Monday, September 14, 2009

Smacking the Goobers

¡Hola! Everybody...
I thought I’d start the week with a little truth-telling. For one, no matter what Faux News says, there were maybe 60-70 thousand protesters at Saturday’s “Million Moran© March.” And that’s a generous estimate by the DC fire department. The parks dept., however, put the figure at a more realistic 30k. That’s it? After all the $$$ and the huge media plug, that’s all they could come up with? This is the fringe, my friends. BTW, I didn’t see too much color in that sea of white...

::arches eyebrow::

* * *

-=[ Truth Telling ]=-

Free your mind, your ass will follow...

What better way to start the week than with some old-fashioned libruhl truthiness?

Neocons are here

::points right::

Reality is here

::points left::

and never the twain shall meet...

MYTH 1: There is no health care crisis and the health care system currently works fine; only a small number of uninsured people would benefit from reform.

The Rush dolts want you to believe that there isn’t a crisis in health care in this country. They will tell you that this is really about controlling people’s lives “socialism!”

REALITY: On top of the 40-million-plus of the uninsured are 25 million Americans who are underinsured. The crisis facing the underinsured is the same thing that people who have no insurance at all face: they go without treatment, medications, or do not see a doctor when sick. Both groups face a financial hardship due to medical debt.

Big Insurance restricts or denies coverage by canceling health insurance policies on the grounds that customers had undisclosed, pre-existing conditions. One study found that in one year, three major American insurance companies rescinded almost 20,000 policies -- saving themselves $300 million.

MYTH 2: Progressive health care reform proposals will cause the rationing medical treatment.

Sean “I was toilet trained at gunpoint” Hannity, of Faux News, blurted once, "We're gonna have a government rationing body that tells women with breast cancer, ‘You're dead.’ It's a death sentence!”

REALITY: Hello?!! Big Insurance already rations healthcare. In fact, they acknowledge it, restricting coverage of procedures and tests like MRIs and CAT scans, and denying coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.

Practicing physicians are forced to ration all the time. Basically, they get this paperwork that forces them to justify why they’re ordering test or procedure. Moreover, if the justification is deemed inadequate by a faceless admin, they will not pay for it. This is saying that the patient is going to have to pay for it on their own, which is the essence of rationing.

MYTH 3: Health care reform provides for euthanasia, a “death panel.”

REALITY: “Death panel” claims have been conclusively discredited by more than 40 media reports. For example, PolitiFact wrote: “We’ve looked at the inflammatory claims that the health care bill encourages euthanasia. It doesn’t. There’s certainly no ‘death board’ that determines the worthiness of individuals to receive care. ... [Palin] said that the Democratic plan will ration care and ‘my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.” Palin's statement,” reports PolitiFact, “sounds more like a science fiction movie than part of an actual bill before Congress.”

MYTH 4: Under the health care reform legislation you will be denied care, and it will be given to undocumented immigrants instead.

REALITY: Joe Wilson’s behavior on the house floor wasn’t just stupid; it was based on a lie -- his. If you’re going to be an asshole, you should at least have your facts right. The fact is that the house bill expressly requires that those “not lawfully present” may not receive subsidies to purchase insurance. Under the “Individual Affordability Credits” section of the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009:

MYTH 5: Health care reform would be funded by broad-based tax increases.

REALITY: The surtax in House bill applies only to income exceeding $350,000 per year for joint filers. The House health care legislation would establish a 1% tax on joint income exceeding $350,000 but not greater than $500,000 per year; a 1.5% tax on joint income exceeding $500,000 but not greater than $1 million per year; a 5.4% tax on joint income exceeding $1 million per year. Single filers would be subject to the 1% surtax starting at income exceeding $280,000 per year.

MYTH 6: The House Democrats' bill will raise income taxes on small businesses and subject all small businesses to an 8 percent payroll tax as a penalty for not providing insurance to employees.

A Wall Street Journal editorial actually stipulated that the health-care bill’s 5.4-percentage point income surtax would hit small business especially hard, killing jobs in the process.

REALITY: The House Ways and Means Committee stated that, “using the broadest definition of a small business owner (i.e., any individual with as little as $1 of small business income), that only 4.1% of all small business owners would be affected by the health care surcharge.”

Companies with annual payrolls of less than $250,000 would pay no penalty under the House bill. The House bill would establish a 2 percent payroll penalty for employers with combined payroll between $250,000 to $300,000 that don’t offer health insurance to employees; a 4 percent penalty for employers with $300,000 to $350,000 in payroll; a 6 percent penalty for employers with $350,000 to $400,000 in payroll; and an 8 percent penalty for companies with annual payrolls exceeding $400,000. Additionally, the bill actually establishes tax credits for small-business employers that do provide health care.

MYTH 7: Health care reform would add $1 trillion-plus to deficit.

By now, those of us that read or watch the news has that even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that none of the health plans pending on Capitol Hill would control long-term spending, and that ones with the elements Obama wants would add around $1 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.

REALITY: is that the House bill would increase the federal budget deficit by $239 billion over 10 years -- not $1 trillion. In a July 17 cost estimate of the bill as introduced, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it “reflects a projected 10-year cost of the bill's insurance coverage provisions of $1,042 billion, partly offset by net spending changes that CBO estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those 10 years.” CBO thus concluded the legislation “would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period.”

MYTH 8: Obama is pushing a single-payer system like Canada's or a nationalized health care system like the United Kingdom’s.

REALITY: Unfortunately, He is on record as preferring, “to build on the system that we have and fill some of these gaps.”

I believe this is a mistake because we will not be able to unshackle the stranglehold of the insurance giants and will instead create a giveaway to the same entities that are literally killing us. Still, creation of a not for profit insurance entity would add some much-needed competition to the de fact insurance monopolies.

MYTH 9: Health care reform proposals are socialist and will lead to socialized medicine.

REALITY: Conservatives have trotted out the “socialized medicine” smear for 75 years and it has never been true. In an Urban Institute analysis it states, “socialized medicine involves government financing and direct provision of health care services,” and therefore, recent progressive health-care reform proposals do not “fit this description.”

Media Matters for America found that, as far back as the 30s -- with respect to at least 16 different reform initiatives including President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s consideration of government health insurance when crafting the 1935 Social Security bill; President Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 legislation establishing Medicare; and the health-care initiative by President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton in 1993 and 1994 -- conservatives have used the same fear tactics against those proposals by calling them “socialized medicine.”

It's what they’re good at -- using fear to cow the public.

MYTH 10: Medicare has failed, and so the government can't be trusted to “run health care.”

REALITY: Medicare costs have risen more slowly than private insurance. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote, "Since 1970 Medicare costs per beneficiary have risen at an annual rate of 8.8% -- but insurance premiums have risen at an annual rate of 9.9%. The rise in Medicare costs is just part of the overall rise in health care spending. And in fact Medicare spending has lagged private spending: if insurance premiums had risen 'only' as much as Medicare spending, they'd be 1/3 lower than they are.”

So there you have it. Next time a goober tries to pass off the Koo-Aid to ya, tell them, no thanks, you got the straight stuff.

Ya Betcha!


No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you?


[un]Common Sense