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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Walker ObamaCare tantrum: Will do nothing for 185,000 on Exchanges threatened by Supreme Court Decision to kill Tax Credits.

If Democrats were strong, they would never let Scott Walker off the hook for running away from the possible collapse of the government run ACA exchange in our state.

It seems unimaginable Walker could just stand by and watch 185,000 Wisconsinites lose their health insurance without lifting a finger.

It seems unimaginable that Walker would simply blame someone else for the problem, and do nothing.

It seems unimaginable that voters would not push back against this belligerent irresponsible behavior from someone supposedly elected to manage these kinds of problems. He says it's too much "pressure."

Grownups don't behave like this. They don't let people get hurt.

And yet, Scott Walker expects us to accept this bullshit:
"We're going to push back. This president of the United States—they've got to come up with a solution....They're going to try to put the pressure on us but we need to put the pressure right back on them."

Selling the Democratic populist message...

Brand new and just what the Democratic Party needs to fine tune their message; The Progress Points Message Blog.

An offshoot of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, PPM tries to simplify and counter logically the upside down right wing thinking that renders meaningless the words “freedom” and “liberty.”

Their first topic tries to reframe the way people think about the private sector. For me, “private” means we rarely hear about the massive failures and mismanagement that comes with a market system that sees lots of winners and losers.

Government can’t hide the failures and mismanagement, and that’s a good thing. Unlike the private sector, we can change government, and make it work better for us. And no, we're not "always looking for a government solution to everything," the false premise posed by conservatives. Liberals have never made that ridiculous claim. 

Here’s their take:
(We) will take a quick look at how to build public opposition to privatization. Although it is obvious to progressive activists that these schemes will lead to higher cost, lower quality services, and less public accountability, messaging this issue is very tricky in the current public environment.

Topos Partners have done valuable opinion research:
First, there is not a clear distinction for most Americans between public and private … Second, because of the success of conservative propaganda most Americans assume government is wasteful and inefficient … Third, business is seen as effective, efficient, and innovative … you need to shift the frame.
The best approach … is to shift the frame from efficiency to control … the risk of handing over control of vital public services to private business … if the private company starts running the operation into the ground, or charging exorbitant fees, we have very little say. When the public is in control, it can demand that operations be open to public review, accountable to the people, and run in the public interest.

Businesses looking to take over public services are outside entities which “we” can’t control … This “control” frame has to be adapted to each instance of privatization.  
I've added The Progress Points Message Blog to my Wisconsin Blog roll, so you can keep an eye on it.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Still want to Repeal the Affordable Care Act...?



Scott Walker makes cuts that will kill our lakes and rivers...and he's worried about the world Democrats were leaving for his kids?

Here's a second story that expands on my post:

Walker's DNR overseeing the end of our lakes...."There's just too many cows in Brown County..."


...so I will say little here. I think this short excerpt tells you how Walker is taking care of the state:
jsonline: As worries grow about water pollution caused from runoff from streets, yards and farm fields, Gov. Scott Walker's next budget calls for nearly 16% in spending cuts in programs that attack the problem.

The reductions have gone virtually unnoticed until now, overshadowed by Walker's higher profile environmental initiatives to freeze land purchases and strip the Natural Resources Board of its policymaking power.

Runoff is the state's most serious water pollution problem.

In Green Bay, pollutants from farm fields and other sources have helped create a dead zone, an area so low in oxygen that it can't support most aquatic life.
We were warned about this guy....

SeniorCare cuts Scott Walker's conservative values on display.

If Democrats were smart they would not let Scott Walker off the hook for taking his budget shortfall out on seniors. 

Instead of paying just $30 a year and copays of $5 for generic drugs and $15 for brand name drugs, Walker wants them to pay around $15 to $130 a month for Medicare Part D. Here's my little formula:
For seniors on a fixed income, here’s a per year comparison:Seniorcare = $30 year.

Compared to….

