Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In case Limbaugh doesn't 'get it.'

The USA health care system is out of control. It is not regulated. It is profit driven. People are uninsured because the 'flash in the pan,' incompetent CEOs that achieve their huge bonuses on the blood of others, don't see them as profitable.

They are the health care equivalent of Roger Smith.

There is NOTHING magical about USA health care, except, it is an industry rather than a service.


There is a reason why the health care industry is 16+% of the USA GDP. It is exploitive; from the industry that manufactures the supplies to the CEOs that cry about their bottomline.

The entire system is hideously gone awry and will be a huge task to bring it back to a reasonable and manageable aspect to the American landscape and budget.

Decades of exploitation and profit taking from all venues of health care has made it a monster in our society.

It is complicated and destructive. It is time it stops !

What a gigantic mess.

CEOs. Who needs them?

The health care industry in the USA has been over invested. It is and has been a disaster waiting to happen.

Pass the health care legislation. At least it is a beginning.

Romney's Health Care System. Keep it privatized. I don't think so. We need a Public Option.

...The health care crisis in the United States (click here) is due to our commercial health care system. In the United States health care is treated as a commodity purchased by individuals, businesses, and even governments. Insurance companies, drug manufacturers, and providers are driven by a profit-motive. In countries with a Single Payer Health Care System, health care coverage is provided as a public good to everyone, like primary education....

And why exactly are there more physicians in Massachusetts?

Mass. hospital spending far exceeds national average (click title to entry - thank you)

By Michael Norton and Kyle Cheney/Statehouse News Service
Posted Mar 16, 2010 @ 06:50 PM

Hospital costs in Massachusetts, fueled by 14 years of increases, stand more than 55 percent above the U.S. average, according to a report released Tuesday morning....

...Sager and Socolar said the state’s 2006 health care reform law “is simply not responsible for the recent rise in the Massachusetts hospital cost excess.” They said the excess also cannot be explained by excess beds in hospitals here, long stays, or low occupancy. “No single smoking gun explains the durable excess or the rebound. Many hospital, physician, payment, political, and other forces are at work,” according to the report.

According to the report, the forces include:

-- High teaching hospital share of patients, MD supply, surgery rates, and non-ER outpatient visits;

-- New or recently reinvigorated factors: admissions, ER visits, staffing levels (not average compensation, wages or benefits), non-labor costs;

-- Substantial growth in revenue helped to make higher spending possible;

-- Very heavy and rising reliance on costly teaching hospitals;

-- The nation’s highest physician-to-population ratio and past private insurance regulations limiting fees spurred development of an elaborate and expensive pattern of physician and hospital care;

-- Hospitals in Massachusetts are unusually influential politically, they argue that they are vital to the state’s economy; they have become central members of business groups that once fought to restrain hospital costs; and some won vast financial leverage and power to obtain higher prices.

Sager and Socolar concluded: “ We have long urged that more money to finance business as usual in health care is both unaffordable and unnecessary. Both free markets and regulations have failed, resulting in financial anarchy and higher health costs. Most past efforts to contain hospital costs have failed about as badly here as nationally. But there have been some successes. It will be helpful to recall the forces that squeezed the state’s hospital excess to 30 percent in 1996.”...

Miami-Dade Commission to consider Jackson Health System problems

Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, (click here) Abel Holtz, Chairman, Jackson Memorial Foundation, Congressman Mario Diaz Balart, Russell Galbut, Ernesto de la Fe, Chairman, Public Health Trust and Gene Bassett, COO, Jackson Health System


The Miami-Dade County Commission (click title to entry - thank you) was scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the deepening financial problems at Jackson Health System.

The commission is likely to consider a plan to change the Public Health Trust, Jackson's governing body, by having each commissioner directly appoint a member.

It may also hear a report on Chief Executive Eneida Roldan's latest plan for dealing with the $229.4 million deficit projected for fiscal 2010. The newest offering has considerably fewer job cuts and closings than the previous plan....

Keeping track of Jackson Health System's financial woes (click here)

As pressures have mounted from the county mayor and commission to come up with a solid plan to deal with Jackson Health System's massive deficit, Chief Executive has offered dramatically shifting proposals over the past month.

Here is a chronology:

Feb. 2 -- Jackson Health System chief financial officer says 2009 loss was really more than $200 million, not the $46.8 million earlier reported. Projected loss for 2010 balloons from $87 million to $229 million.

Feb. 10 -- Chief Executive Eneida Roldan announces 22 managers and executives were laid off.

