I have created a new bit for the show that will be featured on Youtube. It is called Fat Man Rants. The first video in the playlist is on who is to blame when it comes to keeping your plan or keeping your doctor.
On the October 16, 2013 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:
The debt ceiling and government shutdown debates are supposedly coming to an end (at least in the short term). I am not holding my breath until the last vote passes as the President signs the bill into law. But why are we having this insantity? Who is to blame? Is there shared blame? Some Conservatives are even saying that President Obama is to blame for all the divisiveness we are having in this country. Is that another example of insanity?
Steve Scalise (R-LA) has an “alternative” healthcare proposal on his website that other Conservatives are also supporting. That policy, in and of itself, is insane. I will go into that explanation as well.
There is insanity in other areas as well. Zero tolerance policies are another example of insanity. A high school teenager who did the right thing is one of the most recent victims of these insane policies.
Insanity even takes place in the air. A passenger on one airline was forced to purchase two seats. Listen to why this is insane in headlines and I will discuss it more in the show.
Have any more examples of insanity, call in (or respond to the Liberaldan.com blog post if you are not listening live and share your ideas).
All that, plus tweet of the week and words of redneck wisdom tonight on Liberal Dan Radio, Talk From The Left That’s Right.
Back during the healthcare debates of 2009 the GOP promoted a healthcare bill that was their “compromise bill” to the Affordable Care Act. (And when I say compromise I mean the bill that they wanted the Democrats to pass as a compromise to the ACA, some compromise). That bill was garbage. It seems that this bill resurrects all the bad from that bill while throwing out all the good that the ACA has to offer.
So, you ask, where can you read this horrible bill? Well right here.
So, what makes it so bad? Well, first of all it starts by repealing every single provision of the ACA as well as the “fixer” law that amended the ACA after its passage. What does this mean to you? Well, even Fox News lays out some reasons why Americans will love “Obamacare”. So you lose all that.
I have searched the bill that Scalise and other GOP members are supporting for the term “rescission”. It does not exist. So this means that insurers, under the GOP bill, would be allowed to cancel your policy if you are sick. Insurers should be required to insure you through your sickness. If they can just drop your policy if you are sick, it stops being insurance.
I searched the bill for the word “maximum”. See, the ACA prohibits annual and lifetime maximums. With this bill, that ban goes away. So an insurer can decide “hey, you have cost us too much money, go pay for the rest of your treatment by yourself”.
I searched for “existing” to see how the law deals with preexisting conditions. This bill would push individuals with preexisting conditions into high risk pools. This forces high risk insureds on the state without allowing the state to benefit from the pooling effect that comes with the inclusion of lower risk individuals. This plan would bankrupt the states. Anybody living in Louisiana should know how horrible high risk pools are. Congressman Scalise should be familiar with Citizens insurance. This was the property insurance of last resort for homeowners in Louisiana. It would be made available to those businesses that didn’t want to write business in certain areas of Louisiana. It was expensive and it was broken. Citizens did not get to offset its high risk policies with lower risk ones. It was automatically doomed to fail. Yet he wants to do the same thing with health insurance? That is not how insurance is supposed to work. In insurance you create large pools so that the losses from certain people are offset by the lack of losses from other people.
The previous bill allowed insurers to select a home, or primary, state where the insurer will be based. By selecting this home state the GOP sponsored bill would allow a company operating in state A to circumvent the laws of state B if it sells policies in state B. This is a violation of the 10th amendment. A state should absolutely be able to dictate regulations on the insurance products sold within its borders. This idea stems from the lie that Conservatives often repeat that a company should be able to “sell insurance across state lines”. I work for an insurer. I have written code specifically to handle insurance that the company sold in a state other than the state we are based. The only requirement is that the policies sold in other states needed to follow the laws of that other state. This is reasonable. The GOP suggestion is not.
The bill contains the following language:
CLARIFY USE OF DRUGS IN PREVENTIVE CARE.—Subparagraph (C) of section 223(c)(2) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘‘Preventive care shall include prescription and over-the-counter drugs and medicines which have the primary purpose of preventing the onset of, further deterioration from, or complications associated with chronic conditions, illnesses, or diseases
This is clearly written to eliminate the idea that oral contraceptives should be considered to be preventive care. It is considered preventive care under the ACA. The GOP hates oral contraception (even though it prevents abortion). Go figure. This is just stupidity.
The bill imposes medical malpractice limits. For some reason the GOP thinks that reducing the possible money that one can get from a medical malpractice case will some how help insurance rates. It doesn’t and it also winds up hurting patients harmed by malpractice. Watch one example of how medical malpractice caps hurt people.
And of course, to make sure the bill doesn’t pass, the GOP included abortion language. Because nobody knows the body of a woman and its needs better than Congressman Steve Scalise.
This bill could very well pass the House. There is no way it passes the Senate. So why propose this garbage? Well, just to waste time I guess because the GOP in the House of Representatives are not doing anything else meaningful at the moment. So why not introduce a terrible bill to boot.
