Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

When you read this post, please keep in mind that the cost of the Iraq war, to date, is more than $450 billion and rising – with no end in site. Then hear President Bush – with the smirk ever-present on his face and in his voice – chastise “the Democrats” for putting forth this bi-partisan bill TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE TO KIDS FROM LOW-INCOME FAMILIES, calling it “too costly.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush again called Democrats “irresponsible” on Saturday for pushing an expansion he opposes to a children’s health insurance program.

“Democrats in Congress have decided to pass a bill they know will be vetoed,” Bush said of the measure that draws significant bipartisan support, repeating in his weekly radio address an accusation he made earlier in the week. “Members of Congress are risking health coverage for poor children purely to make a political point.”

In the Democrats’ response, also broadcast Saturday, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell turned the tables on the president, saying that if Bush doesn’t sign the bill, 15 states will have no funding left for the program by the end of the month.

At issue is the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a state-federal program that subsidizes health coverage for low-income people, mostly children, in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private coverage. It expires September 30.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced a proposal Friday that would add $35 billion over five years to the program, adding 4 million people to the 6.6 million already participating. It would be financed by raising the federal cigarette tax by 61 cents to $1 per pack.

The idea is overwhelmingly supported by Congress’ majority Democrats, who scheduled it for a vote Tuesday in the House. It has substantial Republican support as well.

But Bush has promised a veto, saying the measure is too costly, unacceptably raises taxes, extends government-covered insurance to children in families who can afford private coverage, and seems like a move toward completely federalized health care.

He has asked Congress to pass a simple extension of the current program while debate continues, saying it’s children who will suffer if they do not.

“Our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage — not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage,” Bush said. Video Listen to the whole radio address »

The bill’s backers have vigorously rejected Bush’s claim it would steer public money to families that can readily afford health insurance, saying their goal is to cover more of the millions of uninsured children. The bill would provide financial incentives for states to cover their lowest-income children first, they said.

Many governors want the flexibility to expand eligibility for the program. So the proposal would overturn recent guidelines from the administration making it difficult for states to steer CHIP funds to families with incomes exceeding 250 percent of the official poverty level.

Rendell said thousands of children will lose health care coverage if Bush doesn’t sign the bill.

“The administration has tried to turn this into a partisan issue and has threatened to veto. The health of our children is far too important for partisan politics as usual,” he said. “If the administration is serious about solving our health care crisis, it should be expanding, not cutting back, this program which has made private health insurance affordable for millions of children.”

From CNN.com

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We will not be posting Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007. We are participating in the STRIKE FOR PEACE.

If you’ve had enough, you need to say “When.” Say-when.org

Mark H. Rachesky, M.D. purchased 33.4% (over 40 Million) shares of Lions Gate stock one week prior to the scheduled opening of Michael Moore’s controversial film “Sicko” which happens to be distributed by Lions Gate and the Weinstein Co. (SEC filing can be found here). Interestingly, a pre-screening of the film was held on the same day in New Hampshire for over 600 people including doctors, health care lobbyists, nurses, political figures and pharmaceutical companies all from the health care industry.

…….

If Dr Rachesky purchased Lions Gate shares for controlling power is it safe to ask why? There are many debates and arguments as the the accuracy of Moore’s film. What interests me is if there were no truth and validity to the documentary why would someone go to so much trouble to make sure it is not a success and limit the amount theaters where the film can be seen? Sounds to me like this film has left the health care industry shaking in their boots and they don’t want us to know the truth.

Read the whole article at The Zetetic

OK – there are between 50 and 60 million people in the U.S. who suffer from allergies of all types.  The cost of those allergies is nearly $7 billion a year – $5.7 billion in medication, $300 million in office visits, and $700 million in lost productivity from days of work missed. (The statistics are from the Asthma and Allergy Association of America.)

A team of doctors in the U. K. have discovered a drug, with almost no side effects, that could “signal the end to all allergies.”  (Read the story in the Daily Express.)

We’re taking bets – will it be available in America?  If so, how much will a prescription cost?  Remember – there has to be a way for Big Pharma to make up that $6 billion!

Say “When.”

Lots and lots and lots of e-mails about the debates that just ended.  I will absolutely NOT discuss who I thought “won” – I’ve already discussed the earlier “debates” and haven’t changed my mind.

I will limit my comments to the candidates “YouTube-style” campaign videos:

The winner – hands down – John Edwards!

The loser – and we’re taking bets around here how long the staffer who made that piece of cr@p has a job – Hillary Clinton!  What was she thinking?!

And that, folks, is The End of this installment of the Hillary and Obama Show.  Thanks for watching!

Say “When.”

They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out right away to escape the danger.

But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then you gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling, the frog will not become aware of the threat until it is too late.  The frog’s survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes.

Say “When.”

July 15th, 2007 11:12 pm
Hospital group rejects system and cashes in

A Southland doctor’s company prospers by canceling insurance contracts and, some say, shortchanging patients.

By Daniel Costello / Los Angeles Times

As he piloted his new, $1.4-million helicopter from his Apple Valley home to Orange County one recent morning, Dr. Prem Reddy enjoyed a cloudless view of his growing empire.

Today, the five-seat Eurocopter EC120 whisks him to Anaheim, where he recently agreed to buy two hospitals. On other days, he sweeps over endless miles of gridlock to his facilities in Sherman Oaks, Huntington Beach and San Diego.

The 58-year-old cardiologist has scooped up six of his eight hospitals in the last two years and could take over as many as six more in the coming months.

The buying spree is making his company one of the largest hospital owners in the state, placing it in a position to challenge industry leaders including Kaiser Permanente and Catholic Healthcare West.

“There’s a lot of sacrifice in a doctor’s life,” Reddy said, over the whir of the chopper’s blades. “But there are many rewards.”

Read the rest – you won’t believe your eyes!

Say “When.”

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Dear CNN,

Well, the week is over — and still no apology, no retraction, no correction of your glaring mistakes.

I bet you thought my dust-up with Wolf Blitzer was just a cool ratings coup, that you really wouldn’t have to correct the false statements you made about “Sicko.” I bet you thought I was just going to go quietly away.

Think again. I’m about to become your worst nightmare. ‘Cause I ain’t ever going away. Not until you set the record straight, and apologize to your viewers. “The Most Trusted Name in News?” I think it’s safe to say you can retire that slogan.

You have an occasional segment called “Keeping Them Honest.” But who keeps you honest? After what the public saw with your report on “Sicko,” and how many inaccuracies that report contained, how can anyone believe anything you say on your network? In the old days, before the Internet, you could get away with it. Your victims had no way to set the record straight, to show the viewers how you had misrepresented the truth. But now, we can post the truth — and back it up with evidence and facts — on the web, for all to see. And boy, judging from the mail both you and I have been receiving, the evidence I have posted on my site about your “Sicko” piece has led millions now to question your honesty.

I won’t waste your time rehashing your errors. You know what they are. What I want to do is help you come clean. Admit you were wrong. What is the shame in that? We all make mistakes. I know it’s hard to admit it when you’ve screwed up, but it’s also liberating and cathartic. It not only makes you a better person, it helps prevent you from screwing up again. Imagine how many people will be drawn to a network that says, “We made a mistake. We’re human. We’re sorry. We will make mistakes in the future — but we will always correct them so that you know you can trust us.” Now, how hard would that really be?

As you know, I hold no personal animosity against you or any of your staff. You and your parent company have been very good to me over the years. You distributed my first film, “Roger & Me” and you published “Dude, Where’s My Country?” Larry King has had me on twice in the last two weeks. I couldn’t ask for better treatment.

That’s why I was so stunned when you let a doctor who knows a lot about brain surgery — but apparently very little about public policy — do a “fact check” story, not on the medical issues in “Sicko,” but rather on the economic and political information in the film. Is this why there has been a delay in your apology, because you are trying to get a DOCTOR to say he was wrong? Please tell him not to worry, no one is filing a malpractice claim against him. Dr. Gupta does excellent and compassionate stories on CNN about people’s health and how we can take better care of ourselves. But when it came time to discuss universal health care, he rushed together a bunch of sloppy — and old — research. When his producer called us about his report the day before it aired, we sent to her, in an email, all the evidence so that he wouldn’t make any mistakes on air. He chose to ignore ALL the evidence, and ran with all his falsehoods — even though he had been given the facts a full day before! How could that happen? And now, for 5 days, I have posted on my website, for all to see, every mistake and error he made.

