Life Flies By . . .

May 9, 2013

ImageQuack Quack Quack . . .

May 13, 2013… I flew by and posted a piece on the above date about ObamaCare and the Health Exchanges and no one seems to be home around this empty nest to wish to comment… Although, Thanks for the “Likes” from @lobotero and @cmaukonan Oh well.

In closing: Be Well!


The Susan G. Komen Foundations Epic Fail

The Susan G. Komen foundation hours ago pulled the money they grant to Planned Parenthood to provide mammograms citing a congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood. I predict this is going to turn into an epic failure on the part of the Foundation.

What do you think will happen? Deciding to pull funding for a program that helps low income women receive mammograms, seems like you might be penalizing the people who most need these services . Women are going to be completely outraged at your actions, as once again our health care needs are subject to politicization, and now an organization that once helped is assisting those who would hold our needs hostage.   I am dumbfounded at your reprehensible decision that jeopardizes the health of poor women.  You know you going to have to reverse this horrendous decision, right, you have to know this, because the announcement has caused what now appears to be a mini-firestorm, but by tomorrow will be totally out of control. The longer this goes on the worse your publicity, and the more money the Foundation loses. But it isn’t just money that the Foundation is set to lose here, it has also suddenly lost the air of non-partisanship, and the appearance of a willingness to participate in the politicization of reproductive health, and in doing so, you were willing to sacrifice those who can’t fight back.

Your excuse for pulling this funding is beyond insulting to anyone who is in a semi-conscious state, seriously, “planned parenthood is under congressional investigation” is pretty lame.

Let’s unpack this excuse, so aside from the fact that Republican congresses have been investigating Planned Parenthood since the 1980’s, what makes this time so different? Are the charges more serious this time? No of course they are not. The investigation is being conducted by  Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida, Republican of course, and it seems to be the run of the mill investigation that every Republican Congress conducts, you know the one I am talking about,  the one where congress tries to find evidence that PP is using federal funds to conduct abortion services. Every investigation is merely a ruse to pull all funding from Planned Parenthood services.

Why on earth would a Foundation that does so much good let politics seep into their decisions, I think this decision is going to deeply damage the Foundation. The only question is, will they ever be able to rebuild their once stellar reputation.

CrossPosted @ TheAngriestLiberal

Helping the Working Poor — A Practical Defense of PPACA

The Health Care Bill, more often than not, raises the ire of both conservatives and progressives. They’ve teamed up to spread as much misinformation about the bill as possible. Why? I am not sure, because this bill goes a long way to get more people access to health care.

I think it all began with a guy named Howard Dean and some comments he made In December of 2009.  Dean was very angry that the public option was eliminated from the Senate bill. The target of Dean’s rant was Joe Lieberman, ( I)CT, he was pretty pissed at Lieberman and he seemed to feel no bill would be better than this bill now. He was angry at the process. And his anger is not unfounded. This Senate has become a branch of our government that is immovable, ideologically entrenched, almost completely unable to pass any worthwhile legislation. Dr. Dean was pretty pissed about that, as we all should be. However, instead of directing his anger at the improbable 60 vote requirement to pass any legislation of substance, he decided it would be time to just let Republicans win by killing the bill. That didn’t happen of course, but that was an extreme reaction, one Republicans were relying upon, this is where they were able to begin to sow the seeds of discontent among voters, they have filled the air with misinformation, with the help of people who are otherwise quite progressive. All that discontent, and the Executive Branches unbelievable inability to fight back against the propaganda has left people with a sour taste in their mouths when it comes to their thoughts about PPACA.

