Buy health insurance or go to jail?

bllieddoseJeezus Lord … *sigh*

No, you will not go to jail if you don’t purchase insurance, but what you WILL do is be fined if you DON’T PAY your taxes- if YOUR STATE EVEN BOTHERS TO OPT IN – and maaaayyyybe, go to jail if you CONTINUE to not pay your taxes.

So, essentially, what republicans on the floor raved about Saturday was taxes, not health insurance reform.

Typical.

Also typically, they mislead those who don’t pay attention to make it seem as if those who can’t afford health insurance (those who would be given a hardship waiver) or those who simply refuse to because they don’t want it so are taxed and whiny will be rounded up and put in prison – which is totally untrue.  Also, they AS PER USUAL fail to note that there is an OPT OUT provision for any state that wishes to do so … and they’ve made it clear they ALL wish to do so.   (And, don’t all of us who don’t ‘pay income tax’ … and were disparaged last year … get a tax return anyway, refunding a bunch of our money back to us?) Therefore if this EVEN PASSES, they will be able to avoid this all together.   To all of this I say what a bunch of HOOEY!

“… if and when Congress actually manages to pass a bill, the real action may well be in the states, which could have a surprising degree of autonomy in determining how they implement the federal legislation, and whether it delivers on the promise of curbing soaring costs and providing coverage for the nearly 50 million uninsured. Though most everyone recognizes that the Federal Government can’t impose a rigid approach …”

Give those states who wish to participate the opportunity to do so, keep your STUPID opt out, and then BUTT out!  Really, isn’t this what Republicans have been proposing all all along, the ‘across state lines’ purchasing power?  If that’s the case, well, those states who opt out can all band together and purchase health insurance from each other.  Meanwhile, those of us who actually prefer a little reform can move to states that prefer the government option.  Then, everyone is happy.  Some have federally covered health reform and some don’t (which is dumb, but whatever).

Whatever passes or doesn’t pass, it BETTER NOT pass with this Stupak Amendment SH**!!

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Billie’s Quickies … “How very”

bllieddoseI agree with and respect Glenn Greenwald (@glenngreenwald) an awful lot.  He’s an uber smarty pants who – even when I do find something with which to disagree (and I do, even in the article where the quote below came from) – I can still see where he’s coming from and respect him for educating me on something I most surely either simply did not know about or hadn’t thought about in a particular way.  Whether others like him or not, I have to hunker down to read his commentary because it sure ain’t a quick or thoughtless sound bite, and he always gives me something to chew on.  Glenn Greenwald is great for nuggets like this:

“If the Democratic Party is to become a meaningful alternative, free from corporate control, that will happen not because party leaders such as Obama cause it to happen.  Instead, it will only occur from efforts on the part of Democrats to cease support for, and begin working to eject, those elements which keep the Party beholden to the same interests as the ones who own and control the so-called ‘other party.’  Systematic, credible primary challenges — to impose a price for the Party on this behavior (by forcing them to divert resources to fending off primary challenges) and to make incumbents more accountable to their constituents — is the best, perhaps the only, means for accomplishing that, if it can be accomplished at all.”

  • Earlier this year, a small-town business owner decided he would try to stimulate the local economy by handing out $16,000 in cash to his 24 employees.  But,  they had to donate part of it to charity and spend the rest at local businesses.  HuffPo followed up by finding similar stories in April.  Really is a neat idea.  Bootstraps people! And, here’s an interesting “progression of the recession” thingie.
  • Speaking of the economy.  There’s also health insurance reform.  On that topic, here’s some advice on translating your medical bills, spotting errors, and fighting mistakes.
  • Although I don’t necessarily agree with the title or a few remarks in this excellent commentary of the state of feminism today, I totally understand the sentiment … and the noteworthy and ongoing conversation in the comments between it’s author and his complimenters and critics.  A testament to how to begin a conversation – and not abandon it.
  • Because you can’t have Melrose Place come back without it … HEATHERS trivia! Yay.

Finally …

Bill O’Reilly Backs Public Option While Declaring it Dead

janeane

When I saw this item at HuffPo, declaring that Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly backs the public health insurance option, I immediately thought “There has to be a catch.”

The clip at HuffPo was only about a minute long, so I figured there must have been a walkback later in the interview.  I found the full interview at the Heritage Foundation’s website.  There’s no walkback, but the clip has some great moments.  Not only does O’Reilly nail why the public option is necessary, he also makes several comically half-assed stabs at pronouncing  long lost Janeane Garofalo twin Nina Owcharenko’s name:

While O’Reilly doesn’t back off from his support for the public option, he does preface his remark by saying it’s not going to happen.  Aside from my own reporting to the contrary, O’Reilly might take heart from this widely-circulating clip from yesterday:

While media accounts of the death of the public option may have created the impression that public support for it may have waned, perhaps repetitions of this scene, along with some actual facts, will help to turn that tide in favor of O’Reilly and “the folks.”

Billie’s Quickies…President Bush responsible for influx of illegal aliens?

Your inspiration for today for health insurance reform – long but worthwhile:

Oh, wait, never mind, I know why there wasn’t complaining from the right…Union thuggery!

