Archive for the ‘Health Care’ category

Time for some sense!


Comment originally posted by @malcolmkyle August 21, 2010 at 1:48AM with friendly amendments 😉

If you support prohibition then you’ve helped trigger the worst crime wave in history.

If you support prohibition you’ve a helped create a black market with massive incentives to hook both adults and children alike.

If you support prohibition you’ve helped to make these dangerous substances available in schools and prisons.

If you support prohibition you’ve helped raise gang warfare to a level not seen since the days of alcohol bootlegging.

If you support prohibition you’ve helped create the prison-for-profit synergy with drug lords.

If you support prohibition you’ve helped remove many important civil liberties from those citizens you falsely claim to represent.

If you support prohibition you’ve helped put previously unknown and contaminated drugs on the streets.

If you support prohibition you’ve helped to escalate Theft, Muggings and Burglaries.

If you support prohibition you’ve helped to divert scarce law-enforcement resources away from protecting your fellow citizens from the ever escalating violence against their person or property.

If you support prohibition you’ve helped overcrowd the courts and prisons, thus making it increasingly impossible to curtail the people who are hurting and terrorizing others.

If you support prohibition you’ve helped evolve local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, controlling vast swaths of territory with significant social and military resources at their disposal.

By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model – the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous and ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved. Thus, the allure of this reliably and lucrative industry, with it’s enormous income potential that consistently outweighs the risks associated with the illegal operations that such a trade entails, will remain with us until we are collectively forced to admit the obvious.

A great many of us are slowly but surely wising up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco, clearly two of our most dangerous mood altering substances. But for those of you whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to your absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.

There is an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and the death it causes. It is not simply the demand for this drug that creates the mayhem, it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand.


The Other Public Option


My wife and l often discuss how we don’t understand people’s opposition to the Public Option being utilized for the nation’s health care system, when it has been so successfully used to expand the education of our children.. . Remember the public education system?

Well, someone I respect posted on the topic yesterday in the Nation. Dr. Melissa Harris-Lacewell. I always enjoy reading her articles and watching her discussions with Dr. Maddow on TRMS! Good minds think alike. Melissa Harris-Lacewell is an associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University, is completing her latest book, Sister Citizen: A Text for Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Politics When Being Strong Isn’t Enough.

Bottom line: Let’s keep pushing forward on the Public Option to increase Health Care for All and increase competition for the Health Insurance Industry. Then it will be time to turn our attention again to public education! There simply is no place for speculative profit in either the health care nor the education of the population in a democracy.

There are many issues we must confront now as a nation; all are urgent! But none are any more important that the public education and public healthcare of our citizen neighbors.

Our other public option
posted by Melissa Harris-Lacewell on 03/03/2010 @ 10:57am
Like most progressives, I support the public option. In this most unlikely moment, it appears that the public option may have a fighting chance. Democrats have managed to secure backing by 34 Senators willing to support a public option in reconciliation. It is still a long haul to get to 50. But for the first time since the 21st century version of massive resistance began, there is some hope that American lawmakers will offer a public insurance plan capable of competing with private insurers.

The public option is the most effective tool to control costs and the most substantive health care reform available in this political environment. But the history of public education offers some cautionary lessons that should temper our enthusiasm and encourage us to move forward thoughtfully as we advocate for a public option.

Up until the 1840s, the American system of education was not unlike the current health care system. It was rigidly localized and available primarily to the wealthy. Efforts to create national mandates for primary education were met with virulent opposition. As in the current health care debate, religiously fueled anxiety about an overreaching government formed the basis of opposition to public education. The greatest resistance to public education was mounted by Southerners who abhorred the idea of taxation, particularly if those taxes supported education for children of the formerly enslaved.

But progressives who understood the critical importance of primary education mounted a 50-year effort to convince Americans that public education for all children was central to the national interest. Reformers argued that a public option and a national mandate were crucial to creating an informed, productive, self-sustaining citizenry.

Many of their arguments mirror those of today’s health care reformers: health care access and health outcomes are marked by wealth and status; the nation’s productivity and economic future are threatened by these health inequalities; only mandates and public options will create enough change to dramatically alter the crisis.

By 1918 all states had passed compulsory elementary education laws. It is now easy to see that the public education system resulting from these 19th century battles was critically important to ensuring that America was a competitive and modern nation in world affairs. Public education dramatically improved literacy, worker productivity, entrepreneurship and social mobility.

But the public option in education also offers important lessons about the likely limits of a public option in health care. From its inception, public education poorly served the needs of girls, African Americans and immigrant children.

In many states the education of girls was not mandated until decades after boys began receiving public education. Even after schools were opened to girls, co-educational classrooms often poorly served their needs. Similarly, the current health care reform proposal extends coverage to millions of Americans while also instituting draconian restrictions on women’s reproductive health coverage, thereby leaving eliminating access to a crucial area of health care for women.

For many decades localities refused public education to immigrant children, especially those who were considered non-white. Today battles continue to rage in America’s urban school systems about accommodating the needs of immigrant children.

Racism and its structural residue has been the greatest barrier to equitable public education. Once the Supreme Court demanded compulsory integration for public schools, many whites simply opted out of the public option.

