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 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 26
but they have great healthcare.....Page 2 of 7    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
The reason Cuba is running low on toilet paper is because the U.S. Congress has gone through most of the world's a$$wipe supply to print its stimulus bills, cap and trade tax bills, and socialized medicine health care proposals on.

Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 27
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/21/2009 12:04:36 AM
I just can't trust the government to start another government ponzi scheme that will fail. Can Obama guarantee that no taxes will ever be used to pay for any of this and that if the program ever falls short of money that their will be not rationing.
Medicare now costs 9 times more than ever projected, they were told by Jonson it would never cost the tax payers a dime.
Wow MSNBC is actually admitting that the progressives are pushing this, they are calling them the left of the left.

I want reform but no government programs, all we need is about 5 pages of regulatory changes.
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 28
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/21/2009 12:11:15 AM
Popular Ranking Unfairly Misrepresents the U.S. Health Care System
Jun 1st, 2009 | By Dawn | Category: Featured Writers

21-dr-fessler-article1By: Richard G. Fessler, MD, PhD

The media and political community have made a big deal out of the fact that the U.S. ranks 37 out of 191 countries on the World Health Organization’s Health Care Ranking System. Is this tool a credible way to compare quality health care delivered in the U.S. vs the rest of the world?

Let’s be perfectly clear about this, the United States Health Care is second to none! Ask the tens of thousands of patients who travel internationally to the US every year for their health care. As an example of the quality of health care delivered in the US, Americans have a higher survival rate than any other country on earth for 13 of 16 of the most common cancers. Perhaps that is why Belinda Stronach, former liberal member of the Canadian Parliament and Cabinet member (one of the health care systems touted as “superior” to the US) abandoned the Canadian Health Care system to undergo her cancer treatment in California.1

But to understand how WHO derives this misleading statistic, which has been ballyhooed widely by both the media and politicians alike, you need to understand how it is created. WHO’s health care rankings are constructed from five factors each weighted according to a formula derived by WHO. These are:

1. Health Level: 25 percent

2. Health Distribution: 25 percent

3. Responsiveness: 12.5 percent

4. Responsiveness Distribution: 12.5 percent

5. Financial Fairness: 25 percent

“Health level” is a measure of a countries “disability adjusted life expectancy”. This factor makes sense, since it is a direct measure of the health of a country’s residents. However, even “life expectancy” can be affected by many factors not related to health care per se, such as poverty, homicide rate, dietary habits, accident rate, tobacco use, etc. In fact, if you remove the homicide rate and accidental death rate from MVA’s from this statistic, citizens of the US have a longer life expectancy than any other country on earth.2

“Responsiveness” measures a variety of factors such as speed of service, choice of doctors, and amenities (e.g. quality of linens). Some of these make sense to include (speed of service) but some have no direct relationship to health care (quality of linens). These two factors at least make some sense in a ranking of health care, but each is problematic as well.

The other three factors are even worse. “Financial fairness” measures the percentage of household income spent on health care. It can be expected that the “percentage” of income spent on health care decreases with increasing income, just as is true for food purchases and housing. Thus, this factor does not measure the quality or delivery of health care, but the value judgment that everyone should pay the same “percentage” of their income on health care even regardless of their income or use of the system. This factor is biased to make countries that rely on free market incentives look inferior. It rewards countries that spend the same percentage of household income on health care, and punishes those that spend either a higher or lower percentage, regardless of the impact on health. In the extreme then, a country in which all health care is paid for by the government (with money derived from a progressive tax system), but delivers horrible health care, will score perfectly in this ranking, whereas a country where the amount paid for health care is based on use of the system, but delivers excellent health care will rank poorly. To use this factor to justify more government involvement in health care, therefore, is using circular reasoning since this factor is designed to favor government intervention.

“Health Distribution and Responsiveness Distribution” measure inequality in the other factors. In other words, neither factor actually measures the quality of health care delivery, because “inequality of delivery” is independent of “quality of care”. It is possible, for example, to have great inequality in a health care system where the majority of the population gets “excellent” health care, but a minority only gets “good” health care. This system would rank more poorly on these measures than another country that had “equal”, but poor, health care throughout the system.

In summary, therefore, the WHO ranking system has minimal objectivity in its “ranking” of world health. It more accurately can be described as a ranking system inherently biased to reward the uniformity of “government” delivered (i.e. “socialized”) health care, independent of the care actually delivered. In that regard the relatively low ranking of the US in the WHO system can be viewed as a “positive” testament to at least some residual “free market” influence (also read “personal freedom”) in the American Health Care system. The American health care consumer needs to understand what the WHO ranking does and does not say about American health. Don’t be fooled by “big government” politicians and the liberal media who are attempting to use this statistic to push for socialized medicine in the United States. It says essentially nothing about the delivery of health care or the quality of that delivery in the US. It does say that, so far, the American health care consumer has at least some personal freedom to seek the best health care available, and is not yet relegated to the “one size fits all” philosophy of government sponsored health care systems.
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 29
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/21/2009 12:17:01 AM
Here is an Actual government run health care system in America. If this is what you want.

