Archive for September, 2009

September 16, 2009

Anti-Czar Bill Gets 100 Cosponsors In House [UPDATE]


All of the other Presidential czars were just fine, but President Obama? He’s different!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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September 16, 2009

Insurance Companies are the real life Death Panels.

Real-life ‘Norma Rae’ dies of cancer after her health insurance refused to cover her medications.

crystallee

Crystal Lee Sutton, whose courageous efforts organizing Southern textile mills inspired the award-winning 1979 film “Norma Rae,” passed away on Friday after a long battle with brain cancer. Sutton’s story is particularly tragic because after fighting her whole life for rights of working Americans, her health insurance wouldn’t cover the medications she needed:

She went two months without possible life-saving medications because her insurance wouldn’t cover it, another example of abusing the working poor, she said.

“How in the world can it take so long to find out (whether they would cover the medicine or not) when it could be a matter of life or death,” she said. “It is almost like, in a way, committing murder.”

Although Sutton eventually received the medication, the cancer had already taken a toll on her.

More from ThinkProgress:

Former Health Insurance Executive Explains How Companies Pocket Billions Through ‘Rescission’

NOTE: This is the first installment of our series — Meet Your Insurance Company Executive: An Interview with Wendell Potter.

Yesterday, ThinkProgress talked with Wendell Potter, Cigna Health Care’s former Communication Director, about a common and widespread practice among insurance companies called “rescission.” As the former Cigna executive explains, rescission is the insurance industry practice of finding reasons — even reasons as flimsy as typos on your enrollment form — to cancel your coverage when you get sick. According to Potter, insurance companies are saving billions by rescinding coverage from Americans who purchase individual insurance:

POTTER: If they determine that you might have left out something that they consider pertinent on your application and might have indicated that you would have had some illness or might get an illness down the road, and you’ve been getting treatment and submitting claims to your insurance company, they will go back and look at that application and they will often rescind or cancel your policy even if you’ve been paying your premiums on-time, every month, for years. You will be left holding the bag with the responsibility of paying all of your medical care when insurance companies do this. They’ve been doing it for many years and saving billions of dollars as a result of this.

Watch the video here.

The Washington Post recently highlighted other examples of rescission:

Woman Lost Her Home Because Coverage Was Canceled For Condition She Didn’t Have. “For Teresa Dietrich, it was fibroids. The Northern California real estate agent was left to pay $19,000 after Blue Cross said she did not disclose a diagnosis of the benign uterine tumors. But Dietrich said the doctor who had written ‘fibroids’ on her medical record never mentioned his suspicions to her. The bills destroyed her credit and cost her her home – and, in a comically cruel twist, the surgery proved the doctor was wrong. ‘They said I had a condition I didn’t even have,’ Dietrich said. ‘And they canceled me.’”

Woman Saddled With $25,000 Debt For Not Disclosing Condition She Didn’t Know She Had. “The untimely disappearance of Sally Marrari’s medical coverage goes a long way toward explaining why insurance companies are cast as the villain in the health-care reform drama. ‘They said I never mentioned I had a back problem,’ said Marrari, 52, whose coverage with Blue Cross was abruptly canceled in 2006 after a thyroid disorder, fluid in the heart and lupus were diagnosed. That left the Los Angeles woman with $25,000 in medical bills and the stigma of the company’s claim that she had committed fraud by not listing on a health questionnaire ‘preexisting conditions’ Marrari said she did not know she had.’”

Woman Denied Coverage For Gall Bladder Surgery Because Of Husband’s High Cholesterol. Washington Post: “In a pending case, Blue Shield searched in vain for an inconsistency in the health records of the wife of a dairy farmer after she filed a claim for emergency gallbladder surgery, according to attorneys for the family. Turning to her husband’s questionnaire, the company discovered he had not mentioned his high cholesterol and dropped them both. Blue Shield officials said they would not comment on a pending case.”

Rescission is widespread – an investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations found that three insurance companies alone (WellPoint, UnitedHealth and Assurant) cancelled more than 20,000 policies in the last five years.

September 15, 2009

Cross Wielding Teabagger + Voices of the Teabagger Movement. (Video)

Yes America, it’s true.  The media is giving power to the most ignorant segment of our country. Of course, the first clue that these people were not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier is when they decided to call themselves “Teabaggers.” While they may be a great source of entertainment for those of us who have more than two brain cells to bump together, the topic of health care is an important one. These people are grossly uninformed, misinformed, and  generally motivated by their fear of the unknown. Never once do they consider that perhaps they know so little because they are so overwhelmingly brainless. Oh, and that they refuse to get their news from anywhere other than right-wing propagandists and Fox News – who are bought and paid for by the same corporations that have brought us to the brink of disaster.

