Friday, May 29, 2009

Big Lies About Heathcare Reform...

Here Come the Big Lies About Health Care Reform
by Mike Hall, May 28, 2009

We noted a few days ago how the private insurance industry was set to unleash its attack dogs on health care reform to try to kill a public health insurance plan option as part of President Obama’s health care reform initiative. Those dogs have started to bark. Yesterday, the fake group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP)—another one of those astroturf names meant to appeal to All of Us—launched a $1.7 million TV ad campaign claiming we may all die if Obama’s health care reform proposals are enacted. The ads don’t even skirt the neighborhood of the truth, but then, as Robert Borosage wrote last week, the health care industry has a long history of “trying to scare the hell out of Americans” when it comes to health care reform.The ads conjure up the boogeyman of a “government-run” health care system where patients will die as their cancerous tumors grow to fatal stages while they wait months to receive care. Scary stuff. Phony, but meant to scare us all. A public health plan option has won the endorsement of major health care groups and many senators and representatives and is a key component of the AFL-CIO’s health care reform principles. It would provide workers who have private insurance and those without insurance a choice in coverage: Stay with their private plan or choose the public plan option. It would also—which scares the hay out of the private insurance industry—provide some competition for an industry that has secured a near-monopoly of the market and recorded record profits, while we are paying more for less care. The Wall Street Journal reports that another group, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, is buying air time for a 30-minute Sunday morning infomercial featuring “horror stories” about the Canadian and British health care systems and warning the U.S. government is about to take over health care here. Like AFP’s campaign, that message doesn’t even have a nodding acquaintance with the truth. But a key Republican strategist says the truth doesn’t matter when it comes to fighting health care reform. BTW, most Republican lawmakers have decried a public plan option with strikingly similar, and just as phony, arguments. Think Progress reports that lies about health care reform are not going to go away anytime soon. In an interview with The New York Times, conservative pollster Frank Luntz admitted that he would continue raising the false specter of a ”Washington takeover” of health care—whether or not that was Obama’s actual proposal. “I’m not a policy person. I’m a language person,” Luntz said. Click here for a detailed look at the blueprint for the propaganda campaign against health care reform. The truth may set you free, but a big lie just might protect Big Health Insurance Companies’ big profits.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Universal Health Care ~ YES !

Health Insurance Profits Soar as Industry Mergers Create Near-Monopoly
by Mike Hall, May 27, 2009

Profits at 10 of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies rose 428 percent from 2000 to 2007, while consumers paid more for less coverage. One of the major reasons, according to a new study, is the growing lack of competition in the private health insurance industry that has led to near monopoly conditions in many markets. The report says such conditions warrant a Justice Department investigation and, says Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), provide compelling evidence of the need for a public health insurance plan option as part of the health care reform initiative President Obama and Congress are developing. Schumer says the report from Health Care for America Now! (HCAN)
is the starkest evidence yet that the private health care insurance market is in bad need of some healthy competition. A public health insurance option is critical to ensure the greatest amount of choice possible for consumers. According to the recently released HCAN report, “
Premiums Soaring in Consolidated Health Insurance Market“: In the past 13 years, more than 400 corporate mergers have involved health insurers, and a small number of companies now dominate local markets but haven’t delivered on promises of increased efficiency. According to the American Medical Association, 94 percent of insurance markets in the United States are now highly concentrated, and insurers are thriving in the anti-competitive marketplace, raking in enormous profits and paying out huge CEO salaries. These mergers and consolidations have created a marketplace where a small number of larger companies use their power to raise premiums—an average of 87 percent over the past six years—restrict and reduce benefit packages and control and cut provider payments. In a letter to the Department of Justice’s Anti-Trust Division, Richard Kirsch, HCAN national campaign manager, and David Balto, former policy director of the Federal Trade Commission and now senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, write: Simply put, the private insurance companies have secured monopolies or tight oligopolies and exercised that power to put profits ahead of patients….There were no actions taken against anticompetitive conduct by health insurers in the last administration, in spite of the fact that cases by state attorneys general have secured massive fines against these insurers. A lack of antitrust enforcement has enabled insurers to acquire dominant positions in almost every metropolitan market. They ask for an investigation of the already consummated mergers that “harm competition or create an anticompetitive market structure.” They also urge the Justice Department to conduct investigations of “anticompetitive conduct by dominant insurance companies and challenge that conduct where appropriate.” Many dominant insurers limit the ability of providers to choose rival insurers or inform patients about more efficient and comprehensive coverage. The DOJ should investigate tools used to stifle competition such as physician gag clauses, most favored nations provisions, all-products clauses, and silent networks, which prevent providers and consumers from having the full range of competitive alternatives. Schumer last week co-sponsored a Senate resolution urging the creation of a public health plan option and says a public health plan “is critical to ensure the greatest amount of choice possible for consumers.” We believe that it is fully possible to create a public health insurance plan that delivers all the benefits of increased competition without relying on unfair, built-in advantages. If a level playing field exists, then private insurers will have to compete based on quality of care and pricing, instead of just competing for the healthiest consumers. Click here for a copy of the full report. Tell us what you think should be included in comprehensive health care reform. Take the 2009 Health Care for America Survey. The survey gives you the opportunity to make your voice heard and helps shape health care reform to meet the needs of working families.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Channels: Legislation & Politics
Editorial : I thought the following comment said it all ! It seems that Senator Schumer (D) New York, Knows !