A number of people jumped on Dr. Dean’s bandwagon, Keith Olbermann went on the air to loudly proclaim why the Senate Bill should not be passed. Two days after Dean’s rant against the bill, a number of left leaning organizations and people banded together to help kill the bill:

Dave Linderhoff of The Public Record
Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake
Markos Moulitsas; Daily Kos Founder
Darcy Bruner; a past candidate for Congress

Lying about ACA has become something of a cottage industry. But don’t believe the hype, the reforms already implemented have brought down insurance costs, added more people to insurance rolls, new benefits for senior citizens, implemented necessary regulations regarding pre-existing conditions and an 80% requirement that premiums be spend on the consumers health care costs, with 20 mandated for administrative costs.

People who will benefit most from the bill:

  1. Those without any insurance.
  2. Those who have paid for expensive individual policies on their own.
  3. Employees of small businesses that have trouble affording the cost of joining a group plan.
  4. Low income Medicare participants who are left paying for whatever is not covered by Medicare for their medical bills and prescriptions.

Who is without access to health insurance? Some of those people are the working poor. It has been a long struggle to get federal legislation dealing with this problem, the estimates are there are some 45 million people without access to basic heath care.  In the past, some states attempted to solve this problem on their own by setting up their own state run “group” for people who didn’t qualify for Medicaid. When the boom of the 1990’s ran its course, those programs began to be cut severely because of the expense of running the programs and because states don’t have as much revenue since the economic downturn and they are having to make tough choices.  Many states of course never attempted such things. Washington State has such a program, but its funding has been cut in the past few years so although people may qualify by their income, there are no slots open to take them as customers, in fact the plan has had to disenroll people because of a lack of funding, in total 17,000 members were disenrolled.

However the results of PPACA have been positive.

  • More young adults have coverage
  • Requires beginning this year, insurers must spend 80% – 85% of premiums in actually delivering care
  • Premiums decreasing even for state employees.
  • Our health insurance plans now have to justify their premium rate increases to the State and pass an approval process before they can raise prices.
  • Because of the ACA, young adults can now stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.
  • New York has something called “community rating,” which means that health insurers can’t charge you higher rates simply because of your age, gender, or health history.
  • Because of the ACA, we no longer have to pay co-pays for many preventative care services.
  • Because of the ACA, people with pre-existing conditions now have choices for coverage, one example the NY Bridge Plan.
  • Because of the ACA, seniors who hit the Medicare “donut hole” are now getting help with their prescription drug costs.
  • States like New York have a law in place called “guaranteed issue,” which means that insurers have to offer health insurance to everyone, even if they have a pre-existing condition (even though they have waiting periods for coverage related to that condition.  But thanks to the ACA – those waiting periods will soon be a thing of the past!). 
  • More changes to Pre-existing condition plans by states, here is a preview, premiums have decreased.
  • Premium and Cost sharing subsidies to individuals: the mechanism provides refundable and advanceable premium credits to eligible individuals and families who fall between 133% and 400% of FPL (Federal Poverty Level) to purchase insurance through state created health exchanges.
  • Provide Costsharing subsidies to eligible individuals and families. Cost-sharing credits reduce the cost sharing amounts and annual cost-sharing limits and have the effect of increasing the actuarial value of basic benefit plan to the following percentages of the full value of the plan:
    • 100 – 150% FPL  94%
    • 150 – 200% FPL  87%
    • 200 – 250% FPL  73%
    • 250 – 400% FPL  70%

Health Exchanges: a few examples

  • Vermont : passed legislation to build a single payer plan for the state of Vermont and in October  of this year, (2011) that plan got one step closer to implementation.

These new federal policies are working. I think this is good. There seems to be a small, but loud coalition of people on both sides of the ideological aisle who would have you believe PPACA is a complete failure, but the evidence says otherwise. Let’s stop letting them get away with their propaganda war against delivering health care to those who would not otherwise have access. Let’s fight back with the facts at hand, because the facts indicate the legislation is working.

