Archive for the ‘Public Option’ Category

>Elections: Present and future

September 30, 2009


Don’t forget the special city council meeting tonight at 6:00 where Earl Cochran, council president says he will set the mayor “straight” on how the city should be run. Tangled up in the mess are the poor dogs housed in the Bessemer Animal Shelter, who have been without food at least 8 times over last few months. Yet the mayor refused to accept a donation of food. That’s bad, but the real question is, “Where did the money go?” The agency is budgeted sufficient funds to pay for food, so why did they not have it? The council also has other issues with the mayor, so it could be a very interesting meeting. Be there.

Be sure and read my Western Tribune column, which follows. Me? A communist?

Congratulations to both Claire Mitchell and Lawrence McAdory who were the top vote getters in yesterdays special election. The runoff will be November 10. Claire Mitchell will win.

Those who are trying to prevent health care reform must be feeling pretty chipper this morning after the Senate Finance committee rejected the public option yesterday. But it’s not over. Readers like Becki who would rather see a gay person with AIDS die without treatment than have government run health care assisting him, think that most Americans agree with them, but they don’t. Sixty five percent of Americans want a public option.

So Michael Moore said it right. He can count on me to join him. This is at 10:50 in the video. But watch it all.

To the Democrats in congress, who don’t quite get it, I want to offer a personal pledge. I, and a lot of other people, have every intention of removing you from congress in the next election if you stand in the way of health care legislation that the people want. That is not a hollow or idle threat. We will come to your districts and we will work against you, first in the primary and if we have to in the general election. You don’t think so? You think we’re just gonna go along with you because you are democrats? You should think again. This is the number one domestic issue on people’s minds right now.

>Historic buildings in Bessemer

September 29, 2009

>Have you voted? The unscientific Bessemer Opinions poll has Claire Mitchell winning the district 56 primary without a runoff! Low turnout is expected, so your vote could really make a difference. Go now!

I don’t know the history of this building. I don’t know when it was built. I don’t know what it’s original purpose was.

I do know that it is one of Bessemer’s historic buildings.

But there’s no preservation going on here. Yesterday the building came down, as you can see in this picture from the rear.

This is unrelated, but just a block away, the remains of this building sit on this corner for months. Why hasn’t this been cleaned up?

Three blocks away, a burned building sat for months before the lot was cleaned off. And that didn’t happen until the city decided to build the new DHR building there. Click here to see how the DHR building will look.

This building had an advertisement painted on it. The Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association is interested in it. More on this in a few days.

Bing Perrine of Billings, Montana collapsed last year because of congenital heart problems and needed open heart surgery. Can you imagine holding bake sales to fund your life saving surgery? That’s what our country has come to, and that is what the Republicans (and Max Baucus) are fighting for. The status quo.
I’m fortunate, I guess. I know how to bake.

>Western Tribune column September 23, 2009 Public Option

September 23, 2009

>This is my Western Tribune column for September 23, 2009. As I have said before, it’s nice when the media and pop culture combine to produce videos that support my views.

Here’s the column:

There are many reasons to support health care reform with a public option and here are three of the most obvious.

The constitution supports it.

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

It would be hard to say that the “general welfare” of our country is not promoted by our government assuring that everyone has access to affordable, quality health care.

It’s the Christian thing to do.

Many faith traditions support caring for the sick but for Christians this should be a no-brainer. Jesus spent a lot of time and devoted many words to healing the sick and advocating for the unfortunate. The story of the Good Samaritan and others remind us that we are to care for others – we are our brother’s keeper. We should help to shoulder the burdens of others and this is what a public option would do. Medicare for all is a good way to put it.

A public option is the only way to bring down insurance costs.

Remember, insurance companies exist for one reason – to make a profit, which they do very effectively by collecting premiums and denying coverage.

Here is the total compensation for several insurance executives for 2008.

Ron Williams – AETNA, $24,300,112; H. Edward Hanway – CIGNA, $12,236,740; Stephen Helmsley – UnitedHealth Group, $3,241,042; Phillip Pope – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, $2,950,000; UnitedHealth Group deserves special mention because in 2005 their CEO, William McGuire, received compensation totaling $124,774,000. That’s 124 million dollars and it takes a lot of guts to make that kind of money off of the illness (and sometimes denial of treatment) of Americans.

Can we honestly expect the “for profit” insurance companies to police themselves and bring down costs? Of course not. A public option managed by a not for profit government agency is the only way to assure cost reductions and fair coverage for all Americans.

Those who argue otherwise might want to review the Constitution and the Bible and reconsider. Otherwise they are just as much to blame as the CEOs who are robbing the American people at the expense of the uninsured and under insured. And that could be any of us.

As if on cue, Will Ferrell, John Hamm and Linda Cardellini and others made this video as celebrities weigh in on the health care debate. from Funny or Die.

And former insurance executive turned whistle blower Wendell Potter shows up on Bill Maher’s Real Time, which we finally got around to watching last night.