Saturday, August 22, 2009

Texas Health Insurance Sucks - Why Do Texans Want To Keep It?

Finally the Democrats are figuring out that the GOP is never going to reconcile on Insurance Reform. I call it that because this is what this whole thing is about. Health Reform mostly means insurance reform and it's time we called it what it is. The Republicans have been sucking the teat of the insurance companies for so long they are afraid do anything that will upset them. In Texas that is particularly true.

How bad is it here in the Lone Star State?
  • 25 percent of people in Texas are uninsured, and 75 percent of them are in families with at least one full-time worker. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • The percent of Texans with employer coverage is declining: from 57 to 50 percent between 2000 and 2007.
  • Much of the decline is among workers in small businesses. While small businesses make up 70 percent of Texas businesses,9 only 32 percent of them offered health coverage benefits in 2006 -- down 5 percent since 2000.
  • Choice of health insurance is limited in Texas. HCSC (Blue Cross Blue Shield ) alone constitutes 39 percent of the health insurance market share in Texas, with the top two insurance providers accounting for 59 percent.
  • Choice is even more limited for people with pre-existing conditions. In Texas, premiums can vary based on demographic factors and health status, and coverage can exclude pre-existing conditions or even be denied completely.
To make matters worse, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality give Texas a "weak" rating as far as quality of care. We have a population that is seeing more and more health problems as well.
  • 20 percent of children in Texas are obese.
  • 25 percent of women over the age of 50 in Texas have not received a mammogram in the past two years.
  • 44 percent of men over the age of 50 in Texas have never had a colorectal cancer screening.
  • 66 percent of adults over the age of 65 in Texas have received a flu vaccine in the past year.
So with this kind of situation staring us in the face, tell me why the hell anyone would be upset at having a better, cheaper option to the existing insurance system that quite frankly doesn't cover nearly enough people or conditions?

It's time the Democratic Party went it alone and started acting like the majority. If they don't, they will loose that majority in coming elections. Now, write your Congressperson and tell them to get with the program!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Signs & Wonders - Pastor Blames Tornado On Gays

It figures. When faced with the wonders of nature, some people with puny beliefs have to make connections with the insignificant activities of us humans to everything, and I am not talking about global warming (a real thing!).

John Piper, pastor at Minneapolis’ Bethlehem Baptist Church ( of course he's a Baptist!) has blamed the city's recent tornado damage squarely on the shoulders of not only gays, but Lutheran gays. He sites the recent Lutheran conclave and the decision to “agree to disagree” on the issue of homosexuality.

What a strange God this minister follows. A sociopathic entity who selectively punishes innocent people for the actions and thoughts of others? If that is Old Tyme Religion, count me firmly in the New Age.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Michael Jackson's Doctor May Be Charged With Manslaughter

Don't say I didn't tell you that this would happen, but Michael Jackson's Doctor, Conrad Murry is being charged with manslaughter according to a Fox News report. According to the report there are arrests and more charges coming, too.
"Murray isn’t the only doctor who faces criminal charges in connection with Jackson's death on June 25. A law enforcement source told that Jackson’s longtime dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, will be hit with charges related to medical malpractice. Investigators are still building their case against Klein, and he will not be arrested for at least another two weeks, the source said."

Health Care Explained on a Napkin

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

American's Want Government "Out of Medicare"?

Never underestimate the stupidity of the American People, or at least some of them.

This latest poll was ostensibly about Health Care, but it really exposes a problem with our educational system.

Public Policy Polling asked people if the "government should stay out of Medicare".
39% said yes!

To make matters worse, only 62% of those responding believe President Obama is a US citizen. Of the 38 percent who either don't believe or are unsure, some think he was born in Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, or France.

Six percent of the total poll respondents also don't think Hawaii is a U.S. state.

I fear for our Republic.

Barney Frank Says What Everyone Else Is Affraid To Say!

I can only say that Barney Frank again has earned my respect as he confronts one of the crazies who are comparing Obama to Hitler.

Colbert Skewers the Pundits Again!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Health Care Forum Descends Into Antisemitism

The blatant racism expressed at these town hall meetings has now spilled over into antisemitism. At a meeting in Las Vegas a man who was praising the health care system of Israel was shouted down with taunts of "Heil Hitler"!

This crap the GOP is calling debate is a ruse, it's just plain hatred and has nothing to do with the health care system, it's all about the White House and the Republicans no longer being in control. Enough already!

Anchorage Mayor Vetos Gay Rights Ordinance

If you ever wondered about Alaska being the "trailer park" of America, well here is further confirmation. The Mayor of Anchorage vetoed a LGBT rights ordinance. Sarah Palin apparently is pretty typical of Alaskans in her homophobic views.

Now if this sounds like I am throwing down the gauntlet, I am. Please someone from Alaska prove me wrong.

