Archive for the ‘Health Insurance’ Category

Call the Midwife!

Is the Title of a BBC drama about a woman who is a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950s and based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth.

I was curious if it would make it to the US airwaves given it deals with two no-nos in US politics–woment’s health and nationalised health care.  According to this website, it sounds unlikely.  And given that the repubnlicans are waging a war on women’s reproductive rights, that is yet another no-no.

One can’t have a show on TV praising “socialised medicine” and talking about women’s reproductive issues.

Even though US’s Public Broadcasting pretends to be a true Public Broadcasting service, it is still beholdent to the commercial interests which can stifle information and debate. The problem is that while there may be no governmental intereference in the markertplace of ideas, there certainly is private censorship,

Still, this is a series which should be seen by people in the US for precisely the above reasons. Why are these topics taboo in a society which is allegedly free?

People in the US can probably find this online for download if they know the right places to look. I am a strong believer in the region free DVD player jsut for the ability to break down the international barriers to information.

I can add that the book and audiobook are available for sale in the US.

The Revolution Will Not Be Deactualized

Tired of the astroturf, corporatocracy apologists? Do you believe in peace, economic justice, human rights and a healthy environment?  Then clear your calendar for the 6th, the 7th, the 8th…however long it takes for the Obama Administration to yield to key progressive demands, including immediate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the other wars. Participants are being asked to sign a pledge to attend at

Join together in Washington, D.C., beginning on Oct. 6, 2011.

October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.

See also:
SYNDICATED COLUMN: The Revolution Will Not Be Deactualized

I’m feeling ripped off here!

I keep hearing that Obama is a Socialist, but I have yet to see any programmes from his administration which remotely resemble socialist programmes.  In fact, this rant is caused by receiving a survey from the US Democratic National Committee asking me what I thought about President Obama’s performance: piss poor in my opinion.

The problem is that I want to see more lefty/progressive solutions, but US politics fall amazingly toward the right of the political spectrum.  Socialism my arse if any health insurance I am forced to buy comes from a non-governmental source!  In fact, Politicans in the US are far too friendly with business interests to even remotely be considered “socialist”.  I have yet to hear of any industries being truly nationalised.

Oh, I forgot, “Socialism” is one of those words that the media use to scare people into voting against their interests.  Mention “Socialism” and the average US Citizen will vote to repeal the Thirteenth Amendment, get rid of the minimum wage, and ensure they are REALLY slaves.

Opinione has a couple of good posts about alternative political parties and how they are frozen out of the political process: This and This.  The problem is that the US is a one party system posing as a multi-party system.  US MSM is able to freeze out other opinions and solutions so that US politics has begun to offer pataphysical solutions to real serious crises.  Only NPR discusses the topic of US wealth inequality since mentioning that topic raises the spectre of socialism.  Heaven knows, we can allow the rich to get richer, but if the rest of us see our standard of living decline–remember who owns the media!

Anyway, I want to tell the Democratic National Committee that Obama’s performance sucks because he isn’t a socialist.

And they aren’t a socialist party either!

Still more health care…

This is sort of a repost from another source (Barbara O’Brian at The Mahablog), but I agree with it. Also, I am happy to spread the word and add my own bit to the message.

Personal story, my nephew–N B–was diagnosed with necrotising facisitis about three months ago.

N’s parents are a VP at a large financial firm and a Salesperson for a large pharmaceutical firm (I also have the coverage from my wife who is retired from said firm), which means they have super health care. Or so you would believe.

N received the best health care possible at University of Maryland Shock Trauma Centre.

But that costs.

More than the super health care can cover.

One of the reason I support health care reform is that it makes sense for everybody, yet it is a sensible policy (like gun control), which is demonised in the US. There are loads of lies being published about health care reform, but it is an idea that’s time has come long ago.


For the years 2003 and 2004, just over 50 percent of all personal bankruptcies were the result of medical debt by those with health insurance. A significant percentage of those listing medical debt as the reason for their bankruptcy are 65 and older. Other groups disproportionately bankrupted by medical debt include single women raising children on low wages or who have been abandoned by their husbands who refuse to pay child support.

The medical debt causing these bankruptcies isn’t overwhelming in many circumstances. Statistics available in 2003 are as follows: about 20% of bankruptcy filings involve a medical debt of less than $1,000; about 40% involve a medical debt of less than $5,000; and 13% of bankruptcy filings involve a medical debt of over $10,000.

Health Care Reform Will Help Everybody

Many Americans assume the new health care reform act will benefit mostly the poor and uninsured and hurt everyone else, according to polls. As Matt Yglesias wrote, “Basically, people see this as a bill that will take resources from people who have health insurance and give it to people who don’t have health insurance.” Those who still oppose the reform say that people ought to pay for their own health care.