Indian Health Care's Broken Promises
June 15, 2009

By Mary Clare Jalonick of the Associated Press

CROW AGENCY, Mont. (AP) — Ta'Shon Rain Little Light, a happy little girl who loved to dance and dress up in traditional American Indian clothes, had stopped eating and walking. She complained constantly to her mother that her stomach hurt.

When Stephanie Little Light took her daughter to the Indian Health Service clinic in this wind-swept and remote corner of Montana, they told her the 5-year-old was depressed.

Ta'Shon's pain rapidly worsened and she visited the clinic about 10 more times over several months before her lung collapsed and she was airlifted to a children's hospital in Denver. There she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, confirming the suspicions of family members.

A few weeks later, a charity sent the whole family to Disney World so Ta'Shon could see Cinderella's Castle, her biggest dream. She never got to see the castle, though. She died in her hotel bed soon after the family arrived in Florida.

"Maybe it would have been treatable," says her great-aunt, Ada White, as she stoically recounts the last few months of Ta'Shon's short life. Stephanie Little Light cries as she recalls how she once forced her daughter to walk when she was in pain because the doctors told her it was all in the little girl's head.

'Don't get Sick After June' a Sad Joke

Ta'Shon's story is not unique in the Indian Health Service system, which serves almost 2 million American Indians in 35 states.

On some reservations, the oft-quoted refrain is "don't get sick after June," when the federal dollars run out. It's a sick joke, and a sad one, because it's sometimes true, especially on the poorest reservations where residents cannot afford health insurance. Officials say they have about half of what they need to operate, and patients know they must be dying or about to lose a limb to get serious care.

Wealthier tribes can supplement the federal health service budget with their own money. But poorer tribes, often those on the most remote reservations, far away from city hospitals, are stuck with grossly substandard care. The agency itself describes a "rationed health care system."

The sad fact is an old fact, too.

A 222-Year-Old Promise Is Not Being Kept

The U.S. has an obligation, based on a 1787 agreement between tribes and the government, to provide American Indians with free health care on reservations. But that promise has not been kept. About one-third more is spent per capita on health care for felons in federal prison, according to 2005 data from the health service.

In Washington, a few lawmakers have tried to bring attention to the broken system as Congress attempts to improve health care for millions of other Americans. But tightening budgets and the relatively small size of the American Indian population have worked against them.

"It is heartbreaking to imagine that our leaders in Washington do not care, so I must believe that they do not know," Joe Garcia, president of the National Congress of American Indians, said in his annual state of Indian nations' address in February.

Indian Health Care Statistics are Staggering

When it comes to health and disease in Indian country, the statistics are staggering.

American Indians have an infant death rate that is 40 percent higher than the rate for whites. They are twice as likely to die from diabetes, 60 percent more likely to have a stroke, 30 percent more likely to have high blood pressure and 20 percent more likely to have heart disease.

American Indians have disproportionately high death rates from unintentional injuries and suicide, and a high prevalence of risk factors for obesity, substance abuse, sudden infant death syndrome, teenage pregnancy, liver disease and hepatitis.

While campaigning on Indian reservations, presidential candidate Barack Obama cited this statistic: After Haiti, men on the impoverished Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in South Dakota have the lowest life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere.

Lack of Access to Medicare and Medicaid

Those on reservations qualify for Medicare and Medicaid coverage. But a report by the Government Accountability Office last year found that many American Indians have not applied for those programs because of lack of access to the sign-up process; they often live far away or lack computers. The report said that some do not sign up because they believe the government already has a duty to provide them with health care.

The office of minority health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Indian Health Service, notes on its Web site that American Indians "frequently contend with issues that prevent them from receiving quality medical care. These issues include cultural barriers, geographic isolation, inadequate sewage disposal and low income."

Indeed, Indian health clinics often are ill-equipped to deal with such high rates of disease, and poor clinics do not have enough money to focus on preventive care. The main problem is a lack of federal money. American Indian programs are not a priority for Congress, which provided the health service with $3.6 billion this budget year.

Officials at the health service say they can't legally comment on specific cases such as Ta'Shon's. But they say they are doing the best they can with the money they have — about 54 cents on the dollar they need.

