How Floriduh Just May Take Our Country Down, AGAIN.

Max Baucus said yesterday that “We have the votes, it can pass the Senate.” and everyone is talking about only 59 Dems. Well….I have a possible clue. Senator Mel Martinez of Floriduh recently resigned and his seat was filled by Republican Governor Charlie Crist’s ex-cheif of staff, George LeMieux. He was sworn in on last Thursday. LeMieux is place holding for Gov. Crist who will be running for that Senate seat next year, and will not be running himself.


Health care: LeMieux praised President Obama’s call for insurance exchanges but said the overall cost, about $900 billion over a decade, was troubling and avoided answering a question about a government-run insurance plan, which is abhorred by Republicans.

But in our own Friday Sun-Sentinel there was an article headlined “LeMieux backs key Obama proposal after swearing in” by William E. Gibson. I have the actual paper but can’t find the article online. But what it says is he has a willingness to reach across the aisle, thought the exchange idea was like Charlie’s Cover Floriduh! Plan (find an interesting review of it here ) , didn’t know if he would support a government supervised insurance plan to compete and was concerned about cost going over $900B.

It’s just a thought, but amazingly possible since LeMieux will not be running for anything next year and is beyond corrupt. And the Baucus bill came in at $880B. This could be the 60th vote Max says he has that’s flying under everyone’s radar.

Would anyone be surprised if it just might be Floriduh, AGAIN, that takes down this country?

Such a Deal! KILL IT NOW before it’s law (if it’s even legal!).

So, Congress has decided that you can afford to have at leat 13% of your income taken to pay for private health insurance (never mind auto, home,etc.). You can count on the coverage for that 13% being basic (bottom) tier “junk insurance” that leaves you underinsured, and certainly not the comprehensive coverage tier at the top. Add to that, only a 65% reimbursement rate… you pay 35% of ALL costs. And that’s just to start. Wait a couple years for the “necessary increase” lobbying to begin.

Who on earth would support that kind of deal??? (besides our elected “representatives”)

If Business Week,(“The Insurance Companies Have Already Won” , page 5 is really sick ) a pro-business publication, says it smells to high heaven, it HAS to give you pause. And we’re not even touching on the back door big pharma, AMA, etc., deals. This is corrupt beyond human comprehension.

Okay, 13% of income off the top is quite a hit but a little less than what some, not all, people that currently have insurance pay now. But what about the people that have no insurance because they already can’t afford it? That was how this all started to begin with. Then you should consider that the recommended maximum percentage of income you’re supposed to dedicate to shelter is 33%. Add those together and 46% of your income is gone before assorted taxes (property, sales, etc.), food, gas, other required insurance (home, auto,etc), car payments, clothing, auto repairs, home repairs & improvements, electricity, water, cable, internet, phone, credit cards, savings (hahaha), etc. Then count deductibles PLUS 35% of ALL costs. Paid mandatorily, under penalty of law & the IRS. And everyone in America is okay with this??? Probably not, but they’ve had no idea (as I keep saying) what they’ve been fighting for. This is not healthcare reform. This is legislated, mandated, financial mass suicide of a nation already on life-support.

TRUE single-payer, which is comprehensive, is estimated at 2.3-3% in the form of an across the board payroll tax. Which means 5% by the time congress would get done with it. No deductibles, coverage tiers, employer mandates or cost sharing. If you breathe…you’re completely covered….DUH! You can go to any doctor you want because EVERY DOCTOR IN AMERICA WOULD BE PARTICIPATING. The most expensive level of payroll tax for single payer in any other nation is 7%. Still half the price of what’s being proposed by “our” congress and it’s not even comprehensive. Do you think maybe that’s because private for-profit insurance companies are involved here? Could that be it?

Since it has been made abundantly clear that they have no problem financially destroying us, we should have no qualms with removing them. Both the for-profit insurance interests and their legislators. These “representatives” are certainly not ours.