Teabagger, Remember when we used to burn these??

Teabagger, "Remember when we used to burn these??" No, he didn't actually SAY that...

Video Highlights:

They believe that czars are bad, generally because it is an unfamiliar word in their vocabulary. When informed that Reagan also used czars, and that czars were expanded under George W. Bush, the crowd expressed dumbfounded confusion and disbelief. Their level of skepticism increased further as they were educated on the roles of the czars here in America. That they wield no executive power and act as advisers.  Not to mention that most of them have been confirmed! Dubiously, one man questioned, “and you know this how?” If Glenn Beck didn’t say it, it must not be true. One woman worried about whether or not they are given land to lord over (like those czars that Caesar had back in “Roman Times.” )

Another deep thinker also contributed to the discussion about czars, stating that, “in Russia, czars are kings. I want people to know that in America, Jesus is king.'” I wish that the guy interviewing her would have said, “many people believe that Jesus was a socialist.” But, he may not have gotten out of there alive.

Other Highlights:

A man goes on and on about abortions and how black women make up a high percentage of said abortions. But this has nothing to do with race.

A man wielding a wooden cross, typically used for cross burnings by the KKK, states that he had no clue that the rally was going on. He goes on to ask the people around him if they wanted to sign the cross, which already had several signatures. But, this has nothing to do with race.

More mention of President Obama being a Muslim, and not a Christian as he states. But, this has nothing to do with race.

A man holds up a tall sign that proudly states, “Joe Wilson for President.” He changed his mind after he was informed that Joe Wilson actually voted to pay the hospital bills of illegal immigrants that visited the Emergency Room – with taxpayers money.

A man states that there are simply not enough doctors in America for everyone to receive health care. That we would be 200,000 doctors short!  When asked what should be done for the millions of Americans who lack coverage, he didn’t have a solution. Especially when there is no solution that would conjure up more doctors. In other words, those without health care, feel free to rot.

A woman states her belief that President Obama is interested in building an army of 2 million people who will be as well armed as the military. She goes on the repeat the false claim, even as she is corrected. I guess she also believes in FEMA Death Camps.

A man states that Hitler wooed all with his fancy words, just like President Obama. Does this mean that all educated men with charisma should be out of the question for the presidency in the future?

A woman whose been in the health care industry 20 years claims that the, “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy” signs are simply “sarcastic.” While another individual  goes on to state that the sign was okay, because the Kennedy’s had “done other stuff too,” though he could not think of any of that stuff “off the bat.”

And finally, ignoramuses attending the rally believe that being a communist, fascist, and socialist are all the same thing. Practically interchangeable. To top it off, when further questioned about just WHY they are protesting, most of them can’t come up with an even halfway coherent response.

::sighs::

There are other blatant examples of the overall ignorance of the crowd. All brought together by the hard work of Glenn Beck and Faux News.

These are the people keeping us from having a REAL health care debate. And their “representatives” are allowing it to happen!

At the end of the video, a woman is in a tizzy about how she is frustrated that they aren’t being listened to by the government, as a whole…

God help us if they ever are.



September 13, 2009

Census Report Shows Bush Economic Legacy Is Failure On Every Measurement

Thursday’s annual Census Bureau report on income, poverty and access to health care-the Bureau’s principal report card on the well-being of average Americans-closes the books on the economic record of George W. Bush.
It’s not a record many Republicans are likely to point to with pride.
On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush’s two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. By contrast, the country’s condition improved on each of those measures during Bill Clinton’s two terms, often substantially.

Read the rest of the article.

Let’s see. The economy IMPROVED under a democratic president… The economy TANKED under a republican president. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Where  are all those “fiscally responsible” republicans that you Teabaggers are ACHING to put back into power?

Facts are such a pesky little thing, aren’t they?

September 13, 2009

Joe Wilson Voted To Provide Taxpayer Money For Illegal Immigrants’ Healthcare


Surprise, surprise. So, he was for it before he was against it? Joe Wilson’s bridge to no where.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 13, 2009

Teabaggers: This is what 1+ million people at the US Capitol looks like…

The Million Man March

The Million Man March

2009 Presidential Inauguration - Right Click picture, click View Image to see entire picture.

Obama Inauguration vs Teabagger's Rally

Just how pathetic do you have to inflate numbers to that degree? And if you would lie about that, what else are you lying about? Things that make you go, “mmmm!”

September 12, 2009

Read My Lips: No Pubic Option!

