The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Posts Tagged ‘public insurance

Iowa State Senators: “Grassley Should Start Listening to Iowans”

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The State Capitol of Iowa, featuring its golde...
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The Des Moines Register:

“The will of Iowans and the rest of America is marching steadily toward reform.”

The following is a guest opinion on health care reform by State Senators Jack Hatch and Joe Bolkcom that appeared in Saturday’s Des Moines Register. [I encountered it as a reprint at Blog for Iowa – Monte]

As we head into August, a few Washington lawmakers are standing in the way of health-care reform that America desperately needs. While patients are denied crucial treatment and families go bankrupt from medical bills, Sen. Charles Grassley and a cadre of his Senate colleagues have provoked a stir by steadfastly refusing to support the most essential piece of President Barack Obama’s proposal: a public health-insurance option. We think it’s time for Grassley to start listening to Iowans and work with the president for real health-care reform.

A public health-insurance option would introduce much needed competition into the health-insurance market, extending quality care to as many as 300,000 Iowans, while providing incentives to insurance companies to offer their current customers a better deal. Unfortunately, in a July 30 Des Moines Register editorial, Grassley said he opposes giving Americans the choice of a public option “because it is a pathway to a completely government-run system.” Read the rest of this entry »

Americans of a Lesser God?

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I came across this honest piece at the excellent Blog for Iowa.  Sounds like it was originally published in my home-town newspaper, The Burlington Hawk-Eye.  [That’s beautiful Burlington,  left, at the top.]

I had the following published in the Burlington newspaper last Saturday. I offer it here for people to use, distribute further, etc. My essay is a little long and rambling, but I have been silent too long. And we dare not lose this fight.

David Ure
Burlington, Iowa

~To what lesser God do those people who have no health care insurance belong? What sin did they commit? I have no doubt some of them have made mistakes, made bad choices, engaged in illegal or immoral activities in some instances, didn’t get themselves elected to the state house or Congress; but not all 47 million plus.

The time has come, if we are to continue to call ourselves a nation of God and faith and fairness, for every American to have health insurance. My preference is to plop everyone into Medicare whose operational costs are half to 2/3 lower than the private sector, and allow the insurance companies the opportunity to sell all of us supplemental policies as my elderly, now long-gone, relatives purchased for years.

But I won’t say it has to be this way or nothing. More than anything else, I want to see coverage in place for everyone, and for it to be there in as direct and obvious a manner as can be cobbled together. Read the rest of this entry »

“Someone’s premiums” bought my lunch on gold-rimmed china

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Wendell Potter, former CIGNA exec, tells of the change of heart that caused him to leave the industry. While visiting family members in Tennessee, he drops in on a medical expedition, staffed by volunteers, at a Virginia fairgrounds, in a county where people have little health care access …
clipped from www.democracynow.org
I had no idea what to expect, but when I walked through the fairground gates, it was just absolutely overwhelming … [P]eople … were lined up in the rain by the hundreds … and they were being treated in animal stalls … They also had set up tents. It looked like a MASH unit. It looked like this could have been something that was happening in a war-torn country, and war refugees were there to get their care […]
It was just unbelievable, and it just drove it home to me, maybe for the first time, that we were talking about real human beings and not just numbers […]
[T]wo or three weeks later, I was [flying to a meeting] on one of the corporate jets … I was served my lunch on a gold-rimmed plate, was given gold-plated flatware […]
it just dawned on me, for the first time, that someone’s premiums … were paying for my lunch on gold-trimmed china […]
I thought about those men and women that I had seen in Wise County … not having any idea that this is the way that insurance executives lived and how premium dollars were being spent … I had to leave […]
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One dollar of every three we send to our health insurance companies goes to something other than healthcare. Those who struggle to pay high premiums to protect themselves and their children buy corporate jets, skyscraper penthouses, and fine china for insurance executives. Those who won’t, or can’t, often die prematurely.

Should we really have choose between paying for corporate luxury or risking an early death?

