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Posts Tagged ‘Health Insurance’

If you’re one of the voters who cheered on Republicans who ran on repealing health care reform and you shouted from the rooftop of your voting booth: “BY ALL MEANS. PLEASE TAKE AWAY HEALTH CARE REFORM BENEFITS BEFORE THEY ARE FORCED DOWN MY THROAT!,” then this bit of news may surprise you:

A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in.

Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 – 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.

“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning,”.

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Harris, a Maryland state senator who works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and several hospitals on the Eastern Shore, also told the audience, “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,” his spokeswoman Anna Nix told POLITICO.

If the hypocrisy of this article gave you whiplash when you had to do a double take upon reading it, and you don’t have health insurance, I do apologize.

Woe the problematic “28 day delay” of socialized medicine.

Naturally, I can only assume that newly elected and soon to be sworn in GOP Florida Senator Marco Rubio will not only refrain from similar complaints, but will undoubtably refuse his own government health care benefits when they kick in. After all, health care reform was, and is a big no-no, which Rubio vowed to stop at all costs:

I’m sure Rubio won’t mind “doing without” along with the rest of us?

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Finally the health care reform battle is over!

Final vote tally: 220-207

Of course it’s not entirely over if Bill McCollum gets his way. He, of course is running for governor, and he has decided that the best way to get votes is to bring a lawsuit (courtesy of you the taxpayer) claiming the law is unconstitutional (ha, ha) and basically snatch away that insurance reform (you didn’t want it anyway, did you? The GOP told you so, remember?) even though most say the lawsuit is frivolous and will fail. But no matter! He doesn’t care because it’s all about winning elections.

AND while you’re potentially footing the bill for a lawsuit against your own interests, he’s also using the lawsuit for political gain AND to raise funds, and thus would love a generous contribution from you because you’re so grateful! You can give not once, not twice, but three times!

It’s a triple!

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Yesterday when I wrote a piece about Florida GOP Attorney General and candidate for governor Bill McCollum filing a lawsuit to block the new health care reform law, claiming the law is unconstitutional, I assumed there would be more news to come. I assumed correctly. There is one more little detail that’s come out. The cost of the lawsuit to Florida taxpayers.

Vowing to protect a free market for health insurance, Florida Republicans lined up Tuesday behind a potential $50,000 taxpayer-funded lawsuit challenging the changes approved by a Democratic-led Congress.

That’s right folks! Another sad fact about this dirty “double-dipping” is this: Bill McCollum is going to sue to make sure you can’t get health insurance and the benefits, you will finance his lawsuit to do so, against…. yourself!

“Certainly there are other approaches to making health care affordable to people,” said Attorney General Bill McCollum, who filed the lawsuit moments after President Obama signed the bill into law.

Of course, McCollum doesn’t say exactly what those “phantom” approaches would be, but hey, he’s got an election to win. He doesn’t have time for solutions! Besides, that’s the GOP platform:

“The Republican Party: We Don’t Do Solutions!”

Never mind that Florida is facing high unemployment, foreclosures, and a butchered education system courtesy of the GOP, among other problems. More than four million people here don’t have health insurance as it is. Most can’t afford it, and this taxpayer-funded lawsuit will make sure they never will if it succeeds.

More good news, the money has a good chance of being squandered, because many say the lawsuit has little chance of success. A little ironic coming from a candidate who claims he wants to make “meaningful litigation reform” a priority if he’s elected governor.

Looking at his website, he doesn’t seem to really have a campaign slogan yet, but then you can hardy blame him. He doesn’t have a lot to work with. What would he say, “vote for me and I’ll thin the herd?”

Running on promises that will potentially leave voters homeless, bankrupt, sick or dead is pretty hard to work with.

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Now that the Health Care Reform bill has passed and been signed into law, those who have been working so hard towards this and waiting so long for reform to happen were allowed only a brief reprieve in the struggle to celebrate by watching the signing ceremony this morning. It was brief because, as we all know, the Republicans who all voted against it are determined to destroy themselves with their opposition, and in doing so they seek to drag all the people in this country who would benefit down with them. These men and women would just as soon continue to let thousands die than lose an election. This reform will help so many people, and they know that, but they simply don’t care. They are so shameless in their efforts that they have continued an all out campaign of misinformation in order to scare people into supporting them against their own interests. They have targeted and enlisted unsuspecting, angry people, like those calling themselves the “Tea Party” and “Tea Baggers” and exploited them, and tried to swallow them into the GOP void as their own. They are so audacious in fact, that they are now trying to raise money and seek donations based on these falsehoods from these very people. In short, they are “double-dipping” the disadvantaged. Nice group.

Here in Florida, the GOP is wasting no time trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to exempt the state from the federal law requirements. Good luck with that! They will need at least 60 percent of Florida’s voters to say “Medical attention? Health insurance? Why we’ll have none of THAT! Sign me up!”

But wait, there’s more! Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican running for governor, is now leading the charge along with 13 others by filing a lawsuit hoping to block it, and claim the new law is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed just after President Obama signed the law this morning. Nearly four million people in Florida lacked health insurance coverage last year, and now he wants to make sure they stay uncovered, along with many more. In doing so, he also seems to think these very people will reward him for this by electing him to be their governor! McCollum assumes a lot.

Does he also assume that no one will pay attention to what information he’s using to create his lawsuit? Some of the Medicaid figures McCollum used in the lawsuit have already been challenged.

Then there are those who disagree with the lawsuit itself:

Lawrence Friedman, a professor who teaches constitutional law at the New England School of Law in Boston, said before the suit was filed that it has little chance of success. He said he can’t imagine a scenario where a judge would stop implementation of the health care bill.

Sen. Dave Aronberg, a Florida democrat running to replace McCollum for attorney general calls it a frivolous lawsuit at a time when the state has numerous real problems that need to be addressed.

Florida Democrat Dan Gelber, another candidate for attorney general promises to end the lawsuit if he’s elected, and added some about additional problems:

1. Florida has nearly 4 million residents who are uninsured including 800,000 children (the second highest percentage in the nation). As you are running for Governor, what do you propose to do to address this crisis since you believe the reform passed by the Congress is unconstitutional?

2. If you believe it is unconstitutional to require buy-in for health insurance, do you likewise believe that the payroll tax that Americans are required to pay for Medicare so that they have insurance when they are older is also unconstitutional?

3. Florida has pill mills run amok, ponzi schemes preying on our most vulnerable seniors, child predators, and one of the nation’s worst violent crime rates. Do you really have so many extra resources and so little to do that you can afford to dedicate personnel to what some have called a rank political stunt?

4. When this bill is signed into law, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Are you really willing to go to court to uphold insurance companies’ right to deny care and drop coverage?’”

5. You have had half a dozen press conferences and announcements that announced you were thinking about challenging health care reform and then announcing that you were serious about challenging health care reform. Why isn’t it fair for your detractors to say you are politicizing the issue?

Of course, the Republican candidates hoping to replace McCollum, Holly Benson and Jeff Kottkamp both think the lawsuit is a fantastic idea! Only 4 million Floridians without health insurance? Pshaw! Let’s see if we can’t break a record and get those numbers even higher! Elect us! What’s not to love?

And finally there’s the little matter of the D.C. lawyer who McCollum hired to challenge the new health reform law whose name is David Rivkin, who had this to say about the new law:

“This bill fundamentally changes the constitutional architecture under which we’ve been operating.”

If you’re the least bit curious about how Rivkin has been operating, (I know I was) well, surprise! From 2006-2008 he was a lobbyist focused on, among other things, “banking issues.” Yet another surprise, he worked on those “banking issues” with another former lobbyist. You may have heard of him: Bill McCollum. What a coincidence!

