Tag Archives: Health Care Reform

Representative Jim McDermott Still Fighting for the People!

Congressman Jim McDermott yesterday held his 17th Annual Potato Festival.  McDermott holds the safest Democratic Congressional seat in the state but that did not stop him from from going after the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Last year’s election swept Democrats across the country out of office, putting them in the minority.

Many of the newcomers were unknown and wound up in office because voters were looking to blame someone for the financial mess the country was in and the personal financial strife many voters were experiencing. That resulted in many Republicans coming into office who the public didn’t really know, as incumbent Democrats suffered the consequences of the lingering recession brought on by the Bush Administration..  Unfortunately many of those in office now don’t understand and don’t care and don’t want to care about what really is needed to help our country and its people.

McDermott cited as one example of the Republicans not understanding,  their focusing on NPR as if that was going to fix the national debt. Issues like defunding NPR and Planned Parenthood are not about dealing with our debt, they are ideological battles the Republicans have been pushing for years.  Republicans in the last Election accused Obama of not focusing on creating jobs. So is trying to defund NPR and Planned Parenthood about creating jobs? No way.

And besides, the cutting of government funding that the Republicans are focusing on will not create jobs.  Removing public money from the economy will in fact cost jobs and increase job loss.

Another example McDermott cited is the Republicans denial of global climate change – something the vast majority of scientists agree upon.  Yet the Republicans in the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House voted that they did not believe in climate change and voted to take away the power of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.  They were voting to support a priority of increasing corporate profits over the ability to protect  the health and welfare of our citizens.

McDermott also talked about the Republican push to repeal the health care law passed last year. This same philosophy that puts profits over the welfare of our citizens is an integral part of the Republican push to repeal the health care law. Republicans ignore the reality that as more and more citizens understand the details of the new health care law they support it. They support the new benefits – like having their children covered until they are 26,and not being denied insurance because of preexisting conditions and stopping insurance companies from dropping patients who develop serious illnesses.

McDermott said citizens want health care security.  He emphasized  that people also want financial security and again noted current Republican efforts to attack the new consumer and financial protections passed by Congress last year.  Rather than trying to increase protections, Republicans are working to  again  deregulate banks and other financial institutions. Republicans are trying to stop efforts to allow consumers from being able to readjust mortgages and not lose their homes.

This Republican hatred of government is insidious and mean spirited to say the least. McDermott’s view is that Republicans are intent on trying to dismantle Government as an agent to help people on anything, whether it be health care, financial protection, social security or consumer protection. Their focus is more on power – their power, than on helping people. They are in their third year of having their top Legislative priority being to get Obama out of office.  It is not about creating jobs or increasing health care coverage or protecting consumers or keeping people in their homes or protecting the environment. It is all about power – Republican power. McDermott equated it to their illusionary view that the White House is their House and Obama is an interloper.

We can only hope that Americans wake up to the true mission of the current crop of Republicans before more damage is done.  Excess corporate profit and greed is a false God that Republicans seem to be worshipping. We need an America that cares about all people, not just a few with lots of money and their desire to have even more.

Unfortunately the Republican political philosophy of trying to dismantle and diminish the Federal government’s role is American society is not one to benefit and protect the people; instead it is one which is ever increasing the role of large corporations and concentrated wealth in running our country for their benefit. We are seeing the result in ever increasing amounts of wealth being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people.

Public Support Growing for Obama’s Health Care Law

An article published in today’s Seattle Times states that supporters of the the health care legislation supported by President Obama and passed by Democrats in Congress now outnumber opponents The Associated Press-GfK poll showed 45% in favor of the legislation to 42% opposed.

The poll found support increased since May among men (from 36 percent to 46 percent), people in their prime working years (from 35 percent to 49 percent among 30- to 49-year-olds) and Republicans (from 8 percent to 17 percent.) The uptick among Republicans comes even as party leaders are calling for the law’s repeal.

The article credits the increased support on the public supporting a number of key provisions of the bill including:

“…coverage for young adults on their parents’ plan until they turn 26; a $250 rebate check for older people with high prescription costs; tax credits for some small businesses that cover their employees; and federal money to train more primary-care doctors and nurses”

Significantly the poll found that the public trusts the Democrats to do a better job of handling health care than Republicans by a margin of 51% to 39% That’s not surprising considering that no Republicans supported the legislation and they made every effort they could to obstruct reform of health care to try to prevent Obama from passing the legislation and having a significant legislative victory.

