July 16th 2009 - Thursday

nicole-imagesHost Nicole Sandler fills in for Thom and takes listener calls on the issues of the day

Comments

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#1

N I C O L E? KPOJ is doing a replay . . . Sigh.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#2

Im' trying to sort out the excuses against single payer health insurance:

People like to pay four to six times more per capita for ever diminishing longevity while single-payer and socialized enjoy increasing longevity (USAians down from number two or three to #35 since Harold and Louise).

People like paying four to six times more per capita for ever increasing infant mortality rates (in 2007, USAian actually born babies died more often than at least one African nation . . . ).

Having a for profit corporation denying my medically necessary procedures so the company can annually pay their corporate officers more than the GNP of 30% of the nations on the face of the planet, rather than just having the government pay for the procedure, is good for me and our nation.

Forcing people choosing to buy bread to attempt to culture penicillin to treat infections is an adequate healthcare plan.

The health insurance providers that suck off 10 to 18% of every healthcare dollar just to maintain administrations to deny providing said health care (BEFORE their profit margin and executive pay packages are slathered on top of even that) can't compete with an ineffectual government program so we need to avoid implementing the government program to keep healthcare costs at their utter maximum.

Popping the FICA cap would pay for single payer AND make Social Security solvent forever but we can't ask filthy rich folk to pay their fair share because it would make sense.

People who have been successfully kept ignorant for three decades about economics through defunding education and bloviating corporate media spiel might come to know that there are more effective and efficient methodologies to deliver goods and services than privatizing our nation's entire commons to corporate entities who economically rape and mercilessly pillage them . . . And this would be bad.

People might come to understand that communal action supports societies and that individualism is antithetical to societies AND that humans are social animals . . . and that would be bad.

By caring for people, people might recognize that caring for others might be in their best interests . . . and that would be bad.

Jesus healed the sick so we don't have to . . . (Frankly, I laugh so hard at the guy who said this that he left the room. Apparently, he was serious and still won't talk to me).

It is a good thing that 62% of all bankruptcies are caused by medical costs.

Blaming folk from other places is more important than acknowledging that the sum total of the effects of illegal and undocumented folk on healthcare is relatively small overall impact on the healthcare system and rather than excluding the illegal and undocumented from healthcare which decreases our national security by increasing the chance that all citizens and residents in our country of becoming victims to untreated disease vectors (I believe that a better choice is to apply maximum enforcement towards the employers of said illegal and undocumented workers . . . Zero supply of jobs = Zero reason for illegal entry).

What have I missed?

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#3

N I C O L E!

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#4

Every Single Republican Congress Member Has Now Co-Sponsored Bill to Audit the Fed... Democrats, Its Up To You

Ron Paul announced today:

All 178 Republican members of the House have now signed on as cosponsors of [the] Federal Reserve Transparency Act, HR 1207.
With a total of 271 cosponsors, Democrats must put pressure on another 19 Democratic co-sponsors in order to bring it to the magic number of 290 ... so that it will be veto-proof by Obama.

Please call your Democratic and Independent representatives and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 1207!

And everyone, please call your senator and ask them to support S. 604, the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009.

There is a huge campaign to keep the Fed's shenanigans hidden (and see this). It will take every single one of us calling congress to make it happen.

This is not a partisan issue - every single Democrat and Independent should support Fed transparency.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#5

I searched the walk4healthcare site for a schedule - when we can expect Dr. Gurel to be where, without success. Specifically, I'd like to know if his walk take him thru the NYC area, and when. Anybody got a better clue than me?

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#6

Senator Charles Ernest "Chuck" Grassley (R-ND) has never shown the ability to make sense on healthcare . . . High fructose corn syrup has a good friend in Senator Grassley.

Senator Thomas Allen "Tom" Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) has never shown the ability to make sense on healthcare . . . BUT happily provides tubal ligations to patients without consent and demands payment for services rendered.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#7

Richard Adlof,

MSNBC reported today that Max Baucus, head of the Senate Finance Committee, works in tandem with Ranking Member Grassley and won't do anything without getting his agreement. (!)

Apparently, Baucus is "frustrating" Democrats on both ends of Pennsylvania AV because he hasn't reached an agreement with Grassley yet (even tho Harry Reid told him he didn't need to do that.)

Baucus' D.C. office #: (202) 224-3744

Grassley's D.C. #: (202) 224-3744

Grassley's comments this a.m. made me want to vomit.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#8

RE: "Apparently, Baucus is “frustrating” Democrats on both ends of Pennsylvania AV because he hasn’t reached an agreement with Grassley yet (even tho Harry Reid told him he didn’t need to do that.)"

Please excuse me. I didn't word this correctly. Dems. are upset because Baucus holding up healthcare legislation because he has not issued any report on it from his committee. (Grassley is the reason why.)

Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#9

'Sorry! I guess I'm too distracted! CORRECT number for Baucus:

(202) 224-2651

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#10

Health insurers do NOT provide healthcare. Healthcare providers provide healthcare.

Health insurance is a financial instrument. Healthcare is the medically necessary procedures, practices and services required to maintain the life and health of any individual or group of individuals.

The stated basic premise of health insurance is to spread the risk (costs) of healthcare over a larger population to minimize the financial impact (cost) to any specific member/insured. We, the People, are the largest possible population available to our nation. Single-payer makes the single most efficient and effective grouping to maximally disperse those costs.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#11
Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#12

Great discussion re: "Goodfellas Government" with Eliot Spitzer, etc.:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/31943847#31943847

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#13

No big surprise that a friend of HiFructose CS is no friend of Public Health, is it?

Maybe it's not just Chuck Grassley that's holding up a report from Baucus' committee - let's take a look at opensecrets.org, and see who's been making contributions to Max's 2010 campaign fund, shall we?

Top 20 Contributors
Senator Max Baucus 2010

Rank Contributor Total Indivs PACs
1 Schering-Plough Corp $66,200 $64,200 $2,000
2 Goldman Sachs $47,900 $47,900 $0
3 KKR & Co $47,000 $47,000 $0
4 American International Group $46,750 $37,000 $9,750
5 Aetna Inc $45,250 $35,250 $10,000
5 Amgen Inc $45,250 $35,250 $10,000
7 UST Inc $41,950 $32,950 $9,000
8 New York Life Insurance $41,650 $41,650 $0
9 Blue Cross/Blue Shield $40,850 $21,350 $19,500
10 DaVita Inc $40,350 $36,600 $3,750
11 American Express $39,800 $29,800 $10,000
12 Akin, Gump et al $38,836 $34,350 $4,486
13 JPMorgan Chase & Co $38,100 $28,600 $9,500
14 Citigroup Inc $35,000 $26,000 $9,000
15 Morgan Stanley $34,500 $25,500 $9,000
16 Huntsman Corp $32,200 $32,200 $0
17 Paulson & Co $29,900 $29,900 $0
18 Wyeth $29,170 $18,170 $11,000
19 Verizon Communications $29,001 $19,001 $10,000
20 Kindred Healthcare $28,400 $18,400 $10,000

Hmmm - seems that list is kinda heavy on insurance and pharmaceutical companies, eh?
Howzabout his buddy from North Dakota?

Top 20 Contributors
Senator Chuck Grassley 2010

Rank Contributor Total Indivs PACs
1 Amgen Inc $33,300 $24,300 $ 9,000
2 Select Medical Corp $18,700 $18,700 $ 0
3 Mylan Laboratories $17,000 $ 7,000 $10,000
4 DaVita Inc $16,500 $ 8,000 $ 8,500
4 Williams & Jensen $16,500 $14,500 $ 2,000
6 Blue Cross/Blue Shield $14,750 $ 2,250 $12,500
7 American Academy of Ophthalmology $12,500 $ 0 $12,500
8 Livingston Group $11,500 $11,500 $ 0
9 Clark Consulting $11,350 $ 6,350 $ 5,000
10 American Academy of Dermatology Assn $10,000 $ 0 $10,000
10 Bluegrass Cmte $10,000 $ 0 $10,000
10 Federation of American Hospitals $10,000 $ 0 $10,000
10 FPL Group $10,000 $ 0 $10,000
10 Hercules Holding $10,000 $ 0 $10,000
10 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance $10,000 $ 0 $10,000
10 New York Life Insurance $10,000 $ 0 $10,000
10 Renal Leadership Council $10,000 $ 0 $10,000
10 US Oncology $10,000 $ 0 $10,000
19 Winston & Strawn $ 9,250 $ 3,750 $ 5,500
20 CME Group $ 9,000 $ 0 $ 9,000
20 Roche Holdings $ 9,000 $ 0 $ 9,000

Different companies - but a similar mix of sectors.

Like they said in "All the President's Men" - Follow the MONEY!

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#14

Of course, Senator Max Sieben Baucus (D-Health Insurance Industry) and Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-Walmart) have expressed issues with single-payer.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#15

No big surprise that a friend of HiFructose CS is no friend of Public Health, is it?

Maybe it's not just Chuck Grassley that's holding up a report from Baucus' committee - Take a look at opensecrets.org, and see who's been making contributions to Max's 2010 campaign fund?

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2010&cid=N00004...

Just a bit heavy on Insurance and Pharmaceutical firms, eh?

So - howzabout Max's buddy from North Dakota?

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2010&cid=N00001...

Different companies for sure - but a similar sector mix.

Like Deep Throat said in "All the President's Men" - Follow the MONEY!

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#16

Refresh my memory; I think it was Noam Chomsky who said we would have government provided health care insurance when corporate America wanted it, and that the automakers were approaching that point because of the cost of health care to their workers.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#17

Richard Adlof,

Thanks for the wonderful format: Senator Max Sieben Baucus (D-Health Insurance Industry), Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-Walmart.)