Crossposted at TheAngriestLiberal

GOP Debate IX: Herman Cain

Herb Cain has a 9-9-9 plan and he became target numero uno at the GOP debate, Cowboy Style. You knew the group would be all in on going after Herb’s 9-9-9 plan. Cain’s plan has been all the rage as of late with the punditry crowd and the blogging world.  These are the people, (yes like me) who keep Herb in the spotlight.  Although his 15 minutes may be up quickly or maybe not.

The debate begins with a weird commercial about the legendary western United States. It was cool, but it was pretty, well, um, weird.  From there we sing the national anthem and then move right to introductions, where the debaters seemed to be running to their podiums as though they were the quarterbacks of our favorite football teams,  I half expected them to raise both their arms in the sky and scream “Team” “Woo”. And so began debate IX – Cowboy edition.

Herb did get some time in the first 33 minutes of the debate, not a good deal of time, but he did get some time. At the 33 minute mark we get our first sponsored by ad… sponsored by Coal.

Let me draw your attention to my video, before we go into the 9-9-9 apples and oranges montage, we have to talk about Lawrence O’Donnell, the other evening he did a short montage to what Herb Cain knows about his 9-9-9 plan, it was so brilliant I did happen to record it, so I have spliced it together with the highlights of Herb Cain’s debate performance last night. It plays very well with his act, which I now believe is and act to sell his new book, and nothing more. I applaud him for using these debates to enrich himself even more, it is a Republicans dream scenario to become even wealthier doing little or no work something we all know as the “Limbaugh Economic Model or self Aggrandizement=$$$$$$$”, it works too, so I don’t blame him for doing it if it is his goal. So here we are, we are on to Apples and Oranges this becomes Cain’s response to the criticism of his plan.. apples and oranges, apples and oranges. He is an applies and oranges kind of guy. As Lawrence pointed out so well, Herman Cain aka Herb Cain has no idea how his tax plan will work and it isn’t as if he cares if it works. He only cares for the attention he grabs while he gets his 15 minute in the spotlight.

Even though he doesn’t know really how his own program works, he wants to throw out the current tax code and start with his plan, 9-9-9. His plan will liberate American workers and businesses and he definitely wants people to do the math on their own, even though he doesn’t offer any metrics to do so, because he doesn’t know, he just won’t say he doesn’t know.

He loves mixing apples and oranges, no wait, he doesn’t like mixing apples and oranges. According to Cain there are 5 invisible taxes on all products, he doesn’t say what they are, and his tax will replace those invisible taxes. It is a sales tax, but not a VAT tax.

But then Herb turns to Health Care and it sounds like he supports the President’s plan, even though he says he doesn’t. So here is the video of what good old Herman says about Health Care for American’s and as Herb points out some of those things included in ACA were propose by Republicans, yes but they cannot say they support ACA they just support what is in ACA up to and including having to purchase your own insurance.

Next up, Ron Paul’s Greatest Hits

Crossposted at TheAngriestLiberal

How Walker’s Budget May Kill People

With the collective bargaining issue being the main concern of most media and the public something somehow made it under the radar.  Walker’s budget guts Badgercare (Wisconsin’s Medicaid program), Seniorcare (an RX program that had a $20mil surplus), Familycare (a program that helps pay for long term care costs for disabled and poor elderly), and ends the end-stage chronic renal program.

In my area of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, we’ve had hospitals close due to just being so overburdened with Medicaid patients that they were losing money horribly and the hospital systems felt it better to have those patients become absorbed into other hospitals. With hospitals further losing Medicaid dollars, which hardly cover the cost of services if at all, this will cause the hospital systems to do two things, raise prices on cash paying patients (they sign contracts for pricing with insurers) and cut staff, most likely nursing.  Nurses are the biggest of a hospital’s budget.

There is no mandate in the State, as in other states, that say there is a limit to how many hours or how many patients we have while we work.  It is totally to the discretion of management, who when pushed by their superiors will give you more and more.  Evidenced-based research has shown that high patient:nurse ratios increases medical error and patient death.  Hospital systems though will have no choice but to implement these changes in order to stay at even.