Republican obstructionist tactics failed and are a sign of the lack of new ideas or an agenda that appeals to Americans interested in solving our countries problems rather than engaging in partisan politics Obama is developing a track record despite the childish tactics of the Republicans who are more intent on trying to get back into power than on dealing with our problems.  Electing naysayers and do nothings just isn’t going to happen. The obstructionist tactics of the Republicans are destined to come back and bite the Republicans at the polls.

Facebook Opposition to McKenna Now Exceeds Opposition to Eyman’s 1033

The Internet is bubbling with outrage at Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna’s partisan decision to try to join Washington State to an effort by 12 other states to overturn the just passed national health reform bill. An indication of the pushback by the public is that the number of people joining the Facebook page Washington Taxpayers OPT OUT of Rob McKenna’s lawsuit  is growing faster than I can type this post.

Just started 2 days ago the number as of 11:54 AM today is at 12,608 and  now exceeds the number of people on another recent surge of FACEBOOK outrage, people opposing Eyman’s I-1033 which went down to a decisive defeat in  November. The Anti-1033 site, No on 1033 has 12,212.

At 12:15 PM (I took a phone call) the anti McKenna lawsuit page now has 12,713.  The number is growing at a rate of 200 to 400 an hour right now.  Add your name to the facebook page by going to Washington Taxpayers OPT OUT of Rob McKenna’s lawsuit.

It’s 12:29 and the nmber is now 12,766.

Rob McKenna has two Facebook pages up.

Rob McKenna the Politician has 1797 fans.  The site Rob McKenna has 3097. Looks like a lot more people don’t like what Rob McKenna is trying to do to right now than want to be his fan or friend.

I think McKenna made a big miscalculation in joining with the Tea Party fanatics and those in the Republican Party of No in opposing health care reform. This can’t be good news for his ambitions to be Governor. At least you now know where McKenna’s real allegiances are after his many year front of trying to be positioned as a consumer advocate representing the public good.  I guess health care for Washington citizens doesn’t rank up there with the potential for corporate dollars from special interests or wanting to befriend Tea Party fanatics or not being able to be independent of the Republican Party of No’s strategy to say no to everything.

12:40 PM  12,821 – still growing
12:48 PM  12,846

posting now

Is Congress Going to Cut Health Care Costs?

Are there serious flaws in the approach Congress is taking on health care?  Business Week estimates that some $700 billion of heath care costs each year are wasted and believes the current reform bills don’t address this problem.   They state that a new Thomson Reuters (TRI) report finds that:

A sum equal to roughly one-third of the nation’s total health-care spending is flushed away on unnecessary treatments, redundant tests, fraud, errors, and myriad other monetary sinkholes that do nothing to improve the nation’s health. Cut that figure by half, and there would be more than enough money to offer top-notch care to every one of America’s 46 million uninsured.

The Business Week article attributes the $700 billion wasted as being the result primarily of the fee-for-service system that pays hospitals and doctors based on the quantity of medical services provided, rather than on the quality of care.  Without fixing this flaw in the way we provide medical care, the article states health care costs over the next 10 years will double to some $5.2 trillion per year or about 21% of the nation’s gross domestic product.

What is interesting about the article is that it is not against health care reform; in fact it’s emphasis is on ideas that can be implemented now by the medical profession without legislation being required. A number of these ideas are ones that consumers and patients and the medical profession should be demanding that action be taken on because it is absurd that we have a health care system that is dysfunctional and outrageously expensive compared to that of other industrialized nations in the world.

Here is a list of their 10 ideas to cut health care costs now:

1.Crack down on fraud and abuse

2. Develop a healthy workforce

3. Coordinate care through family doctors

4.  Make health a community effort

5.  Stop infections in hospitals

6.  Get patients to take their medicine

7.  Discuss options near the end of life

8.  Use insurance to manage chronic disease

9.  Let well-informed patients decide

10.  Apologize to the patient.

Honor Senator Edward Kennedy by Passing Health Care Reform

The best way to honor Edward Kennedy’s life and service to America is to pass health care reform in his name.

Here’s a petition by Wired for Change;

PETITION TO THE SENATE: “Ted Kennedy was a courageous champion for health care reform his entire life. In his honor, name the reform bill that passed Kennedy’s health committee ‘The Kennedy Bill’ — then pass it, and nothing less, through the Senate.”

Click on the link above and add your name to the petition.