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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)


Liberals Holding Up Healthcare Bill? March 17, 2010

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance.
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President Obama had a success today-he got the vote of Rep. Dennis Kucinich, former Presidential candidate. Rep. Kucinich was for a single payer plan-weren’t we all? If he can change his mind, why can’t some others in the House and in the Senate?

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=rep.+kucinich&iid=8272357″ src=”8/a/f/e/Rep_Dennis_Kucinich_b537.jpg?adImageId=11383432&imageId=8272357″ width=”234″ height=”168″ /]

I was for the public option; not defined in my book as “a government takeover of health care rammed down our throats” (no sexual innuendo there), but the public option-looking much like the current plan that our members of Congress enjoy.

[Every time a member of Congress, or former member of the Cabinet has a health issue (stent, heart attack, etc) I wonder if you or I could get the same care, the same overnight stay, and the same access to specialists.]

But I digress. Could we have predicted that the President would have been pressing the flesh at the last minute with liberals? One would have thought that the conservatives would have been on the guest log at the White House this week.

I also heard that the Stupak language is dead too, on MSNBC in an interview with the Speaker, but NPR keeps bringing it up like it still exists.

Nevertheless, this bill is a step in the right direction, especially in terms of coverage. It deserves our support.

Thank you to the President and Rep. Dennis Kucinich and bring a few of your liberal colleagues along on your coattails!

Senate Health Bill:Passing – Your 401(k) is Up: Why that is the case December 23, 2009

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous, huh?, Money.
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I read today that the health care/insurance stocks are at 52 year highs. And many companies are up double digits, since Senator Lieberman (Say it ain’t so, Joe!)  made his proclamation at the end of October. 

When he said he wouldn’t vote for the Senate bill if it contained a public option.

Who wrote that script?

What does that tell us? We have missed an opportunity, that’s what.  Senator Lieberman has done his job, and has probably made millions on the side. For those of us that have 401(k) plans, they will also have a great 4th quarter, no doubt. We will need the money because, according to another item I read today, we will all need at least $250,000 for health care costs for after we turn 65!

Well, it is not what we all thought about, misty eyed, last January, is it? As I heard one Senator say yesterday, we have changed the culture and the expectations around health care in this country. I hope they are correct!

But we need to do more than hope. Action is virtually free. This issue needs to stay on our minds and in our emails, op-ed’s and Facebook pages all through the 2010 elections.

Expect better! (FF)

Health Care Quote of the Week December 15, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week, huh?.
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[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=senator+gregg&iid=1778679″ src=”4/4/d/c/Senate_Holds_Vote_3809.jpg?adImageId=8315003&imageId=1778679″ width=”380″ height=”264″ /]

Check out the implied halo in the photo!

Scott Simon said this past weekend that his interview with Senator Judd Gregg got a lot of attention in their letters. No kidding. I just read the transcript and I have to say that Scott did not really challenge Senator Gregg at all. some of the comments said it felt like listening to the Fox Network ( I took a pledge not to call it a n__s show).

Listen for yourself here.

Gregg trotted out the same canards:

  • won’t cut the deficit
  • it’s a shell game

Here is the best line of all:

  • it will lead us to hell, I mean single payer.
  • “A public health care system absolutely leads to a deterioration of health care generally for the American public if everybody’s forced into it.”

    Senator Gregg: What do your constituents on Medicare think about that statement? That sounds like something that might have said in the 1960’s, say just prior to Medicare being adopted. Oh, I bet it is part of the playbook!

    No one can say the R’s don’t recycle-arguments that is!

    At the very least, didn’t Senator Gregg listen to the people who demonstrated and cried out “Don’t take away my Medicare”, this August? I think this quote gets the Frequent Flyer Expect Better award for this week (really for last Thursday-it took a while to get the transcript).

    People of New Hampshire-rise up and expect better!

    Why is Senator Lieberman Still Opposed to the Public Option? December 12, 2009

    Posted by Admin in Healthonymous, Humor.
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    [picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=senator+lieberman&iid=6924413″ src=”8/1/7/4/Democratic_and_Republican_c076.jpg?adImageId=8255244&imageId=6924413″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]

    Senator Lieberman says he won’t support any health care reform bill that includes a “public option”.

    As the cartoon by Joel Pett says here, there are several retorts to the statement:

    A “Public Option” would be bad.

    The way public libraries have ruined bookstores?

    The way public transportation has…

    I found the cartoon on the Kaiser Health News website.

    Why hasn’t Senator Reid offered to strip Senator Lieberman of his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee?

    Give em’ hell Harry!

    Senate Health Bill Debate-Bad, Good, Not So Bad December 9, 2009

    Posted by Admin in Healthonymous.
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    [picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=health+care+reform+women&iid=7316445″ src=”e/9/5/f/Abortion_supporters_gather_bd04.JPG?adImageId=8165686&imageId=7316445″ width=”380″ height=”257″ /]

    The Senate has been debating other amendments this week, including one on the popular Medicare Advantage plans and also the Nelson amendment on abortion services.

    NOT SO BAD: Despite the Hyde Amendment, which is now over 30 years old, that prevents federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services, a minority (so far)  of various Senate members want to include even more restrictive language. As Senator Boxer characterized it, the Nelson amendment would have prevented women from using their private funds to pay for an abortion, asked them to purchase an insurance rider in advance to cover the possibility of needing an abortion, and as the Senator stated on the floor:

    The men who have brought us this don’t single out a procedure that’s used by a man, or a drug that is used by a man, that involves his reproductive health care and say they have to get a special rider. There’s nothing in this amendment that says if a man some days wants to buy Viagra, for example, that his pharmaceutical coverage cannot cover it, that he has to buy a rider. I wouldn’t support that. And they shouldn’t support going after a woman using her own private funds for her reproductive health care. Is it fair to say to a man you’re going to have to buy a rider to buy Viagra and this will be public information that could be accessed? No, I don’t support that. I support a man’s privacy, just as I support a woman’s privacy.”