Medicare Part D = $188 to $1,560 a year.
There is no justification for forcing seniors on a fixed income to pay more, none. This is not just sociopathic, it should be political suicide. But I'm guessing conservative voters aren't paying too much attention right now, like my friend in Milwaukee. They do realize, if they're lucky, they too will be seniors someday. Here's the report from WKOW:



One more thing. Democrats should also hold Walker accountable for signing the last irresponsible budget that everyone knew would result in deficits. Republican budgets are written to pay the bills and "return excess taxpayer money" back as tax cuts. If the cuts result in deficits, that's called bad budgeting. You don't just make more draconian cuts and act like everything is fine.

Indiana and Arkansas Religious Freedom changes just window dressing....

The changes in Indiana and Arkansas weren't even close to changing these discriminatory "religious freedom" acts. Check out the comments from Dan Savage, and Sarah Warbelow of the Human Rights Campaign, as they dissect the meaningless changes. You have to wonder why so many opponents of this law are now satisfied:



Wolf Blitzer interviewed war crazy Senator Tom Cotton, where Cotton said "in Iran, they hang you for the crime of being gay." Gee, thanks Tom (notice how he said it was a crime). Cotton was asked his reaction to the law in Arkansas, and responded, "well in Indiana, we believe in religious freedom." Blitzer interrupted and said "everybody believes in religious freedom." Nice one Wolf:



Wisconsin has its own religious freedom bill waiting in the wings...ever get the feeling Republicans states over a short period of time will all look the same and have the same one size fits all right wing set of laws? I guess that's somehow different from those "intrusive" one size fits all federal laws?  WISC and Jessica Arp:

"Responsible" gun owners in Kansas exempt from Responsibility!

I always thought it was kind of funny how "responsible" gun owners were always promoting laws that exempted them from being responsible, like accidentally carrying on gun on school grounds.

And so it goes in Kansas, as it follows 5 other states that have made it easier to be an irresponsible but respected responsible concealed gun owner.
And all I got was this sticker...
Reuters: Kansas residents will be allowed to carry concealed weapons in the state without training or a permit starting in July … Governor Sam Brownback said in a statement, "Responsible gun ownership – for protection and sport – is a right inherent in our Constitution." 
Isn't it funny the things you have to go through to be a responsible voter, but when it comes to guns you don't need anything?

Walker not a Divider, getting a national image makeover?

It looks like Scott Walker is getting a national makeover. The story is below...but first....

He isn't a Divider? Attention “Stand with Walker” Borg-like followers, you’re about to see how your own party can flip the Scott Walker legend around by twisting what you already know.

Whether you’re dealing with the real world news cycle or bubble world red state fantasies, citizens here know Scott Walker.

It's Walker's “divide and conquer” strategy...or is it?: Come on, get serious, we even have video proof:


We've seen article after article proving Wisconsin is the most divided state in the country.


The partisan gap over Walker in Wisconsin was the largest for any governor in any state where exit polls were conducted last month. And it was the biggest partisan divide in any race for governor or U.S. Senator in Wisconsin on record, based on exit polls dating back more than a quarter-century.

Over that time span, partisan loyalty in Wisconsin has become almost universal in contests for major office among voters who identify with a major party. And “crossover” voting (Republicans voting for Democrats and vice versa) has all but disappeared.
So check out this unintentionally daffy Washington Post article that gets it all so very wrong. Amazing:
link here
"The newest smear against Scott Walker: The New York Times is already labeling him small-minded and exclusionary: Mr. Walker, a small-town minister’s son ... is a product of one of the most politically and racially polarized regions of the country, metropolitan Milwaukee. Get it? He’s from a “racially polarized” region so that must mean . . . It’s an unsubtle way of calling him racially divisive without bothering to come up with any facts."
No facts? Really? The heavily researched picture to the right was just made up? But Wisconsinites had no clue, right, because Walker concealed his "divide and conquer" plan so well?
"I bet you didn't know Walker was so racially divisive. Well, neither did he or the voters who supported him in three elections. He did a boffo job of concealing his exclusionary instincts by expanding state health care for the poor and a variety of worker training programs. Then again, the surest way into the hearts of Republicans is to be smeared gratuitously by the Times and the rest of the liberal media. He can wear that as a badge of honor — and then prove how wrong they are." - Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective. Right Turn

Right Wingers pushing War with Iran insist: Democrats caused WW1 and WW2.

