Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

Plunkett: DSH payments will never be cut. Dems should vote to reauthorize Medicaid now. | Mississippi PEP

 

Plunkett: DSH payments will never be cut. Dems should vote to reauthorize Medicaid now. | Mississippi PEP

Republicans keep projecting their wishes on the future, forecasting that the things for which they long are “inevitable.” They say things like “With one single decision President Barack Obama pulled the rug out from under any moves by Mississippi Democrats to expand Medicaid in Mississippi.” And that undoing his “signature achievement as President” was “inevitable.” Now this bit of prognostication was a conservative Mississippian’s response to the Obama administration’s decision several months ago to delay “cuts to DSH payments” (“Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments are given to hospitals by the federal government to states through Medicaid for caring for the uninsured”).

Conservatives say this because they see a delay in implementing a shift in payment for indigent care (which they have been successful in labeling a penalty for the states) as a fatal flaw, even getting liberals to adopt the “Luntz” framing. And, although many of the people they, the Crpto-Fascists, count as supporters would die without expansion, they, in clear Atwater fashion, seem perfectly content with repealing:

Coverage which

And the pseudo-anti-judicial activists rejoiced in hearing an activist court legislate with under cover of a flimsy explanation like:

“What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding”

effectively revitalizing the old states-rights ideology almost a century and a half after the Civil War settled the issue and challenging Congress’ authority to determine how indigent care will be compensated. In one of the most striking examples of the effect of poor history education in America, the American public voted for people who are actually states-rights proponents as if they, “the people,” have no idea that this was the position of staunch white supremacists who sought to rend the Union asunder. How is Medicaid a new program? How does the Court tell Congress how to aid the indigent?

It is, indeed, amazing that somehow shifting the funding to compensate providers for indigent care from disproportionate care payments to Medicaid payments can be viewed as a penalty when:

“Congress had amended Medicaid more than 50 times since its enactment, with a trend of enlarging the population and services covered by the program”

And none of these expansions were considered penalties? As I said, the Supreme Court conservatives, who acted as neo-confederates, used a flimsy excuse to indulge in some conservative-orchestrated judicial activism.

Conservatives say that the

Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states had the legal authority to reject expansion and the federal government could do nothing to penalize states for it.” Of course this was the courts response to “all or nothing.”

But there is nothing to stop congress from reducing the payments over time regardless of whether a state expands Medicaid or not Mr. State’s Rights, as in “ignoring states’ decisions to expand Medicaid when calculating the DSH reductions, meaning states won’t face a financial penalty for refusing the Medicaid expansion as the reductions could be made without any regard to whether a state expands Medicaid or not. Wishing that the law will go away and funneling your attacks to a hypocrite-judicial-activist, states-rights Chief Justice (whose states-rights ideology lines up with even Mississippi neo-confederates) doesn’t mean that the American people will get rid of a law which addresses

Costs

And

Care

But back to that wishful thinking about the delay being the unraveling of the Affordable Care Act. The conservative’s argument goes:

“DSH payments were never going to be cut. One only need to look at the SGR and the annual “Doc Fix” under Medicare to see a perfect example of why,”

comparing Medicare advocacy to Medicaid advocacy. This is delusional, as the Medicare constituents are not the same as a substantial number of the Medicaid constituents. In their delusions about ObamaCare and their fixation with repealing it, conservative pundits have conflated the two. Medicaid constituents, by and large, are not appearing at Tea Party rallies, trying, asininely, to wreck the people’s government. Wish as the neo-confederates will, the people targeted in “their home districts for voting against providing health care to the most needy” won’t be the people who are vigorously advocating Medicaid expansion. It won’t be the people who know the 7 things Republicans don’t want their working class constituents to know who will be confused about who’s responsible for service reductions to the needy. The non-Republican Medicaid recipients already know who is trying to cut SNAP and WIC benefits, in short assistance to the most vulnerable. They know that wishing that Republicans would actually favor social programs won’t make it happen; they know that wishing won’t make it so.

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PolitiFact | John Boehner says U.S. health care system is best in world

That headline was from a 2012 Politifact discussion.  It’s relevant because Boehner repeated the comment which gave rise to the 2012 Politifact discussion again this month, November 2013.  It is is indeed odd how even supposedly objective entities, like Politifact, reshape the statements of Republicans, abetting construction for them of a mantle of reasonableness.  Donning this cloak, this mantle of credibility,  the conservatives are then free to support the crypto-fascist’s schemes of the Koch brothers, the ALEC agenda if you will, in the face of weakened scrutiny.  What Boehner said was that  Obamacare will ruin “the best health care delivery system in the world.” In order to portray the joker, John Boehner, as being a respectable contributor to the health care conversation Politfact has to change the discussion from one about the best health care delivery system to one about the best health care system.  What muddies the discussion and allows Politifact to give Boehner a “Half True” on its “Truth-o-Meter” is the veil  Politifact conveniently supplies from the phrase “delivery system,” effectively taking it off the field.  Politifact gets into discussing the quality of care some people can obtain allowing in the following Boehner praise of the status quo

“ wealthy foreigners flock to the U.S. to receive care because of its cutting-edge facilities, and that the U.S. is among the leaders, if not No. 1, in medical research and pharmaceutical development.”

