Archive for July, 2009

nyceve and Jane Hamsher’s health care briefing on Capitol Hill

by , posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 12:07 am

Last Wednesday, July 8th, Rep. John Conyers’ office brought Eve Gittelson, aka “nyceve,” a leading blogger on health care issues at Daily Kos, and Jane Hamsher, founder of the blog FireDogLake, to Capitol Hill to present a briefing on health care to congressional staff.

More specifically, as Conyers legislative assistant Joel Segal put it, Eve was there to “talk about her perspective as a blogger. What she hears day in, day out, from people about what they want to see in a

national health insurance program. What are their concerns, what are their problems?” And Jane was there to discuss organizing strategies, what she thinks the American people want, and what the role of congressional staff and Members of Congress is in putting a good bill through. She was also there to talk about a project she’s engaged in, seeking to get forty members of Congress to go on record on video saying that if there’s no public plan like Medicare, then there will be no health care reform this year.

Rep. Conyers himself joined the briefing as well, leading a Q&A session that turned into an initial planning session for a prospective hearing on the health care crisis, perhaps to be held on Capitol Hill during in August recess.

Eve and Jane’s remarks, as well as more on the Q&A session, after the jump.



Bill Foster signals support for a strong public option

by , posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2009 at 1:58 am

In a move that surprised me (because I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with his spokesperson Shannon O’Brien and have been unable to get a definitive answer) Bill Foster signalled his support for a strong public option, without triggers, when he signed a letter from 22 members of the New Democrat and Blue Dog coalitions to Nancy Pelosi last Wednesday.

A copy of the letter is posted here on Firedoglake.

There’s more…



The current health profit system is a rigged roulette wheel that you can never break even on although you don’t know it because until you lose you think you can win.

by , posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I made the following analogy about a month ago and it seems to really help people understand…

The current health profit system is a rigged roulette wheel that you can never break even on although you don’t know it because until you lose you think you can win.

Since no one else sees each individual playing and understands the rates of payment denials, everyone else keeps playing and saying it’s fair. No one else realizes that when you hit on the wheel and need care that the house tells you you aren’t covered so everyone else keeps playing the game thinking they are safe and will be paid if they hit and need payment of bills.

The fact is currently they don’t even let you play if you show signs of possibly hitting on the wheel before you start (preexisting conditions). Then if they let you play and you pay on the wheel over and over in premiums and you then get sick and need payoffs, They reexamine your entrance preexisting conditions and attempt to deny you a payoff if they can.

Then if that doesn’t work they tell you that you won’t get all the payoff you thought you were covered for when they sold you on playing their roulette wheel and so they leave you in thousands of dollars of debt in uncovered bills.

No one would play a rigged roulette wheel like that if those disclosures were made up front.

Why should anyone accept a rigged health profit system like that?


How I lost my health insurance at the hairstylist’s

by , posted on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

So you’re chugging along doing all the things you do as a responsible citizen, you work, and pay your bills and your taxes, you are there for your children, and fighting for your marriage, you even volunteer. It’s spring, 1998, and gradually you just become so tired it’s a struggle merely to climb a flight of stairs.

Oh, well, you do have two daughters in college, another nearing the end of her senior year in high school, a son in middle school, a full-time job, a house to take care of, are back in college, and have two dogs, two cats, and oodles and oodles of marital strain.

Fatigue sort of goes with the territory, and like many working moms, you just push past it. You get up, you get the family off in various directions, you go to work, you go to class, you cook dinner, you help with homework, go to games and track meets, do housework, set boundaries for the two kids at home and field frequent counseling-like calls from the two who are not, you try to work through problems with your husband, and you collapse exhausted into bed, get up the next day, and do it all over again – it’s a routine you dare not interrupt with reflections on your fatigue – there is no time.

Then one day…



7:00 a.m. phone calls, domestic terrorists & human bellwethers

by , posted on Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 8:16 am

I’m usually too asleep to retain much that my daughter Kate says to me during her daily 7:00 a.m. phone call, but this morning she woke me up.

In the midst of discussing whether her husband may need minor surgery, she said “every time I think about health care now, I just get mad.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, just that we’re well on the way to ending up with a situation where everyone who’s uninsured now is going to be forced to go out and buy some junk policy at a currency exchange, just like poor people do now with car insurance, that won’t cover a thing but will keep them from getting arrested. So lots of cash to insurance companies and no services in return. Worst of all, it’s just going to be massively expensive and in four years we’ll end up with Republicans campaigning on the ‘waste’ and ‘failure’ of our ‘socialist’ healtcare system. And they’ll be right – except for the socialist part – because what congress is currently cooking up is only going to help the people who’ve been trying to kill us – I know, I used to work for big insurance.”



Fight for a Fair Budget – Final Hours of the Fiscal Year

by , posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 at 11:57 am

Candle Light Vigil, Thompson Center, Chicago, June 29, 2009. From across Chicago and Illinois, hundreds gather to mark the names and programs that will be cut out of the new budget in the final hours before the end of the fiscal year. This will eliminate vital community programs and devastate thousands of families.



New Candidate in IL-14

by , posted on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 at 6:23 am

Jeff Danklefsen, 41, of Geneva has thrown his hat in the ring for the Repub nomination in IL-14. Danklefsen is a tea-bagger who doesn’t think any of the candidates on offer in 2008 were conservative enough – either fiscally or socially.

An “also-ran.”