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House Dems: It’s been 126 days, and still no health plan from GOP

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The Politics Don’t Add Up

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(editors note: Coming Soon from 44-D’s Ogenec: “Health Care: A Diatribe in Three Acts– Act TWO”)


Why health care reform will cost more than Congress and Obama say it will.
By John Dickerson– Slate.com

President Obama has said he will not sign a health care reform bill unless it’s paid for. If it doesn’t lower costs, he will suggest spending cuts to make sure the deficit doesn’t grow. That’s a promise he says he will keep. But what about future presidents and members of Congress?

The question is not exactly a hypothetical: Today’s rush to send money to seniors gives us a pretty good idea of the answer. For the first time since 1975, the Social Security Administration has announced, seniors will not receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment in their Social Security benefits. The move makes good policy sense—the formula used by the SSA shows the cost of living has not increased in the past year. But it’s also politically unpopular. That’s why members of Congress and the president are trying to give seniors more money.

When the Congressional Budget Office determined that the Senate finance committee’s health care legislation would not add to the deficit, reform supporters heralded the news. Further, said the CBO, the bill would meet another important Obama priority: It would start to chip away at long-term health care costs. Budget watchdogs were skeptical, though.

Former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin was even more so. “What they’re saying is: ‘Your fantasies add up. I could say to CBO: ‘Hi, I’d like to make 5 million a year and live in a 125-room mansion. Does it work?’ And CBO says ‘yes,’ but that isn’t going to happen.”

The former policy director for the McCain campaign, now with the Manhattan Institute, wasn’t quibbling with the CBO’s math. He just didn’t think future politicians would keep the promises the bill was holding them to. According to one proposal, for example, if health care savings don’t materialize in the coming years, automatic cuts in health care funding will kick in. Holtz-Eakin, not unreasonably, sees this as unlikely. Budget experts also worry that Congress will not reduce payments to providers as scheduled or follow through with planned Medicare cuts.

Read the full story@:


Former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin appeared today on MSNBC discussing these issues:

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Coming Soon from 44-D’s Ogenec: “Health Care: A Diatribe in Three Acts– Act TWO”
Read Act One Here: Health Care: A Diatribe in Three Acts– Act One


Related Story: Growing Approval Of Health Plan – CBS News Video

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Dems Rip Insurance Industry, GOP Over News About CNN’s Alex Castellanos

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Alex Castellanos cnnThe Plum Line/Greg Sargent—As expected, Democrats are jumping on the news today that an on-air CNN commentator doubled as the insurance industry’s ad buyer, broadening the attack on the industry and linking it to the GOP, which also enlisted the help of that same commentator to craft anti-reform talking points.

DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan points out that the CNN commentator, GOP consultant Alex Castellanos, who placed a huge AHIP ad buy, also wrote a memo for the Republican National Committee advising Republicans to paint reform as a menacing government takeover that would destroy Medicare.

Dems argue that Castellanos’ work for AHIP and the GOP shows that they share the goal of killing reform — and that they are united in their determination to stop at nothing to make that happen.

AHIP-logoThe news that Mr. Castellanos is a highly paid consultant for the Insurance Lobby sheds piercing light on the motivations of the Republican party in wholeheartedly adopting a strategy he authored to intentionally delay insurance reform in order to kill it,” Sevugan emailed me.

Whether it’s paying for a supposedly independent report that was purposefully skewed to kill reform or paying hired hands to attack reform on tv while passing themselves off independent commentators, the insurance lobby and their agents in the GOP, have proven that they are willing to say and do anything — including misleading the American people — to protect their record profits,” Sevugan added. “They have zero credibility.”