Think for a second what that extra 8+% savings could do, being recirculated through the economy. To say nothing of the $350-400 billion in admistrative cost savings from the status quo by streamlining the payment mechanism from all sorts of different companies to single payer/Medicare-for-All. Even better…our businesses would not be weighed down with health insurance reponsibilites or penalties, which would be HUGE. They could hire more people…who would get paychecks and spend them, driving the economy forward (and those paychecks also generate more tax revenue) and be able to compete again with industry from other countries….if only we weren’t the “uniquely American” morons of the planet.

Instead, with a little help from the scumbags (I’m sorry, I meant corporations) and Saint Obama, we Democrats have convinced ourselves we can’t have it because it would be too “disruptive”. Nevermind that every other civilized nation in the world had the same “system” of private insurance before and still mananged to survive the “disruption” of switching to single payer so that their citizens and businesses could survive. But we’re fighting for a “reform” that is nothing but the privledge of paying Big Insurance en masse. WHY???? We don’t need to worry about the teabaggers, we ( dems) are the ones truly sabotaging our futures by supporting this “reform” that benefits no one but the Medical-Insurance-Pharmaceutical Complex and silencing members of our own party that wish to fight for the civil/human right to healthcare.

“Make a law, make a business”—Catherine Austin Fitts

I’m now given to wonder, if this “reform” passes and it passes without a functioning national “public option” of any sort, is this constitutional?

And will tort reform, being included in this vile, stinking pile of rotted, maggot-infested ethics masquerading as “reform” , somehow prevent a massive lawsuit based on constitutionality?

There is not a single law in existance that mandatorily requires, under penalty of law and/or IRS penalties no less, that a product be purchased from a private business without any alternative choice. Auto insurance? Not if you don’t own a car. Homeowner’s? Not if you don’t have a mortgage. Make no mistake, this will be a tax mandatorily payable to private industry. I believe that is illegal. It has to be. If it wasn’t, the private interest sector would have already pulled this.

While I am NOT in any way a supporter of “the public option” because I feel it is a useless red herring being used to herd the masses into this horrendous corporate rape of our nation’s individuals and businesses, it does seem to me that the only thing that would make this actually legal and enforceable is if there was a FUNCTIONING, national, public option (it has already been explained why the option, the way it is written, cannot actually be implemented, chicken & egg and“public-option”-was-sold/ ,under “Put Yourself in the Public Option Director’s Shoes” and also ) available in every state and every “market”. Which, by the way, President Obama didn’t say it would be…or that it would happen at all. In fact, he said if it existed, it would only handle 5% of the population and would possibly be only available in markets where there was an overwhelming monopoly.

“The law allows what honor forbids.”—Rita Mae Brown

If any form of the “public option” (or co-ops, which will be presented to us as a form of “public insurance”!) survives, it will survive in name only as a legal tool to to make this mortally destructive “reform” legally enforceable. That very same option everyone begged for may just be what nails us to the wall.

I say ENOUGH! Quit screwing around with “hoping” and official OFA and supporting the “mainstream” Democratic Party’s proscribed posistions. They DO NOT have our best interests in mind.

If you’re going to fight for something, fight to support HR 676, the single payer/Medicare for All amendment. It’s an actual proven answer and not a “uniquely American” corrupted theory.

But first and foremost fight to kill this horrific atrocity being called “reform” before it can become law. It is insanely corrupt and mortally dangerous to the future of our citizens and businesses. If we can prevent this incarnation from becoming a reality, then we can come back and push again for a more sensible system after mid-terms. If we can’t kill it now, we’re stuck with it for at least two major election cycles. An enormous amount of damage can be wreaked between now and 2016.

“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” — Winston Churchill

“Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing…after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”—Winston Churchill





Pay Attention to what IS (and isn’t) actually in this “Reform”

I pose that it is the obedient “mainstream” dems that are obstructing any meaningful reform efforts by supporting what could only be described as a Robber Baron’s wet dream that abandons any pretense of attempting to solve the real issues the concept of “reform” was supposed to address. Operating cost savings (costs are increased by further complicating an already unweildly “system”), portability (not in the bills), universal comprehensive coverage (tiers of coverage), helping our businesses to compete globally ( actually increases their responsibilities).

