Health Reform

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First-class medical care for the wealthy

First-class medical care is available in China, not only to expats, but also to those with deep pockets in the major cities. Liu Zhihua, China Daily, July 18, 2012 More well-off Chinese are opting for expensive private hospital care, rather than waiting their turn at public hospitals. Ren Ni, director of an international exhibition company, had her laser eye surgery recently at a private eye clinic of Singapore Medical Group and was totally satisfied with the excellent service. "I am very busy, and cannot afford the long waiting time at public hospitals," Ren says. "At a private healthcare agency, I can decide when to receive the treatment to minimize disruption at work." ... First-class

Private Money Pours Into China's Healthcare, Boosting Fortune For Ciming Health Checkup Founders

Laura He, Forbes, July 10, 2012 Private money is pouring into China’s healthcare industry at an impressive clip. The number of private hospitals in the country has increased 20.6% year-on-year to 8,947 as of May 2012, according to statistics released this week by China’s Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, the number of public hospitals has decreased 2.8% to 13,441. With one of the world’s largest elderly populations, and dramatically rising standards of living, China has seen growing domestic demand for healthcare services. That is translating into bigger opportunities for private investors - both domestic and foreign - in the sector. ... Private

Nurses Union Will Keep Fighting for Medicare for All

Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director, National Nurses United, July 17, 2012 Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, former insurance company executive Wendell Potter’s appeal to single payer advocates to “bury the hatchet,” recently published in The Nation, is both misdirected and shortsighted.

 Potter argues that insurance industry pirates will exploit left critiques of the ACA to subvert implementation of the law. He calls on proponents of more comprehensive reform to forgive and forget, embracing the massive concessions made by the Obama administration and its liberal allies. But there are some gaping holes in this thinking. ... Nurses

Head-in-the-sand 'solution' is killing GOP

Jack Bernard, Des Moines Register, July 16, 2012 We Republicans have ourselves to blame for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Our reaction to the Clinton health reform proposals in the early 1990s was to have conservative think tanks come up with a free competition model based on expansion of private insurance and Medicaid. That idea became Romneycare, which evolved into Obamacare. It is our baby, ugly or not. It is the height of hypocrisy for us now to criticize our own idea unless we have something better to replace it. And, the replacement needs to be comprehensive ... Head-in-the-sand

Targeting Single-Payer Advocates

Liberals Go Dizzy Spinning ObamaCare. Helen Redmond, CounterPunch, July 16, 2012 President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act sucks. It isn’t change in the dysfunctional American health care system that any one should believe in or defend. And yet that is exactly what liberals and  progressives are doing. Led by spin doctors at The Nation, they’re spinning ObamaRomneyCare (ORC), and that’s what it should be called, as if it were a step in the right direction. As if it were the only outcome of the national health care reform debate in 2009. ... Targeting

Wendell Potter, Single-Payer and the Big Lie

The Democrats' Latest Hatchetman. Russell Mokhiber, CounterPunch, July 16, 2012 Single payer, living wage, cutting the military industrial complex. The American people want it. And we can’t get it. Why not? Because good people continue to lie to themselves. The big lie? The Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party. Check out how the big lie tricks good people into doing stupid things. In August 2004, Michael Moore and Bill Maher got down on their knees and urged Ralph Nader not to run against the two corrupt political parties. They feared Ralph would hurt the Democrats. ... Wendell

Medicaid expansion a tough sell to governors of both parties

NC Aizenman & Karen Tumulty, Washington Post, July 12, 2012 While the resistance of Republican governors has dominated the debate over the health-care law following last month’s Supreme Court decision to uphold it, a number of Democratic governors are also quietly voicing concerns about a key provision to expand coverage. At least seven Democratic governors have been noncommittal about their willingness to go along with expanding their states’ Medicaid programs, the chief means by which the law would extend coverage to millions of Americans with incomes below or near the poverty line. ... Medicaid