Feb. 16 -- As rumors sweep Jackson campus that hundreds, maybe up to 2,000 will be laid off, Roldan lays off 20 union nurse managers and eliminates 27 open positions. She warns this is just the beginning.

Feb. 22 -- Roldan announces 900 jobs cut in a program that will save Jackson $70 to $120 million. She tells The Miami Herald that she expects the rest of the deficit to be made up from $50 million from state government funds and another $50 million from federal Medicaid sources in Washington.

Feb. 26 -- All layoffs on hold for at least 45 days as Roldan forms partnership with Service Employees International Union to look for efficiencies and work together to get Washington Medicaid money.

March 5 -- Roldan presents Recovery Plan in which 4,487 jobs will be eliminated, along with many services closing down, including Jackson North and Jackson South hospitals. Proposal is based on no outside help. Will still leave a deficit of $64 million.

March 15 -- New Sustainable Jackson plan calls for eliminating 655 positions, concentrates on cash flow to pay bills. New plan will still leave a deficit of $130.5 million.

Cat 4 and 5 Cyclones occurring simultaneously near Australia.

Two fierce tropical cyclones raged over the South Pacific Ocean (click here) in mid-March 2010, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported. Over the Solomon Islands, Tropical Cyclone Ului had maximum sustained winds of 130 knots (240 kilometers per hour, 150 miles per hour) and gusts up to 160 knots (300 km/hr, 180 mph). Over Fiji, Tropical Cyclone Tomas had maximum sustained winds of 115 knots (215 km/hr, 132 mph) and gusts up to 140 knots (260 km/hr, 160 mph)....

8th storm in the South Pacific, Cyclone Tomas (on the right in this photo) is a Cat 4, which started on March 11, 2010 and is currently active. It has caused a state of emergency in Fiji with some reported deaths.

On the left in this photo is Cyclone Ului, a Cat 5 storm. It began in March 11 and ended on March 16, 2010.

Aid flown to cyclone-battered Fiji (click title to entry for video - thank you)

Australia and New Zealand have begun airlifting aid to the Pacific island nation of Fiji, battered by a powerful cyclone which sparked sea surges....
...The director of the country's National disaster management office, Pajiliai Dobui, said there were unconfirmed reports of a "few" deaths, AFP reports.
"Those who have experienced other cyclones say this is the longest and the strongest they have come across - and the most destructive," Mr Dobui said....

Anita Hill in love with Clarence? I don't think so. Not too histrionic, just VERY histrionic.

Their own world. That is all they know. "Circle the wagons." Right.

To be completely honest, with the level of racism exhibited by Roberts with his comments regarding the Senate process following the confirmation of Justice Sotomayor, one has to wonder why Clarence voted with the Chief Justice nearly all the time. I don't recall him ever departing from siding with the Chief Justice vote. It is a 'sure' place to be. No one can argue he was a 'lone wolf' on anything. He certainly isn't close to being a Thurgood Marshall. That's for sure. And I believe the country expected that as well. We were looking for leadership from him and he gave us a sheep.

Justice Marshall lived in a different era from Thomas. He lived unafraid of being a judge that actually represented justice for minorities. He had many, many of the Justices of the Supreme Court that agreed with his decisions. That is not the case with Thomas. At all.

Oh, well.

...In a statement reported by NPR, Virginia Thomas said, "I did not give up my First Amendment rights when my husband became a justice of the Supreme Court. My involvement with LibertyCentral.orghas been vetted by the Supreme Court ethics office and Liberty Central's own board of directors. There have been many other judges who have spouses that are politically active."

The Supreme Court has no ethics office (click title to entry - thank you) as such, so we checked with the Court on what she meant. Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg responded that Mrs. Thomas had "reviewed her involvement with the Court's legal office."

The Court's little-known legal office was created by then-Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1972 to assist with Court legal matters in a sort of "house counsel" capacity. The office advises on matters including contracts, legislation, and litigation directed at the Court -- such as by protesters arrested in front of the Court. The office also works on some motions and case preparation, and advises on personnel and ethics matters.

The current Court counsel is Scott Harris, a former assistant U.S. attorney in D.C. and onetime associate at the firm then known as Wiley, Rein & Fielding.

Sen. Harry Reid's wife leaves hospital

Picture from Washington Post.