On the October 9th episode of Liberal Dan Radio:
I will be continuing the discussion of the lies surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Some have popped up just recently in the last week and some have been around for a while. I will go over some of the newer ones (like people who try and compare premium costs with yearly costs) and some of the older ones (like the lie that Conservatives repeat that they must be right on healthcare if a majority of people polled oppose the law).
I will also go into a little bit of the government shutdown. Who is really to blame? Various opinions have been given and I will go over some of them here.
Those topics, Words of Redneck Wisdom, Headlines, Tweet of the Week and more, on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.
On the October 2nd episode of Liberal Dan Radio:
This eposide will be devoted to the Affordable Care Act, i.e. Obamacare.
What does it mean for you? What are the benefits? Are there any drawbacks? Is the law perfect? What would I change about the law?
But this just scratches the surface of what we can talk about when it comes to Obamacare. There is also the vast criticisms from the right wing about how bad it is. If the law was that bad, why wouldn’t the Republicans allow it to fall flat on its face?
And what are the lies out there? Conservatives are spreading all sorts of lies about the law and they need to be debunked. Is Congress and the Presdient really “exempted” from the law? Is that even possible? If not, where does that idea come from?
What about the idea that Obama lied about losing your coverage? What did he say? If someone loses coverage between the passage of the law and now, does that mean that Obama lied?
And that just scratches the surface. All of those topics plus headlines, the tweet of the week, words of redneck wisdom and more Wednesday on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.
Thursday, May 23rd, on Liberal Dan Radio:
Does your DNA belong to you? A lawsuit has been filed against Myriad Genetics. Myriad claims to own the gene BRCA1, the same gene used to determine that Angelina Jolie has a higher risk of breast cancer than normal. It also claims to own the BRCA2 gene as well. Can one own a patent on a gene that your own body creates? Can one own a patent on a design on how to test for those genes? Can one own a patent on all forms of ways to test for those genes regardless of if they develop those tests or not? I will go over the myriad issues surrounding this case and what it means for individuals who are seeking to see if they are also at risk.
Also, a Florida high school student who is 18 has been charged with raping her 15 year old female classmate. Some are blaming the religious beliefs of the 15 year old girl as the cause of the charges against the older student. Is it really correct to make this a gay rights issue? Would religious parents have accepted it had the 18 year old student been male?
Finally, a new Planned Parenthood will be opening in New Orleans. I will go over the arguments made by those opposed to the opening of this new center and explain why they are horribly wrong.
Those stories, headlines, redneck words of wisdom, an update by Cool Mini Or Not and your calls on Liberal Dan Radio: talk from the left, that’s right.
In an op-ed, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal stated his support for allowing birth control pills to be made available over the counter.
He also stated that he opposes the requirement that insurance policies not only cover oral contraception but do so at 100% first dollar.
To some it might seem counter-intuitive to support increased access to oral contraception while also seeking to allow employers to not cover oral contraception in health insurance policies (that are paid for by the work of their employees).
However, by making oral contraceptives available over the counter, the pills would no longer be covered under an insurance plans prescription coverage. So not only would Jindal make sure that his religious fundamentalist buddies would get their way by allowing them to offer their employees insurance without oral contraception coverage, he would also end up making it harder to obtain birth control (especially for those women who cannot use the simple generic version of the drug) because it would no longer be covered at 100% first dollar .
When I first heard of his support for making oral contraceptives available over the counter I refused to believe that he was doing so to increase access to birth control for women. All I needed was a little time to uncover the method behind Jindal’s madness. So for those people who believe that Jindal has all of a sudden become more friendly to women’s issues, don’t kid yourself. That will never happen.
Update: Other bloggers have also seen through this facade.
Why Bobby Jindal is not your Birth Control Buddy also points out that this is about reducing access to oral contraception and questions Jindal’s inclusion of age into the argument.
Update 2: It is a little disturbing that Think Progress believes Jindal is waking to popular opinion and is pushing for increased access to birth control coverage. He is, in fact, distorting popular opinion to push his radical right wing agenda of restricting access to women.
I was watching Rachel Maddow this evening after watching the USA win a bunch of medals. She was making a lot of good points about all of the new benefits that “Obamacare” gives insureds. However, she made one point that I disagree with. She stated that the benefits that come covered 100% first dollar are at no cost, that they are free.
Well, that is wrong. I work very hard for my benefits, including my insurance. Every premium dollar paid is reimbursement for my contributing to the total net income of the company I work for. Because of that, I get a salary and a health insurance plan.
So don’t say that the preventive care that “Obamacare” requires to be covered 100% first dollar is “free”. It helps to propagate the Conservative narrative that people are getting stuff “for free”. Of course it isn’t free. We pay for it with our labor and should demand to get what we pay for.
WLAE aired “Louisiana the State We’re In” tonight and it had several people on to discuss the Affordable Care Act and how it impacts the State of Louisiana. Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy, Louisiana State Senator and Louisiana Democratic Party head Karen Carter Peterson and Steve Spires, head of the Louisiana Budget Project were all guests.