Economic interests alone could not keep these families in public schools. They were willing to pay to discriminate, paying both property taxes and tuition in order to ensure their children were not marked by the stigma of the public option. Hundreds of urban and Southern public education systems collapsed when denied the robust contributions across a broad and diverse public.

Right now, in Wake County, North Carolina middle class families are enthusiastically resegregating public schools. Evidence that American individualism often finds a way to trump efforts toward the public good.

Rush Limbaugh has been calling health care reform “reparations” and “a civil rights bill.” If Democrats succeed in passing a public option that is marked as inferior or assumed to be racialized then it may be doomed to a second-class status that makes it a poor competitor against private insurers.

We need a public option. As in the case of education, a public option in health care is likely to dramatically improve the lives of those with the fewest advantages and opportunities. Even as we enthusiastically embrace this policy, we need to learn from the continuing shortcomings of our existing public option.

Health Care Reform: Just do it!


We’ve been waiting for decades, and now the nation can’t wait any longer…
Now is the time for the Administration and Congress to act and get our Health System Reformed.
We all know that this only requires simple majority vote to get the bill signed so that President Obama can sign it into law.
Now many people, many elected officials among them, will tell you otherwise and that a supermajority is required rather than a simple majority.
This is simply not true. Legislation, both major and minor, is often passed by a simple majority. In fact, the process called reconciliation that is used to reconcile bills approved by the House with bills approved by the Senate to prepare the final bill for the President’s signature, requires only simple majority approval for the amendments to be approved and thus included in the final bill. This is the way the Founding Fathers intended our democracy to work, and the way they wrote the Constitution-a of the United States.
Simply put, in the case of the current Health Care Reform situation, the process to process is clear. The House approves the Senate bill, with Amendments. These Amendments are drawn from the already approved House bill to ensure that important provisions from the House bill will be included in final bill. that will be put before the President for his signature. Then the Senate considers their original bill with the Amendments that have been added to it, and approve the final product by simple majority. This then becomes the final bill that is presented to the President for his consideration. If, in his consideration, it is just and Constitution as written he signs it into law. If he choses, he can add a statement, to clarify his understanding of what he is signing.
We’ve heard about this process being called the “Nuclear Option” and “Forcing the bill through by the Democrat majority.” Not only are both of these descriptions wrong, they are lies. In fact, according to the publicity available Congressional Record, simple majority votes have been used, by both Parties, over the years. Since 1980 alone, Simple Majority rules have been used a total of 22 times, 16 times by the Republicans and 8 times by the Democrats.
So, it is time to use normal Congressional procedures to see that this bill finally gets signed into law. Problems will be found with the new Health Care Law; this, too, is normal. These problems can be addressed over time. This is the normal legislative process that some people are referring to as making incremental changes. But the current problems are so great that we must address them through a comprehensive law that corrects them.
That’s how I see it… I, for one, am thankful that we finally have legislators in Washington who have been able and willing to take it on!

Go Martha!


This is the year for all Progressives to unite, and do what President Obama asked us to do: make him make the changes we elected him to make! Until now, Progressives have been too timid about making our collective voice heard… Tuesday will be an important opportunity for everyone to participate and ensure that Ted Kennedy’s seat is filled by Martha Coakley.
Not only will she be a support to seeing that the Health Care bill gets passed, but she will be a voice for the people instead of the corporations. While there will be a lot to work on in Health Care legislation after the current law is signed into law by President Obama, the current bill is the best reform we’ve had in a generation. Martha Coakley has been listening to and working for the people of Massachusetts throughout her career, and most recently as the state’s Attorney General.
In the end, l will not be happy until we have Single–Payer in this country, like that offered by all modern democracies in the world. If US corporations continue on the path they’re on, we’ll have to formally change the name of the country from the United States of America to America, Inc.! No thanks to that!
Encourage everyone you know to vote for Martha Coakley on Tuesday!

Kill the Senate Bill?


Really enjoyed this month’s New Yorker article on healthcare. I think he makes a really good point, but you have to have a generally positive view of the Government to buy into the perspective. Which I do of course, but unfortunately many people in this country do not…

I believe that, contrary to common thinking here today, Ronald Reagan was the WORST President we ever had in this country. He was hard at work giving federal powers and budgets to the individual states through his now infamous “block grants” when we first went to Nicaragua to live. And so trying to start an “extension” type program in health care, as opposed to agriculture, would be almost hopeless here today.

But from my perspective, the only way to move successfully forward, while helping to restore adequate health care for the greatest part of the population possible, while simultaneously restoring faith in the Government, is by pushing forward on a Government run Single Payer program.

But I fear we’re too far along this path that we’re on… Below is a perspective on the state of the Health Care bill, as of today. I really respect Jane Hamsher and her progressive point of view, but I’m not ready to say “Kill the Bill” yet… I, like Howard Dean, still want to see it go to Conference and see if they’ll be able to restore at least a Robust Public Option (or even better yet-increase federal involvement in medicare/ medicaid reimbursements. There may be a method to Obama’s madness yet! The Federal Government putting its money where its mouth is! OK by me… in this case, the end does justify the means! But this time we need to be careful about it becoming widely construed as a step toward Single Payer! That and we have preserve women’s right to adequate health care by maintaining the Hyde Amendment intact.).

My bottom line is that there is no place for speculative profit in health care. Health, Education and Welfare IS the place for Government. Time to bring HEW back from the grave?