Posts Tagged ‘bailouts’

DID THE DEMOCRATS REFORM HEALTH CARE?

November 9, 2010

Congressional Democrats, since the election of President Obama, have passed cosmetic legislation that will likely hurt more than help the majority of Americans, while greatly enhancing the bottom-line of banking, oil and health corporations.  Like their Republican partners in crime, they are allowing citizens to become more and more economically enslaved.   For example, government sources announced not long after so-called health care “reform” passed, that projected costs for health care will nearly double by 2020.

Many Americans fail to understand that when employers pay for health care, we are in reality, paying for it ourselves.  Employer cost for benefits is included in the “price at the pump” reality for all goods and services.  And because the cost is ultimately borne by us, there is in reality no such thing as employer provided benefits.

If a manufacturer, trucking company and retail chain provide benefits for their employees, consumers purchasing the manufactured products delivered by the trucking company and sold by the retail chain, pay for the cost of these benefits. This includes the factory workers, truck drivers and store clerks who receive benefits, when they purchase goods and services themselves.

When an employer doesn’t provide health coverage, as is the case for most working class and poor citizens, then it greatly disproportionately effects them.  Not only are they forced to pay for their own coverage or do without, they also end up paying for the health benefits of employees who do have coverage, in the form of higher consumer prices.  Instead, if health care was paid for through federal taxation, citizens would pay for it based on their tax bracket and ability to pay.

The reality now is, upper-middle class and wealthier Americans typically enjoy premium health coverage paid for by their employers. Meanwhile, all American consumers end up paying for “Cadillac-plan” provided expensive high fashion eye-wear, cosmetic surgery and braces on children’s teeth.  And, poor Americans suffering from cancer and diabetes often have no coverage at all. EVERYBODY pays while only a few receive premium coverage.

When Republicans talk about supporting “small” business, what their agenda is really helping, is very large private businesses and publicly traded corporations that gain significantly from tax reductions. Average wage-earners lose far more in service cutbacks than they ever gain by tax reductions.  And, when Democrats talk about “reform”, it invariably results in the same thing, such as the projected rise in health care costs we all have to pay for.

Legislation backed by both parties severely hurts small business and the average American citizen and, the direction both parties are pursuing will ultimately enslave the masses beyond pre-20th Century industrial reality.  And, it will eliminate any semblance of legitimate business, while driving more and more people into financial ruin.

Did the Democrats really reform health care?  Is the Republican agenda any better?  As long as politicians are allowed to be bought and sold by wealthy interests, does it even really matter which party is in power?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

Music Video relating to this article

IS AMERICAN MEDIA REALLY LEGITIMATE?

October 20, 2009

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that American media habitually fails to address issues at a fundamental core level that would actually serve to achieve legitimate reform? Instead, we are treated to a giant merry-go-round shell game of opposing pundit charades; both “sides” belittling and whining about the other and neither offering any coherent plan for actually achieving reform.

For example, amidst growing public outrage over corporate bailouts and other corrupt political shenanigans, why aren’t political pundits on either the so-called “liberal” or “conservative” side calling for a national cap on interest rates at a reasonable 5%? This would do far more to stimulate the economy, insure the long-term health of the banking industry and actually help the average citizen, than all of the trillions tossed down the historical sewer and all of the nonsensical cosmetic “reforms” offered up by both “sides” combined.

In the debate over universal verses private health care, why is there no discussion regarding the obvious immediate and long-term ramifications of contagious diseases? If conservative mothers actually knew how severely in danger their own children are, even if insured, we would have had universal health care long ago, like any reasonable and sane government today should and does provide.

Amidst much feigned “outrage” over political corruption, why is nobody on either side calling for a constitutional amendment banning all political contributions of any and every kind except by private individuals and, limiting individual donations to 1% of the median income? Given the historical track record of the Supreme Court siding with business interests against any and all legitimate political reform legislation, it should be obvious even to someone without fancy degrees attached to their name, that the only way to achieve true political reform is by constitutional amendment.

And, when obviously crooked and entirely corrupt leaders in White House and congressional halls decide to engage in foreign wars of aggression, obviously designed to consolidate political power and enhance corporate bottom lines, why is the American media in total lock-step mentality, found proudly “embedded” in flag-waving “patriotic” support of such atrocities? CBS featured the oft-maligned supposedly “liberal” Dan Rather embedded right on cue in real time during Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq, whispering in hushed, reverent tones, describing in detail how adept our military is at invading and bombing a completely out-gunned city full of civilians into “democratic” submission?

American media has long focused on the so-called “health” of the stock market as the leading indicator for whether our not the economy is doing well. This in spite of the well known historical facts that often during a prolonged bull market, the majority of Americans continue to lose economic ground. Whether or not the market is doing well in the short term Wall Street reality has little to zero bearing on the economic lot of the majority of American citizens.

