Monday, August 17, 2009

There Is Nothing As Powerful As An Idea Whose Time Has Come And Nothing More Dangerous Than A People Who Will No Longer Follow.

There Is Nothing As Powerful As An Idea Whose Time Has Come And Nothing More Dangerous Than A People Who Will No Longer Follow.

The furor of the Town hall Howlers given prime time media exposure would have think that America was on the brink of a second Revolutionary War over the issue of Healthcare coverage in America. Nothing could be further from the truth. A vocal hell bent “no change” minority is being allowed to impact the discussion way out of their proportion to the American public, who sadly, like dullard sponges are soaking up the sound bite verbal lint.

Those who have fueled the “Theater On The Right” have a far more devious agenda than that of removing one or more portions of intended healthcare legislation. If they can manage to stampede the public, take advantage of myopic, mediocre, less than stellar intelligence Congressmen, giving cause to pause and back peddle fearing the most important thing in life; their reelections; they will win the day and nothing will change.

They are the voices of hate, the voices of racism in America devoted to the destruction of the Obama Administration, willing to sacrifice self-interests for their hate, the voices of those unwilling to uplift a brother or sister lest they become equals and the bleating of flock following empty headed Americans who won’t pay a dime for anything that they can get someone else to pay for. They have theirs; now you get yours and if you can’t...Tough luck.

Healthcare will remain in the hands of the corporate establishment. Nothing will be competitive in the industry and American’s by-in-large will be handed a sham compromise Bill that is as hollow and useful as discharged 30-06 casing. A big bang that missed the target.

The current furor is less about cost and deficits for the future than it is about the healthcare industry lobby getting its way in avoiding real competition and keeping Congress in its back pocket.

This fight is not about you and me. This fight is about political power and as usual you and I are simply pawns that will become collateral damage in the final outcome if we persist in being couch potato observers in the great American “what can I do mode”.

The rabid right wingers have no qualms about getting in someone’s face in their version of righteous indignation, demonized vocabulary hurling and deaf-eared mind closed “I’ve made up my mind so don’t even try to confuse me with the facts or truth”. They have no qualms in risking a violent confrontation.

On the other hand the left, so frighteningly “intellectually above all that”, simply spits out more words that no one is listening to, words that don’t make the media, words that do not impact the debate, words that do not contribute to the arena of opinion formation.

We are surrendering the debate to the right by intellectual disengagement. You don’t win a fight sitting in the cheap seats outside of the ring!

Democrats know they have to win this issue to retain the White House in 2012, or appear to have scored enough points in the fights to spin back to victory. That is a dangerous strategy. Republicans know that if Obama wins this one; they can kiss 2012 good bye.

This struggle is not about lifting America’s Healthcare standards and providing equity of coverage and service to all our citizens. It is not about Socialism or dictatorship, not even about “Death Panels” or deficits; it’s about the politics of money and elections.

We are in the midst of a “Managed Depression” that will be declared over by 2012 when Wall street is marching forward, Corporate Ledgers and financial institution balance sheets are “acceptable-given-circumstances” and the media swoons over the recovery. Recovery hell; we are in the throes of building a new world wide economy that if left unregulated will collapse down the road again.

The great fallacies that will be swept under the rug in the declaration of recovery will be as hollow as George Bush declaring victory in Iraq on the flight deck of a warship. Recovery will be an illusion, reconstruction incomplete and only with time will far too many come to realize the human devastation that has taken place. Recovery without jobs, recovery without reemployment, recovery without the restoration of personal dreams, aspirations and careers will not constitute recovery; it will, however, be served up as a great triumph for which many have made great sacrifices…that would be you and me.

We are in the midst of a great collapse of the Capitalism system as managed by the current crop of unregulated corporate criminals and their sycophant corporate boards whose only bottom line is their bank accounts; not you, not me, not America in general.

We are in the midst of a great opportunity to bring about great change and at every turning point our leaders are being hammered into repeated failure.

Detroit is on the ropes and banking its hopes of renewal on “Green Friendly” hybrid cars. That is a joke. The hybrid should at most be considered a short interim/transitional vehicle while economically the industry stabilizes. I will grant you those vehicles will lessen emissions…but. One must consider the reverse side of the coin. They will not sell as one might hope in the corporate board room. Why? Simply they will not satisfy the public’s appetite for vehicles that simply start and run and run with little fuss other than a fill up at acceptable prices.

