Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Problem is the Senate

Good Morning Bloggers! When it comes to health care reform it appears the House of Representatives is doing a great job, especially my Congressman Henry Waxman. The weak link so far appears to be the United States Senate, and that's where WE THE PEOPLE have to apply pressure to make sure we get a viable public option.

As I've said in my earlier post, a viable public option is necessary to drive down costs and to ensure fair competition in the health care market. Did you know that health care, along with baseball, is one of the few industries exempt from anti-competition, anti-trust laws? That's one of the main reasons why the costs are so high. It's well known that health insurance companies conspire and collude to drive up costs for sick Americans.

Did you also know that health care and pharmaceutical companies are some of the largest givers to national elections? Our representatives appear to be bought-and-paid-for these days thanks to a lack of reasonable campaign finance reform. It also seems that money creates a perfect storm of DC greed and corruption, making it very difficult for the American people to find a fair solution to this problem.

Forget the Republicans, for they are so deep inside the industry's pocket it's disgusting. Rank and file Republicans should be offended and repulsed by their leaders, but instead they seem to follow their every lead. Supporting our unfair, broken system seems to come natural to the GOP. It's beyond my reckoning. Personally I'm stumped by their support of such an unfair system!

Now, for the Democrats. There are still a few that are undecided - due to big money contributions. We need to make sure they know what WE THE PEOPLE think. See the list below to identify the uncommitted Senators along with the industry money received so far - to see who you can lobby.

  1. Mark Warner, $69,000
  2. Harry Reid, $78,800 Email
  3. Kent Conrad $78,800
  4. Joe Lieberman, $72,000
  5. Blanche Lincoln, $91,000
  6. Tom Carper, $58,450 Email
  7. Evan Bayh, $66,100
  8. Michael Bennet, $2,000 Email
  9. Dianne Feinstein, $44,000
  10. Mark Udall, $43,500
  11. Max Baucus, $141,250
  12. Ron Wyden, $40,750
  13. Mary Landrieu, $38,000
  14. Mark Pryor, $30,000
  15. Ben Nelson, $106,123

I already wrote Senator Feinstein a strongly worded letter. I also provided email links for some of the well-known fence sitters - of course, Harry Reid's support would be helpful. If you want to help a lot, I recommend emailing them. I just did. Of course, emailing your own senator is vital!

Yes, I'm asking you to please TAKE ACTION NOW! WE THE PEOPLE need to step-up and make sure our elected officials do not abandon us during our time of need. Here is the tally for the entire Congress so far:

House 195 YES/6 NO/239 DON'T KNOW
Senate 37 YES/40 NO/22 DON'T KNOW
Combined 232 YES/46 NO/261 DON'T KNOW

What you see here means that we have a good shot at getting the legislation passed, but it also means we need to start lobbying the Senate hard NOW! We worked hard to get Hillary and Barack elected, along with dozens of other new Democrats, so why can't we use that same spirit to pass comprehensive health care reform? It's important for us all to do something!

If you still have doubts about the public option, despite all my rantings, you should take time to look at all the great sources available. One of my favorites (and it's honest, based on the primary candidate legislation now moving through the House Energy and Commerce Committee) is Stand with Dr. Dean - by Chairman/Governor/Doctor Howard Dean.

The site FAQ section is a great source for finding out everything you need to know - in easy to read bullet form. I also encourage you to sign the petition on the homepage.

This is one of the most serious issues I've ever been involved in. It's critical to the well-being of the American people, American families, and to the American economy. I beg you not to listen to the lies and the propaganda out there. They are deceiving you. Many of our own elected officials are hard at work deceiving us. Don't trust anybody! Do your own research.

All I'm asking is that you look at a variety of sources for information. If you do figure it out, and see that it will lower costs, create a better system, and help the economy, then please TAKE ACTION and contact one of your elected officials and make sure they know how you feel. We all need to do everything we can to make sure that we get legitimate health care reform and a viable public option.

If you wish to follow the primary candidate legislation, I recommend keeping an eye on the House Energy and Commerce Committee website - it's fascinating.

Tuesday's Political Rant and Call to Action - Michael

PS - Always remember, there is information about how to contact our national elected representatives in the right margin of this blog. I hope you decide to help out.


ghostrider6265 said...

Boh name us one program setup and run by the government that is not or is going broke, you can't and what makes you think that the pig faced Henry Waxman can make it work?

My guess is if we the people forced the 500+ law makers to go on the same medical program they want to provide to the people the issue would be dropped like a hot potato.

I will be going on Medic aid at the first of the year and it will cost me roughly $1200 a year appox $40.00 dollars a month less than I pay for full medical, dental and eye for both me and the wife.

In two years when the wife goes on it we will be paying $2400.00 plus a year for a useless government program, now to pay 1.6 trillion over 10 years explain to us how it is going to be paid for, me and you know, it is a four letter work TAXES and once the Demorats get in they have a ball and chain on the people which they will never be able to break.

The health insurance is nothing more than a program to control the masses.

Footnote: The $2400.00 does not include the amount we will pay for our supplemental insurance.

by Michael Boh said...

