Thursday, December 09, 2010
You buried the lede (something you at NPR and the Corporate Media in general tend to do more and more - can't upset the billionaires). "the cost of attendant care is about a third the cost of providing care in a nursing home or institution."
The insane drive over the last 30 years to destroy families and the middle class is working. Families that could have otherwise supported members who are disabled instead have to pay more and more of their income in taxes so billionaires can pay less. These families pay a daily tax directly to C-Level execs, board members, and institutional investors who pay far less of their income in the form of taxes or the costs of necessities.
Governments that could support stable families like Fridley's instead support wars and corporate greed on Federal, State, and Local levels.
Nursing homes as an industry are consolidating under a few huge corporate umbrellas. These take the profits that could go toward better care for all, funded privately or publicly, and send them direct to the billionaires at the top. Home care with proper middle-class compensation to the individual care givers could help fix our economy, but those in the top 1% of us economically won't let that happen.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
1. She's consistently supported raising the minimum wage. When the minimum wage meets or exceeds inflation, local economies benefit.
2. She's supported defense appropriations bills and others to help the men and women in the U.S. armed forces everywhere in the world.
3. She favored extending children's health insurance and unemployment benefits.
4. She's voted for virtually every law aimed at cleaning up air and water.
5. She supported No Child Left Behind and has consistently backed more help for public education.
6. She was all for a national AMBER alert system for kids.
7. She backed reform of campaign financing to lessen the influence of special interest money.
8. She talks constantly about expanding and protecting Medicare and Social Security.
9. When some House Democrats talked about impeaching President Bush, she said no.
10. She backed the president on health care reform so all Americans could get it and afford it.
Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/25/102405/commentary-pelosi-haters-havent.html#ixzz13Nqwp9KK
1) Myth: President Obama tripled the deficit.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
A deeply divided Republican party will put a few tea partiers, a few corporatist Republicans, a few new faces, a few orange old...on the Nov ballot.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Today's Liberty: Freedom from corporate influence on government...maybe not in our lifetimes, but...
Wall Street girds for Warren as consumer czar - NYPOST.com
Even Murdoch's NYP seems to accept this as a good possibility.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
In its annual Labor Day outlook, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. says that positive trends in a number of employment indicators, including the pace of layoffs, the unemployment rate and job creation, are shrouded by the fact that the economy began its recovery in a much deeper hole - the deepest since the Great Depression.
"By most accounts, we are barely a year into the recovery. At this point in the previous two recoveries - following the 1991 and 2001 recessions - the job market was actually getting worse," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer. "Many people are so caught up looking at the weekly and monthly numbers, that they fail to look at the bigger trends, which indicate just how much the job market has improved over the last 12 months."
By every measure - employment, the stock market, GDP, etc. - the economy has improved faster since the end of the current recession than in this time period after the last two recessions.
Times are tough, but times aren't over. Why aren't we cautiously using this recovery time to build new economic policy that will possibly stop the next recession?
Barack Obama is the most-successful first term President in our lifetimes. A fanatical extreme right wing in our country and a complicit corporate media combine to put out an opposing message. No problem, we need opposing ideas, but unreasonable ideas are presented as reasonable, and enough people believe them to have them cycle around in our culture as legitimate. As much as Rahm Emmanuel wants the White House to avoid distractions from its legislation-led strategy, the distractions keep coming and coming.
He's an empty suit, he's inexperienced, his presidency is illegitimate, black, he's racist, he's not a citizen, he's a Muslim, he's taxing us to death, he's a socialist...Death Tax, Death Panel, Job Killer, Government Takeover, Deficits, Obamacare, Ground Zero Mosque...the list goes on and on.
When we see legitimate,thoughtful opposition or opposing views, they get lost in the vile sauce, too. I oppose many of President Obama's policies, but I don't try to demonize him or de-legitimateize him or his presidency. It's time you, and the media from FOX to NPR, stop trying.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Only one generation away from institutional racism and bigotry, and you are filled with fear and hatred of others.
What could possibly be motivating you?
Thursday, August 26, 2010
FOX-induced physical violence. Anti-American, anti-Constitution, anti-freedom, anti-religion activists are at war with basic American ideals.
T(ea) Party is T(aliban). The Tea Party wants to insinuate government into every aspect of our lives, taking freedoms and rights away on an unprecedented level. This American Sharia gets taught from the FOX-Madrassa of the media and corporate America implements this as they can by owning our Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government.
This cabbie slasher is a symptom, not the problem.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Boycott Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, along with anything else the Koch cretins own with the trust fund money they inherited from their father, who actually worked for a living.
Corporations are not people, money is not speech, and these boys are pure evil.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
FT.com / US / Politics & Foreign policy - Boehner calls for economic team sackings
On the day the CBO reports that the stimulus saved a million jobs and boosted GDP by as much as 4.5% http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stimulus-plan-boosted-gdp-by-as-much-as-45-cbo-2010-08-24?reflink=MW_news_stmp, this dolt lies to his constituency about what's going on with the economy.
Everything the GOP and the corporate takeover of our government wanted has happened, and this has led us to the worst economy since the Great Depression. Republican leaders, and anyone who voted for them in the last 30 years, should be ashamed, but they are laughing at us and the people they represent.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Franklin Graham Says President Obama was 'Born a Muslim.' As Pew Poll Shows, More Americans Confused About President's Religion. - ABC News
We should also have the freedom to live in a society without bigotry and hatred.