Republican Teabaggers, in all of their intellectual dexterity, descended on the US Capitol today. A crowd numbering 5,000 or 2 million people (I’m sure official numbers are due shortly) came from near and far wielding well written and thought provoking placards meant to make a strong, unified statement!

The classiest of such placards stated:

Such a touching display of human decency. Keep it classy, Teabaggers.

Well what can I say, really? The TB’s are fed up and are putting their foot down!

No wasteful spending.

No fiscal irresponsibility.

No Gov’ment hands on their gov’ment Medicare.

NO PUBIC OPTION!

No Siree! Not on their watch!

If only they weren’t a day late and a trillion dollars short.

Now, as an American, I can understand how it’s difficult to know when it is the right and wrong time to make a stand. Especially when Fox News hasn’t spelled it out for you by way of ominous music, misleading/untruthful headlines and big scary looking pictures of mean people who don’t look like you. If only Glenn Beck had been on FN those 8 years that Bush was president. Maybe things would be different!

At any rate, that’s the past. This here is about the future of these United States of America!

Just say no to Obamas Pubic Option!!!

Just say no to Obama's Pubic Option!!!

Now, while today is the first time I’ve heard about this so called “Pubic Option” that Obama insists on cramming down our throats, I personally don’t see the problem with free bikini waxes. Especially if it is followed by a free Teabagging session! That said, I am a reasonable person. So, for the betterment of this great nation, I am willing to side with the republicans on this one. No Pubic Option!

There! A compromise with the Republican Party: Yes We Can!

All joking, snarkiness and sarcasm aside, I am simply amused by this movement that the republican party has embarked on.  At the same time, I’m forced to ponder… Just where was this anger and outrage when the Bush Administration happen to lose billions of dollars in Iraq? When I say “lose” I don’t mean that they placed a bad bet on a Super Bowl game. I mean that they have no clue where it is!  It’s just somewhere in the abyss… That abyss, of course, may start with an H and end with an N, but hey, now is not the time for speculation!

Furthermore, where was this outrage when the deficit began to grow under Bush/Chaney, helped along by huge tax cuts given to the wealthiest people in the country?  Now, I know that Dick Chaney said that Reagan proved deficits don’t matter, but how is this theory working for the average American today? Better yet, if Reagan proved that deficits indeed don’t matter – what’s the problem with, theoretically, increasing the deficit in a way that will help Americans when we need it most? Are we really concerned with the wealthy more than we are concerned with the middle and lower class in this country? Or was Chaney saying whatever he needed to say to get people on the side of fiscal irresponsibility?

Not to mention, years and years before the financial crisis came to a head last year, economists warned that we were headed for trouble. Big trouble. Yet, the Bush Administration, and their republican controlled congress, stayed the course. They did not stray from their ultimate objective. An objective that had nothing to do with me, you, our grandparents, nor our grandchildren. An objective that lined the pockets of Big Oil, Big Pharmaceuticals, and Big Business in general.

I can still remember quite well, republicans brushing off any mention of wasteful and irresponsible spending in regards to the war and the Bush administration as a whole.  When, in June of 2007 the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report that stated the US Government was committed to spending $1.1 trillion with companies holding government contracts, there was not one peep out of these so-called fiscal responsible TB’s.

More than $200 billion in taxpayer money was spent on projects for which only one or a handful of companies submitted bids, the committee found.

That figure has more than tripled since 2000, according to the report, and now comprises more than half of all government spending outside of entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Teabaggers, can you spell “Disingenuous Hypocrite?” Probably not.

A picture is worth a trillion words:

THANK YOU FOX!

THANK YOU FOX!

God bless Amercia, indeed.

September 11, 2009

Republicans: Why Should we vote for you? (Reprise)

9/11 Tribute

9/11 Tribute

Before I start this entry, I would like to take a moment to remember the 9/11 tragedy and its victims during, and after the event.

9/11 had to be one of the most surreal experiences of my life, topped only by the deaths of my parents the 1+ year prior to the event. In fact, 9/11 came exactly 1 year and 10 days after my fathers death in 2000. I remember being in a deep depressive fog that I just could not shake. Due to that depression, I did not awake that day until after the 2nd plane had hit.

When I turned on my television set (it was already on CNN) I just recall being confused and dumbfounded, but I must admit that much of that day is still a blur to me. I can’t sit here and recount the exact second I heard about it, nor my visceral reaction; other than it was the ultimate What The F–k moment. While immensely shocked, I was strangely void of emotion. It was when I witnessed a female reporter struggling to contain her emotions that it all began to sink it.

