job-crushing, granny-threatening, budget-busting monstrosity. That’s how it’s been portrayed by opponents. But that just doesn’t match up toreality. [...]

And I can report that granny is safe! In fact, grandma’s Medicare is stronger than ever. And if she was one of the millions who fell into the donut hole last year, she’ll received a $250 check, or soon will, to help her afford her medicine, and a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs, as part of the affordable care act.

Watch it:

Conservatives are forced to resort to deception on health care because Americans overwhelming don’t want the Affordable Care Act repealed and favor most of its components. Meanwhile, Republicans have no clear plan to address health care on their own, should their doomed repeal bid actually succeed.

Health Care Repeal Vote Passes House

In a symbolic attempt to appease the Tea Party faction of the GOP, the Republican majority in the House voted to repeal Health Care.  The vote was 245-189. 

Since the 2010 midterm elections, when the GOP picked up more than 50 seats in the House, they are now the majority and can easily pass bills that they favor, with ease.

Of course the bill will die in the Senate, which still remains in Democrats’ control, therefore having no chance of actually passing both houses.

Huffington Post

House Republicans voted unanimously on Wednesday to fully repeal health care reform, though Senate leaders have said they will not take up the lower chamber’s bill. Instead, the fight will move to the less glamorous arenas of funding and rule writing. The vote was 245-189, with three Democrats — Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), and Mike Ross (D-Ark.) — voting for repeal.

The vote to repeal health care was initially delayed by a parliamentary debacle in which two House Republicans skipped the swearing-in ceremony for a Capitol fundraiser, yet voted despite not being official members of Congress. It was delayed an additional week as the House paid tribute to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of the Arizona massacre.

The health care bill that the House would repeal allows parents to keep children on their health plans until the age of 26, bars insurers from denying service due to preexisting conditions, expands Medicaid funding dramatically and extends coverage to some 30 million uninsured Americans by 2019. It’s the largest piece of social policy the Democratic Party has enacted in decades. “It is a big deal, as Joe Biden said, in other words,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told progressive media Wednesday morning.

The GOP is calling it the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. Democrats, defending the bill, argued that covering 30 million additional people necessarily creates jobs in the health care sector and reduces the burden on small businesses. And repealing it would add more than $200 billion to the federal deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. “I want to just advise people watching at home playing the now-popular drinking game, if you take a shot whenever the Republicans say something that’s not true, please assign a designated driver,” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) said.

VIDEO: House Republicans Explain Why They Won’t Give Up Their Own Government-Sponsored Health Care

Republicans in Congress are not only using government-sponsored health care, they are whining about having to wait for it.  Yet, they want to repeal it for everyone else. 

Hypocrisy at its worse, in my opinion…

Think Progress

With the Republican legislative agenda increasingly focused on repealing health care reform, many observers are beginning to question whether GOPers in Congress will personally abide by their beliefs and take the next step of forgoing government-sponsored health insurance for themselves.

In sum, only eight GOP congressman, or three percent of all House Republicans, have opted out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. One Republican loudly complained about having his own government-sponsored health insurance delayed approximately four weeks. But most GOPers have quietly continued to accept government-sponsored health care while loudly decrying the government’s role in helping provide health care to a segment of the American public.

ThinkProgress recently caught up with a number of congressmen to ask whether they too planned to continue receiving health insurance through the federal government. Their reasons for continuing to take government-subsidized health insurance ran the gamut — from Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), whose justification was that he was “actually lowering” premiums for older members of Congress, to Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who admitted that accepting government-sponsored health care “could be” hypocritical, but shrugged it off nonetheless.

ThinkProgress compiled a video of other Republican congressmen explaining why they want to repeal health care reform for the nation but plan to keep government-subsidized health care for themselves.     More…

Watch it:

“Government Takeover” of Health Care Called “Lie of the Year”

CBS News’ Political Hotsheet

The claim that the health care overhaul bill reflects a “government takeover of healthcare” has won the “lie of the year” award from the fact-checking website Politifact.com.

 The Pulitzer Prize winning website, which is associated with the St. Petersburg Times, noted in announcing the award that “it is inaccurate to call the plan a government takeover because it relies largely on the existing system of health coverage provided by employers.”

“It is true that the law does significantly increase government regulation of health insurance. But it is, at its heart, a system that relies on private companies and the free market,” the site said.

Politifact noted that it is not weighing in on the validity or effectiveness of the health care law itself, but rather on the truthfulness of the characterization of it. It noted that under the bill a majority of Americans will continue to get health coverage from their employers through private insurance companies, that the government did not take control over hospitals or doctors, and that the law did not include a public option, whereby a government run insurance plan would compete with private companies.     More…

Number of Uninsured American Adults Hits Record High

So, let me get this straight: 

The incoming GOP majority led congress wants to repeal healthcare reform. 

They would also like to conduct seven  hearings a week  on the Obama administration for the entire 40 week session of the 112th congress which begins Jan. 2, 2011.  (See “B” below.)

They also want to give the highest tax cuts to the richest 2 per cent and they have not uttered one word about JOBS! 

Someone once said (paraphrased): “You get the congress you deserve”.  The country voted in those clowns who’s sole interest is to cater to big business (corporate) interests and in order to pay for the tax cuts they propose, they want to privatize medicare and social security.

Someone also said these:

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~John Kenneth Gailbraith

Everything the right-wing does is designed to accomplish one of two things, either:
(a) transfer wealth from everyone else to the rich, or,
(b) distract everyone else from the fact that (a) is occurring. ~ Jack Clark

U.S. News – Health

Nearly 50 million Americans have gone without health insurance for at least part of the past year — up from 46 million people in 2008, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

Those people included not only those Americans living in poverty, but an increasing number of middle-income people, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The bottom line is that uninsurance of young and middle-class adults increased by 4 million people from 2008 to the first quarter of 2010,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said during a news conference Tuesday.

What’s more, the number of people without insurance for a year or more increased from 27.5 million in 2008 to 30.4 million in the first quarter of 2010, Frieden said. “That’s an increase of 3 million of chronically uninsured adults.”

These findings debunk two myths about health insurance, Frieden said. “The first myth is that it’s only the poor who are uninsured. In fact, half of the uninsured are over the poverty level,” he said.

“The second myth is that it’s only healthy people who are uninsured and that young healthy people make a choice not to have health insurance. In fact, more than two out of five individuals who are uninsured at some point during the past year had one or more chronic diseases,” he said.   Continue reading…