Ignorance can be fixed, a lot easier than belief.
This Graham fellow will never meet his father in heaven, that's for sure...
Condolences to his family.
Big, big props to Demoracy - one less Lobbyist!
Today's Liberty: Freedom from Corporate Governance.
Every single one of our government Executives, Legislators, and Justices are bought and paid for by wealthy and powerful corporate interests. I hate to express this truth, but I don't apologize for it. No official takes office, no law gets written or passed, and no action is affirmed or denied by the courts without control by corporation.
The recent decisions Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, Kelo v. City of New London eminent domain decision, and scores of others, clearly show that if you are an individual - one person, one voter, one of the People - you no longer have a say or a vote.
There are six or seven lobbyists per congressional representative in Washington! K Street was constructed by Republicans in the '90s to counter a Democratic administration the Rs ginned-up as illegitimate, and it has worked fabulously for the GOP machine. War, economic divide, near-depression...
According to the Center for Public Integrity there are over 10 lobbyists/legislator in California - no wonder we get nothing done here!
Nothing will change until we fundamentally change how our politicians are elected, how they are fed by lobbyist machine, and how they have jobs waiting for them at the end of their terms (or how lobbyists have elected or appointed positions available to them).
We must publicly fund elections and bar lobbyists from meeting with politicians or giving them a dime.
Corporations are not persons!
Money is not speech!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Today's Liberty: Freedom from the grid!
We are ensnared by the dirty coal, gas, and oil industries. Each of this derives great profit to a few already-wealthy and -powerful individuals at great cost to our health, our environment, and our earth.
We in the US use far more energy per-capita than any other nation on earth, and we can only supply a fraction of our needs domestically. Any exploitation of cleaner geothermal, solar, wind, tidal, etc. energy is slammed back two centuries by these wealthy and powerful interests. President Jimmy Carter was slammed by these interests for strongly stating the clear truth that we have to use less of these dirty sources of energy.
I have a suggestion: instead of using billions of federal tax dollars on our deteriorating grid, use far fewer tax dollars to put one of the Clarian Sunfish Plug-In Solar Power devices, or equivalent, on each owner-occupied house in the US. The manufacture of these devices certainly uses resources, but is far cleaner than the production of coal, gas, and oil. The energy these devices would put back into the grid would stabilize the grid overnight, provide manufacturing jobs to US workers, and improve our health and environment, and lessen our ravaging of the earth.
The grid is a tremendous national security risk to the US. We have to spend countless tax dollars to defend this system which is vulnerable to attack and opens us to exploitation and attack when it fails. This should be shouted to the rooftops, but wealthy and powerful interests keep their profit flowing by killing us, along with our air, water, and earth.
In our free society, we, with our insatiable demand for power in many forms, are enslaved by these wealthy and powerful industries. Coal, oil, and gas have their place, but that place should be shrunk to insignificance by the end of our lifetimes.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Let's start with our first freedom: Religious Freedom.
Park51's founders have a right to build their facility as long as local zoning, permitting, etc. are observed.
There is nothing more to this story than that. This is not a mosque. These are not terrorists building this. No one in charge here murdered anyone at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Islam did not attack the WTC and the Pentagon on 9/11.
The freedom here should be absolute. 600,000 Muslims live in NYC according to official demographics. If in any area of the US any other religious group was denied the right to observe the opponents would be called anti-American lunatics - what would you say if we denied the LDS church or Seventh Day Anventists to build a facility after proper traffic studies etc., simply because they weren't our religion?
The stated goal of Park51 is to "create a deep tolerance in intra-faith affairs. It’s a place for Muslims to come together in a place where divisions would gradually peel away and a new vision of Islam that is culturally American would emerge." according to one of their founders, quoted in the Wall Street Journal. Tell me you don't want that. Go ahead, I'm listening.
Opposition to this project is about as anti-American and unpatriotic as one can get. Your religion might be next.
Support for this shouldn't have to be a brave act, but it seems nearly impossible to do the right thing to support our values and our Constitution these days. Costs - personal, professional, and political - can be high. Politicians are all over the map on this, instead of remembering the simple constitutional rights we have and defending them. Republicans at this point are deeply divided over most issues and spend their time saying nothing but no and encouraging a complicit media to go along with them. Unfortunately, Barack Obama is our Velcro President, letting all of this stick, to the detriment of our government and society. The Republicans can't even agree on whether the media's fascination on this contrived controversy keeps them on-message to distract us from the good our President is doing, or if they have to keep hammering against anything this administration accomplishes.
Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilderset,etc., need to be ignored and put out of public life, forever, for their anti-American activities in this matter.
Barack Obama, Harry Reed, etc., should do their patriotic duty - stand up and unashamedly speak out for Freedom, and Liberty.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Bart Stupak called 'baby killer' on House floor - Jake Sherman and Meredith Shiner - POLITICO.com
As the House was voting on an unrelated bill, Republican Reps. Tom Latham of Iowa, Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri, Brett Guthrie of Kentucky and Gregg Harper of Mississippi stood on south balcony off the House floor — an area known informally as "the beach" — holding pieces of paper that read "kill the bill" to a group of cheering protesters. Some Republican lawmakers waved a "Don't Tread on Me" flag from the balcony, causing the crowd to go wild.
Later in the day, Reps. Steve King, Paul Ryan and others gave the crowd an Evita’s welcome, before gathering together to spell out a “Kill the bill” with individual letter signs. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) stood watching off to the side.