Forced To Make 'Life or Limb' Decisions

One of the main problems is that many clinics must "buy" health care from larger medical facilities outside the health service because the clinics are not equipped to handle more serious medical conditions. The money that Congress provides for those contract health care services is rarely sufficient, forcing many clinics to make "life or limb" decisions that leave lower-priority patients out in the cold.

"The picture is much bigger than what the Indian Health Service can do," says Doni Wilder, an official at the agency's headquarters in Rockville, Md., and the former director of the agency's Northwestern region. "Doctors every day in our organization are making decisions about people not getting cataracts removed, gall bladders fixed."

On the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, Indian Health Service staff say they are trying to improve conditions. They point out recent improvements to their clinic, including a new ambulance bay. But in interviews on the reservation, residents were eager to share stories about substandard care.

Rhonda Sandland says she couldn't get help for her advanced frostbite until she threatened to kill herself because of the pain — several months after her first appointment. She says she was exposed to temperatures at more than 50 below, and her hands turned purple. She eventually couldn't dress herself, she says, and she visited the clinic over and over again, sometimes in tears.

"They still wouldn't help with the pain so I just told them that I had a plan," she said. "I was going to sleep in my car in the garage."

She says the clinic then decided to remove five of her fingers, but a visiting doctor from Bismarck, N.D., intervened, giving her drugs instead. She says she eventually lost the tops of her fingers and the top layer of skin.

Tylenol and Cough Syrup for Congestive Heart Failure

The same clinic failed to diagnose Victor Brave Thunder with congestive heart failure, giving him Tylenol and cough syrup when he told a doctor he was uncomfortable and had not slept for several days. He eventually went to a hospital in Bismarck, which immediately admitted him. But he had permanent damage to his heart, which he attributed to delays in treatment. Brave Thunder, 54, died in April while waiting for a heart transplant.

"You can talk to anyone on the reservation and they all have a story," says Tracey Castaway, whose sister, Marcella Buckley, said she was in $40,000 of debt because of treatment for stomach cancer.

Buckley says she visited the clinic for four years with stomach pains and was given a variety of diagnoses, including the possibility of a tapeworm and stress-related stomachaches. She was eventually told she had Stage 4 cancer that had spread throughout her body.

Ron His Horse is Thunder, chairman of the Standing Rock tribe, says his remote reservation on the border between North Dakota and South Dakota can't attract or maintain doctors who know what they are doing. Instead, he says, "We get old doctors that no one else wants or new doctors who need to be trained."

His Horse is Thunder often travels to Washington to lobby for more money and attention, but he acknowledges that improvements are tough to come by.

"We are not one congruent voting bloc in any one state or area," he said. "So we don't have the political clout."

A Note, Diminished Care, a Bill

On another reservation 200 miles north of Standing Rock, Ardel Baker, a member of North Dakota's Three Affiliated Tribes, knows all too well the truth behind the joke about money running out.

Baker went to her local clinic with severe chest pains and was sent by ambulance to a hospital more than an hour away. It wasn't until she got there that she noticed she had a note attached to her, written on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services letterhead.

"Understand that Priority 1 care cannot be paid for at this time due to funding issues," the letter read. "A formal denial letter has been issued."

She lived, but she says she later received a bill for more than $5,000.

One Woman's Medicine Ran Out; So Did Her Life

"That really epitomizes the conflict that we have," says Robert McSwain, deputy director of the Indian Health Service. "We have to move the patient out, it's an emergency. We need to get them care."

It was too late for Harriet Archambault, according to the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who has told her story more than once in the Senate.

Dorgan says Archambault died in 2007 after her medicine for hypertension ran out and she couldn't get an appointment to refill it at the nearest clinic, 18 miles away. She drove to the clinic five times and failed to get an appointment before she died.

Dorgan's swath of the country is the hardest hit in terms of Indian health care. Many reservations there are poor, isolated, devoid of economic development opportunities and subject to long, harsh winters — making it harder for the health service to recruit doctors to practice there.

Vacancy Rates Can Vary Widely by State, Specialty

While the agency overall has an 18 percent vacancy rate for doctors, that rate jumps to 38 percent for the region that includes the Dakotas. That region also has a 29 percent vacancy rate for dentists, and officials and patients report there is almost no preventive dental care. Routine procedures such as root canals are rarely seen here. If there's a problem with a tooth, it is simply pulled.

Dorgan has led efforts in Congress to bring attention to the issue. After many years of talking to frustrated patients at home in North Dakota, he says he believes the problems are systemic within the embattled agency: incompetent staffers are transferred instead of fired; there are few staff to handle complaints; and, in some cases, he says, there is a culture of intimidation within field offices charged with overseeing individual clinics.

