How much more death and financial ruin do we need, in order for a public option to kick in? A lot more, if you believe the New York Times.
Unless Progressives hold very damn firm, what seems to be shaping up, is a trillion dollar scheme to require the largest transfer of wealth in history, from middle class Americans to the for profit insurance industry.
This is also known as the trillion dollar bailout of the for-profit health insurance industry.
I'm heading to Washington next week. Jane Hamsher and I will personally deliver the Stay Firm on Your pledge for the Public Option Petition you signed to progressives in Congress.
Thanks to you, we have over 50,000 signatures! You can continue signing and make the number grow even larger.
This is some information you should be aware of, as we prepare to listen to President Obama address the nation on Wednesday.
The reason I'm writing this today is so that those of you who question the FDL approach to securing the public option will recognize the huge stakes.
If we do not hold progressives accountable, then as sure as night follows day, the junk insurance scenario I'm going to tell you about, could well become the sell-out junk insurance
mandate taxpayer bailout from the "we've got to do something crowd", to the American people.
- There is a new report, Insured and in debt: Even with coverage Californians struggle to pay medical bills. It is a glimpse into what could be our future without a public option.
Dear healthcare warriors, here's the take home message form the UCLA Report which you can read here.
"That even insured people are forced to take on medical debt to pay for their health care is another glaring inadequacy in our current system of health insurance," said E. Richard Brown, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and lead author of the SHIC report. "Current policies either do not offer enough coverage or offer full-coverage at a cost that is too expensive for many people to bear.
"The result is that too many people have health insurance plans that leave them financially vulnerable and force them to delay the care they need."
. . .The report, based on the latest data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the nation's largest state health survey, is the most comprehensive examination of health insurance coverage in the nation's most populous and diverse state.
"Heath coverage is supposed to protect Americans from the financial burden of health care costs," said Dr. Robert K. Ross, CEO and president of The California Endowment. "Americans should be outraged that the very system that they depend on for health care no longer offers that protection."
- Anytime you hear the word "bipartisan", understand this is an insurance industry bill. Don't believe me, just click here. A bipartisan bill is a mandate for all Americans to buy high deductible junk insurance. This is what I've been writing about for many years now. You will be required to buy insurance and then
ifwhen you need it, you'll find out, you've been scammed, you've been paying for a product which is insurance in name only.
You will hear Wendell Potter explain on my video (which I'll have up on You Tube in the next day or so) how his former employer CIGNA went about maintaining healthy profits every quarter. He explains that the entire focus of the company is about generating revenues for shareholders, and that the only way they do this is to sell junk insurance and then deny claims.
- THE STAKES ARE ENORMOUS.
"THERE IS NO RIGHT TO HEALTHCARE"
This was the scene outside the Bill Pascrell town hall I attended on Thursday.
Let me make this as clear as anything I have ever written. Unless we get a robust public option then the victory goes to "there is no right to healthcare" extremists. I would find it very frightening to be a citizen of a country where the haters you hear on this video set the policy of the nation.
4. John Conyers is worried about this trillion dollar bailout of the for profit insurance industry. Yesterday he and Diane Watson sent out a "Dear Colleague" letter, here's a piece of it.
Today, many of the insured are unable to use their coverage to purchase
medical care. To remedy this situation, H.R. 3200 includes "cost sharing"
subsidies that would be offered on a sliding scale for citizens with family income up to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). However, this still leaves many individuals who make slightly above 400 percent of FPL in a position where they may not be able to use the health insurance they have purchased. Cutting subsidies at an arbitrary income level can leave families vulnerable.
Research shows that cost sharing deters the use of care,
including medically necessary care, particularly by people with limited
income. Both Elizabeth Edwards of the Center for American Progress and
Professor Karen Pollitz of Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute
noted the serious financial and wellness consequences of high out-of-pocket spending in congressional testimony earlier this year. Further, research produced by the Center for Studying Health System Change shows that when out-of-pocket spending for medical bills exceeds just 2.5 percent of family income, patients become burdened by medical debt, face barriers to accessing care, and have problems paying other bills.
Thus, H.R. 3200 should be amended to ensure that no individual or family
will have to pay more than 2.5 percent of its gross adjusted income on
out-of-pocket costs. Coupled with the affordability credits, this cap on
out-of-pocket costs would ensure that individuals and families will not be
subject to medical debt or medical bankruptcy as a result of being unable to afford expensive cost sharing obligations.
Additionally, H.R. 3200 should be amended to ensure that affordability
credits are automatically distributed to any individual that qualifies for
the credits. With the individual mandate in the bill, we are placing a
costly administrative burden on consumers. To ensure that all individuals
receive the credits they are due, qualifying individuals should not be
required to apply for these affordability credits. Without this needed
reform, qualified low-income individuals may lose out on the opportunity to benefit from these much needed credits.
- I also suggest you read Jason Rosenbaum's, A Trigger for the Public Option - a plan to kill the public option, which is one of the finest explanations I've seen on what's really playing out in Washington, and why once again,
makingencouraging the progressives to draw a line in the sand is the most urgent mission we have.
- Returning to Wendell Potter. This is a great American. I spent close to a half hour with him, as soon as the tape is up on You Tube, you'll have everything. I'm hoping that he'll register on Daily Kos and become a regular around here, I think he'll do this. Just to give you a taste of what he said, without a public option, we're doomed.
AND WE'RE ASKING YOU TO SUPPORT THIS WORK.
THERE ARE A GROUP OF PEOPLE WORKING LITERALLY DAY AND NIGHT TRYING TO SECURE A PUBLIC OPTION. WE RECEIVE VERY SMALL STIPENDS (FOR LIVING EXPENSES), BASED ENTIRELY ON YOUR GENEROSITY.
PLEASE DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN. WE RELY ON YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT, AND YOU HAVE BEEN AMAZING.
THERE ARE 22,OOO LOBBYISTS,IN A FEW DAYS, THEY WILL DESCEND ON WASHINGTON DC. TO STOP HEALTHCARE REFORM
PLEASE HELP US WIN THIS FIGHT FOR REAL HEALTHCARE FOR ALL AMERICANS.