During a call I had with my conservative friend in Milwaukee about Indiana's religious freedom law, he did what most Republicans do so often: He made his case in support of the law by bringing in a bunch of completely unrelated topics, which then veered off into going to war with Israel's enemy, Iran.

He then made this comment, and I'm paraphrasing: "Democrats started WW1."

Okay, whatever.

But then I saw this at Raw Story, and I had to chuckle:
Beck: “When we entered the Progressive Era, we caused World War II."


















It's funny seeing these two together...even agreeing on something. I'm sure my conservative friend would disagree with Beck's conclusion below though. War to him and Scott Walker...preemptive war especially, is always the better answer, because you never know what they're hiding:
Greenwald: “But I think that region, like most regions, is filled with extremists. In Iraq and Syria, we’re fighting with Iran against ISIS. Because they fear Sunni extremism. Yes, there’s lots of disturbing rhetoric that comes from Iranian mullahs, [but] there’s a basis of rationality that allows us to sit down. We can’t afford a war with a country three times the size of Iraq. Part of the problem is that [we have embraced] this theory of endless war.”

Beck: “It erodes our morals. The people who are pulling the trigger don’t even know what they’re pulling the trigger for anymore. We can become the darkest nation ever on the face of the Earth. We have the power to make the Nazis look like rookies.”

Greenwald agreed: “Endless war, has brought down every empire in history, and before it does that, it degrades the population. If you constantly find new people to kill and torture and invade and bomb, it starts to seep into your domestic life.”

Scott Walker again sees Protests against "Religious Freedom" law, this time in Indiana and Arkansas, as phony outrage and intimidation.

Scott Walker is signalling to conservative voters that any opposition to the Republican agenda will not be tolerated and will not be taken seriously. And they love it.

We saw this same attitude in Wisconsin, after hundreds of thousands of protesters hit the streets statewide. Walker said people were just trying to intimidate him into reconsidering his support for Act 10 (a direct attack on workers and collective bargaining). He even wrote a book bragging about his distaste for democratic dissent, titled "Unintimidated."

Seriously, who opposes public dissent, a principle that turned a colony into a sovereign nation. He's now bashing the massive protests in Indiana and Arkansas against the discriminatory "freedom of religion" law.  Walker thinks the opposition coming from big business and gay rights supporters is nothing more than critics "looking for ways to be upset." It's an authoritarian attitude that borders on frightening.

The images here tell the story: Belying Walker's position are those who are already trying to exploit and discriminate against gay individuals. And this is just a few days after the laws passage. Imagine what this will be like a year from now:

Gov. Scott Walker (R) characterized critics of Indiana's religious liberty law as chronic malcontents stirred up by "hype and hysteria" in the media, according to audio surfaced - Buzzfeed.

“I just think this is people who are chronically looking for ways to be upset about things instead of really looking at what it is," Walker said (to) radio host Charlie Sykes on Wednesday.

Walker made the remarks when asked whether he would have approved a religious-freedom bill like the one Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) recently signed into law. "It’s even more entrenched than anything that can be in the state statues, and we don’t have the kind of hype and hysteria that the national media is creating on this." 
Here's the audio clip of Walker's disinterested opinion of the law. Protests? Bah Humbug:


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Walker's DNR overseeing the end of our lakes...."There's just too many cows in Brown County..."

Republicans have been trying for years to open our state and federal park lands to energy and mineral plundering, saying they could do these things in an environmentally safe way.