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CNN’s Frank Donatelli Problem: On-Air Contributor Revealed To Be Paid By GOP, Insurance Industry

Frank Donatelli

Frank Donatelli

A network spokeswoman has confirmed that CNN will soon clarify the conflict of interest Castellanos has in regards to AHIP. However, CNN should note that he has been paid by the RNC, and if he is to continue opining on the health debate, disclosure should be made during every segment in which he appears. Indeed, the policy of full disclosure should extend to other CNN pundits, including Frank Donatelli, a GOP lobbyist who represents Blue Cross Blue Shield.“–Think Progress

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CNN Admits That On-Air Commentator Has Ties To Insurance Industry, Promises Full Disclosure

CNN’s Castellanos Problem: On-Air Contributor Revealed To Be Paid By GOP, Insurance Industry

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Weiner And McCaughey Go Head-To-Head In Health Care Debate

 Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Betsy McCaughey

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Betsy McCaughey

TPM/Rachel Slajda—In a heated and sometimes vitriolic debate Monday night, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) repeatedly called out former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey for lying about health care reform. He said debating her was like “debating a pyromaniac in a straw man factory,” prompting intense and immediate reaction from the audience.

Debate like a man!” hollered one bespectacled, middle-aged man. Another quieted the ensuing shouts with, “This is his speaking time, not yours!

Weiner and McCaughey arguably represent the furthest ends of the health care reform spectrum. Weiner is a progressive Congressman who wants a single-payer, government run health care system. McCaughey, who recently posited that reform may lead to government-mandated euthanasia, helped kill the Clintons’ health care plan in the 90s.

The “Lincoln-Douglas-style debate,” hosted by Democracy Leaders for the 21st Century and held at the NYU Medical Center, lasted nearly two hours. For much of that, the pair seemed engaged in two entirely different debates.

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Betsy McCaughey Gets Pwned by Dylan Ratigan and Rep. Anthony Weiner on Morning Meeting

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BETSY-AND-DYLAN-largeHuffington Post/Jason Linkins—Betsy McCaughey is a famous liar whom the media keep inviting on their programs to continue to lie about health care, instead of banishing her to some wilderness, where she belongs, to lie to woodland creatures. And so, today she ended up on Dylan Ratigan’s Morning Meeting with Representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). There was a brief, mad moment where I thought that this might end well, but it didn’t.

I’m getting used to the tactics McCaughey deploys in situations like this: heavy-duty pretense that she supports health care reform, the Palin-esque answer-a-question-with-an-answer-to-a-question-of-her-liking technique, the ability to quickly provide information and opinion that’s completely beside the point, et cetera. Unfortunately, Ratigan wanted to have a discussion on health care competition and cost containment, and that didn’t dovetail too well with what McCaughey prefers to do in such a debate: set aside all substantive issues so that she can fearmonger about seniors being killed by the government.

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Sorry Betsy, you got pwned.

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Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege…

US-CONGRESS-HEALTH CARE REFORM
a lifelong Republican speaks his mind on health care reform

Editorial by CharlieM (guest contributor) reprinted with permission

This dissertation by the Republican (naturally) Mike Rogers from MI is the biggest bunch of baloney seemily taken from the position papers prepared by the insurance companies. It so distorts the facts in the hope of convincing Joe and Jane Six-pack that the health care as has been offered by insurance companies to the present is perfectly all right. So what if 15% of the U.S. population is uninsured for a variety of reasons such as: unaffordable, denied coverage by the insurance companies, employers refusing to provide coverage, insurance companies overcharging premiums for small business owners, insurance companies denying payment for treatments, inability to benefit from some plans outside your home state, etc., etc., etc. Come on, folks, the insurance companies have had a license to rape and plunder the American public. It’s time to put a heavy bit in the mouths of these uncontrolled horses.

To the best of my knowledge of the House bill, no one is going to lose their coverage or be punished. People will be able to secure coverage if they have currently disqualifying ailments, etc. Try and obtain health insurance right now in River City if you have prostate cancer, breast cancer, etc. My dermatologist tells me he has never known anyone to die from skin cancer (other than melanoma); therefore, I expect a health insurance company might write a policy if you just have skin cancer.

