Tag Archives: capitalism

Bryant orders 10 HMA hospitals back into Blue Cross network | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

I cannot sit back and allow Mississippians’ access to care to be threatened in violation of state law

What business does any public official have in trying to make certain that citizens have access to medical care? How can a business be compelled to provide a “product in a marketplace at the insistence” of government?
And don’t you remember how, in an effort to support the efficacy of markets in meeting the needs of Americans, RepubliCons said that:

“[t]here is no one who doesn’t have health care in America. No one. Now, they may end up going to the emergency room?”

So what’s all the fuss about insurance companies deciding not to do business with some hospitals because they “charge too much?” Isn’t this just the marketplace at work? Shouldn’t insurance companies be allowed to seek profit like all good capitalists? What’s with the dictatorial intervention? Weren’t the Teabaggers carrying signs of President Obama with Hitler mustaches drawn on his face because of his market interventions? What’s with the government intrusion embodied in the Mississippi Patient Protection Act of 1995?” What’s with the government telling businesses what they must provide? This situation makes a point emphatically. Specifically, the issue is that capitalism is a system devised by man and subject to modifications and variations necessary to serve the people. This democratic Republic, America, is served by capitalism. The Republic is not the servant of capitalism. This is a fact that the conservatives, indoctrinated within the last thirty years, must learn. The more sophisticated conservatives know this which is why they spend so much time lobbying to make laws (modifications and variations) which concentrate capital in relatively few hands while pretending that capitalism just happens to naturally support the trade deficits enhanced by this “service economy” that they have convinced the public is most desirable for America. This salesmanship of substandard economic conditions explains why many Americans’ desired to keep the insurance plans that they had before enactment of the Affordable Care Act, a situation that could be compared to domestic abuse. The form of capitalism practiced in this country is designed and modified by men; it is not some natural, organic formation sent to us by God. If our form of capitalism is so superior then why do we find ourselves begging other countries with much more socialism (government mandated health care) in their economies for jobs?

It is ironic how conservative governors from southern states who complain about government thwarting private markets and competition spend time and state resources pursuing Japanese investment in their states when according to author T.R. Reid in “The Healing of America, “[d]espite universal coverage and prodigious consumption, Japan spends a lot less for health care that most of the developed nations; with costs running at about 8 percent of GDP, it spends about half as much as the United States.” And get this Teabaggers, the Japanese require everyone to sign up. They call it a personal mandate. The irony is that so called conservatives are attacking personal responsibility and seeking investment from people (foreign capitalists?) who make certain that all of their citizens have health care while complaining about a “’woodwork effect,’ an allusion to people [American citizens] who currently quality for Medicaid but are not covered and will ‘come out of the woodwork’ to qualify because of new changes affecting people without insurance.” Just think about that for a moment. Here you have Americans alluded to as bugs, as insects who will come out of the “woodwork” to get what, crumbs? Actually CONservatives, [see Mitt Romney and Steel Dynamics] are very skilled at getting government to assist them while pretending that the resources that they get, they got all by themselves when they have really benefited for jobs programs, activities subsidized in one fashion or another by a government of the people. Their brilliance is in their ability to convince their constituents that they don’t need the government while channeling government to assist their constituents. You even have a private entity Blue Cross/Blue Shield complaining about constituent services: complaining that “the hospital management company [with whom the big insurer has a dispute] and its lobbyists have donated thousands of dollars in “political contributions” to the governor.”

The health care conversation is Mississippi doesn’t just smell of classism, it reeks of elitism. The political establishment is fighting to maintain health care access for one group of Mississippians while being willing to in the words of a local reporter who’s been covering the Mississippi health care struggle for the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Ms., Sam R. Hall , to ignore “the loss of DSH payments” which “would equal nearly $1.4 billion” [these are federal funds paid to the state to help cover indigent care in hospitals which are scheduled to go away] and not expand Medicaid. In the words of Mr. Hall

“[t]hat’s $400 million more than if every single eligible Mississippian allowed joined after expanding the Medicaid program, and we know that’s 100 percent will never join.”

Pew!!!! We can’t just be imagining that smell. The state of Mississippi while begging for jobs from a country with universal health care continues to refuse to assist Mississippians making more than $5,500 per year, the Medical cutoff, get health care while compelling a private insurer to provide health care access for Mississippians making considerable more than $5,500, Mississippians making enough to afford a BCBS policy.