Our meetings have become populated by people on one side obsessively supporting a “robust” public option that DOES NOT exist and people on the other side obsessively protesting a “death panel” that DOES NOT exist. Attempting to discuss facts with people that are in “deaf” fighting mode is non-productive. It’s also pointless right now. Even Business Week, which is a pro-business publication, thinks what is coming out of congress smells to high heaven and has made note of the fact that Big Insurance has the decks stacked on both sides this time. That’s bad. Either way this goes this time, Corporate America wins.

Ever noticed that what seems to get the lockstep, organized support of people, usually ends up benefitting corporate America? It used to be just the righties, but pay attention…. us lefties are now being “herded”, too. I’m guessing that would be because wherever there is the possibility of money, favors or strategy there is someone, flying whatever flag they have to, to organize the masses and make it happen. What’s going on now is nothing but pure theater.

This “reform” has mutated into mandated, forced payment to private insurance companies by every citizen and business in this country.

My question is why/how does anyone think supporting the massive expansion of private insurance is going to improve a system of private insurance that has been proven to not work?

What I’m saying is…everyone needs to stop with the knee-jerk support for things that they haven’t actually read and understood.

I understand the need to have hope but two of the three bills have already been written. The third one is coming from the Senate Finance Committee which is all Blue Dogs and Republicans, so you have to know that will also be pro-private insurance. Showing your support for a “robust” public option at this point will change nothing. The bills are already written. It’s done. Now you have to decide if you support what actually IS in the bills…. not what you wish/hope for.

On top of everything else, the reform everyone is supporting not only does nothing to aleviate the burden of employers providing healthcare, it increases the burden. That burden is what has been crippling our ability to compete in business globally and has caused the migration of our jobs and businesses to overseas. To countries where the employees are covered by THEIR country’s single payer system and our companies are not burdened.

I want to remind everyone that two of the main goals of the healthcare reform concept that we voted Obama in to make happen was to 1.) aleviate the burden of employee healthcare from our businesses so that our economy could grow and better compete with other countries and 2.) make it so that individuals would no longer have their healthcare tied to their jobs. This “reform” actually does the opposite. The employer insurance mandate and the 8% penalty on larger businesses that don’t provide that private insurance could be the difference between hiring more people and expanding or continued shrinkage, more employment cutbacks and no new job creation. There is also no language in these bills that guarantees any portability for that mandated employer-provided insurance. But there is language that prevents businesses from utilizing the now-impotent public option.

Please, please, please read the links below carefully, all the way through. These are not about how terrific single payer is. They address what this “reform”, going on right now, is about and address the “public option” in particular as put forth in the HR3200 bill from the House and the HELP Committee bill from the Senate. They explain how tiny it is, how few people it would actually effect, how attempting to implement it could a nightmare exercise in the chicken or the egg because it wouldn’t be “pre-populated” with patients and doctors and therefore couldn’t command significant discounts, how it has been set up so that if they actually can implement it, private insurance would control its rates, not the other way around with it “keeping private insurace honest” and how even if we had a “robust” public option (which we DO NOT) it still wouldn’t control many costs and why it wouldn’t. The reality of the public option (as designed by congress) is that it is nothing more than an entirely impotent red herring that has been used to get the uniformed sheeple behind this insanity. It appeals to the desperate masses but has been designed for failure.

These links also address other things that people have been told this reform will do and the fact that there is no language in any of the bills to support these claims.

The no-bargaining pharma deal is just a cherry on top of what will be a mandated corporate raid on the American people and businesses.

This isn’t taking Big Insurance and Big Pharma head on. This is promoting gifting them with our individual and public treasure.

The politicians are being opaque and unspecific about what is in these bills because if the specifics of them were clearly broadcast in a way that everyone could wrap their minds around, NO sane person would support it. The point is to keep the average person confused enough for them to run on trust.

I also suggested reading more about what Mitt Romney did to Massachusetts and the disaster that it has become with rates skyrocketing and coverage plummeting. The reason I suggest that is because what is coming out of congress mirrors that scenario and is largely based on that format.

My bet is that by the time this is done, and all three bills are reconciled, there will be no public option language in the final bill. It will end up being pure mandated private insurance.