    The Nelson amendment failed last night (Tuesday) 54-45 on a motion to table.

    Another question I had was–who didn’t vote? So I went to Senate.gov to find out  it was Senator Byrd-who has a reasonable excuse at least. He is ill and very frail. Senator Byrd became the longest serving Senator ever on November 18th, 2009.

    GOOD: News on the Mikulski Amendment-it passed by a 61-39 vote. this will guarantee that women, especially those under age 50, will have access to preventative screenings without co-pays.

    BAD: Wednesday  morning, I woke up to the rumor that the public option again, might be deemed optional. This time it is the Gang of Ten in the Senate (Liberals plus moderates) Note to self-could the R’s even find 5 moderates?

    Affordable Health Care for America No Longer “Optional” November 8, 2009

    Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous, Money.
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    Yesterday, HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, passed the House of Representatives with a slim 5 vote margin to make history in America. The sweeping bill includes a public option-so the public option government health care plan is no longer “optional”. If you would like to hear the bill read out loud, visit this website HearTheBill.org .

    Yours truly was glued to C-SPAN for most of the day. It was fascinating to look at cspan.org last night, and check out the member speeches the choose to post on their site.  I stood amazed (well, sat on my couch actually)

    • at the breadth of stories (both true and false) told on the floor,
    • the mind numbing use of repetitive phrases,
    • the patience of Rep. Dingell and each subsequent presiding member as they politely requested that members “heed the gavel” and that visitors in the galleries ” were guests of the House” and had to adhere to House rules,
    • the utter lack of interest in Rep. Wally Herger’s floor speech (D-CA District 2) from his colleagues seated nearby-presumably from his own party
    • Speaker Pelosi’s floor speech where she reminded her colleagues that HR 3962 would not treat being female as a reason to deny coverage for a “pre-existing condition”.
    • Speeches by Rep. Waxman, Rep. McDermott (WA) , Rep. Miller (CA), Rep. Velasquez, Rep. Slaughter, Rep. Meek
    • The lifelong commitment of Rep. Dingell and his family before him to providing health care for all Americans,
    • The surprising inclusion of the Stupak amendment, the most restrictive amendment since the Hyde Amendment on abortion rights
    • The misused, recurring call of “parliamentary inquiry” to the chair
    • The various descriptions of the weight of the bill and the number of pages (Jon Stewart summarizes it well)

    No matter if you approve or disapprove, this day has been a long time coming-since the time of President Roosevelt or even President Truman-no bill has gotten this far. The next few weeks will still be crucial, especially with the “poison pill” of the Stupak amendment now contained within the bill, sort of like an odd political pregnancy.

    Incentives for Health Reform November 3, 2009

    Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous.
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    Just caught a TV program where Bill Gates, Jr. was answering questions from students. Being Bill, he was asked many questions, one of which was on health care. He spoke to the question of what behavior the system currently promotes. The example he used was the difference between preventing an asthma attack vs. having an expensive episode treated in the hospital. The latter is rewarded with money, i.e. the procedures are “covered” by insurance. The former is not always “incentivized”.

    Another example was the original inclusion of discussing on a voluntary basis end-of-life care with your physician earlier this summer in one of the bills proposed by Congress. This conversation would have received insurance coverage, but due to misrepresentation and outright lies, the provision was dropped by Congress. Some types of conversations with one’s physician simply have no incentives in the current health care and insurance systems, so they don’t occur.

    When you or I see a health care provider, there is usually coverage for an office visit, but tests and procedures are rewarded too.

    What incentives should be built into our system? (more…)

    Pelosi Promises Muscle for the Middle Class October 16, 2009

    Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week.
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    On October 15th, Speaker Nancy Pelosi held her weekly press conference where she expounded on the public option and how the House health reform bill would turn out.

    “I speak for the House of Representatives. I want to send our conferees to the conference with the most muscle for the middle-class,” she said. “That is best achieved by going to the table with a public option.”

    [picapp src=”f/a/a/5/Reps_Pelosi_Van_4940.JPG?adImageId=6138488&imageId=6799473″ width=”234″ height=”161″ /]

    I appreciate Pelosi’s reference to the middle class.  Who are the middle class today? Here is one definition I always recall. My family attended an informational meeting for a neighborhood K-8 parochial school and the headmaster described the financial burden this way:

    “If you make less than $40,000 a year, you will receive financial aid. If you make more than $100,000 a year, then you don’t need financial aid.  If you make between $40-100,000 you will hate me eventually. Why? Because every time you turn around, you will feel like my hand is reaching for your wallet.”

    That is how I think of the middle class-that space between $40-100,000. This group has seen annual double digit increases in post-secondary education for their children (more expensive relative to income than it was for them); health care and housing.

    Speaker Pelosi says she will fight for the middle class. Let’s hope she can also hold the President to his promise to not raise taxes on the middle class and have her conferees united enough to take on the Democrats in the Senate. (Maybe the Senate Democrats will become a more unified group in the next two weeks as well.) That’s the trouble with the “big tent” philosophy -it is a big tent!

    Thank You Senator Snowe! October 14, 2009

    Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous.
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    Senator Baucus thanks Senator Snowe

    Senator Baucus thanks Senator Snowe

    Thank you for the vote today to move ahead when “history calls.” Thank you also for the great Ben Franklin quote, “Well done is better than well said.”

    To the balance of the Senate, please remember that the public option is not optional! As Howard Dean said on the Rachel Maddow show today , “That choice is ours…whether to be insured with private insurance or public insurance.”

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