We all believe in the virtues of hard work and self-reliance, but these days it’s a fantasy to think that anyone but the mega-wealthy will not, sooner or later, depend on help from others to pay medical bills. And that’s true no matter how hard you work, how much you love America, or how diligently you take care of yourself. The cost of medical care has so skyrocketed that breaking an arm or leg could cost as much as a new car. And if you get cancer or heart disease — which can happen even to people who live healthy lifestyles — forget about it. The disease will not only clean you out; it will leave a whopping debt for your survivors to pay.

And the truth is, we all pay for other peoples’ health care whether we know it or not. When people can’t pay their medical bills, the cost of their health care gets added to everyone else’s bills and insurance premiums. When poor people use emergency rooms as a doctor of last resort, their care is not “free.” You pay for it.

Another common fantasy about medical care is that the “free market” provides incentives for medical companies to develop innovative new drugs and treatments for disease without government subsidy. It’s true that private enterprise is very good at developing profitable health care products. But not all medical care can be made profitable.

For years, the U.S. government has been funding medical research that the big private companies don’t want to do because there is too much cost for the potential profit. This is especially true for diseases that are rare and expensive to treat. An example of a recent advance made possible by government grants include new guidelines for malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment developed by MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers. Another is a blood screening test for mesothelioma developed by thoracic surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker. The health reform act provides for more dollars for such research, from which even many of the tea party protesters will benefit.

The biggest fantasy of all was that people who had insurance didn’t have to worry about health care costs. But the fact is that in recent years millions of Americans have been bankrupted by medical costs, and three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance. And yes, insurance companies even dumped hard-working, law-abiding patriots. But the health care reform act will put an end to that, and now America’s hard-working, law-abiding patriots are more financially secure, whether they like it or not.

Posted 08/06/2010 by lacithedog in Health care, Health Insurance


After all the crap that has gone down to FINALLY have some form of health insurance in the US, I read the Noam Chomsky on Healthcare and the Media post over at the FAIR blog where Chomsky says this about the Public Option for health insurance:

“It didn’t have ‘political support,’ just the support of the majority of the population,” Chomsky quipped, “which apparently is not political support in our dysfunctional democracy.”

“There should be headlines explaining why, for decades, what’s been called politically impossible is what most of the public has wanted,” Chomsky said. “There should be headlines explaining what that means about the political system and the media.”

The post refers us to this article about how the media could miss the point that there was popular support for a public option in health care. I like the quote from Julie Rovner: “the problem with healthcare is that it’s so big and so complicated that the public is never really going to understand all the moving parts of this.”

It’s that old, the US public is too stupid to understand the issues involved. Actually, more than that, the US public wouldn’t find it entertaining enough. British media at least attempts to educate the viewer. The quote from Julie Rovner affirms my belief that NPR is really just another commercial media outlet in the US. Even worse, NPR dumbs down its programmes to make them “entertaining”.

Remember THAT the next time they are having one of ther frequent fundraisers.

I have to admit my amazement that people in the US have put up with the lack of representation by their legislators, in particular where health care is concerned. I believe that there have been proposals for some form of national health insurance since Teddy Roosevelt was president, yet it has taken 100 years for some form of “health care reform” to pass.

The even more amazing part is how much not having a national health care scheme has harmed the US economy.

More of Chomsky’s comments can be read at:

Posted 23/03/2010 by lacithedog in Health care, Health Insurance, NPR

More healthcare musing

It strikes me that now the US has health care, there will be more emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle and preventative care. Health issues may begin to take more prominence in the US media as well. Two trends that will be nice to see.

Maybe the smokers huddling outside buildings in the cold will also become history.

Posted 22/03/2010 by lacithedog in Health care, Health Insurance

The US has A Health System…FINALLY!

I don’t really need to be thrilled by it since I have health care, but I am happy for people in the US that after 90 some odd years, they finally have a health care system. This was despite trotting out the wedge issues of gun control and abortion as well. This was also dspite the fact that the lack of health care has been crippling the US economy for ages.

It seemed that extending medicaid/medicare would have made a lot of sense, but that didn’t happen. I am not sure how exactly this new system will work, but some people will be PO’d. Anyway, there is now a healthcare system.

the bugs can be worked out later.

Anyway, the one thing that sticks in my mind is something John Dingell, the longest serving US rep said: “I’ve worked on this for 55 years, and my father before me worked on it.”


Posted 22/03/2010 by lacithedog in Health care, Health Insurance