Thursday, September 17, 2009

We Know For Whom Max Baucus Is Really Working. What About Our Alaska Senators?

Well, on September 16, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) officially released the "Health care Reform" bill that has been months in the making.

After much hemming and hawing, the "great compromise" that was released by The Gang of Six contains very little that will help the American people... unless you are an insurance or health care company executive or major shareholder.

Naturally, the measure contains no Public Option (that would be socialism!), but instead is a ridiculous pandering to the industries that have donated $3.97 million to Max Baucus's campaign coffers.

Yeah, you read that right. Damned near 4 million simoleans.

So - we know where Baucus is. It's no secret. He's owned by the insurance and health care industries.

For some unknown reason, many Democrats (and I'm not talking about Blue Dogs) believe that by capitulating to the GOP, they'll wind up with a "bipartisan" measure that the Republicans will support... except they won't for it anyway.

So - what's the big deal?

Why the "hurry" on health care (and health insurance) reform?

How about this:

Damn near 45,000 people die every year in America (one every twelve minutes), in large part because they have no health insurance and therefore cannot get good health care.

I didn't make that up.

An analysis released by Harvard Medical School on September 17 said that.

Nevermind Max Baucus.

Alaskans should ask Senator Lisa Murkowski what ever happened to her compassion? Why is she so willing to march lock-step with the GOP on this issue?

While you're at it, ask Senator Mark Begich where he stands. He's already aligned himself with a number of Blue Dogs on other issues, will he go to the mat for a decent health care package?

My advice is to not waste any time asking Congressman Don Young anything. His answers will just make your head hurt.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting Beaten By Your Husband Is A "Pre-Existing Condition." Still Don't Think Some Insurance Reform Is Needed?

In an article in today's Huffington Post, an article by Ryan Grim (no pun intended) points out a little-known and outrageous fact - from the article:

It turns out that in eight states, plus the District of Columbia, getting beaten up by your spouse is a pre-existing condition.

Under the cold logic of the insurance industry, it makes perfect sense: If you are in a marriage with someone who has beaten you in the past, you're more likely to get beaten again than the average person and are therefore more expensive to insure.

In human terms, it's a second punishment for a victim of domestic violence.

In 2006, Democrats tried to end the practice. An amendment introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), now a member of leadership, split the Health Education Labor & Pensions Committee 10-10. The tie meant that the measure failed.

All ten no votes were Republicans, including Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), a member of the "Gang of Six" on the Finance Committee who are hashing out a bipartisan (Health Care Reform) bill (emphasis mine).

If you think Senator Enzi isn't still looking out for his corporate masters during this process, then I have a bridge to sell you.

h/t to Ryan Grim at Huffington Post

Billionaires For Wealthcare

As a followup to the Brave New Films piece, let me introduce a bit of levity into the mix... a bit of "performance art" by Billionaires for Wealthcare.

Note that the Tea Party protesters around them seem to be completely oblivious to the joke.

Keep in mind, however, that most tea partiers are pretty challenged in the "irony" department. For instance, many of them think Stephen Colbert is serious, too.

Maybe the Tea Party enthusiasts just need better "Infromation."

h/t to Matt Osborne

Dying For Profit

The message in this short piece from Brave New Films really needs no further elaboration.
We all know someone (or we may be that someone) who has had to do battle with their health insurance carrier just to get them to provide the coverage they are supposed to provide.

Reform is needed.

h/t to Watergate Summer and Brave New Films

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Sad Part Is That Fox News Takes Them VERY SERIOUSLY.

On Saturday, September 12, Tea Baggers across the nation held rallies. In Washington DC, some "tens of thousands" of people showed up (no, it wasn't from 1 - 2 million, as Conservative talk-show wingnut Michele Malkin claimed, she made that up) waving signs and shouting LOUD NOISES.

From what I could tell, they seemed to be sort of unfocused about exactly what their message is, so I've tried to distill it:

1. They hate President Obama. For a variety of reasons: he's a Communist, he's a Fascist, he's a Socialist, he's an illegal immigrant, he's a racist with a deep-seated hatred of white people, he's a Muslim, he's a secret terrorist... the list goes on ad nauseum.

But from what I can tell, they hate our President mostly because he isn't white.

2. They hate fascism, and they hate socialism, and they don't know that fascism and socialism are very different, opposing concepts.

3. They hate health care reform. Government managed health care is socialism, and will cost too much... but don't touch my mom's Medicare or my VA health benefits!

4. They hate government spending... sort of.
$900+ billion to fight wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? No problem. But NOT ONE DIME to improve the quality of life for Americans!

5. They hate... well, that's pretty much the crux of their message.

They hate

Now, for Teabagger events in Alaska:

As the Anchorage Daily News reports, Alaska had its own 9/12 demonstrators, and 15,ooo 150 or so showed up at the Delaney Park Strip.

The verbatim statements quoted in the article underscore the glorification of ignorance, and you can read the short article yourself.

But there is one person quoted whose Wacky™ "Birther" statement actually bothers me, so I must include it:
"(Obama) is a fake, he is an illegal alien, he is a fraud. Barack Obama, where is the birth certificate!" event speaker Bob Bird, last year's Alaskan Independence Party candidate for U.S. Senate, said to scattered cheers from those gathered.
That statement from Mr. Bird truly disturbs me.

Why should Bird's LOUD NOISES bother me any more than the statements of any other "Birther" wack-job do?

The article didn't mention the fact that Bob Bird teaches at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska, and has been teaching there for many years.

He teaches U.S. History and World History, and Government.

THAT'S why it bothers me.
Note: I've been informed by a usually reliable source that Bob Bird has recently retired... yet, he is still listed as a Government and history teacher on the Nikiski High School website. Until I have confirmation, the above will remain unchanged.
h/t to Mudflats, Shannyn Moore, and Dennis Zaki for the image.