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Democracy and Healthcare October 9, 2013

Posted by Admin in Health Quote of the Week, Healthonymous.
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If you want to understand democracy, spend less time in the library with Plato, and more time in the buses with people.  ~Simeon Strunsky

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFree.stock.photo.london-buses

Dublin buses

Dublin buses (Photo credit: FroZman)


Health Care Quote of the Week: The conservative case for Obamacare October 2, 2012

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Health Quote of the Week.
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I can’t add very much to this NYT Opinion piece, save to say that its’ conservative credentials are impeccable. And the writer believes that the President’s health care plan (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is a wonderful piece of legislation, not for  liberals but conservatives.

But here’s the dirty little secret:

“This explains why the health insurance industry has been quietly supporting the plan all along. It levels the playing field and expands the potential market by tens of millions of new customers.”

To which I would add, check your health insurance stocks, mutual funds and ETF’s. Are their shareholders complaining about performance in the last three years?

(This post is not a solicitation to buy or sell securities)

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romneycare… March 17, 2010

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week.
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From Paul Krugmans’s blog on March 14th:

Republicans are saying that what makes Obamacare a socialist takeover, whereas Romneycare wasn’t, is the fact that unlike Romney’s plan, Obama’s plan cuts government spending.

As he said: Oh. Kay.

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Where is C-SPAN? January 11, 2010

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week, Healthonymous.
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You’ve see the clips by now-about President Candidate Obama telling everyone that the health bill negotiations would be conducted live, on C-SPAN. And C-SPAN wrote Senator Harry Reid a letter about that.

Nothing on C-SPAN. Right now they are showing former Rep. Mickey Edwards-I mean really! I guess the negotiations are going on behind closed doors and in closets.

But there is almost no discussion in the other media (radio, print) about the negotiations and I don’t think that is a good thing. The public has been removed from the  issue. Apparently, the President took time away from his People magazine interview to remind us that many good things would go into effect right away. When is right away? First it was August, then October, then before the holiday recess, then before the State of the Union.

I’d like to see the President be a tad more visible on this issue and use his capital on what was one of Candidate Obama’s signature issues to make things happen. Wait, the print media is weighing in. This just posted by the San Jose Mercury News.

Even Governor Schwarzenegger got in a great quip last Wednesday at the Democrat’s expense-or maybe it was just anti-Nebraska. A little statist rivalry? The Governator said about the Cornhusker state Senator Nelson-

He got the corn-we got the husk!

Senator Reid, let C-SPAN show us the corn!

Health Care Quote of the Week December 17, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Insurance, Health Quote of the Week.
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Hero of the week: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Here is part of his 36 minute speech on the floor of the Senate yesterday, given after he was forced to withdraw his single payer system amendment to the current health reform bill.

“The fact that 17 percent of our people are unemployed or underemployed, one out of four of our children are living on food stamps, we’ve got two wars, we’ve got global warming, we have a $12 trillion national debt, and the best the Republicans can do is try to bring the United States government to a halt by forcing a reading of a 700 page amendment.  That is an outrage.  People can have honest disagreements, but in this moment of crisis it is wrong to bring the United States government to a halt.” Source

If the amendment had been introduced, it would have been the first time in history such an amendment would have been discussed on the Senate floor. Senator Durbin, the Democratic Whip stated:

The decision by the Senate Republican leadership today to have the Sanders amendment read clearly tells us what their strategy is. It is to slow down or stop this bill at any cost.

Senator Sanders stopped the bill reading  and began speaking on the floor nearly 3 hours into the reading of the amendment-required by Senator Coburn.

Quote of the Week-Senate Vote on Mammograms and Other Preventative Care for Women December 4, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week, Women.
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Today, the Senate voted on two health care amendments. One was the Mikulski Amendment, named for the veteran, Democrat, four term Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

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The other was the Murkowski Amendment, named for the Republican Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski. Now, there are only 100 Senators and not very many of them are women. 17 in 2009, the highest number so far. Some of the Senators apparently haven’t learned all the names in their class yet.

There is an official press release on Senator’s Mikulski’s website and a number of fine quotes. This one wasn’t listed in the text. Due to the number of (mostly) male Senators who had trouble keeping the names straight, Senator Mikulski decided to give a spelling lesson on the floor.

Don’t they have a seating chart with photos? Don’t they know the new kids yet? Murkowski-2003, Mikulski 1986….

