Category Archives: Healthcare

Somebody’s Mad and They’re Not Going to Take it Any Longer

It appears that people in California are a tad upset about the rate increase on their health insurance. But instead of taking it lying down, they’re taking action.

A consumer group filed a lawsuit Monday against Anthem Blue Cross, accusing the insurer of raising rates to force members into policies with higher deductibles and lower benefits.

Consumer Watchdog accuses Anthem of violating state law by failing to offer policyholders comparable coverage and minimize rate hikes after the company directs customers to alternative plans when closing out existing plans.

San Rafael resident Mary McNamara Feller, a plaintiff in the suit, which was filed in Ventura County, said she had to do something after Anthem last month proposed raising rates on the policy covering her and her husband nearly 39 percent to $1,658 a month.

She said the company offered her the option of switching to a policy with a higher deductible and skimpier benefits by a specific deadline, but also told her she could stay in her current policy. The company notified her of the enormous premium increases in her plan after the deadline had passed.

“It just seems like there’s no end in sight,” said Feller, 56, adding that she experienced a similar increase last year. “The way Blue Cross handles this is by forcing plan members into plans that increasingly put people at risk financially. … It’s no longer just about us. It’s about 800,000 people who don’t have any recourse.”

The rest of the story…


Filed under Healthcare

Where were the women?

“Lots of men in the room, nothing accomplished.  Where were the women at the Health-Care Summit? Dan Rather on the need to get more females in positions of power in America and around the world.

To be sure, some were in the room, most notably Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, and Nancy Pelosi, the first woman Speaker of the House. The Republicans had one female attendee, Rep. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, and the Democrats had three others: Nancy-Ann DeParle, the White House health-care adviser, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, and New York Rep. Louise Slaughter. That’s it. Six women out of 42 attendees on a piece of legislation that deals with health care, an issue that affects all Americans.

If you were to rank countries by the percentage of women in their national legislatures, the U.S. would be somewhere around 75th, on par with places like Turkmenistan and Albania.”

What difference do you think women might make?


Filed under Healthcare, Progressive Ideals, Woman Power

Opposing health care reform plans

The GOP Health Care Reform Bill

The President’s Proposal for Health Care Reform

So these are the two proposals that have been posted online for your perusal.  The Health Care Summit scheduled for this Thursday (two days hence) begins with these ideas.

Where will health care reform end up?  Will the American people benefit?


Filed under Healthcare

The consequences

President Obama left his signature domestic policy in the hands of Congress, and now he is facing the consequences.  From the outset of his presidency, Obama invited Congress to devise the details of health care reform legislation — an apparent bid to avoid what happened when President Clinton tried to overhaul health care 17 years ago.

Leaving it to Congress put an unusually glaring spotlight on how Capitol Hill does business. The spectacle of Congress’ horse-trading, secrecy and gridlock has fueled today’s virulent anti-Washington mood. The public’s reaction was all the greater because Obama had campaigned on a promise to change the way Washington did business, and because health care reform engendered such personal high hopes and anxiety. Continue reading


Filed under Diplomacy, Healthcare

Pregnant Women Wanted

Would you let a researcher analyze your vaginal fluid, toenail clippings, and breast milk? For months, scientists have been dispatching door-to-door emissaries across the country to recruit pregnant women willing to do just that. With several hundred participants so far, the National Children’s Study aims to enroll 100,000 pregnant women in 105 countries, then monitor their babies until they turn 21 in the largest long-term study of children’s health yet. The study—which was authorized by Congress in 2000 and is projected to cost about $6.7 billion—will examine how environment, genes, and other factors affect children’s health, addressing questions on subjects from ranging from asthma to autism.

Read it at The New York Times.


Filed under Healthcare, Research

Majority want comprehensive health care reform

Read it here.



Filed under Healthcare

Obama To Hold Health-Reform Summit

Let anyone wishing to be obstinate do so in the light of day.

President Obama announced he will host a bipartisan health-reform summit with the country’s congressional leaders on February 25th. “I want to come back, after the Presidents’ Day congressional recess, and have a large meeting—Republicans and Democrats—to go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there, and move it forward,” Obama said.

Even I’m skeptical — me, the Pollyanna!  Does anyone think meaningful reform is possible?  I haven’t seen any hint that anyone in Washington actually knows what is needed to pass meaningful reform.

Republicans will need to have more than opposition.  Their choice:  show up and put their ideas on the table (snicker), or not show up at all.  I expect Republicans to jump at the chance for the nation to hear all their wonderful ideas and solutions to our problems and challenges.  We will have the opportunity to see whether they truly want to help Americans or they’d prefer to work hard toward helping America fail if that’s what it takes to defeat President Obama.

It will be interesting!  When Obama trounces the Republican arguments (which won’t be difficult), will they fall back on Acorn, or blame the homosexual lifestyle?



Filed under Healthcare

Managed Care Stocks Up; Hospital Stocks Down

In anticipation of the upset Republican victory in Massachusetts today, the Wall Street Journal tells us that Managed Care stocks are up while Hospital stocks are down.

I hope those making this bet lose the election and their money.



Filed under Healthcare

Hillary Clinton — Advocating for the women of the world

In September of 1994, 179 countries adopted The Cairo Programme of Action, that declares reproductive rights to be universal.

“There’s a direct connection between a woman’s ability to plan her family, space her pregnancies and give birth safely, and her ability to get an education, work outside the home, support her family and participate fully in the life of her community,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday in a speech she made at the State Department, to an audience full of international women’s health advocates.