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GOP Rep despairs over public option savings

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Will the GOP and conservadems protect rich health insurance companies from competition?  Or consumers from high prices?
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

{{w|John Kline}}, member of the United States ...

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Minnesota Representative John Kline recently went on Minnesota Public Radio to despair over the way the public option would save his constituents money:

“There are some things in this legislation that I find particularly troublesome,” … “[O]ur fear is that if you actually get in there looking at the legislation that it’s set up in a way that employers would increasingly opt to letting their employees move over to the… public option. And because it is cheaper, it’s designed to save money, which the government-run program has some very clear advantages. […]

Brian Beutler at TPM adds:

I assume that public opinion polling must show overwhelmingly that Americans want to pay more for health care so that insurance companies don’t have to contend with a superior, cheaper competitor. Otherwise it’s hard to understand Kline’s statements anything other than a call to subsidize insurance companies […]

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Sen. Grassley: “Bipartisan” means “no public option”

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WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 03:  Sen. Chuck Grassley ...
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Aw, c’mon, Senator.

72% of Americans want health care reform to include a “public option.” Nearly three-fourths of the nation.  Including more than half of all Republicans.

Sen. Grassley, however, insists that the  “public option” must be killed if there is to be a “bipartisan” bill.

But wait.  Isn’t America already bipartisan on this?  Even Iowans, Mr. Grassley’s constituents, support a public option 56% to 37%.

Mr. Grassley wants the Senate to ignore what a bipartisan majority of American people want in order to get what a minority of U.S. Senators want.

Ah.  Then, he’d maintain, we’d have something bipartisan. In Washington. Hooray for that.

clipped from thinkprogress.org

Grassley: In Order For Health Care To Be ‘Bipartisan, ‘We Need To Make Sure There Is No Public Option’

On MSNBC this morning, Norah O’Donnell asked Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, “what needs to be in” a health care reform bill “for it to be bipartisan.” After saying it needs to be paid for, Grassley declared, “We need to make sure that there’s no public option.” When O’Donnell double-checked that Grassley was saying that a public option was a dealbreaker for Republicans, he replied, “Absolutely.” Watch it:

By claiming that a public option would destroy bipartisanship, Grassley is ignoring the preferences of a strong majority of Americans. Earlier this week, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that a public health insurance option (which would lower costs and improve quality) is supported by 72 percent of Americans, including 50 percent of Republicans.
56 percent of Iowans support creation of a public plan, 37 percent oppose
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By the way,  Senator Grassley is the 6th-largest recipient of health care industry money in the U.S. Senate.

Looks like the industry’s getting what it wants from Mr. Grassley.

Looks like Americans—and Iowans—aren’t.

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Senator Grassley, give us a choice

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Here’s the ad that Health Care for America has begun running across the nation. This is the Iowa version.

Multiple polls from news organizations and even anti-reform groups unanimously agree that nearly three of every four Americans want a public option to compete with insurance companies.  Even among Republicans, 50% favor it.

Our own Sen. Grassley, unfortunately, may be the most influential opponent of the public option in the Senate.  Insurance companies stand to make billions off the Grassley approach.

But ordinary Iowans want a choice.  Care to write Sen. Grassley (or another Senator or Representative) a note?  Click in the contact box in the right sidebar.

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Real People Denied Real Healthcare: Nathan Wilkes

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Nathan is a little boy with hemophilia, and is about one month away from the lifetime cap ($1 million) of his insurance coverage.

His dad makes too much money to be eligible for Medicaid, but not enough to have any hope of paying for Nathan’s medication.

Divorce has been suggested, for if the dad leaves Nathan and his mother, they would be impoverished sufficiently to keep Nathan alive via Medicaid.

clipped from www.youtube.com

Real People DENIED Real Healthcare: Nathan Wilkes

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No insurance company will insure Nathan’s family. There are no options for them other than a single-payer plan, or—at the very least—a strong public insurance option.

Or maybe divorce.

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