123 people a day die …

What’s to guard against a rapid and high increase in health insurance premiums when reasonable laws to prevent gouging from denial of coverage are passed?

After all, denying care is how insurers profit. In California, a study found one in five claims was denied.  Here’s former Cigna senior vice president Wendell Potter:


What’s to guard against untoward premium hikes to recapture the profits lost because insurers will actually have to pay for what people buy? What’s to guard without another option, perhaps, say, a public option?

Just wondering because, well, 123 people a day die for lack of coverage: indifference and opposition to health care reform.

If insurance gets more expensive, regardless of new consumer protections, the deaths will rise. Fewer people will be able to afford insurance, especially when insurers are bound by law to follow through with coverage.  A Harvard study found that denied or absent coverage for medical care costs 46,000 lives a year.

Not Watching “Dancing DeLay”

A dancer’s grace is a joy to behold. That makes Dancing with the Stars a former favorite. “Former” favorite this season for a reason: Tom DeLay

When I see DeLay now on that show, I think of a young woman forced to strip in a club and into prostitution in the Mariana Islands because of his opposition to requiring enforcement of U.S. work and immigration laws in this U.S. commonwealth island. Or, perhaps, garment workers who paid thousands and thought they were being taken to the U.S. mainland.

Now, you could argue that Tom’s probably served some time for his money laundering and dirty politics but he’s still tainted. Read the following about how DeLay delayed rights for abused workers in human trafficking ring in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Mariana’s garment factory owner Willie Tan, fined millions for labor law violations, donated some half a million to DeLay, who obstructed immigration reform legislation in the House that had been unanimously passed by the Senate. From the web site Unheard No More!:

The first victim of human trafficking that I ever met told me that she danced in her tears. She was recruited from Manila, Philippines to work as a waitress in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), but she was forced to strip and dance in a sleazy club seven nights a week. Every evening after the club closed, she was sold to customers against her will. By dawn she was locked inside a rundown barracks until the next evening when she would again dance in her tears.

Tonight the new season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars will premiere to the delight of millions of fans. Among the contestants in the show’s ninth season is Republican politician Tom DeLay, the former House Majority Leader who hails from Sugar Land, Texas. In 2006 DeLay departed from the U.S. Congress in disgrace after he was indicted for conspiring to violate campaign finance laws. His connections to convicted felon and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff are legendary. Two of Tom DeLay’s former staffers were indicted in the Abramoff scandal. The Abramoff –DeLay deals involving casinos, Russian oil and money laundering are well known and are said to be under investigation. Tom DeLay is probably the first morally bankrupt person chosen to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. More>>

If you feel inclined to action, you can contact Dancing with the Stars through ABC here. Pass this along to your friends and through Facebook and MySpace.

Truth in Politics

Here’s a little ad campaign I propose:

pinocchio vintage

Why Joe Wilson and his colleagues don’t want you to enjoy quality health coverage.

Just follow the monied interests of his campaign donations:

Health Professionals $244,196

Leadership PACs $137,599

Lobbyists $117,533

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $86,150

Insurance $73,050

Hospitals/Nursing Homes $68,000

More corporate donors to Joe Wilson are listed here.

The same site, opensecrets.org, shows 95% of his opponent’s, Rob Miller, contributions from individuals. One can assume that this data will be updated given the 24-hour cycle post “liar” outburst by Wilson during which Miller’s coffers ballooned with more than 18,000 contributions. So have Wilson’s finances boomed and we’ll see from whom.

Now, ask yourself: Whose interests are Joe and his friends protecting? Yours?

Health Professionals $244,196
Lawyers/Law Firms $211,870
Real Estate $195,179
Leadership PACs $137,599
Lobbyists $117,533
Retired $104,850
Electric Utilities $102,606
General Contractors $99,550
Automotive $89,150
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $86,150
Business Services $78,500
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $77,050
Beer, Wine & Liquor $74,050
Insurance $73,050
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $68,000
Home Builders $58,840
Defense Aerospace $55,350
Trucking $52,400
Commercial Banks $52,250
Construction Services $47,910