Here is what Mikulski said about her winning (61-39) amendment today:

“Without this amendment, there would be no guarantee that women under 50 would be covered for mammograms, no guarantee of an annual women’s health exam that would include screenings for heart disease, and no guarantee that women would have access to this preventive care at no cost,” Senator Mikulski said. “Insurance companies have used every trick in the book to deny coverage to women. This amendment makes sure that the insurance companies must cover the basic preventive care that women need at no cost.” (emphasis added)

Senator Murkowski’s amendment covered much the same ground, but focused on the panel that issued the poorly received updated mammogram advice last month (see the post called Better Read than Dead):

“the Secretary shall not use any recommendation made by the United States Preventive Services Task Force to deny coverage of an item or service by a group…”

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Senator Murkowski and other Republicans wanted to highlight that no government bureaucrat should get between a woman and her doctor. Senator Mikulski’s amendment specifically stated that a woman’s doctor:

[would]…determine whether mammograms are medically necessary and would require insurance companies to cover the procedure if needed.

The R’s didn’t believe this, but their amendment lost 59-41. The bill is far from final yet, and I urge readers to keep a vigilant eye and ear on the floor debate, especially if you want to keep this amendment in the bill (it is not in the House bill).

Who Will Take Care of the Baby Boomers? November 27, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Insurance, Health Quote of the Week, Money.
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Yesterday, I heard a great hour of radio on the nursing shortage produced by WBUR in Boston. It’s called Nursing a Shortage , part of their Inside Out series. There are two structural problems on the supply side of nursing-one is baby boomer nurses retiring at the same time as their peers. I knew that part, but what I didn’t know about was the second one-the serious shortage of nursing educators.

America ‘s nursing shortage has been compared to a perfect storm gathering in intensity. In just over a decade nearly 80 million baby boomers will be in or reaching retirement, their medical needs placing an immense strain on our health care system. Nurses themselves, whose average age now is 47, will be leaving the profession and a younger generation of nurses will not be trained in enough numbers to fill the growing needs of hospitals and patients.

Who will take care of patients? Apparently all it will take is about a billion dollars to increase the student slots in nursing schools and hire additional educators to educate the needed students. Is there a national plan for that?

A billion dollars is beginning to sound very small.

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Take 2 Tax Breaks and Call Me in the Morning November 7, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Insurance, Health Quote of the Week.
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So said Rep. McGovern (D-Mass.) moments ago in the floor debate on HR 3692 in the House of Representatives. That was his characterization of the health care reform that the Republicans would prefer.

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The R’s have a new tactic this morning. After the increase in the unemployment rate was announced yesterday, they are now calling HR 3692:

a job-killing (4 million free-enterprise jobs), debt-piling, small business tax increasing, major overhaul of health care delivery in this country.

Meanwhile, the D’s are reminding constituents that:

the bill invests in prevention, wellness and public health, according to Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA). She also reminded us that this bill will prevent medical bankruptcies and close the “donut hole” of Medicare Part D.

[picapp src=”a/c/5/5/Sen_John_McCain_e5e6.jpg?adImageId=7201443&imageId=6922532″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]Other Representatives from the majority party have alluded to our poor infant mortality statistics, the bills mandate to not deny people care based on  pre-existing conditions such as being female, having had a C-section, being a victim of domestic violence or being a cancer survivor, and the 100 year debate on this issue.

Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio) fights back by saying,

It’s time to make coverage accessible and affordable. We’ve waited too long…..

Presiding over the House debate today is Rep. Charles Dingell (D-MI), who presided over the debate on the Medicare legislation in 1965.

Watch the debate live on C-SPAN or cspan.org now!

Health Care Quote of the Week-Sean Hannity October 29, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week, huh?.
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Well, I hate to promote the Fox Network in any way, but this one slipped through. Conservative columnist and author Michele Malkin was interviewed by Sean Hannity this week. The subject was her new book; but Sean wrapped up the interview in a way that seemed to make Michele speechless: (or maybe that was the editing!)

Hannity’s Freudian slip: “These are the critical weeks if you don’t want health care”.

It can be seen on video courtesy of Media Matters here.

Quote from Molly Ivins on Cancer October 25, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Health Quote of the Week, Humor, Women.
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Bonus quote of the week!

I miss Molly Ivins’ humor and speaking truth to power. Here is how she began an essay in Time magazine  (2-18-02 issue) about cancer:

Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun. First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you. I have been on blind dates better than that.

Been there, done that, got the (pink) T-shirt.

Would Molly Ivins be involved in the health care reform debate right now? Yes, and I would love to know what she would have said.

For another appreciation of Molly Ivins by Maya Angelou, read on.

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