Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The LuLac Edition #849, June 16th, 2009



One of the biggest things President Obama wants to accomplish is the reform of the Health Care System in America. Monday the President addressed the AMA and laid out his plan for meaningful change in this area. Obama stressed that he wanted to bring down health care costs and make it available to all Americans. Here’s why he will succeed:
1. Unlike the Clinton Health Care Reform package of the 90s, people are ready for a change. Skyrocketing costs have put health care out of reach for a major segment of the middle class. Even small business owners who provide health care see the need because of the high cost of premiums.
2. Your average American who has already sustained “sticker shock” at the gas pump and for basic necessities now find the same thing going on with their health care premiums. To many, not all, but too many health care is not a good deal but a form of economic blackmail. Pre existing conditions, (you will never be denied coverage for one of those but the insurance company won’t pay for it) yearly rate increases, burgeoning surpluses from non profit companies as well as high executive pay all factors in to the perception that health insurance is not an altruistic entity when it comes to Joe Citizen.
3. The credibility of any big business concern has been strained by the Wall Street bailouts, the executive bonuses as well as the perception that two classes exist in America, the haves and have nots. In the 90s when Insurance companies warned of a government takeover of health care, citizens bought into the message. Back then the business community had some credibility. Today big business is looked at as only being concerned with profits and not helping the “little guy”. Major health organizations have done some things to combat that argument. Locally one of the health insurers put in a drug tier system where members could get free prescription drugs on certain medicines. Rather than thanking the company for this innovate member sharing, the reaction of more than few policy holders was one of entitlement to “it’s about time”. People seem to trust government more than business. That’s the big change.
4. That change came about because the last administration had no social empathy. Left to their own devices, American business went on a drunken orgy of profits and mega bonuses, credit card extortion and lending practices that let the middle class on the outside looking in. Unfortunately for the responsible health care insurance companies, they have been caught in the crossfire of public anger and mistrust.
5. The arguments that you may wait for weeks to see a Doctor or may not get treatment on a condition are now seen as empty threats by the public. Personally it took me 6 weeks to see an orthopedic doctor from a referral from my primary care physician. Pre existing conditions are making patients wait anyway until the limitation time has passed. Americans are waiting for health care now anyway so no one is being cowed by the argument of waiting for treatment.
6. Every election is a reaction to a prior one. Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 was a reaction to the massive reforms and racial strife all engendered by the Kennedy/Johnson era. Jimmy Carter (I’ll never lie to you”) was elected as a response to Watergate. Ronald Reagan’s sunny optimism was a reaction to the Cater malaise. There all have been reactions but 2008 provided a tidal wave reaction unseen of in American political life. The unlikely ascendancy of Barack Obama came about because the party in charge had the highest disdain and disregard for average citizens in American history. At every step, there was a reminder that the administration was on the wrong course from meat inspection to the environment to the war in Iraq. Everything seemed to be fast tracked for the rich while the people who just wanted a slice of the American pie were denied it. Denied it gleefully by the powers in the White House and Congress. I was a staunch Hillary supporter but one of the things that brought me over to Obama (Mrs. LuLac has not crossed over and most likely won’t) was when he said, “The American people don’t want much. They just want fair wages, good health care for their family and the opportunity to succeed”. That resonated because unlike the greed on Wall Street and in private business, it isn’t much. And Obama is going to use his bully pulpit along with the dissatisfaction felt by average citizens to make health care happen. Those are my reasons why I think this is going to be different than the 90s.
Already the President is marshalling his troops from the campaign. A fundraising e mail went out Tuesday and here’s a bit of what it said:
The campaign to pass real health care reform in 2009 is the biggest test of our movement since the election. Once again, victory is far from certain. Our opposition will be fierce, and they have been down this road before. To prevail, we must once more build a coast-to-coast operation ready to knock on doors, deploy volunteers, get out the facts, and show the world how real change happens in America.And just like before, I cannot do it without your support.So I'm asking you to remember all that you gave over the last two years to get us here -- all the time, resources, and faith you invested as a down payment to earn us our place at this crossroads in history. All that you've done has led up to this -- and whether or not our country takes the next crucial step depends on what you do right now.
Please donate whatever you can afford to support the campaign for real health care reform in 2009. It doesn't matter how much you can give, as long as you give what you can. Millions of families on the brink are counting on us to do just that. I know we can deliver.
So the Obama warriors from the campaign are off and running. They better be because in a report from Buffalo New York on You Tube it is evident that there are Democrats and private citizens who feel Obama is not doing enough for health care reform. Take a look at this:

That all said, the Obama effort is getting a boost from ABC News. In a history making broadcast, on the evening of June 24, the media and government will become united in this health care campaign. ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House and then the network will follow suit with a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room. Reports are that ABC will follow up with its cadre of news programs. You can be sure that after this initial ABC surge, the other networks will follow giving the President’s Health Care Plan unprecedented scrutiny as well as promotion. Like his candidacy, the American people regarding the health care issue are no longer asking the question “how” but “when”.


The Times Leader today questioned the Home Rule Charter committee members on their openness in studying the form of government in Luzerne County.
"WE FOUND IT disconcerting the Luzerne County Government Study Commission’s first discussions included limiting public access and opening the possibility of meeting behind closed doors at times. Earlier this month one member found a state law that said such boards “may hold private meetings.” Then, last week the freshly minted group limited citizen comments to four minutes a speaker. We understand that public bodies, at times, must have the ability to deal with legally sensitive issues in private or cut off speakers who are rambling or using forums for personal gain. But let’s not make those the initial concerns. The spirit of the state Sunshine Law and the agency charged with enforcing it lean toward openness. With a major chore in front of them that may result in restructuring the three-commissioner form of government, why would some commission members even entertain thoughts of limiting public access so early in the process?"
Those concerns were voiced in Edition #843-June 10th of LuLac as well as by some commission members as well as local citizens who feel there are a couple of “ringers” on the commission with anything but reform on their mind. We shall see. And once more the Times Leader has proven it has the pulse on the heartbeat of this community.


At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki: Good cohesive piece on health care. Perhaps if the health care industry did the right thing all along, there would be no need for reform. I am in my fifties and I do not trust government but trust business even less. And how can government screw up health care any less than an insurance company. Ever try to get a claim paid inside of a month? Go Bama!

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Times Leader is on the right track. Seems like the good old boys on the charter have something to hide.

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Single payer will not fly but enough people aRE DISGUSTED ENOUGH TO STEAMROLL THE gOP INTO AGREEING. The party has only itself to blame for ragging on the middle class since they took over congress in 94.

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brenda Williams was a patient gov't run health care. I would do with out, before excepting sub standard gov't run health care.

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How they gonna pay? For those of us that have health insurance, the gov't is gonna tax the benefit, pushing us up into higher tax brackets. Yipee!

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about gov't subsidized housing? o wait we have that.
how about gov't subsidized food? o wait we have that too.
How about the gov't let us have the money we earn and we take care of ourselves? o wait that is democracy we don't have that anymore


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