People don’t want to stop and exchange batteries. People are going to weary rapidly with plugging in these things over night and there will be inevitably those failures where cars and houses go up in flames.

There is a more insidious component to the hybrid that is a dirty little secret. They use some gas; they use out-of-wall electric refueling. And what’s wrong with that?

Where does electricity come from? What is burned in its generation with the after products of pollution pumped into our environment…coal and oil…so those good old boys can simply shift their delivery trucks and we will remain in business of raping the land and killing for oil.

And just where have we missed the boat on this one and stepped off the dock into drowning waters? The Detroit stimulus should have included, and I don’t apologize for the next words, a black mail proviso that required massive R&D on the part of the industry to develop in three years the true electric car, the non-hybrid, emissions less, on-board battery recharging automobile. Money for battery research/development should have been allocated. That car is within our reach and the first nation to get their will dominate the world market for the at least the next century…but our Congress is so corrupted and co-opted that it cannot think or get out of the elections safe deposit box.

I am less concerned with the deficits that we may amass in building a new world economy than I am with seizing the moment to shape tomorrow. The deficits in world once again productive will both manage those costs and dissolve them rapidly. The fear comes from a myopic vision based on assumptions, formulas and solutions of a bye gone era.

We have heard little of regulatory legislation necessary to bridle, harness and coral financial institution and their corporate inclinations of sociopathic economic rape and serial killing economic plunder. If you regulate, (as we must); there will be fight and it will be ongoing to undo whatever measures are put in place, but the corporations are not going to find some safe haven abroad any longer. Many a nation is far down the track on this one. We are still nestling into the starting blocks and I am sure we will argue over what those should be. The Fed was only the token first step.

That simple early-on cliché of “If it’s too big to fail then it should not exist” must be a guiding principle of rebuilding. I do not discount profit making, but I do condemn the obscenity of profit making at everyone else’s life, well being and ability to share in a decent life.

As I near the conclusion of these comments; one need not look any further than the America’s Infra Structure Report Card ( to determine a productive national economic program of jobs creation, employment and national advance.

The Allstate “Recession Advertisement make a point American’s might well take a few moments to examine. We have experienced 12 recessions/depressions since 1931! Does that not say we are truly mentally challenged and weak of commitment? It does say we haven’t learned anything from our past mistakes. The sentiments for basic simple values is nostalgic and I can find no fault with that other than we ought not, time again to be slammed into the gutter of despair by the criminal greed of corporate sociopaths and the failure of elected leadership that have literally purchased in cash and ego feeding.

It is “Gin Clear” that we are all not in this together. The class warfare of this nation is laying nude on the table. The Racial animus of this nation is fully exposed. There have been few moments in our history when the elements of power, control hatred, bigotry distain and intolerance have been so displayed. The world is witnessing an America reduced to its dark side. Our words, espoused beliefs and principles are revealed for all the hypocrisy that the basest instincts of our species are given to. The controls are down and we are damned near out of control.

We have today a simple clash. Are the forces of: “We can control the world”, the forces of “We owe no other member of our society anything”, the forces of “If you want we have pay for it yourself or tough shit”, the forces of “You work for us; say thank you and then shut up” really going to dictate the demise of this nation? Just remember the rich cannot get richer if we simple say we won’t work; we won’t cooperate until we have an agreement. It would be a horrible collision but we could bring those bastards down to living on the streets where they would have to talk to us face-to-face. I guess you call that a revolution!

A revolution in healthcare demands that we simple ignore those who are being led around by the media/corporate nose ring and media exposure and finally fight like hell letting them know that there is nothing more powerful than, nothing more dangerous to those who stand in the way of an idea whose time has come… universal healthcare coverage in America is an idea whose time has come! Stand down or be prepared to lose.

Health Care: ‘Public Option’ or Co-op Concept?

By Kathleen Silvassy, CQ Staff

President Obama’s ambitious health care overhaul proposal — alternately assailed and applauded this past week — had lawmakers Sunday parsing out predictions for its future when Congress reconvenes in September, with the fate of a proposed government-run “public option” in the balance.

Sen. Arlen Specter , D-Pa., who at first opposed the option and later came out in favor of it,said “it is just an option, one of many alternatives with a government option.

According to a plan offered by Sen.Charles E. Schumer , D-N.Y., said Specter, the government-run plan “is going to maintain a level playing field and the option is not going to force out the private sector. And I think competition is good.”