You, on the other hand, in the face of this overwhelming evidence and a huge public backlash, have chosen to remain silent, probably praying and hoping this will all go away.

Well it isn’t. We are now going to start looking into the veracity of other reports you have aired on other topics. Nothing you say now can be believed. In 2002, the New York Times busted you for bringing celebrities on your shows and not telling your viewers they were paid spokespeople for the pharmaceutical companies. You promised never to do it again. But there you were, in 2005, talking to Joe Theismann, on air, as he pushed some drug company-sponsored website on prostate health. You said nothing about about his affiliation with GlaxoSmithKline.

Clearly, no one is keeping you honest, so I guess I’m going to have to do that job, too. $1.5 billion is spent each year by the drug companies on ads on CNN and the other four networks. I’m sure that has nothing to do with any of this. After all, if someone gave me $1.5 billion, I have to admit, I might say a kind word or two about them. Who wouldn’t?!

I expect CNN to put this matter to rest. Say you’re sorry and correct your story — like any good journalist would.

Then we can get back to more important things. Like a REAL discussion about our broken health care system. Everything else is a distraction from what really matters.

Yours,
Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com
www.michaelmoore.com

P.S. If you also want to apologize for not doing your job at the start of the Iraq War, I’m sure most Americans would be very happy to accept your apology. You and the other networks were willing partners with Bush, flying flags all over the TV screens and never asking the hard questions that you should have asked. You might have prevented a war. You might have saved the lives of those 3,610 soldiers who are no longer with us. Instead, you blew air kisses at a commander in chief who clearly was making it all up. Millions of us knew that — why didn’t you? I think you did. And, in my opinion, that makes you responsible for this war. Instead of doing the job the founding fathers wanted you to do — keeping those in power honest (that’s why they made it the FIRST amendment) — you and much of the media went on the attack against the few public figures like myself who dared to question the nightmare we were about to enter. You’ve never thanked me or the Dixie Chicks or Al Gore for doing your job for you. That’s OK. Just tell the truth from this point on.

In case you haven’t seen Michael “chatting” with Wolf Blitzer – click here.

By Kim Ridley

One of the biggest myths about health care is that more is always better. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the United States, which offers a cautionary tale for other countries seeking health care reform — including those in Europe looking across the Atlantic for inspiration. The American people spent nearly $2.1 trillion on health care in 2006 — more than was spent on food — yet Americans aren’t exceptionally healthy or long-lived as a result. They have shorter life expectancies than people in Western Europe, Canada and Japan and are no less hindered by disease than their counterparts in other developed countries.

Please read the rest of the article here.

Please also read what the San Francisco Chronicle has to say: We spend far more, but our health care is falling behind
Say “When.”

Welcome – this is the blog home of the Say “When” movement. The site – www.say-when.org – isn’t set up, nor should it be, for opinions and comments. It’s for people to visit and make their own decisions. But we found ourselves shouting at the monitor as we linked to entry after entry after entry – so we decided we’d start a blog of our own.

We’ll let you in on the best blogs, sites, news links, etc. that make our point. We will tell you right now – we will not debate you. We understand that there are a dwindling number of places where you can get agreement on your “red state, I Love GW” idiocy – please be clear that this is not one of them. We know that you have a limited capacity for what appears to be logical thought and resort to spouting “you’re unpatriotic, you hate America, and you hate our troops” rhetoric – you are full of cr@p on all counts and we are not amused!

For your edification, below are some quotes from a man considered by many to be the most patriotic of the signers of The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson. If you choose to debate his statements, kindly take it up directly with him.

“When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!”
– Thomas Jefferson

Just to prove he was not alone, here are a few others –

“There are more instances of the abridgement of freedoms of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
– James Madison

“The people are the rightful master of both congresses and the courts. Not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.”
– Abraham Lincoln

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
– Edmund Burke

“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”
– Samuel Adams

“Fear is the foundation of most governments.”
– John Adams

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
– Benjamin Franklin

So, folks – that’s it for the opening post. Rest assured, there will be more.

Say “When.”