Thursday - July 30th 2009

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Hour One - Mayor of San Francisco - Gavin Newsom www.gavinnewsom.com Could Healthy San Francisco be a Model for Universal Healthcare?

Hour Two - Robert Moffit www.heritage.org  Thom is challenging Robert - Health care: Too Expensive at any Cost?

Hour Three - Don Siegelman www.donsiegelman.com  Unfair! Jurors allowed to conspire in the Siegelman Trial.

"Geeky Science Rocks"

Comments

Frank Feuerbacher (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#1

How about calling China the "Capitalist Dictatorship of China", or something along those lines. Not entirely accurate, but thought provoking.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#2

In regard to Thom's book "Threshold," in his classic "History of Rome," British historian Michael Grant also observed that the collapse of the Roman Empire was due to an inability of the Romans to adapt to changing demographics due to prejudices of the times, and the failure of its elite to recognize that their own existence as well as the empire's was under threat by the massive inequalities in Roman society. It is interesting to note that the Romans regarded the Germanic peoples in the same dehumanizing terms used against certain other immigrant groups in this country.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#3

I have a little story to tell. After a few weeks of ominous rumblings, my back just erupted into a full-blown ache. It took me twenty minutes of excruciatingly painful twisting and wriggling just to sit up, and another twenty-five minutes to put a shirt on, an effort left me nearly in tears. Hot water only offered fleeting relief, and I knew that the health insurer that my company was using would laugh at me if I asked if they covered chiropractor costs. However, I had heard that “Pain was no match for the Icy-Hot patch” so I decided to take a trip to down to the Kent, WA, K-Mart to find a cheap fix. Unfortunately it wasn’t open yet, and my only other option to affect my immediate needs was the Safeway grocery store across the street.

As soon as I walked into the store, the word “security” was to be heard loudly over the public address system. Apparently, a “Mexican” lurching in the posture of the Hunchback of Notre Dame could only have thievery on his mind. I found my way to the drug aisle, found a three dollar and odd change tube of Icy-Hot, and then straightway to the check-out counter. Apparently my movements were too rapid for the security guy. He was to be seen rushing here and there looking for me; he was easy enough to spot; he was the guy with the tough look, and was clearly not a shopper, but was not obviously an employee either, since he did not wear the store uniform or a name tag. When he found me, he circled around the checkout counter I was standing in, staring at me with that “I know you stole something” look; I called-out “There’s the security guy,” to which he responded with surly surprise that he had been exposed. His “undercover” job apparently was as a check-out clerk, and no doubt to “fool” someone he opened the next counter (even though the store was virtually empty with only a few people at the two counters already open). He barely noticed the one person who went to his counter, repeatedly looking over her shoulder to give me a look over.

There is a point to this story, I think. Ignorance, stereotyping and prejudice is still strong in this country. For some racism may seem less obviously practiced, but for others it has only increased, although the practitioners of racism point to the constant stream of negative stories coming out of the “”mainstream” media in regard to the group currently the target of paranoia xenophobia as a justification for their prejudices. Still, it cannot be but observed that a blanket prejudicial characterization of all people of a certain group cannot be regarded as anything but racism. That the people in that store saw only a potential thief and not a person in terrible pain shows that many people’s minds operate in a dark, inhuman place.

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#4

Dear Friend,

If you’re like most Americans, there’s nothing more important to you about health care than peace of mind.

Given the status quo, that’s understandable. The current system often denies insurance due to pre-existing conditions, charges steep out-of-pocket fees – and sometimes isn’t there at all if you become seriously ill.

It’s time to fix our unsustainable insurance system and create a new foundation for health care security. That means guaranteeing your health care security and stability with eight basic consumer protections:

No discrimination for pre-existing conditions
No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays
No cost-sharing for preventive care
No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill
No gender discrimination
No annual or lifetime caps on coverage
Extended coverage for young adults
Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid
Learn more about these consumer protections at Whitehouse.gov.

