from December 2009
- Our next KCDC meeting is Tuesday, January 12th, at Stella Maris House, Rockland, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Join the pot-luck supper at 6:00; business meeting at 7:00 with tax discussion and two gubernatorial candidates as guests. The agenda is here.
A holiday greeting and thanks from the President. See the video http://holiday.barackobama.com/ here.
One reason the Senate health care bill is a mess: Money talks, and especially to Max Baucus. Yes, you knew he shut down committee discussion of single-payer, and is a bought-and-paid-for employee of the Medical-Industrial complex, but this chart, put together by the Center for Responsive Politics is really breath-taking.
Recommended Reading: T. R. Reid's The Healing of America: A global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care. Alone among the wealthy, industrialized nations of the world, the United States not only lacks universal health care, but more importantly, has failed as a people to agree on the ethical principle
that every human has a basic right to health care. Reid goes on a world tour that examines the health care systems in Germany, France, Great Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Japan and Taiwan. The variety includes single-payer systems, national health systems, and regulated insurance systems. None is perfect, but none abandons the unlucky among its citizens to untreated sickness or bankruptcy.
When the Tawainese wanted to start a national health care system in the late 1980s they realized they didn't know how. They looked to a Chinese proverb for guidance:
To find your way in the fog, follow the tracks of the oxcart ahead of you. At a high level, this book follows the oxcarts.
Find it at the library...
Howard Dean has been leading the Progressive side of the health care debate. From his remarks last Thursday:
If I were a senator, I would not vote for the current health-care bill. Any measure that expands private insurers' monopoly over health care and transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations is not real health-care reform. Real reform would insert competition into insurance markets, force insurers to cut unnecessary administrative expenses and spend health-care dollars caring for people. Real reform would significantly lower costs, improve the delivery of health care and give all Americans a meaningful choice of coverage. The current Senate bill accomplishes none of these... More from Dr. Dean in this Washington Post OpEd (12/17)...
Politico has a video.
A word from a good Joe:
If I were still a United States senator, I would not only vote yes on the current health care reform bill, I would do so with the sure knowledge that I was casting one of the most historic votes of my 36 years in the Senate. I would vote yes knowing that the bill represents the culmination of a struggle begun by Theodore Roosevelt nearly a century ago to make health care reform a reality. And while it does not contain every measure President Obama and I wanted, I would vote yes for this bill certain that it includes the fundamental, essential change that opponents of reform have resisted for generations... More from the Veep in this NYTimes OpEd (12/19)...
NPR alerted us to PolitiFact.com and its new Lie of the Year award. The inaugural dishonoree is, of course, our favorite political buffoon, Sarah Palin, for her assertion that health care reform would include
Death Panels. More here...
Harry and Louise redux. Here we go again; the party of NO! and its allies are pulling out their old lies and fear tactics.
Physician Agree ad comes from Physicians United for Patients. They want you to believe that the revered
Doctor-Patient Relationship is at risk in the pending congressional legislation. If you're one of the nation's 40+ million un-insured, do you even have a
Doctor-Patient Relationship to worry about?
The Anthem ad from Wellpoint's slick website wants to convince you that you're fine now, but you're gonna pay through the nose after health care reform. How much are Mainers paying Anthem now, you ask?
According to the Maine Attorney General's recent filing in Anthem's rate case,
In addition to the average annual premium of approximately $6,000 paid by Maine consumers to Anthem in 2008, these same individuals paid their own health care costs below the deductible. The average deductible was $7,250 in that year, and is projected to grow to an average of $7,570 in 2009... That means the average policyholder would have to incur a total cost of more than $13,000 in premium and deductibles, prior to becoming eligible to receive any health benefits under the policy. (quoted in this article in the Huffington Post.)
Let's try to save Anthem policy holders some bucks with a little reform. Remind me what the CEO of Anthem takes home? $9.8 million. How much does Anthem spend on lobbying? $9.5 million. So, for starters let's pay our CE0 $100,000 (that's $1/10 million for you big spenders) and eliminate the lobbying. That's $19.2 million in savings, divided by 12,000 policy holders, or about $1,600 per policy holder. What about other executive compensation, claims processing, etc...? Is this fertile ground for reform, or what? And it's the kind of reform Anthem is really sweating.