President Obama no longer says a public option is an absolute requirement for this “reform”. In fact the phrase used now is “insurance reform”, not healthcare reform. And all 8 talking points that the Whitehouse sent out recently specifically say “Insurance Companies”. Not one word about public options and no use of the term “healthcare reform”.

If you’ll notice, President Obama has consistently changed his language to fit what congress has written. Not the other way around, as most people imagine it should be, where he says what he wants and Congress changes their language.

Hope can be important, but knowlege is more important. From there you can make an informed decision about whether you support what is actually being offered.

Many older people that have Medicare have talked about wanting things to be better for their kids. It’s important that they, also, make sure what they’re supporting will make their grown children’s lives better in reality, not theory.

This means weighing all facts, evidence and suppositions; not just passing along proscribed guidance taken at face value. This is just politics for Washington but it is real life and death for actual people.

Personally, I’m sick of hearing that we “have to realize we’re never going to get a perfect solution”. Why? WHY should we HAVE to accept that, when there is a perfect solution (and only 30 pages because it’s not convoluted vs. 1000+ pages each for HR3200 & HELP) and the only thing standing in the way is our politicians and their owners. Why do we have to keep being told that we HAVE to accept what they give us, until we say it to ourselves, even? Now there’s the jedi-mind-trick. To make us fatalistic and more accepting of whatever THEY decide we’re allowed to have and that we should be appreciative of whatever idiotic thing that is; because “at least we got something”. We’re much easier to deal with that way. We truly are a nation of sheeple. It has to stop.

Have a nice evening,

Tracie“public-option”-was-sold/ by Kip Sullivan by Leonard Rodberg, PhD

Obama’s Health Insurance Exchange “Solution”

Everyone in America (including the journalists) seem to have missed this all-important sentence in President Obama’s press conference last night, July 22, 2009.

“If you don’t have health insurance, or are a small business looking to cover your employees, you’ll be able to choose a quality, affordable health plan through a health insurance exchange – a marketplace that promotes choice and competition Finally, no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition.”

This is directly from the transcript. The complete transcript can be found at:

The operative words here are “Health Insurance Exchange”.

(This quote came toward the beginning of the press conference when he was outlining what congress has agreed upon. All that’s left will be the structuring of that insurance exchange. To get a preview of what the battles of the structuring will be, click on the link at the bottom of this post.)

So, there’s a reason why, the talking heads today are wondering, Obama has stopped saying the actual words “public option” as of today. The reason is, apparently, because our “public option” is going to be private insurance!…. with government subsidies for those that qualify.

A “uniquely American solution”? Yes. Insane? Yes.

—An insurance exchange (which is what Obama said we’ll be getting) is where the private insurance companies get together and offer a variety of policies obtainable through the government (with the government setting some standards of cost and who they have to cover). What happens there is that, if you choose to go with this government option, the government vets your income and decides what you will pay per month and gives you a choice of private insurance policies to choose from depending on what “tier” of coverage you qualify for. The money you pay goes directly to the private insurance companies and the rest of what they charge for that policy is paid to them by the government (if you qualify for an insurance subsidy). This is the worst possible choice that could have been made. Now the insurance companies not only get tons of new customers but they also get taxpayer money on top of it. Which, to me, means that everyone will be paying them twice.

I have NO IDEA how Obama can say, with a straight face no less, that this is a public option that will give insurance companies competition. So for those of you with any spare money, feel secure in buying that Aetna stock!

Here is a link to more information on the insurance exchange and what would need to be done to make it even remotely functional.

Make no mistake, this will pass because it makes sure that the insurance companies will very profitably exist in perpetuity. The conservative dems get to keep their relationships with Corporate America, so they will no longer obstruct and the only winners will be Big Insurance and corrupt pols. A “uniquely American” solution. Every other country also had Big Insurance before they went to nationalized (single payer) insurance. We’re (as usual) the only morons on the planet that can’t seem to make democracy work for the people.
This also makes the amendment to ERISA, that Dennis Kucinich just got passed, pointless. Which may explain why it passed with bi-partisan votes. They knew what was coming.