Over the next month there is going to be an avalanche of misinformation and scare tactics from those seeking to perpetuate the status quo. But we know the cost of doing nothing is too high. Health care costs will double over the next decade, millions more will become uninsured, and state and local governments will go bankrupt.

It’s time to act and reform health insurance, drive down costs and guarantee the health care security and stability of every American family. You can help by putting these core principles of reform in the hands of your friends, your family, and the rest of your social network.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#5

Did Dems drop labor's number one priority?

Six 'blue dog' democrats drop vital support for 'card check'

http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&It...

pugla46 (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#6

Maybe Baucus will listen now:

Dems warn Baucus with gavel threat
"Some senators suggest privately that Baucus might be more open to persuasion if his chairmanship is subject to regular votes."

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/dems-warn-baucus-with-gavel-threat-2...

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#7

Regarding recent polls on healthcare:

Folk are unhappy because President Obama is the corporatist DEM he has always been and folk are just beginning to grok that. That is why the rating poll numbers on OBAMA-Care™ lack yeast.

While it is true that the recessivist faction (the Party of "No!" and nothing else and the Blue CROSS DEMs) are insane and desire to scuttle any healthcare reform . . .OBAMA-Care™ is a happy hand-job (with a full release finish) for the health insurance industry. Of course what folk really are for is a public option. Heck, they really want universal single-payer. OBAMA-Care™ is about protecting health insurer profits for the next half a decade.

JMM (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#8

A friend of mine is a school bus driver and was diagnosed with breast cancer about 2 years ago. Her health insurance is through her job and covered her cancer treatment.

She took all the time off that she could through FMLA and then was told if she took anymore time off she would lose her job. If she lost her job she would lose her insurance and would never be able to get new insurance to cover the balance of her treatments or anything else for that matter.

She went back to work as a SCHOOL BUS DRIVER while still on chemo and radiation. Some days she was UNABLE to even feel her feet (as a driver).

I understand why she did what she did but she put our children in danger because she was scared of losing her health care.

This is just one reason why something MUST be done.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#9

I am so sick of "citizens" initiatives! Big conservative money has totally corrupted it.

One possible reform may be to require signatures be gathered only by un--paid volunteers.

The idea is to favor genuine grass-roots efforts.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#10

@pugla46:

There is a serious error in The Hill article. The Hill refers to Max Baucus as (D-MT) and it should more properly be Senator Max Baucus (D-Health Insurance Industry).

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#11

Here’s a link to a story about how the “public option” has been whittled from the original goal of covering 130 million down to the current plan which may only cover between zero to 10 million Americans.

The article is by Kip Sullivan and is on the website of Physicians for a National Health Program a physicians organization that advocates for single-payer healthcare.

http://www.pnhp.org/blog/2009/07/20/bait-and-switch-how-the-%E2%80%9Cpub...

If you’re not upset enough, Amy Goodman has an interview with David Phillips, the journalist who wrote the two part series “Casualties of War” from the Colorado Springs Gazette. The series deals with the tragic psychological toll suffered by the young men and women who have served in Iraq. It examines the explosion of violent crimes committed by members of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment at Fort Collins, Colorado Springs. The murder rate in the unit is 114 times that of the Colorado Springs area.

The segment is “The Hell of War Comes Home: Newspaper Series Documents Murder, Suicide, Kidnappings by Iraq Vets” You can find it at www.democracynow.org

Finally, a program I consider on par with Democracy Now is GritTV hosted by Laura Flanders. As far as I know, it can only be seen on Free Speech TV (FSTV) and on the GritTV website which is at http://lauraflanders.firedoglake.com/ but www.grittv.org with also get u there. As far as I know, FSTV only airs on Dish TV.

Yesterday, aired a segment titled “A Recipe For Disaster: Industrial Agriculture, Swine Flu, and Global Warming” on the dangers posed by the H1N1 swine flu virus and its link to “factory farming” and climate change. Dengue fever is also discussed.