Don't believe them for a second, if their management of agricultural land is any indicator. Scott Walker and his now hollowed out DNR are making it clear they will make no regulatory effort to keep our rivers and great lakes clear of phosphorus and algae blooms of dead water. In fact, they reversed previous efforts:
jsonline: New regulations will not be coming from state regulators, said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. Lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker's administration have shown no interest in increased regulation of dairy farms … Wisconsin became one of the first states to approve phosphorus reduction limits, using specific numeric standards. However, the Legislature in 2014 rolled back a full phase-in of those rules by up to 20 years because of concerns about the cost of the regulations.
See, who needs that when we have a massive phosphorus dead zone in beautiful Green Bay:
Walker, DNR have no plan to stem Green Bay pollution: The tide of nutrients from the Fox River and other tributaries will help create the latest, and most likely, longest-lasting dead zone in Lake Michigan's Green Bay this summer. The problem is caused by vast amounts of phosphorus and other nutrients that wash from farms and urban landscapes and produce conditions that create oxygen-deprived stretches on the bay. In 2014, areas of the bay where virtually nothing lives lasted 43 days. By comparison, in 1990 the dead zone was gone in four days, according to figures from the city's wastewater utility.
Regulation? We don't need regulation when we could just let people voluntarily figure out what to do:
WPR: Rep. Reid Ribble, R-DePere, said he'd like to avoid federal mandates to crack down on phosphorus runoff from agriculture and other sources. "We're going to take these steps voluntarily so there doesn't have to be a regulation that comes in," said Ribble.
Because even in a case like this, regulations to save our lakes are BAD. Regulations giving large farms the right to pollute...GOOD.

I always watch public televisions "Market to Market" farm program on weekends, and remember reports about Ag states that are proactive in their efforts to greatly reduce phosphorus. They use "cover crops" that prevent soil from washing away. But in Wisconsin...
One technique not widely used is to plant a cover crop between rows of corn and soybeans to hold soil in place.
Like congress, don't hold your breath waiting for Republicans to get anything done of real value. 
Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Green Bay) convened a "phosphorus summit" … "This is step one of a multiyear process."
Sure it is, take your time, don't rush into this like voter ID, concealed carry, religious freedom laws and unpaid for tax cuts that leave projected deficits. What's a little algae bloom here and there. 
Stepp was buttonholed by at least two attendees who told her the state isn't doing enough ... regulators don't consider pollution costs borne by the public when evaluating farm expansions or how much waste farms send to watersheds ... the agency fails to consider the cumulative effects of manure from many farms when it reviews a wastewater permit for Wisconsin's largest farms, known as concentrated animal feeding operations.
And under the watchful eye of the DNR:
Only the largest farms are required to get such permits, and the DNR has never rejected one.
 Research be damned...
Kewaunee County had seen its cattle population jump 34% between 1983 and 2012, according to state figures. In Brown County, cow numbers have increased 20% for the period. "There's just too many cows in Brown County, I'm afraid," said Val Klump, director of the Great Lakes WATER Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Klump's research includes study of Green Bay's dead zone.

The Fox River watershed is a source of one-third of all nutrients into Lake Michigan, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
I thought this comment summed it all up pretty well:
A Nihilist: Good thing republicans are in control. They understand that the environment is the enemy and if you stop killing the lake, you stop profits and therefore hate freedom.
What makes living in a trash heap an expression of freedom and liberty?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Freedom of Religion Law brings back interracial marriage issues too....

Like I've said, the Hobby Lobby decision created this disaster, and we can thank this activist conservative Supreme Court for the disintegration of our society.

I find it fascinating that despite the exact language of the law, Republicans are relying on what they "think will happen" than the real world impact of what would happen. Oh sure, no one would put a sign in the window barring gay people from their business, that would never happen.

In the last few minutes of the clip below, an Arkansas lawmaker claims a wedding cake business has to make the cake, but not be required to write a message they would disagree with on the frosting. Would I kid you? Plus, if the couple were interracial, the same rules apply. Republicans are successfully chipping away at the constitution and progress. CNN:

Supreme Court Candidate Daley worried about Sharia Law?

I caught the following interesting call this morning on WPR's Joy Cardin Show, where "Mattie" in Waupaca said Judge James Daley claimed on VCY America - Christian Information Radio, that it's possible foreign laws will influence our legal system, including Sharia law.

Because Mattie said she recorded the comment, I would like to check it out myself. Anyone who might know Mattie, tell her I'd like to post it.

If what Mattie says is true, and I wouldn't doubt it from this ridiculously angry partisan judge, it would be important information for voters to have before they cast their ballot.

