Posts Tagged ‘Health Care’

One one side of the spectrum we have two dozen Chicago high schools that are going to pass out free condoms. Does that protect kids from teen pregnancy or does it encourage kids to have sex? http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/03/20/two-dozen-chicago-high-schools-to-offer-free-condoms/#.UytOIElOdh8.facebook

On the other side of the spectrum there’s a cool historical finding of two long-lost photos of President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/maryland-man-may-have-found-two-forgotten-photos-of-lincolns-funeral-procession/2014/03/19/8f5f5fa6-ade6-11e3-96dc-d6ea14c099f9_story.html

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Not surprising: In this report from PublicCitizen, there are as many as 50,000 incomplete reports in the National Practitioner Databank. The databank is currently closed to the public and scores of practitioners have been able to simply hop to another state when they lose a license in one. Accountability starts with transparency here.
http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/pressroomredirect.cfm?ID=3904

Former presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann has heads shaking on both sides of the aisle after stating she believes Americans are not ready for a female president. Even Senator John McCain (R-AZ) stated he believes if the election were held tomorrow Hillary Clinton “would most likely” win. While American Live Wire doesn’t endorse Clinton, perhaps this is some sort of reverse psychological tactic by Bachmann — knowing that she would get destroyed by Hillary in a head-to-head election, she’s discrediting all female candidates at the moment in hopes the former First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State won’t get elected either.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/02/22/are-we-ready-for-a-female-president-bachmann-says-no/

Tapping into the American Live Wire for a few items of interest…

A father breaks a judge’s gag order over the concern his daughter is being held at a hospital against his will:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/02/17/ready-jon-father-so-heartbroken-about-daughter-held-at-hospital-against-his-will-he-just-defied-a-judges-order-to-talk-to-us-i-want-to-have-all-my-guns-blazing/

Human traffickers using social media to prey on victims:
http://www.wogx.com/story/24757808/human-traffickers-using-social-media-to-prey-on-victims

Bullying’s health effects snowball over time:
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/bullyings-health-effects-snowball-over-time-n30806

And in world news… the latest from the Ukranian conflict:
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/02/19/protesters-clash-with-police-in-ukraine-capital-as-opposition/

American Live Wire now has a Facebook presence! It’s been a long-time coming, but please “Like” us here:
https://www.facebook.com/theamericanlivewire

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates has attempted to kill House Bill 33, Lynette’s Law. Voice your support of this much-needed legislation! Call (410) 841-3488 and let them know you want to keep HB33 alive and to protect patients from sexually exploitative mental health professionals.

Erin’s Law has finally made it to Maryland as House Bill 1344. This is an important task force to study child sex abuse prevention. Congrats, to Erin Merryn. View the bill here:
http://openstates.org/md/bills/2014/HB1344/

“Off the Wire” posts are quick news blurbs in addition to the full blog articles. Keep a lookout for them here on a nearly daily basis.

It was the ol’ bait-and-switch on the health care bill. According to White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod, it is likely that the amendment to the health care bill that restricts federal funding for abortions and caused just enough Democrats to vote for it in order for the bill to passed will be stripped out by President Obama.

First, Nancy Pelosi tried to ram through health care legislation on November 7… a Saturday when the public wasn’t really paying attention (and what happened to giving us at least 36 hours to read the 2000 pages?).  The House met in intense debates all day, but they could not get the measure passed until an amendment written by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) prevented federal subsidies from going toward private plans that offer abortion overage. This swayed enough moderate Democrats to pass the bill 220-215 in the dead of the night.

However, President Obama does not support the amendment, stating it changes the “status quo,” and may intervene to delete the legislation that got the bill passed. No, according to Axelrod, “He’s going to work with Senate and the House to try and ensure that at the end of the day, the status quo is not changed … there are discussions ongoing to how to adjust it accordingly.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell insists that Americans do not want their tax dollars funding abortions and the legislation will likely be held up in the Senate. “This will be on the floor for quite a long time. I think it ought to be on the floor at least as long as it’s been in Harry Reid’s office.”

So… in order to finagle this bill through the House, the abortion amendment gets tacked on that gets just enough Democrats to barely pass it, and then the administration comes along and rips out the thing that actually got it passed? How shady is that? Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and Axelrod should go in together on a used car dealership. Their sales skills would be better suited for that profession.

Met Mike Huckabee tonight… the resulting article:

Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appeared before a large crowd in Edmond, Oklahoma, last night at Best of Books, the latest stop for his book tour promoting his new tome, A Simple Christmas. It seems to be a recent trend that those in political media are writing heart warming Christmas tales. A Simple Christmas has been released during the same season as Glenn Beck’s children’s version of The Christmas Sweater, an adaptation of his adult novel from a year ago.

Huckabee’s book is a collection of twelve Christmas tales from throughout his life, beginning as a child up to his time as a presidential candidate. In a day and age in which Christmas has become inundated with commercialism, he has billed his memories as heart warming stories that celebrate the holiday spirit. Huckabee believes that it’s possible to make the Christmas season simple again instead of becoming lost in the frustrating chaos our times have made it.

Glenn Beck’s The Christmas Sweater, on the other hand, is a novel about a boy named Eddie who wanted a bike for Christmas but instead receives from his mother a hand-made sweater that he absolutely does not like. He insults her and she later dies in a car accident. Now adapted as a children’s book for the 2009 season, the rest of the story tells how Eddie deals with his bitterness and anger while staying with his grandparents.

