Accept No Substitutes

The 2020 election is a mere short months away from its kick-off….and the Dems are fighting amongst themselves….as usual…..healthcare will be a hard sell this time around.

There is a debate on health care…..not between parties for the GOP has already lost that debate many years ago……instead the debate is between progressives and others…….Medicare For All is the answer and the attacks have begun……

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2019. A companion bill of the same name has already been introduced in the House by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). That’s good news for the country. Unfortunately, these bills are facing opposition from what, for some people, will be an unexpected direction.

I don’t mean Republicans. They’ve already lost the health care debate, in one sense, now that large majorities of voters support Medicare for All. The real threat may well come from its Democratic friends. They’re the people who say they support Medicare for All’s “goals,” but claim to have found a better way to achieve them.

Intentionally or not, Medicare for All’s “frenemies” are sowing confusion about it. Among them is Ezekiel Emmanuel, who argues, “At least four different approaches to health reform could truthfully carry the Medicare for all label.”

 
Those in opposition are those from the Obama admin that let the industry write the law that created the ACA, Obamacare if you are dense……that same industry that is pulling no punches to defeat the idea of Medicare For All……
 
In an effort to inform the public about the corporate forces working to crush Medicare for All, an employee at the insurance giant UnitedHealthcare leaked a video of his boss bragging about the company’s campaign to preserve America’s for-profit healthcare system.

“I felt Americans needed to know exactly who it is that’s fighting against the idea that healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” the anonymous whistleblower told the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein.

During an employee town hall in February, Stein reported on Friday, UnitedHealthcare CEO Steve Nelson boasted about how much his company is doing to undermine Medicare for All, which is rapidly gaining support in Congress.

“One of the things you said: ‘We’re really quiet’ or ‘It seems like we’re quiet.’ Um, we’ve done a lot more than you would think,” Nelson said. “We are advocating heavily and very involved in the conversation. Part of it is trying to be thoughtful about how we enter in the conversation, because there’s a risk of seeming like it’s self-serving.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/12/i-felt-americans-needed-know-insurance-industry-whistleblower-gives-glimpse-effort

My personal opinion is the Medicare For All would be the best and the easiest to put into action……we will hear all the tired old excuses…like it will stifle innovation…..BS…..or that the quality of care will go down….another BS…..

We all agree that adequate health care is needed then why not take the easiest road to that end?

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Closing Thought For A Saturday

Veterans get screwed again!

The VA has been getting some bad press lately and unfortunately it just got worse.

A US Office of Special Counsel report based on complaints from three whistleblowers was sent to President Trump Wednesday, exposing scheduling and staffing issues at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis that led to a delay in medical care for veterans. While the center says it has since remedied those issues, one such delay led to a mistake called “unconscionable”: A veteran didn’t receive the at-home care he needed, and ended up losing his leg as a result, per the Indianapolis Star. The report details what happened in June 2017 after the veteran was discharged from the center following treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis and an ulcerated foot abscess. Someone was supposed to come to his home to change his bandages; when that assistance got delayed, his foot became infected, leading to an amputation below the knee.

“It is unconscionable that after serving his country, a veteran lost his limb not on the battlefield, but because of mistakes made by the agency entrusted to take care of him,” special counsel Henry J. Kerner says in his letter. Department of Veterans Affairs investigators found the unnamed chief and assistant chief of social work services at the center had told social workers to stop entering home consults into patient records because they felt it was “outside the social workers’ scope of practice.” In a letter last August sent to Kerner and seen by Task & Purpose, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie agreed with the investigators’ findings, noting the alleged issues led to a “system breakdown.” A rep for the VA center told the Star they’ll address the special counsel’s report in a statement

This goes to Trump? Will he read it? Will he do something to fix the VA? Or will he do what he always does…..NOTHING?

Closing Thought–12Apr19

Medicare For All!

There has been a raging debate on just how all Americans can get the health coverage they need and want…..most from the Dems….the Repubs have NOTHING to offer but opposition to anything at all.

I spend a lot of time research stuff…..and so far I see only one way for people to get their health coverage……Medicare For All.

I’ve spent decades studying US health care. Time to get real: Medicare for All is the only reasonable path to controlling costs and covering everyone.

There is an instinct among political pundits to confuse caution for practicality — an assumption that those who advocate for incremental change are being reasonable, while those pushing for bold reforms aren’t. This is seen most starkly in the debate around health care reform, despite the fact that the “practical” pushers of limited reform fail to address the real problems in our health care system.

We all recognize that the status quo isn’t working. We spend more per person than any other country on health care, but we aren’t getting any bang for our buck. We have lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality rates and more preventable deaths, and too many personal bankruptcies are due at least in part to medical bills.

Where we disagree is the solution. The favorite new “reasonable” plan is “Medicare for America,” a bill from Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Rosa DeLauro that has won the support of big names like Texas presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke and the Center for American Progress, the left-of-center think tank where the plan originated as “Medicare Extra for All.” It has been extolled in opinion pieces for some of America’s largest newspapers as a “realistic” plan to fix what’s broken in our health care system.