Give the joker a chance to defend his original assertion and he will make you laugh.  Of course wealthy foreigners can get quality care, even while Republican administrations in states in the union will not expand Medicaid so that poor Americans can get medical care.  We’re talking health care delivery here.  And delivery or access depends too heavily on income and the Affordable Care Act seeks to address that and of course that involves a reduction in insurance industry profits and the guy who handed out tobacco checks on the House floor, the crypto-fascist foot soldier, would have a problem with that. 

Remember the American wage earners don’t have checks to give Republicans to hand out on the house floor and big business rules America not anti-choice advocates.

 

 

And as for his reference to America’s cutting-edge facilities and  medical and pharmaceutical development, Boehner seems to be implying that those things were somehow things bequeath to America by a private sector without government assistance because you know how government gets in the way.  Far be it from the crypto-fascists to note “

As the world’s leading medical research institution, the
NIH funds more than 35,000 research grants each year to scientists across the country
making advances against heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. NIH-funded
scientists have won 93 Nobel Prizes over the years, and researchers in the NIH’s own labs
have won 5 Nobel Prizes.” 

But Politfacat, when even people you note as having written for the Koch-founded Cato Institute tell you that “”The assertion that the U.S. is ‘the best’ across the board has little support”  you have to say that Boehner’s comment about the best delivery system” is false not politely and sympatheticly, half true.  Best health care delivery system my foot.  Boehner can only get away with statements like that because he knows that the people who vote for him are so drunk on the notion of American exceptionalism that they believe that Americans have the best of every thing, case closed.  Boehner, the joker, can count on his constituents not knowing that contrary to what Dr. Ben “Americans-use-too-much-healthcare” Carson spews like an overflowing, Koch-brother cesspool,

“the average Japanese visits a doctor about 14.5 times per year-three times as often as the U.S. average, and twice as often as any nation in Europe.  If you can’t get to the doctor, no problem: Nearly all general practitioners in Japan make house calls, either daily or weekly.”  – The Healing of America by T.R. Reid

How’s that for health care delivery? 

 

 

 

PolitiFact | John Boehner says U.S. health care system is best in world

Clowns? Jokers? You ever feel like you’re stuck in the middle?

It’s the distraction (our entertainment) that has us stuck!!! The jokers and clowns are empowered by our collective ignorance.

 

As I watch the city government in Richmond Virginia, lead by an African-American mayor, disrespect the memory of the American slave in a way that Holocaust descendants would never disrespect the memories of their ancestors, I think. This is the fruit of a collective ignorance which facilitates comparison of American slavery, in grand acts of public trivialization, to mandatory health care access (in the case of Dr. Ben “Americans-use-too-much-healthcare” Carson) or to the national debt (from Sarah “you-can-actually see-Russia-from-land-here-in-Alaska” Palin). In the minds of “I-built-this” American, the self-made person (I mean who needs God or grace anyway?), it is perfectly logical, in the minds of the history-illiterate, to link slavery to health care or to say slavery is like the national debt. American history, as we are taught it, plays up the image of colonial America as the land of the persecuted-taxation-without-representation Christians even as it down plays the foundation of the independence America felt compelled to declare from Great Britain, an independence borne aloft on the scarred backs of black men and women. Peering back at the past would show how ludicrous the notion of unassisted-by-government wealth creation like comparing health care or the national debt to slavery really is. It was government which made wealth accumulation possible.  Without laws and the apparatus (can you say government) to ensure their application and maintenance the following would not have been possible.

“Slavery led to great wealth not only in England but in the

Chesapeake as well: “In the middle of the seventeenth century … the

richest 10 percent of the families owned roughly 40 percent of the

wealth, a figure that was to approach 70 percent by the eve of

independence.”80 Studying inventories of planters’ estates, Menard

notes that “slaves accounted for only 20 percent of inventorial wealth

in the seventeenth century … but nearly 60 percent by the 1720s and

65 percent in the 1740s.”81 Slave labor was the central source of

Chesapeake wealth and capital. The best-known Chesapeake

entrepreneur, Thomas Jefferson, owned about 200 enslaved workers

in the year of the Declaration of Independence; fifty years later, in the

year of his death, he owned more than that.82 Howsoever some leaders

of the revolution might philosophize about the Rights of Man and

liberty for all, they took care not to apply such doctrines to the

enslaved workers they owned.”

