Tag Archives: Medicare

Loose-Screws Cruz

Loose-Screws Cruz and the Republican conservatives continue to run interference for the health insurance industry

Wonder how much the insurance companies are funneling to this guy’s campaign through the Club for Growth’s PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families who contributed $705,657 to his campaign? It’s easy for this clown who can purchase private health insurance offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to ban with the one (Bozell-the-Clown) who recently came to Jackson Ms to tell the unwashed masses to tell their congresspersons to repeal a plan that allows other Americans to buy insurance on exchanges. Loose-Screws Cruz can choose from among Consumer-Driven and High Deductible plans that offer catastrophic risk protection with higher deductibles, health savings/reimbursable accounts and lower premiums, or Fee-for-Service (FFS) plans, and their Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), or Health Maintenance Organizations. Loose-Screws Cruz and other “conservatives” seem determined to conserve and preserve the gap in health and wealth they have by opposing a plan that closes the donut hole for seniors. At $165,200 per year, Loose-Screws and the rest of the court jesters can better afford to assist in meeting the needs of the seniors in their families who themselves probably take advantage of the socialism bequeath to them by a previous Democratic administration, that socialism known as Medicare. Yes, the jokers can probably assist those family members without assistance from the Affordable Care Act. Repeal probably seems reasonable to them. But to the unwashed masses, pulling-up affordable health care, including premium rebates(last year’s rebates totaled $1.1 billion), premium containment(Many Americans will pay even less than the top-line rates after factoring in government subsidies for their health coverage, with some paying nothing at all for crucial medical coverage), life-time caps removal, and funds for more primary care doctors, by the roots is no laughing matter. However, placing themselves in the service of this cause becomes a game of Russian Roulette with the gun pointed at vulnerable Americans. The jokers and clowns have wealth and their donors to keep them safe if and when the trigger is pulled. This leaves the puppet masters and their jokers and clowns laughing all the way to the bank.

Mississippi leaders to fight closing of any military bases | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Excuse me! Excuse me! Ex-cusssse Meeeeee! Aren’t you conservatives always saying government can’t create jobs?

“[B]ut our philosophy is that government doesn’t create jobs. Government’s job is to create an environment in which business can thrive. Businesses create jobs.” – Ms. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves

They don’t really believe that so they crank-up the smoke machine. Sen. Roger Wicker, R. M, in response to proposed funding of the military base closings and realignments commission appropriation bill, indignantly responds,

“I’m opposed to this proposal,” Wicker said. “We have seen with the embassy threat, this isn’t the time to be talking about closing military bases.”

The imaginary correlation of keeping Mississippi bases open to protecting embassies aside, aren’t the conservatives and their Teabagger Republican Guard such penny-pinchers that they think we can’t afford to fund embassy security?

“For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.”

So if Republicans really think, like Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who “absolutely” voted to cut the funding for embassy security because “we have to make priorities and choices in this country,” then keeping bases open in Mississippi, to the extent that they had any embassy security mission, would not be the “conservative” thing to do since government spending, contrary to Keynesian principles, is bad.

Furthermore if you are prioritizing, the Tea-Bagger-Chaffetz way, you may decide to reorganize for efficiency sake, because cutting government jobs is the way to “grow” the economy and the deficit, wink, wink, is stifling economic growth. So, for efficiency sake, maybe some of the things accomplished by Mississippi’s military bases could be accomplished more efficiently in Louisiana or Alabama or Arkansas or some of the other conservative strongholds that receive so much in federal benefits or some other state (pull the transfer payments, tax revenue and borrowing transferred to the have-nots, whether they be veterans benefits, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, etc. from many states in the union and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between those states and some third world country). But let’s go back to our examination of how this efficiency operation plays out. “Fort Knox was known as the home of the Army’s tank and armored vehicle training for more than seven decades, before the Pentagon completed the move of the school to Fort Benning, Ga., in 2011”

So consolidations and operation transfers under this model should be a dream come true for the hyper-deficit sensitive Teabaggers. However, the Mississippi Teabaggers didn’t show up to protest the pigs at the troth at the press conference in Mississippi the other day where elected officials stressed the need to “protect the $2.6 billion economic impact the military has in Mississippi. There are 37,000 Mississippians employed in military jobs with a payroll of $1.7 billion.” They didn’t show up because it would have been an attack on their class. You see they aren’t against all government programs because they are in fact the beneficiaries of some of them. The official Mississippi response to the base closing commission is superficially about things like embassy security but actually it is an admission that government transfer payments are beneficial to the state. The actions taken by elected officials were primarily to protect a powerful political block in the state, a powerful group of government workers in uniform. Why else would officials fight to get the federal government to transfer funds to the state of Mississippi to maintain installations that may very well represent inefficient resource allocations? The Pentagon is eliminating Fort Knox’s “3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division as part of a major restructuring that will reduce the Army’s active duty combat brigades to 33 from 45. The cuts will reduce the size of the Army from about 570,000 in the midst of the Iraq war down to 490,000, which includes personnel in units that support the brigades.” So the threat to Mississippi’s federal government workers is real. But you don’t find the conservatives, mitigating the possible damage done by any base closings by acknowledging the multiplier effect of having the federal government pay for healthcare in the state through the Affordable Care Act. Those benefits don’t affect or enhance the lifestyle of people who are benefiting from military transfer payments, directly, at least to their reckoning. It’s covert class warfare.

If the conservative power structure was really concerned about the average worker and not the big insurers’ profits and the taxes on higher incomes (some derived from the government) and the returns on their investments(like insurance company shares), if the conservative power structure wasn’t sustained by the voting pattern of other government workers who are insulated by the benefits from they received from the government (like good healthcare) they would be working to repeal the insurance industries anti-trust exemptions and expand Medicaid. If the conservative power structure was concerned about the working poor all who were burdened by constantly rising premiums long before Obamacare, it would ignore the pleas from Heritage and Cato to block the efforts to open insurance exchanges. But the hypocrisy exposed in the pursuit of government benefits while denouncing government benefits reveals the neo-feudal terrain which is Mississippi.

Mississippi leaders to fight closing of any military bases | 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 :).

Lee Atwater’s dog whistle may kill Mississippi’s Insects

The silence of a significant portion of Mississippian Republicans illustrates how responsive they are to the smaller-government and free-market dog whistles. They should be howling at the obstruction of Medicaid expansion. Smaller government should be anathema to Mississippians when you consider the state’s median income ($$36,919 vs. $50,054 U.S.), and per capita income ($28,845 vs. $38,611 for the country), when you consider the number of people who supplement their income by joining the national guard, when you consider the state’s farm subsidies, when you consider the boon to ship building the government has been for Mississippi (Ingalls Shipbuilding is the state’s largest private employer). And then there is the irreconcilable differences between the call for free markets and all of the afore-mentioned government intervention. We won’t get into the godsend that the government programs Medicare and Social Security have been to Mississippi and how the “free market” god couldn’t have cared less no matter what it’s disciples claim. You began to understand how the dog whistle works when despite the reference to voters and some of their constituents as bugs (coming out of the woodwork to receive government subsidized healthcare) RepubliCons still get so much support from the poor in Mississippi many of whom count themselves as Republicans. You see Lee Atwater summed it up best: Make sure you’re “talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.” In light of the fact that not everyone who would get access to healthcare under Medicaid expansion is black, that Atwater dog whistle may prove deadly to some of the people responding to it.

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