This may be why Republicans are for tort reform, by making these cuts they most assuredly ensure patient harm and death and want to protect the doctors and hospitals (not nurses though) from malpractice suits. (The previous sentence is speculation but I think a fair assessment)

Patient safety has been studied thoroughly as even retention rates (vs. recruitment rates) are inversely related in the effect they have on patient mortality (death).  Hospitals that retain nurses more than recruit them have higher rates of people staying alive after being admitted.  Also the limit according to the nursing community as to what is reasonable for patient load is between 4-6 patients, depending on who you ask.  At 6 patients, you develop neurogenic bladder, don’t take lunches or breaks, and stay late charting.  For some reason we’ve accepted this.

So although this may be an unintended consequence of his budget bill, and most assuredly cutting these low income Seniors off their very cost-effective program will decrease drug utilization causing need for more catastrophic care in the hospitals, cutting the end stage renal program (kidney failure) will do the same, I say will because you are on the path to death anyway it will just be faster and more painful so not totally Scott’s fault on that one but it will be quicker, and then the increased strain on the nurses as hospitals cut staff to make up for the shortfalls they will incur which will cause error and death due to no limit on the number of patients you can have at once.

So Scott Walker, I submit to you.  You may think you are saving the State money, then handing it out to your Corporate buddies, but you are just shifting the costs from the whole state to a few, that is not shared sacrifice.  You did not think this one through and the deaths that will result will be their blood on your hands too.

HHS Awards $727,516,849.00 to Nation’s Community Health Centers


Let the GOP Piss and Moan . . .