Both books by the political media hosts are based on Christian principles, Huckabee probably more prominently so as a former pastor. Each have other books that deal with hot political issues and views expressing their conservative viewpoints, but the Christmas books show a different side of the men and gives us a glimpse of their souls away from the camera.

Toward the end of his signing in Edmond, Governor Huckabee spent a few minutes fielding questions from reporters about the current health bill which just passed the House and is on its way to the Senate. He stated the plan is, “an unmitigated disaster,” and when asked if he believed the states could afford the plan, he expressed that they could not. He maintained his stance that America has a health crisis and not a health care crisis. It was a brief moment that snapped the crowd back to real world politics in what had otherwise been a heart-warming night full of promise for the upcoming holiday season.

Try as he might, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Democrats that support him are getting nowhere fast with their insistence of a public option in the current health care legislation. All 40 Republican members of the Senate are against the public option meaning all 60 Democrats would have to approve it, but a number of moderate Democrats oppose it. Independent Senator Joe Lieberman has also announced that he would help the Republican filibuster.

Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, one of the Democrats on the fence, stated, “The question is, is this enough flexibility for states to account for their own circumstances? And the answer to that is perhaps. But I’d like to wait to see what’s in the language.”

Lieberman was more definitive. “I think such a government-run health insurance company will be bad for our country and really will hurt taxpayers.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is busy working on another proposed health care bill that also includes a public option, and she plans to make a formal announcement about it Thursday morning. Where Pelosi’s bill differs in Reid’s is in the requirement of government-run insurance. In her re-named “consumer option,” Pelosi will require universal sign-ups and the establishment of a new government-run insurance option for millions. Reid’s bill allows for states to opt-out of a modified version of the government insurance.

Additional pressure for moderate Democrats comes from the 5 million member MoveOn.org, which has publically stated that those Democrats who do not support the public option will not receive support from MoveOn.

In a small step toward passing health care reform, The Senate Finance committee voted 14-9 to pass its version of health care legislation to the Senate. Maine Senator Olympia Snowe was the lone Republican to vote the bill forward, but also stated, “I can’t vote for a public option.”

The latter disclaimer is not music to the ears of the likes of Nancy Pelosi who still incorrectly states that most Americans want the public option. Polling shows that only 45% of Americans want the public option while a full 50% are against it.

The 10-year back-loaded $829 billion bill still meets with a lot of scrutiny over how much it will actually cost. Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf confirmed that the bill’s impact on the nation is still unknown while a new report from Price Waterhouse Coopers shows that health care reform will raise costs for most Americans by 18%. By the time the plan is completely phased in by 2019, the average American family will be paying an extra $4000 per year for health care.

But Phase 1 doesn’t begin until 2013… after Obama’s re-election campaign.

Call it a summit. Call it another campaign speech. In a last-gasp effort to revive the public option in the current health care bill, President Obama resorted to media candy. Rounding up 150 doctors that support his agenda, the administration dressed them up in white doctor coats and trotted them out in front of Obama so he could preach to his small choir and the media could grab photos and video of the president speaking at doctors that would actually nod their heads in approval at him.

This is a response tactic to the Investors Business Daily poll of doctors that lambasted the government-run health care plan. If you recall, this poll discovered that two out of three American physicians oppose the health care bill, 72% of doctors disagree with the Obama administration that they can accomodate 47 million new patients with better care at a lower cost, and 45% said they would consider retiring if Obamacare were implemented.

Doctors that do not agree with Obama’s view of health care were upset at the snub. Said Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Maryland pediatrician and congressional fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program, “It just appears that President of the United States, at this point, is choosing to meet with only those who support his agenda.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, Obama did say at his joint session of Congress in September that his open door policy was one in which he didn’t want people wasting his time.

Speaking of the joint session of Congress, it was there that President Obama declared that he would find $500 billion in Medicare waste to pay for his plan. While many decried if there was that much obvious waste then they ought to start cutting now. Well, they finally have. The first $16 billion of cuts over the next 10 years in Medicare will come at the expense of nursing homes and the elderly.

So… they circumvented Sarah Palin’s death panel accusation by simply taking any late-life discussion away altogether, decreasing the amount of available care and equipment as the baby boomer generation continues to get older.

Stated David Hebert, a senior vice president at the American Health Care Association, “We can foresee the possibility of nursing homes having to close their doors. “I certainly foresee that we’ll have to let staff go.”

So what’s the message here? Our elderly are considered waste? But I guess that’s supposed to be ok because all the white coats around Obama today were applauding.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi approached a podium yesterday with American flags stacked behind her and used scare tactics to push her health care agenda. She made references to the 1978 murders of Mayor George Moscone and city Supervisor Harvey Milk by stating, “I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco.”

She continued to say that, “This kind of rhetoric was very frightening,” and it creates an environment that’s ripe for violence. The violence to which Pelosi was referencing was seen as assassinations in association with a debate over gay rights.

“I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made,” Pelosi went on, and walked away from the podium insisting that the health care plan would have a public option.

It was an effort to quell critics of the current health care proposals, but her remarks have been met with criticism. House Minority Leader John Boehner said Thursday, “Listen, I was at a tea party in Westchester, Ohio on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend with 18,000 people. I saw no signs or any indication of any kind of violence.” He continued, “You’re seeing average Americans who’ve never been involved in the political process taking a more active role in our society and in this debate. And so, you know, I believe it ought to be civilized, but — but Americans are speaking up and they ought to speak up.”

The 9-12 march on Washington which included 75,000+ people by some estimates was a peaceful rally in which there were zero arrests.