House Passes BailOut of Insurance Companies Bill

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 3962 (Affordable Health Care for America Act) known here as a bailout for private insurance companies, in what is lauded as a victory for Obama and health care in America.

I’ll be damned. The only worthwhile compromise is that the bill requires insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions and does not include a 5-year bar for legal immigrants.

Here’s my problem with the bill:

  • Mandates that all Americans, including undocumented immigrants, buy health insurance from predatory for-profit insurance companies, given them an additional $70 billion in new annual revenue.
  • Starting 2013, penalizes us if we don’t want to give money to health insurance companies or obtain health care under a public option that might have higher premium rates since it might draw less healthier patients, depending on how strongly the government can battle with private insurers on reimbursement rates.
  • A watered-down public option plan after the loss of a ‘robust public option’ tied to Medicare rates.
  • Provides no coverage for transgender health care
  • Final bill stripped an amendment, according to One Sure Insurance, that would have allowed states to have their own single payer health care (and quite possibly killed private health insurance companies)
  • Prohibits federal funding for women’s reproductive health except in dire circumstances and blocks insurance companies from providing any abortion coverage.

Congratulations, America, the wingnuts would like you to believe that you are ‘socializing medicine’ when you are actually doing ‘defensive healthcare’ and stepping towards more privatized health care on the backs of taxpayers. With a weak public option plan, we will be back here within a decade to argue why the United States needs to catch up with the rest of the industrialised world in providing single payer health care, medicare for all.

Next up is the Senate and then a tough Conference convening to hammer out a compromise that will further weaken the bill.

Morons of the Week – Outraged 'Liberal' Americans

This is the last I will post on the topic.

The POTUS denigrated both immigrants and women in this country within the space of 40 seconds, and most Americans are more concerned over two words from a right-wing idiot that violated decorum. So concerned that they poured a million already into the election bid of the heckler’s opponent, Rob Miller, without even knowing what the candidate is all about.

That’s how rights are lost so easily in this country. People paying attention and giving weight to the wrong things to the point that they end up being on the losing end. What’s the underlying result? More taxpayer dollars spent on eligibility verification that excludes more people, not to mention higher health care insurance premiums because less people are eligible to pay into the system. Bravo.

Why Not an 'Include Everyone' Option?!

Congressperson Joe ‘You Lie’ Wilson was hard hit this week while the POTUS effectively got away with snubbing women and undocumented immigrants in his health care speech.

But even after his re-election opponent, Rob Miller, raised a million due to the outcry and an apology to President Obama, Wilson seems to have won. Today, Democrats Max Baucus and Kent Conrad delivered a more anti-immigrant bill health care bill on a silver platter with eligibility verification that threatens to exclude more than just undocumented immigrants.

John Aravosis at America Blog cannot fathom why Democrats are on the defensive and trying to appease right-wing extremists. He writes:

Why would anyone think that Wilson, or any of the extremists he represents, will support Baucus and Conrad’s plan, regardless of the changes? […]Wilson is holding firm. Perhaps Conrad and Baucus can delete women from the bill too, or gays, or blacks. That might finally get Wilson on board.

And Aravosis is right. Why is the Democrat party pandering to right-wing paranoia in the name of facts?

Cutting through the anti-immigrant noise on health care insurance reform, it really costs more to exclude than include. Lindsay Beyestein at In these Times writes that the more premium-paying members, the cheaper the insurance plan.

Bottom-line: It just makes economic sense to include everyone. Excluding anyone, much less undocumented immigrants, makes little moral or economic sense.

Stop throwing people under the bus. Demand a no-compromise single-payer health care bill that includes everyone.

Obama is a Liar

Crossposted at S4FC and The Sanctuary

It is sad that all our social networks and media blitzes are about how disrespectful Congressperson Joe Wilson was rather than how centrist and inappropriate Barack Obama is with his assertion that all human beings don’t deserve equal access to health care. He has to reiterate twice using the hateful discourse of ‘illegal.’ That’s just an all-new low for a President who once said that we have to take the hate out of the immigration debate.

I wish Joe Wilson was right and Obama was lying about the fact that undocumented immigrants would not be covered. But Obama is a liar. Just not in the way that Joe Wilson meant it. Once upon a time, Barack Obama used to be a proponent of single-payer healthcare — “Everybody in, nobody out.” Alas, that came with an asterick. *Illegals and people without proper government documentation need not apply.

That list also includes citizens:

I am effectively an “illegal immigrant,” since I do not have gov’t papers. Yes, this is because I am trans and a woman. (via @nueva_voz)

If the President had pursued immigration reform before healthcare, we probably wouldn’t be seeing this hateful fear-mongering heckling. Yet, President Obama has continued to pursue the same failed immigration enforcement policies of the Bush-era like 287g that is ripping apart communities of color.

Anything less than single-payer universal health care is a dismal failure when it comes to providing everyone with equal access to health care. Anything without a public option is not close to tolerable. I wish people were as outraged at Obama’s centrist and hateful otherization of human beings as they are at Joe Wilson being an idiot.

One year on … Ode for the broken wrist and the crisis of our healthcare system

It’s one whole year today since the fateful day that someone broke my wrist.

Maybe it is a good thing that I don’t even remember who it was and precisely how it happened. All I was doing is blocking a close range shot and ‘snap.’ The rest is history. A minute after I got off the field writhing in pain, the opposition scored. I should have just let the ball go in, but that is not who I am as a person.

Is it better yet? For the most part. I am a stronger and healthier person today. But I won’t lie and say that it doesn’t hurt or that I can do everything with it. This is life — people write with their toes because they don’t have arms; I should get over it. What I cannot get over is the fact that even with health insurance, there is not much that could have been done.

This is the United States of America–supposedly the most advanced country in the world. But if there is one thing that is as backwards as the immigration system, it is the horrible healthcare infrastructure. 46 million are uninsured with countless others underinsured and President Obama is gutless to the point of retreating from his promise of single-payer healthcare in the face of the insurance lobby. It does not matter that we foot the cost for the uninsured or that our system of healthcare and insurance is worse than most other post-industrial countries. Even Mexico has attempted to implement universal health care, but President Obama and his insurance cohorts would like us to believe that it is not an option.

At least there is one Democrat politician that I can actually relate to sometimes. As a blogger and academic that stands in opposition to unnecessary binaries, I say stop making us think that there are only two options and put single-payer healthcare on the table.