Lawmakers also came down to the crowd, too. Anthony Weiner was watching near the House entrance. “These people are very civil when you talk to them one on one,” he said, “but when they get together, it’s mob rule.”
A deeply misguided and divided Republican party shows just how cowardly and hateful they are with their actions inside and outside the halls of Congress.
The American public shows deep support for all of the components of the historic health care legislation passed on March 21,2010.
It is inconceivable that the Republican party, headed by the worst chairman in their history, Michael Steele, has done nothing to set straight the mobs shouting "nigger" and "faggot' at our legislators. The Republican party will pay politically for their defiance of their constituents' needs.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Polls that ask whether we support reform of principles of health care clearly show that we Americans support health care reform.
Polls that ask whether we support "The Health Care Reform Bill" show a lack of support.
As a statistically relevant sample if they like ham. 60% will say yes. Ask them if they like chesse, 60% will say yes. Bread, mustard, lettuce...60% will say yes.
Poll people on "do you want a ham sandwich now" and the answer you get will be 40% positive.
This says that right now a majority of us do not want a ham sandwich. It does not say that a majority of us don't like the ingredients, or that we don't like sandwiches, or that we don't eat - it says simply that we don't want a sandwich.
Today, Sunday March 21, 2010 may be remembered in history. President Barack Obama, his party, and supporting legislators must be commended for their great fight to do what is right. The opposition seems to be filled with nothing but liars and opposers, shouting nigger and faggot at legislators and their staff, calling out socialist, communist, government takeover, unconstitutional mandate, etc., etc., etc., through a complicit media to a few of us who choose not to think for themselves.
The majority of us who think, and us who feel for others, know we need reform and we need reform now.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) said some anti-reform tea party protesters gathered on Capitol grounds shouted racial epithets at him, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Lewis’ chief of staff earlier today.
Carson said the taunts came as the three men — all African-American — walked out of the Cannon House Office Building for votes this afternoon.
“They were shouting the N-word,” Carson said.
Should this surprise anyone?
Teabaggers, opposition to health care reform, and opposition to Barack Obama's presidency, are largely based in racism. It's time to say this, and to hold people accountable.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
House and Senate Republicans for several weeks have quietly coordinated an intense, disciplined effort to defeat President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation, timed to scare Democrats just as they prepare for a final vote.
Murderous GOP plots against Americans.
A deeply divided Republican party shows a unified front in Congress to block legislation that could save tens of thousands of lives a year. While corporate funded right wing extremists split the party membership with fiscal conservatives, quasi-libertarians, and other factions, the Republican leadership proves it can corral its legislators and herd them to say no, and to say no yet again.
Despite widespread public support for federal health care reform proposal fundamentals, the Republicans in the House and Senate have been able to speak with one voice, saying no repeatedly, in a pathetic struggle to plant their feet for upcoming political races. Despite clear indication that health care reform proposals will decrease deficits, Republicans continue to oppose this legislation, continuing to act as the deficit doves they have proved to be over the last thirty years. No debt is bad debt to them as long as it positively spins for short term Republican political victories.
40,000 Americans or-so die each year simply because they lack access to adequate medical care. Many of these people are stuck between access to our insurance-company/employer-based medical insurance system and access to public services. They don't go to the Emergency Room to treat high blood pressure or cancer. If their employer does provide insurance with impossible deductions and co-pays, these people forgo regular treatment.
In a universe where elected representatives actually had any fundamental knowledge of and sympathy with their constituents, a majority of Republicans would vote for health care reform as currently being worked on in Congress (and a minority of Democrats would vote against). Republicans could have a meaningful say on specifics of the legislation. Instead, both sides have isolated themselves from the mandate to fix our broken heath care system from the top, in favor or political expediency.
Shame on Republicans in Congress for their March Madness.
Some believe that this November will be a watershed election for Republicans, possibly retaking both houses of Congress. Such a belief system is obviously not based in reality. The reality is that a health care bill will signed by President Obama, soon. American voters love success, they love winners, and Obama's administration is actually winning.
Monday, February 22, 2010
The President’s Proposal puts American families and small business owners in control of their own health care. | The White House
A public option is a great invention, something between government provided care or insurance and a free market of private companies. Today, we have neither. But - if pre-existing condition denials, rescission on technicalities, etc., are outlawed on a federal basis, the insurance companies, faced with a much broader pool of applicants both healthy and sick, may be forced to provide high quality and affordable coverage instead of the mess they administer today.
A mandate for all is necessary to expand the indemnity pool, so the well pay for the sick - the 80/20 rule. A mandate is working, in fits and starts, in Massachusetts. Mandates have been Republican ideas for a couple of decades.
Buying insurance across state borders is fine. It has to be heavily regulated, so the companies in the worst states have to perform like the companies in the most heavily regulated states, so this is really just another smokescreen. Deregulation and cross-state-line banking sure has been a success! Look at Joe Biden's Delaware state credit card machine.
Tort reform, malpractice reform...few people who use the word tort know what a tort is. Yearly in the US, about 90,000 malpractice lawsuits are filed; about 10% of those reach settlement or trial; of those, only 10% are found in favor of the plaintiff. The culprit here is, drumroll, please, the insurance companies, making things miserable for both providers and consumers for decades! Health care reform as we see it today is insurance reform, which when clearly seen is what will fix malpractice lawsuits (errant lawyers etc. are already regulated by states). And how do we set a cost today for tomorrows sponge left in an abdomen by a tired surgeon or for a the next day's wrong limb amputated after mislabeling by a double-shift OR nurse?