I hear you and respectfully disagree GR. I think the government will do a fine job competing with today's insurance companies and their escalating costs. Remember, not everyone has your plan, and most have other problems like pre-existing conditions. There are many variables you're not considering in your very personal scenario - this might require a little empathy on your part to understand the possible need for change. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree again.

by Michael Boh said...

Mover/GR - I had to reject your recent comments for the following reason(s): they include misleading and/or disreputable facts (Rule #4) as well as distrations/distortions (Rule #5).

Unlike most "conservative" blogs, I will post comments that disagree with my own. However, I will not do it if I feel they are designed to mislead or disrupt the issue being discussed. Have a good day.

Infidel753 said...

I'm not well-informed enough about the health-care issue to have an overall opinion, but I do have a couple of observations.

1) Most things that work well, work well because of the element of competition -- if the customer can take his business elsewhere, the provider has an incentive to do a good job. Any national health plan needs to preserve th element of competition between providers. Even if there's a single payer, there need to be competing service providers and the ability of patients to switch from one to another to maintain the incentive for performance.

2) A question which will need to be addressed at some point: Will the publicly-funded health plan serve illegal aliens? If it won't, then we will need to finally create some national system for distinguishing citizens and legal residents from illegal aliens. If the national health plan will serve illegal aliens, public opposition will prevent it from ever being implemented in the first place.

by Michael Boh said...

Infidel, please read up on the situation, but the bottom line is that strict (unregulated) for-profit health care is not a solution. It is over-priced, unfair and unworkable. Like Obama says, it's soon going to bankrupt both the people and the country.

I understand your questions, but I think it's important to recognize that we're not starting from a workable starting point. Today's highly profitable, low quality (for many w/ lesser policies) free market health care penalizes millions of Americans - it's uncacceptable to millions.

If that's the case, then let's find a solution. The solution should be competitive (price and service wise) and allow for millions with low incomes and pre-existing conditions to survive the system - even if they get less quality service than those who maintain private insurance. At least they would get help. We also save money in the long run. It's the right thing to do.

Finally, illegals are people who need insurance too. They are no different. They should be required to have insurance too. We should treat them IF they have insurance, and like most nations, require their home country to pay or deport them if they do not. From what I read, it's handled that way all over the world. Many nations have problems with illegals - there are solutions, and the Democrats are trying to find them.

These problems need fixing, and the Republicans have ignored them for far too long. It's time we start trying to figure them out.

Mover said...

Mr. Boh

I know of no conservative blogs that censor for more than inappropriate language.

I have found that many, many liberal blogs, such as the Huffington Post and now you, do censor for opposing opinion.

You have given me fodder for my own blog, Move it right, where I've linked to this blog, included the censored remarks, and your response here.

Thanks for the add, as they say.

by Michael Boh said...

Mover, I posted your recent comment for a few reasons. The most important is that I'm certain most progressive bloggers would completely disagree with your assertion that "conservative" blogs post opposing views. I've been trying for years, and can tell you that is not the case.

Two, you seem to be wanting to catch me at something. Trust me, I would have posted your comment, but I feel it included misleading information. It was a distraction. I think you should understand that I reserve that right. I had no intention to make you an enemy, and that is a shame, but still I am the umpire on this ball field. To show good faith, I posted your comment and blog link. Have a good day.

PS - As far as I can tell, the Huff Post allows TONS of right-wing comments. That claim is suspect at best.

Infidel753 said...

It's a matter of practical considerations. Any proposal under consideration needs to have a realistic chance of being enacted, or it's pointless.

The national health systems in use in other countries vary widely in the quality of care they provide and in the degree of satisfaction that their people have with them. It's important not to rush into an ill-conceived plan here which, if implemented, might be worse than the situation we have now, when a more carefully-designed reform would produce better results.

It's also important to avoid putting all the Democrats' eggs in the basket of a plan which would risk rejection by the public. Remember that while 15% of the population lacks insurance, 85% do have it, and they won't support (or allow their representatives to support) a reform which leaves them with less choice than they have now. And a plan that covers people who aren't even supposed to be in the country is a non-starter. It would be too unpopular. It would even risk handing the Republicans an issue they could use to revive their fortunes.

Mover said...

On conservative blogs accepting liberal comments, Mr. Boh says... " I've been trying for years, and can tell you that is not the case. "

From what I've seen of liberals posting on liberal blogs, I can assure you that there is nearly no restriction on vicious attacks on political opponents. I figure it carries over when posting to conservative blogs, which may explain the problem you cite.

" you seem to be wanting to catch me at something"

It's too late for that. You've violated your own rules 2, 3 & 5, not to mention your unnumbered salutation, "All opinions are welcome!"

Not so much, I'd say.

Trust me, I would have posted your comment, but I feel it included misleading information. It was a distraction

No distraction, just an opinion. Opinions which you welcome, you say.

Besides, what I posted happens to be true. You don't like it because goes against what you've learned. I understand that. I am merely giving you and your readers something to think about.

by Michael Boh said...

Mover, I disagree with your intepretation. It wasn't just your opinion, it was misleading because you used what I call fake facts. I only allowed your later comments to try and be a good sport. I can see we're going to find little common ground, so why don't we just stick to our own blogs.