missmurchison
missmurchison
..:.:. :.: ::: ...:..


About this journal
I post vampire porn and random squawks here. You may also be subjected to local news, provided it's absurd, and pictures of my children during their formative years. Politics will be mentioned at times, and it goes without saying those posts will also be absurd.

September 2013
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missmurchison [userpic]
Fact of the day

Insurance companies have near monopolies in many states.

Bonus fact: The senior Senator from my state needs a dictionary: He's against a public option because he wants people to have choice.

Special bonus fact: Tom Coburn is a heartless bastard. Apparently, people who can't get health insurance should beg from their neighbors because government "is not the answer." (Except when he "diagnosed" Terry Schiavo from a video tape and got the whole damn federal government involved in a family decision.)

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missmurchison [userpic]
Fact of the day

A U.S. Senator wants to destroy the Canadian prescription drug system. At least, that's what he seems to be saying.



I believe re-importation will cause the pricing system world-wide that the big drug companies exploit to collapse. Right now the big drug companies are able to charge very different prices in different countries, and of course we pay the highest price of all. If they did that, like they do now, but then we can write off to Canada, and pass certain safety provisions, and get drugs from there - guess what? That system implodes. That system can't survive. So my ultimate goal, in terms of re-importation, is causing that system to collapse, so there's a true, world-wide price for a drug. And that might - wouldn't might - that would increase the cost in Canada, that would dramatically decrease the cost in the US.

Does that theoretical reduction in costs include adult diapers, Dave?

And setting aside the workability of your plan, why is it superior to empowering the US government to negotiate for lower drug prices on behalf of seniors and eventually others?

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missmurchison [userpic]
Fact of the day

The former head of corporate communications for a big insurance company says it's the insurance companies that are running the death panels.

"For 20 years, I defended what some might call "death panels," operated by the health insurance industry, which denied health care coverage to people who needed it."



That video is based on the true story of Patsy Bates.

More from Wendell Potter:

Potter, who is from Tennessee, read in a local paper about a free healthcare expedition being held in Wise County, Virginia. He decided to check it out. Walking through the fairground gates, Potter saw hundreds of people waiting in the rain while physicians attended to patients in animal stalls or on gurneys lying on the rain-soaked pavement. Tents had been pitched across the fairground lawns, creating a scene “like something that could’ve been happening on a battlefield or in a war-torn country.” Tears mixed with the rain to cloud Potter’s vision. “What I thought was: ‘Is this the United States?’ It was so remote from my reality. It just seemed impossible.”

..."[E]very person who works for a for-profit company knows that the company has to meet Wall Street’s expectations. Every manager of the company has to pull his or her weight to make sure he and his team are doing all that they can to help the company meet that objective. That includes medical directors. Same with the nurses. They know what the company has to do to meet Wall Street’s expectations and to stay in the good graces of investors...It doesn’t have to be stated directly to them that you will be paid a particular bonus if you deny X number of claims; it’s known, and it’s part of the culture."

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missmurchison [userpic]
Fact of the day

Medicare is a government program.

Bonus fact: One in four Republicans don't know that.

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missmurchison [userpic]
Fact of the day

The majority of personal bankruptcies in this country are caused by medical debts.

Bonus fact: More than three-quarters of those people had health insurance at the beginning of the bankrupting illness.

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missmurchison [userpic]
Fact of the day

Lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States.

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missmurchison [userpic]
Fed up with the bullshit on healthcare

The subject gave you fair warning that this will be a ranty post, so if you're still reading you deserve what comes next.

I thought the birthers were bad, but I'm more disgusted with what I've been seeing and hearing from the "deathers" the past few weeks. The lies and distortions were bad enough when they were coming from the fringe, but now we have people like Palin, Gingrich and Grassley "making shit up" and talking about death panels, when they previously supported initiatives like the one to pay for consultations on end-of-live care that they're now pointing to as "evidence" Obama wants to kill grandmas and babies. We cannot have a real discussion because these assholes are more concerned with making the other side look bad and keep the money they get from insurance companies and big pharma than doing what they were elected to do. (And, in Palin's case, bailing on the job in order to whine on Facebook.)