The U. S. Chamber of Commerce has all its guns blazing, too. Look at all the ammo in the Health Care Toolkit page of their website.
And in related news: Healthcare Stocks On Fire as investors wake up and realize healthcare
Reform is a giant sellout. Follow this link to The Business Insider.
Click for WP 12/15
If you think you are sick of Joe Lieberman now, just wait until you get sick, Jim Shea, a columnist in The Hartford Courant, quoted in this NYTimes 12/14 article. The article asks whether Turncoat Joe is trying to scuttle the Senate health care bill's Public Option and Early Medicare Buy-in provisions because, (1) he's reaped more than $1 million in insurance industry contributions since 1998 (and was the insurance industry's 2nd most popular Senator during the 2006 campaign), or (2) he needs Connecticut Republicans to re-elect him in 2012?
Was this man really our party's nominee for Vice President in 2000?
- House Approves Tougher Rules on Wall Street, on a party-line vote with 27 Democrats defecting, according to the NYTimes (12/11).
It would create an agency to protect consumers from abusive lending practices, set rules for the trading of some of the sophisticated financial instruments that fueled the crisis, and take steps to reduce the threat that the failure of one or two huge banks or investment firms could topple the entire economy. Follow the bill, H.R.4173, at http://thomas.loc.gov/. It faces an uncertain fate in the Senate next year.
Krugman's NYTimes commentary and history reminder is here.
- Town Caucuses are Sunday, January 31st. Caucus conveners must attend a training session at Hugh Magbie's home on January 9th, Saturday, at 2:00 p.m. Town Chairs and Caucus Conveners should give Hugh a call (273-3609) to confirm.
- Our Gubernatorial candidate page is updated with links to the Democratic contenders' websites. Check it out here.
Write a short, hand-written letter supporting passage of the Senate Health Care bill to our Senators Snowe and Collins. Erin Herbig-Povec of Change That Works (CTW), who spoke at our November meeting, will have the letters hand-delivered if you mail them to her at:
122 Lincolnville Avenue
Searsmont, Maine 04973
Your letters (the text can be the same in both letters) should tell the Senators something from your own experience or observation which makes passage important to you or your community. CTW guarantees that the letters will be read; phone calls and emails are merely tallied.
- Remember to
Check our calendar for upcoming events. To post your event, call (763-4691) or email our webmaster, Adrian Humphreys.
Our last Meeting was Tuesday, December 8th at Stella Maris House. The agenda is here.
- Mike Mayo reported for the Candidate Search Committee that we are looking for candidates (one each) for:
- House District 49: Cushing, Friendship, Union, Warren (to oppose Wes Richardson)
- Senate District 22: Most of Knox Co. (to oppose Chris Rector)
- District Attorney
- Judge of Probate
- Bob Baker started a discussion about growing our membership, especially attracting more younger Democrats. Ideas included more press releases, holding events in partnership with other agencies, and simply bringing a friend to a meeting.
- Sean Weed of Thomaston was elected as a representative to the State Committee (to replace Bob Baker, who introduced Sean).
- The Chair:
- Announced Town Caucuses to be held 31 January 2010.
- Welcomed Mike Dunn back in good health.
- Pleaded for more volunteers to fill out our committees.
- Reported that State Committee meetings will continue to be held 6 times a year (now on the 4th Sunday of the month).
- Shelby Wright briefed us on Organizing for America's Rapid Response Teams who are now setting up phone banks to call Snowe and Collins on health care.
- Tim Hoppe announced his resignation as Vice chair.
- John Richardson spoke on his campaign for Governor. John is a former representative to the Maine House, Speaker of the House, and Maine Commissioner of Economic Development. He touted his success in bringing businesses to Maine and defined the three pillars of his candidacy: Economic Development, Energy, and Environment.
- Mike Mayo reported that the No on One campaign continues to encourage conversations on gay marriage, at the same time discussing new legislation that would codify domestic partnerships without the hot-button word.