That segment can be found at

http://lauraflanders.firedoglake.com/2009/07/29/a-recipe-for-disaster-in...

and the whole program can be found on the program’s home page or at

http://lauraflanders.firedoglake.com/2009/07/28/swine-flu-and-industrial...

The whole program also has a segment on the difficulty of LGBT organizing in Lebanon and a short film “Will I Be Next” made by a young black man about gang violence in Chicago. I believe they said there were 400 murders in Chicago in 2007 and 26 students killed between 2007 and 2008. According to Laura Flanders brief introduction to the film, 11 people were killed in Chicago this past 4th of July.

I know everyone is busy, but I consider Democracy Now and GritTV daily essentials, and since they're programs are archived on their websites you can access them at you leisure. Democracy Now not only archives their programs in video form, but also in audio and written transcript form as well.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#12

It reality CA’s Governator used this year’s “budget crisis” to squeeze through all the bull-crap from his flurry of defeated Propositions. This was about circumventing unions and destroying environmental protections while not taxing the ‘Yacht-Club’ members . . .

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#13

JIMM,

Conservative healthcare has a MILLION stories, just like the one you told. We all know them and we need to remind Americans that THESE HORROR STORIES are what conservatives want.

Sorry about your friend, BTW.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#14

According to a new WSJ/NBC poll, "support for President Barack Obama's health-care effort has declined over the past five weeks, particularly among those who already have insurance." Among those with private insurance, the proportion calling the plan a bad idea rose to 47 percent from 37 percent.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124890178435291341.html

My guess is that Obama' Healthcare should be pretty much dead after the August break.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#15

Schwarzenegger is making Gray Davis look petty good now.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#16

DRichards,

Have you read the poll? I'm curious -- are Americans turning against the conservative LIES about healthcare reform or against Obama's actual proposals?

For example:
Q: Do you support your taxes being raised for healthcare
vs.
Q: Do you support a tiny roll-back of the Bush tax breaks for the uber-rich so that children and the working poor can see a doctor?

frankiedaileylivingartist (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#17

Dear Thom & Louise,
I am a person living with the HI Virus now for more than 20 years. The one pill I take every day to suppress the virus (ATRIPLA) costs $90.00 for ONE pill. There are other meds I must take for the side effects & I have regular doctor appointments. For me to afford this I had to quit work a retail job with no insurance and apply for Social Security Disability so I could get Medicare. I now have to squeak by on less than $800. a month. If we had Medicare for all I could be a more productive member of society; which I desire with all my heart. I do what I can volunteering and supporting progressive causes but I can not make money doing this for fear of loosing my medicare and my life.
this is what America has become

Frankie Dailey

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#18

it makes me very sad to have a white under class that will follow political leaders that do not have their best interrest in mind. i feel we need to reach out to the white under class and help them understand the inportance of reforming healthcare and other issues.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#19

does the southern politician want to raise up the poor white under class or do they want to keep things as they are?

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#20

I just read the WSJ poll:

It revels that the lies of the conservtives are working.

It also reveals that the public strongly supports the SPECIFICS of Obama's proposal. (at least the couple of specific points they mentioned.)

For example, 68% of Americans like the idea of raising taxes on the rich to finance healthcare reform.

56% of Americans support banning "pre-existing" clauses.

Yes, the "liberal" media is reporting that the public has turned against Obama!

Doe the media favor conservatives or are they just too damn lazy to read down to question #31 on a poll?

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#21

Franki,

First of all -- I'm sorry for your illness. All best wishes to you.

In my opinion, any drugs invented with tax-payer funded research should be generic.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#22

does fox news care about the white under class? glen beck does not care about the white under class. he uses them. i just wish glen beck knew about the work of remote area medical in the rural south giving free medical care to the white under class

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#23

L Grace,
Good Question.
According to the article "Declining popularity of the health-care overhaul reflects rising anxiety over the federal budget deficit and congressional debate over the most contentious aspects of the legislation, including how to pay for it. The poll also shows concern over the role of government in determining personal medical decisions."
My concern with Obama's Healthcare effort is that it does not address the obscene cost of heathcare. (Why else would the AMA approve of his plan)? With government insurance, the pharmaceuticals, hospitals, ect. will make even more money unless the cost is addressed.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#24

The best health insurance I've every had was the company "self-insurance" plan that Thom just described.