Community Health Centers Award Chart

Organization City State Award
Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center Anchorage AK $8,000,000.00
Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consort Juneau AK $1,299,147.00
Southeast Alabama Rural Health Associates Troy AL $2,630,029.00
Whatley Health Services, Inc Tuscaloosa AL $2,455,784.00
Mid-Delta Health Systems, Inc. Clarendon AR $2,863,216.00
Marana Health Center Marana AZ $8,901,497.00
Mountain Park Health Center Phoenix AZ $5,935,066.00
Open Door Community Health Centers Arcata CA $9,851,133.00
Mountain Valleys Health Centers, Inc. Bieber CA $3,305,571.00
Borrego Community Health Foundation Borrego Springs CA $7,216,187.00
Mendocino Coast Clinics, Inc. Fort Bragg CA $2,579,838.00
Asian Pacific Health Care Venture Los Angeles CA $2,922,508.00
T.H.E. Clinic, Inc. Los Angeles CA $1,559,000.00
Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center Los Angeles CA $6,056,616.00
St. Johns Well Child and Family Center Los Angeles CA $9,482,804.00
Community Health Centers/Central Coasts Nipomo CA $7,534,383.00
Asian Health Services Oakland CA $5,112,131.00
United Health Centers of San Joaquin Valley, Inc. Parlier CA $7,006,880.00
Hill Country Community Clinic, Inc. Round Mountain CA $1,408,808.00
The Effort Sacramento CA $500,000.00
Inland Behavioral and Health Services, Inc. San Bernardino CA $999,500.00
Family Health Centers of San Diego, Inc. San Diego CA $12,000,000.00
South of Market Health Center San Francisco CA $4,159,694.00
Mendocino Community Health Clinic, Inc. Ukiah CA $4,968,447.00
Del Norte Clinics, Inc. Yuba City CA $4,863,202.00
Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. Alamosa CO $4,625,000.00
Metro Community Provider Network Englewood CO $10,247,940.00
Clinica Campesina Family Health Services Lafayette CO $3,785,700.00
Southwest Community Health Center Bridgeport CT $5,370,855.00
Community Health Center, Inc. Middletown CT $7,000,000.00
Fair Haven Community Health Clinic, Inc. New Haven CT $990,000.00
Generations Family Health Center, Inc. Willimantic CT $5,000,000.00
Community of Hope Washington DC $6,250,000.00
North Broward Hospital District Fort Lauderdale FL $2,892,397.00
Osceola County Health Department Kissimmee FL $8,313,858.00
North Florida Medical Centers, Inc. Tallahassee FL $2,752,713.00
Trenton Medical Center, Inc. Trenton FL $497,053.00
Valley Healthcare System, Inc. Columbus GA $6,225,263.00
Community Health Care Systems, Inc. Wrightsville GA $1,923,337.00
The Bay Clinic, Inc. Hilo HI $2,372,970.00
Waianae District Comp Health & Hospital Board, Inc. Waianae HI $7,929,695.00
Community Health Care, Inc. Davenport IA $9,637,646.00
Valley Family Health Care, Inc. Payette ID $3,170,119.00
Benewah Medical Center Plummer ID $11,819,382.00
Community Health and Emergency Services, Inc. Carbondale IL $5,151,895.00
Chicago Family Health Center, Inc. Chicago IL $6,257,249.00
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois Chicago IL $12,000,000.00
Christian Community Health Center Chicago IL $4,608,006.00
Beloved Community Family Wellness Center Chicago IL $2,229,815.00
Near North Health Service Corporation Chicago IL $4,000,000.00
Henderson County Rural Health Center, Inc. Oquawka IL $1,067,669.00
Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation Sauget IL $10,324,862.00
Neighborhood Health Clinic, Inc. Fort Wayne IN $6,735,711.00
Riggs Community Health Center, Inc. Lafayette IN $3,550,000.00
Open Door/BMH Health Center, Inc. Muncie IN $6,078,544.00
University of Kentucky Research Foundation Lexington KY $11,461,503.00
Lexington-Fayette County Health Department Lexington KY $11,749,172.00
Park Duvalle Community Health Center, Inc. Louisville KY $300,000.00
Teche Action Board Inc. Franklin LA $4,789,913.00
Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services Lake Charles LA $4,110,709.00
Brockton Neighborhood Health Center Brockton MA $11,355,854.00
Codman Square Health Center Dorchester Center MA $7,950,000.00
Duffy Health Center, Inc. Hyannis MA $461,991.00
Lynn Community Health Center, Inc. Lynn MA $6,936,311.00
Community Health Center of Cape Cod, Inc. Mashpee MA $6,000,000.00
Outer Cape Health Services, Inc. Orleans MA $3,619,349.00
North Shore Community Health, Inc. Salem MA $750,000.00
Great Brook Valley Health Center Worcester MA $6,400,000.00
West Cecil Health Center, Inc. Conowingo MD $3,281,870.00
Penobscot Community Health Center, Inc. Bangor ME $2,117,731.00
Katahdin Valley Health Center Patten ME $2,934,399.00
Cherry Street Services Grand Rapids MI $5,944,394.00
Center for Family Health, Inc. Jackson MI $3,400,000.00