The senator has also probed waste at the agency.

A 2008 GAO report, along with a follow-up report this year, accused the Indian Health Service of losing almost $20 million in equipment, including vehicles, X-ray and ultrasound equipment and numerous laptops. The agency says some of the items were later found.

Dorgan persuaded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to consider an American Indian health improvement bill last year, and the bill passed in the Senate. It would have directed Congress to provide about $35 billion for health programs over the next 10 years, including better access to health care services, screening and mental health programs. A similar bill died in the House, though, after it became entangled in an abortion dispute.

The growing political clout of some remote reservations may bring some attention to health care woes. Last year's Democratic presidential primary played out in part in the Dakotas and Montana, where both Obama and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first presidential candidates to aggressively campaign on American Indian reservations there. Both politicians promised better health care.

Obama's budget for 2010 includes an increase of $454 million, or about 13 percent, over this year. Also, the stimulus bill he signed this year provided for construction and improvements to clinics.

Little Girl's Death has Become a Cause

Back in Montana, Ta'Shon's parents are doing what they can to bring awareness to the issue. They have prepared a slideshow with pictures of her brief life; she is seen dressed up in traditional regalia she wore for dance competitions with a bright smile on her face. Family members approached Dorgan at a Senate field hearing on American Indian health care after her death in 2006, hoping to get the little girl's story out.

"She was a gift, so bright and comforting," says Ada White of her niece, whom she calls her granddaughter according to Crow tradition. "I figure she was brought here for a reason."

Nearby, the clinic on the Crow reservation seems mostly empty, aside from the crowded waiting room. The hospital is down several doctors, a shortage that management attributes recruitment difficulties and the remote location.

Diane Wetsit, a clinical coordinator, said she finds it difficult to think about the congressional bailout for Wall Street.

"I have a hard time with that when I walk down the hallway and see what happens here," she says.

Mary Clare Jalonick is an Associated Press staff writer.
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 30
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/21/2009 10:19:22 AM
Dow Jones Reprints: This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers, use the Order Reprints tool at the bottom of any article or visit

See a sample reprint in PDF format. Order a reprint of this article now

* AUGUST 18, 2009, 7:12 P.M. ET

The Death Book for Veterans
Ex-soldiers don't need to be told they're a burden to society.


If President Obama wants to better understand why America's discomfort with end-of-life discussions threatens to derail his health-care reform, he might begin with his own Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He will quickly discover how government bureaucrats are greasing the slippery slope that can start with cost containment but quickly become a systematic denial of care.

Last year, bureaucrats at the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes. After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices."

Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

"Your Life, Your Choices" presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political "push poll." For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be "not worth living."

The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to "shake the blues." There is a section which provocatively asks, "Have you ever heard anyone say, 'If I'm a vegetable, pull the plug'?" There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as "I can no longer contribute to my family's well being," "I am a severe financial burden on my family" and that the vet's situation "causes severe emotional burden for my family."

When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?

One can only imagine a soldier surviving the war in Iraq and returning without all of his limbs only to encounter a veteran's health-care system that seems intent on his surrender.

I was not surprised to learn that the VA panel of experts that sought to update "Your Life, Your Choices" between 2007-2008 did not include any representatives of faith groups or disability rights advocates. And as you might guess, only one organization was listed in the new version as a resource on advance directives: the Hemlock Society (now euphemistically known as "Compassion and Choices").

This hurry-up-and-die message is clear and unconscionable. Worse, a July 2009 VA directive instructs its primary care physicians to raise advance care planning with all VA patients and to refer them to "Your Life, Your Choices." Not just those of advanced age and debilitated condition—all patients. America's 24 million veterans deserve better.

Many years ago I created an advance care planning document called "Five Wishes" that is today the most widely used living will in America, with 13 million copies in national circulation. Unlike the VA's document, this one does not contain the standard bias to withdraw or withhold medical care. It meets the legal requirements of at least 43 states, and it runs exactly 12 pages.

After a decade of observing end-of-life discussions, I can attest to the great fear that many patients have, particularly those with few family members and financial resources. I lived and worked in an AIDS home in the mid-1980s and saw first-hand how the dying wanted more than health care—they wanted someone to care.

If President Obama is sincere in stating that he is not trying to cut costs by pressuring the disabled to forgo critical care, one good way to show that commitment is to walk two blocks from the Oval Office and pull the plug on "Your Life, Your Choices." He should make sure in the future that VA decisions are guided by values that treat the lives of our veterans as gifts, not burdens.