Health Care RallyOne only has to look at Medicare and the military’s health care plans to realize that the federal government CAN and DOES provide excellent health care plans efficiently for about 48 million Americans. How many senior citizens or retired (or even active duty) military are stepping up and demanding that the federal government get out of their lives by eliminating these health care plans? Damned if I know of any – I do know that I surely am not volunteering. That must be because those plans are so inefficient that we are just ignorantly very pleased with these government health care programs. Where does the allegation come from that the House plan “abandons the principles of America?” I always thought Medicare and military medical care plans have been an extremely important part and parcel of “the principles of America” – to provide excellent heath care. I also always thought that the private sector benefits from excellent health care programs because it benefits from a “less sick” work force, i.e., less absenteeism. What am I missing here that the minority party in Congress capitalizes upon to conjure up what appears to me to be inhumane, insensitive, and totally irrational conclusions.

Personal conversations with middle class Canadian and U.K. citizens have provided me first hand information which blatantly refutes the Republican Party’s claims that people are dying from lack of health care in those countries: that people have to wait exceptionally long periods of time for health care; that those people are dissatisfied with their national health care plans, and that they are so dissatisfied they come to the U.S. to secure adequate health care. More hogwash being promulgated by the health care insurance companies in the U.S.A.

health care demoThe Republican Party lately has deserted the American people (other than the very wealthy and corporations) with more and more regularity – be it health care, special interest concerns, or refusal to demand more regulation of providers of services upon which all citizens must depend upon from the stock market to the food industry. Deregulation does not work when American industry thrives on one fundamental – greed. The Republican Party patently labels that as the “free enterprise” engine driven by the “profit motive.” Therefore, there should be no regulation because competition will force the economics to the most proficient state. Hogwash! Teddy Roosevelt (wasn’t he a Republican?) took on the monopolies and busted them. It’s time for the Republicans to once again step forward and bust up the health insurance monopoly. I do not think they have the guts to do that – just listen to their rhetoric – no citizen is ever without health care, they can go to the emergency rooms. Get real. If you haven’t had to use such a facility, be thankful. I waited 8, repeat 8, hours to be seen when I was faced with an emergency condition out of town. Fortunately for the taxpayers in Wichita, Medicare ultimately paid for my emergency room care. For uninsured folks, Wichita’s taxpayers would have paid. This Republican Party idea is more hogwash. It shoves the cost of “emergency room” health care off onto all middle class tax payers – not by choice, either. Somehow that smacks of a “hidden tax” in my book.

Health Care ReformShould “tort reform” be addressed? Absolutely. Just keep in mind, however, that if you are the victim of foreseeable consequence(s) from inept/erroneous medical care, I do believe you should be remunerated. If you are are a young income provider for your family and your income potential is negatively impacted, I do believe you and your family should be made whole for obvious reasons. Everyone deserves to be made whole; however, outrageous monetary awards need to be controlled. Uh oh, how can the deregulatory oriented Republican party suddenly choose to demand regulation of monetary awards made my independent citizens in a jury. My Party’s vacillating policies confuse me. Hasn’t it too often attempted to label such as “flip flopping?” Forgive my very senior citizen memory, I forgot that it only applies to Democrat incumbents/candidates.

As a lifelong Republican, I am disgusted with the irrational, special interest positions taken today by my Party’s incumbents. Unfortunately, money talks in our society, and so do campaign contributions. The health care industry has spent how many millions of dollars to destroy the attempt to revamp our Nation’s existing health care? Please move your heads to one side and get your vision out of the smoke and glare from the mirrors. Our health care program requires immediate restructuring.

Sorry folks, this Republican chooses to support a compulsory national health care plan so all Americans can have adequate health care. Feel free to forward to anyone thinking the House health care bill is a travesty.

Health care is a right, not a privilege!.

The video of Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI) that triggered this editorial is below.

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