22 October, 2009

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

I know.  It's a big dose, and it doesn't taste very good, and you'd rather have some nice ice cream instead.  But if thee takes their medicine, thee shall have a treat afterward.

We won't begin with stupidity, though.  For those who want to stop, take a breath, and get a lay of the land, Steve Benen's provided us an assessment of where we are in both the Senate and House.  Useful stuff.

Now, on with the stupid.  And connoisseurs of batshit insane stupid really must not miss Bachmann and Ingraham blathering about how health care reform opposition is the "pro-freedom agenda."  Seriously.  They think that freedom means living in fear of getting a hideous illness, losing health insurance, and having to make the choice between death for one and bankruptcy for the whole family.  Mmm, smell the freedom!

The latest dumb GOP anti-health care reform attack: using a CBO report on a bill that no longer exists to attack reform as too expensive.  They surely do love them their out-of-date attacks, don't they?

On the Dem front, so-called centrists could still screw us all.  How they can be considered centrists when they're standing against the wishes of the vast majority of the country is beyond my comprehension.

Jay Rockefeller's showing signs of going jello again.  If you're a constituent, you might want to tell him that repeating that "public option's not the most important part of reform" talking point the White House is so enamored of is a bad idea.  And you might, while you're at it, ask why opt-outs are such an attractive idea.  I'm still not too sure about that one.

There's still some signs of life in the Dems, though.  For one thing, there's a movement afoot to stop talking about the public option and start talking about Medicare Part E.  Nice one.

Grayson put up a memorial to the 44,000+ folks who die every year due to lack of insurance.  Too bad the site got punked.

Nancy Pelosi's thrown down the gauntlet on the public option.  And Rep. Grijalva says she only needs 8 more votes to make it happen.  So close we can taste it, my darlings.

Time, then, we gird ourselves for the last battles of the war.

Here's "the best health care system in the world" in action: a man dies of swine flu after getting kicked out of the ER.  What was that about all Americans being covered because we can all get treatment in the ER?

And our insurance companies are fantastic - if you're not sick, will never get sick, and moreover aren't female.  If you are female, you're fucked.  Here's one insurance company demanding that a woman get sterilized before they'll cover her (h/t).  And it looks like I'm out of luck if I ever lose coverage through my employer, seeing as how I not only have asthma, but being a rape survivor is also a pre-existing condition:
The most recent example of this is recounted at Womenstake.org about a rape survivor from Tampa, FL named Chris Turner. When Chris began looking for health insurance after her sexual assault, the insurance companies she contacted told her they would deny coverage to a rape survivor. Chris had described to them a hypothetical rape victim (which was actually her), and told them of being proactive following her assault, by seeking preventative anti-HIV medicated and counseling. Apparently, that was a little too pro-active for insurance companies.

After her rape, Chris had been so afraid that she had been unable to leave her house for some time. Chris had no choice but to seek help. The steps she took to heal after her sexual assault became obstacles to her future health and well-being, and these were cited for reasons why insurance companies refused to insure her.

So what would Chris have had to do in order to not be rejected from receiving coverage after being raped? Get into a time machine and undo this terrible experience that was out of her control? Almost. In order to qualify for insurance coverage at all, Chris would have had to have tested negative for HIV for two to three years, along with completing one to two years of intensive counseling (depending on the specific insurance company and plan).
Isn't that special?  No one told me when I reported my rape that I'd not only have to relive the experience in front of a courtroom full of strangers, but also have to jump through hoops for insurance companies so that maybe, possibly, they'd decide I'd been a good little rape victim and could have some health insurance after all.  This makes me want to go looking for private coverage, actually.  I'm good at shouting at people.  I'd seriously enjoy shouting at insurance company fucktards for turning down rape survivors.  I'd graphically describe for them the unhappy event and its aftermath, forcing them to suffer through every detail, and then hammer them over their infliction of further trauma.  I'd bring cameras.  It would be awesome.

If anyone's wanting to make a film, do let me know.

Now.  I promised thee a treat, and a treat thee shall have.  Nothing tastes better than Al Franken delivering the truth to fucktards:
Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled “Medical Debt: Can Bankruptcy Reform Facilitate a Fresh Start.” The hearing examined medical bankruptcies in America, and witnesses included CAP fellow Elizabeth Edwards and Kerry Burns, a Rhode Island mother who was forced into “financial ruin” by her late son’s medical bills.

One of the highlights of the hearing was when Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) questioned Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth about medical bankruptcies. Franken asked Furchtgott-Roth — who claimed that moving towards a European-style system of universal health care would increase bankruptcies — about how many medical bankruptcies there were in countries that have universal health care, like Switzerland and France. Furchtgott-Rott repeatedly told Franken that she didn’t “have that number,” and Franken informed her that the number was actually zero:
FRANKEN: I think we disagree on whether health care reform, the health care reform that we’re talking about in Congress now should pass. You said that the way we’re going will increase bankruptcies. I want to ask you, how many medical bankruptcies because of medical crises were there last year in Switzerland?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number in front of me, but I can find out and get back to you.
FRANKEN: I can tell you how many it was. It’s zero. Do you know how many medical bankruptcies there were last year in France?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number, but I can get back to you if I like.
FRANKEN: Yeah, the number is zero. Do you know how many were in Germany?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: From the trend of your questions, I’m assuming the number is zero. But I don’t know the precise number and would have to get back to you.
FRANKEN: Well, you’re very good. Very fast. The point is, I think we need to go in that direction, not the opposite direction. Thank you.

Sen. Franken, you are a thing of beauty.  Thank you.

1 comment:

Cujo359 said...

The site got punked link doesn't work. My link is the corrected one.