Obama has been pressing for the government-run a health insurance program to help cover the nation’s almost 50 million uninsured, but Republicans remain steadfast in arguing against it.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch , R-Utah, who appeared with Specter on ABC’s“This Week,” reiterated his opposition to the public plan.

“I still think we should have a bipartisan solution, but what I can’t tolerate is a government plan. And there’s no way you can make it coequal, have a government be on an equal playing field,” he said.

“Choice and competition” were the repeated points by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“What the president has always talked about is that we inject some choice and competition into the private insurance market. There are places in this country, unfortunately, where if you don’t get insurance through your job and you are seeking it on the private insurance market, you don’t have any choice but one health insurance company,” he said. “What the president has said, in order to inject choice and competition, which will drive down costs and improve quality, that people ought to be able to have some competitor in that market. There ought to be a choice that they have. The president has thus far sided with the notion that that can best be done through a public option.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius , appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” called the much-debated public option a “piece of the puzzle” that “has had enormous focus and the president continues to believe that it’s good to have consumer choice, let people choose an option in the marketplace.”

However, she went on to say that a government-run program is “not the essential element” of the administration’s health care overhaul.

“I think there will be a competitor to private insurers,” Sebelius said. “That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing.”

Sen. Richard C. Shelby , R-Ala., said public nonprofit co-ops could be a viable option. The co-ops would compete against private plans to keep costs down.

“That would be government involvement but it would be, I believe, a step in the right direction,” Shelby said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think that’s something we should look at. We already have a lot of those, or something like them, nonprofit, basically, that seem to work. I don’t know if it will do everything people want, but we ought to look at it. I think it’s a far cry from the original proposals.”

Page: 1 2 | Next

Uproar Over 'Death Panels' Recalls 1990 Debate

By Adriel Bettelheim

Charges that President Obama and House Democrats want to authorize "death panels" in their health care overhaul evoke a debate 19 years ago in which lawmakers first took up sensitive right-to-die issues.

The catalyst then was a controversial Supreme Court case, Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, in which a 5-4 ruling upheld a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that it was acceptable to require "clear and convincing evidence" that a young woman in a persistent vegetative state would not want to remain on life support for years. The court held "that the evidence adduced at trial did not amount to clear and convincing proof of Cruzan's desire to have hydration and nutrition withdrawn."

Then as now, lawmakers who wanted to make sure people knew about their rights to execute "living wills" or other advance directives clarifying their wishes in such a situation tried to insert language in a sweeping bill dealing with Medicare and Medicaid policy. And opponents quickly charged that the effort would inject government into sensitive personal care decisions.

At the time, all but nine states had living will laws giving patients the right to clearly indicate in advance how they wanted decisions about life-sustaining treatment to be made should they become unable to communicate. But many of the laws had limitations. Some only applied when a person was in an irreversible condition that made death imminent, which might not cover a patient in a persistent vegetative state. Others did not permit doctors to follow an advance directive that called for the removal of a feeding tube.

Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., and former Sen. John C. Danforth, R-Mo., teamed to add language to a budget reconciliation bill (PL 101-508) ordering health care providers paid by Medicare and Medicaid to inform patients about their rights under state laws to executive living wills or other directives.

"It's not an effort to tell people to exercise their rights, but to make sure they know what they are," Levin said at the time.

Then as now, critics questioned the wisdom of including such language in a budget reconciliation bill.

"We don't want anyone running around nursing homes with little right-to-die certificates," said former Rep. Brian Donnelly, D-Mass., who unsuccessfully fought for a provision that would exempt religious facilties from the requirements if they conflicted with their beliefs.

In spite of such misgivings, Congress wrapped the language into the Medicare section of the budget bill, which was cleared on the final full day of the 1990 session.

The language at the center of scrutiny today is contained in a House health care overhaul (HR 3200) and would go a step further, by authorizing Medicare payments for an "advanced care planning consultation" between individuals and doctors, if a patient chose to schedule such an appointment.

The sessions are supposed to include an explanation of living wills, durable powers of attorney and end-of-life services available, including hospice care and pallative care. Orders on how the patient wants life-sustaining treatment could be written during the consultation.

The uproar over the language at recent town hall meetings prompted Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa., to announce Thursday that the Senate Finance Committee had dropped consideration of end-of-life provisions as part of its attempts to hammer out a health overhaul plan.

"We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly," Grassley said.

No comments: