Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

ACA Upheld by Supreme Court; NPR Obfuscates on The Takeaway
June 29, 2012

The Supreme Court did uphold the ACA yesterday, with Chief Justice Roberts voting with the ‘liberals’ to uphold the law on the grounds of tax law rather than on the commerce clause. The consensus of the talking heads is that he did this in order to preserve the appearance of the Court’s integrity, apparently not realizing that all three people who believe the Court actually has any integrity left are locked up in an asylum somewhere in northern Maine.

I still hold that the Republican branch of the court is corrupt and that they have not the best interests of the people. Their interests are political, almost solely political, aimed at increasing the power of the right wing, the so-called conservatives who are rapidly morphing into authoritarians modeling fascism.

Immediately following the ruling the congressional Republicans announced that they would do everything they could to repeal the law, starting with a vote in the House July 11 to repeal, a vote that will undoubtedly succeed, and will do nothing other than set the stage for their assault of lies and deceit for the next four months. They have nothing to offer Americans that would contain the howling rise in health care costs or that would give everyone a fair shot at getting good healthcare. The Republican prescription is to let the insurance companies continue their vile predation on the people. That fellow from Florida, former Representative Alan Grayson, said it best: The Republican health care plan – Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.

That’s pretty much the sort of thinking that Romney uses in his plan for the country. Cut taxes on the wealthy, raise taxes on the middle class and the working poor, cut social and medical programs and benefits, and spend trillions more on the already bloated military. Oh, yeah, and one more thing – pick a fight with Russia, because they’re, you know, the real enemy. There’s no room in the Republican mind for providing for the common good of all the people – just the rich people. So their plan for the first glimmer of a program that moves toward universal health care, which every other advanced society on the planet has in place, is to kill the program – and any number of people who might otherwise live useful, productive lives.

One might expect a serious and useful discussion of this matter on National Public Radio, and perhaps somewhere on NPR such discussion occurs. But not on their morning flagship show.

NPR’s inept morning show, the Takeaway, performed its usual useless stunt of bringing in a liberal supporter and a conservative opponent of the law, letting hostess Celeste Headlee breathlessly bounce them against each other, thus guaranteeing we would hear spin and opinion rather than dispassionate, informed discussion of the facts of the law and the situation. Fortunately her co-host, John Hockenberry, was off today so we didn’t get both barrels of thoughtless, breathless nonsensical broadcasting. I do wish NPR would dump that show and provide some useful news and discussion in its place. The show is a waste of air time and bandwidth, fit for adolescent mindsets at best. With a little bit of effort, just the tiniest bit, the producers could tip the show into a bad parody of shows that parody news shows. The Takeaway is just another reason why the country has tipped into a civil war. It’s only a matter of time until the shouting and name-calling are replaced with bullets, at which point the complete inadequacy of health care in this country will be fully apparent.

Of course the Republicans, mindless and vicious in their pursuit of power and their worship of wealth, would welcome the sort of violence some of their members propose. The Republicans figure they can count on the blithering insanity of Wayne LaPierre’s NRA to provide them with the manpower and the weaponry to fight an actual shooting war, while the Democrats will spend their time blithering nuances and policy distinctions while they’re being lined up in sports arenas to be shot.

Perhaps Headlee and Hockenberry might provide bullet by bullet commentary. Or perhaps they might commentate on cage fights featuring liberals versus conservatives. That’s more their style, seasoned with reading tweets and emails which they pretend are actual useful news.

One can only hope that NPR decides to take them away. Perhaps with a nice severance package that includes health care.

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Men! Live 14 Years Longer. No Drugs, No Tricks. Simple Method.
October 27, 2010

The November issue of Scientific American includes a short article titled ‘Why Women Live Longer’ by a Thomas Kirkwood, an experimental gerontologist. (One might hope that doesn’t mean he experiments on old people…)

He runs through various ideas and reasons why women live longer, and then suggests how men might live an average of fourteen years longer.

His concluding paragraph:

The historical record is not good enough to determine if eunuchs tend to outlive normal healthy men, but some sad records suggest that they do. A number of years ago castration of men in institutions for the mentally disturbed was surprisingly commonplace. In one study of several hundred men at an unnamed institution in Kansas, the castrated men were found to live on average 14 years longer than their uncastrated fellows. Nevertheless, I doubt that many men – myself included – would choose such a drastic remedy to buy a few extra years.