Mr. Towey, president of Saint Vincent College, was director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives (2002-2006) and founder of the nonprofit Aging with Dignity.
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 31
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/21/2009 10:24:40 AM
I have a PDF copy of this book if anyone would like to see it email me your non POF address.
 Miss W
Joined: 12/4/2006
Msg: 32
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/23/2009 6:14:30 PM a perfect world, happy endings will be covered under an "alternative medicine" clause, like accupuncturists and chiropractors.

Kind of like back in the olden days when doctors could administer orgasms.
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 33
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/23/2009 7:07:49 PM
Doctor: "Hello there... I'm Dr. Boxman, I am here to help, and I am at your cervix."

Patient: "Hello, Doctor, and I'm dialated to see you."

Doctor: "Um, there was talk of us going back to giving happy endings. I'm afraid I'm going to have to triple your co-pay for one of those."

Patient: "Oh, no need. I'm actually Christian Science, so I've got a B.O.B."

Doctor: "Well now... That's what I call alternative medicine".

Patient: "Yeah, well word is you're the one whose got the big deductable anyway."

Doctor: "Oh yeah? Just for that, I'm going to leave your speculum in the freezer."

Patient: "Ooooooooohhhhh.... Doctor..."

Note: This is what goes on in the Cuban health system. I can't believe Michael Moore missed it...
Joined: 7/29/2009
Msg: 34
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/23/2009 10:00:01 PM
I understand there's a massage guy in your area that's really good - REALLY. He comes highly recommended. I'll see if I can get his number for you.
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 35
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/24/2009 5:14:29 PM
AP) - Millions of older people face shrinking Social Security checks next year, the first time in a generation that payments would not rise. The trustees who oversee Social Security are projecting there won't be a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the next two years. That hasn't happened since automatic increases were adopted in 1975.

Whew!!!! I thought they were going to announce cut backs in healthcare services for old people.
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 36
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/26/2009 4:35:23 AM
news from the UK 8-26, we need to get behind the public option, sign the BILL lol.

The babies born in hospital corridors: Bed shortage forces 4,000 mothers to give birth in lifts, offices and hospital toilets

Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds.
The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets - even a caravan - went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000.
Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full.
Latest figures show that over the past two years there were at least:

63 births in ambulances and 608 in transit to hospitals;

117 births in A&E departments, four in minor injury units and two in medical assessment areas;

115 births on other hospital wards and 36 in other unspecified areas including corridors;

399 in parts of maternity units other than labour beds, including postnatal and antenatal wards and reception areas.
Additionally, overstretched maternity units shut their doors to any more women in labour on 553 occasions last year.

Read more:
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 37
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/26/2009 10:34:34 AM
You're a bad girl ATC, spank yourself before you strike again
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 38
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/27/2009 6:24:33 AM
Well fellow forum addicts the sun rises again on an opportunity for your humble writer to lend light to the clueless and encouragement to the noble. This news just in from France (I edit for brevity, finding most people are smart and can fill in the blanks, you liberals can contact me for explanations of the obvious)

Health Systems: Health care in France is often held up as a model the U.S. might follow. Yet the French have their own problems that show there's no such thing as a free lunch — or a free doctor's visit.

Call it the grass-is-greener syndrome. Advocates of national health care, acknowledging the flaws in ObamaCare yet despising the current U.S. system that has the best medicines, the best medical equipment and the shortest waiting lists, have turned their eyes lovingly to places like France.

As David Gratzer, a physician and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, wrote in the summer 2007 issue of City Journal: "In France, the supply of doctors is so limited that during an August 2003 heat wave — when many doctors were on vacation and hospitals were stretched beyond capacity — 15,000 elderly citizens died."

GC explains it all don't get me wrong, were I a very, very, very nuanced French doc, and I had reserved my room on a nude beach and laid in a supply of brie cheese and the best of bourdout, would you imagine watching a few dozen of my patients succumbing to heat and neglect bother me? NO NO NO mon frier, I might actually find delight in lighter load plus I'd have more time to study the union regs to see if I had overlooked any other loopholes to increase the hours me and mon cherie could practice what we Pink panther watchers call 'le dance of love"

And that dear reader is the view from the land of the fair and balanced.

Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 39
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/27/2009 9:43:47 AM
I ask why the head of the SEIU has been the only labor rep to get to meet with Obama on health care.

SEIU stands to gain handsomely from President Obama’s health care reform, as it currently represents 17% of hospital employees across the nation. Its end goal is to unionize 100% of those employees, and how better to do that than to help President Obama ”reform” the industry in its favor? Our children’s public schools are gripped into submission and substandard care by teacher’s unions, and now SEIU hopes to duplicate this money and power in the health care industry.