There is no excuse for not shaking our insurance system to the core. Now. Around 50,000 of us die each year simply because they are stuck between government programs and private insurance-robbery. 15% of us don't have any insurance. Many of us make less money than we did a decade ago due to increases in employer-furnished insurance increases of 3-5 times the rate of inflation. Many of us avoid using the insurance we do have - our jobs are unstable in this economy, and we're afraid that we won't be able to buy insurance at any price if we change jobs, and copays/deductibles are so high that they put minor issues and preventative care out of reach.
The radical extremists screaming at town hall meetings and rallies are the ones most affected by this mess, and they should be screaming for rationality in our health care system. The corporatization of our health care, and profitization of our health care dollars, are the real issue. And this issue kills.
"Sorry Works" is one of many approaches that can decrease insurers' roles in doctors' procedures
...doctors report medical errors to hospital administrators, who would then notify patients and begin negotiations. Our president clearly supports malpractice reform.
in 2005, while he was still just a senator, (Barack Obama) co-sponsored (with Hillary Clinton) a bill that would have implemented a "sorry works" model nationally. It didn't become law, but Obama kept talking up malpractice reform.
The insurance companies are the common enemy of both consumers and providers of medical care. Lawyers and courts already have solid controls in most states that limit frivolous lawsuits and errant lawyers, and in the states that don't have sufficient controls (typically Republican-dominated southern or western states), more controls should be put in place. Without insurance regulation on a national level, the perceived problem with malpractice lawsuits and insurance increasing costs to consumers (and decreasing care quality) won't go away.
Only about ten percent of malpractice lawsuits make it to settlement or court. Of those, only about ten percent are found in favor of the plaintiff.
Those ranting about malpractice reform either know this, or are too ignorant to join the discussion.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Nuclear waste, political fallout.
I'm quite sure that Barack Obama hasn't come up with a way to eliminate the danger from waste that stays toxic for half a million years.
He does seem to have come to the realization of the fact that never in the history of nuclear power has it produced one watt of electricity that wasn't heavily subsidised with taxpayer funds. No private industry has ever fully funded, or profited from, a nuclear power plant and the energy that it delivers without corporate welfare, whether in the US or France or elsewhere.
The President has also forgotten that if we decentralize, conserve, insulate, etc., much more can be saved in terms of money or carbon than with an infinite number of nuclear power plants.
At least we have elected a president who can pronounce the word nuclear.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Evidence of Dick Cheney's Treason - 'This Week' Transcript: Former Vice President Dick Cheney - ABC News
Dick Cheney has regressed from bullshit politician to treasonist with this interview.
Read the transcript! He is so full of shit, making up lie after lie, distorting his record as shadow-Commander-in-Chief, and slandering the current administration - he should be waterboarded. In fact, he should be executed for treason.
"The president's been largely silent" "the president was trying to avoid treating this as a war"
Repeat a lie often enough, and enough people will start to believe it. You know that long before day one of his majority-elected presidency Barack Obama has clearly and repeatedly said "Make no mistake about this - we are at war."
"I was and remain a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program."
That's torture, gramps. That violates every moral concept ever adopted by civilized humans. You show that you do not belong to that group.
"he went out and said this was the act of an isolated extremist. No, it wasn't. And we found out over time, obviously -- and he eventually changed his -- his assessment"
No change on the part of President Obama...again, lie, lie, lie. There were no further attacks after the "jihad that couldn't shoot straight" tried to blow up a plane on Christmas. This guy was a nutcase who wanted to avenge what he perceived as a world against him, and he received training and support from those with the resources to do so and with similar aspirations, but he failed and we didn't. Obama 1/terrorists 0.
"... the professionals need to make that judgment. We've got people in -- we had in our administration -- I'm sure they're still there -- many of them were career personnel -- who are expects in this subject. And they are the ones that you ought to turn somebody like Abdulmutallab over to, let them be the judge"
These spooks are not judges! They are spys, operatives, and law enforcement officials. We are a nation of laws, no matter what obscene lengths you will go to slander a political rival, destabilize the security of the United States of America for you own and your party's short-term political aspirations, and lie, lie, lie to make a point to an ill-informed and emotional electorate. If you want to live in a country without laws, where justice is served in the shadows, move! Iran, China, North Korea...many nations would be willing to accept an evil-doer such as you, Dick Cheney.
"Well, first of all, I believe he was not tried. He plead guilty. They never did end up having a trial."
That's called a trial, gramps. You need to regain your sense of reality and justice. This was a trial, under the laws of the United States of America, the very laws you transparently reject, show you oppose, and want to circumvent for your personal monetary and political profit.
This miscreant, Dick Cheney, should never be allowed in front of a microphone again. Dick Cheney shouldn't be allowed a soapbox to rewrite history as it happens. He should never have served as the de facto President of the United States, as he did during his stint as Vice President under minority-elected George W. Bush.
Friday, February 12, 2010
At a time of deepening political disaffection and intensified distress about the economy, President Obama enjoys an edge over Republicans in the battle for public support, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
I hate the political football...but this poll represents the true state of the nation.
