Posts Tagged ‘health care reform’

The Stupidest Country On Earth

Monday, December 13th, 2010

What a surprise, a Republican judge in the Old Dominion agrees with a Republican Attorney General in the Old Dominion.

Buying health insurance apparently isn’t commerce when it’s required by federal law, but buying auto insurance apparently is fine, so long as it’s a state law.

And so, all those wonderful activist judges, from Scalia on down, get a win for the rich and the powerful, while 45,000 Americans will continue dying every year because they lack health insurance.

It’s an amorality tale of surpassing stupidity.

Bottom line: if the individual mandate is ruled unconstitutional by the Supremes, there’s no chance whatever of getting health costs under control.

We will continue to spend more than twice as much as any other country and get the same lousy outcomes.

Gorilla says: “A country going nowhere is not a country that can afford to be sick!”

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This Week’s George T. Platter And Bait

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

The tidetime folklorist wonders when health care reform might include competition among doctors that the AMA cannot defeat.

The Platter: Doctor, Doctor by the Thompson Twins (Can’t you see ’em earning, earning?)

The Bait:The Dreamweaver Chrome Series Spin Doctor Flasher (Laughin’ and Lovin’ It All at the closed shop union)

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Nope, Sorry, It’s All Done

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Not that this will stop grandstanding Attorneys General and Governors from launching frivolous lawsuits to “stop” healthcare reform, while they’re laying off teachers and firemen!

There’s this thing called the Commerce Clause in the Constitution, Congress regulates interstate commerce, health care is part of interstate commerce, and that’s that. The courts won’t spend 10 seconds on this one, and the Attorneys General should be disbarred for wasting public time and money.

Tough cookies, Attorneys General, but you didn’t win the election, and so the 45,000 Americans you’re willing to let die every year now have a future!

Gorilla says: “Rule of law? More like Bueller of law!”

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The Sausage Is Made

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

And it’s total crap, and it’s a first step on the road to something beautiful: health care as a right for all!

And let’s be clear: the Know Nothings have no difficulty in letting 45,000 Americans die annually for lack of insurance, and they have no problems supporting a racist, homophobic extremist group called the Tea Party within the Grand Old Party…

What’s to be celebrated is the beginning of the end of health care as we know it!

What’s to be feared is extremists who can buy a gun and mete out whatever justice they wish…

Gorilla says: “We can choose to be better or worse, let’s see the choice we make!”

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In CBO They Trust

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Yes, health care reform will reduce the deficit!

And single payer would reduce the deficit even more, but alas that’s not what we’re getting.

Great sighs of relief will be heard on Capitol Hill when the bill finally passes and is signed, but the lessons learned may take a while longer:

1) The President should have gotten this bill through in the first 90 days of his Administration. He wasted a year and nearly got nothing because of his infatuation with nonexistent bipartisanship.

2) The Democratic Party needs to become more cohesive, or it will be pitched out of office. The Blue Dogs and clowns like Stupak are not really Democrats; progressives need to start fielding and electing candidates that are progressive.

3) The Know Nothing Party has nothing to offer the country.

4) The extreme right remains a spent force, not worthy of a moment’s consideration in the political process or in any country that thinks it is civilized.

Gorilla predicts: “There’s a long way to go, but we’ll all be in Medicare by 2025!”

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This Week’s George T. Platter And Bait

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The tidetime folklorist wonders in this age of endless summiteering when the era of bipartisanship will end and the era of leadership will begin.

The Platter: Undecided by Django Reinhardt with Beryl Davis (the suits in the room or the voters we need?)

The Bait: The Gotcha Cedar Plug Daisy Chain (for two houses with abundant pox)

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Still Not Serious About Health Care

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Next proposal: a federal regulator for insurance premiums!

And so it’s on to this week’s pointless health care summit, where we will again see:

Republicans will not propose anything of substance.

In today’s New York Times, 5 “conservative proposals” were:

1) pay providers based on “value”, whatever that means, rather than “fee for service”, which is what actually happens;

2) pay more money to those who provide better value, whatever that means and whoever they are;

3) cure more diseases and provide more health care so we don’t spend money on things we no longer need to, although we’ll be spending ever more money on doing these things until the cures arrive;

4) introduce more “regional” competition, although in most states the vast majority of insurance coverage comes from 2 or fewer providers, thus insurers will just have a greater incentive to cherry pick across state lines; and

5) limit malpractice awards, although the cost of malpractice in total amounts to a little more than 1% of total health care spending.

Republicans will not vote for any bill endorsed by the President or the Democratic majority in the Congress.

Neither party will consider a single payer system, bringing everyone into Medicare, or eliminating the link between health care and employment, or eliminating the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies, or eliminating the tax deductibility of employer-provided health care, all of which would drastically reduce health care spending and improve health care outcomes.

Americans will continue to pay 50% more annually for health care than any other nation on earth so as to achieve a life expectancy that’s less than that of Portugal (which spends less than a third as much as we do!).

Gorilla thinks: “The rhetoric is willing, but the leaders are weak!”

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So Why Not Pass Health Care Reform?

Friday, February 12th, 2010

If some insurance premiums in California will rise by 25% or more, isn’t it about time for single payer?

No, it’s time for more endless bullshitting from our leaders in Washington, who are shocked, shocked to find that insurance companies engage in cherry picking the healthy and those who are less successful at it (only $2.7 billion in profits last quarter!) pass the costs of the sick onto (wait for it!) the sick!!!

Gorilla thinks: “Chronic leadership failure disease starts with anti-trust exemptions, develops more full blown as PAC donations increase, and continues along its merry way to bankrupting the country!”

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Time Wasting: Obama Style

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Another day, another summit on an issue that no one wants to lead on!

Over the weekend, the G-7 boys and girls tried to reassure each other that the PIIGS of Europe aren’t going to be a problem.

Today, it’s President Obama, calling on Republican leaders to join him for yet another pointless summit on health care reform.

The facts are these:

1) Republicans will not vote for any Administration proposal on health care reform, or any other major issue, in 2010.

2) Democrats have not yet decided whether they will abandon health care reform, thus guaranteeing they will lose big time in 2010.

So, the President could say to House Democrats: Vote for the Senate bill and we’ll fix it later using reconciliation.

Or he could engage in a time wasting exercise in hopes that Americans will blame a minority opposition party for the failures of this President and his party to tackle major issues.

Gorilla says: “Good luck with that!”

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Socialized Medicine Arrives

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Or it will by next year, as the government’s share of health care expenditures tops 50%!

So, why not proceed ahead with health care reform?

Or, even better, why not just bring the remaining 50% of health care costs into Medicare/Medicaid and cut these costs dramatically?

After all, the US spends more than anyone else on health care, but health care outcomes are certainly not as good as in socialized medicine countries like the UK, Spain, or (gasp!) Canada…

In fact, we spend nearly $3,000/year more per capita than the number two spender Switzerland, i.e. 67% more, and guess what? The Swiss live nearly 4 years longer!!!

Here’s the famous Ezra Klein graphic:

Gorilla says: “Single payer anyone?”

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