If you happen to catch Bill Moyers’ show this week with his guest Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont or read “Foul Play in the Senate” published at common dreams by Moyers and co-writer Michael Winship, you will discover one more example of how Congressional crony capitalism has reached obscene levels.
Apparently if NYT team Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack hadn’t published their exemplary investigative report most of Congress, let alone the citizenry, would not have even known about a colossal half a billion dollar sweetheart arrangement slipped into a covert clause of the recent “fiscal cliff bill.”
The THREE SENATE PERPETRATORS, long-time enmeshed with a pharmaceutical giant called Amgen, are Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and "that powerful committee’s ranking Republican", Orrin Hatch.
The loophole “tucked” into the bill was that Amgen, not mentioned by name, would have two more years of relief from Medicare cost controls for certain drugs used by patients who are on kidney dialysis, including a pill called Sensipar. This gift (to the corporation but not the taxpayers who must foot it) amounts to a whopping half a billion dollars. Read below the fold...
Senate HCR Bill: Anti-Women, -Immigrants, -Unions, -Working/Middle Classes, -Patients, oh, and ... Anti-Anti Trust!
So let's examine the Senate bill, that Obama heavily PREFERS, that faux-progressives are touting as worthy of progressive support and worthy of loyal cronyism against the hypocritical corporatist Republicans and irrationally anti-government instead of anti-corporate teabaggers. (That is a massive amount of BLIND cronyism they are calling on.):
The Senate bill depends on healthcare funding from middle class with excise taxes on comprehensive plans, sabotaging their sustainability.
The Senate bill offers no public option, not even a toehold. Read below the fold...
Now I know Governor Schweitzer is the Governor of a very liberal state, Montanans are practically the French, no? And, yet, he manages to very effectively dispel myths of "socialized" medicine, and argues for single payer, in a way that may even appeal to those Hyde Park Blue Dogs.
Read below the fold...
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is putting on a health summit in Bozeman Aug. 9 and 10, his office announced Monday.
The summit will be free and will feature world-class experts and top foundation and business leaders discussing ways to improve health and promote wellness in small communities across the state.Read below the fold...
As a former lifelong Republican I voted for Obama because he promised to take power from lobbyists and restore it to the American public, especially in areas of health care, energy and education reform. These areas need drastic changes, and thus far his personal efforts to promote such change has been pathetic. ...Read below the fold...
John Selib, Baucus' chief of staff, said his boss' goal of making sure everyone has health care coverage could be undermined by opening a potentially divisive debate on single-payer.
Selib said it's been 16 years since Congress' last attempt at health care reform, and insurance companies continue to discriminate against patients and raise premiums.Read below the fold...
Sen. Max Baucus said Friday the health insurance industry may have to compromise on a public insurance option to cover uninsured people or risk losing a spot at the bargaining table.
Dr. Christine Adams
Mike Dennison: How did reform happen elsewhere?
And finally, in Canada, its system of government health insurance for all started in one corner of one province — Saskatchewan — in the mid-1940s and slowly spread across that province and then the country as citizens saw how it worked. It didn't become fully established everywhere until the mid-1960s.
Which brings us back to America, 2009, and our own health-care path. ...
...Why would we keep health insurance tied to employment? Almost nobody likes it.
Read the whole thing. Post it on your blog and any community blog you frequent. Blogwhore in the comments. Send it to your friends. Read below the fold...
Action Alert: Demo. at National Health Policy Conference
Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 8:30 – 10:00 AM
National Health Policy Conference that includes a Congressional Plenary on Tuesday morning starting at 9:00 AM. Senator Baucus and Representative Stark start off at 9:00, followed by Senate and House staff at 9:45 AM.
-Gather outside the hotel with banners and signs
-Street theater targeting health insurers, big Pharma and Baucus Read below the fold...