Freedom Rider: Nixoncare Finally Wins

Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report, July 11, 2012 The euphoria in the Obama camp over their health care victory at the US Supreme Court shows “the Democrats of the 21st century are akin to the Republicans of forty years ago.” Back then, Richard Nixon proposed a health care plan very much resembling – and, in some ways, superior to – Obamacare. When the Obama plan goes into effect in 2014, “there will still be nothing to prevent health insurance companies from manipulating the market place and giving Americans access to inferior coverage with high deductibles.” ... Freedom

The Battle for Healthcare Has Just Begun

Editors, The Nation, July 11, 2012 
If you thought the battle over healthcare reform came to an end when the Supreme Court declared the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate constitutional, think again. The fight is just beginning. On one side the Republican Party and its big money allies aspire to defeat President Obama, take control of Congress and repeal the largest piece of domestic legislation in forty-five years. Mitt Romney’s plan is even more regressive. He’d not only eliminate insurance for the 30 million Americans covered by the ACA; he would change the way the industry is taxed and regulated, turn Medicare into a voucher program and transform Medicaid into a block grant ... The

Healthcare Advocates: Time To Bury the Hatchet

Wendell Potter, The Nation, July 11, 2012 Health insurance executives breathed a sigh of relief when the Supreme Court upheld their favorite part of the Affordable Care Act (the part that is one of the least popular among the rest of us) - the individual mandate. And then, I’m confident, moments after they exhaled, they were on a conference call with their army of lobbyists and PR people to approve a strategy, developed months ago, to gut the provisions that the rest of us do like. These are the parts of the law that require insurers to provide coverage to millions they have long shunned like lepers, and that make the most egregious but profitable industry practices ... Healthcare

The Question to be Decided

Shall Health Care Be Regarded as a Basic Human Right or as a For-Profit Multi-Billion Dollar Business? Emergency Labor Network, July 9, 2012 The Affordable Care Act (ACA), having been upheld by the Supreme Court, contains a number of very positive features. But there are yawning gaps in its coverage of enormous proportions. When fully implemented, it will still leave 27 million uninsured, and that number could be much larger with the Court’s having made expanded Medicaid coverage optional for the states. This is undoubtedly the worst aspect of its decision. It puts at risk the main tool to expand insurance coverage to the very poor, mostly people of color. ... The

After the Supremes, Another look at the Affordable Care Act

National Nurses United, July 9, 2012 With the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it’s a good time to look at what the law does (and doesn’t do). ... After

Memphis AFL-CIO Labor Council Endorses HR.676

All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care, July 9, 2012

Irvin Calliste, President, Memphis AFL-CIO Labor Council, reports that the council has endorsed HR.676, national single payer health care legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen is one of the 76 co-sponsors of this legislation which is also called “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.” The Memphis council is the third one in Tennessee to endorse HR.676. The Knoxville-Oak Ridge Area and the Nashville and Middle Tennessee labor councils, as well as the Tennessee AFL-CIO, did so earlier.

The Dark Side of Roberts’ Ruling

Bill Blum, Truthdig, July 7, 2012 The individual mandate is constitutional and the media spin is in. In switching his vote at the eleventh hour and upholding the central pillar of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - albeit as a tax - Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts not only came to the rescue of the president’s primary domestic achievement, but also to the rescue of the court itself. With the stroke of his judicial pen, Roberts moved the institution away from the partisan divide that has crippled the country’s civic life and politics and restored the court’s reputation as an independent bulwark committed only to the rule of law. ... The

Brawling Over Health Care Moves to Rules on Exchanges

Robert Pear, New York Times, July 7, 2012 Washington - Critics of the new health care law, having lost one battle in the Supreme Court, are mounting a challenge to President Obama’s interpretation of another important provision, under which the federal government will subsidize health insurance for millions of low- and middle-income people. Starting in 2014, the law requires most Americans to have health insurance. It also offers subsidies to help people pay for insurance bought through markets known as insurance exchanges. ... Brawling

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