I realize that Wisconsin situation and the horrible quake and tsunami are breaking stories and the world needs to hear them….but on the same hand there are things happening in news that are just as important….if not more so…..in a couple of months the two mentioned above will be replaced by other issues and most likely other disasters…..
There are things that the media will cull out of the story board….why? Most media outlets are owned and operated by corporate interests and some stories are not at all flattering and in as such will be either not reported or glazed over quickly and then move on…….Newser has reported on such a story……
A trove of leaked documents apparently reveals that Bank of America may have been involved in a scheme to bilk homeowners—a claim the bank rigorously denies. Hacker group Anonymous, which leaked the documents, says that more damning information is on the way, reports Business Insider. The emails, which allegedly come from an ex-employee of BoA subsidiary Balboa Insurance, apparently show the bank, insurance providers, and mortgage brokers all knew of a scheme to cancel people’s insurance agreements, forcing homeowners to buy much more expensive mortgage insurance far above normal requirements. Often, this would also lead to home foreclosures. Anonymous put BoA in its crosshairs last December after the bank cut off contributor payments to WikiLeaks. The hacker group has created bankofamericasucks.com,and promises to post more damning leaks. Bank of America, however, called the leaked materials non-foreclosure related clerical and administrative documents, telling Reuters: “We are confident that his extravagant assertions are untrue.”
And yet, this is somehow NOT important enough to be covered in its entirety…..WHY?
The best answer is……the media, the government and the country are ruled by special interests and the people are there only to service them….for the people NOTHING!
This is one of the most disgusting stories this year!
Lots have been said about the care of vets and their treatment…..remember the sad condition of the vet hospital in Washington? Remember the high number of suicides? Remember the church that protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers? The list goes on and on….all this is shabby and should be a crime but there is one that I could hardly believe when I first read it………this piece was posted on the Newser website:
It turns out that insurers handling death benefits for American soldiers have got a sweet scam going that enables them to keep profiting from the money even after it is supposedly paid out to families. They tell bereaved relatives that they’ve opened a convenient, interest-bearing account for their money that’s a nice, safe place to keep it and they give them a “checkbook.” But it’s not a normal checkbook, they don’t open individual accounts for each soldier, and they skim off most of the interest the money is making—giving beneficiaries 1% while it’s earning 4%.The military families are getting less than half the interest they would in a normal account, Bloomberg reports. Not only that, the money held in these general corporate accounts at Prudential or MetLife, isn’t insured by the FDIC. Prudential says they make it clear to military families that they can take their money out anytime they want, but an insurance law professor isn’t impressed. “It’s institutionalized bad faith,” he says. “It’s turning death claims into a profit center.”
Remember the names of the insurance companies….write them and let them know how you feel about their tactics toward the families of fallen soldiers…..this is what capitalism is all about?! This is just a horrible thing to do to families after their loss. This is CRIMINAL and these a/holes should be prosecuted and prosecuted hard……As a veteran who lost 9 of my closest friends in war…I find this offensive and unacceptable in all ways….there is a special place in Hell for pricks like these companies!
After a year of health reform back and forth….after a year of lies and misinformation…after a year of name calling and insults……after a year of political jockeying…….after a year of total Hell in Washington…..we have a health reform law…..that is NOT good enough states are trying to sue the government to stop the law….but all the while are preparing to implement the law….
The Dems have gone on the air and taunted the benefits of the law…..have talked about the victory for the people….but is it everything good that the Dems have echoed? Is it all that and a bag of chips?
According to the Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn:
Part of the health care overhaul due to kick in this September could strip more than 1 million people of their insurance coverage, violating a key goal of President Barack Obama’s reforms.
Under the provision, insurance companies will no longer be able to apply broad annual caps on the amount of money they pay out on health policies. Employer groups say the ban could essentially wipe out a niche insurance market that many part-time workers and retail and restaurant employees have come to rely on.
This market’s limited-benefit plans, also called mini-med plans, are priced low because they can, among other things, restrict the number of covered doctor visits or impose a maximum on insurance payouts in a year. The plans are commonly offered by retail or restaurant companies to low-wage workers who cannot afford more expensive, comprehensive coverage.