I dunno. Fourteen years extra life for the price of forgoing the aggravation of relationships with the opposite sex (or probably in some cases the same sex)? And apparently eunuchs can still have sex, erections and all, so where’s the big loss?

How long will it be before some enterprising group of surgeons opens up a longevity clinic for men? Some scalpels, some iodine, some bandages, some antibiotics…  sounds like a win-win.

See ya at the clinic, dudes!

(or ex-dudes, as the case may be…)

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Big Surprise: Health Insurance Companies Slime Children!
September 22, 2010

Several companies in the health insurance industry have decided that they will no longer write insurance policies for children because they will ‘no longer be able to deny coverage to children with “pre-existing conditions.”’

HCAN has a write-up on this new piece of slime from the CEO’s and the executive officers and the boards of directors of Wellpoint, CoventryOne, and others.

These companies, according to HCAN, announced this decision just days before pertinent parts of the new reform regulations go into effect, regulations that forbid this sort of behavior, in part at least because it is so disgusting.

Of course! The sociopathic slime that run these companies just couldn’t stand it if they had to give up some of their perks, like expensive mansions and condos, fancy cars, and expensive whores, limitless expense accounts, all purchased on the policyholders’ dimes, not to mention their obscenely huge salaries that they earn by denying people – children – health care coverage.

Why, look, Marge here’s the CEO of Giant Slime Insurance Company looking in our sick little baby. What’s that he’s saying to her? What? “Die you little bitch, die. I need a new Ferrari.”

And let’s not forget that this is exactly what the Republicans and the Conservatives and Tea Idiots want. Corporate rule of America. Rule by sociopathic slime. This is the sort of thing that Mike Huckabee recently cheered for at the so-called Values Voters Summit. This is one of their values. It’s typical of their values, which at their root have the Prime Directive: “Profit matters, people don’t”.

There will be no health care reform until we get rid of these slime-filled parasites, these insurance corporations that suck the life out of people.

The HCAN piece is a good-write up. Check the links, too. Interesting stuff. Keep a barf bucket handy.

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Want To Get Your Mad On? Today’s ‘Treason of the Senate’
July 15, 2010

Common Dreams today notes that President Obama has hired a woman named Liz Fowler to implement the new health care law.

She is a textbook example of how corruption, and in effect, treason, operates in the Senate, in the Congress, and in the government. Liz Fowler is a handmaiden of government corruption. She enables, she commits it, she gets paid very well to corrupt government and put the corporate boot on your neck.

From the article:

Fowler headed up a team of 20-some Senate Finance Committee staffers who helped draft the bill in the Senate. She was Baucus’ top health care aide from 2001-2005 and left that job in 2006 to become an executive at WellPoint, the nation’s largest private insurer. She was vice president of public policy at WellPoint, helping develop public-policy positions for the company. In 2008, she rejoined Baucus to work on health reform legislation.

You won’t find any discussion of this appointment in the media. The so-called journalists that populate Washington no longer see corruption, even when their faces are rubbed in it. They are, in fact, part of it. As the man said, for evil to triumph it is only necessary that good men do nothing. It’s hard to say the journalists are good men, but they sure are doing a lot of nothing on key issues like corruption. After all, it’s a lot cheaper and a lot easier to glorify the baby-faced barefoot bandit and to babble about Lindsay Lohan’s tears on the way to jail. But investigating corruption, that’s too hard, that costs money, that means being an outsider. The job of Washington and its journalists is to sell you out to the corporations and to stop you from whimpering about it or worse, getting mad and actually doing something intelligent about it.

The United States government no longer works for the good of the American people. The politicians, the administrators, the key bureaucrats, all have been bought by the corporations. And they sell you out every day, every chance they get. The Republicans are the worst offenders of all, but the Democrats are dirty too.

Bill Moyers commented on Fowler and Baucus and the corruption in Washington. Watch the video here.

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Oklahoma: Doctors Lying To Pregnant Women Is Now A Legal Sacrament
April 30, 2010

Oklahoma is not known for the high caliber of its political representatives. Witness the citizenry’s choice of James Inhofe to represent them in the United States Senate. Mr. Inhofe makes the proverbial box of rocks look like a Ph.D. candidate in advanced mathematics.

Apparently large majorities of the Oklahoma State Legislature are similarly inclined as well as morally bankrupt despite being in the so-called Bible Belt of the nation.

The Legislature, by large majorities, overrode the governor’s veto of a bill that encourages physicians to lie to pregnant women about the health of their fetus.

