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Keep Stupak’s Dirty Politican Hands Out of My Uterus December 2, 2009

Posted by Bill in abortion, Family Values, health, health care reform, Politics, Religious Right, Right wing.
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There are people in this country for whom there is only one issue that matters- abortion. To these people, everything is seen in light of abortion and it colors their view of every other thing that happens. Now these groups are threatening to derail Health Care Reform by using the proposed Stupak Amendment to accomplish what they have been unable to do through legislation and the courts, restrict the access of women in this country to safe, legal abortions.

The Stupak Amendment will actually take away coverage that millions of women already have. Not only does it forbid any coverage for abortion in the public option, it prohibits anyone receiving a federal subsidy from purchasing a health insurance plan that includes abortion. Now you may think that this only affects those who receive the federal subsidy, however the Stupak Amendment  also prohibits private health insurance plans from offering through the exchange a plan that includes abortion coverage to both subsidized and unsubsidized individuals. About 87% of private insurance plans now include abortion coverage. If they plan to participate in the Health Care Exchange proposed by the bill, they will have to drop that coverage.

Stupak supporters whine that they don’t want their tax money to go to support abortions. Folks, my tax money goes every day to support things I don’t approve of. For years my tax money has gone to fighting a completely unjustified war in Iraq. My tax money went to the government bail outs. It currently is going to support dozens of faith-based organizations. When we complete our income taxes every year the IRS doesn’t include a checklist so we can go down the list and pick the uses to which our tax dollars can be put. As citizens of the US, our tax money goes to support whatever Congress wants to spend it on. The anti-abortion wing nuts cannot accept that the majority of people in this country do not agree with them on the abortion issue, so like children who pack up their little toys and go home when they don’t get their way, they are trying to undercut health care reform by threatening to pack up their votes and go home if they don’t get their way about abortion.

It’s a note of irony that one of the reasons Americans give for opposing health care legislation is they don’t want the government to have control over their medical care. Yet, by allowing the Stupak amendment to pass, they will be giving control of their medical care over to United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who care more about fetuses than they do about living, breathing human beings. They don’t want the government making decisions about their medical care, but they are willing to let Bart Stupak make those decisions.

Let Obama and Congress know that you do not want health care reform to come at the cost of the rights you already have. Oppose the Stupak Amendment.


Duh: Universal Health Care Means LESS Paperwork October 14, 2009

Posted by Bill in health, health care reform, Politics.
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I spent an inordinate amount of time this week dealing with insurance paperwork for my daughter. My 25-year-old daughter has a serious, chronic illness. She moved home about two years ago to go back to school and to focus on her recovery after going into a tailspin when she went off her maintenance meds because she could not afford them even on her insurance plan. To someone who makes minimum wage, a third-tier drug, as the insurance companies like to call it, is next to impossible to afford.

I’ve been carrying her on my medical insurance since she moved home but when she turned 25 this summer, I had to move her to another insurance company, and so the paperwork begins. This week I had to provide a certificate of prior coverage, a list of all the doctors who have treated her in the past year, a statement that she has no other coverage, a signed affidavit that she is a member of the required group for this particular insurance coverage and a consent to release information from the doctor to the insurance company.

Now it shouldn’t take much in the way of brains to figure out that under universal health coverage, four of those five required forms would not be necessary. A universal provider would not need a certificate of prior coverage because… well, think about it folks. Under universal coverage we wouldn’t need to get a new insurance provider to begin with. A universal provider would not need a list of all the doctors who treated her in the past year because it would already have that information. It wouldn’t need a statement that she has no other coverage because why would a universal provider care? And it certainly wouldn’t need a signed affidavit that she is a member of the covered group because, hello– it’s universal coverage. Get it? Now a universal provider MIGHT need a consent form to release information from the doctor to the insurance company, but since she’s seen her current doctors for several years, the provider would already have this paperwork on file and wouldn’t need a new form.

Sometimes I wonder if the health care opponents actually THINK about what they are saying. Physicians for a National Health Program (PNP) found that administration consumes 31.0 percent of U.S. health spending, double the proportion of Canada (16.7 percent). Average overhead among private U.S. insurers was 11.7 percent, compared with 1.3 percent for Canada’s single-payer system and 3.6 percent for Medicare. Their study appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and the results are published on their website.

Consider how much paperwork is involved in maintaining health insurance– and how much paperwork is involved in convincing the insurance company to pay for various procedures and treatment.  Data from the National Health Accounts collected by the Organization for Economic Co–Operation and Development (OECD) show that insurance administrative costs are significantly higher in the United States than in other countries.

Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Feedback  © 2009 RAND Corporation. All rights reserved. 		 	 Percentage of National Health Expenditures Spent on Health Administration and Insurance, by Country, 2006

Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Feedback © 2009 RAND Corporation. All rights reserved. Percentage of National Health Expenditures Spent on Health Administration and Insurance, by Country, 2006

Okay, so we’ve established that Universal Health Care will actually CUT paperwork costs. Hercule Poirot often used to advise Hastings to “Cherchez la femme!” when determining whodunnit. I suggest health care opponents “cherchez la money.” Who stands to lose the most from universal health care? The insurance companies, folks. Why do you think they are pouring huge amounts of money into lobbying against it? The five largest private insurers and the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans spent a total of $6.4 million lobbying elected officials in Congress in the first quarter of this year, an increase of more than $1 million from the same quarter last year.

So a shout out to health care opponents: How does it feel knowing you are playing right into the hands of the insurance lobbies? There may be legitimate reasons to oppose health care reform and/or universal health insurance folks. But claiming that it will INCREASE paperwork is not one of them.