~ A Short History of American Capitalism

by Meyer Weinberg

 

 

It is the nation’s collective, seemingly hermetically-sealed ignorance which gives us a middleclass and underclass enslaved by miseducation and sedated by entertainment. We just don’t seem to get it. While the CONNINGservatives are telling us that government is the problem, they are using the government to write rules that increase their wealth even while they call many who vote for them lazy 47%ers, takers. How do you know that our government, that is to say the structure given to us by the lobbyists who write the laws while I play fantasy football or keep up with the Kardashians or attend a Tea Party rally carrying an Obama-is-a-socialist-witch-doctor-from-Kenya poster decrying government hands on my Social Security, our government (a system of laws with the apparatus to ensure their application and maintenance) is committed to doing things which have as a by-product, the maintenance and increase of a permanent underclass? In the latest regression, the corporatists sold the public a bill of goods called NAFTA and watched as Mexicans, pushed out of farming at home by American agri-business, fled their country for work in America even as they, the corporatists, exported middle-class jobs and kept profits offshore. And somehow we believe that baseball diamonds in Richmond, Va. and, in the case of Mississippi, outlet malls are the answer to our economic woes.

Of course the corporatists, the Citizens United crowd, would have you believe that these are the forces (producing job exportation and profit offshoring) of globalization at work, the forces that have Americans scrambling for jobs at baseball stadiums or outlet malls and for foreign investment for manufacturing by Siemens and Toyota and Yokohama as defined benefit plans disappear and conservatives seek to cut food assistance programs and resist Medicaid expansion. The narrative says that we, the American public, just need more education so that we can profit from the globalization trends and that Obamacare is ruining our economy. The irony is those foreigners from whom we beg for investment subsidize education better (Japanese doctors don’t have nearly the education debt that American doctors have) and have excellent universal health care. Contrary to what the CONNINGservatives preach, I guess that stuff, universal health care, doesn’t kill jobs after all. The jobs don’t die; they multiply because of the foreign facsimiles of Obamacare; Universal healthcare countries even send jobs all the way overseas to America. What they, the American corporatists, make sure we never hear much about or at least what that attempt to make sure is crowded out off our consciousness by their Think Tanks and talk industry, when we aren’t trying to see who gets voted off the island next or wins the Amazing Race, what is pushed from our field of vision, what is flooded from our cognizance is how the Germans have 200 insurance plans (nonprofit entities that pay medical bills not dividends) and they have insurance even when they are unemployed. While attacking the Affordable Care Act, you’ll never learn that Germans, to whom southern governors go begging for plant investments, make certain that their workers have great input into corporate decisions with works councils, the co-determined board, and wage-setting institutions. Of course the lethargic, infantile American Labor movement would finally grow up and do the American public a great service if it adopted some of these concepts.  But even the American Labor Movement appears to be as trickle-down, top-down oriented, and untrusting of truly democratic functioning with real leadership rotation. 

 

No, you see if things like these were widely known and taught we’d laugh, the joker, John Boehner off the podium when he says that America had the best health care delivery system in the world before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and he would be forced to help improve healthcare access which is substandard instead of running interference for the health insurance industry. We’d laughed at the clown, the mayor of Richmond, and tell him to advocate for a national development plan where certain industries are nurtured the way the Korean’s and others nurtured industries to improve the living standards of their countrymen. But target the plans to the areas “left-behind” so that we can reduce the “takers” in America and increase the number of Americans participating in the production processes in the country. That would be true patriotism.

One thing is evident by the language and focus of these two “economic” leaders, the clown on the left and the joke on the right, is whether it’s the Mayor in Richmond Virginia or the Speaker of the U.S House of Representatives, offense is not easily achieved in America where it is entertainment which is truly the opiate of the people.

Ruining Government(The Great REpubliConned pastime)

Who’s to say that those services or wages are needed? 

This bit of sophomoric logic, aged in the American psyche through years of Heritage-funded (Koch-brother produced) repetition, comes, liberal and moderate America, from your political competition, the Tea Party. This in essence is the Teabagger philosophy. We would be better off without government is their belief. “Government is the problem” to quote the most beloved Republican of the twentieth century, contrary to the belief of the last great Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower who warned of the military-industrial complex and brought us the interstate highway system, contrary to JFK who pointed us toward a moon landing. Mind you a lot of these people, (the know-nothing Republicans, they vote Republican, they call themselves conservative; make no mistake about it, Teabaggers vote Republican and there is no difference just look at former Senator Bennett of Utah and his Teabagger replacement Mike “laughingstock” Lee who advocated a situation which costs his state tons of money by blocking “services or wages” which weren’t “needed”) mind you a lot of these people never rallied and complained about being taxed enough already (TEA’d) when the Bush Administration Curve-balled us into Iraq one of two-unfunded-unread-Bin-Laden-determined-to-attack-PDB wars. Tellingly, these “fiscal” conservatives never complained about two wars being not budgeted, remember the Teabagger rallies that didn’t happen during the Bush administatrion; they aren’t bright enough to know that the American economy lost the opportunity to focus on greater economic productivity (being greater competition to the Chinese and every one of our other economic competitors) by channeling all the manpower and resources to the misadventure which is Iraq. I challenge their concern about leaving debt to future generations and deficits because we never raised taxes to cover the cost of the war, so the cost including interest on the borrowed money used to fund the war make Iraq the gift that keeps on giving.

