Archive for the ‘health care’ Tag

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John Fugelsang  “In Matthew 25 Jesus commands his followers – both individuals and nations – to care for the sick. Sigh.”

 

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Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said in a recent interview that President Barack Obama was one of the most successful presidents in American history, topping even Ronald Reagan.

In a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine titled “In Defense of Obama,” Krugman defends Obama against critics on the right and the left.

“High office shouldn’t be about putting points on the electoral scoreboard, it should be about changing the country for the better,” Krugman wrote. “Has Obama done that? Do his achievements look likely to endure? The answer to both questions is yes.”

“People who thought Obama was going to bring a transformation of America, I thought were being naive,” Krugman told ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl in a recent interview. “But by God, we got health reform, we got a significant financial reform. We are getting — the environmental action is not everything you would have wanted, but it’s more than anyone else has done for decades.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/blasphemy-paul-krugman-rates-obamas-legacy-as-more-consequential-than-reagans/

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By JENNIFER EPSTEIN |

11/19/13 4:32 PM EST

President Obama on Tuesday dismissed critics who call him a “socialist,” suggesting they meet some real socialists if they think he’s one.

“People call me a socialist sometimes,” he said at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit, addressing 100 top business leaders.

“But, no, you gotta meet real socialists. You’ll have a sense of what a socialist is,” he said to laughter from the crowd.

“I’m talking about lowering the corporate tax rate, my health care reform is based on the private marketplace, stock market’s looking pretty good last time I checked,” he said, listing his capitalist bona fides. “And, you know, it is true I’m concerned about growing inequality in our system, but nobody questions the efficacy of market economies in terms of producing wealth and innovation and keeping us competitive.”

http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/11/obama-scoffs-at-people-who-call-him-a-socialist-you-177886.html?hp=l11

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Donna received the letter canceling her insurance plan on Sept. 16. Her insurance company, LifeWise of Washington, told her that they’d identified a new plan for her. If she did nothing, she’d be covered.

A 56-year-old Seattle resident with a 57-year-old husband and 15-year-old daughter, Donna had been looking forward to the savings that the Affordable Care Act had to offer.

But that’s not what she found. Instead, she’d be paying an additional $300 a month for coverage. The letter made no mention of the health insurance marketplace that would soon open in Washington, where she could shop for competitive plans, and only an oblique reference to financial help that she might qualify for, if she made the effort to call and find out.

Otherwise, she’d be automatically rolled over to a new plan — and, as the letter said, “If you’re happy with this plan, do nothing.”

If Donna had done nothing, she would have ended up spending about $1,000 more a month for insurance than she will now that she went to the marketplace, picked the best plan for her family and accessed tax credits at the heart of the health care reform law.

“The info that we were sent by LifeWise was totally bogus. Why the heck did they try to screw us?” Donna said. “People who are afraid of the ACA should be much more afraid of the insurance companies who will exploit their fear and end up overcharging them.”

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/insurance-companies-misleading-letters-obamacare

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Stewart “It must be a pretty eclectic group (of states), with many different reasons, to explain why they would turn down federal money to bring health care to their working poor, or maybe there was just one reason.”

Reporter “All of those states have Republican governors or legislatures that are controlled by Republicans.”

Stewart “Oh, which makes it really hard not to see this as just the latest example of that hit game show sweeping part of the nation, What Do You Hate More: Poverty Or Obama?  Brought to you by spite.  Spite, the emotion that makes you turn down millions of dollars that would go towards health care for the working poor, because you hate the President.”

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-10-2013/medican-t—-taker–states

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Mitt Romney, 10/3/12:I will not reduce the taxes paid by high income Americans.Mitt Romney, 2/22/12: There were so many misrepresentations in there it’s going to take me a little while. Number one, I said today that we’re going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by twenty percent—including the top one percent.

Mitt Romney, 10/3/12: The key to great schools? Great teachers. So I reject the idea that I don’t believe in great teachers or more teachers.

Mitt Romney, 6/8/12: He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government.

Mitt Romney, 10/3/12: Actually, it’s a lengthy description, but number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.

Mitt Romney, 3/27/12: If they’re 45 years old and they show up and they say I want insurance because I’ve got heart disease, it’s like: “Hey guys, we can’t play the game like that.” You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well, and then if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/05/1140797/-Mitt-Romney-debates-himself?detail=email

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Fareed Zakaria “But, first, here’s my take. Sometimes the conventional wisdom is right. Minutes after the Denver presidential debate, the pundits declared Mitt Romney the clear winner. And he was. He seemed engaged, forceful and punchy. Obama seemed passive, detached and glum.

But what’s more significant than how Romney said things was what he said. Romney repeatedly insisted that he was not advocating a big tax cut. In fact, he declared unequivocally that he would not cut taxes at all if they added to the deficit at all.

Now, as the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler points out in his fact- checking column, for two years, Romney has been campaigning on a tax cut that that would cost around $5 trillion over 10 years. Romney says he would eliminate deductions and cut spending to pay for it, but he never gives any details.

Well, he offered one at the debate. He would cut funding for public broadcasting, which was 0.01 percent of federal spending in 2012. Medicare was 13 percent. But, anyway that tax cut appears to be off the table.