The Democrats have to realize this and start to LEAD. They have a strong majority in the House and Senate, and they are solidly in the Executive branch (the partisan, activist Supreme Court is another story). Health Care reform, bank and broker regulation, tax fairness, climate change...it's time.
The five biggest companies covered 2.7 million fewer people last year but earned 56% more...
Is there any living, breathing human who doesn't think our health care system is broken?
Basically, these companies kill people to retain a few profit dollars to sink into Wall Street so they can pay their CEOs/board-members/institutiona-investors more. Fewer expenditures to pay to the dropped means more money for the already-wealthy. The already wealthy pay capital gains rates on this largesse instead of the income rate that most of us pay. They reward a few for being wealthy instead of making it possible for more to become secure through their work.
This is the legacy of a corporate coup de etat in the United States, and three decades of people working against their self interest by voting idealogues into office who have destroyed any sense of this country being a meritocracy.
If you fancy yourself a revolutionary tea party libertarian freedom-seeker - look, even superficially into this. We've been had. The corporations are killing you, and have each and every one of your federal legislators in their pocket.
The wars of choice and welfare for the wealthy of the last administration, pumping billions into US and foriegn companies to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, and to give tax breaks to the wealthy few while we are in a deficit situation, are simple examples. And shamefully, many who call our current administration socialist and question our President's citizenship supported these shameful policies.
We already pay for nearly a third of all medical care in the US, and we overpay by up to 30%. Health care is a vital national economic, security, and moral issue, and to not fix this is criminal, and works against the security of each American.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
'Miss me yet' billboard shows power of outdoor ads in Internet age / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
The billboard showed a picture of former President George W. Bush with the words: "Miss Me Yet?"
By Tuesday, the billboard along Interstate 35 outside Wyoming, Minn., was one of the hottest searches on Google, generating news articles and nationwide attention. It's mystery just added to the allure.
The creators are a "group of small businessmen and individuals who just felt like Washington was against them,"
This is amazing.
Miss George W. Bush as President?
The very president who's administration, and others stretching back to Reagan's, virtually destroyed the ability of small businesses and individuals to prosper?
Think for yourselves people! How many of you are already wealthy, and have a great sense of security? Few small businesses and individuals are, and fewer can hope to be under Republican policies of welfare for the wealthy, corporate control of government, and the Politics of NO.
These administrations have handed us, and President Obama, a shit sandwich of debt, war, and division, and if you look at any objective measure Barack Obama is successfully handling this with intelligence and foresight.
Trust me, nobody but the isolated and extreme miss the policies of the nation-breaking President George W. Bush.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
In College and Out of Insurance
I haven't had health insurance since I was 18. I'm 23 now. My health started to take a turn for the worse around two to three years ago. I currently have many conditions--TMJ, tendonitis, spinal problems, poor eyesight, poor dental health, etc., and I almost never see doctors or dentists because they're so hard to afford on a student budget.
I once had insurance for three months but it was cancelled after I had trouble paying the premiums on time. Now I can't get insurance from anyone due to pre-existing conditions, and I've applied multiple times to every carrier on eHealthInsurance. There are no options for me in the US, except to pay out-of-pocket, which is wildly expensive. I can't even move to another country because I'm still in college.
I have been living with these conditions too long and I really don't want to do it anymore. I've been suicidal for a while and my one hope was health insurance reform (specifically the interim high-risk pools, ban on rescission, and the extension of maximum age on a family plan to 27). I've been happier for the past month since the Senate bill was passed, but stunningly, that all went away because of the sudden rise of Brown's support, which virtually no one saw coming. Politicians almost always defend lack of progress by citing how slow Congress moves and how it's not an institution that makes sudden and/or radical changes, but this election at least partially proves them wrong.
So my hope is almost completely gone and I don't want to continue living with these conditions.
J. Travis Rolko, 23
A Member of the Country's Invisible Poor
In a letter sent to the White House:
I've been coping with chronic pain and autoimmune dysfunction throughout my life and, as it has with far too many others, it has become debilitating. An ever-increasing number of the population is living with these invisible illnesses. Due to the very nature of these symptoms that are hard to track and harder to see, medical care is seldom pursued or even available until one's quality of life is severely diminished. I reached that point years ago, once I was no longer covered by my parents' health plan. My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck, so insurance has never been an affordable option. Doctors can do little more than guess once the few tests I can afford fail to provide answers. Healthcare clinics and employee benefits are equally outrageous in price and too seldom available.
We are members of this country's invisible poor, hiding in plain sight as job-seekers and rent-payers who look the part of middle-class America but are struggling to buy groceries, much less medical care or insurance. In the current status quo, I am neither recognized as poor nor ill, but am living with the constantly increasing pressures of both. A healthcare system that takes into account not only affordability and availability but allows for the many different circumstances American citizens find themselves in can literally begin giving me, and those like me, our lives back.
My husband is currently laid off, and has been since December. I got significantly sicker during my last job (yet have no diagnosis). We cannot afford a vehicle (but have been consistently just above the poverty line), and have not had health check-ups in years (due to continually rising costs). We deserve, along with every citizen against whom there is a financial bias, to do more than survive; we are ready to thrive.
I've done mostly retail over the years with a stint in theatre as a stage manager. My last job was manager of a Hollywood Video in Fountain Valley, California. My husband is a writer-for-hire whose last job was the manager-on-duty at the Palm Springs Hilton. Finally, allow me to say that I'm very invested in healthcare reform. As frustrating as the process has been, I have to believe we can get something signed that at least gives us a platform to work from. Congress needs to stop buying into rhetoric, allowing things like a sixty-vote requirement, and pay more attention to policy than politics and simply care more about their constituents than their own asses.