Billie’s Quickies…Sweet, sweet pecksniffery

bllieddoseHey, anti health care/insurance reform protesters are you organizing online?  Well, if so, conservative bastion of democracy Bill O’Reilly has a few words for you and your wacky 1st Amendment buddies:

The Internet’s driving this kind of stuff. … There was always this crew, this anarchist crew, these people can’t fit into society, they’re angry for whatever reason, they want to cause trouble. They’ve always been there. But now they’re coordinated by the internet, now they can talk to each other. It’s like child molesters, you know? I mean, child molesters have always been around but now they got a place to go and gather and do their evil deeds.

Oh dear.  Sweet, Sweet pecksniffery.

via http://thinkprogress.org/2009/04/01/billo-child-molesters/

Surprise! Anti-Healthcare Reform Horror Story is a Lie

Update: So, that Canadian lady in the commercial, the one who wants to keep at least 20 million Americans without healthcare?  The one with the life-threatening brain tumor?  Yeah, not so much.

Still, I found Holmes tale both compelling and troubling. So I decided to check a little further. On the Mayo Clinic’s website, Shona Holmes is a success story. But it’s somewhat different story than all the headlines might have implied. Holmes’ “brain tumour” was actually a Rathke’s Cleft Cyst on her pituitary gland. To quote an American source, the John Wayne Cancer Center, “Rathke’s Cleft Cysts are not true tumors or neoplasms; instead they are benign cysts.”

Well, surely, a Rathke cleft cyst can be life-threatening, right?

Mortality associated with RCCs is extremely rare. In a study conducted by Shin and colleagues, the mortality rate was 0%, and the recurrence rate was 19%.2 In the literature, recurrence rates typically are lower, commonly 5-10%; however, Mukherjee co-authors reported a recurrence rate of 33%.

So, there you have it.  The Republicans want you to put the future of your healthcare in the hands of a Canadian hypochondriac.  I suppose that’s marginally better than letting the Republicans handle it, but I think we’ll stick with the public option.

Healthcare PWN-age Video of the Day

This clip is actually a few weeks old, but it was emailed to me by a conservative who was in an apoplectic lather over Jane Hamsher’s attempted PWNing of Townhall’s Jillian Bandes.

As it turns out, Jillian PWNed herself. Check it out.

Hamsher plays a little bit of dirty pool here, using her own cancer survivorship to try and taze Bandes into submission,but in doing so, misses a better opportunity. Everybody’s got a story, and when you rest your argument on one, you legitimize whatever sob story the right wants to dig up. Since all the right really has are anecdotes and speculative fiction, this is a bad strategy.

In fact, she’s responding to an ad in which another cancer survivor does the same thing. We could trade horror stories all day long, and it wouldn’t do a thing to illuminate this issue for people.

Hamsher misses the big kill here, as Jillian Bandes delivers the perfect setup. When Shuster asks her who represents the “50 million uninsured,” Bandes torturously haggles him down to 20 million people.

20 million people? Using the best math available to the right, generously granting all of Bandes’ assumptions, that is the best they can do? Why didn’t Hamsher zero in on that? Who is representing the at least twenty million people who cannot get health insurance?

That is the real shame in this.

She misses another chance, as well, to challenge the contradictory assumptions of the right. They say that the public plan will be a deadly morass, yet they are convinced that private insurance companies will be unable to compete with it. What sense does that make? That’s like saying that cheap cans of shit will drive beef stew out of the market. It’s nonsense. Bandes also gets away without answering to the overwhelming public support for a government option.

There may be some grassroots opposition to the public option, but it seems to be coming from insurance companies and their best customers. Take it with a grain of salt, then get your blood pressure checked, if you can.

Healthcare PWN-age Video of the Day

This clip is actually a few weeks old, but it was emailed to me by a conservative who was in an apoplectic lather over Jane Hamsher’s attempted PWNing of Townhall’s Jillian Bandes.

As it turns out, Jillian PWNed herself.  Check it out.

Hamsher plays a little bit of dirty pool here, using her own cancer survivorship to try and taze Bandes into submission,but in doing so, misses a better opportunity.  Everybody’s got a story, and when you rest your argument on one, you legitimize whatever sob story the right wants to dig up.  Since all the right really has are anecdotes and speculative fiction, this is a bad strategy.

In fact, she’s responding to an ad in which another cancer survivor does the same thing.  We could trade horror stories all day long, and it wouldn’t do a thing to illuminate this issue for people.

Hamsher misses the big kill here, as Jillian Bandes delivers the perfect setup.  When Shuster asks her who represents the “50 million uninsured,” Bandes torturously haggles him down to 20 million people.

20 million people?  Using the best math available to the right, generously granting all of Bandes’ assumptions, that is the best they can do?  Why didn’t Hamsher zero in on that?  Who is representing the at least twenty million people who cannot get health insurance?

That is the real shame in this.

She misses another chance, as well, to challenge the contradictory assumptions of the right.  They say that the public plan will be a deadly morass, yet they are convinced that private insurance companies will be unable to compete with it.  What sense does that make?  That’s like saying that cheap cans of shit will drive beef stew out of the market.  It’s nonsense.  Bandes also gets away without answering to the overwhelming public support for a government option.

There may be some grassroots opposition to the public option, but it seems to be coming from insurance companies and their best customers.  Take it with a grain of salt, then get your blood pressure checked, if you can.