Tag Archives: health insurance industry

Mr. President, Lucy always moves the football(but now the chains are off)

The thing President Obama seems to never learn is that Lucy, in the Charlie Brown comic script, always moves the football so that Charlie Brown misses his kick.  Translation:  The health insurance companies never intended to cooperate and they will never cooperate so you need to stop playing the conservatives game. Mr. President when you apologized for the cancellations that the health insurance companies sent out, your weren’t strong enough in stating the realities.  Mr. President I hate to be the one to tell you this but you’re at war. And you should state the case unequivocally:  There are people who don’t want to cover pre-existing conditions because it cuts into their profit margins, therefore they will raise your rates.  Stay on message: “I am not taking your policies away.”  Mr.  President you need to hone your message because people don’t get it unless you do.  Stay on message in an “Its-the-economy-stupid” kind of way.  You are in a campaign to change the conversation.  Tell the American people that you are fighting for them and that “the insurance companies are taking your insurance away.”  Tell the American people that we are going to close the doughnut hole, insurance companies will refund premium payments to customers (a total of $1.5 billion overhead savings and insurance rebates to Americans since its implementation in 2011),  that we will through the ACA, supply funding for scholarships and loan repayments for primary care doctors and nurses working in underserved areas and funding to support the construction of and expand services at community health centers and no amount of sabotage in the form of cancellation notices will change that.  Mr. President here is where the Conservatives keep winning they keep it simply and repeat.  Take a lesson from the cowboy theater and watch someone like Donald Rumsfeld because it appears that the American people are accepting even when the message is stupid, if you state it simply. Just watch:

The conservatives continually refer to the ACA as a train wreck, this is an attempt to saturate the the American psyche with falsehood because they know that repetition of the big lie works as FDR explained years ago

About your messaging problem, this is what you said back in 2009 according to Politifact:

“When I say if you have your plan and you like it, or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don’t have to change plans, what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform. … Let’s say that we take the advice of some folks who are out there and say, ‘Oh, this is not the time to do health care. We can’t afford it. It’s too complicated. Let’s take our time,’ et cetera. So let’s assume that nothing happened. I can guarantee you that there’s the possibility for a whole lot of Americans out there that they’re not going to end up having the same health care they have. Because what’s going to happen is, as costs keep on going up, employers are going to start making decisions: ‘We’ve got to raise premiums on our employees. In some cases, we can’t provide health insurance at all.’ And so there are going to be a whole set of changes out there. That’s exactly why health reform is so important.”

Mr. President you are dealing with an “is-Khole-going-to-leave-Lamar” America, I mean Mr. President, the guy we elected before you said things like this:

Too many good ob/gyn’s aren’t able to do what?

People who voted for him, Mr. Bush, are far more likely to cherry-pick your words and attempt to hold you to standards they don’t even now apply to him and never held him, Mr. Bush,  and his “we-will-be-greeted-as-liberators” crowd accountable for the contributions that the war that would “pay for itself” has added to and continues to add to the national debt.  You remember the “smoking-gun-mushroom-cloud” gang.  Don’t fixate on their agenda. And yes I do say that their concern with the national debt is bull hockey and the evidence is the absence of Tea Parties in the Bush years.

So Mr. President, with an audience which is so inattentive to the nuts and bolts of how things work and who are unlikely to see the sabotage at work, the only part of that paragraph that was really useful for moving the agenda of health care access forward was  “what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform.”

Remember you are dealing with a public that devotes a huge amount of their mental capacity and emotional involvement to entertainment.  They don’t have time or enough capacity left to digest paragraphs.  Therefore repeat: “Those cancellations come from for-profit insurance companies and they cancel policies for-profit every year.”

The health care industry cancels plans every year.  The government is not going to make you change your plan.  The insurance industry chose to gouge you for profit sake, thus the cancellations.  Lucy pulled the ball away.  Remember that the ball with which we are playing was Lucy’s ball from the start; we didn’t have a public option which means that the for-profit health insurance industry controlled how the game was played, who gets access related to coverage.  Just remember when you hear someone complaining about the President’s promise that we don’t know which of the cancellation notices would have been sent or which of the policies would have been altered even if congress hadn’t passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Mr. President some of your surrogates should be telling the public ever day, all day that that there was “normal turnover in the individual insurance market” before the the ACA and that  “40 to 67 percent” of customers would not have been able to keep their policies anyway.  The truth of the matter is, the insurance industry cancels plans to maintain and increase profit margins and would do so whether or not Obamacare existed.

Mr. President when it is reported that explanations for cancellations go like this

The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1,

 

the health insurers may not be so much like Lucy as they are like the abusive white supremacists in Pulp Fiction.  The insurers are actually treating American citizens, only for profit, the way that Marcellus and Butch were being treated in Pulp Fiction, in essence like we’re at their, health insurance companies, mercy.

 

Mr. President you don’t have an election to win anymore and in the words of Marcellus its time to get “Medieval” on this mob.

 

Continually challenge the CONNINGservatives to pull the anti-trust exemption which can’t be good in any “free market” sense for the American consumer.  As a matter of fact, America doesn’t need for-profit insurance companies we need health care access for all. That is the challenge for progressives.  We need to get our views in the conversation as consistently as the Crypto-Fascists who are using every tool in the box to maintain the worst, most expensive healthcare delivery system (go find the Brits, Canadians, French, or Japanese who go bankrupt because of medical expenses) among the major industrialized nations.

