Dems Prepare to Pass Healthcare Reform

After the President’s televised, bi-partisan forum on healthcare reform, it still seems as if little has changed in terms of bipartisan support of reform efforts.  Republicans still hew to their position that Democrats in the majority ought to start  over from scratch after 60 years of debate and the last year of contentious debate on the Hill.  This is a ridiculous assertion given the decades of debate that have been dedicated to this single, very important issue.  It seems that the President held the forum specifically to give the minority Republicans the opportunity to take part in serious compromise discussions, offering to include tort reform – long a Republican issue – in the package.  What has become clear is that the Republican party (and to some degree democrats in the Senate as well) are under the thumbs of a powerful insurance lobby that doesn’t want anything to stand between them and the record profits they’ve been reaping by boosting premiums and cutting service.  So it looks like the Dems are finally preparing to go it alone.  Kudos to Obama for trying to seriously engage the minority in the planning.  To their credit, the Republicans have done an excellent job spreading disinformation about the bill.  However, when polled piece by piece, a plurality of Americans like and support the bill. What are your views?  Do you think the President is doing the right thing?  Sound off in the comments.(Posted by remote from family vacation in Miami.  Limited internet access precludes images.)  Full scale blogging to resume Wednesday March 3rd.

Woefully Inadequate Healthcare Reform Bill Passes in Senate

pigs_troughI am disgusted with the passage of the Senate healthcare “reform” bill over the weekend. Besides the inclusion of severe restrictions on womens’ rights to abortions which sets back womens’ rights by 25 years, it also passed without any public option or Medicare buy-in. What’s left is a giveaway to the pigs at a trough that I like to refer to as the “death by spreadsheet” industry. Trying hard to believe the spin from Democratic leadership that this is an historic advancement and not a steaming pile of unmentionable garbage? Follw me over the fold for proof that the American people have just been royally screwed over. Continue reading…

The Compromise of the Compromise

compromise1Late last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that a breakthrough deal had been reached on the contentious healthcare reform bill the President has been asking for.  But have they compromised away the core of the reform in this bill?  Did they deal away the part that really would have put some competition into the market to bring down the absurdly high rates people are faced with to maintain their coverage?  Will it make an insurance option available to those for whom today’s coverage is already priced beyond reach? Continue reading…

Senate HCR Bill Moves Forward Over Weekend

senate-shieldLate Saturday night, the US Senate voted to allow debate over their draft of healthcare reform legislation to begin on the floor.  This is another big hurdle that proponents of reform have overcome.  The Senate version of the bill still contains some version of a public option.  It will be interesting to see what amendments are added during the committee process.  For supporters of reform who may be feeling that the reform has been too compromised and watered down, follow me over the fold for a great breakdown of what the current draft of the Senate bill includes for all Americans. Continue reading…

Follow the Money Redux

goldman_sachs_logo_0411A while back I posted several pieces here and here about how an observer could gauge the relative chances of significant healthcare being passed by Congress, simply by looking at the share prices of publicly traded health insurance companies like Cigna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Humana, United Healthcare and others. Well, if anyone doubted that Wall Street was actually in a position to influence these things, follow me over the fold for iron clad proof that Wall Street wants reform to fail. Continue reading…

House Passes HCR Bill – Women’s Reproductive Rights Take Hit

us-houseThis past Saturday night, the  US House of Representatives worked all day and into the evening (it felt good to watch these people work on a weekend for once) and narrowly passed a bill aimed at reforming the broken healthcare system.  In the process though, they were forced to insert an amendment (the Stupak amendment) which disallows women who would be enrolled in the public option plan from getting abortions.  I am fed up with people inserting their religious preferences into legislation that effects all Americans, religious or otherwise. Continue reading…

Seeger Plays Health Care Reform Rally in Nyack, NY

img_65171Last night, I attended a pro-reform rally at Memorial park in Nyack, New York along the banks of the Hudson in the shadow of the picturesque Tappan Zee Bridge.  Nearly 1000 people turned out to support reform of the broken healthcare system and several musical acts donated their performance to rally the crowd.  The top act was none other than the legendary proponent of social justice, Pete Seeger.  Follow me over the fold for more details about the evening’s events and photos taken by yours truly. Continue reading…

Constitution Day Reminds Us, Why Healthcare Reform?

we-the-peopleSeptember 17th is Constitution Day and will fall on this coming Thursday.   This holiday, sometimes referred to as Citizenship Day recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is observed on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.  But this year, it takes on a new significance as our nation debates whether or not to provide universal healthcare to all citizens.  I have heard many opponents of universal healthcare ask, “Where in the Constitution does it say that we’re entitled to universal healthcare?”.  Follow me over the fold for the answer to this, and other questions about the amazing document at the core of our Democracy. Continue reading…

Historic Healthcare Speech Tonight

obamaTonight, President Obama will address a full session of Congress in prime time on the topic of the healthcare legislation currently being debated on Capitol Hill.  Rarely do presidents address the fully assembled Congress outside of the annual State of the Union Address.  So this unusual step is designed to underscore the importance of this topic.  What will the President say? Continue reading…