What can I say? I am good for having delayed reactions. After the levees broke in New Orleans, it wasn’t until the telethon (where Kanye West made Mike Myers squirm, and Chris Tucker eyes pop out of its sockets) that I broke down. Of course, with Katrina, I had my own personal reasons for why it was even more heart wrenching than it would have been normally. I’m sure I will share that at some point.

Meanwhile, I still have my main entry to get to where I ask the question: Republicans, why do you deserve our vote?

I wonder if the republican party realizes that, just because the democrats got voted into office, it doesn’t mean that everyone who voted for them think that they are perfect? It’s not like we are all happy with everything that they have done, (or have not done for that matter…) But, here’s my ultimate inquiry: When your only other real option is the Republican Party… why in the world would any sane, rational, informed individual vote for them?

I hear people talking about voting the democrats out of office in 2010 because they didn’t “do what they promised” and it’s clear that they aren’t really thinking things through. That they are just in the heat of the moment… (I mean, talk about the desire for instant gratification.) But, when it comes down to actually voting, why would the public, as a whole, trust the party that was at the helm when our economy tanked? When 9/11 hit? (“We kept you safe for 8 years,” my eye.) A party who, for the 8 years, did nothing to even attempt reform healthcare?

Why should we trust a party that has fallen back on their previous tactics of scaring people into voting for them? Why should we trust a party that doesn’t actually put forth any solutions, but simultaneously say NO to anything that is proposed by the opposing party? Particularly when it helps we, the little people?

These are questions that the republicans should be asking themselves, and what we the American people should demand them to answer. Why should people who are truly open to voting for either party WANT to vote republican? Do they realize that they aren’t gaining new supporters with their fear mongering? That they are just pandering to a very loud, yet very minority base? Sarah Palin referred to them as the “real America” during the campaign. Yes Sarah, they are real Americans. The real small group of Americans who will swallow anything that she and the rest of her colleagues tell them. I have a newsflash for these “real” people:  Just because more people may be unhappy with the president than before, it doesn’t mean that those  same unhappy people are daft enough to support the republican party come election time.

Best case scenario, for the republicans, is that they simply don’t vote at all. Worst case scenario, is they scare even more people into going out to vote AGAINST them. Like me! I stood in line four hours to vote the democrats into power last election, and I’ll do it again!

What people have to realize is that it’s early, not even a full year into Obama’s first term. While the republicans may feel that they are winning a couple of tiny battles here and there,  I predict that these underhanded tactics are going to come back to haunt their party. Americans are fickle and irrational at times, but once time passes and things DO improve, we will have forgotten about the fright-wing and their desperate antics. And… in the end, they will be even worse off than they are now. Much to my glee.

As of now, I know that there is no way under the sun I could ever consider voting even one republican into office. So, Republicans, how do go about changing my mind?  What are YOU going to do to better the country I live in? When will the “little people” that you step on to serve your masters begin to matter?

Why do you deserve my vote?

September 10, 2009

And it’s all gone to hell…

Wow! Last night was incredible. I must say, I found the entire Presidential Address to Congress to be IMMENSELY entertaining. I mean, what can I say? How often do you get to see a party behave like petulant children, unable to get their way, and therefore throwing fits DURING a presidential speech?

Oh, there was a’hooting and a’hollering.

Oh, there was a’waving of random signs and pieces of paper in the air.

And to top it off? The phrase heard around the world:

“YOU LIE!”

Boy oh boy! My Jesus, they just could NOT contain themselves!

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Is this the new Republican mantra?

Now, if only they had gotten this fired up when it came to the wasteful spending that is the Iraq war! If only they had gotten that fired up when big businesses and the wealthiest people in the country were getting tax cuts left and right! If only they had gotten this upset when all of the American jobs started to be outsourced to other countries. If only they had gotten that fired up when big businesses started handing out jobs to illegal aliens, that they now want to fight against covering with American insurance. (Good enough to work for slave wages, not good enough to be treated if you get sick.) If only they had gotten that fired up when talks of deregulation began to take root. IF FREAKING ONLY!

But they didn’t.

If they had, MAYBE things would be a lot different. MAYBE, just MAYBE we would be able to actually take care of the American people when they get sick, as they do in other countries. MAYBE we wouldn’t be in this cluster f#ck economically. MAYBE there would be more jobs to go around and unemployment wouldn’t be near 10%. MAYBE we would not have lost thousands of American lives in wars that have served to do nothing more than line the pockets of the uber rich and heartless.

Maybe, just maybe.