Remarkable still is the protestations about big government involvement in Mississippi and assertions of state’s rights (in the antebellum southern spirit) even to the point where Senator Thad Cochran will now face a Teabagger opponent even as a “proportion of federal spending in Mississippi is directed toward large federal installations such as Camp Shelby, John C. Stennis Space Center, Meridian Naval Air Station, Columbus Air Force Base, and Keesler Air Force Base.” And there are also the private sector extensions of the military industrial complex like Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
To ignore Tip O’Neill’s maxim, “all politics is local,” is to abandon the field to the Teabaggers who are the servants, wittingly or unwittingly, of the neo-feudalists who are ordering society in a fashion that produces less social mobility. And access to health care, if you look at the rest of the industrialized world, is critical to that dream as it provides the foundation for productivity so that “you can build that,” that being whatever your dream is.

Bryant orders 10 HMA hospitals back into Blue Cross network | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Lawmakers push ‘dramatic reforms’ for education | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

$20 million here $180 million there, and to paraphrase a line from a Republican who believed in social mobility, Everett Dirksen, “pretty soon you talking real money.” But don’t ask the neo-feudalists Republicans in Mississippi who are secretly attempting to subvert and demolish public education while handing-out advantages to their campaign supporters to count adequately funding public education as something we can afford. These opponents, like some Republicans on the national scene (see Mitt Romney and Steel Dynamics) are seemingly opposed to anything with Federal in its title or being, except when they or their cronies stand to gain handsomely

. In Mississippi they attack things like Common Core Standards in Education, a valiant attempt to improve public education. Could it be that improved public schools could reduce the viability of their crony-infested charter schools (fiefdoms) and their dream of one day privatizing them (expanding disparities in the process)? Observe the neo-feudalists closely and see them cry about spending $37 million a year on remediation for Mississippi high school graduates who aren’t ready for college while not adequately funding districts and then, having applied $37 million to the back end of the process, attempt to inflect the coup de grâce , charge the school districts for the cost of remediation, all the while siphoning-off what public funds were available for charter schools. The hard core neo-feudalist call efforts which resulted in the Common Core Standards and which were begun by Council of Chief State School Officers in 2007, and “developed in 2009 by the National Governors Association and strongly supported by former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour” but “embraced by the “Federal” government, in the words of Sen. Angela Burks-Hill, R-Picayune, MS, a “sell-out.” The neo-feudalists claim to be concerned with budgets and what we can afford, so much so that they refuse to even expand Medicaid (refusing to acknowledge or account for the reduction in lost man-hours attributable to preventative care and diversions away from emergency rooms and the expansion in economic development stimulated by accessible medical services the first three years of federal assistance.) Did I mention that Obamacare had provisions for more primary care doctors

The Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the so-called stimulus package) will together support the training of more than 16,000 new primary care providers over the next five years. )

But watch closely as they dam-up the river to make their own personal reservoirs, and charge the other stakeholders for the privilege of viewing the water.

“We [the conservative-controlled Mississippi legislature] pass something to reimburse everyone dollar-for-dollar, every penny they’ve paid in inventory taxes – something with the potential to cost the state $180 million a year – and nobody questions where that money is coming from,” explains Sen. Hob Bryan – D, Amory, Ms.

But that’s just the camel’s head in the tent, Sen. Bryan. I wonder if that inventory tax give-back benefited the big equipment company that recently moved from Jackson to Flowood, Ms., in the Republican stronghold of Rankin County MS, the Governor’s home county? Wonder if the people who sponsored and advocated the tax-give back got any campaign contributions from the recipients of the tax rebate? This reminds me of the lobbyist employment plan, I mean Charter School Law (“Each member of the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board must have demonstrated commitment to charter schooling as a strategy for strengthening public education”). And just what constitutes commitment to charter schooling? Contrast this to a simple commitment to accessible good public education for all children. This one line mandates dedication to the concept of charter schools regardless of outcome. Americans should be concerned with good, accessible public education not whether someone has been committed merely, to some, possibly failing, charter-school project somewhere in the known universe, someone who more than likely contributed to the right conservative candidate. Baked into the cronyism-lovers dream law are lots of goodies (you can hire your buddies over other qualified applicants and there are no provisions for fair purchasing practices as the law is also

an Act “TO EXEMPT CHARTER SCHOOLS FROM REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO PUBLIC PURCHASES”).