Rivkin and McCollum have ties that date back to the early part of the past decade. Both Rivkin and McCollum worked together for the law firm of Baker & Hostetler. Before McCollum became attorney general, he received $540,000 in compensation from Baker & Hostetler from 2005 – 2006, according to financial disclosure forms.

According to lobbying disclosure statements filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House and the Secretary of the U.S. Senate, McCollum and Rivkin lobbied Congress, the FCC, and the Department of Justice for Federated Investors. The lobbying work focused on banking issues in the first half of 2006.

Bill McCollum is happily joining in with his GOP colleagues in dedicating themselves to make sure that Floridians will never benefit from the brand new shiny health reform law President Obama just signed today. In trying to become perhaps even more powerful with these underhanded GOP “double-dippers” he’s filed a lawsuit to block people in the state of Florida (and many others) just to make sure, and he’s doing so with a man who, along with him has also lobbied on the behalf of big banks, which you may have heard will be one of the next hurdles the country faces. Big banks, you may have heard, thanks in large part again to the GOP nearly led the country into another great depression, an economic meltdown, and turned around and said “We’ll bail you out, no problem! Here’s bundles and bundles of cash! I mean, it’s only the taxpayers picking up the tab, so fuhgeddaboudit!”

On top of all this, over four million people in Florida without insurance isn’t nearly enough for him. Nope.

Republican Bill McCollum is a man who apparently would rather see people die than lose an election.

What more could you possibly want in a governor?

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And then there were 41.

From The Huffington Post (via ProgressFlorida):

Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) became the 41st senator to say that he would back the public insurance option as part of a health care bill moved through reconciliation.

Nelson, asked by HuffPost if he would vote for a public option on the Senate floor, was unequivocal. “Yes,” he said firmly. “I’ve already voted for it in the committee, in the Finance Committee.”

The running tally is being kept by one of the organizations pushing for the public option, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

Forty-one puts Democrats just nine votes short. The number of senators who have publicly committed to the option is striking because the momentum has come without any organized effort by Senate leadership or from the White House.

Thank you Sen. Nelson!

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Michele Bachmann has carved out yet another new route in her road to crazy-town.

Unlike her other bright ideas, it doesn’t involve evil census forms, death panels or FEMA Concentration Camps. Nope. This time it’s garbage cans. Because after all, who WOULDN’T connect garbage cans and health care reform in a legislative game of word association? Exactly.

Michele Bachmann is really trying to help us all save ourselves from being able to actually afford medical care, but are we grateful? No! She’s tried everything and yet no one seems to take her up on her ideas when it comes to protesting against such things.

Well now she plans to get your attention, along with the attention of your neighbors, to illustrate the horror that she predicts will be upon us if health care reform passes. That’s where the garbage cans come in. She wants you to take the lids off, and bang them together creating enough noise to wake your neighbors so they can gaze upon their clocks to see that it is 11:59! Because that will give them about a minute to realize that at 12:00, their freedom will be sucked into the abyss Bachmann has tirelessly tried to warn them about!

Does that make sense to you? Me neither.

From The Minnesota Independent:

During Monday’s Hot Tea Radio Show U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann told listeners that she’s “fighting for my political life,” called for a repeal of the separation of church and state, and said that tea partiers need to “literally start banging garbage lids together” to defeat health care reform.

“That’s why with everything within us we need to literally start banging garbage lids together to create enough noise so that our neighbors and our co-workers realize where the time clock is at this point because the second hand is literally banging up against 11:59 on the clock of freedom when it comes to health care… we cannot rest; we can’t take our marbles and go home.”

Take it from the woman who appears to have lost her marbles long ago, she knows a little something about not being able to take them and go home!

Banging garbage can lids together could perhaps work for Oscar the Grouch, were he protesting health care reform on Sesame Street, although I rather doubt it. I think it would be an even less effective method for Tea Baggers. They seem able to get enough attention already, and nothing would look sillier than protesters running around wearing funny hats with Tea Bags dangling from them, fake white braids, AND banging garbage can lids together as they march. Besides, they may, or may not have health insurance, but if they do, psychiatric counseling might not be covered. If I were them I would let that clock go ahead and strike 12:00 and take my chances.

