So, how well or poorly do the House and Senate bills on health care reform match up to the clarion call of this decade, Sicko? Jon Greenbaum does an excellent job of sizing it up for you by comparing each case study from the movie to what the bill has to offer:
Would the House and Senate proposals address the problems raised in SiCKO? | Chant Down Babylon.
By and large, while the bill is no peach for us Progressives, the fact is that it does address a lot of the endemic problems associated with the insurance-based system we have. My concern is that, if we lose the public option as a means to control costs, forcing insurers to insure those they previously dumped from their roles will only serve to add an excelerant to the already escalating costs of health care.
Jon Greenbaum checks in with the current status of the health care reform bill moving though the House. Not looking good, thanks to Blue Dog efforts:
via OK, Now H.R. 3200 Really Does Suck | Chant Down Babylon.
And worst of all, the Blue Dogs cut my family out of the deal. Whereas the old bill would help median income folks with our premiums, the Blue Dog version says you are on your own after you jump over 400% of poverty. So if your family earns the median income in Monroe County in the low mid 50 grand per year for a family of four, or even quite a bit less, you are on your own buddy.
Thank you Blue Dogs.
On a positive note, the bill does manage to go a long way towards reforming private health insurance policies, eliminating lifetime service caps and denial of service because of pre-existing conditions. But clearly, the Blue Dogs are actively working against the interests of the working poor in this country. Perhaps those who negotiated this bill aught to be called out on it by name?
Fascinating article by Jon Greenbaum about his Communist grandfather and the history of reform and government responsiveness in this country.
Jon knocks one out of the park with his latest installment, breaking down the specifically corporatist background and inspiration of Superintendent of Schools Jean-Claude Brizzard.
To those who insist that all things can be run better that are run like corporations I ask: what profit is there in education? I don’t mean those ethereal “values,” I mean the cold, hard profits on which corporations are based. Because if you cannot find an intrinsic profit margin in something, then there is no profit motive. And if there is no profit motive, the natural course of action is that a corporation needs to either manufacture one arbitrarily or else fail.
Jon Greenbaum lets loose on Sandy Parker of the Rochester Business Alliance. It is strange the lack of business and economic resources we have in this town. I say this as a person whose tried to pay close attention to our economy, but if it ain’t reported, I got nothin’ to go on. . .
Jon Greenbaum of Metro Justice weighs in on the town hall meeting with Governor Paterson this week. It seems like The Guv is really trying his hardest to protect the wealthy in this budget “crisis.” It’s hard to fathom how we could possibly have a budget crisis when the income tax rate plateaus at a mere $20k a year.
Jon makes a lot of other good points, such as debunking the myth of The Diaspora of the Over Taxed Wealthy. Princeton says it just ain’t so.
As for myself, I would only just add that when we got Paterson as a Governor, he was hailed as a Progressive. What the hell happened, then? A few simple tweaks to the income tax or property taxes in this state would make all the difference instead of heaping all the cost of bailing ourselves out onto the working poor.
Jon Greenbaum of Metro Justice checks into his blog to show off some great pictures of the rally for Fair Share Tax Reform at Liberty Pole Way on Thursday. Oh, yeah, and also to point out that the D&C under reported the rally’s numbers by over 60%. How unlike them.
Jon Greenbaum posts this morning on the party millionaires have been having on Wall Street and the “shared sacrifices” Governor Patterson now expects the rest of us to swallow:
Governor Paterson is confronted with a $15 billion deficit and is talking about shared sacrifice. He is asking us to tighten our belts, proposing $2.5 billion in cuts from our children’s classrooms (on top of reneging on a court ordered increase of $1.9 billion in education funding the Governor is proposing and additional $700 million in education cuts).
But not everybody will feel the burden of these budget cuts in the same way. The cuts will have a disproportionate impact on upstate residents with low incomes and people of color. But aside from a symbolic gesture of taxing things like furs and jets, the Governor is not proposing that the wealthiest New Yorkers step up to pay their fair share.
I’m still having a hard time understanding why people keep calling Patterson a progressive. No progressive in his right mind would insist on VAT taxes – which are inherently regressive, hitting lower incomes harder – instead of what is logical: an income tax policy more in line with the rest of the country.
Jon Greenbaum discusses the comments in the D&C with a lot more passion than I’ve been able to muster these days. Will it take a lawsuit before the Democrat and Chronicle starts actually moderating it’s comments? How many more blogs/politicians/activists need to publicly point this out before Gannet shows an ounce of shame?