Media would be informing us far better if it focused on rising energy, food and housing costs relative to the median wage and better yet, the minimum wage, as leading economic health indicators. What good is it to average Americans, if a few more billionaires are created, when less than zero percentage of growing market prosperity “trickles down” on the vast majority of our citizens?

What is the real agenda behind the carefully controlled piece-meal information dolled out by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal? Is CNN, Fox News and MSNBC giving us the information we really need? Why aren’t mainstream media outlets informing us correctly and adequately regarding various major issues of the 21st Century?

Is American media really legitimate, or is it just a big waste of everybody’s valuable time? Would we be better off burying our radios and televisions in our backyards, that is, those of us who still have a backyard to bury them in?

You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for above article

SHOULD EVERY AMERICAN CARE IF EVERYONE HAS HEALTH CARE?

October 17, 2009

Some historians claim disease has wiped out more people than all wars combined.  Yet, in spite of the known historical record, Americans continue to ignore the inevitable consequences of contagious disease; consequences including significant preventable illness even for those with health coverage, large productivity losses and national leading to global plague.

Some plead we should care about the less fortunate while others pretend private care is preferable, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Today, U.S. citizens pay much more for coverage than citizens of any other nation, yet we are ranked 37th in health care quality and even lower in availability.

Several former Soviet block and Southeast Asian nations offer better coverage; even Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate.  Over 45 million U.S. residents have zero health care; at least 80 million more have highly inadequate coverage.  More and more citizens with expensive plans are being refused coverage for expensive problems.

Every week, more citizens lose employer-paid care and retirement benefits, including long-term coverage for less healthy retirement years.  Depending on provider, 10-30% of every dollar spent on private coverage goes to overhead not related to care, while less than 8% for government-sponsored Medicare does, even though Medicare helps the oldest and sickest among us.  Very plainly, private health care as we currently have, is not the solution.

Politicians on both sides of the political charade continue to pretend they care about America’s security, while continuing to ignore our immediate health care reality.  Whether or not we care about our neighbor is only part of a larger equation, because disease knows no boundaries.  Children of the poor can, have and will, infect children of the wealthy.  Medical facts clearly demonstrate that private coverage is no guarantee against contagious diseases.

In reality, less than 1% of U.S citizens can afford to pay for their own catastrophic needs.  All forms of private health insurance are “shared responsibility” programs,dependent on the majority of those covered to remain healthy, while majority pay-outs go to the sickest minority.

Yet, right-wing media pretends coverage is not a “shared responsibility”, that we should all take care of our own selves.  People who claim this have never faced $250,000 per year cancer treatments on a working class income.  And they clearly don’t understand their own immediate financial jeopardy if they were to lose coverage.  Or, what can and will happen to their own children, if their neighbor’s children remain uncovered.

Scientists claim our planet is overdue for a major disease epidemic, while history clearly dictates that all of our politics, education, science and weapons won’t protect us against the onslaught of disease.  And the media is clearly failing American citizens by not instructing us accordingly.

Is it fair to say that citizens who do not push for immediate affordable and adequate health coverage for all persons residing permanently or temporarily within our borders, are decidedly unpatriotic?  Is it fair to say they don’t even care about their own children?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for the above article

WHO IS REALLY LYING ABOUT HEALTH CARE?

October 17, 2009

NOTE:  The numbered items below are taken from a Republican Party health care flier handed out at various health care demonstrations.  
 

1.  We need to reform health care.  It costs too much.

Republicans under Bush did nothing to reform the health care industry.  There is no historical track record of Republican health care reform.  Thus, current proposals reek of partisan political charades and complete and total dishonesty.

2. Make health insurance portable so Americans can keep their coverage when they change jobs.

This does nothing to reduce dramatically rising health care costs, eliminate high deductibles and co-payments, help the uninsured or people with pre-existing conditions or, prevent insurers from refusing to cover the sickest among us.  And, this wasn’t proposed by Republicans prior to the 2008 campaign.

3. Provide tax credits to make health care more affordable and accessible. 

In addition to solving none of the things noted previously, this was first proposed by John McCain while running for president.  Prior to that, there is no record of Republican tax credit proposals.  On the contrary, Republicans in Congress under Bush pushed to reduce federal funding, including opposing helping uninsured children.

4. President Obama and the Democrats are conducting a dangerous 1.6 trillion dollar experiment with our health care
 
When cost savings are factored in, the actual cost would be about 100 billion per year.  This is less than 1/30th of the estimated cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Apparently, Republicans believe pretending to protect us from harm in foreign lands is more important than protecting Americans against contagious diseases and death from lack of health care here at home.   
Tax cuts for the wealthy under Bush alone would cover this cost and provide a home for every homeless veteran as well.  Annual losses in national productivity, due to the spread of common contagious diseases easily preventable if everyone had access to health care, cost Americans far more than reforms being proposed by Obama.    