As for that class warfare in which the lords and their vassals are always accusing others of engaging, this is also a law which drives Mississippians further down the road to serfdom as it reduces the return on labor and abuses labor by prohibiting participation in the public employee retirement system by teachers and makes certain that they are not “covered under the Education Employment Procedures Law.” Section 53 (2) (b) of the law says

“The Education Employment Procedures Law shall not apply to any category of teacher, administrator or other employee * * * employed to work in any charter school * * *.”

And as a further reminder of how right that sage, Tip O’Neill was about all politics being local (also check out the attempt to move government functions from the capital city) there is the $20 million gift to the private sector, (who’s a member of Mitt Romney’s-looking-for-government-to-give-them-something 47%ers?) in Pearl, MS (Rankin County, MS a Republican stronghold). Didn’t Romney and Paul Ryan complain about the government picking winners and losers? Didn’t they take issue with Obama saying that the government provided the background and foundation for many private successes, as in “you didn’t build that?”

“We’re [the Republican controlled Mississippi legislature] giving $20 million to people building a shopping center in Pearl – one they were already going to build – and nobody asks from where that money will come, says Sen. Bryan.”

Wonder if the sponsors and advocates of that provision were or will be the beneficiaries of campaign contributions from the recipients or will get some type of no-show mafia type jobs after leaving office? This way of doing things is possible only because the serfs, just like the people who fought on behalf of a slave-holding society even though most of them didn’t own slaves, can’t imagine life any other way and are comfortable depending on the trickle, from their labor that, falls down. In Mississippi, ignorance is bliss but in the case of the vassals who maintain loyalty to the lords, knowledge is power. What we need are really great Dirksen -Republicans so that we can focus on increasing economic security. Adequately funding public education and expanding Medicaid are equality of opportunity issues. They are ideas for our time. In the words of Senator Everett Dirksen:

“Victor Hugo wrote in his diary substantially this sentiment, ‘Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come.’ The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing of government, in education, and in employment. It must not be stayed or denied.”

In a Democratic Republic, capitalism is a tool used for the distribution goods and services, to meet the needs of the people and not the inverse. Democratic-Republics are not the servants of capitalism. It is not as conservatives, like the Kochs, would have you believe sacrosanct, and they are not our lords whose pronouncements on the proper taxation levels and the distribution of goods and service we are to receive as holy writ simply because of their wealth and position.

Lawmakers push ‘dramatic reforms’ for education | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Scrambled Religion for Breakfast?

Just watched Dr. Carson’s speech at the recent National Prayer Breakfast. Never knew he was a spokesman for FreedomWorks and the Heritage Foundation with all that talk about Health Savings Accounts(at 21:10 in the video). In his deified “free-enterprise” system (a system that has never existed when you considered how big players routinely combined to bar entry and restrict competition see McCarran–Ferguson Act) how many “85 year-olds” with “six diseases” are going to have anything in a HSA to pay medical bills? When you consider the crack about not having to worry about a “Dealth Panel” because you have an HSA that may be the idea behind the practice basically to make sure that survival of the economic fitness is given a chance to fully flower. Who needs any stinking end of life counseling? Just let the money run, end of conversation. Isn’t that so much more humane?
(Listen to Dr. Carson’s example about the diabetic “choosing” to go the clinic instead of the emergency room because of the amount of money he has in his HSA at about 21:40 in the video)

In this “free-enterprise” system who is the “we” who will put money into the HSA’s (would they be like a Goldman-Sachs account) of the indigent instead of some implied “Medicare-like bureaucracy” as you propose? What is amazing is how American-styled capitalism (it’s not the only type of capitalism that exists) how American-style capitalism has left us a nation where doctors who have Jesus as a role model (see video about 17:58), I don’t recall Jesus charging the paralytic for healing or the lepers filing bankruptcy because they couldn’t pay for their cure, are supporting a health system which is put to shame by the Buddhist in Japan :).