Dorian Rhodes and Dave Rhodes, 41 and 50
Will You Stop Fighting, and Listen? We're Dying Out Here
Our son has been severely disabled since birth; he is wheelchair bound and cannot sit, stand or walk on his own. He is also developmentally handicapped. We have a $5 million lifetime insurance cap, and are about to hit it. My son is 11, and last Christmas (2008) he had an almost $600,000, thirty-day hospital stay. If that happens again, I'm doomed. Add to that almost $1500 a month in prescription food, $100 a month in diapers, wheelchairs, etc. and the costs are staggering. It is no wonder most bankruptcies are medical, and those folks have insurance.
We're dying out here, and the Congress wants to fight about... what are they fighting about again? I forget. Oh yeah, they're mostly fighting for the folks that pay them to be there: insurance companies. I sent my letter to President Obama and almost every member of the Senate, to no avail. With the announcements from Pelosi and the Supreme Court, I fear I am well and truly screwed.
I am, frankly, disgusted. Not just by the demise, but also by the way the Democratic "leadership" (and in the case of Senator Reid, I use that term quite loosely!) has conducted themselves in this matter. Having, first Joe Lieberman, and then Ben Nelson, and a parade of other Democrats hold the process hostage was disheartening, to say the least. The idea that somehow, we Democrats need a super-majority to fix a mess that a simple majority of Republicans created is just downright stupid. If Lieberman wants to filibuster, make him stand up on C-SPAN and read the phone book make him look like the ass that he is acting like. And start by taking his chairmanship away.
I fight with United Healthcare, and Ceridian (who manages our healthcare spending account) on a weekly basis, and I'm tired of it. Add to that the impending lifetime benefit cap, and the inability of me (and my family) to move from state to state--my Medicaid coverage is not portable!--and I'm trapped. On top of that, there is no consistency of coverage from policy to policy. So, for instance I work (this week) for Sun Microsystems. We have a defined set of benefits, as negotiated, and are actually self-insured (though the program is [mis]-managed by United Healthcare). But next week we are being taken over by Oracle. How will my coverage change? I have no idea. There is no basic level of coverage either mandated or provided by the federal government. So I have no idea what will happen.
I'm not panicked, yet, because Medicaid covers my son. But that's not portable, so should I get transferred to another state? He would fall out of Medicaid coverage, and would have to get on a waiting list for Medicaid waivers. Currently, the state of North Carolina is considering increasing the Medicaid co-pay to 30 percent. If I had to pay 30 percent of $600,000, it would ruin me.
We need single-payer. We need to remove the profit motive. As I've said for over a year now, this has not been correctly framed from the beginning. It is not healthcare reform. It is health insurance reform. Our healthcare is pretty darned good. Our insurance system is shameful. The former CEO of UnitedHealthGroup was paid $129M one year. one year. That's money that could have been spent on medical care. But it was wasted.
Obviously, I could go on and on and on forever. I've tried meeting with my Congressional representatives. Senator Kay Hagan "didn't have time" and Congressman David Price wasn't available until Contessa Brewer wanted to interview me on MSNBC, at which point he was magically available. Obviously last week's Supreme Court ruling will only make our Congressional representatives less available and less responsive to individual constituents so that they can pay better attention to corporate sponsors. We spin further and further out of control.
Have you had enough yet? Believe me, I have. But I have to fight on. I have no choice but to continue this fight until a solution is found that serves the needs of my son, because he cannot fight for himself.
David G. Simmons, 46
Why Couldn't My Tax Dollars Pay to Save My Stepfather's Life?
I lost my job a year ago, and I don't have health insurance. I'm 37. My stepdad did have private health insurance--he was healthy and fit, and paid hundreds of dollars a month. And when he did get sick with a rare cancer, we had to fight for every appointment and wait months for others. His cancer spread quickly and he died within several months, but I believe the insurance companies caused his death. His illness was treatable and he could have beaten it.
It's been a few years and I still miss him.
I actually hope the current version of the healthcare bill fails. I cannot afford insurance right now--and to be put on my husband's insurance will be over $300 a month, and that's with Kaiser Permanente; I haven't had good dealings with them in the past.
In any case, the bill currently punishes people with fines for not having insurance, and it's just wrong. It's a giveaway to the insurance companies, and that makes my blood boil. At the very least, we need a public option, but I'm a single-payer girl. I just refuse to believe that those moronic teabaggers are the majority opinion in this country. I know they aren't, but you'd think they were with all the attention they get. I'm also an "average Joe." I've worked all my life and paid taxes. I'm sickened (pun intended) that my tax dollars pay for war and death, and not saving people's lives, like my stepfather's.
Jennifer M., 37
Do the Right Thing--Start Leading, Stop Following Lobbyists
I'm a single mom on the verge of declaring medical bankruptcy. I was forced to sell my home. My son, now 17, and I live with my 89-year-old mother (illegally) in a retirement community. For the past year, we have shared a 10x10 bedroom roughly the size of my old walk-in closet. I have two college degrees and I am now working only fifteen hours a week as a church administrator. Due to a pre-existing chronic medical condition, I am not able to buy insurance (even if I could afford it). As a result, it is being left untreated.