SEIU President Andy Stern will tell you that he wants to “build a health care system that works for everybody.” Hmm, that seems genuine. But SEIU’s history shows greater care for union dues than your health. In October 2005, the SEIU and their sister organization ACORN ruthlessly bussed in van loads of sick supporters to two Chicago emergency rooms to teach them a lesson for not unionizing by overloading the ER and harassing the doctors and nurses on duty. The result was a very long day and insufficient care for all.

Even former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala called out SEIU for endangering their members during a hunger strike in Florida saying: “We are devastated that the union is risking the health and well-being of our students and the Unicco employees by sanctioning an activity as drastic as a hunger strike.” Apparently, five demonstrators were taken to the hospital, one with a mild stroke.

So when the SEIU attacks an independent organization revered by people on all sides of the political spectrum in the name of improving American health care, it stands to reason you should be skeptical of their motives. Resorting to these “Chicago style” tactics won’t bring about reform, and it won’t elevate this debate. What it will do is distract America from the facts: millions stand to lose their private insurance coverage if the President’s plan for health reform is enacted. Period.
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 40
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/29/2009 12:56:38 PM
Pay to play the Obama way:
$10B aimed at union retirees
Provision called welfare by some, not enough by others

WASHINGTON -- Antilabor forces say it's welfare for the UAW and Democrats' union allies. Labor supporters say it falls short of what's needed as tens of thousands of union members are pushed into early retirement as employers cut back health care coverage.

They're both talking about a $10-billion provision tucked deep inside thousands of pages of health care overhaul bills that could help the UAW's retiree health-care plan and other union-backed plans.

It would see the government -- at least temporarily -- pay 80 cents on the dollar to corporate and union insurance plans for claims between $15,000 and $90,000 for retirees age 55 to 64.

Big businesses with union workers are twice as likely to offer retiree benefits as nonunion ones.

Greg Mourad of the National Right to Work Committee called it "a shameless case of political payback," saying Democrats and President Barack Obama are trying "to force the rest of us to pay billions to cover those unions' health care."

Labor advocates say even more funding may be needed.

"It is not enough money," said former U.S. Rep. David Bonior, a Mt. Clemens Democrat who chairs the board at Washington, D.C.-based American Rights at Work, a labor advocacy group. "That will have to be supplemented to fill the gap."

Without U.S. aid, union health plans could fail

The health care debate roiling the nation promises an even greater impact in Michigan: It could determine whether the UAW's gamble that it can insure 850,000 retirees from Detroit's automakers pays off or goes bust.

Thanks to Detroit's twin auto bankruptcies and other concessions, the UAW's voluntary employee benefit association, or VEBA, had to take stock of unknown value for $24 billion in claims, while adding thousands of early retirees to its rolls.

Outside experts estimate the funds have about 30 cents in cash for every dollar of future claims, with no guarantee of what its stock assets will be worth. Lance Wallach, a New York-based VEBA expert, says if the funds "don't get something, they're out of business in 12 years."

That something may be national health care reform.

Key provisions in House and Senate proposals set aside $10 billion to pay some claims for early retirees covered by employers and VEBAs, before other cost-saving measures kick in. Critics call it a union giveaway, but the union says the money would keep companies from further slashing coverage.

"We want to see the whole reform package succeed," said Alan Reuther, the UAW's chief lobbyist. "There's substantial overall benefits to the American people and our members that includes benefits to retirees and VEBA."

Bridging a care gap

The $10 billion is aimed at a growing gap between the skyrocketing cost of care for early retirees -- ages 55 to 64, too young for Medicare -- and what President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats promise will be less-expensive coverage once, and if, the much-debated reform measures kick in several years from now.

Layoffs, buyouts and company cutbacks have contributed to force more people into early retirement at a time when only about one-third of U.S. firms with 200 or more workers even offer retiree benefits, compared with more than twice that percentage two decades ago. Of those that remain, companies with union employees are far more likely to offer benefits for early retirees.

That's enough to get the blogosphere ramped up with references to a so-called payoff for collective bargaining groups and whether, once turned on, the spigot of funding for claims can be turned off by Congress.

Money's running out

John Sheils, vice president of the Lewin Group, a health care research firm owned by a United Healthcare subsidiary, said the money likely will run out in less than two years. Then, like with the recent cash-for-clunkers clamor, Congress could feel obligated to add money to the program.

"From a political perspective, I think it's very, very difficult for the Congress to actually close down programs," Sheils said. "This is something people could get used to very quickly."

Labor unions, including the UAW -- which has taken on about $90 billion in health care liabilities for its retirees from the three metro Detroit automakers -- have fought hard for the so-called reinsurance provision that would cover 80% of early retirement claims between $15,000 and $90,000.

