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.


Rep. Alan Grayson Reads Off Numbers of People Who Will Die

6 11 2009

Representative Alan Grayson makes another splash.  Not long after making news by calling out Congressional Republicans for not backing health care reform, saying their only plan for Americans is to “die quickly,” the gutsy Florida Democrat landed another punch.  Taking a recent Harvard study which states that 44,780 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance, he then breaks down that number per Republican Congressional district and begins listing, per district, how many Americans are likely to die next year in each Republican district if there is no significant health care reform.

Here is his opening remarks plus the beginning of the list:

Flash forward to later in the speech, when the Republicans attempt to shut him down:

They fail, however.  To view the speech in its entirety, visit Rep. Grayson’s YouTube channel.  If you like what he’s doing so far, please consider donating too.  And to see what RMF has been contributing to the health care debate, visit this page.

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.

Billionaires for Wealthcare Strike Again

24 10 2009

The Billionaires struck again at America’s Health Insurance Plans’s state issues conference on Friday by serenading Republican pollster Bill MnInturff.  McInturff has done work on behalf of the health insurance lobby and was, most notably, a driving force behind the ‘Harry and Louise’ ads of 1994 during President Clinton’s ill-fated attempt at health care reform.  The Billionaires are a grassroots network of universal health care and public option proponents who pop up around the country to ‘sing the praises’ of for profit health care.  Check out this video for an appearance they made in Los Angeles during a health care rally outside of the Anthem Blue Cross office.

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.

Representative Alan Grayson, a Real Fighting Democrat

1 10 2009

In this 10 minute clip, Representative Grayson shows how to take on the D.C. Double Standard (this pathetic hand wringing by the other pundits on the show is never present when Sarah Palin or the GOP leadership pushes the “death panel” lie) and fight for the Americans that elected him.  He’s absolutely right: if the GOP won’t support a plan that eliminates the pre-existing condition clause in denying our citizens health care and make care accessible to ALL Americans, then the GOP does want Americans to die.

The time to stop mincing words is long overdue.  If you like what you see, drop Representative Grayson some coin.

BREAKING: Senate Finance Committee Vote Rejects Public Option

29 09 2009

While this was expected, what wasn’t expected was how many votes it DID get: ten rather conservative Democrats, in a surprising move, voted to add a “robust” public option amendment to the Senate Finance Committee bill.  To read more analysis on this, check out Robert Creamer’s post on HuffPo.  Keep your chin up folks!