Health Reform

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…

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.

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…

Relatives Says Man Arrested For Threatening Democratic Senator Was ‘Under The Spell That Glenn Beck Cast’

This story is not hard to believe at all.  “The crazy” is contagious…

Think Progress

In April, a Washington man named Charles Alan Wilson was arrested for threatening Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) for her vote to pass health care reform. He left a series of threatening messages on her voicemail, saying “It only takes one piece of lead. Kill the (expletive) senator! … Now that you’ve passed your health-care bill, let the violence begin” and “I do believe that every one of you (expletive) socialist democratic progressive (expletive) need to be taken out.” Wilson was arrested after a federal agent called him pretending to be from a group backed by Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing organization responsible for funding some of the “grassroots” opposition to health care reform. Wilson told the agent, who he thought was a fellow opponent to health care reform, that “I will not blink” when it comes to shooting the Senator. “It’s not a threat, it’s a guarantee,” he said.

Now, Media Matters reports on new disturbing details about the extent to which Wilson may have been influenced by Fox News personality Glenn Beck. According to court records, Wilson’s family blamed Beck for putting Wilson “under a spell.” Wilson’s cousin submitted this letter to the court last month:

What happened later with Charlie is something I think I can understand. He became basically housebound due to illness and his small world became even smaller. His brother got him a computer and he was able to stay connected with family. And he watched television and found Glenn Beck… I found Glenn Beck about the same time Charlie did. I understand how his fears were grown and fostered by Mr. Beck’s persuasive personality. The same thing happened to me but I went in a different direction with what I was seeing. Rather than blame politicians for the current issues, I simply got prepared for what Glenn said was coming. I slowly filled our pantry as Glenn fed fear into me. I did not miss watching his show and could not understand why the rest of the world didn’t get it — Glenn became a pariah to me. But I was finally able to step away and realize the error of my ways. The media lost its grip on me. But it still held very tightly to Charlie.

While his actions were undeniably wrong and his choices were terrible, in part they were the actions of others played out by a very gullible Charlie. He was under the spell that Glenn Beck cast, aided by the turbulent times in our economy. I don’t believe that Charlie even had the ability to actually carry out his threats.

Indeed, Beck fiercely opposed health care reform, often in apocalyptic terms, saying that “This is the end of prosperity in America forever … the end of America as you know it,” and asking “if this passes, don’t we lose, really, the Democratic Party to the socialists?” This was coupled with some disturbingly violent rhetoric: Beck characterized Democrats as vampires, and then suggested “driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers.” He also said that “[t]o the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter.”

Watch a compilation of videos found at Media Matters.

This isn’t the first time an unhinged person claims to have been motivated to conduct political violence because of what they saw on Beck’s show. In July an unemployed California man loaded up his car with guns and ammunition, and was pulled over and arrested on his way to shoot up the Tides Foundation in San Francisco, a frequent Beck target. He later told a reporter that “I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind. I said, well, nobody does this.” In April, a man was arrested for threatening Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and his mother told reporters that she blamed Fox News.

Polls Show Voters may like the healthcare plan after all…

Reuters

Pundits may want to reconsider the conventional wisdom that U.S. voters are sour on President Barack Obama’s sweeping healthcare overhaul, at least according to a new survey released Tuesday.

A majority — 54 percent — of all voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the healthcare overhaul, the Public Religion Research Institute found in its American Values Survey of more than 3,000 voters

Among women voters, 60 percent said a candidates’ support for the new healthcare law made them more likely to vote for that candidate, Dan Cox, the institute’s research director, said.

Women surveyed were also keenly interested in healthcare, with 25 percent saying they considered it the most important issue in the Nov. 2 election. Sixteen percent of men rated healthcare the most important issue, Cox said.

“Women who say healthcare is the most important issue for them are leaning toward Democratic over Republican candidates by 56 to 34 percent,”  Cox said.

Obama’s fellow Democrats are facing a tough battle to hold their majorities in Congress on Nov. 2.

With the public angry over the sputtering economy, a growing budget deficit, a perceived failure of government in Washington and skepticism about big new programs like the healthcare overhaul, Republicans are expected to cut into or possibly eliminate the Democrats’ majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate.

Energized after election defeats in 2006 and 2008, Republicans have promised to repeal or at least pare back the healthcare overhaul if they take control of Congress.

The PRRI conducts the survey every two years as the national election season gets under way. This year’s survey of 3,013 adults was conducted between Sept. 1 and Sept. 14. It has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

10 Major New Health Reform Benefits Take Effect Today

Huffington Post

Major new health reform benefits take effect today to help keep health insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs, guarantee more health care choices, and enhance the quality of health care for all Americans.

Starting today, insurers will be required to:

  • Keep you covered when you get sick: Simple mistakes or typos will no longer be grounds for insurance companies to cancel your insurance.
  • Cover kids with pre-existing conditions: Your kids can no longer be denied health coverage just because they have a pre-existing condition like hay fever, asthma, or previous sports injuries. This protection extends to all plans, except “grandfathered” plans in the individual market.
  • Allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plan up to age 26: Even if their first few jobs don’t provide health benefits, your kids can still remain covered by your insurance.
  • Remove lifetime limits: You will no longer need to worry about your health insurer limiting the amount of coverage available through their plan if you face an expensive medical condition. This will help Americans who develop chronic conditions from taking drastic measures to avoid medical bankruptcy.
  • Phase out annual limits: Many plans include annual dollar limits on how much medical coverage can be obtained per year. On all non-“grandfathered” plans in the individual market, these limits will be phased out over the next three years.

