We did. We the people sent the message to our representatives not to mess with our healthcare. People called their offices by the tens of thousands to tell them not to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. We saw through the GOP scam to take health insurance away from people who need it most …
Mar 24 2017
Feb 10 2015
I have a couple articles for your perusal this morning.
First, an interesting take on the reasons behind what Saudi Arabia is currently doing regarding their oil:
In 2000, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former oil minister of Saudi Arabia, gave an interview in which he said:
“Thirty years from now there will be a huge amount of oil – and no buyers. Oil will be left in the ground. The Stone Age came to an end, not because we had a lack of stones, and the oil age will come to an end not because we have a lack of oil.”
Dec 19 2013
Somebody at Organizing For America (aka Obama For America, OFA) thought that a twitter campaign featuring a be-speckled twenty something wearing plaid pajamas would be a good way to #GetTalking about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
Until the the “reality based” twitter community decided to counter the White House propaganda machine with their own version of #PajamaBoy
Dec 01 2013
This week has a certain nostalgia for me. I am working the last four shifts in my home, Humboldt County. Nestled between pristine redwoods and dramatic cliffs overlooking the west coast of California, I want to stay here, but cannot. I am feeling the full force of the United States health care crisis. In the four years I have worked here eight of ten obstetricians in the southern half of the county have left, and now I find I am one of them.
Two obstetricians, far apart geographically and serving two different hospitals, are all that is left to serve an area once supporting 10 obstetricians. Both doctors are men over 60, who have a tough future ahead of them. Without outside help there is no way they can see all the patients that will need them. They have to remain within 30 minutes of the hospital and can be told to come to work any time of the day or night. They can never have a moment off, a full night’s sleep, a drink of alcohol to ring in the New Year. Watching a full length movie, or having a nice dinner with the spouse without interruption is a thing of the past. Neither of the remaining doctors can get sick or injured. This is really asking them to be super human and there is no cavalry on their horizon. In fact, if Catholic Health Systems is successful at closing one of the two hospitals, only one physician will remain.
As a young person, I wanted to take my medical skills to a disadvantaged third world nation. Looks like I got my wish-right here in the US. How did we get here?
Jun 29 2012
I’ll be honest. I haven’t read the decision on “Obamacare” by the Supremes. I left that to my lawyer acquaintances. I read the spin with disgust and dismay. I usually read pending legislation before opining, but c’mon, so much has been made of this thus far that it doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to figure out what would, hence did happen. The Supremes backed forced-purchase. The decision pivoted on the idea that the mandate “was justified as a tax. Because people who don’t obtain insurance pay a tax to the IRS, the mandate was within Congress’s power to raise taxes for the general welfare. As a result, the Affordable Care Act was upheld.”
Got that? Its ok because its ALWAYS ok to tax the poor more. If you can’t afford to directly pay the Insurance Companies, the Government will make you pay it as a tax and give it to the mother-fuckers anyway, dig?
That is the real problem. But Duh-merica’s wee heads are exploding for all the wrong reasons. And Liberaloi-duhs are celebrating against their own interests too.
Feb 23 2012
FDL’s Jon Walker posted a telling entry regarding the chances of any of the GOP candidates against Obama in November. It’s telling in that the numbers show the race well within traditional GOP election-theft margins.
It wouldn’t be this damned close if Obama governed like a progressive instead of the fascist he is.
Yes, Obama is a fascist. Deal with it.
How else do you explain Obama’s war on whistleblowers, his appointment of someone to the Supreme Court who believes in unfettered executive power, his illegal war to overthrow the Libyan government and his disastrous push for regime change in Iran (not to mention his desire to arm pro-U.S. “rebels” in Syria), his targeting of public education, Social Security, and Medicare for deep cuts, his health insurance bailout written by and for the insurance industry, and his corporate-favoring tax policies, among other offenses?
Obama won the 2008 election with a large enough margin that not even the normally insurmountable election fraud tactics of the GOP could rig the contest in its favor. This year, however, having governed like the far right Republican he is, Obama could still very well lose to whichever batshit-crazy Nazi-wannabe gets his party’s nomination.
