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Dodd and Larson Get an Earful on Healthcare

connecticut man1's picture

Via Mark Pazniokas of the Hartford Courant, 675 angry and frustrated people showed up to this healthcare forum at Goodwin College:

On the first day of a listening tour on health care, an issue pivotal to the new Congress and his own re-election, U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd got an earful Friday.

The first comment came from a furious homeless shelter manager: He and his clients have no coverage, yet insurance giant American International Group got an $85 billion federal loan.

Over 90 minutes, the Democratic senator heard from a string of constituents, who waved their hands, hoping for a chance to describe a struggle to hang onto middle-class lives after losing jobs and affordable health care. A few were angry, others just scared.

On the way out, Dodd embraced one woman who burst into tears as she described losing health coverage for her disabled 2-year-old. Dodd held her until she stopped sobbing.

Dodd says that Tom Daschle, Obama's pick to guide healthcare reform, will be coming to Connecticut to discuss the issue. I say that they better be prepared to get another earful because the incremental changes being proposed will not answer the massive problems we are facing. Problems like this:

"[the forum] included the president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a reassuring signal to Connecticut's insurance industry."

Yep! Dodd and Larson think that these people are supposed to be our allies on this issue.

MA regulators: Did Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Partners HealthCare collude to fix prices and raise rates 75%?

Partners, insurer under scrutiny

Attorney General Martha Coakley has launched an investigation into whether the state's largest health insurance company and its largest healthcare provider may have illegally colluded to increase the price of health insurance statewide over the last nine years, according to several legal and government sources.

The attorney general sent formal demands for information to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Partners HealthCare late last week, the sources say, calling for a detailed account of their contract negotiations in recent years.

Since 2000, Blue Cross has boosted the rate it pays for medical care by Partners doctors and hospitals by 75 percent, dramatically more than the increases given to most other Massachusetts hospitals. Blue Cross now pays $2 billion a year to Partners, parent company of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals.

Why do we put up with this?

I don't want these insurance industries' input into my healthcare in any way, shape or form. This the kind of health care the insurance giants have provided us thus far:

H/t nyceve for the video, where I encourage you to go read the entire piece and watch all the videos:

We all know that during the Bush regime, American citizens never saw the coffins of our fallen heroes coming back from Iraq. Americans are also shielded from the brutal ugliness of our collapsed healthcare system.

The traditional media is ill-informed (what else is new?), and rarely, if ever, give us frank and candid reporting about the grotesque realities of the U.S. healthcare catastrophe. So the BBC picks up the slack.

One last quote from Dodd:

"I hear people talking about a single-payer plan and the like," Dodd said. "That isn't going to happen. It's going to be a combination of public, private."

We already have a failed combination of public and private. We need the proven model of single payer and private practitioners. You want to stay in Congress with these kinds of answers, Senator Dodd?

"That isn't going to happen."

No votes yet


Submitted by lambert on

U.S. Senator Chris Dodd
448 Russell Building | Washington D.C., 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2823 | Fax: (202) 224-1083

Since I sent Dodd $50 in the primaries because he did the right thing on FISA, I felt more than entitled...

connecticut man1's picture
Submitted by connecticut man1 on


I sent an email to Rep. Conyers this morning asking what we, his allies in health care reform, could do for him to help make this happen. I also asked when "would he be tabling our favored H.R. 676?"

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Obama was never for universal health care or single payer. For some reason the Clinton failed attempt is not repeated despite the change in support, physicians support and the weakness of the Republicans. Give it to big Bill, he tried!!!

The notion of doing right with health care even if it leads to another failure is dismissed. Boldness has died. It's too bad because overwhelming the Republicans with a lot of real, as opposed to lip serve, change might work; they'll have to decide whether they look like Al-Qaida rather than an American political party.

connecticut man1's picture
Submitted by connecticut man1 on

Obama has said single payer would be best. But it obvious from the statements he has made, more recently, that he is not going that way. Or is it? Daschle's recent statements made me have a little hope for the long road to single payer.

Some in the media appear to be showing some strong and blatant support for single payer. I mentioned "The Obama Head Fake" yesterday. Nearly 700 people show up in Connecticut to voice their anger... We are showing some serious signs of a movement.

Will Obama respond?

Hope is all we've got right now.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

We know that Obama loves to be loved. We can tap into that.

BTW, was support for single payer health care part of that 1996 endorsement questionnaire that "his staffer" filled out with no permission?

connecticut man1's picture
Submitted by connecticut man1 on

About the loving to be loved. I haven't read the questionnaire? I really don't know.

connecticut man1's picture
Submitted by connecticut man1 on

An excellent Blogger/Video Blogger and a decent guy. On a personal level, he has supported single payer in the past, but he is the online organizer for one of the compromise coalition groups now, the Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG). But I am not sure that it would be too good for his job that helps pay for his schooling to get banged around on a single payer motivated Blog? lol

Corner Stone's picture
Submitted by Corner Stone on

I wonder how much they contributed collectively this past election cycle?
There's your answer.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I am hoping that Dodd is not the only one getting this kind of reception.

I love Matthew Holt's phrase fannie med, and from now on I am going to position this as fannie med vs single payer. Obama is too popular, but Daschle is an easy target.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

this part:

We know that Obama loves to be loved.

Yes he does! by moderates, republicans, and religous fundamentalists. also, wall st.

We can tap into that.

no, we can't. obama has no record, and sees no benefit, in taking a strongly progressive stand on most issues. how many progressives has he appointed, how many progressive initiatives has he made front and center, how many progressive groups have been invited to private dinners and special meetings? you all know the answer to those questions.

yes, obama wants "love." but not from us. from us, the only thing that has proven to evoke a response from him that approaches satisfying us? pain. i'm sorry if that sounds overly harsh or polemical. but imnsho, it's very, very clear that obama has two modes for progressives and our causes: taking us for granted, and "have a nice cup of shut the fuck up." the only time he does what we think is right, is when we scream and complain and write letters and get in his face or that of his surrogates. prove me wrong, i beg you- show me where being 100% pro-obama has served a progressive organization or advocacy group with a direct payoff on their most important issue.

Submitted by lambert on

Too bad, but there it is.

(I don't know the environment politics -- would Obama's new rules be the kind of example you're looking for?)

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

You say nothing different than what I'm saying. When we have apologists here waxing poetically in 10,000 word[fog] treatises how its reasonable to sit on our asses as long as possible before closing Gitmo (as if Gitmo were the problem and not the thousands held in other prisons, should we wait forever to end those practices? but I digress) or getting Obasmic that Obama may open up the statue of liberty we do more harm than good.

I have been saying that we should hold Obama accountable since the days when tepidly supporting him was all the rage. If there is one thing I've been consistent about here at Corrente it's NOT loving Obama when there is no reason to. Not that anyone pays attention to me here anyway.