 
We will hear all sorts of lies about this plan…..the biggest will be the “S” word bullshit that Repubs still use and unbelievably is still effective……but regardless it is a LIE……
 
If Americans want health care for themselves and their families then Medicare For All is the only answer….it will control costs and cover everyone…..it is that simple.
 
Speaking of costs…..how will we pay for this program?
 
Sen. Bernie Sanders is not ducking the key question constantly posed to Medicare for All supporters by journalists, fellow members of Congress, and critics: “How will you pay for it?”
In a white paper (pdf) released Wednesday alongside the 2020 contender’s updated and improved Medicare for All legislation, Sanders’ office outlined a number of possible funding mechanisms for the comprehensive bill and detailed the enormous savings the U.S. would reap by transitioning to single-payer.
 
Further Reading:

That Pesky Health Care

After the Mueller report was released to the AG and he did his best to make it fit with the Trump bullshit for the last two years then the president started his usual crap about his perfect health care and that everyone would be covered regardless….a health plan the entire nation will love has NEVER come about…..empty promises and lies about Obamacare is all the nation ever got from this poser……and as sad as that is it is better than what we got from the GOP…..the same GOP that voted 50+ times to try and repeal Obamacare…..these same cowards have NOTHING to say and when they talk crickets is all we hear.

And as of recently Mr. Trump has done what he does best…..he waffles and changes direction……

President Trump shifted strategy on ObamaCare in a series of late-night tweets: He still hates it, but he won’t push for a Republican alternative until after the 2020 election, reports Bloomberg. “Everybody agrees that ObamaCare doesn’t work,” he wrote. “Premiums & deductibles are far too high.” He said the GOP is working on a better, cheaper solution, adding, “Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House.” The tweets come after a week in which Trump’s White House got newly aggressive against ObamaCare, first by arguing in court that the entire law should be declared unconstitutional. Then Trump himself promised that the GOP “will soon be known as the party of health care.”


However, Politico reports that GOP leaders made clear to the White House they did not want to make ObamaCare a focal part of the 2020 election, because they were hurt on the issue in the midterms. As Bloomberg points out, the law has gradually become more popular with voters. Democrats already have seized on the administration’s aggressive court strategy and are planning a resolution to condemn an “unacceptable assault on the health care of the American people,” per USA Today. That would force House Republicans, assuming they back the president, to go on the record as agreeing with the strategy to kill the entire law. One thing not changing: Both Trump and Republicans are still going after Democrats’ “Medicare for All” initiatives.

I love it when this poser says the GOP will soon be known as the party of health care……seriously? The party that has not had an alternative to Obamacare in 9 years.exercise or smoking….cannot get any more pathetic……

The president (I use the term loosely) is afraid of losing so he will waffle whenever it suits him…regardless what he has promised in the past….it is always about the knee jerk response and then the back pedal……typical coward tactics.

Thanx to the GOP the most important factors determining a person’s health is not diet or exercise of even smoking…..the most important factors are social class and race. Period!

The one thing that the GOP and this president do not realize is that health care is the single most important issue to most Americans.

Time for Americans to vote their need.

Closing Thought–02Apr19

Our veterans have to burden a lot on their shoulders…..they are looked up to as “heroes” whenever the need arises and ignored the rest of the time….they served this country honorably and the nation treats them horribly.

Our veterans have to deal with a VA that is inadequate for their needs……they try to live with PTSD unsuccessfully for many….and then I read this story…..

Inspectors with a government contractor found that veterans were harmed at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes in more than two dozen states, USA Today reported Thursday.

The inspections, conducted at 99 VA facilities, found problems resulting in “actual harm” to patients in 52 facilities, according to USA Today. In three facilities, inspectors found issues that put veterans’ health and safety in “immediate jeopardy.”

Eight nursing homes put veterans in harm and jeopardy, the newspaper reported, citing reports from the inspections conducted last year from April through December.

The facilities found to cause harm are in 25 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/436383-veterans-were-harmed-in-va-nursing-homes-across-half-the-us

This is shameful and will go mostly ignored….the MSM is as fickle as the people when it comes to our veterans…..

As a veteran I get pissed when I read these types of stories……because the people will remain silent and continue the pretense that the veterans actually matter.

A closing thought…..

To Help Our Veterans

I have been very critical of our president in the past……I will have to give him his props on one subject…..Veterans.

He has given them lots of lip service in the past but has shown little truly concern for their welfare….that is until yesterday…..

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at stemming a persistently high number of veteran suicides, urging expanded outreach by awarding grants to community programs. The order creates a Cabinet-level task force that will seek to develop a national roadmap for suicide prevention, bringing in state and local organizations to raise awareness among the high-risk group. It directs the task force led by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to finalize a plan in 12 months, the AP reports. “Veterans suicide is a tragedy of staggering proportions,” Trump said at a signing ceremony surrounded by military families and veterans’ organizations. “Today we can help end this crisis.”