Jameson Taylor: Demonizing now a common tactic | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

This from the birth-certificate-secret-Moslem-against-Obama crowd.  Demonization has been the bread and butter of the Tea-Party, cousins of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy(Jameson Taylor’s) people.  In fact his organization is only a front for the oligarchs.  Consider them the Mississippi branch of the Heritage Foundation, it the creation of the Koch brothers and Paul-shrink-the-electorate Weyrich.  Only in the twisted minds of the conservatives is inequality not tantanmount to bigotry. 

And of course those who oppose the insurance exchanges are protecting the oligarch-centric status quo.  Of course the corporate front groups like the Mississippi Public Policy Center would see Medicaid as a failure and long for a return to the days when doctors accepted chickens for check-ups. 

Chickens for check-ups

And you could never expect these so-called champions of the free-market to lobby for removal of the anti-trust exemption that the insurance industry has because they are fakes and aren’t interested in bettering the condition of the average American.  They are only here to confuse you and muddy the waters to protect the status quo.  You come to expect them to say things like “Never mind that the Bible also teaches we should pay our debts and that expanding government entitlement programs unjustly burdens future generations. “  But they can’t show you where in the bible Jesus dunned a paraplegic for his healing or turned the healed blind man’s bill over to collections subsequently driving him into bankruptcy.  So they have to forgive us, if they can find that concept in their bible, for thinking of them as merciless, even if they feel “demonized.” 

And when this crowd that feels demonized says “Medicaid patients have much higher mortality rates and much poorer health outcomes than people on private insurance.”  Did they ever stop to think that to the extent that that is true, if it is true at all, then the difference might have something to do with income-related environmental factors, i.e. the availability and costs of healthy food, and environmental pollution factors which give health conditions before treatment or diagnosis different starting points.

And then the disingenuous corporate flacks say “As hard as it is to believe, Medicaid patients even fare worse than the uninsured — many of whom are getting health care in some way, but paying out-of-pocket for it.”  If the uninsured are paying “out-of-pocket” we are dealing with quite a different group, from an income level, than those who qualify for Medicaid. So the question is who are you counting as uninsured?  And using the emergency room for primary care is not a serious comparison to having Medicaid. 

 

    The commentators arguing that Medicaid causes poor outcomes anticipate some objections by noting that the cited studies include some variables to address socioeconomic and cultural factors that
    can negatively influence the health of poorer Medicaid patients. Their interpretation of the results, then, must be that Medicaid patients have worse clinical outcomes than uninsured patients with the same socioeconomic and cultural characteristics, including, presumably, health-related behavior before and after a given procedure.

    If so, the problem must lie with the physicians and hospitals (many of them academic medical centers) providing care for Medicaid patients. Are these commentators assuming that poor, uninsured patients, who in principle may qualify for Medicaid, actually have the resources to pay doctors and hospitals more than Medicaid would and that providers therefore give these patients better care and attention, leading to better outcomes? Or is the assumption that only less technically proficient doctors and health care facilities accept Medicaid patients, and the associated lack of skill and resources results in poor clinical outcomes?

It is simply odd, to put it in non-demonizing terms, that these conservative think-tank guys have so much concern for the poor and uninsured now after a Democratic House, Senate, and President started supplying legislation to address pre-existing conditions and life-time caps and money to close the donut hole and money for additional primary care doctors.  And “The ACA authorizes money to increase the primary care workforce by training more doctors, nurses, nurse-practitioners and physician assistants. It includes more graduate medical education training positions, with priorities for primary care and general surgery, and more money for scholarships and loans for all health professionals. The law expands the number of patients seen at community health centers in areas with too few doctors and increases the number of staffers who work in the centers. It also expands nurse-managed clinics at nursing schools where nurses in training see patients who live in the area.”

But the truth is that Medicaid is working and so is Medicare despite efforts by the corporatists to degrade and destroy them at every term and install in their place a greater neo-feudal system.

 

Jameson Taylor: Demonizing now a common tactic | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Et tu, Federal Government?

Thus comes the cry from Mississippi’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. Claiming somehow that he expected approval for a plan he submitted to the Department of HHS without the Governor’s signature he ridiculously cries betrayal(A State’s Declaration Letter must be signed by the State’s Governor). Futhermore Mr. Chaney chose to ignore the fact that the Affordable Care Act “says that the exchanges have to be one-stop shops for both private insurance and Medicaid.”
How can Chaney get away with such blatant misinformation? He is basically running interference for big insurance companies while pretending to be for the average working Mississippian. He and other Mississippi RepubliCons talk of free-market approaches as a remedy for rising health care costs when they know full well that the health insurance industry has the McCarran–Ferguson Act and lack of regulation, which saddles Americans with billions of dollars a year in excess costs, in place to maintain the existing order and to harden the stratification and widen the wealth gap.

This is understandable in Mississippi, where some are not entitled to freedom from want of health care. Mississippians, owing to a basic fear of change and obeisance to crypto-fascist “leadership,” are destined to remain last in so many categories. When you consider farm subsidies and military installations and the boon to ship building provided by the federal government and, historically, earmarks, the Federal government to Mississippi is not betrayer, Mr. Chaney, but the love which dare not speak its name.