Maxed Out

September 17, 2009

If the very best thing that can be said about your piece of legislation is that it (hopefully) does not add to the federal deficit, I’d say you probably failed to do your job and protect Americans from the ravenous pockets of private insurance execs. In fact, you led your flock to the slaughterhouse by mandating that they purchase health insurance (is this even, like,¬† constitutional?) while failing to provide a public option or even reasonable subsidies. Though expansion of Medicaid and insurance industry regulation are laudable, the rest of the legislation, including major cuts to Medicare reimbursement, lame insurance cooperatives, and forcing people to give up to 13% of their income to insurance companies, seems pretty¬† disgusting.

As one of the coveted uninsured, I suppose I’ll be going to jail when I refuse to pay the fine for failing to acquire insurance, because I’ll be damned if I give my money to an industry that has demonstrated its capacity for pure evil time and time again OR a spineless government that spoon-feeds the insurance companies 30 million new customers without providing a viable alternative. The Washington Post notes that Uncle Sam expects to help pay for this program by collecting 50 BILLION dollars from penalties imposed on individuals who don’t purchase mandatory insurance. In other words, the Baucus bill would rather collect $50 billion by fining people who are already unable to afford insurance than by imposing additional taxes on filthy rich people, or even by collecting revenue from a well-run public option (though I admit the notion of revenue from such a program may be wishful…nay, delusional, thinking.) If I’m missing something here, please, enlighten me. Until then, grow a pair, Washington. Then we can talk.

Advertisements

A Cooking Egg

August 14, 2009

Although I don’t want SEMI to go the way of KevinMD with superficial news blurbs lacking any hint of personality and hawked from other blogs or the Associated Press, I am short on time this week and thus unable to provide anything other than content-poor headlines right now. I must leave it up to my dear reader(s) to discuss.

This week in wealth care reform health care reform:

Hey, Obama, everybody knows that secrets don’t make friends. Money, maybe, but not friends.

Ralph Nader and Amy Goodman should just make a baby already. If Amy’s concerned that she’s past her prime, I’m happy to offer my youthful womb as a surrogate. Anyhow, I think Nader is using the term “harmony ideology person” as a euphemism for “pu**y.” (No, not puffy! Or puppy! Or puddy! Or pushy! Or pully! Or pukey! Or pudgy! Ok, maybe pudgy.)

Someone over at T.C. wags a finger at the left for its failure to keep its eye on the prize. To any regular ol’ nurses (as in, not published numerous times over in academic journals) interested in policy advocacy out there, can you name your state’s senators and congress people AND their voting records on issues related to health care reform like T.C.? I’ll just go ahead and take one for the team by admitting that I can’t either. Let’s get crackin’. Stay tuned for a piece I’ll be posting next week on policy advocacy within nursing.

Jon Stewart spearheads public health campaign raising awareness of ideology-associated amnesia (IAA). John Oliver combats national health care discrepancies by advocating for equal access to death panels.

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services attempts to bolster support for health reform with a report on how Big Insurance leaves millions behind. A more comprehensive report on health disparities may be found here. Guess what? People living at or below the poverty level and racial/ethnic minorities receive the shittiest care! I am shocked. For those of you who think they deserve it, perhaps you need a little work expanding your social consciousness (by the by, anybody who is actually interested in that article can “borrow” my copy if you send me an e-mail address).

I’ve encountered a lot of provider disillusionment regarding a public option or universal coverage via expansion of Medicare/Medicaid because many of us in the biz know that reimbursement is a big hairy ugly issue with lots of twisting dark tunnels in which to descend without hope of rescue (For example, I sat down with utilization review a few weeks ago in order to understand how much money our hospital loses because of services that would not be reimbursed by Uncle Sam.) I know providers and patients waste endless time, engergy, money and lives strugging with Big Insurance too, but anybody who wants to see quality improvement of Medicare/Medicaid before a “public option” goes live may be interested in venting your opinions here. I’m no expert on this stuff, so I’d love to see a little lively debate going here on SEMI as well.

Business man Dr. Andrew Weil does a bad job of making a decent argument about the misdirection of the health care industry and the medicalization of socioeconomic problems here. I sure hope we see more “wrong diagnosis” puns in the debate over health care reform!

And finally, a few random tid bits:

Ever wonder how much vaccines cost?

Anybody want to meet in Chicago on Sept. 22 for a sexy weekend of healthcare-associated infection debate (see above section on Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement)? Fellow nurse friends, I’m talking to you.

As an RN and an FNP student, it only makes sense that I don’t have health insurance. I’m due to get my cervix scraped, Pap-style. Any fellow (legally licensed and practicing) med folks out there feel like doing me a professional courtesy? C’mon. I’ll get you back when I’m licensed to hand out prescriptions.

Safe driving, y’all.