Today it was reported that the bonuses that bank give out each year come from overdraft fees and credit card penalties. Yes, dare you spend a buck more than whats available, or you are contributing to the 27 BILLION dollars that is accumulated each year in overdraft fees. Please tell me why these CEO’s deserve my 35 bucks? Why do they deserve yours? What did they do to earn it? As far as I can tell, their entire purpose in life is to nickel and dime us every which way from Sunday. Mmm… I guess that IS worthy of such bonuses. Job well done guys!

But seriously, why is that OK? Why aren’t people picketing their offices and demanding their overdraft fees back? And better yet, how many people in America medical bills could be taken care of with that $27 Billion?

Now, there are people who say that people should learn to balance their check books. Bla bla bla. Yes, I agree that we are each responsible for our own finances. But that still doesn’t tell me why the fat cats at the banks DESERVE to get that money. Should there be a penalty for over drawing your account? Sure, but there should also be laws in place to protect you from these overdraft fees. Laws that will prevent some of the practices that cause even the most financially conservative person to accidentally overdraft their accounts.  My own personal experience involves depositing checks that take days, or maybe even a full week to clear, while I still have bills that are scheduled to be paid. Might I add that they don’t tell you that there will be an hold until AFTER they process the check, and deposit into your account?

While some banks do allow you to set up a savings account to cover any overdrafts, the default should be that the bank DOES NOT cover purchases that you can’t afford. So… if you try to buy a dress that is $150 and all you have is $149 on your account, that purchase should not be approved. Instead of that, the current default is, “sure, we’ll cover your purchase that is a dollar short, but it’s going to cost ya. ” This simply should not be allowed.

At this point you may ask yourself, “but, where would those bankers much deserved (insert eyeroll here) multi-million dollar bonuses come from? How will their children eat??

You will excuse me if I don’t care, right? After all, all of the hoopla and discontent surrounding health care reform and whether or not we can really afford it rings disingenuous when practices such as these are allowed to exist.

What is it with the conservative base that has convinced them that it is a good idea to vote against their interest? Why are they concern with whether or not the private insurance company survives a public option? Do those private insurance companies care about all of the services and treatments that they DENY to people that they do cover? Do they care about the millions of people they turn away due to “high risk?” Do they care about the little person? In my, and millions of others opinion, the answer is a big fat, RESOUNDING, “No!”

So why are the conservative constituents otherwise convinced? And will they ever see the big picture? I’ve seen conservatives without jobs, without health insurance, and who are sick, fighting to stop health care reform. They’ve been convinced that they don’t deserve it.

“Why should I be so lucky? Why do I deserve to live a better life? If only I had worked as hard as the bankers, I  would be able to afford treatment for my breast/colon/prostate/stomache cancer.”

What can I say? Maybe they are right. Let’s face it, if God wanted us to have a better life, He would have made us all Bankers.

To suffer is a way of life.

September 8, 2009

Why should we vote for republicans?

I wonder if the republican party realizes that, just because the democrats got voted into office, it doesn’t mean that everyone who voted for them think that they are perfect. It’s not like we are all happy with everything they have done, or have not done… But, when your only other real option are the republicans… why in the world would any sane, rational individual vote for them?

I hear people talking about voting the democrats out of office in 2010 because they didn’t “do what they promised” and it’s clear that they aren’t really thinking things through. That they are just in the heat of the moment… But, when it comes down to actually voting…  Why would the public, as a whole, trust the party that was at the helm when our economy tanked? Why would we trust a party that has fallen back on their previous tactics of scaring people into voting for them? Why would we trust a party that doesn’t actually put forth any solutions, but simultaneously say NO to anything that is proposed by the opposing party?

These are questions that the republicans should be asking themselves. Why should people who are truly open to voting for either party WANT to vote republican? They aren’t gaining NEW supporters with their fear mongering. They are just pandering to a very loud, minority base. Just because more people may be unhappy with the president than before, it doesn’t mean that those unhappy people are daft enough to support the republican party come election time. Best case scenario, for the republicans, is that they simply don’t vote at all. Worst case scenario, they scare even more people into going out to vote AGAINST them.

It’s early, yet. Not even a full year into Obama’s first term. While the republicans may feel like they are winning a couple of tiny battles here and there,  I predict that these underhanded tactics are going to come back to haunt their party. Americans are fickle and irrational at times, but once time passes and things DO improve, we will have forgotten about the fright-wing and their desperate tactics. And… in the end, they will be even worse off than they are now.

While I’m not a democrat, and more libertarian than anything, at this point in time I could never support the republicans. So, republicans… Please tell me, why do you deserve my vote? What are YOU going to do to better our country?