They first discussed the scheduled July 11th House repeal vote. Congressman Cassidy stated that the reason it is important to have this vote, even though it wont make the Senate and wouldn’t get signed by the President, is that we need to continue the discussion. Uh, what discussion? There has been no discussion on the part of the Republican Party on this issue. They never wanted to come to the table and deal with the Democrats on how to best reform Healthcare as they had no intent on ever helping Obama gain a political victory. He still managed to get one despite their best efforts, but they never wanted to discuss it so I cannot imagine they would want to discuss anything now. They are absolutely welcome to prove me wrong and I would be the first person to admit if I was wrong on it. They likely just want to use their Congressional platform to wave their banner and give more lies about the law instead of doing what they should be doing and creating a jobs bill to help put the American people back to work. Unfortunately, they don’t want Americans going back to work until a Republican President takes office.
Peterson and Cassidy debated the idea of Bobby Jindal rejecting the additional help for Louisiana’s working poor to help them get insurance via Medicaid when they normally wouldn’t be able to have any health coverage. Peterson described this as a callous disregard for the decision of the court and harmful for 500,000 Louisiana Citizens. Cassidy described this as Governor Jindal coming to the rescue and helping to save us from “bad policy”. He also said that states are spending more money on Medicaid than on education and that an education is more likely to get someone out of poverty than healthcare. Peterson countered by claiming that if the child is sick they won’t be able to benefit from an education.
Senator Peterson is right, however, in Louisiana, even if they get an education it might include from state dollars that are spent teaching people that the Loch Ness Monster is proof against evolution. I find it hard to believe that such an education would help anyone escape poverty. There are also many issues with the government vouchers that Louisiana is implementing that I have some huge problems with. But that is beyond the scope of this post. But one thing that Bobby Jindal has some experience doing is cutting services to people on Medicaid. So nobody should be surprised that Bobby Jindal would refuse expanding medical service to people who need them. Steve Spires added that there is an economic benefit to Louisiana for accepting these funds. It would not only lift the burden on some state plans that are only funded by state tax dollars before the expansion of coverage, but it would also help reimburse some doctors who provide treatment without compensation.
I kinda felt sorry for Mr. Spires on the show. You had two politicians and a guy with a lot of facts and figures who kept getting drowned out by the rhetoric. I wish he could have been allowed to speak more about the actual numbers.
The thing I found amazing about the show was Bill Cassidy complaining that the prohibition of insurance companies denying children coverage because of preexisting conditions was causing a death spiral in the market and causing insurance companies to no longer provide coverage for single children. What he doesn’t mention is that the fix to that is the mandate. Once they are required to have coverage, people cannot just wait until they are sick to buy insurance. They are required to either have it or pay the penalty to the IRS. Unfortunately, Congressman Cassidy did not go into detail of anti-selection and why mandates prevent it. Fortunately, Mr Spires jumped right on it and explained why the mandate solves the problem of the death spiral.
Mr. Spires then added that the state based exchanges would help bring prices down in the individual market and make it more affordable. Unfortunately, Governor Jindal is refusing to implement those as well.
It was a good watch for anyone who wants a little more information about how this law impacts the citizens of Louisiana in a positive way and how Governor Jindal’s actions may very well hurt the citizens of Louisiana. I just wish Mr. Spires would have been given more time.
Howard Dean has been making the rounds on the news circuit claiming that the Supreme Court should throw out the individual mandate but keep the rest of the law.
Here is the problem. If you keep every other part of the law but toss out the mandate, it cannot work. In order to understand the rest of this post you need to understand the concept of anti selection. If that link is too long for you to read, the simple explanation is this. If there is no reason for an individual to buy insurance when well, people will just wait to buy insurance until they are sick. This would mean that the only people buying insurance would be those making claims and insurance companies would become no more than really expensive discount plans. It would ultimately drive insurance companies out of business, leaving more people uninsured.
Now, the insurance companies previously compensated for this possibility with the preexisting condition clause. It basically protected the insurance companies from people who would just wait until they were sick to buy insurance. Now, these clauses were misused and abused by insurance companies. That is one of the reasons they were eliminated in the healthcare law. However, there needed to be a way to counter anti selection and the way to accomplish this was the individual mandate. With a mandate, people cannot practice anti selection because they are required to have insurance.
Since Former Governor Dean supports the elimination of preexisting condition clauses (because he wants the rest of the law intact), supports the elimination of the mandate, and has not provided us with another way to avoid anti selection, he has proven himself to not understand the issue enough and really should just be ignored on this issue. (And that is pretty sad seeing his background in Medicine, he really should understand this issue much better).
Now, Former Governor Dean is welcome to present another way to prevent anti selection that would be more popular than a mandate and incapable of being abused by insurance companies. If he presents a valid way to do so, we could replace the mandate with his way. However, if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional while keeping the rest of the law intact, until that alternative way is found we will have anti selection and that would just be very bad.
I know Dean wants single payer, but win the argument by convincing enough people that single payer is the right way to go. Don’t completely break the system harming many in the short term.
And you know the worst part of all of Dean’s ranting about this is? He doesn’t even give a legal reason WHY the mandate should be overturned. He just wants it to be. (And that likely because is that there is no legal reason why it should be overturned. It is an amendment to the tax code. Congress has the authority to change the tax code).