The relevant legislative summary of the law reads:

HB2656 creates a new law stating that in a wrongful life action or a wrongful birth action, no damages may be recovered for any condition that existed at the time of a child’s birth if the claim is that the defendant’s act or omission contributed to the mother’s not having obtained an abortion.

In sum, if your doctor thinks your baby may be born with a defect, any defect, and believes that if he tells you that the fetus is defective you will get an abortion, he can lie to you and say the fetus is healthy. When the baby is born, and it suffers, oh, say spina bifida, or some condition that will let it suffer in pain for a few hours before it dies, or face a lifetime of living as a mindless vegetable, you have no legal recourse against that doctor.

He can crow to his fundogelical friends and the doctor killers in the anti-abortion movement about his achievement in preventing you from killing a baby. And you, Mom, would have to take it.

Aside from the suffering, emotional and physical, that the doctor puts you through in such a case; aside from the suffering the doctor decided your infant should go through; aside from all that, there is the fact that now no doctor involved in women’s pregnancies can be trusted to tell his patient the truth about her condition. Your doctor has been given the legal right to lie to you.

The lies of doctors are now legal sacraments in Oklahoma.

No woman in Oklahoma can trust her doctor from this time on.

And she can thank the religious fundos for the legalization of this fundamental betrayal of her rights, of her health, of her family.

One author of the bill is Representative Daniel Sullivan, a Republican whose campaign site identifies him, in capital letters in large type, as a Conservative, and as Compassionate.

Representative Sullivan is on the board of directors of an organization known as the Tulsa Dream Center, whose site contains the following creed:

Our vision is to see thousands of people restored and empowered to achieve the dream that God has for them. The Tulsa Dream Center is about people – a place of unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness. As people experience the love and compassion of God, a new generation will arise to lift their families and neighborhoods from poverty to prosperity, from crime to caring, from brokenness to blessing, from sickness to soundness, from fear to freedom!

Apparently the dream of Mr. Sullivan and the TDC Christians is to inflict as much suffering as possible on women who dare to create a defective fetus.

Mr. Sullivan can be contacted via email at danielsullivan@okhouse.gov. His phone number at the Legislature is (405) 557-7361.

Mr. Sullivan’s co-author is state Senator Brian A. Crain, also a Republican, and a Baptist, about whom The Lion could find little information. His email is crain@oksenate.gov, and his Legislative phone number is (405) 521-5620.

And one further note on the hypocrisy of the Oklahoma State Legislature. An earlier bill insisted that doctors provide ultrasound information to pregnant women. According to a Legislature news release quoting the bill’s sponsor, a Representative Lisa Billy:

"For women facing an unplanned pregnancy, there is often a sense of distress, panic and fear that can drive people to make hasty decisions without considering long-term consequences. This legislation will empower those expectant mothers by giving them as much information as possible – in advance – before they make an irrevocable, life-altering decision," said Billy, R-Purcell. "Women should have the choice to see that image, and to deny them that opportunity is baffling."

Research has shown that many women, after seeing an ultrasound, will opt to have a child.

"We simply should not deny women this important medical information," Billy said.

We should not deny women important medical information.

Except when it suits the religious preferences of an arrogant Legislature, the religious arrogance of the doctor, and the vast egos of both.

Then it’s the woman be damned, and so what if the infant suffers terribly.

Oklahoma’s ironic state motto is ‘Labor conquers all things’. How you Oklahoma pregnant women doing with that conquery thing now?

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Thanks to Spanish Inquisitor for legalese aid.

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Quickies (Before The Ship Of State Follows The Titanic)
March 17, 2010

Eric Holder hands Bin Laden a weapon…

In a Congressional hearing yesterday United States Attorney General handed Osama Bin Laden, the most hunted man in the world, a weapon.

While being questioned by one of those Republicans who have no faith in the judicial system of the United States, a system which the Republicans under their last President rendered corrupt to a degree that would have been unbelievable only a few years before, Holder said:

“The reality is that we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom. That’s the reality. … He will be killed by us, or he will be killed by his own people so he’s not captured by us. We know that.”

Bin Laden should be licking his chops over that. All he has to do now to score another coup against the U.S. is to walk into an embassy of a European country and surrender.

If he’s killed extrajudicially the American legal system looks like crap to the world, and he becomes a martyr driving recruitment from the ranks of the disaffected into the terrorist cadres.