Indiana and Arkansas Republicans push Religious Freedom to bypass Constitution.

These supposed "religious freedom" laws, allowing discrimination against sexual orientation, are an offshoot of the Hobby Lobby decision.

Conservative states that don't have protections for gay individuals are now passing "religious freedom" laws, a slight twist on the long sought after Republican backed "conscience clause," where a person could use religion to deny others their guaranteed freedoms. This all plays a part in the religious rights goal of two separate nations, one living under the constitution, and another living under the Christian religion (taxpayer supported vouchers go overwhelmingly to religious schools, another slippery slope where government ends up endorsing religion legally by giving the money directly to parents and not the schools).

Despite the national outrage, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is about to sign a similar "religious freedom" law. Crazy right? Hutchinson is another Republican extremist who's even more obvious about his political intentions:
Sexual orientation and gender identity are not included in Arkansas' anti-discrimination protections. Last month, Hutchinson allowed a measure to go into law that prevented local governments from including such protections in their anti-discrimination ordinances.
Hutchinson has delayed the signing until supposedly some changes are made that won't discriminate. Bullshit. It will be entertaining to see what the changes will look like.

The natural follow-up:
AP: Arkansas legislators passed a similar measure, despite criticism that it is a thinly disguised attempt to permit discrimination against gays. The Arkansas proposal now goes to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has said he will sign it.
Not even their paymasters, big business, have a say anymore, because this has been a core value of the Republican Party for decades.

Gov. Mike Pence was inadvertently as obvious about his intentions to discriminate against the LGBT community when he was asked that dangerous "follow-up" question by George Stephanopoulos:



Other's have also sent a strong message to Indiana:
Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman announced on Tuesday that he’s canceling the Indianapolis stop on his 2015 summer tour, but will perform on Wednesday at a scheduled show at Indiana University. (Offerman will donate his shows earning to) HRC, the Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s most prominent LGBT rights groups. Check out Offerman here and here
List continued to grow. Perhaps Arkansas will see a similar backlash?
Other organizations that are pulling their economic support from the state or boycotting travel to Indiana include Angie’s List — which halted work on a new operation in Indianapolis, the cloud computing company Salesforce, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which canceled its 2015 women’s convention in Indianapolis.

The Americana band Wilco announced that it is canceling its Indiana tour stops, as well.

Connecticut’s Gov. Dannel Malloy said that Pence can deny the law’s anti-LGBT thrust all he wants to. It is clear to anyone who is paying attention what the RFRA is about.
“The governor’s not a stupid man, but he’s done stupid things,” said Malloy to Mika Brzezinski, “and signing this law, and, quite frankly, promoting this law, knowing exactly what it was going to do, was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do.” Pence, Malloy said, “knew exactly what he was doing, and when you see a bigot, you have to call them on it. We cannot sit idly by and do nothing while laws are enacted that will turn back the clock,” Malloy said, saying that he “won’t allow any of our citizens in Connecticut to face discrimination in other states, at least without a fight.”
If you had any questions about the move to the religious right....
The hosts of Fox & Friends on Tuesday set up an interview with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) by noting that he was a follower of the “law of the Bible” Steve Doocy agreed. “The political left is in a frenzy over this right now. But they’re missing the point. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dumb Ron Johnson pushes shopping for health care "products" and costly taxpayer supported high risk pools.

I've been blogging about health care lately because Republicans are trying to give the impression they have a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act if the supreme court knocks down the federal exchanges.

Their plan is the same old plan they've had for years, minus many of their previous positions now included in ObamaCare. While no civilized industrial country has a free market plan, and there’s a good reason for that, Republicans are ready to gamble our lives away proving their theory works.

Republicans have been pushing the false premise; Health care is a consumer product.

Dumb Ron Johnson made that very clear the other day:
Sen. Ron Johnson said this weekend that the best replacement for President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act is free market competition. “We've separated the consumer of the product from the cost of the product,” Johnson said. “We pay for insurance — we don’t pay for the products and services that insurance covers.” He claims that moving the funding of health care services to third party payers prevents free market price controls from working.
The other false premise is just as insulting: People just don’t understand how expensive health care is. That’s right, there just aren't enough car washes and bake sales to help save kids without insurance at your local elementary school, or that the majority of bankruptcies are due to medical event. And employees don’t really notice their checks getting smaller as they pay more for their employer coverage. The public just doesn't get it?