I am absolutely dismayed with the Massachusetts election outcome and its potential ramifications for healthcare reform. Whether on moral/ethical grounds, as a human rights issue or viewed solely on the numbers, I do not understand how anyone could be opposed to healthcare reform in this country. If conservatives want to stay away from the "touchy/feely" views, fine. However, how can they not see the bottom line? The costs of no healthcare reform far outweigh the costs of the status quo. We have a failed system and it is affecting everyone.
I'd like to see Congress actually represent the people and not corporate America. I'd like to see Congress develop a spine, some ethics, locate their hearts and do the right thing. They all know what that is, but are all in bed with Big Pharma and the insurance industry and the fear of not getting re-elected outweighs everything else. We need healthcare reform and not a watered-down version rubber-stamped by the above. We need our elected officials to actually lead and stop following lobbyists.
Suzi Spagenberg, 49
We Need Real Protection
I've honestly suspected from the get-go that neither the conservatives nor the liberals really care about healthcare reform, and that both sides have done their best to silence the progressives, who do. Frankly, the more cynical part of me is not the least bit surprised. I find it train wreck level interesting, that at the first little excuse the Democrats start to drop even making an attempt at healthcare reform and run in the opposite direction.
As for my investment in healthcare reform, being working-class poor, it's a bit like asking someone on the Titanic if they feel invested in the ship's sinking. I'm in this boat so there's no way for me not to be invested. Last year my wife and I both came down sick at the same time. We were living in West Virginia at the time, and it was during the weeks of the big freeze, twenty below zero at night and zero during the day, and we both came down sick with what we suspected was a sinus infection. Our solution? Swallow enough symptom suppressors to be able to sleep, and enough to be able to work, and hope that it wouldn't get any worse.
I want Congress to pass the bill that is most likely to pass (sadly, I know that is the Senate version) and then use reconciliation to put the public option back in play, and if it fits within the boundaries to also put the individual mandate on a trigger so it would not kick in for at least ten years. Then they should prepare to be dogged by progressives until they perfect the legislation, so that it offers real protection and access to healthcare that doesn't turn into vaporcare the first time you try to use it.
One Pretzel Hit Cost $500--This is Not the American Dream
I have healthcare. However, I recently took legal custody of my 11-year-old cousin, and because it's residential custody and not full, he is unable to be put under my insurance. His mother is on welfare. Before giving him up to my custody, she let his New Jersey Family Care insurance lapse. So right now we're waiting to see if we qualify to cover him. If we make too much money or don't jump through the proper flaming hoop, then my cousin will remain uninsured. He was recently hit in the eye with a pretzel while having lunch at school. It required an ER visit. I now have a bill of over $500.
The demise of healthcare scares me. I am a stay at home mom and paternal caretaker. Besides the 11-year-old, I have a 6-year-old autistic son and an aging, wheelchair-bound mom, who has been diabetic for over thirty-six years and is now on Medicare. One bad illness will bankrupt us for generations, and aid for my son's lifelong autism ends at age 22.
This is not the American dream. This isn't even basic compassion.
Shea Murphy, 35
The "Obscene Meanness" of America
After hearing Senator Jim Webb say that "The American people have spoken," when the Democrats lost the Massachusetts special election, I was so completely incensed that he or anyone could come to that conclusion, when the people of Massachusetts who have healthcare elected an anti-healthcare candidate.
My husband and I are educated, intelligent, unemployed and in our mid-40s. I am a writer and he is in commercial insurance. We used to rely on his employment to cover the entire family. He has been unemployed for more than a year. We could not afford the COBRA, and indeed can barely afford our mortgage. All other creditors are waiting in line until we get back on our feet, and I have several herniated disks. I live in pain and anxiously await a healthcare plan that will provide me with an opportunity to get the surgeries I need. My husband was raised in London and is so discouraged with what he calls the "obscene meanness" of our system. We have contemplated uprooting our entire lives, to move to England, just to get the surgeries I desperately need. It is difficult to understand how the American people can stand for this and how our politicians can come to the insane conclusions that we do not want it. Howard Dean seems to be the only person talking sense on the pop-culture news.
We have three adult children who are struggling for insurance. My 25-year-old son graduated from American University and lives and works full-time in DC and is covered for now, but he is planning to leave work to get his masters. He has had major back surgery (scoliosis) and can never afford to go without insurance. My 23-year-old daughter works part-time at an advertising agency and part-time pursuing her career as an artist (for which she studied at Boston University). My 21-year-old son is in school at American University, covered for now, but also had major back surgery (stenosis) and cannot go without insurance.
Again, we could not afford the COBRA for ourselves, let alone to help the kids, even if we were allowed to cover them. It's killing us.
Angela Combs, 47
Beside Myself, Waiting for Change
I was diagnosed with throat cancer on Tuesday, January 12. I am unemployed and have no health insurance. I intend to get the care I need. My doctor has not turned me down, nor has the hospital for treatment. I anticipate the bills will begin soon and I will not be able to pay them. Prognosis is 80/20 for recovery with radiation and chemotherapy. I have a notion I am going to face something nastier than cancer in my life: bill collectors. So it begins.
My occupation used to be an administrative assistant. The last two positions that paid well were transferred to different states so my job was gone with them. At 59, with the tight job market, I am not getting any offers. And now, with this diagnosis, there really isn't going to be a job.
