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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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Doctors from All 50 States Visit the White House to Support Health Insurance Reform

President Barack Obama speaks to doctors on the health care reform in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009

President Barack Obama speaks to doctors on the health care reform in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009

White House blog—It might seem merely symbolic that there were doctors from all 50 states here at the White House, but it’s symbolic of a deep truth about the health insurance reform debate. As the President said today, “when you cut through all the noise and all the distractions that are out there, I think what’s most telling is that some of the people who are most supportive of reform are the very medical professionals who know the health care system best — the doctors and nurses of America.” He continued:

“These men and women here would not be supporting health insurance reform if they really believed that it would lead to government bureaucrats making decisions that are best left to doctors. They wouldn’t be here today if they believed that reform in any way would damage the very critical and sacred doctor-patient relationship.

Instead, the reason these doctors are here is because they have seen firsthand what’s broken about our health care system. They’ve seen what happens when their patients can’t get the care they need because some insurance company has decided to drop their coverage or water it down. They’ve seen what happens when a patient is forced to pay out of pocket thousands of dollars she doesn’t have for treatments that she desperately needs. They’ve seen what happens when patients don’t come in for regular check-ups or screenings because either their insurance company doesn’t cover it or they can’t afford insurance in the first place. And they’ve seen far too much of time that they want to devote to taking care of patients spent filling out forms and haggling with insurance companies about payments.

So these doctors know what needs to be fixed about our health care system. And they know that health insurance reform will do — that it will go a long way towards making patients healthier and doctors and nurses to be able to perform that — those tasks that are so important to them and led them into medicine in the first place.”

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Television Ad: “Every Day”

President Barack Obama’s campaign organization released a new national television advertisement on Tuesday morning aimed at amplifying the White House’s effort to make doctors and nurses the face of health care reform.


Related Story

John Zogby: Decision Day For Democrats: Poll Shows Path to Healthcare Reform By S. Ward Casscells, MD and John Zogby
Despite suggestions that Americans were either tired of the health care issue or did not consider it to be enough of a priority, we found that people would read the long description of the bill, then wade through 10 amendments. Even after months of off-putting rhetoric by an over-heated, over-publicized few on both sides, Americans do indeed care about this health care debate.
Moreover, they sent a clear message: Only one proposed amendment raises support for the bill to even: malpractice reform. The second biggest boost was from eliminating the individual mandate, and third: adding a public option.

Read More: Here

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Mad as Hell Doctors: Will be in Washington Today

Posted by Audiegrl

mad as hell doctors logo

Press Release—Frustrated with the health care ‘options’ coming out of Washington, D.C., six “Mad as Hell” Oregon physicians are taking an unprecedented road trip across America to lobby Congress for a single-payer health care system. A big part of their plan is to take the entire country with them.

Called a “Care-A-Van,” these road-tripping Oregon physicians will leave in a used motor home from Portland, Oregon on September 8th, inviting doctors and ordinary citizens from other states to join them on their twenty-city tour across the country. Their journey will culminate in a D.C.-based event on September 30th, scheduled to take place on the
steps of Congress. Demonstrating with the doctors will be thousands of fellow ‘Mad as Hell’ single-payer advocates, all adorned with the movement’s new symbol – the white ribbon. Their demand: Single-Payer Now!

Coming to a city near you!

Coming to a city near you!


“We’re mad as hell because our health care system is run by people who profit from illness” says Dr. Paul Hochfeld, lead Mad As Hell Doctor and producer of the documentary Health, Money and Fear. “The rest of the civilized world has test driven single payer and it works. But elected officials in America won’t even allow a discussion.”

“The public option is a trap.” Hochfeld continues. “It sounds very reasonable, but the problem with it, no matter what the final bill looks like, is that it will continue to allow private medical insurance companies to dictate America’s public health policies. And that’s just plain wrong.”

Several national, single-payer advocacy organizations including Physicians for a National Health Program, Health Care Now, Single Payer Action, and even groups like Progressive Democrats of America and Jobs with Justice are supporting the Oregon physicians by setting up Mad as Hell Town Halls across the country in anticipation of their arrival.

“People need to understand what single-payer is–and isn’t,” says Dr. Mike Huntington, a radiologist from Corvallis, Oregon and fellow Mad As Hell Doctor. “It isn’t Socialism, any more than police and fire are Socialism. And it doesn’t require any more money.

Simply put, single-payer is a way to take the current premium payments that go to a thousand different private insurance companies, and redirect them into a single, public fund that insures everyone. That’s all it is. But when we do this, lots of wonderful things happen, not the least of which is to save Americans 500 billion dollars a year starting day one. That’s billion – with a ‘b.’ America needs this information. That’s why we’re taking the tour.”

Click here for their website.

Check out a Mad As Hell Doctor on MSNBC’s The Ed Show

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Breaking News—FBI: Sparkman Was Found Touching Ground, Not Hanging From Tree

Posted by Audiegrl

Bill Sparkman Was a 51-Year-Old Single Father Pursuing Teaching Degree

Bill Sparkman Was a 51-Year-Old Single Father Pursuing Teaching Degree

TPMMuckraker/Zachary Roth—Bill Sparkman, the Census worker found dead in Kentucky recently was not found hanging from a tree, according to an FBI spokesman. Rather, David Beyer told TPMmuckraker, Sparkman’s feet were planted on the ground. A rope around Sparkman’s neck was attached to a tree.

An anonymously sourced AP report said that Sparkman was hanging from a tree, and that he had the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest.

Beyer, a spokesman with the FBI’s Louisville, Kentucky filed office, declined to comment on the accuracy of the “Fed” detail. But he was at pains to ratchet back speculation that Sparkman was killed in an act of anti-government sentiment, saying that investigators had not yet determined even whether the death was a homicide.

Previous reporting “left the impression that [Sparkman] was found strung up in a tree because he was a federal employee,” Beyer said. “At this juncture that’s not accurate.” Beyer added that Sparkman died of asphyxiation.

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Area where census worker died has troubled history @ Associated Press

***Update from TPM: The local coroner has confirmed that the word “Fed” had been written on Bill Sparkman’s chest when he was found dead earlier this month.

Jim Trosper, the Clay County coroner, confirmed the information to TPMmuckraker moments ago, adding that the word appeared to have been written in felt tip marker. He declined to give additional details.

***New AP Update: Witness: Census worker’s hanging body naked, bound

Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, told The Associated Press on Friday that he was among a group of relatives who discovered the body of 51-year-old Bill Sparkman on Sept. 12.

“The only thing he had on was a pair of socks,” Weaver said. “And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.

“And they even had duct tape around his neck. And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder.”

Weaver said he couldn’t tell if the tag was a Census Bureau I.D. He said he didn’t get close enough to read it.

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