The Choice....Medicare Part E or a 39% rate Hike?
Does the 39 percent rate hike in Anthen Blue Cross's health insurance price for many Californians predict future costs in healthcare? Wellpoint, which owns Anthen Blue Cross, says no, and blames the economy plus they say only a few policies are affected. But that's only a part of the story. The real truth is that the hike only applies to individual policies, not coverage through employers. These hikes impact a huge number of Americans who no one wants to talk about– the 46 million with no insurance at all. For people who don't get insurance through their jobs, often the only option is the individual policies like the ones in WellPoint's just raised by 39% at the same time its parent company was declaring a quarterly profit of over two thousand million - that's two billion - dollars. Medicare Part E - E for everyone is what we need. This blows up all the rumors about death panels and grandma and everything else: everybody knows what Medicare is. Those who scorn it can go with United Healthcare and it's $100 million/year CEO, or Anthem/Wellpoint and its $2 billion quarterly profit. Those who like Medicare can buy into Part E. Simplicity itself. And it could be passed by reconciliation with 51 votes in the Senate.
According to a story in an eastern Washington newspaper, the work force of local apple growers were subject to an audit by the ICE; one of the larger companies was given a list of 550 names that they had determined did not have the proper papers, and had to be fired—about a quarter of its workforce, with more to come. The local Minutemen are ecstatic, although they apparently have no interest in working in the orchards themselves. Local growers say they don’t want to hire undocumented workers, but they say that the current guest worker program is cumbersome and expensive, and altogether inadequate for their needs. Despite 10 percent unemployment, they don’t see any white Americans banging on their doors for jobs. Many people wonder why the bigots even care who’s doing the picking, if these hypocrites don’t feel like doing the work themselves.
The question is why is the ICE wasting time raiding orchards instead of investing in a practical guest-worker program grounded in reality and not racist fantasy, particularly since growers have to compete with cheap imported produce from other countries. Since eastern Washington is Republican territory, and at least one Republican member in the House representing the area agrees with growers on the need for reform, perhaps this is the Obama administration playing “chess” to see if enough Republicans whose districts are affected by the nonsensical immigration policy will support immigration reform.
Only 39 percent? When I was on an individual plan, my premiums went up from $170 to $400 in a three year span, even though I never had a medical issue during that time. Insurance companies don't want to deal with individuals, and want to price them out. The question is why don't they deal with individuals as if they represent one large private company?
According to a progressive website called ProgressivePunch (“Leading with the Left—Pow!”) The number one progressive member of the U.S. Senate is not Bernie Sanders. It’s, it’s…drum roll…it’s Roland Burris! Progressive Punch gives Burris a “lifetime” progressive voting score of 99.32 percent. Cynics might say that Burris has been a reliable Democratic vote because he “owes” Harry Reid for letting him join the club without too much fuss; on the other hand, why should we be surprised that an African-American Democratic senator who is not half-Caucasian vote more progressively than his white counterparts?
Burris’ principle “crime” in the eyes of white leftists is that he was shoe-horned in by the embarrassing former governor of Illinois, and didn’t have the “good manners” to refuse the job. But what if the lieutenant governor was a Republican? I somehow doubt they’d be making as big a stink about it. You think that the Republicans weren’t laughing while the left (but not all of us) was gleefully slaughtering one of their own? You think the white “progressives” on the radio and MSNBC who belittled Burris—who are in my mind often arrogant, insufferable and sometimes even a little dumb (I’ll refrain from the “R” word)—have no responsibility in his approval rating in the teens, which in the end may wind-up hurting the Democratic senatorial candidate in 2010, whoever that may be?
Be careful for what you wish for, Thom—you might just get someone far worse than Burris (like a Republican), since you won’t get anyone better on the progressive vote.