Romney also spoke in favor of regulations, including much of the Dodd-Frank bill, and he repeatedly held up as a model his health care plan in Massachusetts, which has, at its center, the individual mandate, and on which Obamacare is based.

Romney’s transformation did not happen overnight. The candidate has been reworking his stump speech. In a very smart analysis, NPR pointed out that Romney now has a five-point stump speech.

The first four points are actually identical to Barack Obama’s stump speech. Romney argues for (1) Exports (2) Domestic energy (3) Retraining programs (4) Deficit reduction. It’s only on the 5th that they diverge. Romney talks about small businesses, Obama about national security.

I’ve long argued that Romney is an intelligent man trapped in a party that has forced him to embrace extreme and impossible positions. One of his advisers had predicted that once the Republican primaries were over, Romney would erase the image from the primaries and, like an Etch-a-Sketch, just draw a new one.

Well, he appears to be doing just that. The Republican Party might hate Obama enough and be frustrated enough to wink and let him do it. If so, President Obama faces something far more challenging than a good debater in the last weeks of the campaign. He faces a moderate Republican.”

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1210/07/fzgps.01.html

Posted October 8, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Ezra Klein “After three consecutive years of increasing poverty rates, new data released by the Census Bureau finds the poverty rate remained unchanged at 15 percent in 2011. That`s better than going up. That means 46.2 million Americans are living at or below the federal poverty line.

But, and this is important to remember, that`s before you take into account all the anti-poverty programs, like Food Stamps and the Earned
Income Tax Credit that we have going. When you bring those into the calculation, the number is probably lower by many millions of people. So
that`s good.

While the poverty levels held, the census did find a rise in income inequality. The income of the highest quintile of earners rose 1.6
percent, while the middle income quintiles fell. So the rich are getting richer and the rest of the country is not.

But we do have some genuine good news here tonight. The number of uninsured Americans, which usually goes up in bad economies, is dropping. About 1.4 million more Americans have health insurance than had it one year ago. After three years of rising uninsured rates, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage dropped from 16.3 percent in 2010 to 15.7 percent in 2011.

And for the first time in a decade, the percentage of people with private insurance did not drop. Some players are not throwing people off. Census officials cited two major factors driving down the uninsured rate. The number of young adults ages 19 to 25 without insurance dropped two percent, the largest of any group. That is largely because health reform, the Affordable Care Act, allowed kids up to age 26 to stay on their parents` insurance, which has kept an estimated three million young adults insured.

And the number of Americans covered by government programs such as Medicaid has expanded. There are a lot of things government doesn`t do well. But one thing it does know how to do, which you can see here, and you can see, frankly, in every other developed nation on Earth, is give people health insurance.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49021527/ns/msnbc-the_ed_show/#.UFXF-q5qDTo

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Fareed Zakaria talking about health care and the Affordable Care Act “For example, smoking rates are higher in France than in the United States so the French population has higher rates of lung disease. Yet, the French system is able to treat the disease far more effectively than happens in the United States.

Its levels of severity and fatality are three times lower than in this country and yet France spends eight times less on treatments per person than the U.S. system, eight times less.

Or consider Britain, which handles diabetes far more effectively than the U.S. while spending less than half of what we spend per person. The study concludes that the British system is five times more productive in managing diabetes than the United States is.

To understand the issue better, I spoke with Daniel Vasella, the chairman (and former chief executive) of Novartis and a physician by training. He is also frankly pro-market and pro-American, both of which have occasionally made him a target for some criticism in Europe.

Vasella emphasized that there is no single model that works best, but he explained that France and Britain have been better at tackling diabetes and lung disease because they take a system-wide approach that gives all health-care providers incentive to focus on early detection and cost-effective treatment and that makes wellness the goal.

So, I asked him is the lesson that only the government can produce system-wide improvements. Vasella’s brief answer is, “Yes, this is a case where you need government action.”

You see economists have often written about “the asymmetry of information”, areas where consumers are not expert enough to be able to determine what product is best. Evidence increasingly shows that this is true for health.

After all, consumers freely make the choice to smoke, eat junk food and forgo preventative care; all of which are highly likely to make them sick, force up their health-care costs and lower their quality of life. Having us spend more of the money ourselves is not likely to solve the cost crisis in health care.”

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1207/08/fzgps.01.html

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Now, if you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from.  Each state will take the lead in designing their own menu of options, and if states can come up with even better ways of covering more people at the same quality and cost, this law allows them to do that, too.  And I’ve asked Congress to help speed up that process, and give states this flexibility in year one.

Once states set up these health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against any American with a preexisting health condition.  They won’t be able to charge you more just because you’re a woman.  They won’t be able to bill you into bankruptcy. If you’re sick, you’ll finally have the same chance to get quality, affordable health care as everyone else.  And if you can’t afford the premiums, you’ll receive a credit that helps pay for it.

Today, the Supreme Court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance.  This is important for two reasons.

First, when uninsured people who can afford coverage get sick, and show up at the emergency room for care, the rest of us end up paying for their care in the form of higher premiums.

And second, if you ask insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, but don’t require people who can afford it to buy their own insurance, some folks might wait until they’re sick to buy the care they need — which would also drive up everybody else’s premiums.

That’s why, even though I knew it wouldn’t be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so.  In fact, this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for President.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/28/remarks-president-supreme-court-ruling-affordable-care-act

Posted June 29, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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