This undated image from Senator Harry Reid's Senate website shows Reid, second from left standing, with his family including daughter Lana, left sitting, and wife Landra. Reid's wife was hospitalized with a broken back and neck Thursday March 11, 2010 after a tractor-trailer truck slammed into the back of the minivan in which she and their daughter were riding on an interstate highway in suburban Virginia, officials said. Reid's wife, Landra, 69, whose injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, and their daughter, Lana Barringer, 49, were taken by ambulance to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va. The daughter was released from the hospital Thursday night, hospital spokesman Tony Raker said. (AP Photo/US Senate)

They are being held hostage by their electorates. CATERING isn't in the job description, governing is !

Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval (click here)

Each result is based on a three-day rolling average

Joe Biden needs to prepare to cast his vote if necessary. President Obama's approval rating increased by three percentage points in one week. The 'hate machine' is losing their battle.

The Democrats need to be decisive, not 'measuring.'

President Obama held his 'base' last week in the polls at 46%. But this week the overall ratings have improved by 2.9 percent. (click here) Some of the polls that normally show a decline in his approval ratings are showing over 50% or a difference in 4 points. The independents are out of the picture. They are now undecided and moving toward approval of the President's performance. Last week there were 9% undecided which I see as primarily Independents and Centrist Republicans, but, this week some have made up their minds that he is correct in his initiatives with the country. At least 3.8% have made up their minds with the majority siding with the President. The sooner health care reform is passed the sooner the public will have time to realize whom is truly on their side.

Rasmussen is an outlier. It doesn't even come close to what the other polls are showing. They need to review their polling methods. If Rasmussen is eliminated the results are starkly in favor of the President. Rasmussen's dice are probably loaded for that purpose.

New Jersey was easy pickings to try to eliminate Democrats from the Senate. It is the most densely populated and everyone in that state is unhappy no matter whom they are.

Menendez: Passing health care the best way to rebuff GOP attacks (click title to entry - thank you)

By Michael O'Brien - 03/03/10 10:43 AM ET

Passing healthcare reform is the best way to rebuff Republican attacks on the bill, the chief of their Senate elections efforts said Wednesday.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), said that passing the health bill was the best way to dispel Republican attacks on the legislation.

"When you pass the bill and some of the immediate benefits take place and people see that all of those things that they said aren't true...that's a powerful argument," Menendez said during an appearance on MSNBC.

"If we don't pass healthcare reform we will have lost a tremendous opportunity to do right by millions of Americans," he added....

The Republicans are unable to govern.

The Menendez problem is exactly the kind of control issue these folks have.

Once they place their votes they aren't finished with the election.

They want unreasonable control of a democratic process.

If they didn't trust Menendez they should not have elected him in the first place.

THAT is not a representative democracy.

THAT is every person trying to be a dictator.

It is anarchy.
By Michael O'Brien - 03/16/10 01:04 PM ET
Democrats dismissed turnout at Tuesday's "Tea Party" rally on Capitol Hill against health reform legislation as evidence of withering momentum against the healthcare bill.

Pointing to preliminary turnout numbers at today's rally on Congress, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) argued that the momentum behind the Tea Party movement had waned as lawmakers approach a final, decisive vote on health reform....

What does Rush, O'Reilly, Beck and the Republicans think of their Teed Off Baggers now?

Which ever way the wind blows. When are they going after Scott Brown for voting with the President on the jobs bill? After he avoids the vote on health care?

The measure by the petitioners is seen mostly as unconstitutional. And, these are the folks that are suppose to love the Constitution more than any group of citizens in the country.


After the notice is approved, the committee then must secure the signatures of 25 percent of registered voters of the affected district before a recall election can be held. There were 5.2 million registered voters in November, meaning the committee would have to secure 1.3 million signatures.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

Court rules effort to recall NJ senator can proceed (click title to entry - thank you)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Last updated: Tuesday March 16, 2010, 10:47 AM
State House Bureau
A state appellate panel today ruled New Jersey Secretary of State must accept a petition that citizens filed to recall U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

The court stayed its decision to allow Menendez (D-N.J.) to appeal its ruling.

NJ Tea Parties United and the Sussex County Tea Party are targeting Sen. Menendez, (D-N.J.) because he supports health-care reform. Members also oppose his past votes in favor of government spending.

The case — which puts the state in the unusual position of arguing against its own law and calling part of its constitution unconstitutional — began last fall after then-Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells rejected the committee’s notice that it intended to begin a recall effort against Menendez. The removal process requires the secretary of state to approve such a notice before a recall committee can begin generating petitions....

A friend in need is a friend indeed. Look it could have been worse, like Playboy or Penthouse.