1 Comment
True Democrat on 28.05.2009 at 14:36 (Reply)
HR 676:The United States National Health Care Act (USNHC) establishes a unique American universal health insurance program with single payer financing. The bill would create a publicly financed, privately delivered health care system that improves and expands the already existing Medicare program to all U.S. residents, and all residents living in U.S. territories. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that all Americans will have access, guaranteed by law, to the highest quality and most cost effective health care services regardless of their employment, income or health care status. In short, health care becomes a human right. With 47 million uninsured Americans, and another 50 million who are underinsured, the time has come to change our inefficient and costly fragmented non-system of health care.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

America`s Biggest Problem = GREED !

Saving America...
By : Don Jones

Most of my life, I have been an optimist. America was the land of opportunity and wealth, if that was your utmost desire ? I grew up in Detroit Michigan, on the west side ! I went to School there, graduated from Northwestern High School on Grand River and the Blvd. I worked 13 years for the Detroit Board of Education. I worked at Thomas M. Cooley High School on Hubbell and Chalfonte, just off Fenkell(5 mi. Rd.) I got married while working there, my wife and I bought a house in Nankin Township, now called Westland. We had two sons. We decided to move back to Tennessee, my roots ! I went to the University of Tennessee at Martin to try and obtain a job, related to my job in Michigan. There was no budget at that time for that kind of job. I went to Union City Tennessee one day to complete some business, I stopped at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and put in an application for employment, two days later I was called and went to work there the following Monday, November 30, 1970 ! The first few days, I did`nt think, I was going to make it. The work was extremely heavy and I came out of an office. However, I did make it, I was making a whopping $2.05 per hour. The United Rubber Workers Union, was just establishing itself. When asked, I joined. I came out of a Union state, it was the correct thing to do ! Goodyear created one of the best unions in Tennessee. Remember Tennessee is a right to work state. Translated, that is (Right to Work for Less)! open shop, not closed ! I`m proud to say that the entire hourly work force joined, with the exception of approximately 15 people ! that's over 2000 people who became the union, out of necessity ! Goodyear supervisors were relentless in their quest to be plant managers. They drove you with whips and guns, well almost. We worked 6 days a week 8 hours per day, and you could get all the overtime you wanted. You could work Sundays if you wished too. There were many employee`s who did. There were no retirees to support, Health Insurance was dirt cheap for your entire family. It was a family mans place to be, you could make a little money and cover your family with insurance... and if you stayed long enough, you could retire with the same benefits for you and your spouse. Now, they are talking about closing the plant and making these tires in China ! Why ? Because, they can make them in China without union labor for almost nothing in labor cost, they then ship the tires back to the good ole USA for sale. They make a ton of money and have no obligation to their workers ! GREED ! Now for my number#1 question, once all the descent paying union jobs leave and everything is built off-shore, who buy`s the product(tire/cars/ etc.) I believe, that is where we are now. The market(people with jobs) that's purchasing power, can`t buy the products. Our politicians do not seem to care ! General Motors is now contracting out whole automobiles for import to the USA ! Chrysler is merging with a foreign auto company. Ford seems to be doing ok ! At least they have not taken any tax-payer money, yet ? Mr Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, said it best, "When my Ford employees cannot purchase the product we/they build, I`m out of business" ! There is a bill pending congress now, called Employees Freedom of Choice Act ! Such a hullabaloo about it coming from the Republican party, it makes you sick. It gives the employee the right to form/join a union, without interference from union busters/company's and other very greedy CEO`S and top officials of company's. I`m not sure, what they are so afraid of ? I believe they are driven by pure greed ! It really does`nt matter, soon there will be no manufacturing jobs remaining in our once great manufacturing country ! Our politicians have sold us out to the highest foreign bidder and then, we tax-payers give the tax dollars to move! As a friend of mine said recently, Jones, everybody has gone crazy. No, it is not crazy, it is pure unadulterated GREED ! Better think about it folks ! ? We need to take our country back ! I write in relation to Goodyear, it could be any large manufacturer ! "God Bless America" !