Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Healthcare Reform Passes Congress…at what cost?

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Shame on you President Obama,

I read your excited message about the healthcare reform bill passing Congress tonight and I burst into tears of joy. I felt like the change we have been seeking for so many years, that we have been working so hard to bring about was finally coming to fruition. Only to learn it ‘passed’ in exchange for the tens of millions of women in this country. When should we expect the government to send their lackeys to pick up our shoes so we can stay home proper, barefoot and forced pregnant? When did the promise of change become the promise of positive change for men and a reaffirmation of women as second-class citizens?

I am absolutely appalled that you or any member of our government would allow such draconian measures to be perpetrated against women. You are pushing to get this healthcare reform bill passed but at what cost?

The Stupak-Pitts anti-choice amendment renders health care insurance companies incapable, financially, to support women’s’ reproductive health. In order to survive financially under this amendment, they would be forced to drop current coverage for women’s reproductive healthcare. This is a monumental step backwards. It is not simply a matter of not covering costs for the women who are currently uninsured. It goes a mile further and ensures an economic stranglehold on all insurance companies to drop current benefits provided to women.

Choosing to throw women under the bus to get the new healthcare system passed is a galling cop out. This decision is nothing more than the vehicle the opponents need to undermine Roe v. Wade. The provisions of this ‘amendment’ sets women’s healthcare back a century and delivers a devastating blow to those millions of women who enthusiastically supported Obama and this healthcare reform bill.

Women’s healthcare should not be targeted and denied because of political or moral objections. These are not our views or our opinions. These are OUR bodies, OUR choices and OURinsurance companies should cover it–period, particularly when the majority of insurance companies currently cover comprehensive reproductive health services. It was one thing to leave out coverage under the new healthcare bill. That was already a negative aspect. However, it becomes a completely different story when you add an amendment that takes away current coverage, in addition to limiting the alternative options for the coverage taken away.

How dare all of you yellow-belly Democrats who approved this Stupak-Pitts amendment decide to not only NOTinclude reproductive health services in the new health-care system but to endanger the barely-adequate coverage that exists currently. This decision sends a loud message to women in this country: YOU are not important; your needs, your body, your health and your rights are not important. Are we to understand that ‘the millions of people’ that this new system is supposed to help does not include women? Is this the new, improved, sensible healthcare system for men only?

I must have missed that part of the inspirational speeches.

I no longer support this bill or its blatant disregard for women’s reproductive health. And I am extremely angry that I and millions of other women, are being discarded at the whim of two senators in a futile attempt to appease those inconsiderate, selfish people opposing healthcare for all. Are these people who oppose healthcare for all anything more than medical and/or financial terrorists? I thought we had a policy of no negotiation with terrorists?Why then were tens of millions of women conceded in these terroristic negotations to provide adequate healthcare to our citizens?

When did women become so unimportant in this country and to our President that our reproductive health and control over our own bodies are offered up on a silver platter in exchange for the Congress to approve a watered-down, ineffective version of healthcare reform that will punish and neglect no longer by economic status but rather by gender?

I wonder what will happen to this bill once we take away the flattened, discarded feminine support that has so eagerly backed Obama. You can count me out until the dissolution of this backwards Stupak-Pitts amendment.

I see where I rank in importance in your vision for change. If Congress got tens of millions of uteri, what will the Senate get?

Soft Capitalism (Capitalism 2.0)

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

How about this for a New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. It used to be that there were some services and institutions so vital to our nation that they were exempt from market pressures. Some things we just didn’t do for money. The United States always defined capitalism, but it didn’t used to define us. But now it’s becoming all that we are.

Did you know, for example, that there was a time when being called a “war profiteer” was a bad thing? But now our war zones are dominated by private contractors and mercenaries who work for corporations. There are more private contractors in Iraq than American troops, and we pay them generous salaries to do jobs the troops used to do for themselves ­– like laundry. War is not supposed to turn a profit, but our wars have become boondoggles for weapons manufacturers and connected civilian contractors.

Prisons used to be a non-profit business, too. And for good reason –­ who the hell wants to own a prison? By definition you’re going to have trouble with the tenants. But now prisons are big business. A company called the Corrections Corporation of America is on the New York Stock Exchange, which is convenient since that’s where all the real crime is happening anyway. The CCA and similar corporations actually lobby Congress for stiffer sentencing laws so they can lock more people up and make more money. That’s why America has the world;s largest prison population ­– because actually rehabilitating people would have a negative impact on the bottom line.

Television news is another area that used to be roped off from the profit motive. When Walter Cronkite died last week, it was odd to see news anchor after news anchor talking about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite’s day. I thought, “Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it.”

But maybe they aren’t. Because unlike in Cronkite’s day, today’s news has to make a profit like all the other divisions in a media conglomerate. That’s why it wasn’t surprising to see the CBS Evening News broadcast live from the Staples Center for two nights this month, just in case Michael Jackson came back to life and sold Iran nuclear weapons. In Uncle Walter’s time, the news division was a loss leader. Making money was the job of The Beverly Hillbillies. And now that we have reporters moving to Alaska to hang out with the Palin family, the news is The Beverly Hillbillies.

And finally, there’s health care. It wasn’t that long ago that when a kid broke his leg playing stickball, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun put a thermometer in his mouth, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle and you were done. The bill was $1.50, plus you got to keep the thermometer.

But like everything else that’s good and noble in life, some Wall Street wizard decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they’re run by some bean counters in a corporate plaza in Charlotte. In the U.S. today, three giant for-profit conglomerates own close to 600 hospitals and other health care facilities. They’re not hospitals anymore; they’re Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. America’s largest hospital chain, HCA, was founded by the family of Bill Frist, who perfectly represents the Republican attitude toward health care: it’s not a right, it’s a racket. The more people who get sick and need medicine, the higher their profit margins. Which is why they’re always pushing the Jell-O.

Because medicine is now for-profit we have things like “recision,” where insurance companies hire people to figure out ways to deny you coverage when you get sick, even though you’ve been paying into your plan for years.

When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country, ask what’s in it for Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

If conservatives get to call universal health care “socialized medicine,” I get to call private health care “soulless vampires making money off human pain.” The problem with President Obama’s health care plan isn’t socialism, it’s capitalism.

And if medicine is for profit, and war, and the news, and the penal system, my question is: what’s wrong with firemen? Why don’t they charge? They must be commies. Oh my God! That explains the red trucks!

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/new-rule-not-everything-i_b_244050.html