With the election of Brown from Mass the super majority is dead and with that so is health reform…..may I suggest a direction for the Dems to try….one the whole “Big Bang” approach just plain sucked!
You guys are making this whole health thing more complicated than it has to be…just keep in mind K.I.S.S.!
That bazillion page health reform bill…scrape it!….absolutely NO one knows what is in the damn thing…..it is so large that it only aids the opposition in their track down the misinformation highway….throw the damn thing in the trash and try again…..
I have an idea….put together a bill that contains a reversal of the anti-trust exemption for the insurance companies, insert a provision for a national exchange so that insurance can be bought like car insurance and finally, eliminate the pre-existing condition thing……send this to the Congress and wait…..
Let the opposition take shots at it all they want and then go before the people and say that the Repubs are fighting against people having choice, want insurance companies to keep their antitrust exemption and that people are not important…..
Then go back to the Hill and dare Repubs to vote against it……..their political future would be bleak if they do…..it would be hard for them to justify why they are against the bill to the voter….now you have them by the short hairs!
All bills are a political chess game….it helps if the players know the moves……unfortunately, just being in opposition is not a good move……maybe then the Repubs would offer alternatives other than tort reform….
Simplest answers are usually the best answers…..what could it hurt?
Now that the weather in Washington has cooled off, (is that because the hot air from politicians is missing?), and all the heated rhetoric of health reform has been silenced by some moronic words uttered by yet another dipstick politician……but what does it look like the final product, if they manage that, will look like?
The public option is pretty much dead, it has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, and that the senate bill maybe the final curtain call for health reform…..
Senior House Democrats have largely abandoned hopes of including a government-run insurance option in the final compromise health care bill taking shape, according to several officials, and are pushing for other measures to rein in private insurers.
They also want the final measure to include a House-passed proposal for a nationwide insurance exchange, to be regulated by the federal government, where consumers could shop for private coverage. The Senate bill calls for a state-based system of exchanges.
Additionally, House Democrats want to require insurers to spend a minimum amount of premium income on benefits, thereby limiting what is available for salaries, bonuses, advertising and other items. The House bill sets the floor at 85 percent; the Senate-passed measure lowers it to 80 percent for policies sold to small groups and individuals.
So it looks more and more like the exchange idea will prevail….but what the hell is it?
This is how people would buy insurance if they don’t have an employer that provides it. The structure is complicated, but these exchanges would basically be run by each state in conjunction with the federal government, and states would be allowed to create additional mechanisms for offering insurance to their residents. Traditional insurance companies would be allowed to compete for customers through the exchanges, provided they met a set of requirements set by the federal government. The least expensive plans would offer catastrophic coverage only, and not be available to everyone. There would be several other levels of coverage, priced more for each bump-up in benefits. The exchanges would go into effect in 2014. The House bill includes similar reforms, although there would be an additional health-insurance exchange at the national level. And the public health-insurance plan (not included in the Senate bill) would compete with private plans on each of the exchanges.The Senate bill proposes to create state-based exchanges, while the House bill would create one national exchange. Consumers who don’t get health insurance through their employer or a government insurance program would be eligible to shop on the exchange for plans. Low- and middle-income people who shop on the exchange would be eligible for government subsidies to help them buy their insurance plan.
Both the House and Senate bills would provide $5 billion to create a temporary insurance pool until an insurance exchange is up and running. Under the House bill, this program would be available to people who have a preexisting condition or have been uninsured for at least six months. Under the Senate bill, individuals would have to meet both requirements to be eligible. The House pool would open immediately and the Senate pool would open within 90 days of the bill’s enactment. Both pools would set limits on the premiums and cost-sharing that individuals would have to pay.
And there you have the newest piece of…………sorry had to find a word that would offend others…….work from the people who brought you the Patriot Act. About the only people that will benefit largely from this piece of….work….is the insurance industry…they will have mandated 30 million new customers that they can screw over endlessly….sorry people but with this you will get the best health care that the industry wants to give….not what you need….are you proud of this yet?