5. Democrat proposals will raise taxes by 800 billion, mostly on small business. 

President Obama has proposed raising taxes on personal net income over 250K to help pay for health care reform.  Republican opposition is a continuation of the ongoing “Joe the Plumber” lie never dissected properly by the media; almost no plumbers or owners of small independently-owned companies earn over 250K annually after deductions. Also, businesses employing less than 50 people will not be required to pay for health care under proposed reforms.

6. Democrat proposals will create a national set of one-size-fits-all regulations, making health care more expensive for everyone. 

This is not at all what Obama and the Democrats are proposing but even if it was, it would serve to greatly reduce the cost for everyone, if the health care industry was forced to bid against the entire U.S. population base.

7. New regulations will make your employer drop your plan or cause your current insurance carrier stop offering your plan.   

Proposed regulations would actually have the opposite effect than what is pretended in Republican propaganda.  They include requiring employers to insure employees or else, pay a penalty to offset the costs of a government option.  New regulations would force insurers to accept all people, regardless of pre-existing conditions and, require them to cease dropping patients who are deemed “too expensive” for profit margins. 
 
8. Democrats will create a government run insurance option that would unfairly drive out competitors to become a monopoly.   

Since deregulation began under Ronald Reagan, major insurance corporations have essentially become a monopoly, unfairly driving out smaller competitors and, insurers who attempted to provide honest coverage.  Predominately supported by Republicans, deregulation reduced and eliminated rules that once prevented the industry from refusing to pay for expensive treatments and, protected poor and elderly patients from being literally dumped out the backs of ambulances onto Skid Row, as was famously video taped and revealed on national television.  
 
 
It’s true the Democrats are grossly in error regarding health care, bowing to corporate pressure and pretending that we can expect to survive as a modern nation, while leaving insurance industry profits in the way of achieving quality affordable health care for us all.  History has over and over again proven this to be a complete and total lie.   
 
But. . .  Who is really, really, really lying about health care?  You decide. 
 
Link to footnotes and documentation for this article:
http://www.freedomtracks.com/500/healthcare.html 

CAN CONGRESS BE REFORMED?

October 17, 2009

Anyone with a thimble-full of political sense can readily determine there is no way to fix America unless the influence of big money is eliminated from the political process.  Any other plan is mainly a big waste of everyone’s time, if we don’t as all-partisan citizens, regardless of religious, political or other persuasion, rise up and demand the complete elimination of bribery from sea to once shining sea.

Nothing illustrates this need better than the current crop of malfeasant Democrats, who since regaining control of Congress in 2007, haven’t done a single thing we the people obviously want.  Other than passing a minimum wage law that was over ten years too late and as many dollars too low, lack of health care, education costs, poverty, infrastructure decay, joblessness and homelessness have all dramatically increased.

Rather than helping average Americans, Congress has engaged in endless bend-over political charades, increased rather than reduced troop levels and war funding and signed away even more of our quickly disappearing rights.  And since 2008, they have sold our children’s future down a no-strings-attached, golden-platter river of unprecedented corporate bailout malfeasance.

Because the Supreme Court will always otherwise, declare any and all manner of corruption-eliminating reform “unconstitutional”,  the only way to get rid of big money influence is by constitutional amendment.  Attempts at other methods of reform have left a long historical trail of tears of utter frustration and defeat.

We need an amendment making it punishable by life in prison without parole, for any organization or group of people of any kind, for any reason, to contribute one penny or anything of higher value, to one small-town city council office seeker on up to president of the United States.  And we need to limit individual contributions to 1% of the median income per candidate per year, including candidates themselves; approximately $480 in 2008 dollars.

In order to be licensed for broadcasting on what are theoretically “the people’s” airwaves, we need to require all radio and television stations to grant free equal airtime to “qualified” candidates; qualification determined by obtaining enough signatures of registered voters, amount determined by office and number of people represented.  And, we need to eliminate the electoral college, elect everyone by popular vote, hold all party primaries on the same date and require a verifiable paper trail.

There is much tweaking necessary for the amendment proposed here, but this sketch outline is sufficient to grasp the basic idea.  No law will eliminate all corruption, but what is suggested here would eliminate well over 90% of the current problem and, would allow the majority of we the people to actually have a voice.

Will the bottom-feeding miscreant corporate-puppet juvenile delinquent treasonous reprobates of Congress ever be eliminated and put in federal prison where they belong?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article:
http://www.freedomtracks.com/500/congressionalreform.html