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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
balmora
Liberals = feel good solutions that don't work
03:07 AM on 07/11/2011
By 2014 the Affordable Care Act will have been repealed.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Jimmy B
Atheism is a non-prophet organization
08:07 AM on 07/11/2011
And replaced with universal care for everyone.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
doris french
Technically we are beyond survival?
02:57 AM on 07/11/2011
Unless you are a woman and need an abortion of course.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Marcospinelli
an old liberal Democrat, a 'New Deal'-Democrat
03:57 AM on 07/11/2011
That's another point about Obama's lousy deal-making, and compromising.  Democrats have been more than willing to sell out their base groups's interests, but particularly women's and the pro-choice movement's. And Obama's been particularly 'oily' (slippery) on these issues. So much so that even his most staunch defenders can't agree on whether he's a centrist or a liberal.  [Psssst, the debate is over: "Privately, Obama describes himself as a BlueDog Democrat", which means he might as well re-register as a Republican.]

One example of how Democrats and Obama are real free and easy "compromising away" a base group's interests is Obama's healthcare legislation which opens the door to ending insurance coverage of all abortions).  Even after we on the left have compromised, after we have deals, Republicans renege and Democrats still cave some more.  One example of that is the Capps amendment.  That was the compromise AGREEMENT on abortion in Obama's healthcare legislation that Republicans reneged on, and in the end, with the StupakAmendment and Obama's executive order, Obama and Democrats have put us firmly on the path of ending all insurance coverage for abortions.  More here.

Fairly soon, Roe and overturning it is going to be moot with all that Republicans have managed to get Democrats to "compromise" on, making getting an abortlon impossible.  Why bother overturning Roe, outlawing abortion, when you've made it virtually impossible to obtain one?

We wouldn't be down to this horrifying situation where you can't get an abortlon in 92 percent of the counties in the US (and 3 states in the country have only one abortion clinic, and other states heavily restrict a woman's access to abortion, and ban abortions in clinics or any facility that receives public funds, and ban abortion counseling and clinic recommendations) if Democrats and Obama weren't so breezy with women's hard-fought for rights.

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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Marcospinelli
an old liberal Democrat, a 'New Deal'-Democrat
03:57 AM on 07/11/2011
The fact is that Republicans can't do anything without Democrats crossing over the aisle.  Faux Democrats are the problem.  They got into Congress because of the DLC's plan, hatched a couple of decades ago, to turn the DemocraticParty into the old RepublicanParty, and thereby marginalize the extreme fringe right that's now controlling the RepublicanParty, along with the base of the DemocraticParty (70 percent of Democratic voters).  Then they'd "govern the country for 100 years".

Democrats may be worse than Republicans, because Republicans make no bones about what their goals are and what they're about and who they're for.  Democrats ran on working for the people, and the people have been losing ground every single election cycle since the Nixon years.

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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
yorkiemum
Women will remember in the Mid-terms.
02:24 AM on 07/11/2011
Secretary Sebelius, I want the same health insurance that you have, at the same price.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
orcinous
Close Guantanamo, pass a jobs bill, end the drones
01:51 AM on 07/11/2011
We can have better health care choices when we get rid of insurance companies. The gov gave them the right to exist the gov can take the right away. Do it now.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
balmora
Liberals = feel good solutions that don't work
03:06 AM on 07/11/2011
What rights are you talking about? When did the government grant rights to insurance companies?
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wwilcox
Laws are made by people, not gods.
09:33 AM on 07/11/2011
Citizens United. They are now persons with civil rights.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
orcinous
Close Guantanamo, pass a jobs bill, end the drones
05:46 AM on 07/17/2011
In the early 70's Nixon granted medical insurance companies to exist. Health care used to be a pay as you go system until they came around. They jacked the cost up so it would be almost mandatory to get insurance. Insurance comapnies granted heart doctors 50,000 for heart surgery to make it expensive so everyone would be forced to get insurance, no insurance, you either cough up 50,000 or you die. Thailand is a pay as you go plan, I paid 1500 for a surgery and 4 nights in the hospital. Not bad compared to US where I paid (insurance paid) 25,000 for a similar surgery and just one night in the hospital...something is wrong here.
01:38 AM on 07/11/2011
There are no fair choices. You settle for what your company gives you. The deductibles are out of control! It's sad that the health Buisness is not the people getting better Buisness!
10:45 AM on 07/11/2011
You are right! There are no fair choices, other than my employer can choose plan A that costs $850 a month with a 5K deductable or plan B at $950 a month but with 2.5K deductible. There is no plan C or D worthy of the name.