Re:Senator Nelson’s response letter

The response letter from Senator Nelson that’s posted is an out of date form response. I received the same one over 2 months ago. When I met with Michelle McGovern (his regional director) in June, I asked about Nelson’s support of the theory of an “insurance exchange” and she said he was no longer supporting that; now he’s supporting the state “co-op” idea. (see my earlier posts for info on state “co-ops”)

Apparently Nelson can’t be bothered to have a staffer type up a form response that reflects his current posistion.

As for Martinez’s response, that letter is old, too… but he hasn’t changed his posistion. No reason to. He’s going to need a cushy place to land in 2010 when he steps down.

Have a nice afternoon everyone!


Terrific Letter to Editor Writing Tool!

Just in case anyone needs to find the tool that gives you access to every online paper ANYWHERE to submit letters to the editor here it is:
Click on the name of the paper and another window opens. Scroll down to “web sites” and click on the paper’s home page. Another window opens and there you are. Just click around until you find where to submit. Sometimes the op/ed submit is obvious and sometimes you have to go to the site map or contact us link of the paper to find it.
You can set it to sort each state by highest circulation or just for dailies or weeklies, etc. Remember that sometimes smaller papers get fewer submissions (and therefore, possibly, a better chance of being chosen) but they still have readership. Just cut & paste your pre-written letter to as many publications as you wish.
Happy writing! Let’s hit as many of them as we can. Maybe a few of us will get published. At the very least the papers will see a number of letters coming in from our side.

Insurance Giant Stats & Other Useful Things

Hi everyone,
I was just reading The Hightower Lowdown Report and ran across some interesting stats. We all know that just a handful of corporate insurance giants control the market (Aetna & United control a third of it) but these numbers are sick (pun intended)!
The American Medical Association’s 2008 study of health-insurance markets in 314 American cities found that 94% are “highly concentrated”.
  • In 56% of our cities, one insurer controls more than half of the group healthcare market
  • In 19% of our cities, one insurer controls 70% of the market
  • In 11 cities, one insurer controls more than 90% of the market
And yet the nit-wits against a public option scream that they want “choice” and they don’t want to have their “healthcare controlled by a bureaucracy”!!! HAAA!!!
On a local level, June 14th’s Miami Herald published, “A study for the Milliman Medical Cost Index found that a Miami area family of four with an employer-based prefered provider organization plan averaged $20,282 in healthcare costs in 2008. That’s 21% higher than the national average. Miami is the first city exceeding the $20,000 mark, the first city to climb so high.”

Then let’s address the uninsured numbers which do not include recipients of Medicaid and the underinsured. Also from the same issue of the Miami Herald, We are #1 in uninsured. Nearly 33% in Dade county and 25% in Broward.

Just thought I pass out that little tid-bit for anyone doing a letter writing campaign or in need of even MORE talking points!

ALSO…..Here’s a list of contact info for some of the national groups fighting for our public healthcare rights:
  • Democracy for America— 802-651-3200
  • Health Care for America Now— 202-654-6200
  • Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care—
  • Physicians for a National Health Program— 312-782-6006
  • Progressive Democrats of America— 877-239-2093
  • Progressive States Network— 212-680-3116
  • Single Payer Action—

ALSO…..Here’s a list of contact info for some of the national groups fighting for our public healthcare rights:
  • Democracy for America— 802-651-3200
  • Health Care for America Now— 202-654-6200
  • Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care—
  • Physicians for a National Health Program— 312-782-6006
  • Progressive Democrats of America— 877-239-2093
  • Progressive States Network— 212-680-3116
  • Single Payer Action—

Crist’s “Cover Florida Plan” foreshadow of Co-Op

Below is copied an article from the DailyKos. It foreshadows the useless co-op option Nelson is supporting. In April Blue Cross publicly announced that it would be fighting the public option tooth & nail. No wonder!

Florida Blue Cross “Reform?” Sunshine On Crist’s Plan

Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 02:37:28 PM PDT

Today, the Blue Cross Association stated that a Government Plan Option was not required to meet the objectives of reform;

“A government plan option — in any form — is unnecessary to achieve comprehensive reform and would have devastating consequences on the health insurance coverage that employers and individuals currently have, the federal budget deficit and existing provider systems,” the groups said.

