Apr 012014

President Obama marks the close of the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) and notes that 7.1 million Americans have taken advantage of the new law to get themselves covered for health care…

The full text of the President’s marks follows the break.

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Sunday reading 02-20-11

 Posted by at 17:10  Politics
Feb 202011

Everybody needs to read this, but most especially those of you who are now feeling “comfortable” with your employer-provided health insurance and those of you who are so fervently in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).

Money Won’t Buy You Health Insurance

THIS isn’t the story of a poor family with a mother who has a dreadful disease that bankrupts them, or with a child who has to go without vital medicines. Unlike many others, my family can afford medical care, with or without insurance.

Instead, this is a story about how broken the market for health insurance is, even for those who are healthy and who are willing and able to pay for it.

Most employees assume that if they lose their job and the health coverage that comes along with it, they’ll be able to purchase insurance somewhere. The members of Congress who want to repeal the provision of last year’s health insurance law that makes it easier for individuals to buy coverage must assume that uninsured people do not want to buy it, or are just too cheap or too poor to do so.

The truth is that individual health insurance is not easy to get.

Please click on the article’s title to continue reading. If you’ve had an experience along these lines, I’m sure we’d all like to hear about it.

Tough spot?

 Posted by at 14:36  Politics
Mar 132009

Robert Pear of The New York Times thinks President Obama is in a tough spot…

Obama on Spot Over a Benefit to Gay Couples

WASHINGTON — Just seven weeks into office, President Obama is being forced to confront one of the most sensitive social and political issues of the day: whether the government must provide health insurance benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

In separate, strongly worded orders, two judges of the federal appeals court in California said that employees of their court were entitled to health benefits for their same-sex partners under the program that insures millions of federal workers.

But the federal Office of Personnel Management has instructed insurers not to provide the benefits ordered by the judges, citing a 1996 law, the Defense of Marriage Act.

As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama said he would “fight hard” for the rights of gay couples. As a senator, he sponsored legislation that would have provided health benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

Now, Mr. Obama is in a tough spot. If he supports the personnel office on denying benefits to the San Francisco court employees, he risks agitating liberal groups that helped him win election. If he supports the judges and challenges the marriage act, he risks alienating Republicans with whom he is seeking to work on economic, health care and numerous other matters.

Let me be sure I understand this… President Obama is now in the position of having to choose between equal rights for all citizens or the support of the Republican party which has done such a tremendous job of supporting his agenda thus far and upon whose support he is [not] going to be able to count in the future.

Yep, real tough spot.

This should, in fact, be one of the easiest decisions of his presidency. You think?

Health insurance screwup

 Posted by at 17:50  General, Politics
Dec 212007

I hope the Sarkisyan family wins their lawsuit and is award millions and millions of dollars. It is time for these $7.00/hour clerks at the insurance companies to stop playing doctor.

Family to Sue Insurer in Transplant Case

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The family of a 17-year-old girl who died hours after her health insurer reversed a decision and said it would pay for a liver transplant plans to sue the company, their attorney said Friday.

Nataline Sarkisyan died Thursday at about 6 p.m. at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. She had been in a vegetative state for weeks, said her mother, Hilda.

Attorney Mark Geragos said he plans to ask the district attorney to press murder or manslaughter charges against Cigna HealthCare in the case. The insurer “maliciously killed her” because it did not want to bear the expense of her transplant and aftercare, Geragos said.

District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons declined to comment on the request for murder or manslaughter charges, saying it would be inappropriate to do so until Geragos submits evidence supporting his request.

I can’t help but wonder why the right wing blogosphere is not displaying the same rage over this case that they displayed over Terri Schiavo.

Update: JollyRoger has the best blog post I have read on this sad situation. Go, read.

Update #2: “Edwards Says He’ll Take On Big Insurance Companies.”

Update #3: CIGNA CEO compensation, 2006. From Forbes.com:


Bush vetoes kids again

 Posted by at 17:52  Politics
Dec 122007

Danged if he didn’t do it again

Bush Vetoes Kids Health Insurance Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have expanded government-provided health insurance for children, his second slap-down of a bipartisan effort in Congress to dramatically increase funding for the popular program.

It was Bush’s seventh veto in seven years – all but one coming since Democrats took control of Congress in January. Wednesday was the deadline for Bush to act or let the bill become law. The president also vetoed an earlier, similar bill expanding the health insurance program.

Bush vetoed the bill in private.


Bush wins; kids lose

 Posted by at 15:08  Politics
Oct 182007

Bush Veto of Child Health Bill Sustained

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Democrats on Thursday failed to override President Bush’s veto of their pre-election year effort to expand a popular government health insurance program to cover 10 million children.

The bill had bipartisan support, but the 273-156 roll call was 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority that supporters needed to enact the bill into law over Bush’s objections. The bill had passed the Senate with a veto-proof margin.

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program now subsidizes coverage for about 6 million children at a cost of about $5 billion a year. The vetoed bill would have added 4 million more children, most from low-income families, at a cost of $7 billion annually.

This is going to hurt the Republicans. Big time.

Republicans hate kids

 Posted by at 11:23  Politics
Oct 032007

Bush Vetoes Child Health Insurance Plan

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children’s health insurance.

It was only the fourth veto of Bush’s presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year’s elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., decried Bush’s action as a “heartless veto.”

“Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people,” Reid said in a statement. “By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America. ”

The White House sought as little attention, with Bush casting his veto behind closed doors without any fanfare or news coverage.

Mr. Bush sees nothing wrong with spending $12 billion per month on his war in Iraq, yet he has a problem spending an additional $35 billion over five years to provide health care to our nation’s kids. The Republicans support him.

There is something very wrong with this picture.

Further reading: “Bush veto strategy threatens Republicans.”

No Child Left Insured

 Posted by at 21:55  Politics
Sep 252007


House Votes to Expand Insurance for Kids

The House voted Tuesday to expand health insurance for children, but the Democratic-led victory may prove short-lived because the margin was too small to override President Bush’s promised veto.

Embarking on a health care debate likely to animate the 2008 elections, the House voted 265-159 to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, by $35 billion over five years. Bush says he will veto the bill due to its cost, its reliance on a tobacco tax increase and its potential for replacing private insurance with government grants.

SCHIP is a state-federal program that provides coverage for 6.6 million children from families that live above the poverty level but have trouble affording private health insurance. The proposed expansion, backed by most governors and many health-advocacy groups, would add 4 million children to the rolls.

The bill drew support from 45 House Republicans, many of them moderates who do not want to be depicted as indifferent to low-income children’s health needs when they seek re-election next year. But 151 Republicans sided with Bush, a move that Democrats see as a political blunder.

Nevermind that we’re paying $12 billion per month for George’s War in Iraq. $35 billion over five years is just too much to pay to get health insurance for more kids.

Republicans… can’t live with ’em… well, that’s pretty much it. You can’t live with ’em.