I am going to try to remember to use that!

DRichards,

Yes, ever since corporations received "personhood" in the late 1800s, we have been run by the corporations,with DFR as the exception.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#18

DRichards,,

OMG, I'm really having problems today: s.b. "FDR."

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#19

DRichards -

When I first read over the text of HR1207 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-1207), I wasn't terribly impressed. Seems that all it really does is mandate a change in the way reports about the Fed are prepared. Didn't seem like a big deal to me.

Then I looked at S604 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s111-604) , the Senate version (essentially identical, except for the name), and saw that it was introduced by Bernie Sanders.

Maybe I'm dense, but I don't see the substance here that would bring Ron Paul & Bernie Sanders together on the issue - can someone enlighten me?

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#20

... unless there's more than one Senator Sanders?

Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#21

DRichards,

It seems to me that these bills throw open investigations of the Fed without previous exceptions. Ron Paul has had a problem with the Fed and has called for doing away with it. Bernie Sanders wants more oversight (I don't know his position on dissolving it.)

Please look at the following. Does this address your question, or am I not understanding what you meant?

If you look at the actual US CODE TITLE 31 > SUBTITLE I > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER II > § 714, it seems that major changes will be made. The NEW wording becomes:

(b) Under regulations of the Comptroller General, the Comptroller General shall audit an agency.

The OLD wording to be changed is:

(b) Under regulations of the Comptroller General, the Comptroller General shall audit an agency, but may carry out an onsite examination of an open insured bank or bank holding company only if the appropriate agency has consented in writing. Audits of the Federal Reserve Board and Federal reserve banks may not include—
(1) transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government of a foreign country, or nonprivate international financing organization;
(2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters, including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, and open market operations;
(3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; or
(4) a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System related to clauses (1)–(3) of this subsection.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#22

mstaggerlee,

Both want the same information towards different ends:

1. Representative Paul to destroy government, and
2. Senator Sanders to shame government into being better.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#23

Self-centered hacks . . . (Jesse Ventura and Ross Perot and . . . ) make temporary slashes but are not an foundation for change.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#24

Term limits destroy institutional memory and historically leads to Libertarian effects in governance.

What is required is:
1. Public financing of political campaigns, and
2. Force corporate media to do public good to maintain their licenses by allowing access for viable candidates to express themselves.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#25

Richard Adlof,

1) You forgot "thin-skinned" in your Jesse Ventura description...

2) I don't know how we will ever get most "professional politicians" to change campaign finance rules. Maybe the change needs to happen farther up the food chain. Maybe we need to think of things we can do to "convince" (or strong-arm) corporations to change. But how does one make a "dent" in the corporations?

Quark (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#26

Richard Adlof,

Of course, the Supreme Court has the power (but not the inclination) to effect changes with the corporations...

Bill Watkins (not verified) 13 years 28 weeks ago
#27

One of the key problems with the current system is that profit is defined as denying coverage to people. There are NO incentives at present for lowering costs or increasing quality of patient outcomes.

For all the republicans that believe in profit as the fix for everything we need to ask them how can the system be fixed so that providing better service and better patient outcomes are linked to increased profit. In our current system, profit is increased by denying service until the patient dies (insurance companies) and providing wasted services to run up the bill (hospitals, drug companies, and doctors). These outcomes are exactly what we are getting.

Many new drugs are no more effective than placebo or existing medicines and are constantly pushed on Americans. They are pushed for profit not patient benefit. These expensive in-effective treatments are pushing our costs up without control of any kind. More people die from drug interactions and hospital errors that in highway accidents every year. These deaths actually increase profits for both hospitals and insurance companies and have been very difficult to reduce as a result.

It is the responsibility of government to set the rules for business such that the peoples interests are in alignment with business's interest in profits. The Congress has failed to meet this responsibility for at least the last 28 years.

For our Republican friends: Do you want the decision of whether your Mom receives treatment for myeloma to be based on her dying quicker (Increased profit for the insurance company) or based on her living longer and in better health?

For our Democratic friends: Single payer and public options are a good start but how do we create incentive for these alternatives to provide better outcomes. A government equivalent of the current insurance mess is still set up with the same destructive incentives that plaque our current health system.

The current mechanisms have impoverished new doctors, denied needed services for people that can be helped and generated immense profits for drug companies based on government sponsored monopolies (drug patents).

The insurance companies and existing health system players are only too happy to have us arguing about single payer or private systems, taxes to pay for the un-insured, etc. as they give them the same results as today. They will continue to deliver bad service and laugh all the way to the bank.

I would rather contract with a hospital, medical equipment vendor, doctor, and drug company and the payments be based on increased patient benefit rather than how many people I can deny coverage to. This is where our creative energies must be focused if we want to get a different result than we have experienced in the last 28 years.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."