The little woooman just can't seem to do anything but be accommodating. I assumed she cashed the check.

Let's all have a pity party for Rielle. Ahhhhhh....

Such patriotism I have never seen. It was once said that George Washington was the father of our country and we all know he slept around everywhere, so what's so different?

There is nothing illegal about the pictures, she is not a pedophile and she only was the SUBJECT of the photography and not the photographer. That's to begin with. I am sure her legal fees are substantial and desperate people do desperate things.

She is a beautiful woman. It is easy to see where they got involved with each other. The camera lens is a very powerful thing. The passions of an artist even more so. I believe there are many artists in the past that have loved their models. Some of them sincerely great and valued artists.

I hope the baby is well.

I hope all the children are loved and endeared, as obviously Rielle's child is.

I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, hope Elizabeth remains as kind as she always has been. Some of things Rielle has said, no doubt, is simple justification of her actions. I believe Elizabeth was a good and decent spouse and she has my sincere wishes she is as well as she can be. She should do what Jenny Sandford has done. Although Jenny is not afflicated with a 'condition,' she wrote a book and lives on the South Carolina coast in a place that gives her comfort.

John will never again have the insight and affection of a wonderfully great American that dwells in the mind and heart of Elizabeth Edwards. THAT is a great loss. I am sure he regrets many times he no longer has Elizabeth to turn.


Rielle Hunter's learning that the hard way. John Edwards' baby mama is reportedly in tears today over some "repulsive" photos of her that appeared in GQ magazine.

It is a tad bit delusional to live this far in the past.

Just imagine what the USA would look like with these idiots in control of the Executive Branch. Either we'd be at Civil War or the rest of the world would be dropping nukes.

The health care insurance issue facing the USA would NOT require a federal government intervention if the industry knew how to handle the health of an entire nation rather than profits.

National Review: The Caffeinated GOP, Tea Party Style (click title to entry - thank you)

March 15, 2010

...Some tea partiers, citing the Declaration and the Constitution, compare themselves to the patriots of 1776 and the founders of 1787, which has some validity but seems overly self-congratulatory....

Medicaid - It isn't suppose to be a life condition. This is NOT Medicare. Okay? No, I am not being heartless.

Stephen McGee for The New York Times
Carol Y. Vliet began chemotherapy to treat her cancer, but lost her doctor because he stopped seeing Medicaid patients.

Medicaid is a cure for some social ills, but, in the reign of the Bush/Cheney Administration and Republican Obstructionists it has become a lifeline for CITIZENS.

The fact of the matter is that the USA and its social infrastructure has been completely demoralized during thirty years of Republican domination. No one consents to 'The Welfare Mom.' I believe a parent that finds themselves up against huge odds has to have a safety net and that is what welfare and Medicaid is designed to be.

I defy anyone to state differently. From housing to jobs the Republicans have devastated a once vibrant economy and people like Roger Smith simply are idiots that cannot improve their products so much as 'runs away' from the challenge of real leadership to deliver profits to stockholders. Roger Smith was incompetent and a coward and no one can deny that. I could go on and on about the CEOs of the corporations in the USA and how they ILLEGITIMATELY earn bonuses based on BOGUS shifts in corporate infrastructure that enhance the bottom line, but, demise the company in the long wrong. A methodology of the 'Loser CEOs' that are in it for the greed and not the need of the consumers and workers of the USA. It is completely laughable that the Bush/Cheney Administration bailed out the biggest losers in the USA. I guess it takes one to know one.

But, back to Medicaid.

The Obama Administration has a 'basket case' of a nation to rebuild. This is only one place where the infrastructure, be it medical care infrastructure or medical insurance infrastructure, has been completely demoralized to its purpose and profits. Let's just say I don't believe the 'human condition' is profitable.

But, the fact that people in the USA have lost everything while the investment banks have lost nothing is to realize how completely alone the people of this nation are to 'cope' with life and death.

The Democrats have once before attempted to 'rescue' the people of this nation from the incompetent profiteers on Wall Street. That was during the Clinton Administration. The electorate actually 'bought' the Republicans "Contract with America" nonsense and returned dysfunction and exploitation back to power to do it all over again.



The difference this time is that the USA is completely up against the wall with deficits reaching hideous levels and budgets accumulated from past Republican faux economies and war. So, am I surprised that the people turning to Medicaid out of pure desperation are under-served? Heck, no. Why not abandon Americans at their greatest time of difficulty? The picture speaks eons to the devastation of pass administrations. This didn't happen overnight.