If he is instead held by a European country, there will be a long, drawn out legal battle because Europeans don’t have the death penalty and won’t extradite to the United States, which does make a practice of killing people in little rooms in the middle of the night.

If the U.S. agrees to extradition without the death penalty being applicable, the right wing nutcases (read Republicans) will have a field day as they try to drive the country to be more like Afghanistan.

If there is a public trial, it will drag on, and Bin Laden’s cohorts will benefit from the publicity. If there is a secret trial, the terrorists have a martyr. If he is killed, they have a martyr. If he dies from a heart attack, they have a martyr. If he chokes to death on some hummus, they have a martyr.

Thanks for all that, Attorney General Holder. By trying to appease the mouth-breathers on the right, you may have created a real monster of a problem.

[Just so we don’t forget, the United States has destroyed two countries; has fought two wars for nine and eight years respectively; has spent hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives; has killed tens, if not hundreds of thousands of innocent people; has thrown a large part of the world into dangerous turmoil; and shows no signs of giving up their horror show of slaughter and destruction for a saner, more productive policy, and still has no idea where bin Laden is, or even if he is alive.]

Michael Moore; Flint, Michigan; and Health Insurance Greed…

Michael Moore writes a good piece on the bullshit health insurance support legislation heading for a vote this weekend in Congress.

One of the points he makes:

And how big will the fines be if the insurance companies do deny someone coverage for having a pre-existing condition? Are you sitting down? A hundred dollars a day! That’s it! So if you’re the insurance company, and Judy is a customer of yours, and Judy needs an operation that will cost $100,000, what do you do? You take the fine! Let’s say Judy lives another year after you’ve sentenced her to death, your $100-a-day fine will only cost you $36,500! That’s a savings of $63,500! And trust me, my friends, that’s EXACTLY what’s going to happen.

If this bill goes through without a strong public option to control insurance company greed and sociopathic behavior, the American people will get screwed again, and again, and again, by Congress, by the insurance companies, and by every other corporate entity that sees how easy it is to buy a piece of the taxpayer pie while pulling the wool over the eyes of Congressmen and Senators and regulators who only have eyes for corporate dollars.

CNN sinks deeper into a morass of ugliness and calls it news…

CNN, ostensibly a television news network, or at least it was once upon a time, has sunk to a new low, according to Talking Points Memo.

CNN’s newest acquisition in a bid for ratings is a chubby fellow named Erick Erickson, a right wing sicko in the mold of fellow sociopathic loudmouths Glenn Beck and Rush ‘Fat Man’ Limbaugh. Erickson is the editor of the blog RedState, and will be a ‘political contributor’ to John King’s show, which was formerly touted as a straight news show. Apparently the ratings tanked and the brass at CNN decided they had to get vile.

In Tuesday’s announcement, CNN political director Sam Feist lauded Erickson as being a voice for small-town values.

"Erick’s a perfect fit for John King, USA, because not only is he an agenda-setter whose words are closely watched in Washington, but as a person who still lives in small-town America, Erick is in touch with the very people John hopes to reach," Feist said.

A few of Mr. Erickson’s memorable moments, quoting the TPM piece:

He’s called a Supreme Court justice a "goat-fucking child molester." Last month, he told "ugly" "feminazis" to "return to their kitchens." He’s compared an administration official to a Nazi and called First Lady Michelle Obama a "Marxist harpy."

Makes one wonder about those small-town values the right wing  always touts as the solution to the nation’s problems.

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Medicare For All, The Corporations Be Damned
February 16, 2010

A friend of The Lion mentioned with an expression of rue and a shrug of whatareyagonnado that he pays $22,000 a year for health insurance for his family, with a $4,000 deductible.

He’s fifty. Got a wife. Got two kids in coverage. Works on commission doing sales.

Almost two thousand dollars a month, just in case something serious happens. Figure in the deductible and he pays $26,000 before the insurance company will lift a finger.

In California, Anthem Blue Cross raised rates 26 to 39 percent on individual subscribers, and that after raising rates the year before.

Insurance companies are pirates and thieves. Period. Blanket condemnation. Health insurance companies are sociopathic pirates and thieves. They not only take your money, they kill people.

In Washington, D.C., the politicians cuddle up to the health insurance companies to make sure the companies can continue their murderous and profitable ways. The politicians are determined to reward essential criminality by throwing your money to the corporations. In return you may be lucky enough to get a deal like my friend, a deal that will put enough stress in your life to make you sick, at which point the insurance company will drop you, but keep the outrageous amount of money you have fed them.