For any insurance plan that goes into effect after September 23, 2010, your insurance company must:

Many other new benefits of the law have already taken effect, including rebate checks for seniors in the donut hole and tax credits for small businesses. Keep watching, as more rights, protections and benefits for Americans are on the way now through 2014.

Big health insurers to stop selling new child-only policies

WellPoint

Image via Wikipedia

Tomorrow, September 23, 2101 is the date that the new Health Reform law which provides that insurance companies cannot deny insurance for children with  pre-existing conditions.  This is one of the most important parts of the Health Reform Bill.  Yet, it’s being reported that some of the larger insurance companies have stopped selling new insurance for children, period.

Los Angeles Times

Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna Inc. and others say they will make the move as soon as Thursday when parts of the new healthcare law take effect. They cite potentially huge and unexpected costs for insuring children.

Major health insurance companies in California and other states have decided to stop selling policies for children rather than comply with a new federal healthcare law that bars them from rejecting youngsters with preexisting medical conditions.

Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna Inc. and others will halt new child-only policies in California, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut and elsewhere as early as Thursday when provisions of the nation’s new healthcare law take effect, including a requirement that insurers cover children under age 19 regardless of their health histories.

The action will apply only to new coverage sought for children and not to existing child-only plans, family policies or insurance provided to youngsters through their parents’ employers. An estimated 80,000 California children currently without insurance — and as many as 500,000 nationwide — would be affected, according to experts.

Insurers said they were acting because the new federal requirement could create huge and unexpected costs for covering children. They said the rule might prompt parents to buy policies only after their kids became sick, producing a glut of ill youngsters to insure. As a result, they said, many companies would flee the marketplace, leaving behind a handful to shoulder a huge financial burden.

The insurers said they now sell relatively few child-only policies, and thus the changes will have a small effect on families.

“Unfortunately, this has created an un-level competitive environment,” Anthem Blue Cross, California’s largest for-profit insurer, said in a statement declaring its intention to “suspend the sale of child-only policies” on Thursday, six months after the healthcare overhaul was signed.

The change has angered lawmakers, regulators and healthcare advocates, who say it will force more families to enroll in already strained public insurance programs such as Medi-Cal for the poor in California.

The White House weighed in Tuesday, condemning Anthem corporate parent WellPoint Inc. and others that plan to stop selling child-only policies.

“It’s obviously very unfortunate that insurance companies continue to make decisions on the backs of children and families that need their help,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at a news briefing.

Continue reading…

The Newly Introduced Public Option Proposal Will Reduce the Deficit by $68 Billion

Bring it on…

Think Progress – Wonk Room

Just when you thought the last nail had been driven in the public option coffin months ago, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the public option has once again returned to Congress. As Noam Levey reported last night, “[c]reating a major government health insurance program was roundly rejected last year, but 128 House Democrats are pushing to reconsider the idea, contending that it would hold down federal spending.” The legislation, HR 5808, is sponsored by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and the 128 cosigners are largely progressive caucus members and include all three chairmen of the committees of jurisdiction, Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the legislation and noted some promising findings. The public plan, in this form, has always been a deficit reducer and this is no exception. CBO found the proposal would reduce the deficit by $68 billion from 2014 to 2020. Despite likely lower reimbursements than private plans, CBO found providers would likely participate in large numbers because of the number of enrollees. CBO estimates the average public plan premium would be 5 to 7 percent lower than other private plans available within the exchange, making it more affordable to individuals. They also estimate approximately 13 million or one in every three individuals eligible for exchange coverage would chose the public option.

The legislation looks very similar to the original House public option that passed the Ways and Means and Education Labor committees. It is important to remember the public option that passed the full House of Representatives in November of last year looked very different from this initial version. Both the original House bill and the new legislation would create an option for a public plan within the health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014. Providers would be paid Medicare rates plus 5 percent in the initial years. The providers will not be required to accept Medicare to enroll in the program.  Continue reading…

Bachmann sees a ‘nation of slaves’

Can this woman get any crazier?

Politico

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) believes that President Barack Obama is turning the United States into a “nation of slaves.”

Bachmann made the comments over the weekend while appearing at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver.

According to the Colorado Independent, Bachmann first read a letter from John Jay that he wrote during the Revolutionary War.

 “We are determined to live free or not at all. And we are resolved that posterity shall never reproach us with having brought slaves into the world,” Jay wrote.

 Bachmann then riffed off of Jay in her own worlds, telling the audience, “We will talk a little bit about what has transpired in the last 18 months and would we count what has transpired into turning our country into a nation of slaves.”

Bachmann later asserted that the 18 months in which Democrats have held the White House along with the House and Senate have amounted to “tyranny,” pointing directly to the health care reforms Obama was able to shepherd through earlier this year.

 The Minnesota Republican said she is “giddy” at the idea of Republicans potentially recapturing majorities on Capitol Hill and mapped out an ambitious road map of where she’d like to see the GOP go.

 “We reform social security, then we reform Medicare, then we pare back welfare to the truly needy, for the truly disabled, because, yes, we can make that determination,” she said. “Close and secure American boarders, cut the budget, limit our foreign entanglements for America, then we massively cut spending first, then we cut taxes.”

New HealthCare.gov Site Helps Answer Many Questions

A federal government Website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has gone online to help people understand Health Care Reform and what it can do for them.

HealthCare.gov.
Under the new law, people who have been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition and who have been uninsured for at least six months may qualify to buy insurance. Learn more about the plan.

Starting as early as September 2010, young adults under age 26 can generally be insured under a parent’s insurance if the policy allows for dependent coverage. The only exception is if the parent has an existing job-based plan, and the young adult children can get their own job-based coverage.   

In some plans, young adult children can be added earlier than September 2010.

Read a fact sheet on the young adult coverage policy