Today I went to a town hall held by my Congressman. He's a progressive, and I went primarily to support him, as did most of the other people I saw there. We arrived too late to get inside, so I filled out a card with my comments and talked to a few people outside. One woman with four small children told me she had no health insurance and didn't want it. "We take care of our own," she said. "You could wind up bankrupt," I told her bluntly, but, I hope, politely. "I've seen it." (True. I've spent a lot of time working with people in financial distress and disability and bankruptcy usually go hand-in-hand.) "That's our choice," she said. I left.

"We take care of our own," made me think of Cain's line, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Who are your "own," ma'am? Your family? Obviously, only those close to you. You have no responsibility to the rest of society, then? Society has enough responsibility for you that if someone in your family becomes seriously ill or injured and you declare bankruptcy, we will step in and I, among, others will pay for your care.

Here comes the really ranty part of the post. (Yes, worse than I've already said.) I don't know this woman's religious beliefs, if any, but I've heard similar statements from people who are convinced nothing terrible will ever happen to them or those close to them. This is a psychological defense against fear, of course, but its consequences can be appalling. One such person approached my quadriplegic brother and told him he was in a wheelchair because he'd let the devil into his heart. If he truly accepted Jesus, he would walk again.

"We take care of our own," is a fine philosophy if we are talking about society promoting the general welfare, as our Constitution says. But when it really means, "screw everyone else," we wind up the way we are now, with an infant mortality rate worse than dozens of other countries, including Cuba, and one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the developed world.

ETA: Thanks to [info - personal] curiouswombat, What the British see when they look at our system. Be sure to check out the statistics at the end of the article.

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missmurchison [userpic]
Damn, this is getting really scary

Man carrying gun is let into Obama town hall event

MSNBC just aired footage of the crowd gathering at the Obama town hall meeting on health care that's supposed to start later today in New Hampshire and pointed out one man in a group holding protest signs with a gun in a holster on his hip. Apparently not a law officer, but a civilian.

...important to note, the gun-toting protestor was holding a sign referencing the Jefferson quote: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." It's a well known quote from one of the archetypal founding fathers. And in itself it's part of the American heritage, something that echoes with Jefferson's always ambivalent and frequently dilettantish attitude toward political violence. But in the context of these townhall excesses and while carrying a firearm at a presidential event, it's quite a menacing statement, in as much as it is about the need to kill tyrants.

WTF?!!?
...The local police tell MSNBC that the man is legally carrying the gun, is nowhere near where the President will be, and is "under constant surveillance."


Dem Congressman's office vandalized with a swastika

Rep. David Scott (D-GA) told Fox News that his district office in Smyrna, Georgia, was vandalized with a four-foot swastika.

"We woke up this morning and my staff called me and said there was a swastika, a Nazi sign, painted on the sign," said Scott. "Which of course is very unfortunate, and I just feel very bad about it -- and really feel bad about the person who did it."

Scott -- who pointed out that he is the only House member to belong to the Blue Dogs, the New Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus -- had a widely-viewed tumultuous town hall meeting late last week
(video at source)

There's more, but I haven't got the stomach to post it. I'm going to try to watch the town hall while I have lunch, but I hope they've got a bulletproof panel between Obama and the crowd.

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missmurchison [userpic]
Why I fear the worst but have some hope

I've been following the situation in Iran, of course, and I'm very afraid for the people who are protesting. A big part of me is sure this will end in disaster. But I also keep remembering how I felt years ago when I heard that Lech Walesa had been put under house arrest. I was sure the Solidarity movement was over then.

I also remember a news report around that time. It was an end-of-the-year show, and someone had asked several prominent reporters what story they'd like to find themselves reporting in the year 2000. One said he'd like to report on President Walesa of Poland meeting with President Mandela of South Africa. I snorted in derision. THAT would never happen!

I know that Mousavi is no Walesa or Mandela, but the real heroes of these protests are not the politicians but the people in the streets. May they defy the odds. It has been done before.

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