Harry Truman once wrote, “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.” This political truism remains just as solid today as when it was first stated. So why do Democrats insist on blocking this fundamental truth from their thought processes?
It’s because they don’t really care about winning or holding on to nominal power. As the second major political party serving as Wall Street’s lap dogs, their control of government, or lack thereof, changes not one significant policy, does not alter the status quo so much as one iota. That is exactly as Democrats like it, having permanently tethered their prospects to those of their corporate paymasters. They get all the perks of having some measure of political power with none of the responsibility that comes with it, while their alleged opponents get all the blame for policies they support and enable at every chance. Why ruin that by passing and implementing legislation that would deprive their masters, and themselves, of power?
So Barry Obama may not win in November despite the flood of Wall Street cash that is greater than what is being raised by all of his GOP “rivals” combined. He will, of course, have no one but himself to blame. Nevertheless, expect the blame for his loss come November to fall on what passes for the American left.
Dec 09 2011
Did you know Obama’s health care bill contained a $20 billion a year tax on the richest Americans? I didn’t until I stumbled onto a mention of this the other day, although writing about politics is my life and I knew enough to be angry at the gutting of a national public option. I asked a dozen other friends, half of whom work in health care or health care policy and most of whom are fellow political junkies. None of them knew either. If those who follow these issues intensely don’t know about something that all of us would cheer as a step toward getting the wealthiest to pay their fair share, most American voters sure aren’t going to know either.
Nov 13 2011
In a comment posted in response to the Open Salon version of my previous entry, Barzin Pakandam posted the following:
Hi Michael, I completely agree with your assessment. My post goes one step further:
Mr. Pakandam, with all due respect, I think you glossed over what I wrote about Obama. Yes, voters are fed up with far right, anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-civil-liberties, pro-war, anti-environment, pro-torture, pro-corporate Republican policies. But they’re also fed up with far right, anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-civil-liberties, pro-war, anti-environment, pro-torture, pro-corporate Democrat policies.
On the issue of health care, for example, Obama cynically bet that by ramming through what amounts to a corporate boondoggle, he could remove health care as a wedge issue going into 2012. And the best way he could do that was to pass something the Republicans had already passed at the state level.
Enter Romneycare, on which Obamacare was modeled and which bears many similarities to the Clinton plan Obama campaigned against in ’08. (And they all appear to have swiped the idea from Richard Nixon. Go figure.)
The thinking on this was painfully simple, and horrendously evil. There’s an institutional crisis in how Americans are able to gain access to decent health care. So Obama’s, Clinton’s, and Romney’s plan was to institutionalize the problem. If it’s a built-in part of the system, no more crisis in the system because it’s now a feature instead of a supposed aberration. Now we’re being forced to bail out the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries because they went too far in price gouging and were losing paying customers.
And, of course, Obamacare, as is Romneycare before it, is deliberately designed to fail. As Jon Walker and Scarecrow at FDL reported last year, the Massachusetts plan failed spectacularly the same week Obamacare became law. The state objected to proposed premium increases, which prompted insurers to back out of agreements to offer new coverage.
Why pass such a flawed plan if it’s very design guarantees failure? As I wrote above, there’s a cynical political ploy at the heart of the matter. But it runs much deeper than that. By passing a health care law at the national level that’s designed to fail, the far right-wing lackeys of Wall Street (which include Obama in their ranks) can pretend to justify their long-disproven claims that government health care or insurance doesn’t work. And also as I wrote above, they got to bail out two massive industries that had priced their goods so ridiculouly high that they were starting to worry that they’d not have enough customers.
It’s pretty insidious, but then what can be expected from a guy who, as a state senator in Illinois, and at the behest of his corporate bosses, actively and enthusiastically worked to gut a proposed bill that would have extended health insurance to impoverished children?
By the way, a year after the collapse of Romneycare in Massachusetts, it was still a miserable failure.
And that’s just on health care reform. Look at each and every one of Obama’s policies and you will find a continuation or expansion of Bush’s far right policies. He isn’t doing these things out of weakness or some misguided desire to be conciliatory. He’s doing them because he is a right-wing extremist and his policies are the same as those of the Republicans. THAT is what voters rejected in Ohio on Tuesday.