Jack McGeorge Passes

I just got an email that my friend and fellow leatherman Jack McGeorge died today. He was a founder of Black Rose in Washington DC and an active speaker and presenter.

Jack was also an arms inspector by trade and worked with the United Nations prior to the Iraq War looking for WMD. He was outed in the press and did not waver in his job. Now that's something anyone can aspire to.

Jack was a charming and very funny guy and I will miss seeing him at events and parties.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Glen Beck Looses More and More Sponsors

What do ConAgra, GEICO,, Men's Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Roche, SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Sargento, State Farm Insurance, Wal-Mart, CVS, Best Buy, Allergan, GMAC, Broadview Security,Re-Bath and Travelocity have in common?

They have all pulled their advertising from Glenn Beck's show on Fox.

Beck's baseless drivel and specifically his accusation that the president is a "racist" have gotten his ass in a crack and with luck Fox will find his show unprofitable and put the country out of our misery. Sending Beck to the TV boneyard would be the best thing for American Television since color.

Crazy Arizonans With Guns At Obama Event!

Now pardon me if I am overreacting, but what the hell is the Secret Service doing letting people with assault rifles and pistols at a Town Hall event where the president is speaking?

If this was during the Bush reign, the guy would be in Guantanamo already. This is getting really crazy and security seems way too lax! WTF!

More Republican Lies About Health Care Reform

I guess when you don't have a valid argument you just have to make stuff up?

Roy Blunt, House Republican from the Show Me State (Missouri) needs someone to show him the truth so he can stop lying. This from the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
“I’m 59,” Mr. Blunt said last week during a meeting with Post-Dispatch reporters and editors. “In either Canada or Great Britain, if I broke my hip, I couldn’t get it replaced.”
We fact-checked that. At least 63 percent of hip replacements performed in Canada last year and two-thirds of those done in England were on patients age 65 or older. More than 1,200 in Canada were done on people older than 85.
Stop lying Mr. Blunt. Americans are sick and dying because of our broken health care system and you can't even tell the truth?

District 9 - Smart Science Fiction

In the recent flood of high-tech effects movies there is no shortage of eye popping effects, but what has been missing is a real plot. All the 3-D in the world can't make up for a poor story. Luckily the latest film from director Neill Blomkamp has a great story and the special effects in this case make it possible.

The insect-like creatures derogatorily referred to as "prawns" in the film would not be possible or believable without the artistry of an army of digital artists. They have done their job so well you forget the creatures are not real.

The story is profound in its examination of xenophobia and apartheid. It is a long way from ET to District 9 and that is a good thing. The film is not for kids by any stretch of the imagination, but it will keep adults enthralled. I was on the edge of my seat for much of the film and when it was over I was exhausted. Everyone at the theater I attended went out saying the same thing. "District 9 is the best science fiction film in decades."

I put this on the list right in front of the other sci-fi sleeper this year, "Moon". Though Moon is a much slower paced movie, it was equally enjoyable and thought provoking and that is what the best science fiction does, make you think!

Democrats Give Up On Public Option?

Can't get health insurance? Don't count on Congress to do anything about it. The current Democratic majority seems to be just as cowed as the GOP when it comes to bucking the insurance industry. That's the bad here is the worse news. Congress is making noises about removing the public option from the health care reform bill. That leaves 46 million Americans still without health insurance. But hey, those guys don't vote anyway so what the hell?

Congress and the White House are letting the GOP run the show even though they are clearly in the minority. Why? They are, and this is being charitable, gutless. They are afraid of being labeled liberal by Fox News and the GOP. Why the hell don't they just become Republicans?

If the Democratic Party isn't going to institute any real change, the change that they were voted into office for, then what the hell difference does it make? And that is exactly what the GOP wants. They want real progressives to give up and just hand the government over to them in the next election.

How do we stop it? Well it's a sure bet the Demnocratic Party won't do anything. The only way to get real change is to elect folks in the primaries who are real liberals. It's time to clean house in the Democratic Party. The fossils that have held on to their seats for decades have to go. The Blue Dogs have to go, the liberal talking conservative voting Democrats have to go!

It may be too late. Lots of people who got motivated by the Obama campaign are already loosing faith as one by one the promises are forgotten or postponed. Maybe it is hopeless and our country is a total loss for anyone but the rich. If that is the case, depressed people might turn to a more radical form of governmnet to affect change and that would be a shame.

Those who read history know how popular Communism became in the depression era. Perhaps some new form of system may appear to give the "little guy" hope and perhaps not. Either way something has to change or we will go back to the same broken system we have now.

The looting of the country by buisness and CEOs cannot continue forever. Of course those who are rich enough will just pack up and move to a sunny climate and spend their days burning up the hard earne4d money they stole from the rest of us.