But, it has to be an ethical company.

Basically, it worked like a health savings plan underwritten by a corporate catastrophic plan.

In other words, everyone had super-high deductible health insurance and then drew from a pool of funds to pay for routine doctor visits.

But the company made no profit from the "deductible" fund. That's money belongs to the employees.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#25

Paying for illegal alien’s healthcare means that when Americans are illegal aliens in other countries . . . We can get healthcare. PLUS pandemic protection benefits us ALL.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#26

Brian,
Re: it makes me very sad to have a white under class that will follow political leaders that do not have their best interrest in mind.

These folks are single issue voters. If the party says it is against abortion, then the folks will agree with whatever else the party wants, even if they shoot themselves in the foot.

Kai Wen (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#27

A couple of years ago, the supreme court said that if anyone, including illegals, comes into an emergency room, you have to treat them. That is why Arnie was supporting a single payer system in California a couple of years ago. If you have to treat everyone, single payer is the cheapest way to go. If that passed, I think he probably just eliminated funding for it.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#28

>> Richard Adlof July 30th, 2009, 8:47 am
>> Paying for illegal alien’s healthcare means that when Americans are illegal aliens in other countries . . . We can get healthcare. PLUS pandemic protection benefits us ALL.

The last point is critical -- if ANY RESIDENT has a communicable disease, I want them treated.

BTW, I've had healthcare overseas but I was always legal. I will guess that most Americans are on a legal visa status. Still, I agree with your point that universal healthcare should be world-wide.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#29

>> DRichards
>> The poll also shows concern over the role of government in determining personal medical decisions.”

That's one of the shameless lies being spread by the conservatives.

Obama has said he would veto any such legislation -- but I'll guess that Fox news edited out that part of his speeches.

>> With government insurance, the pharmaceuticals, hospitals, ect. will make even more money unless the cost is addressed.

Single payer. Single payer. Single payer!

We don't need to re-invent the wheel here.

Every country with single payer healthcare is cheaper than our conservative for-profit system.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#30

The REAL issue with any single-payer healthcare system potentially run by any state in our Union is . . . it would be illegal under current Federal law.

Don’t get me wrong, Schwarzenegger would happily veto any attempt to provide virtually anything to non-Yacht-Club Member . . .

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#31

L Grace,
Re: That’s one of the shameless lies being spread by the conservatives.

That's why I guessed Obama's plan would be pretty much dead after the August break. The break will give an extra month for the Corporate "News" (actually propaganda) to spread their version of the "truth".

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#32

The one thing about the horrible Northwest heat wave we are having is that the Blackberries are ripe! Yahoo and they are SWEEEET. I am enjoying blackberries and buckwheat/millet cereal cooked in the crockpot all night and it is soooo yummy. All worth the misery.

Richard your x-rated post was hilarious. While others get their relief you sound a tad bit frustrated:-)

L Grace-- I hate those f..... initaitives, too and I once attended a forum at PSU put on by a group that was teaching people on both sides to speak rationally to one another. One of the leeches who makes his living on those initiatives was explaining his rationale for trying to get laws passed that destroy schools or take gay rights away. I was harshly scolded for my response to him and given an invitation to their workshop on learning to speak with reason to people we despise. I still need to attend that workshop.

It seems like the "either you are a corporatist or you are for the people" is going to make it much easier to write to our congressmen. Like L-Grace said yesterday, we should follow Bernie Sanders advice, and maybe we can add to that advice that we must spend our precious time wisely, and, when we write to republicans, only write to those who are not corporatists.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#33

Richard,

I have not heard that before. State-run single payer is outlawed by Federal Law?