Nov 09 2011
Ohio voters last night voted overwhelmingly against both Republican and Democrat corporate-favoring policies in a referendum. Senate Bill 5, passed by the Republican-dominated legislature and signed into law by Republican governor John Kasich, was shot down by sixty-one percent, too large a margin for the GOP to rig the vote count in its favor.
By a reportedly larger margin than Issue 2, Obamacare, the law passed in spring of 2010 in a huge giveaway to the health insurance industry, was voted down at sixty-six percent of the vote, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. However, the constitutional amendment as written would make it extremely difficult to pass meaningful regulations on insurance companies, and pretty much rules out all hope of single-payer health insurance in the Buckeye State.
In Mississippi, voters shot down the anti-abortion amendment proposed by right-wing extremists. The bid to declare life as beginning at conception was defeated 58-42%.
The measure would have bestowed legal rights on fertilized eggs and cut off access to abortion by equating it with murder, making no exception for rape, incest or when a woman’s life is in danger. Medical groups warned it might have criminalized contraception and miscarriages while limiting access to treatments such as in-vitro fertilization.
The voters of Mississippi are smarter than the far right gives them credit for. Cheers to them!
What, however, does the defeat of Issue 2 and the passage of Issue 3 in Ohio mean? It is incredibly easy for Democrats and Republicans, and their spinmeisters in the corporate-owned media, to speculate as to what it means, and many are doing just that. But what it all boils down to is that voters are fed up with far right policies that benefit no one but large business interests. In Massachusetts, for example, according to Physicians for a National Health Program, Romneycare – the insurance giveaway on which Obamacare was modeled – nearly 400,000 people still find health insurance unaffordable, and those people are predominantly the working poor. Given this realization, it is no wonder voters would rather opt out.
On a broader scale, Americans are increasingly hostile to far right policies, be they industry bailouts, invasive laws designed to take away women’s reproductive rights, or attempts to restrict voting rights, We the People are starting to fight back against the wave of fascist power grabs. Only time, though, will tell if it’s not too little, too late.
Cross-posted from Progressive Independence.
Jul 24 2011
So I disappeared for a full week, right in the middle of what should have been a busy writing schedule, and I have to claim some “personal days” to cover the time we missed here at the blog – but it won’t be time entirely wasted.
Instead, I’m going to jump into my own personal life for today’s story, and I’m going to do it so that we can stimulate some thinking about where we really need to go to if we ever hope to make some sense out of the crazy way we deliver health care in this country.
Since this appears to be the weekend that a lot of decisions are either going to be made about the future of our “social safety net”…or they wont; we’re entirely unsure…let’s talk about how it actually works for a lot of us – and how it could work a lot better.
Jan 18 2010
Back in Nov. 10, at OpenLeft, I wrote
Frankly, I believe that if the Republicans had any brains, they’d tell one or two of their members in the Senate to help break any filibuster attempt, so as to let the healthcare ‘reform’ become law ASAP. If the reform is as bad, overall, as some of us believe (even while simultaneously having some very good reform elements), then the Republicans could use this issue to rout the Democrats in 2010. But only if they ‘help’ the Democrats achieve their mandate-laden ‘reform’ legislation soon enough.
Well, well, check out this HuffPo article by Lawrence O’Donnell Will Scott Brown Ruin Republicans’ (Secret) Plan to Pass Obamacare?
Oct 27 2009
copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
Democrats dance in the streets and declare success. An ABC News-Washington Post poll released on October 18, 2009, found that only twenty percent of the population defines themselves Republican. Progressive assert this result will work in the their favor if the public option is to pass. However, the now ecstatic portion of the electorate discounts the “disconnect” discussed in the aforementioned study and also addressed in a Pew Research Center report published only a week earlier. The overjoyed overlooked the Independents (42%), the leaner’s, Left and Right (39%), and the less than inspirational number who proclaim themselves proud Democrats (33%). For these individuals, the topic of health care reform is a complex issue. Trust in Congress is near nil. People are engaged in the subject, albeit a bit overwhelmed. Sixty-six percent (66%) say they do not understand the proposed policies. Personal matters move most people, more so than Party politics does. Possibly, that is the problem, or the predicament that precludes authentic medical insurance reform in America.