According to outside experts, the UAW's VEBAs have only about 30% of the cash needed to cover retirement health benefits for about 850,000 people -- making it the second biggest retiree insurance pool in the nation, with only California's pension plan larger. Shares in Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. will add to the bottom line -- but it's impossible to say how much.

Were VEBAs a gamble?

The VEBAs will have the power to cut coverage and raise costs to make their money last, and have already warned retirees that cuts are likely next year. Wallach said the UAW VEBAs resemble the plans the UAW set up for workers at Detroit Diesel and Caterpillar in the 1990s -- both of which later ran short of money.

"I really think" the UAW "were gambling there would be some health care nationalization," he said.

Although she doesn't agree with Wallach that the UAW took such a risk, Kristin Dziczek, head of the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research's Labor and Industry Group, said getting help now with the expensive coverage required for pre-Medicare claims could help greatly in the short term. In the long term, any success in lowering health care costs could be a windfall for the VEBAs and help ensure their survival.

Stephen Diamond, a professor at Santa Clara (Calif.) University and a VEBA expert, said the UAW helped get Obama elected; now the union owes its membership to make sure that whatever reform is crafted "protects the interests of their members and their retirees."

It's not just the UAW fighting for the funding. The provision has the backing of the United Steelworkers of America and the Communications Workers of America. The AFL-CIO also pushed for the program in congressional hearings.

Pre-Medicare vulnerability

Reuther said retirees too young for Medicare often face problems in getting or maintaining health insurance, since they're typically far more expensive to insure than younger workers. The reinsurance provision, he said, is needed to maintain coverage.

"We think it's important so that we keep the employer- and VEBA-sponsored coverage for these retirees," he said.

That's especially true of the number of retirees age 55 to 64 without employer- or union-based insurance coverage. People in that group are among the most expensive to cover with health insurance, face high premiums if forced to seek their own policies and often have preexisting conditions that can make finding coverage difficult.

Whatever happens, GM retiree Phil Cimino of Clarkston said he hopes health care reform can help a system that he says costs too much. Cimino, 61, is diabetic, and where he once paid nothing for health care, his premiums and prescriptions now run about $4,000 a year.

He worries it could be more.

"The retirees are getting hit big-time," he said. "I don't think there's enough money in the kitty. I think there's going to be a big problem down the road."
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 41
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 8/31/2009 6:52:36 AM
Another amazing day on the healthcare reporting front....(abbreviated by OP)

Prisoners have a better diet than Health Service hospital patients, scientists warn
By Daniel Martin. (UK) Patients in Health Service hospitals are far more likely to go hungry than criminals in jail, scientists warned yesterday. Helping hand: But nurses say they are too busy to help every elderly patient with their meals. The latest figures show 242 patients died of malnutrition in NHS hospitals in 2007 - the highest toll in a decade. More than 8,000 left hospital under-nourished - double the figure when Labour came to power.

New article....Princess Diana's Death Offers Lessons for Health Care Debate, 12 Years Later (OP abbrev.) The horrific accident illustrated the difference between the French and U.S. approaches to emergency care -- a relatively small piece of the French medical system, but deemed by some people to be the best in the world and often cited as a model for U.S. health care overhaul. .... Although she had suffered internal injuries, she did not arrive at the Parisian hospital for 110 minutes -- too late for the surgery that some speculated could have saved her life. Diana's last hour -- in cardiac arrest and bleeding to death -- was spent in a mobile medical unit parked a few hundred yards from Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, where an emergency team followed French protocol and administered treatment at the scene of the accident and en route to the hospital.

At the time, many people surmised that had a U.S. ambulance responded, Diana would have been rushed to the nearest emergency room, where a full set of professionals and diagnostic equipment might have revived her.

Colloquially known as "scoop and run," the U.S. system is grounded in studies that show a trauma victim's best chance for survival is reaching the operating room within 10 minutes.

OP says, how do people watch Michael Moore say stuff like Cuba's healthcare is superior when they can't supply toilet paper? How can Britain's healthcare be a model for US when people starve to death in the hospital? previously reported, 13,000 French died while in the hospital in one month from heat, and the above? Seriously you Dem's need to get a grip on this "Change You Can Believe In" jive. Get yourself a smart Republican friend and pay attention. Do not drag emotionally healthy people into your Orwellian Gulags, do not be so generous with your self-loathing and guilt driven death wishes.
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 42
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 9/25/2009 12:08:26 PM
This news just in....

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staft Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, Barthold wrote on JCT letterhead. He signed it "Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold."