Got a link for that?

(I'm not calling you a liar. I just like to do my own homework in these debates.)

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#34

Loretta,

You got those good wild mountain blackberries in your area? Those are my absolute favorite.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#35

The other meme that is burning my shorts this week is that:

DEMs NEED to support OBAMA-Care™ cuz single-payer is ‘off the table’.

I say screw the table and every REP, DEM or Independent who is not on board with single-payer.

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#36

Can you get Thom's podcast? Kuccinich gave a little talk on that yesterday, too. That's what his amendment was all about. You must have come on a bit later.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#37

I'll guess that Switzerland insurance companies don't have a two-decade history of SCREWING their customers. -- literally killing them for profit.

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#38

L-Grace

Well... they aren't the baby ones that my grandma knew the secret places for in the foothills near Jacksonville Oregon. These are the backyard alley variety, but they are heavenly, too, this year. And just a few blocks away... and no one picks them... it's crazy. Too busy I guess.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#39

We should send people to jail for making profits by intentionally CAUSING THEM TO DIE!

This is EXACTLY what insurance companies are doing under conservative healthcare.

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#40

And the congressmen who support the bast.... should go with them!

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#41

Loretta,

We called those big road-side ones "Himalaya blackberries" when I was growing up in Washington.

We called the small native berries "wild mountain" but I think that includes several varieties.

They are all good. The Himalaya are much easier to pick but sometimes not as sweet.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#42

Re: Tom's guest from the Heritage who said he was against making it illegal to make a profit.
It seems to me that the idea behind making it illegal to make a profit off of health insurance is that it is morally wrong to profit from another person's ill fortune.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#43

@L-Grace:

Actually, Dennis Kucinich submitted legislation to spike the ban see:

http://www.democrats.com/node/19873

Also check podcast of Thom’s interview with Kucinich earlier this week.

L Grace (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#44

Richard,

Thanks for the link. I bookmarked it and will read it later.

Bye everyone -- I need to do some errands before it hits 100 degrees here in Oregon.

Yikes!

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#45

L Grace-- Yes... I know the name of the Himalayan blackberries but I was using another descriptor. When berries feel like part of your family you like to give them nicknames.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#46

Thom mentioned Physicians for a National Health Program earlier in today’s show a physicians’ organization that advocates for single-payer healthcare. Here’s a link to an article by Kip Sullivan about how the “public option” has been whittled from the original goal of covering 130 million Americans down to the current plan which may only cover between zero to 10 million Americans.

http://www.pnhp.org/blog/2009/07/20/bait-and-switch-how-the-%E2%80%9Cpub...

Quark (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#47

L Grace,

Re: ERISA precluding single-payer health care, read the 2-sentence second-to-last paragraph on Kucinich's website:

http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=138052

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#48

Off topic from today's interests, but Amy Goodman has an interview with David Phillips, the journalist who wrote the two part series “Casualties of War” from the Colorado Springs Gazette.

The series deals with the tragic psychological toll suffered by the men and women who have served in Iraq. It examines the explosion of violent crimes committed by members of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment at Fort Collins, Colorado Springs. The murder rate in the unit is 114 times that of the Colorado Springs area.

The segment is “The Hell of War Comes Home: Newspaper Series Documents Murder, Suicide, Kidnappings by Iraq Vets” You can find it at www.democracynow.org

Quark (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#49

The caller who mentioned the invocation of God as a means of changing things reminded me of a recent piece in The Onion. It was written from the point of view of the "new Chinese owners" of The Onion:

"Weakling President Asks Imaginary Man In Sky To Bless Nation"

http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/weakling_president_asks

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 27 weeks ago
#50

The debate about healthcare is a bit like the debate about whether or not to vote for President Obama or Ralph Nader. If we don't support Obama's public option, even in its whittled down form, we may get no plan? Isn't that our concern?

But it's best if we work on both at the same time.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

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

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