I've been beside myself with the Democrats not coming together at once to pass healthcare, and I am livid that just a few people held it hostage. I've tried to do my share by signing petitions and beating up Evan Bayh. This was before I knew I was ill. I think Congress should pass some scrap of something. I wanted the public option. I also hoped they would lower Medicare eligibility to 55. That was selfish, of course. Still, they must try to do something, if only to have it to build upon. They are crazy to think this will come around again this generation.
Sarah Hurt, 59
Get Tough For God's Sake and Ours
My brother is losing his COBRA on February 28. He recently was hospitalized for a heart attack and stroke.
It is difficult for my brother to type since his stroke. I have been researching to find him insurance. There is nothing affordable since he is out of work. Part of the reason he had his stroke/heart attack was because he had cut back on his medication due to finances. His cardiologist told me he keeps seeing this, people who can't afford medication and they stop taking it, which causes dire complications.
Even with health insurance, he owed the hospital over $5,600 and rehabilitation about $2,000. We were able to have the hospital bill "forgiven" after proving my brother had no money. The hospital has a charity fund we applied for; we are applying for the same for rehabilitation. We live in Charlotte, North Carolina, and there are low-cost medical clinics for people who are not more than 20 percent over the poverty level. This is what I have been looking into once COBRA runs out. My brother is not eligible for Medicaid since he is a single male. He lost his job and his house last year so is now living with my husband and I.
I went through a similar instance with my daughter when she graduated college in 2007 and went off our insurance. She had an ultrasound due to menstrual cramps earlier that year and it was inconclusive. Not one insurance carrier would cover her because of the "inconclusive" diagnosis! She took no medications and her doctor wrote a letter to the insurance companies. Eventually she was able to get insurance when she found a job, but the immorality of this made me so angry!
I have been fortunate because I have had good healthcare. However, now that I have someone in my family who has no insurance, it makes me very angry. I have been following healthcare ever since Obama took office.
I want to see the Democrats get tough, for God's sake. I love Obama, but he is too damn nice. Why can't we get fifty-one Senate votes and go for reconciliation? I tell everyone about my brother and tell them that it could happen to them. We elected Obama to be the president who would finally get healthcare done. He needs to get tough and do it. The Republicans only want him to fail for their own selfish political needs. They couldn't care less about the American people. They don't want him to go down in history as the president that got healthcare.
LR and BT, 55 and 51
Is Congress the Opposite of Progress? I Hope Not
I used to be covered by my mom's insurance, but I couldn't afford this semester of school and they cut her, so now both of us are uninsured.
She's 56, works in retail as a salesperson. She's been there for almost twelve years. I'm 21 and currently work a few hours a week as a homemaker. They started cutting her hours in September, but I was in college at the time so we somewhat had coverage.
It bothers me greatly that there's the possibility but no progress with the healthcare bill. I tore the ligaments in my shoulder a few years ago and had I not been under my mother's insurance I'd have to pay $1,500 per MRI. Hospital bills have prevented me from going on with education. I was supposed to have surgery, but couldn't afford it. So now we're sort of at the edge. We can't get sick or anything. Honestly, the Senate bill does bother me. But I can't expect a huge change right away. In my opinion, it would be a baby step toward progress. A friend once told me "If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?" I hope not. I wish Democrats would unite. There are worse cases than mine.
Bisera Rozic, 21
Saturday, February 06, 2010
All this blather about California and no mention of Prop 13, or of the corporate and out-of-state takeover of our initiative process?
Prop 13 was not a populist tax revolt, it was a corporate and big-state governemnt money grab.
From the initiative that brought in the CA state lottery to Prop 8, wealthy and powerful out of state interests have flooded money into the legislative process of our state, the world's sixth largest economy. It's time to take back control of our governor's mansion, and of our state legislature.
We need to repeal or significantly modify Prop 13. Commercial real estate has to be subject to the same regulations and local governments must be given back the power to set their own revenue through their own political process, while keeping reasonable property tax controls for homeowners to provide stability in an always volatile CA home real estate market.
It's time to ban paid signature takers, ban out of state money from our initiative process, and provide for constitutionality review before any intiative becomes law.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
This man is not fit to judge a dog show.
Justice Samuel Alito mouthed the words "not true" when President Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court's campaign finance decision.
"Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections," Obama said. "Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong."
The shot of the black-robed Supreme Court justices, stone-faced, was priceless.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stood up behind the justices and clapped vigorously while Alito shook his head and quietly mouthed his discontent.
Days after striking a blow to our Representative Democracy so strong it will take generations to regain our freedoms lost with this arrogant ruling from an activist Supreme Court, Justice Alito strikes a blow against decorum and respect by taking his plutocratic sociopathy to President Obama's State of the Union address.
This man, Justice Roberts and this activist Supreme Court must be stopped before decimating what is left of our great nation.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
An activist Supreme Court delivered a stunning blow to the core of Democracy today.
Corporations are not persons, and money is not speech.
Every one of us, Democrat and Republican, rich and poor, Liberal and Conservative, has been dealt a blow today by powerful corporate interests who have taken over our representative Democracy and turned it into a way to transparently funnel every available bit of wealth and powerful to the already wealthy and powerful.
This is the stuff that all of should be marching on Washington D. C. to protest.
Instead, the disaffected on all sides of the political and economic fight point fingers at each other while the corporate takeover of our government destroys our society.
Stand up! Socialists, Teabaggers, moderates, and party faithfuls. You, unless you are already part of the wealthiest 1%, have had your representation stolen!