What Bachmann, the “Cymbal Monkey” of the House probably won’t tell them is that she already has great health insurance that they pay for, and something tells me hers probably does cover mental health issues. Just sayin.’

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They offer it in plain view, in black and white, on their very own website.

If you watched any of the health care summit last week and heard the Grand Obstructionist Party objecting to the current plan, or heard them say they wanted to have health care reform, just not THIS health care reform, what you actually heard them say is NO HEALTH CARE REFORM PERIOD. If you doubt what I’m saying, then I have something below I would like you to take a look at. Then decide for yourself if you think the GOP have any interest in anything other than the status quo when it comes to health care reform.

The GOP has put up a list on their website that contains no less than 159 reasons why the Health Care Reform bill is a “Government takeover of health care.” In other words, they call it “a list of 159 new boards, bureaucracies and programs” that they have a problem with. As far as the GOP is concerned, these are absolutely not necessary.

Which people do the GOP say would benefit from these boards, bureaucracies and programs that they are against creating? Which people would suffer, and aren’t entitled to health care, assistance, or help from these government programs and benefits?  Well, those individuals would be:

  • Senior Citizens, for medicare, nursing facilities, geriatric education and abuse issues
  • Women, for postpartum depression, breast health education and assistance for breast cancer information for young women with breast cancer
  • Children, for school health centers and grants for child immunization
  • Doctors, nurses, dental and health care workers, for education
  • Individuals, for care of anyone in areas where an environmental emergency has been declared
  • Minorities, for health resources, disease, substance abuse, mental health, research,
  • Indians for treatment of child sexual abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment
  • Personal responsibility education programs
  • Small business for wellness program grants
  • Programs to explore alternatives to tort litigation (one thing they adamantly were suggesting that should be taken into consideration during last weeks health care summit.)
  • Interagency Access to Health Care in Alaska Task Force

In other words, they see no need to fund programs for seniors, women, children, doctors, nurses, health care providers in general, dentists, minorities, Indians and some Alaskans in particular, small businesses, and on and on.

They also don’t like any provisions that would address health insurance itself, when it comes to:

  • premium increases,
  • benefits and exchanges,
  • cooperatives,
  • health plan programs,
  • reinsurance,
  • Medicaid, and
  • Medicare

Also on their “list of no:”

  • They don’t like programs for home medical practices,
  • patient safety,
  • payment of complex lab tests,
  • assistance for health quality practices,
  • emergency care pilot programs,
  • universal access to trauma services,
  • school-based health centers,
  • research-based dental caries disease management,
  • chronic disease prevention,
  • pain research,
  • Health Workforce Loan Repayment Programs,
  • Health Loan Forgiveness Programs,
  • mid-career training for health professionals,
  • nurse-managed health clinics,
  • primary care training programs,
  • training for direct care workers,
  • promote positive health behaviors and outcomes,
  • projects to address health workforce shortage needs,
  • projects to develop training programs for home health aides,
  • Elder Justice Coordinating,
  • Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation,
  • elder abuse forensic centers,
  • program to subsidize costs of electronic health records,
  • program to support long-term care ombudsmen,
  • training for long-term care surveyors, and many, many more.

And the above items I have listed actually only brings us to a little over half the list. There are plenty more.

In other words, if it covers health care in any way, they DO NOT WANT IT.

If you have any doubts that the GOP is interested in taking on health care reform in any way, read their “objection to” list.

When you hear the GOP say they want to “start over” read their list and try to think what they WOULD include if they were to “start over.”

When you hear the GOP say “let’s start with a blank sheet of paper” read their list. That “blank sheet of paper” would REMAIN a blank sheet of paper if it were up to them.

You can see the entire list of the 159 programs they object to here. Please read the entire list.

Democrats:

PASS. THE. BILL.

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