Family Health Center, Inc. Kalamazoo MI $9,358,053.00
Big Springs Medical Association dba Missouri Highland Health Care Ellington MO $2,024,825.00
Samuel U. Rodgers Community Health Center Kansas City MO $8,227,776.00
Northeast Missouri Health Council, Inc. Kirksville MO $3,823,295.00
Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Centers, Inc. Saint Louis MO $2,147,821.00
Katy Trail Community Health Sedalia MO $2,987,142.00
Crider Health Center, Inc. Wentzville MO $5,099,682.00
Coastal Family Health Center, Inc. Biloxi MS $1,607,563.00
Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center Inc. Ahoskie NC $6,224,395.00
Blue Ridge Community Health Services Hendersonville NC $5,000,000.00
First Choice Community Health Centers Mamers NC $3,500,000.00
Metropolitan Community Health Services, Inc. Washington NC $4,467,018.00
One World Community Health Centers Omaha NE $8,961,899.00
Atlanticare Health Services Egg Harbor Township NJ $4,580,000.00
Lakewood Resource and Referral Center, Inc. Lakewood NJ $3,423,403.00
First Choice Community Healthcare, Inc. Albuquerque NM $8,153,989.00
Ben Archer Health Center Hatch NM $5,778,210.00
La Clinica de Familia, Inc. Las Cruces NM $3,786,635.00
Hidalgo Medical Services Lordsburg NM $8,715,094.00
Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, Inc. Brooklyn NY $1,500,000.00
Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country Canton NY $1,576,898.00
Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center Mt Vernon NY $12,000,000.00
Betances Health Center New York NY $1,393,303.00
East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. New York NY $12,000,000.00
The Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center, Inc. Newburgh NY $1,588,385.00
Family Healthcare, Inc. Chillicothe OH $2,645,622.00
Lorain County Health and Dentistry Lorain OH $6,607,548.00
Rocking Horse Center Springfield OH $6,000,000.00
Community Health Connection, Inc. Tulsa OK $4,626,307.00
Columbia River Community Health Services Boardman OR $2,370,178.00
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center Cornelius OR $12,000,000.00
Lane County Eugene OR $4,920,023.00
La Clinica del Carino Hood River OR $5,859,886.00
Community Health Center, Inc. Medford OR $1,877,872.00
La Clinica del Valle Family Health Medford OR $2,965,000.00
Waterfall Clinic, Inc. North Bend OR $1,398,625.00
Camuy Health Services, Inc. Camuy PR $3,667,490.00
Concilio se Salud Integral de Loiza, Inc. Loiza PR $1,172,440.00
Junta Del Centro de Salud Comunal San Juan PR $11,493,001.00
Comprehensive Community Action, Inc. Cranston RI $1,089,250.00
East Bay Community Action Program Newport RI $2,999,136.00
Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department Chattanooga TN $2,702,776.00
Tennessee State Department of Health Cookeville TN $4,495,730.00
East Tennessee State University Johnson City TN $6,894,303.00
Perry County Medical Center, Inc. Linden TN $1,455,603.00
Rural Health Services Consortium Rogersville TN $8,873,130.00
Travis County Healthcare District Austin TX $12,000,000.00
Barrio Comprehensive Family Health Care Center, Inc. San Antonio TX $3,518,200.00
Community Health Development, Inc. Uvalde TX $2,289,197.00
Midtown Community Health Center Ogden UT $3,570,207.00
Harrisonburg Community Health Center, Inc. Harrisonburg VA $2,076,215.00
Loudoun Community Health Center Leesburg VA $8,715,090.00
Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Inc. Nassawadox VA $4,929,000.00
Central Virginia Health Services New Canton VA $3,548,776.00
Kuumba Community Health and Wellness Center Roanoke VA $10,657,450.00
Northeast Washington County Community Health, Inc. dba The Health Center Plainfield VT $988,700.00
Richford Health Center, Inc. Richford VT $850,000.00
Springfield Medical Care Systems, Inc. Springfield VT $2,500,000.00
Interfaith Community Health Center Bellingham WA $1,073,919.00
Healthpoint Renton WA $6,838,464.00
Community Health Care Tacoma WA $12,000,000.00
Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic Toppenish WA $12,000,000.00
Kenosha Community Health Center, Inc. Kenosha WI $2,851,204.00
16th Street Community Health Center, Inc. Milwaukee WI $2,625,615.00
Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers, Inc. Fairmont WV $3,892,450.00
Pendleton Community Care Franklin WV $1,278,632.00
Preston-Taylor Community Health Centers, Inc. Grafton WV $1,179,700.00
Lincoln County Primary Care Center Hamlin WV $3,478,347.00
Valley Health Systems, Inc. Huntington WV $8,760,833.00
Community Health Center of Central Wyoming Casper WY $11,873,228.00
TOTAL: $727,516,849.00