You know when you step in a pile of manure you just have to call it what it is…….
From the AP wire:
President Barack Obama is hailing a Senate vote to propel health care legislation toward final passage, calling it a “big victory for the American people.”By the thinnest possible margin, all 58 Democrats and the Senate’s two independents held together early Monday in a crucial test vote against unanimous Republican opposition. The move overcame a procedural effort that could have scuttled a final vote on the massive bill.
Obama said the Senate showed it could stand up to special interests and move the nation closer to a health insurance overhaul for families.
Please read it again……and think about what you have just read……(pause for reflection)…….
Do you recall the days after he won the election? It was all abvout how the American people voted for change and how the American people voted for a new way of doing things in Washington….Remember?……
Partisanship is more entrenched than it ever was……..and look at the vote on health care….NOT ONE Repub voted for the Senate health reform bill….even though when read reads like a page out of a GOP playbook……and then Obama calls it a BIG win for the American people……where?…..yes 30 million more will have coverage….the problem is it is a forced coverage with a fine if it is not bought…the insurance companies got 30 million new customers without having to do anything but promise to eliminate the existing condition thing….which means that if you have an existing condition you will be able to buy insurance but it will cost several times more….
And then he goes on to say that it shows that we can stand up to special interests and win…really…if that is so damn true why did insurance stocks hit a 52 week high on the news of the vote? Answer that one……
This is NOT a final bill but it is pretty much what the final version will look like….I would bet……
I would like to say before I start that the AP is a genius….I am gonna post their entire article….why?….most people do not want to click as often as you would think….I would like to thank them for their expert analysis…..
THE ISSUE: How much do Americans who have employer-sponsored health insurance pay in premiums? What do their employers pay? Would that change if the system is overhauled?
THE POLITICS: Health care costs have been increasing. For Americans and the businesses that insure most of them, that translates into higher insurance premiums. The average premium cost for employer-provided insurance has doubled since 2000. These days, coverage for an individual with employer-provided insurance costs on average $4,824 a year, with the employee paying $779 of that amount, according to a 2009 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust. For a family plan, the premium is $13,375 with the employee paying $3,515. Under current law, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that in 2016 average premiums for employer-based insurance will rise to about $7,500 for a single policy and about $19,000 for a family policy.
WHAT IT MEANS: Numerous factors will affect the cost of insurance under proposed health care bills, making their impact hard to predict. But President Barack Obama has vowed to lower the cost of health care. The legislation would set up exchanges where companies would compete for customers. It also would provide subsidies for lower-income people.
There you have what the bill as proposed will cost you if it is not changed in the process….read it and weep…….Good plan and is a FAR cry from the stuff dreams were made of……Progressives lose again….now are you not glad you voted the way you did…..
I have begun to appreciate MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan…..he seems to be one of the few that are calling a spade …a spade….he is an irritating individual to some of his guests because he will interrupt try and force them to answer a question, instead of the BS talking oints they want us to hear…I give him his props on that….
Back to the point Dylan has been using a term, corporate communism, at lot and I have been meaning to write a post on this and just today he had Elliot Spitzer, the ex-governor of New York, on his show….a side note, Spitzer is a very knowledgeable man on economics, we as a country could do a lot worse then him on understanding the economics of the bailout……back again….corporate communism…..
Ratigan writes in the Huffington Post:
Lack of choice, lazy, unresponsive customer service, a culture of exploitation and a small powerbase formed by cronyism and nepotism are the hallmarks of a communist system that steals from its citizenry and a major reason why America spent half a century fighting a Cold War with the U.S.S.R.
And yet today we find ourselves as a country in two distinctly different categories: those who are forced to compete tooth and nail each day to provide value to society in return for income for ourselves and our families and those who would instead use our lawmaking apparatus to help themselves to our tax money and/or to protect themselves from true competition.