I knew free health care had a hitch, ya get the free healthcare in jail lol. Thank you for saving us Obama HAHAHAHHAHAHA, and you libtards need to give yourself a little round of applause too.
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 43
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 9/26/2009 5:23:10 AM
Transparency promise.
The Finance Committee voted Thursday to only put up a summary of the Bachman Health Care bill when its done and they are pushing for an immediate vote when its done.
What happen to the 7 days that America was supposed to get to review any major bills.
Liars all of them
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 44
view profile
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 10/1/2009 4:28:17 PM
Cuba's not running out of money because it has government-run health care. It's running out of money because of the continuing embargo on American trade. The Soviet Union propped the local economy up, but after 1990 or so, there didn't seem any point. Basically, people in Cuba are starving even though most Americans want the embargo ended.

It's a fair trade. We get good cigars, they get toilet paper. End the embargo now!
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 45
view profile
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 10/1/2009 4:56:08 PM
He's not even running the country anymore. He's not even capable of doing so. What's the point in letting millions suffer just because of... well no real reason I can see. Sure, it's a dictatorship, but America's been friends with a lot of them. Didn't we give weapons to both Iran and Iraq? Oh, and didn't we help train the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, for that matter? Heck, wasn't Rambo 3 about Sylvester Stallone joining the Taliban after becoming disillusioned with American culture?
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 46
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 10/1/2009 5:11:17 PM
Elemenreich I wish I had time to help you unpack all of your confusion but i think I may not have enough hours left in my life to save you. failing that I'm going to give you a magic exercise that might help:

1. Put your index finger from your right hand

2. Place it in the middle of your forehead

3. Then say the following three times: This is a mistake!

Do this daily until you and Michael Moore get your confusion sorted out, it could be a draw who gets well first.
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 47
view profile
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 10/1/2009 7:00:11 PM

The Soviet Union propped the local economy up, but after 1990 or so, there didn't seem any point.

There didn't seem any more Soviet Union, either.

Castro and his whole clique of Stalinist murderers can go polish the Devil's doorknocker--the sooner, the better. And all those self-styled American cosmopolitans who toady to fascists like them, while looking down their noses at their own country, are welcome to tag along. I'm sure he always needs a few more to kiss that long red tail.
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 48
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 10/1/2009 7:18:42 PM
Sometimes when I am trying to make sense of the world, and create harmony at the same time I stumble upon truly worthwhile, win-win solutions. As Michael Moore has pointed out, Cuban healthcare is free and superior.

Therefore, if you voted for Obama, and suffer an illness or need surgery, we will put you on an airplane and pay Cuba the going rate for Cuban care. Going further, why not simply enroll all Democrats in Cuban healthcare. Superior healthcare, reduced cost. Viva la revolution!

The sheer joy at the thought of libtards getting their healthcare in Cuba almost causes my joy button to go on tilt. Can you imagine Michael Moore awaiting open heart surgery in Cuba? Be still my heart, the glee and justice this would create is breathtaking.

Any volunteers? Ace? We could make news hahahahaha.
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 49
view profile
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 10/1/2009 7:22:11 PM

Oh, and didn't we help train the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, for that matter? Heck, wasn't Rambo 3 about Sylvester Stallone joining the Taliban after becoming disillusioned with American culture?

Just who is the "we" you think helped train those yellow curs? When? Where? How? And why? Or did you get that "fact" from a movie about Americans' disillusionment with their country? I'm sure they're good basic training for fifth columnists.
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 50
view profile
but they have great healthcare.....
Posted: 10/1/2009 8:00:49 PM

Any volunteers?

You know, I think you may have something there. But instead of us paying for it, let them help the poor Cubans! It could even be made into sort of a pilgrimage, or crusade--call it "Turncoats' Tribute." They could go down and do something "for the people" in return for their medical treatment, at some predetermined rate for each procedure. A hundred bedpans cleaned for this, an acre of sugar cane cut for that, a day of mucking out stables for the other.

Think of the revolutionary joy and comradeship that could be created all around! They might even have a big parade for the grand finale. Pete Seeger probably couldn't sing, but can you imagine Baez in the main square in Havana, singing some Woody Guthrie paean to one-world socialism for the huge crowd? Even the North Koreans might be jealous of so much Stalinist cheerleading.

It would be a way for Americans who hate America to get away from it for a while, too--and see what a real workers' paradise is like. America-hating homosexuals in need of medical treatment might want to think carefully before joining the tribute, however, considering that Fidel and Raul apparently have always considered buggery a distinctly counter-revolutionary, bourgeois dalliance that warrants a long prison term. Except, of course, when they engage in it with each other.
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