This is per person. Per family is $2400 a month.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Marcospinelli
an old liberal Democrat, a 'New Deal'-Democrat
01:34 AM on 07/11/2011
Dr. Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician from Maryland who volunteers for Physicians for a National Health Program, knows what it is like to challenge the corporate leviathan. She was blacklisted by the corporate media. She was locked out of the debate on health care reform by the Democratic Party and liberal organizations such as MoveOn. She was abandoned by those in Congress who had once backed calls for a rational health care policy. And when she and seven other activists demanded that the argument for universal health care be considered at the hearings held by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, they were forcibly removed from the hearing room. 

“The reform process exposed how broken our system is,” Flowers said when we spoke a few days ago. “The health reform debate was never an actual debate. Those in power were very reluctant to have single-payer advocates testify or come to the table. They would not seriously consider our proposal because it was based on evidence of what works. And they did not want this evidence placed before the public. They needed the reform to be based on what they thought was politically feasible and acceptable to the industries that fund their campaigns.” 

“There was nobody in the House or the Senate who held fast on universal health care,” she lamented. “Sen. [Bernie] Sanders from Vermont introduced a single-payer bill, S703. He introduced an amendment that would have substituted S703 for what the Senate was putting together. We had to push pretty hard to get that to the Senate floor, but in the end he was forced by the leadership to withdraw it. He was our strongest person. In the House we saw Chairman John Conyers, who is the lead sponsor for the House single-payer bill, give up pushing for single-payer very early in the process in 2009. Dennis Kucinich pushed to get an amendment that would help give states the ability to pass single-payer. He was not successful in getting that kept in the final House bill. He held out for the longest, but in the end he caved.”

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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Marcospinelli
an old liberal Democrat, a 'New Deal'-Democrat
01:37 AM on 07/11/2011
“You can’t effect change from the inside,” Flowers has concluded. “We have a huge imbalance of power. Until we have a shift in power we won’t get effective change in any area, whether financial, climate, you name it. With the wealth inequalities, with the road we are headed down, we face serious problems. Those who work and advocate for social and economic justice have to now join together. We have to be independent of political parties and the major funders. The revolution will not be funded. This is very true.”

“Those who are working for effective change are not going to get foundation dollars,” she stated. “Once a foundation or a wealthy individual agrees to give money they control how that money is used. You have to report to them how you spend that money. They control what you can and cannot do. Robert Wood Johnson [the foundation], for example, funds many public health departments. They fund groups that advocate for health care reform, but those groups are not allowed to pursue or talk about single-payer. Robert Wood Johnson only supports work that is done to create what they call public/private partnership. And we know this is totally ineffective. We tried this before. It is allowing private insurers to exist but developing programs to fill the gaps. Robert Wood Johnson actually works against a single-payer health care system. The Health Care for America Now coalition was another example. It only supported what the Democrats supported.

There are a lot of activist groups controlled by the Democratic Party, including Families USA and MoveOn. MoveOn is a very good example. If you look at polls of Democrats on single-payer, about 80 percent support it. But at MoveOn meetings, which is made up mostly of Democrats, when people raised the idea of working for single-payer they were told by MoveOn leaders that the organization was not doing that. And this took place while the Democrats were busy selling out women’s rights, immigrant rights to health care and abandoning the public option. Yet all these groups continued to work for the bill. They argued, in the end, that the health care bill had to be supported because it was not really about health care. It was about the viability of President Obama and the Democratic Party. This is why, in the end, we had to pass it.”


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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Marcospinelli
an old liberal Democrat, a 'New Deal'-Democrat
01:41 AM on 07/11/2011
“The Democrats & Republicans give the illusion that there are differences between them,” said Flowers. “This keeps the public divided. It weakens opposition. We fight over whether a Democrat or a Republican will get elected. We vote for the lesser evil, but meanwhile the policies the two parties enact aren't significantly different. There were no Democrats willing to hold the line on SinglePayer. Not one. I don’t see this changing until we radically shift the balance of power by creating a larger & broader social movement.”

The corporate control of every aspect of American life is mirrored in the corporate control of healthcare. And there are no barriers to prevent corporate domination of every sector of our lives.