So when you hear a Teabagger, in response to cost estimates of the Teabagger orchestrated government shutdown:

Bad assumptions for the most part.

First, the impact on the economy. S&P calculates the $24 billion impact based on all the wages federal workers didn’t get, and thus didn’t spend, plus the side effects from that lack of commerce. But what S&P doesn’t take into account is that those federal workers will probably see an increase in their commerce once they get their back pay.

The furloughed workers are all likely to engage in about the same level of commerce as they would have had the shutdown never happened. The timing may have changed due to the furlough, but they are still going to buy clothes, fuel and food and go out to the movies”

Just remember you’re listening to people who either have an agenda or who are operating unwittingly on behalf of people who have an agenda. The agenda is to castigate and undermine the functioning of government at every opportunity, as part of a grand privatization scheme benefiting an oligarchic donor class. To them, “Government is the problem,” except of course when they are diverting it to their friends like Haliburton or Blackwater in a no-bid kinda way). Some of the cohorts are so simple minded that they say things like:

“those federal workers will probably see an increase in their commerce once they get their back pay.”

The Teabaggers, and remember the “TEA” stands for taxed enough already, are perfectly ok with forcing a shutdown and then paying back-pay to workers who they forced to sit at home (“Federal employees sat home for a combined total of 6.6 million days, more than in any previous government shutdown”) because they, the Teabaggers, were attempting to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by monkeying with a continuing resolutions to fund the government. The shutdown-didn’t-cost-that-much argument (indicative of the mentality of a group which is properly referred to as “know-nothings”)is about as moronic as the equally clueless plea to congress to “keep your government hands off my Medicare” or “Social Security.”   

 

Medicare was brought to you by a Democratic (LBJ’s) administration.  And now conservatives now want to voucherize it so that 75 year olds can go into the private “junk” insurance market to buy healthcare((Paul Ryan’s plan) or in the case of Dr. Ben “I-need-my-head-examined” Carson, who is now Heritage’s (what’s a word that rhymes with stitch and begins with a b), you can just save the money to cover your old-age medical expenses. Conservatives never wanted you to have it, referring to it as socialized medicine; and now conservatives claim they want to preserve it, socialized medicine, for you the unwashed masses who should turn to your churches and are using too much healthcare, according to Dr. Ben “if-you-can’t-afford-that’s-just-tough” Carson?

Wait, here is more comedy. And that Social Security, that the Heritage Foundation (the Koch brother monstrosity) advocates be privatized so that you can make some Madoff or Ebbers rich before they go to jail, Social Security was brought to you by, wait for it, wait for it, another Democratic (FDR’s) administration 

From Liberals not from America’s Hezbollah (the conservatives) who see the poor as Godless people who wouldn’t be poor if they just worked harder!

.

The great irony is that the safety-net which supplies enough societal stability to provide Americans with enough breathing room mentally, mental comfort, to leisurely form notions of government dismantlement was brought to you by progressive Americans, brought to you by liberal Americans. The magical thing about the CONNservative appeal is that many people who voted for Mitt Romney are, by his definition, takers (depending on government of the people for support, VA, disability, Sandy Aid, farm support, but not, in their opinion, the military-industrial complex); that is they are receiving some sort of government assistance but view themselves as superior to others who are receiving government assistance and want to attack “entitlements” but never complain about lobbyists writing laws which allow Romney-types to hide money in the Cayman Islands and corporations to outsource jobs and offshore profits which means that they, the poor and middle-class whites who voted for Romney-Ryan, have less resources to take care of themselves and contribute to the tax base upon which all those “entitlement programs” depend.

 

And that “increase in commerce” that this particular Teabagger estimates will occur says nothing about the time value of money (what was not accomplished because the money was not there on time when it was needed and used as planned for something like saving or investing) and what was lost in make-shift arrangements by those furloughed to make ends meet while the government was shutdown (like short-term borrowing and added expenses). No, the Teabaggers see this inconvenience and the very real costs the workers incurred as just a means to an end, the end being a destruction of a government that is too big. That Heritage-Foundation-too-big rubbish could only take root with the working-class due to mental insulation afforded by the productive foundation brought to Americans by past generations which gave us everything from the TVA, to the G.I. bill, to VHA and FHA loans to the interstate highway, most of which were brought about when tax rates where much higher on the upper income bracket. Heck, even the “big government” Postal service (which has its origins in the nation’s founding) was a boon to rural road development.

 

You’ll hear comments like the following in places like Forbes

“People who cancelled trips to D.C., national parks, or other sites may instead have taken a trip somewhere else.”

