Friday, July 31, 2009

Health Care Roulette

There is a lot of buzz about health care these days.
Blue Dog Democrats- Dems behaving like Republicans.
The GOP & their same antics.... only help the rich & the "I got mine" mentality.

Deals & bargains & what sounds like the trend is to take the best & essential components,  right down the flusher.

But the thing that has me rankled, pissed off & steaming mad- is the money.
That and the total lack of ethics.

Senator                                         Lifetime contributions from Insurance/Pharma
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)--------- $1,203,205
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)------- $206,297
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)--------- $442,165
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)-----------  $342,228
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)------- $702,595
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)------ $161,706

                          TOTAL: $3,058,256

Over Three million dollars from Insurance & Pharma. 
Don't tell me these people are not going to be swayed on how to vote by all that money. 

It is not ethical. 
It is clearly a conflict of interest. 
It should not be tolerated. 

We need to insist they give back the money or get off the committee. 
No future promises of contributions either. 

We don't have a health care system, and even the process is sick. 

I can't even begin to express my outrage & anger that this is being allowed. 
It is not just that they are on the take, or that is being tolerated & all that dirty money is public knowledge.....
but they are compromising one of the most important things to "We the People"- our ability to be healthy, and get proper health care. 

In other health news.....
39 people died  of Swine flu, the week of July 24
There were 3154 new cases in one week's time. 

Total US Swine Flu #'s

43,771 Confirmed cases/ 302 Deaths

July 24, 2009 is the last day that CDC is providing individual confirmed and probable cases of novel H1N1 influenza. CDC will report the total number of hospitalizations and deaths each week, and continue to use its traditional surveillance systems to track the progress of the novel H1N1 flu outbreak. For more information about CDC’s novel H1N1 influenza surveillance system, see Questions & Answers About CDC's Novel H1N1 Influenza Surveillance.


enigma4ever said...

great post....
sadly I don't know what will happen...

this is a very bumpy ride..fuck the bluedogs..and the repugs...

Fran said...

It's the money AND the fact they are playing this like a damned Chess game & WE are the pawns.

The playing field is tipped-- these folks probably never had to experience the dark side of America's Uninsured.
It's all theoretical to them.
Just a bargaining chip.

If their own kid was the one being denied coverage, and or access, this topic would be at a fevered pitch.

We have to step up & put on some specific pressure.
Literally, our lives are at stake.

D.K. Raed said...

My own Blue Dog Dem, UT Rep Jim Matheson, is no piker in receiving health industry contributions. From 2000-2008, he received $765K. Now he's on the House Energy/Commerce committee and Health Care subcommittee where is he is PROUD of stopping any progress on health care for all. It plays so well with the majority of his constituents (repubs who hold their nose, having to overlook that nominal "D" by his name, at election time). It's the same for all Blue Dogs.

Still, Matheson is a piker compared to UT Senator Orrin Hatch, who received $5.5Million from the health industry from 2000-2008. $1M alone from the private health insurance industry.

Dirty money, for sure.

ps, total of 5 people in Clark County (Las Vegas, NV) have died to date from swine flu, 3 just in July. only 2 had "other medical issues". 2 were under age 35. 2 between 35-65. 1 over age 65. But not to worry! I heard Glenn Beck this week saying all we need to do is get someone who currently has swine flu to cough on us RIGHT NOW! His guest, who had written a book about the 1918-pandemic, was afraid to outright contradict him ... that is state of nutcase passing for medical info being spewed at fux.

nonnie9999 said...

i think people need to line the walls of congress with pictures of people who have died, because they had no health insurance or crappy insurance, while the congresscritters dined with insurance lobbyists. logic doesn't work. they have no empathy. maybe embarrassment and shame will make a dent.

Fran said...

If I were in charge here is how I would run this:

• No contributions past present or future ( from ins/medical/big pharma) in order to qualify to be on the committee. Either give back the money or get off the committee.
This is an ethics violation.

• All of Congress, including the President will have the exact same Health care policy that the people wind up with.
No more us & them. Whatever they decide upon, they also MUST live with.
Wooooo! Can you image the clamor & chaos that would bring???

Wow! Hatch is quite the whore for cash!
The Government is more like a Maffia ring, on the take than a functioning democracy or vague resemblance of one. (I know many would argue it's not been a democracy for quite some time).

The Swine flu situation is scary as hell.
We've been having a steady average of about 40 people a week dying in the US alone.
Canada is seeing a Swine Flu surge, and S. America is heading into flu season.

I'm not quite sure how the CDC will relay these numbers from here forward.
Why are they going lax while the flu is going strong? The WHO last week said it was because there were too many cases to keep up with.
That is their reasoning for taking it down several notches.

It has not been reported much in the news other than chatter about Vaccine, and pregnant women will be top priority & young kids.... but some are questioning if they have the safety aspect worked out & if kids would be guinea pigs/ test subjects.
Theoretically your child could die either way.

They don't use the word Pandemic much, but they sure do seem to be quietly scurrying to get a vaccine ready by fall/flu season.

The whole thing is quite scary to me.

We do get lots of warnings & advisories @ work to still consider it threat & keep up the heightened hygine.

As for Glenn Beck.... I want HIM to be first in line for his medical theory. Expose him to active Swine flu & see if he lives.
Hey! If he's gonna recommend that to other people, let him do the demo. Fair enough.

Fran said...

nonnie~ the wall of shame is not a bad idea.
I also like they must give up their policies & get the same thing everyone else gets.
Pull the plug on their Cadillac policies.....
In a perfect world.

Dada said...

Fran: Thanks for posting that nice little chart delineating the 6 largest recipients (er, health care whores) of contributions from insurance/pharmas.