Pay no attention to the so-called protections written into the current corporate-approved legislation the politicians are promoting. The corporations have no doubt already figured out ways to get around the bogus protective provisions. After all, the law was written by legislators the corporations own, written with the help of corporate lobbyists who threw over three billion dollars at the Washington politicians last year. (Yes, three Billion.)

Nothing will change in this gigantic rip-off of the American citizen until that citizen rises up, en masse, and demands what the rest of modern civilizations have, until the citizens rise up and demand, until they demand until they get it, and that is Medicare for all.

There should be one cry rising up from every group, from every organization, from every association that wants a rational, functional, useful healthcare system in the United States. One cry, and one only.

Medicare for all, the corporations be damned.

Nobody should be getting rich from healthcare, not the insurance corporations and their arrogant CEOs, not the doctors, not the administrators, and most of all not the politicians who have heartily agreed to the current system of corruption and disgrace, who willfully comply with the system of profit and denial that murders the citizens of this country, that creates sickness and disease, that weakens the fabric of the economy and the social fabric of the people.

No more. Not one penny more.

Medicare for all, the corporations be damned.

That is the cry that should be heard throughout the land. It should be loud enough to drive the Republicans back under their slimy rocks. It should be loud enough to make the Democrats quiver and shake and fear for their future. It should rage and scream so loudly that all other options are driven from the table.

Reason has failed. Intelligence has failed. Rational argument has failed. Anecdotes of suffering and misery have failed. Only rage is left. Rage and action.

When the thunderous rage of millions falls on the corruption of Washington, when it continues to rain on the heads of timid Democrats and cold, arrogant Republicans, when they all fear for their jobs, for their future, perhaps even for their very lives, then and only then can the corporate evil be destroyed.

Medicare for all, the corporations be damned.

A brave people, united in the quest for the basic right of good healthcare, would en masse cancel their health insurance and bring down the system that way if all else fails. But the system will fall, either of its own unsustainable greed and corruption, or because the people demand it, now, because they demand to live in a society that puts people before sociopathic insurance corporations that contribute nothing, not one thing, not one iota, not the tiniest bit of health care to one single person.

One focus. One call. One goal, and only one.

Medicare for all, the corporations be damned.

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Why Republicans Are Stupid And Should Be Stomped On Like Cockroaches
February 12, 2010

Jon Stewart’s take on John Boehner’s sissy stand on the Obama invitation to meet and discuss health care reform is priceless.

In the same clip John Oliver shows up RNC Republicans for the frigging idiots they really, truly are. That’s what you get when your ideological arrogance refuses to admit real facts from the real world.

If anything, Republicans have shown over at least the last year that they have absolutely no reason to exist. They’re as worthless and useless as a hemorrhoid and slightly less well-informed.

[No cockroaches were harmed in the writing of this piece, and The Lion apologizes for the necessary insult to cockroaches, and notes further that cockroaches are a necessary and useful part of life on the planet, unlike Republicans.]

[No apology to hemorrhoids is deemed necessary as hemorrhoids are not believed to be sentient, although it is likely they are more sentient than Republicans.]

[That last bit was a cheap shot, committed with glee and joy and pride.]

 

How Obama And His Crew Have Screwed The Democrats
January 19, 2010

The Lion’s already said it, but here’s Robert Kuttner’s conclusion of his piece over at Huffington Post:

Either way, the Massachusetts surprise should be a wake-up call of the most fundamental kind. Obama needs to stop playing inside games with bankers and insurance lobbyists, and start being a fighter for regular Americans. Otherwise, he can kiss it all goodbye.

Worth reading the whole thing. It’s not long.

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If You’re Still Confused About Terrorism…
January 9, 2010

Here’s an article at Common Dreams by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern that will set you straight… unless you’re a knuckle-dragging Republican (okay, sorry, that’s really an oxymoron). 

On the other hand, the same information has been available to Democrats and their knuckles are dirty too.

The Lion tends to think that the terrorism thing might be solved by getting our troops and predatory corporations out of Muslim countries, buttoning up our security procedures at home, start treating Israel as the rogue, racist, proto-Nazi nation it acts like, and letting the Muslim world settle the terrorist problem. Without the United States as a Satanic boogeyman, the various terror groups would soon enough likely start ripping into each other.

Maybe then we can get better schools, real health care reform, and jobs here in the United States.

Don’t hold your breath.

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