Did you notice the “may instead” in this theory? What if the trip was cancelled? What if no one received the funds through a sale or purchase because of elimination of the government services or functions? What if things were postponed? Can you say uncertainty, Teabaggers? Aren’t they, conservative, Teabaggers, always complaining about economic uncertainty and the affect of uncertainty on the economy? Funny, how the word just disappears from the conservative vocabulary in the context of a government shutdown. Business don’t invest because of uncertainty, goes the tale of the great pumpkin, I mean the tale of uncertainty. H E double hockey sticks, you even had a conservative at an institution of higher learning in Mississippi using “uncertainty” as a pretext for layoffs. Funny, how even in this continuing resolution device, the RepublCONs found a way to put a damper on economic activity and still complain about slow economic growth.  You have to give them credit for the consistency and the diversity of their attack

There are also Heritage feces loads like:

“Because the government workers are being paid for the days they did not work, the cost of government services will not decline and, therefore, neither will the government contribution to GDP.”

These clowns never heard of anything like multipliers and derivatives unless they are talking about Wall Street or the stock market. The government contribution to GDP does stop with the money paid to government workers. What conservatives never count is the money that is spent, the goods that are produced because the government employee is there. Just because you pay government employees after they have been idle doesn’t mean that the government contribution to GDP didn’t decline.

“Communities lost $500 million in spending in their communities as a result of shuttered National Parks.”

To say that those funds were spent elsewhere is just ludicrous. And the numbers don’t support the RepubliCONNED assertion. And if consumer confidence means anything at all, then those government employees would defy the notion if they spent at the same level as before the layoff and so would those people who depended upon their, the furloughed employees, expenditures and work product. And furthermore, with clowns like the Teabaggers in office, the economy must necessarily be adversely affected. In their continued effort to downplay the derivatives of their economic madness, CONNINGservatives are hoping to be successful in keeping people from seeing the

“continued government brinksmanship as a major factor holding back the U.S. economic recovery.” 

The most sinister part of the shutdown strategy is that by destroying the ability of the government to function, the CONNINGservatives can make a better case for privatization. There is an OMB report which says

“The shutdown “risks seriously damaging the ability to attract and retain the kind of driven, patriotic Americans to public service that our citizens deserve and that our system of self-government demands,”

Those flag lapel pins CONNINGservatives wear should burn holes in their suits.

▶ The Nine Most Terrifying Words – YouTube

 

Funny, how you only hear this when the group that they’re against is getting assistance. 

Nine most terrifying words?  Well, not so much in Mississippi these days.  Just look at the insurer-provider dispute in Mississippi. 

In the dispute between a big insurer and a hospital group in Mississippi how can you possibly be concerned with “the patients that Blue Cross insures and these hospitals serve” and refuse Medicaid expansion? How can you not see the connection? Absence of Medicaid expansion in Mississippi will drive up medical costs to Mississippians relative to other states. The cost of not getting preventative treatment and health maintenance drives the cost up for everyone by channeling impoverished people into the emergency rooms for more expensive care. That cost doesn’t just disappear but is passed on to other consumers through higher costs which they pay via higher premiums and higher co-pays and deductibles. Of course the insurance industry operating in Mississippi would move to cut out the more expensive hospitals; they have stock prices and shareholders to worry about. Conspicuous by their absence once again is the Mississippi Heritage Foundation doppelganger, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. Where were the faux-limited government proponents advocating unfettered markets? It’s funny how you didn’t hear them complain about the governor issuing an order which “would have required Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi [a private entity] to resume paying in-network rates at Mississippi hospitals.” Not really when you realize that, despite what the Tea Party-types profess, they are in favor of limited government only if it doesn’t affect their comrades or people who lobby for laws that increase the corporate profits out of which their financial support comes. If Mississippi politicians can spend so much time and effort trying to make sure that the federal government keeps maintaining military installations and spending that produce a net inflow of federal dollars to Mississippi then it doesn’t make any sense to try and stop the federal government from helping Mississippi defray the state’s overall healthcare costs on the grounds that you don’t believe in government involvement in the free market. Channeling government spending into arguably unnecessary military spending or at best spending that is not efficient because of the economic impact to a given state, say Mississippi, is an admission that the government does create jobs and that it is desirable for the government to do so. Even Ronald Reagan acknowledged the military as an employment source and favored including the military in employment figures. And from a fiscal standpoint, pretending that expansion of Medicaid is detrimental to Mississippi’s budget is to bury one’s head in the sand.

The cost of medical care in Mississippi will not decrease because Medicaid is not expanded, the costs will actually rise faster because of the absence of the benefits of expansion. The truth is Mississippians’ insurance premiums will be higher than they would have been under expansion and the medical infrastructure will be more overwhelmed because Mississippi is refusing federal aid, in a move that befits a continuation of the secessionist impulse, an impulse which operates to the creation and maintenance of huge wealth gaps. And the crack, about Mississippians not looking for work because the government is providing healthcare, is a reflection of the neo-feudalist nature of some Mississippi politicians. They would rather have citizens tied to employers because of healthcare than to have them be truly free to start their own businesses, then to see a “thousand flowers bloom.” There is one report which “finds that up to nearly 1 million workers may voluntarily leave their jobs because of the new health care law.”

