Health Care Reform: Looking Grim, but Not Over

10 12 2009

It appears that the public option, a plan advocated by a majority of Americans, will no longer exist in the final version of the health care bill.  There seems to be consensus, however, that the age limit to qualify for Medicare will be lowered to 55.  There will also be (probably) an expansion of Medicaid as well as a half-assed attempt at covering people 300% under the poverty line.  In addition, there will be a collection of national private plans which will be “managed” by the Office of Personal Management.

It’s still early in the process, because the Senate and House may meet in committee to hash out the final details, so the news as it stands right now lacks any real specifics.  There is also talk of the House simply accepting what the Senate throws at them, a procedure called “ping-ponging.”

The most heartening aspect of this legislation, the lowering of Medicare’s age limit, seems to have progressives like Bernie Sanders somewhat excited.  This is because the public option that was originally on the table was so anemic to begin with, that there are elements, according to Sanders, which may actually be better.

We will see, won’t we?  And there is, too, this 800 pound elephant no one in Washington seems to want to notice: The Dirty Deadly Secret About Health Care Reform, an excellent diary by Daily Kos’ Turkana.

Here is Senator Bernie Sanders, along with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, on the Rachel Maddow show last night:

Congress is biting at the bit to finish this before Christmas break, so stay tuned as details out of D.C. will continue to emerge sooner rather than later.


A Call to Action: Mobilize for Patients Not Profits

26 10 2009

In this video, Sam Pullen calls on people across the country to stand up for health care reform through non-violent civil disobedience in actions across America on October 28th, 2009. Sam was arrested at a sit-in in Los Angeles, CA on October 15th. He voluntarily remained in jail for five days in order to draw attention to abuses of the health insurance industry.  Following his brief statement is a short documentary on the civil disobedience in Los Angeles on October 15th.

Patients Not Profit Sit-In

18 10 2009

12 people were arrested in an act of civil disobedience in front of Blue Cross Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. One of the organizers, Sam Pullen, 31, refused to give information to police, vowing to stay in jail until Blue Cross stops denying care to those who need it most.  For more information on how to get involved or to donate, visit Mobilize for Health Care.

“I Apologize to the Dead and Their Families…”

5 10 2009

Rep. Alan Grayson made waves last week for calling out Republicans’ lack of a true health care reform plan.  Many Congressional Republicans demanded an apology for his statement that the only plan the GOP has for Americans is to “Don’t get sick,” and failing that, “Die soon.”  Well, he issued an apology–just not the one the Grand Obstructionist Party wanted to hear:

Sen. Schumer and Sen. Rockefeller Offering Public Option Amendments Today!

25 09 2009

On last night’s Rachel Maddow show,  Senator Schumer announced that he and Senator Rockefeller are attempting to offer public option amendments to the committee bill today.  This bill will then be voted on beginning next Tuesday.  Contact your Senators today and Monday and demand a public option! We still have a fighting chance!

Delaying Tactics Ensue on Health Care Legislation

24 09 2009

Pat Roberts (R-KS) is now pleading for a brief respite so that lobbyists–or as he calls them, “the people that the providers have hired to keep up with all the legislation.”  As Arthur Delaney writes at The Huffington Post: “It’s hard to imagine…that [this] means anything other than lobbyists from the health industry.”  Below is video, courtesy of HuffPo:

WellPoint CEO Lies About Amount Spent on Health Care

23 09 2009

It’s a tricky thing, that recision.  Watch how this WellPoint CEO dances around a question about how much the company actually spends on health care (h/t to The Public Record):