The current Health Care Reform Bill that the House will pass and the Senate will reconcile, if that is the venue to alternatives in favor this morning; will increase payments to providers under both Medicaid and Medicare. THAT is the fact and I read it for myself.

Also, the Health Care Reform Bill has a huge provision to increase the numbers in Medical and Nursing Schools, from MDs to Nurse Practioners to Nursing Assistants. As the numbers of providers increase the Medicare and Medicaid patients will become more desirable. As the payments from health care insurance becomes more stable and consistent across the board these patients will regain their status among those that seek treatment.

So, don't tell me this Administration hasn't looked at the entire picture because they have. They have comprehensively looked into the needs of the people of the USA and they formulated a solution. It will work.

As to the Republican PROPAGANDA regarding Medicare? They are flat out liars. That goes for the Murdoch tribe on every count as well. They speak in 'half truths' that can conveniently be called 'verifiable lies.'

Their statements that Medicare will be cut by $500,000,000 is absolutely correct, BUT, it does not effect the quality or availability of services to Medicare recipients. It is an EMPTY complaint and one that is counter-productive to Bi-partisanship.

Medicare Advantage will be eliminated from the opportunity to have health care insurance. It is a corruptible practice and it has been proven to be such. If the nation wants THE BEST for its oldest Americans it will eliminate this from any possibility for health care insurance and I'll be more than happy to say why.

A health insurance policy is only as good as the company that carries it. If any company offering Medicare Advantage goes broke, belly up or bankrupt (whatever is your favorite word) the recipients of care will be out of luck in regard to their indebtedness to their providers. That cannot happen when a sovereign authority issues the health care insurance policy. If it ever does, as with the Bush/Cheney Administration when it came darn close, then the indebtedness won't matter and the entire nation will be in the same boat. And it won't be a life boat, but, a sinking ship.

The reason Medicaid and Medicare patients are having a difficult time finding providers is because the COSTS and REIMBURSEMENT systems are out of control. That is just the plain truth and the only thing that will bring them back into balance is federal legislation. The imbalance is due to the uninsured and under-insured as well as high copays and premiums that don't deliver the care people need. The first cause of bankruptcy in the USA, the first cause of home foreclosures is due to MEDICAL expenses.

It is a completely hideous picture the USA people have come to accept. They accept it because of 'temporal' effects of generational knowledge. If one doesn't understand differently, they won't demand anything different. The American people have become complacent to their own lives and are scared to have anything change even though they know it needs to. The people of the USA have experienced incompetence in business and government for over thirty years and they believe that it has performed the best it can.

"W"rong !!!!!!

We need health care reform and we need it now !

There is something very sad with this international picture.

Sometimes coups happen because of oppression of the people. Sometimes coups happen to oppress the people. I believe the people of Thailand are desperately asking the United Nations for supervised elections.

Until the facts are known regarding the demonstrations of the people, I believe it would be an error to seriously consider Thailand to the Human Rights Council. I would like to know what is going on in the prisons and how much of the populous actually is represented by the demonstrators. How is the quality of life of the people progressing?

At any rate, the coup did occur. The world was troubled when it did, but, gave the new leadership breathing room to prove its purpose and worth. With such strong opposition, the circumstances need assessment and resolve.

...The apparently mistaken report appeared to be the latest in a string of rumours (click here) that officers from Class 10 of the Royal Military Academy, with whom Thaksin graduated, would try to take over the government. Meanwhile, Supreme Commander General Ruengroj Masaranont said the election commissioners should heed the advice of the three top courts and step aside to give the judiciary free rein to unlock the political impasse....

Thailand Seeks Support for Its Candidacy to the United Nations Human Rights Council (click title to entry - thank you)

Thailand has decided to present its candidacy to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) for the term 2010-2013. It intends to contribute to HRC as a first-time member and hopes to receive the support of various governments at the HRC election, to be held at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in May this year.

In her statement delivered at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok on February 19, Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree, Thai Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, said that she supported Thailand's decision to take this challenge. One of her reasons was that ASEAN needs representation, since Indonesia and the Philippines, the two current members of HRC from Southeast Asia, will retire after their two consecutive terms, which make them ineligible for immediate re-election.

Dr. Sriprapha pointed out that Thailand had been playing a critical role in pushing for a regional human rights system. Although no country in ASEAN is free from criticism of its human rights record, some countries are known for their strong commitments to human rights, and Thailand is one of them....