“We're at a crisis,” Flowers said. “Healthcare providers, particularly those in primary care, are finding it very difficult to sustain an independent practice. We're seeing greater corporatization of our healthcare. Practices are being taken over by these large corporations. You've absolutely no voice when it comes to dealing with InsuranceCompanies. They tell you what your reimbursements will be. They make it incredibly difficult & complex to get reimbursed. The rules are arbitrary & change frequently.”

“This new legislation doesn't change any of that.  It doesn't make it easier for doctors. It adds more administrative complexity. We're going to continue to have a shortage of doctors. As the new law rolls out they're giving waivers as the provisions kick in because corporations like McDonald’s say they can’t comply. Insurance companies such as WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Cigna & Humana that were mandated to sell new policies to children with preexisting conditions announced they weren't going to do it. They said they were going to stop selling new policies to children. So they got waivers from the ObamaAdministration allowing them to charge higher premiums. Healthcare costs are going to rise faster.

The CenterForMedicare & MedicaidServices estimated that after the legislation passed, our healthcare costs would rise more steeply than if we'd done nothing. The CensusBureau reports that the number of uninsured in the US jumped 10 percent to 51 million people in 2009. About 5.8 million were able to go on public programs, but 1/3 of our population under the age of 65 was uninsured for some portion of 2009. The NationalHealthInsuranceSurvey estimates that we now have 58 or 59 million uninsured. And the trend is toward underinsurance. These faulty insurance products leave people financially vulnerable if they have a serious accident or illness. They also have financial barriers to care. Co-pays & deductibles cause people to delay or avoid getting the care they need. And all these trends will worsen.”
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/power_and_the_tiny_acts_of_rebellion_20101122/
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02:40 AM on 07/11/2011
Of course Dr. Flowers remarks are true, and most thinking people agree. A universal single payer health plan would be the ideal. Being a retired allied health professional I am very familiar with our terrible system as compared to other Western Industrialized nations. I never understood why America decades ago couldn't sift through what works abroad and fashion a system that would fit the population here in the U.S.

All the above words are fine, but look at our partisenship, look at the shameful hostility President Obama gets at every turn. Also, with our system all bills start in the House, move to the Senate, and then are signed by the president. Those three steps during the health insurance reform debate were filibusted, delayed, and never in a million years would a single payer ever have passed under these circumstances.

President Obama made a brilliant move, he gave us a start on health insurance reform. If we nurture it, decades from now it can evolve into a single payer system. Yes, I say decades, because this is a slow a process, especially since the faction against it seems to be so strong.
12:51 AM on 07/11/2011
Really? A competitive marketplace? So did you end the anti-trust exemption that US health insurance corporations have? No. So then it's not competitive and the Democrats just forced us to buy monopoly controlled insurance with NO COST controls.
10:49 AM on 07/11/2011
It already a monopoly. And as far as costs they don't want all your money just most of it.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
brutalefrank
revenue, revenue wherefore art thou oh revenue.
12:21 AM on 07/11/2011
The market wouldn't be treacherous for me or any other American if we had a Medicare style, fully funded government program, and not one that forces me to buy health care from a for profit company.
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OneTop
Uh, is that a beer hall?
12:17 AM on 07/11/2011
"Giving Americans Better Health Insurance Choices"

Yes ... health Insurance is the answer.

Sheesh ........ all this does is make an Industry that provides 0, zero, nada, zilch, nothing to the delivery of health care more money .... for nothing.

Then again, it does add to the amount the Nation spends to get to No. 1 in spending for No . 37 results.

Pathetic ..........
12:08 AM on 07/11/2011
Dear Secretary Sebelius: Check out the plans available in New York State for sole proprietorships. And you have faith that in 2014, suddenly, we will have choices? Why? Are the same cartel of companies going to decide to undercut themselves beginning in 2014? Why, exactly, would they do that?
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
brutalefrank
revenue, revenue wherefore art thou oh revenue.
12:24 AM on 07/11/2011
In NY, the cheapest plan is the bridge plan, just over $400.00. Of course there is the Catch-22.
11:59 PM on 07/10/2011
How about:

"Giving Americans Better Health Care." ??

Insurance companies are the main barrier between those needing health care and the excellent health care that is available only to those who can afford the insurance premiums.
11:14 PM on 07/10/2011
Zero comments indicates that what the point is all about, there are no choices. The article is about politics not choices.
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Democrat in the South
Empathy, the most important word
12:03 AM on 07/11/2011
What's the difference? Sounds like choices to me. It was politics that provided the "choice".