They, the Crypto-Fascists, would rather the average citizen be constrained in such a way that they, average Mississippians, have to look up to and be beholding to corporate interest in a way that lets corporations place greater and greater controls on citizens. You see this manifested in things like Mississippi politicians’ (Crypto-Fascists’) participation in and defense of organizations like ALEC which brought Mississippi, through Joey Filingane, the photo ID law, which constricts democratic participation. The less-government, less-regulation crowd is actually an anti-democratic cabal which orchestrates the development and maintenance of monopolies. Anti-democratic forces don’t really believe that “[t]he antitrust laws reflect our society’s belief that competition enhances consumer welfare and promotes our economic and political freedoms.” They actually believe in tying people to employers in a slave or share-cropper fashion. With people so tied to an employer, how likely are they to vote in a way with which their employers disagree? This is a very real way in which something as simple as the denial of healthcare access UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY!!! Mississippi where sine qui non for political success is a simple as opposing anything related to Obama, it’s relatively easy, also given Mississippi’s neo-feudal, plantation-heritage (see flag vote)-loving past, to propose things which support plutocracy or oligarchy.

Additionally, on the subject of the rejection of democracy, widely-dispersed opportunity and equality, no one ever seems to even consider how the linkage of healthcare to existing businesses (getting insurance through your employer) may stifle competition by reducing the number of entrepreneurs thereby driving up consumer costs because of lack of competitors or of alternative products related to the inhibition of innovation. It is an intuitive design, this strategy of opposing the Affordable Care Act; forcing labor into existing businesses to obtain healthcare dovetails so nicely with right-to-work-for-less laws. Employers can reduce pay by offering insurance and reduce the number of competitors simultaneously. This is something which may be good for the existing employers but can’t be good for consumers or labor in the long run. The first order of business for CONservatives is to make certain that challenges to the existing economic kingpins are few or non-existent. Anything from unions to healthcare which threatens that imperative must be utterly crushed. When people like Dwayne Blaylock, president and CEO of River Oaks says “communities need protection and patients need access to the health care professionals of their choice,“ you have to wonder if they ever think about what repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act would mean for patient choice and for costs and consider that “[tlo the extent that insurance companies engage in anticompetitive collusion . . . then they appropriately [should] be subject to antitrust liability.]” But something tells me that being the CEO of a hospital means that his imperative, like the big insurers, is also something other than patient protection and universal access to any health care professionals much less the “professionals of their choice.” In this system patient choice is a sales tool which like patient protection is a means to an end. And in Mississippi because of resistance to things like Medicaid expansion, a physician, in many cases, doesn’t have to be concerned with first, doing no harm; sick people without access means that first, they do nothing at all.

Bryant trusts no part of health care overhaul | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

some low-level employees or volunteers with the exchange could unilaterally force the state to expand Medicaid, the longstanding federal-state health insurance program for the needy,

reads this article from the Clarion Ledger is Jackson, Mississippi.

This is being given as a reason for not supporting the Affordable Care Act in Mississippi:  “the navigators could unilaterally decide to sign people up for Medicaid, even if they earn too much money to qualify.” 

In the minds of some Mississippians the navigators, people who “are available to help people understand various levels of coverage available through an exchange” could sign people up for Medicaid, giving health care to someone who makes more than $5,500 per year, the income cutoff in Mississippi. You got that right.  In Mississippi some people believe that the navigators could expand Medicaid.  There seems to be a concerted effort by the neo-feudalists to constrict access to health care, in a state in which 1 in four adults lack health insurance including “one in three among adults 44 or younger.” In Mississippi “less than half the employers even offer insurance.”  The pretense that all is well and Mississippi should just not address the problem is indicative of the delusional southern mind that contributes to the state’s position nationally.  Talk about burying you head in the sand when it comes to health care. 

You see Mississippi is one of those places where officials rail against an agenda “controlled by Washington” when it comes to health care while lobbying to get more military institutions which are controlled by Washington.  Conservatives aren’t really against government.  They don’t really want smaller government.  They just want to be able to target the government expenditures toward the areas that they or their friends can derive the greatest benefit.  They have a preference for oligarchs and neo-feudalism where they channel the collective resources to themselves and their Heritage Fund protected masters and everyone can just go to them for “charity.”  

