Archive for Rude Pundit

GOP health care proposal "should be shunned like a bad disease."


obamacare health care cartoon by Dave Granlund

Before I get into Michael Hiltzik's consistently excellent health care columns over at the Los Angeles Times (this time regarding the Affordable Care Act), you must, must, must link over to this post by The Rude Pundit. It's about the new CBO report and the usual GOP willfully misleading spin. He totally skewers the right wing talking points like nobody else can. Go. Now. Yes, that's an order. I'll wait.

*tapping foot, looking at watch* Oh good, you're back. It was worth the trip over, wasn't it? Lee kicked major GOP ass while being informative in an easy-to-understand way that even conservatives can follow. Well, at least some of the less mentally deficient ones.

But back to Hiltzik. He continues where Rude left off in a new column here. Please give that a read, too.

Meantime, since we're on the subject of how Republicans gleefully lie and misinform America about the Affordable Care Act, Michael Hiltzik rips into the GOP health care plan, describing it as offering "less coverage, less choice, less access." I'm sorry, did I refer to it as a health care plan? My bad.

Here are some excerpts, but they're not going to do Hiltzik's column justice, so hop over and read it all here:

The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act ("CARE") bears the names of Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah). It preserves some of the things people like about the Affordable Care Act--insurance for those with pre-existing conditions, for example--but does so in a way that's guaranteed to fail most of those affected. Among other things, it eliminates minimum coverage standards written into the ACA, including items like maternity coverage, which will inevitably make insurance more expensive for women relative to men.

Oh those sly Republicans, going out of their way to alienate women again. They can't seem to grasp the concept of, you know, outreach.

And did you catch their tried and true use of a word that means the opposite of what their measure (it's not even a bill yet) represents? "CARE". Seriously?

Moving on:

[T]wo provisions perpetuate two issues with the Affordable Care Act most often cited by its critics: people discovering they can't see their previous doctors or go to their choice of hospitals; and older enrollees being confronted with sticker shock at the premiums on exchange-issued individual plans. The CARE Act acknowledges that narrow provider networks are a fact of life in the healthcare market, and allows higher premiums for older consumers than the ACA.

What's that word again? Oh yeah:

oopsie cat

The GOP plan cuts off premium subsidies at 300% of the poverty line, compared to 400% for the ACA. That means millions of Americans would be left without financial assistance provided by Obamacare. The Republicans would exclude all non-citizens from financial assistance, even those here legally; since nearly 20% of the uninsured are non-citizens, that's another huge exclusion.

And wait until you see what they do to the extremely popular part of President Obama's health care plan that covers pre-existing conditions.

Doesn't all this sound swell? Apparently Burr, Coburn, and Hatch think so.

In sum, the CARE Act is a bill of rights for health insurers and an unaffordable invoice for millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans. The analysis by the Center for Health and Economy says that by 2023 it would cover 244 million people; but the Congressional Budget office says the ACA will cover 256 million.

From the GOP standpoint, the bill's virtue lies in those words "choice," "responsibility" and "empowerment," which are Republican shibboleths. But it undermines the affordability and accessibility of health insurance in countless ways, and it should be shunned like a bad disease.

Bad disease, indeed. There's only one way we can inoculate ourselves against that: Vote Republicans out of office, stat!


VIDEO- Blanket the Earth: A plan to warm up Occupy protesters this winter


Lee Papa, the Rude Pundit, explains how you can participate in a Black Friday action to give comfort to the Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out in your city.

My old pal Rude Pundit is doing a very un-rude, very good, very generous, very smart thing. Since I can't find a permalink to his post, I'll give you most of the details here, but go to Lee's site for more:

1. The idea: on November 25, the day after Thanksgiving, people will gather in designated spots in cities around the country where there are encampments of OWS protesters.

2. They will have warm weather gear to donate to the protesters. This can be blankets, socks, sleeping bags, hand and foot warmers, sweaters, or anything you think can be used to keep the camping protesters warm throughout the winter. The items can be secondhand (and clean, you know). New items can be purchased whenever, preferably not on the exploitative day coined by marketers as "Black Friday."

3. People will gather in designated places in each city near the OWS encampments in order to donate the items. I will post a list of organizers next week. The organizers will say where the Blanket the Earth group should meet. For example, in Atlanta, they have decided to gather at 60 Walton St. NW.

4. Yes, donations at any time are great. But Blanket the Earth is not organizing as a group to accept donations of any kind. If you want to participate in the day, give someone who is going the items you'd like to donate. Also, I'm not accepting any monetary donations for this. If you want to donate money, that's generous of you, and you should give to things like Occupy Supply.

5. The goal here is to show our support not just through the kindness of monetary donations, but by being physically present to demonstrate that we're here for the protesters.

6. Yes, there is a chance that you may end up being the only person in your town to show up.

7. Organizers should send me a message on how people can contact them in their cities. Write, as ever, to (and you can send me questions there). You can also post info on the Blanket the Earth Facebook page or you can follow and respond on Twitter to @blankettheearth.

8. Spread the word. Use your own social networks to get out the information. Let's make sure the people who are the foot soldiers in this movement know that they are appreciated and that we have their backs.