Last year, Blue Cross partnered with Governor Charlie Crist of Florida in order in order to provide “comprehensive reform” for individuals and employers in the Sunshine State.

What kind of comprehensive reform did the Republican Governor work out with Blue Cross?

The Sunshine on that plan is below the fold-

Governor Crist is so proud of his Blue Cross plan and reform measures that he is prominently taking credit for it in his new campaign for the Florida Senate Seat. From;

I signed into law a nationally recognized, market-based health care program to provide low cost health insurance for nearly four million uninsured Floridians.

Remember, those words because here is the Republican Governor’s Prescription;

During the 2008 legislative session, my administration worked with legislators of both parties to secure unanimous approval of the Cover Florida Health Care Access Program. This legislation makes affordable health coverage available to 3.8 million uninsured Floridians through a comprehensive market-based strategy.

Just how is that “comprehensive market based strategy” in statewide partnership with Blue Cross working for the average Floridian?

When Richard Browne checked into the plan, he found it too expensive. For men ages 50 to 59, the monthly catastrophic coverage costs $363 to $463.

“I’m not sure who it’s supposed to be affordable for, but it’s not affordable for me,” he said.

But you may be thinking Richard Browne could end up using a lot of benefits, right? Well the Blue Cross plan has an annual maximum of $25,000 in benefits with a lifetime maximum of $50,000. So the above Floridian will pay $5,556 a year for a possible single year benefit of $25,000.

Please, go to the Cover Florida website and check out the Republican Blue Cross solution, it is an eye opener. (You can use zip code 32803 in Orange County, FL to get quotes)

Charlie Crists prescription was to provide health coverage for “3.8 million uninsured Floridians.”

Someone needs to ask Charlie why only 1,716 uninsured Floridians have signed up for his “nationally recognized, market-based health care program.”

Blue Cross should be ashamed what it did to Floridians in the guise of reform. That is why a Government Option is needed to keep everybody honest.

Florida is called the Sunshine State, it is time for Daily Kos to bring sunshine to Charlie Crist’s Blue Cross option and show it to the rest of America.

Tags: health care blue cross (all tags

Went in to Sen. Nelson’s office Tues.

Hey everyone,
I ended up going to the West Palm office today instead of Broward’s. Michelle McGovern, Senator Nelson’s Regional Director (7 counties) was there taking time to talk individually to each of us as we came in. I just thought I would let everyone know that didn’t either make it in or have a chance to talk with her that currently Nelson is off of the “insurance exchange” theory of insuring the public and is now supporting the equally pointless theory of “co-ops”. Specifically, each state individually setting up and funding it’s own little co-op to “compete” with Big Insurance. This is direct from Michelle McGovern today in his office.
Here is a link to a piece from CBS News on Senator Conrad’s co-op option. I must stress that while reading how ineffectual co-ops are and the author’s more positive opinion on a national co-op, that Senator Nelson is not supporting a national co-op, but the theory of each state setting up and funding their own with some “start-up” money from the federal government and then being funded in perpetuity by the residents/participants in each individual state on their own.
This idiotic notion is gaining serious traction with conservative and blue dog democrats trying to claim that this would be the “uniquely American” solution to the nation’s need for public insurance. This is NOT a solution of any sort but another way to try and shut us up while making sure Big Insurance continues on it’s merry way. This is absolutely NOT what people (81% of the population as of yesterday) mean when they say we need a real public option. 50 little baby state insurance companies trying to “compete” with Big Insurance in 50 different states. That’ll for sure teach Big Insurance to play fair! BRILLIANT!! Sounds Republican to me in it’s level of brilliance!
So, in light of this here’s some contact info, do with it as you will…..
Gene Schlesinger, Nelson’s chief in DC: 202-224-5274
Michelle McGovern, Regional Director: 561-514-0189
Also, Senator Nelson’s on Twitter:
Also, I think Michelle will be in the Broward office tomorrow (6-24).
Have a great evening,