Here’s more information to supplement yesterday’s post on that Republican last ditch attempt to repeal Obamacare in the Senate, the Graham-Cassidy bill. Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s “All In” interviews Senator Brian Schatz. A gob-smacking bit of information revealed by Senator Schatz is that according to Senate rules the time left for debate on this bill is somewhere between ninety seconds and two minutes! ! For those interested in the gory details of the bill, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a comprehensive analysis here. [Read more…]
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation acknowledging that health care is a right, not a privilege. Medicare for All, as we’re now calling it, doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming law anytime soon.
Still, this is a discussion worth having, as fifteen or so Democratic Senators have agreed to be co-sponsors. Even as we continue to oppose Republican attempts take the nation back to the 19th century, it is time to be FOR something.
As I understand it, the Sanders bill would cover everything from emergency surgery to prescription drugs, from mental health to eye care–and this is a biggie–along with dental care with no co-payments. [Read more…]
How long have Republicans been talking about repealing and replacing Obamacare? Seems like forever, no? Here’s a HuffPost video from January of this year (which now makes it seven and a half years!) although nothing of much substance has changed other than reneging on the promise of immediate replacement. Do you think anyone has gotten […]
One human language is much too small
to convey the ever unfolding meanings at play in the world.
I am an environmental activist. I have depression. To be an activist with depression places me squarely in an irreconcilable dilemma: The destruction of the natural world creates stress which exacerbates depression. Cessation of the destruction of the natural world would alleviate the stress I feel and, therefore, alleviate the depression. However, acting to stop the destruction of the natural world exposes me to a great deal of stress which, again, exacerbates depression.
Either, the destruction persists, I am exposed to stress, and I remain depressed. Or, I join those resisting the destruction, I am exposed to stress, and I remain depressed.
Depressed if I do, depressed if I don’t. So, I fight back. [Read more…]
By Julie Trager
Like Paul Revere, riding from Boston to warn the American militia that the Redcoats were coming, I am warning of another force that is attempting to protect its way of life. Now that SB 562, the bill for a single payer healthcare system, has passed the Senate, Big Pharma will likely roll out a massive disinformation campaign as it tries to stop it from passing through the California Assembly.
As Big Pharma has the distinction of being the largest lobbying industry, beating out major oil companies and the Koch brothers in their spending to influence legislation and government officials, it’s worth understanding what’s at stake and what they plan to do about it. [Read more…]
By Stephen Rosenfeld / Alternet
The California Senate Appropriations Committee has vastly overstated the new costs of creating a single-payer health system for the Golden State, according to a national authority on healthcare spending.
Last week, the Committee released its analysis of SB 562, The Healthy California Act. It said the total cost of providing health care to all 37 million Californians was $400 billion a year. Half of that comes from an array of government programs—Medicaid, Medicare, Obamacare, etc. That means Californians would have to raise the payroll tax by 15 percent to pay for the difference, it reported.
“About $200 billion in additional tax revenues would be needed to pay for the remainder of the total program cost. Assuming that this cost was raised through a new payroll tax (with no cap on wages subject to the tax), the additional payroll tax rate would be about 15% of earned income,” the Appropriations analysis said. “It is important to note that the overall cost of those new tax revenues would be offset to a large degree by reduced spending on health care coverage by employers and employees. Therefore, total new spending required under the bill would be between $50 and $100 billion per year.” [Read more…]
Health officials expect the number of diagnoses to rise
By Kali Holloway / AlterNet
The anti-vaxxer misinformation campaign has led to yet another outbreak of a wholly preventable disease. Minnesota’s Department of Health has announced that 44 people in the state have been diagnosed with measles, a disease once eradicated in the United States. Forty-two of those cases are in children, most of them Somali-American, who were never vaccinated. According to numerous sources, the outbreak is the result of a sustained anti-vaccination campaign that convinced an immigrant community to be wary of life-saving science.
The largest Somali-American population in the country resides in Minnesota, mostly in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Those who arrived as refugees beginning in the late 1990s left behind a country where measles still kills 10,000 children annually. [Read more…]
Robert Reich / RobertReich.org
Shame on every one of the 217 Republicans who last Thursday voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and substitute basically nothing.
Trumpcare isn’t a replacement of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a transfer from the sick and poor to the rich and healthy. [Read more…]
By Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams
As Republicans joined President Donald Trump for a victory photo op and beer bash at the White House following the passage of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) in the House of Representatives on Thursday, the overwhelming response from progressive organizations and voters furious over the prospect of losing their healthcare coverage was: “See you at the ballot box.”
With much fanfare, members of the GOP gathered at the Rose Garden to hail the bill—which will strip millions of Americans of their coverage and raise the premiums on individuals with pre-existing conditions—that passed the House with a slim 217-213 margin of victory.
Meanwhile, the condemnations poured in, with vows that voters will seek retribution come 2018, when many of them will be up for re-election. Others focused on the near term, with protests already in the works as legislators prepare to head home for two weeks of Congressional recess. [Read more…]
By Lauree Benton
This 2013 article is a reminder of what is at stake in the efforts to repeal the ACA (Obamacare). The current GOP plan (AHCA) would let employers deny coverage for maternity and other care. Pregnancy would become a preexisting condition–again.
I didn’t know pregnancy was a preexisting condition until I was 8.5 months pregnant.
“You are uninsurable,” says the sales representative from Blue Cross of California. “Pregnancy is considered a preexisting condition.”
“You mean the preexisting condition that allows humanity to survive?” I snapped. I was furious.
To the sales rep’s credit, he thought it was ridiculous too. [Read more…]
By Bill Adams
Universal health care in the U.S. is inevitable. It’s inevitable as long as this country remains among the league of economically developed countries. This inevitability stems from the answer to the fundamental moral question: Do all persons, regardless of wealth, deserve medical treatment? This question is essentially a rhetorical question.
The only acceptable answer in a modern civilized country is “yes.” Yet, the barbaric U.S. health care system tolerates the death of thousands of people per year attributable to lack of health coverage. Even after the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA” aka “ObamaCare”) in 2010, millions remain uninsured or under-insured leading to fatal delay or avoidance in obtaining treatment for treatable and curable illnesses.
The U.S. lags all countries that provide universal health care in every major measurement of health and curing illnesses. Ironically, the U.S. consumer who can afford health insurance receives no benefit for this bloodletting. U.S. health care is the World’s most costly but provides only average medical results – even for those who can afford it. [Read more…]
By Deborah Burger / Common Dreams
With continued uncertainty in Washington over the fate of the Affordable Care Act, California has a unique role to play in charting a new path on health care reform – legislation that would guarantee coverage for all Californians, at much lower cost.
SB 562, the Healthy California Act, introduced by state Senators Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins, with the California Nurses Association as lead proponent, will receive its first legislative hearing Wednesday, April 26 before the Senate Health Committee.
Excitement over the proposed law is already escalating around the state. Scores of nurses and healthcare activists have held multiple town halls, rallies, marches, and engaged in conventional lobbying including neighborhood canvassing and calls to legislators. [Read more…]