Random reading

Posted in Around The Nation, Commentary, Health Care, Uncategorized at 1:49 pm by wcnews

McBlogger has the latest CAMPO folly, Stimulus money being used for toll roads.

So, your income taxes, gas taxes AND toll taxes will be paying for this tollway. Nice, huh?

A few on the health insurance debate:
Cost of health care hitting home locally, County indigent care costs $1.7M over budget.

A stark increase in the average monthly enrollment into the county’s indigent health care program required Williamson County Commissioners to approve spending $1.7 million of the county’s savings.

The county indigent healthcare program is a state-mandated program to provide health services for the extremely poor. This year the county budgeted $2.7 million for the program.

“We burned through that in about six months,” Ashlie Koenig, the county’s assistant budget officer said.

The main driver for the overall increase, up from an average of 464 a month in 2007 to 676 enrollees this year, is the opening of three new hospitals in the county, Williamson County and Cities Health District Assistant Director Bride Roberts said.

Democratic Policy Committee report, Health Care Reform: The Cost of Inaction. Truly disturbing numbers on the rising cost of health insurance.

Skyrocketing health care costs – including insurance premiums, co-payments and prescription drugs – are contributing to the current economic crisis, weighing heavily on family, business, and government budgets. Inherited flaws in our health care system have led to higher health care costs, reduced access to care, and inconsistent quality of care throughout the country. Too many Americans live in fear of the astronomical costs they will incur if they or their families experience an unexpected health care emergency.

What Happened to Single Payer?.

Not that the public is opposed to the idea. A December 2007 poll conducted by Yahoo and the Associated Press found that 65 percent of respondents thought that the country “should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers.”

Citing that and similar polls, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) wondered aloud Wednesday why Democratic leaders have been so quick to dismiss the single-payer option. “If you take the most popular health care reform measure and take it off the table,” Conyers said, “heaven knows what it is … you think you’re left with.”

Conyers has introduced legislation that would offer health care to everyone, paid by the government but privately administered. In the upper chamber, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced a similar proposal. Both lawmakers argue that private insurers, who have a fiduciary duty to shareholders, are the wrong folks to dictate who receives what care when.

“The function of a private health insurance company is not to provide health care; it is to deny health care,” Sanders said last week. “Every dollar of premium that a health insurance company does not spend on health care needs is a dollar more in profits.”

Dear AMA, You’re saps and a big part of the health care problem for not standing up to the insurance companies who run your lives.

The American Medical Association (AMA), the lobbying group for doctors, is opposed to the public option in health care reform:

While committed to the goal of affordable health insurance for all, the association had said in a general statement of principles that health services should be “provided through private markets, as they are currently.”Fools.


But, the AMA still wants insurance companies to rule their world. Idiots. They sure don’t teach common sense in medical school.

Of course there are many good doctors that know what the solution is.

Robert Reich, The Great Debt Scare: Why Has It Returned?

The Great Debt Scare is back.

Odd that it would return right now, when the economy is still mired in the worst depression since the Great one. After all, consumers are still deep in debt and incapable of buying. Unemployment continues to soar. Businesses still are not purchasing or investing, for lack of customers. Exports are still dead, because much of the global economy continues to shrink. So the purchaser of last resort — the government — has to create larger deficits if the economy is to get anywhere near full capacity, and start to grow again.

Odder still that the Debt Scare returns at the precise moment that bills are emerging from Congress on universal health care, which, by almost everyone’s reckoning, will not increase the long-term debt one bit because universal health care has to be paid for in the budget. In fact, universal health care will reduce the deficit and cumulative debt — especially if it includes a public option capable of negotiating lower costs from drug makers, doctors, and insurers, and thereby reducing the future costs of Medicare and Medicaid.

It’s likely that health insurance reform will be a focus of this blog, at least in the near term.

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