Johnson likes having it both ways; He’ll complain of ObamaCare high deductibles, but promote health savings accounts. Maybe he doesn't know that that's what a health savings account is; they are catastrophic high deductible plans! 

Even worse, they promote self-rationing, which is supposedly better than insurance or government rationing?
The senator pointed to health savings accounts as an example of how health care could be handled in a more free market-like system.
The public is wary of Johnson’s cluelessness:
When asked how he would handle people with pre-existing conditions, Johnson cited high risk pools as a solution. Johnson said the ACA effectively ended high-risk pool programs.
High risk pools cost people even more money than regular insurance. The pools pay for all the risk insurance companies don't want, with taxpayer support and higher premiums for anyone with insurance. So technically, we're all paying for it, while allowing insurers fatter bottom lines.

Here's the scoop on "high risk pools" that should make any conservative angry, because I know liberals are:
1 - Established by state governments to serve the medically "uninsurable" population … helping to keep the individual insurance markets viable for companies to continue to compete in. (me - seriously, dropping people to keep companies in business and profitable)

2 - Generally, the programs operate as a state-created nonprofit association. (as defined by Republicans, this is government run)

3 - All state risk pools inherently lose money and need to be subsidized. While the individuals in risk pools pay somewhat higher premiums, roughly 50 percent of overall operating costs need to be subsidized. Subsidy mechanisms also vary from state to state -- some states assess all insurance carriers; others provide an appropriation from state general tax revenue; some states share funding of loss subsidies with the insurance industry using an assessment of insurance carriers and providing them a tax credit for the assessment, or other states have a special funding source, such as a tobacco tax, or a hospital or health care provider surcharge. 
That's Dumb Ron Johnson's plan: High deductible insurance, government run high risk pools, and shopping for care "products" from your hospital bed.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Paul Ryan says GOP Irresponsible if they don't come up with ObamaCare alternative. Hear that Scott Walker?

I'm still a little confused how the Obama administration struggled to defend the subsidies for federally established state exchanges. Nothing could be easier.

It was amazing to see just how activist our conservative supreme court justices were when they tried to say the government did not intend to give subsidies to the federal exchanges, because of one short line that contradicted the massive law.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the government gave out tax credits when the law went into effect immediately...because that was the intent of lawmakers. 

It would be another thing if Obama had added the credit later, then opponents would have an argument. This isn't brain surgery.

Having said that, Paul Ryan is now telling Republicans to have a detailed plan in place by June in case the court strikes down the federal exchanges tax credits. Don't stop there Paul, that should go for GOP Governors as well. Ryan is right for once; it would be irresponsible:
Washintgon Times: Administration officials say the law is fine as written, and there is no need to put a Plan B in place to deal with an adverse ruling. Mr. Ryan said Republicans cannot take a similar stance.

“We need to have an alternative. That is the responsible thing to do,” he said. The president is saying that he had no back-up plan. I just don’t think that’s responsible.”
Here's hoping Ryan demands Scott Walker come up with alternative plan, like a state exchange, in case the Congress drops the ball again. It the only responsible thing to do.

Ryan rips Seniors, says they don't understand high cost of health insurance...after 50 years of paying into it?

This will be my second post on Paul Ryan's not-so-original reform plan for Medicare. This is from an article he wrote for the Kenosha News.