He said the problem of veteran suicide can only be solved if the entire country works together to build communities that support and protect veterans from the first moment they return to civilian life. “They courageously fulfill their duties to our nation, now we must fulfill our duties to them,” Trump said. Currently, about 20 veterans die by suicide each day, about 1.5 times higher than those who haven’t served in the military. The government says about 14 of those 20 were not under VA care, pointing to a need for improved outreach. According to the White House, the new task force will look to create a grant system similar to the Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program, which provides funding to state and local programs. The effort, which is being dubbed the PREVENTS Initiative, will also aim to better coordinate research on suicide prevention across agencies, including Veterans Affairs, Defense and Homeland Security. PREVENTS stands for “President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide.”

I hope this is a real effort to help and not some “feel good” order.

I think we can save a bunch of money by admitting that war is the biggest contributor to the causes of vet suicides….end these worthless endless wars and the suicide rate may go down.

But DC will do what DC always does…..stretch this out for maximum cash outlay and issue a report that will not change a goddamn thing.

Health Is Expensive

In the last decade as I grow older my health has come into question…..first a badly broken leg that needed screw to repair…..then loss of 4 toes because I was a heavy smoker for 50 years….then a diagnosis that I have diabetes and high blood pressure…..all that has been costly…..meds out my butt….the insulin alone is $450…..

My hospital stays are not completely covered by Medicare so I have been hit with bills on top of bills and then there are those “drug plans” that pay NOTHING hardly so drugs are expensive.

I pay monthly on my bill but if I cannot pay $200 a month I am turned over as a deadbeat and sent to a collection agency….the best health care in the world MY FUCKING ASS!

I am fortunate I have a pretty good retirement pension and I have some savings without that then I would probably be sleeping on the street with my honey and my dogs in a discarded packing crate under bridge somewhere……

I bring all this personal stuff up because of something the Dems are favoring…..Medicare for All…..

The concept of expanding Medicare coverage to not only seniors and disabled people but just about everyone, has recently shot up in popularity among Democrats and party activists at the national level.

Among proponents of so-called Medicare for All, there are varying ideas for how such a government-paid and government-administered health insurance system would work and how exactly it would affect patients, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies.

Still, there are key similarities in the proposals put out so far for either a national or one-state-only Medicare for All system:

They would all entail expanding insurance coverage — and raising taxes a lot.

Yet they also could result in lower total health care spending across the private sector that could make up for all the new taxes. For instance, businesses and families could end up paying less for health care overall, even considering the additional health care taxes.

Some of the overall savings, however, could require cutting the pay of highly skilled doctors.

Or read a better explanation from Vox.com……

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/7/2/17468448/medicare-for-all-single-payer-health-care-2018-elections

The main reason I got onto this rant was from an article I read while laid up in the hospital……

Medical problems contributed to 66.5% of all bankruptcies, a figure that is virtually unchanged since before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study published yesterday as an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health. The findings indicate that 530,000 families suffer bankruptcies each year that are linked to illness or medical bills.

The study, carried out by a team of two doctors, two lawyers, and a sociologist from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP), surveyed a random sample of 910 Americans who filed for personal bankruptcy between 2013 and 2016, and abstracted the court records of their bankruptcy filings. The study, which is one component of the CBP’s ongoing bankruptcy research, provides the only national data on medical contributors to bankruptcy since the 2010 passage of the ACA. Bankruptcy debtors reported that medical bills contributed to 58.5% of bankruptcies, while illness-related income loss contributed to 44.3%; many debtors cited both of these medical issues.

http://pnhp.org/news/new-medical-bankruptcy-study-two-thirds-of-filers-cite-illness-and-medical-bills-as-contributors-to-financial-ruin/

This is an embarrassment….this country supposedly the “BEST” country in the world and most Americans cannot afford to get sick.

Time for a change and most freshman Congresspeople, the Dems, are on-board with Medicare For All…..I like the idea as long as Big Pharma is put into check….but I am afraid that the old guard Dems will do what they always do….turn coward and water down any health plans…..

A Medicare buy-in. A Medicaid buy-in. Medicare for retiring police officers and firefighters under the age of 65. Defend and strengthen Obamacare.

With Medicare for All polling at an unprecedented 70 percent support among the American public and headed toward its first-ever congressional hearing, Politico on Tuesday reported that there is a growing effort among congressional Democrats—including some 2020 presidential hopefuls—to “water down” the grassroots push for a transformative single-payer program by offering up more incremental approaches to solving America’s for-profit healthcare crisis.

The proposals listed above, which Politico encapsulated with the term “Medicare for More,” are just a handful of ideas Democratic lawmakers have put forth as ostensibly more “pragmatic” paths to achieving a humane healthcare system.

But grassroots Medicare for All advocates and campaigners—whose voices were absent from Politico‘s report—strongly objected to any plan that leaves intact central elements of a status quo that has produced enormous profits for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, while leaving millions of Americans with soaring costs or entirely uninsured.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/22/progressives-warn-against-democrats-pushing-diluted-half-measures-alternative

I stand with the Progressives……do not let the industry write the bill like they did for Obamacare….the people of this country deserves adquate health care.