If you allow weak, outdated players to take control of the government and change the rules so they are protected from the natural competition and reward systems that have created so many innovations in our country, you not only steal from the citizens on behalf of the least worthy but you also doom them by trapping the capital that would be used to generate new innovation and, most tangibly in our current situation, jobs.
If you have just a small amount of understanding of economics then you will see that Ratigan is correct and he should be applauding for saying so…..Americans HATE communism or socialism or whatever you would choose to call it…but they accept the protectionism that prevails in the financial world……they take from the taxpayer and do as they desire with NO checks and balances (where are those people that pitch a bitch about checks and balances as talked about in the Constitution?)
I seldom….I repeat SELDOM recommend a news show because people have their own likes and dislikes, but “The Morning Meeting” with Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC should be required veiwing for any and all economics courses…..whether you agree or disagree with him, it is thought provoking and excellent news source….
NO I do not get anything in return for recommending Ratigan…just the satisfaction of helping people understand what is what with all the bailout cash….and hopefully it will help make the people more angry that they are being screwed without even a kiss….I put this disclaimer in there because in the past I was accused of being a shill for other people….personally I do not agree with Ratigan on some things but I appreciate his effort to get news makers to answer questions, not put forth some talking point given to them before the show.
And if you believe that piece of fantasy, then I have some land in Florida that I will sell by the gallon…..
Recently the insurance lobby left the fold, so to speak, and issued a report saying that if the Baucus bill or one similar is passed then insurance premiums will go up and very considerably. This report has been proven to be erroneous but it is still quoted as gospel by those on the Right. This report is about as reliable as those coming from the Lewin Group, which is funded by the insurance industry…so to say that their findings would be cooked is an understatement.
In his defense Obama hit the airways:
This is the unsustainable path we’re on, and it’s the path the insurers want to keep us on. In fact, the insurance industry is rolling out the big guns and breaking open their massive war chest – to marshal their forces for one last fight to save the status quo. They’re filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads. They’re flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists and campaign contributions. And they’re funding studies designed to mislead the American people. [...]
It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, “Take one of these, and call us in a decade.” Well, not this time. The fact is, the insurance industry is making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health care dollars continue to be poured into their profits, bonuses, and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy – that often actually go toward figuring out how to avoid covering people. And they’re earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exception from our anti-trust laws, a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing.
Which his statements made me smile….why?…..he is attacking the industry for our behalf…but is he?
He has waffled on his statement in the past, that he would NOT sign a bill that did not have a public option in it…..now he saying that it is not necessary for a reform bill but that he would prefer that it contained an option.
There is more…..the Congress seems to be reluctant to lift the anti-trust exemption of insurance companies that give them a virtual free ride to run rough shod over the consumer. This exemption allows insurance to be a virtual monopoly which in turn allows them to control the health insurance market…lets them fix prices, eliminate competition and make obscene profits with no need to justify the mistreatment of the insured.
Now that there is a bill in the Senate with a public option (well, sort of) the question now is, will the White House and the Dems truly go after the insurance anti-trust exemption? If they do I am sure it will be the same sort of watered down bill that gave us the “public option”. The industry has too much money on the buying of friends in the Congress to ever let something like this get in their way.
Sen Snowe moved, by her vote, the finance committee bill onto the next level of negotiations…..what are you fools cheering about?
Snowe’s vote did NOTHING to further the health bill reform other than moving it out of committee….what part of that is something to cheer? It has NOTHING in it that would cover the uninsured other than some pale BS about competition, but the bill does not even do that….the bill is just exactly what the insurance companies wanted. They retain their massive profits and in turn will have access toi millions more customers. In simpler words, it is NOT reform at all, but rather something I said months ago…a TWEAK!
Snowe’s arguments summarized a growing consensus among Democrats on Capitol Hill – and Republicans no longer in office – that a flawed bill that starts to overhaul the system is better than no bill at all.
Her vote gives political cover to moderate Democrats, puts Republicans on the defensive and gives Senate leaders the latitude to find 60 votes to overcome a GOP filibuster, rather than force health care legislation through the Senate with a special partisan procedure.