I deeply suspect the time for writing letters and signing meaningless petitions (exercises in futility, both of which go largely unread by their intended reicpients) is ended. And what does that usually get us? The best computer-bot generated responses to a constituent's sincerest letter of concern from his senator or rep that tainted money can buy?

No, it's past the time for unread letters and ignored petitions. It's time to stick something far more demanding of their attention up the noses of our senators and reps "representing our best interests."

Fran said...

Up their noses, eh?
That might prove difficult to do, seeing those noses seem to be up the asses of the Ins & Pharma cash cows.

I like the idea of them having to change their Ins policies to the same as what the people get.

Wow! They would be fighting tooth & nail to demand the best.

So how would your Revolution play out?

Dada said...

OK Fran, sorry you beat me to a response to my last night's comment. I was hoping to get in here and temper it a bit before you so tactfully responded. [grin]

I had thought about deleting it but decided, "No, I put it out there, people have read it and I've caught some flack as a result, let it stand." (More on the "noses" in a bit.)

But my comment was born from the endless frustration at the seemingly misplaced loyalty of our reps to special interests over those -- their constituents -- who sent them to DC.

The total health care amounts given our senators -- to include our president makes my outrage unjustified. It's obvious their only representing those who pay them, not with mere contributions but, should they do their "jobs" well enough, with perhaps lucrative post-government jobs should the electorate ever get mad enough to throw their asses out of office.

And I regret if I've ired anyone sending letters to DC or signing petitions -- such as Mrs. Dada to name just one. (And, yes, I confess, I am one who participates in such rituals as well on issues I feel really impassioned about.)

But in this morning's e-mail was a computer generated response to Mrs. Dada's concerns on health care reform in that it seems to overlook single payer or public option. It was from one of our own reps, senator Hutchinson, saying "nationalized health care is not the answer." She doesn't bother to explain why, but I think, looking at the website referenced above, Hutchinson could probably give us 1,345,238 paid for reasons why not.

Hutchinson, however, does say tax breaks "should be available to those who purchase health insurance from the individual market." I'm sure this will see millions of uninsured, unemployed, and low wage Americans rushing out to buy health coverage suddenly made affordable to them by tax breaks on their IRS returns showing no, or subsistence level, incomes.

And, hence, as a result of a similar comment made elsewhere, I have been labeled "one who sits at my computer and puts everybody and everything down." (Which brought to my mind much introspection upon reading that: Am I -- to dust off the old Spiro Agnew alliteration, a "nattering naboob of negativism"? And the answer would be, "Yeh, probably."

It may be extremely difficult to get to the noses of our "gov't employees" seeing where they seem to be as you so eloquently pointed out, Fran.

As one of my critics suggested, Congress people -- being on recess this month -- could be confronted with extremely large masses of constituents anywhere they (dare) appear. But that's not likely to happen now, is it?

Mass demonstrations instilling a tad more respect (fear?) of we the people would be nice. Also, unlikely. (We tried some of that pre-Iraq war to no avail.)

Lacking those displays of distraught Americans at the growing deterioration of the state of the nation as evidenced by their own personal circumstances, I'm not sure how you get up those noses. But I suspect the longer we just let it fester, the more violent could be the outplay when things finally erupt. (As the extreme right is fomenting at present.)

Dada ~ with apologies to any my emotional boiling-over frustrations may have offended.

Fran said...

Dada~ As far as I'm concerned, there is no need for apology. The gloves are off on this topic (or need to be). This is not like infrastructure project, or allocations for so-called "pork projects", we are talking about health care & access to it, for millions of people.
The problem is the whole deal is shy high out of proportion. The $2,500 tax rebate concept, for me (actual cost @ the pharmacy), would not cover ONE prescription. Just the fact one prescription costs $300 for 1 month's supply is a whole 'nuther post.
The point is, they are not realistic.
An average surgery runs $15,000 to $25,000
that little tax rebate does not even come close.
Medical bankruptcy is a huge issue in this country.
If someone has a serious disease or complex medical issue- ie chronic condition, they are left out.
What we pay to have private insurance is all going to FOR PROFIT companies- and the name of their game is to boost their profits, and the way they do it is to find ways to deny or limit care.
They have their own conflict of interest.

As long as their OWN well being is not at stake.
Meaning they have the deluxe policies, and that is secured..... then it has come down to a cash flow frenzy- or more crudely put.... their noses up the asses of the profiteers (hey YOU brought up the nose analogy, I suppose I could have said "in the sand" and been more eloquent about it.... but I was feeling snarky, and nothing else is eloquent about this situation.)

I bet every one of us can name a handful of people who are uninsured.
I even know of a co worker who buys insurance for her & her College age daughter-- but to afford it she claimed bankruptcy.

Not enough money to pay for the basics, & health insurance. These are people living in modest houses, driving funky old cars- not living beyond their means.

So maybe we do need a revolution.
But I understand the frustration- as one of those people who did take to the streets in Protest of the Iraq war & had friends arrested in protest- I've marched, vigiled, rallied, written, etc etc ad nauseum, to no avail.
The funds kept flowing & keep flowing to the tune of $893 billion for wars.

Cut the damned war budget & afford health care.
There is Change I can believe in.

Dada said...

Thanks Fran -- "As far as I'm concerned, there is no need for apology.," or we might not have gotten your last comment above.

Apologies (? -- "What, again?!") for the above hot link in my previous comment that isn't. I'll try it again, if it doesn't work here, the complete list of whores is at:

Fran said...

Holy Moley!

So many whores on the take & on the list is goes on for 2 pages???

I came across Bob Packwood's name (the fallen Senator from Oregon-- he was having inappropriate sexual behavior back before it was a weekly trend for the GOP).

Then I tweaked it to show 2008 & 2010 #-s.

It's even worse than I thought.

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