Bryant trusts no part of health care overhaul | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Government Shutdown Cost $24 Billion, According to Standard & Poor’s | TIME.com

Way to burn $24 billion!!!  This cremation was brought to you, recently furloughed, anxiety-filled workers, by people who complained of the uncertainty of the Affordable Care Act.  This destruction was brought to you by the gang that is willing to economically destroy their own voters.  This gang is willing to inflict pain on their constituents, people who in 2014 will probably vote for them again, because their constituents are people who are willing to believe that Obama is a secret Moslem who was born in Kenya, easily abused people who equate belief with fact.  The exploitative, Tea Party-driven Representatives and Senators who were willing to sacrifice $24 billion in GDP in a gamble to get the President and the the Democrat-controlled Senate to kill a law that Teabaggers say is killing the economy are not hurt by what Republican Senator Richard Burr called “[t]he dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.”  They will continue to receive access to excellent health care and $174,000 per year.  You have to wonder where will the Teabagger Representatives and Senators get their donations as they support policies which will deplete the resources of their voters whether furloughed workers or people who were hindered by the $24 billion GDP hit and the victims of off-shoring and outsourcing?  The answer is the same people who fund Heritage and Cato, the people who stand to gain the most from cheap labor and an eviscerated middle class, the people who stir antagonism for immigrants as a means of diverting attention from the off-shoring of profits and outsourcing of jobs.  You guessed it the RepubliCons who are longing for an opportunity to elect a President who can put another corporations-Scalia clone on the Supreme Court.  When you look at places like Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and other Red States where voters vote for people like Paul Ryan who propose to “slash spending for the poor”and “privatize Social Security and voucherize Medicare”  you have to know that you are dealing with people who Noam Scheiber might refer to as “aspirationally rational people too dense to grasp the big picture,” a big picture which clearly shows that they are the tools of their own destruction. 

Government Shutdown Cost $24 Billion, According to Standard & Poor’s | TIME.com

Dem congresswoman vows to keep salary through shutdown | The Daily Caller

how a congresswoman drawing a salary of $174,000 can be construed as standing with “federal government employees” who “rely on their paychecks to feed their families” is unclear.

Perhaps this is a mysterious statement to people who support the Tea Party but don’t question why all Teabagger representatives don’t return their paychecks.  After all it is the Teabaggers who complain so much about deficits and yet run for office and take salaries thus adding to the deficit.  You don’t produce demands that you know will lead to the closing of the government and claim to want the government to be “small enough to drown in a bath tub” and accept a salary from the government.  Congresswoman Moore’s statement about accepting her salary isn’t strange at all if you believe in government and government services.  But what is ironic, what is strange, what is Teabaggeresque is orchestrating the closing of the government with demands that a law be defunded thereby forcing furloughs and then voting to pay the employees, thereby insuring that employees are paid for not working.  So much for the Teabagger mantra “if a man does not work then neither should he eat.”  I wonder if the Teabaggers will now require the furloughed employees to look for work like food stamp recipients in order to receive their pay for the time that they were furloughed. 

And while the Teabagger journal used the occasion to attack Representative Moore for defending her son who was involved in a voting fiasco, I wonder if the Daily Caller ran any extensive stories about a real voting scandal connected to a Teabagger favorite son, Scott Walker, in Wisconsin?  A Walker donor, “Wisconsin and Southern Railroad Co. CEO William Gardner, was convicted of violating state elections law with excessive donations to Walker’s campaign. He was sentenced to two years probation last year “(actually 2011).

Everybody doesn’t have the advantage of illegal donations.  Some people actually believe in government and aren’t receiving “excessive donations” to augment their coffers.

 

 

Dem congresswoman vows to keep salary through shutdown | The Daily Caller

Oh, those ridiculous clowns in the Tea (hee-hee) Party

Got to give them credit, the Teabagger clowns have got people listening to them and are getting paid to boot. It’s these clowns and not their audience who’ve got to be laughing all the way to the bank. Senator Mike Lee, R. Utah, counts 13 Senators in the U.S. Senate of 50 Senators(most of the senators aren’t anyway close to being part of the tee-hee-hee Party fringe) who will help him defund the Affordable Care Act.

Listen to this nonsense that’s keeping him in the public eye and probably garnering him some pretty hefty insurance industry contributions as he chants the current Heritage Foundation, Republican Party line, like a soviet-era apparatchik.

 

 

Tea Party Clown at Work

Did you get that? “If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it. We can stop the individual mandate from going into effect.”

The clown says of the Affordable Care Act with its protections against lifetime caps on policies and the removal of the pre-existing condition barrier to obtaining insurance depends on, simply, Republicans in both houses refusing to vote to fund the government. Is this the new Heritage Foundation position to be repeated to the Teabagger faithful, adhering to Herr Goebbels’ principles, until the followers can think of nothing else. Now in the old days when Republicans were trying to derail healthcare reform, during the Clinton Admiministration, they threw the individual mandate out as a monkey wrench to wreck healthcare reform. Then it was championed by the conservative think tank and Republican politicians as a matter of personal responsibility. Now, to muddy the waters, they’re attacking it as an unconstitutional mandate and every conservative, even the rubes in Mississippi, is a constitutional scholar, even though the Supreme Court, with five conservatives on it, ruled that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional.