Over the last few decades, American elections have had an even more profound effect on reproductive rights outside the United States than inside it.  In fact, perhaps nowhere else is the difference between recent Democratic and Republican administrations quite so stark. Yesterday, after years in which the United States spread its anti-abortion ideology worldwide, Clinton declared that the United States will once again become a leader in promoting reproductive rights globally.  Struggles over abortion and contraception are being waged all over the world, and it matters a lot where the United States comes down.  A great many women’s lives are at stake.   One woman dies every minute of every day in pregnancy or childbirth, and for every woman who dies, another 20 suffer from injury, infection or disease each minute of every day. Continue reading

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Filed under abortion, family, Healthcare, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Woman Power, World Politics

Is Healthcare Delayed, Healthcare Denied?

A large healthcare insurer in Kansas started taking payments for healthcare January 1st.  The only problem is that healthcare benefit cards won’t be available until late January.  The insurer is asking that one talk with one’s doctor about not filing any claims until the insured has a card.  It is possible that one will be charged for the services and later reimbursed.  I think the company has taken a page out of the old segregationist plan that was summarized with the old saying “Justice delayed, is justice denied”.  I think most people like me will put off care until after the card is received – and I think that was the intentioned plan by the company.

Are healthcare recipients becoming the chattel of the 21st century?


Filed under Healthcare

Do the current bills reform health care?

So far members of congress have managed to put together a plan that pleases no voter — not Democrats, not Republicans, not Independents.  The insurance cartel, along with drug companies, controls congress.  It is ironic that the right wing would oppose the current insurance plan which will give billions to the insurance cartel. However, any insurance plan passed in congress under democratic control would be upsetting to the right wing. The right wing will oppose anything that might be a victory for the democrats.

The public mandate doesn’t make sense to anyone!  Now a group of Republicans, partners with the Heritage Foundation, has decided to take it to the courts.  They’ve decided the best way to stop the bill is to sue, and are arguing that the legislation’s mandate that people get insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional.

In the January 4 issue of THE NEW YORKER James Surowiecki makes his case for why the health care bill is worth passing.  His is a slightly different slant on the subject and well worth considering.



Filed under Healthcare

Tiny Tim’s Rescue by Healthcare Reform?

Paul Krugman is accepting of the compromise that is the current Healthcare Reform legislation.  He identifies three groups of critcs: 1) teabaggers, 2) conservative fiscal scolds, and 3) progressives who wanted a single payer system.  Krugman takes the position that the perfect should not be the enemy of the good.  He evokes the Dickens’s story “A Christmas Carol” to make his point.

I am hoping that ole Paul is correct.  We will see.  What say you out there?


Filed under Healthcare

Health-care Coverage for More Americans and a Budget Savings: Bad Ideas?

As this NYTimes article indicates the proposed legislation going through the legislative process will extend coverage to millions of more Americans, and the CBO (the non-partisan branch)  “said that the $871 billion cost of the bill would be more than offset by the new revenues and cuts in spending…”  But according to Republicans the foregoing is a really bad deal…. Hmmmm???

Maybe it is time, as Jim Hightower (photo above) suggested, to contact our Republican congress persons and ask that they give up their “socialized medicine” – which consists of wholely tax payer financed health insurance and physicians on call for every minute the federal legislators are in session.  Doing the right thing would involve spurning these evil socialist benefits. Right???



Filed under Healthcare

The health-care reform bill ISN’T enough pages!

A constant whine of congressional Republicans about health care reform is that the legislation is just too long and too complicated. “All you need to know is there are 1,990 pages,” griped House Minority Leader John Boehner about the House bill. “It is longer than ‘War and Peace’ and not near as funny,” said Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX). As the Washington Times has noted, Republican senators have “rotated three other copies of the bill among their desks so a giant stack is never more than a desk or two away from any senator who wants to thump it, poke it, or heft it for viewers to see.” But today, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) opened the 11th day of Senate debate by arguing that the bill is not long enough:

And we talk about 2,074 pages, which seem like a lot, and it would be for a normal bill that you could debate in a limited period of time, which is what we’re being asked to do. But 2,074 pages isn’t nearly enough to cover health care for America. So why is it only 2,074 pages?

Watch it:


Filed under Healthcare, Republicans, Wingnuts!

The Non-Public Option

This editorial in the New York Times describes what is being considered for a “Non-Pulic Option.”

MEDICARE BUY-IN People ages 55 to 64 who are eligible to use the exchanges would be permitted to buy coverage from Medicare. Unlike older Americans, this younger group would have to pay the full premium themselves unless their incomes are low enough to qualify for subsidies. The premium could be in the neighborhood of $7,600 a year for single coverage.

REGULATED NONPROFIT INSURANCE For people below age 55 who are not enrolled in group coverage, the insurance industry would have to create an array of nonprofit insurance plans to compete with for-profit plans on the exchanges in every state. (If industry fails to do this, the government would create them.) The plans would be approved and supervised by the government’s Office of Personnel Management, which administers the health insurance plans offered to members of Congress and federal employees.

I would qualify for the Medicare buy-in, but the yearly cost of $7,600 amounts to about 5 times what it costs me to purchase Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas from my employer.  How can anyone even pretend that these options would be competitive with private insurers?  It is a farce as far as I am concenred.



Filed under Healthcare