First, Ryan insists on pounding the idea of privatization with his cutesy “patient-centered” lie, a meaningless term where patients are still handed over to insurance companies. Yea, but the patient is at the center, or something like that right?
“Our plan would start to move us to a patient-centered system.”
Ryan's next revelation is already a part of Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. Ryan is embarrassing himself and showing everyone how little he knows about ObamaCare. It’s obvious he’s never looked into the current system; it's already transitioning doctors and hospitals into managed care plans. What he's describing accurately below, is the Obama plan, not his.  
“Doctor payments would depend more and more on results. Our plan would set up one streamlined program that would reward doctors who met performance goals and improved seniors’ health. Over time, Medicare would reward quality over quantity, and seniors would get better care because of it.”
While Obamacare critics complain about deductibles, Ryan wants to create a whole new one for seniors. Because Medicare has co-pays and deductibles, they require everyone to have “supplemental” insurance (Medigap). Seniors on a fixed Social Security income will have to pay about $147 a month extra to insurers just to cover co-pays and deductibles (add to that the $105 monthly fee for Part B).

Ryan apparently doesn't think the price of supplemental insurance, $147 a month, is painful enough for seniors seeking care in our already costly U.S. health care system. He wants seniors to pay another fee of $147 per year so they shop more wisely. Ryan incorrectly assumes health care is a consumer product we shop for (and insurance isn't health care):
Our plan would discourage unnecessary doctor visits and give seniors an incentive to seek the most effective care. Many seniors have “Medigap” insurance — that is, a private plan that helps pay for costs Medicare doesn’t cover, like co-payments and deductibles. These plans insulate people from costs and, experts believe, encourage the overuse of healthcare. Beginning in 2020, this agreement would prohibit Medigap plans from covering the first $147 of out-of-pocket spending, so cost is once again a consideration in healthcare decisions.
That's right, seniors who've paid insurers for nearly 50 years don't understand the cost of insurance. Condescending comments like this should piss off every American. He's also not that smart either.

Really, Duke this desperate to find excited fans...

This is insane...

Wisconsin fan Kristen Yarows got a surprise when she saw a tweet from Microsoft search engine Bing predicting that Duke would defeat Gonzaga in the Elite 8 which featured the UW student in Duke colors.

Scott Walker brags Americans worried about Health Care, thanks to GOP attempts to take it away!!!

Voters need to wake up to the fact their deepest fears about health care were created by the Republican attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act. If the Supreme Court strikes down the federal exchanges tax credits, over 10 million Americans will not be able to afford health insurance.

So Scott Walker blatantly made my point with this campaign trick:


Keep in mind, the conservative activist justices will claim congress only wanted to give tax credits to  state exchanges, not all exchanges, like lawmakers did when the rolled out the law. Which proves what congress intended, right?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Affordable Care Act may soon give us lower drug prices.

There are many little known benefits packed into the Affordable Care Act that never get the attention they should. One major change that will again lower the health care cost increases will also save lives.

Drug prices are driving up the cost of health care. The profit margins are huge, and thanks to GOP efforts, they're protected from competition by laws meant to increase bottom lines but hurt Americans. Medicare Part D cannot negotiate prices, a gift from George W. Bush and the Republican majority.

Despite the GOP's inability to name one country that proves "free market" health care works by lowering prices, they're hell bent on experimenting nationwide on our most vulnerable Americans.  

Obama’s Affordable Care Act made changes that to some extent will lower the cost of drugs:
AARP applauds the FDA’s approval of the first biosimilar prescription drug product in the U.S. It is a welcome step toward a workable approval process that will provide consumers with much-needed access to safe, effective biosimilar drugs, as envisioned by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act in the Affordable Care Act. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of what will be a robust market that will offer consumers access to lower-cost alternatives to very expensive biologic medicines. Biologic drugs are often used to treat health conditions that affect older populations – diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Derived from living organisms, biologics have an estimated average cost of $35,000 a year, which is far more than that of traditional, chemically derived drugs.
But Big Pharm has been out there lobbying on a statewide level to block cheaper drugs from cutting into their profits. They're doing it by oddly making the party of supposed "smaller deregulated government," bigger and more regulated. Republicans are more than willing to embrace big everything if it coincides with increased donations:
New state legislation that would make substituting interchangeable biosimilars for brand-name biologics considerably more difficult (druggist/doctor approval). It is unclear, however, why extra precautions are needed for biosimilars when the FDA is already safely approving and regulating their brand-name counterparts.
Republicans are good at throwing everything against the wall, hoping most of it will stick, but that also helps distract Americans from noticing the smaller things.