But back to the rich clown from Utah, Mike Lee, who’s parroting this notion that Obamacare should be defunded because, for one thing, big business is getting an exemption from the mandate but the little guy isn’t because he doesn’t have a lobbyist in Washington lobbying for him. This pseudo-love for the working class comes from the party which instead of tackling heath care reform chose, under Republican Administrations, to try to privatize social security and routinely suggested that we must “raise the retirement age.” The only way you can take these guys seriously is to not know history and to listen to only half of what they say. In the same interview when he complains about the individual mandate, originally a Republican idea, he complains about individuals not providing income documentation initially to receive “insurance” subsidies. So in the same interview you have Sen. Mike “Laughingstock” Lee complaining about people having to get insurance (the individual mandate) while acknowledging that people will be receiving government help in paying for the insurance they are required to have. His problem is that, regarding subsidies for individuals, “[f]or income verification, for the first year of operations” the government will be “providing Exchanges with temporarily expanded discretion to accept an attestation of projected annual household income without further verification.”  The only thing that’s missing is a complaint from ole Laughingstock about businesses being discriminated against, because they, in the words of Mitt Romney, “are people too, my friend,” and deserve health insurance subsidies.  Why not, after all, he’s promised to do all within his power to see that the Affordable Care Act is not implemented and for him this foolishness pays as much as being a U.S. Senator. 

“Tea partiers rally against GOP’s ‘phony votes’ to defund Obamacare” (Headline to story from Daily Caller 09/10/2013)

“Over the next few days, we’re going to see all sorts of games, showmanship, shenanigans and other things that other people in the ruling elite will try to do to pull the wool over our eyes,” said Jenny Beth Martin, the national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots

No need for the wool when the Teabaggers have you, Jenny Beth, pointing them in the wrong direction. As the Teabaggers fight to dominate the Republican Party, there remains a sign of salient life comingled with them in RepubliCon Land, a glimmer, expressed in the efforts of some members to avoid a government shut-down via Affordable Care Act defunding madness. However, the corporate shills (the Tea Party snake charmers who are influencing the loyalists) know that the party-controlling, Teabagger faithful seem incapable of comprehending that President Obama won the 2012 presidential election and not their Cayman-Island-Swiss-bank-account Dun, an incapacity attributable in part to their vision-limiting deification of corporations and mesmerization by constant trickle-down chants from the Republican sound chamber consisting of think-tanks, media, pundits, and politicians. Mitt Romney, who refused to release more than a couple of years of his tax returns would probably have been too corporations-are-people friendly and elitist for even his own father, if he were alive, to support if they weren’t related. His father, George, who in unmafia-like openness, when he was running for president, when asked to release his most recent tax returns, released 12 years worth of returns, told Look magazine, about releasing just a couple of years returns ,

“It could be a fluke, or even a cynical manipulation designed to make the candidate look good. What really mattered was how a candidate managed his personal finances over the long haul.”

Yet, the Tea Party, delusionally, found oneness with Mitt who stashes cash offshore like Tony Soprano hiding cash in his duck feed. So, Romney is not in the White House to sign any repeal legislation, the Senate is in the hands of Democrats and even in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic candidates across the U.S. received more total votes than Republican candidates did. So when people like Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas or Texas Senator Ted Cruz tell Teabaggers to tell their legislators to defund Obamacare, they are exploiting delusions about who is trustworthy while they make out like con artists(receiving tremendous financial backing from the interests they are protecting while pointing their followers in the wrong direction). The Teabaggers’ judgments about who to believe (based on their preconceptions) leave them looking in the wrong direction much to their detriment. Reminds me of a sitcom called Smart Guy. Go to about the 4:10 mark in this clip

Ginni Thomas who fought against the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which requires larger employers to provide temporary unpaid leave to employees to care for a new child or during a serious personal or family illness and who founded a group that was formed with a $500,000 anonymous donation that came as the Supreme Court was considering Citizens United, Ginni Thomas whose husband is making $223,500 per year, for life, as a federal employee and has access to insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (The federal program offers 206 health plan choices, according to the Office of Personnel Management.) Ginni Thomas finds no fault in railing against affordable healthcare for working and needy people; she is probably not going to be an advocate for things that benefit working Americans like removing the pre-existing condition barrier to obtaining insurance, or for everyday Americans being able to keep their children on their insurance until they’re 26 (although Republicans 19-25 are taking more advantage than Democrats), and removing lifetime caps on insurance. The secret of the success of the leaders of the defund-Obamacare-movement in pointing the rank-and-file Teabaggers in the wrong direction lies in their ability to exploit the rank-and-file’s predisposition to, profile even leadership(blatantly disregarding in a “you-lie-during-a-Presidential-address-finger-wagging-in-your-face” kinda way, the leadership of this particular president), a predisposition to respecting only leadership which looks, racially, like it did before 2008. It’s indeed fascinating to see Teabaggers place so much trust in people who conceal tax records and hide funds in Swiss bank accounts while running for president or display receptiveness to people who receive $500,000 anonymous donations or are nonchalant about loose-screws Cruz’s potential presidential candidacy knowing that he was born in Canada when they raised so much hell in demanding to see President Obama’s birth certificate.