Tag Archive for lies

Anger and lies on the right

Image by Huffington Post. This graphic shows the cost of health care premiums state-by-state. It shows the average weighted cost for the least expensive policy on the bronze tier. Dark colors are the most expensive, light the leaSt.

Image by Huffington Post. This graphic shows the cost of health care premiums state-by-state. It shows the average weighted cost for the least expensive policy on the bronze tier. Dark colors are the most expensive, light the least.

As the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces finally open for business, opponents of health reform are getting desperate.

Take, for example, the 21-hour circus sideshow fake filibuster by Texas Republican Ted Cruz in the Senate.

Take the willingness of Republicans to take down the entire government in a desperate last-ditch effort to kill the law.

Look at the TV ads with the frightening Uncle Sam head popping up behind a doctor’s examining table.

In the last week, my son read stories about how Georgia will be the most expensive state in the county to buy insurance. I did some reading on my own and found the numbers in the story were NOT the average prices but the worst-case scenario — you know, someone my age who would not be eligible for assistance.

In fact, Georgia is not the most expensive, it’s the middle of the the pack, and if you make less than four times the federal poverty level (about $46,000 for an individual, $60,000 for a couple and $93,000 for a family of four), you will get help paying for your premiums.

Then yesterday, I heard North Carolina will be the most expensive. Look at the graphic here. It’s in the middle of the pack too, along with California and New York. I’ll bet they have similar misinformation campaigns in every state.

In all, prices are about 16 percent below what was first predicted. Granted, it’s not cheap, but for most people, it will be affordable. The hysterics are nothing more than lies perpetrated by the very people who want the law gone. These are the people who are going around telling young adults to “burn your Obamacare draft card.”

I suppose people could do that if there were an Obamacare draft card, but there isn’t.

Those creepy Uncle Sam head TV ads also are lies. You will buy your insurance from a private company and you will see your own doctor.

Your insurance company can no longer deny necessary treatment, thanks to the law.

They can’t charge you a co-pay for annual physicals, cancer and other screenings or immunizations, thanks to the law.

They can’t put annual or lifetime caps on coverage.

They can’t throw you to the curb if you get sick.

They have to pay out 80 to 85 percent of what they collect in premiums on direct services.

And they don’t like all this regulation because it cuts into their obscene profits.

Because of all the money spent to spread the misinformation, 70 percent of the people who are eligible for help in paying for their premiums don’t know it. More than one-third of Americans think the law was repealed.

The truth is the Republicans in the House of Representatives have voted 41 times to repeal the law, but have failed to get it done, thank God.

The truth is that 45,000 Americans died in this country every year from lack of access to care before the Affordable Care Act, and thousands will continue to die because of GOP-led efforts to deny Medicaid expansion.

These are not pro-life people, no matter what they say. I have had some argue that point with me, but the truth is that if you want to deny people access to life-saving care, if you lie to convince people not to take advantage of access to care, you are not pro-life, no matter how much you love unborn babies.

 

 

 

Too crazy

Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia, says he believes people existed with dinosaurs. He is on the Science Committee in Congress.

A generation ago, someone who doesn’t believe in evolution wouldn’t have been on the Science Committee in Congress, and someone who espouses the death penalty for sassy children would have been laughed out of the public eye.

A generation ago, the media might have called Mitt Romney out on his lies during the debate instead of declaring him the winner. And a candidate who was caught in the number of flat-out lies and scope of deception of the Romney campaign would have been shamed out of the campaign long before the convention.

We used to have something called common sense that helped us weed out the crazies; now we seem to welcome them with open arms.

The guys who claim women can’t get pregnant from “real” rape get to stay in the race and maybe even win the election.

We who fought for women’s rights in the 1960s thought we had won some of these battles — like the right to access to contraception and safe abortions, and the right to keep our jobs regardless of whether we’re on the Pill and not married.

I can actually remember when a woman could be forced to quit her job if she got pregnant because she belonged at home with her baby. It wasn’t her decision to make; her boss could make it for her.

Blatant lies like the ones put out there about the Affordable Care Act — the death panels, the $716 billion “theft” from Medicare — used to be dispelled by the media, which now repeats them over and over as “the other side of the story.”

Our previous president lied us into war, tortured prisoners and suffered no consequences for his war crimes. Our current president kills innocent people with unmanned drones on a regular basis and it doesn’t even make headlines.

Instead, we get to hear all about which celebrity is looking at jail time for drug abuse, who is divorcing whom, who wore the lowest-cut dress to whatever awards ceremony last week, cute fuzzy-puppy stories from Middle America and sports, sports, sports.

We are obsessed with Honey Boo-Boo and America’s Got Talent, but we can’t be bothered with the real issues long enough to demand that the corporate media explain the real ramifications of public policy instead of giving equal weight to the truth and the lies.

Instead of a media that searches for truth, we get a lying sack of crap declared the winner of a debate because he looked “sharper.”

I worry about this country’s future as people lose access to real information about real issues. Even the president is out there talking about Big Bird. Drop it already and talk about how we lower our military spending, make huge corporations behave and pay their share of the public load, regulate their greed-induced ill behavior and invest in education and other things that ensure a stable future for our children and families, not to mention our nation.

 

“Wonky?” What about the lies?

Today’s paper had a headline on the front page: “Debate reveals Romney’s wonky side.”

I don’t know if I would call it wonky to stand up there and lie for 90 minutes.

If you look for the headline online, you won’t find it, but it’s there in the print edition.

I’ll admit Obama wasn’t at his best, and if Romney had told the truth at all, I would give the debate win to him.

But he didn’t. Here’s just a sample, taken from the Daily KOS:

  • When he claimed, “Pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.” They’re not.
  • When he said President Obama had “cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare.” Obama didn’t.
  • When he denied proposing a $5 trillion tax cut. He did.
  • When he said President Obama had “added almost as much to the federal debt as all the prior presidents combined.” Not even close.
  • When he resurrected “death panels.” That’s been called ”one of the biggest whoppers of the night.”
  • When he stated that half the green energy companies given stimulus funds had failed. Only if three out of nearly three dozen is half.

He stood there, smirking, and called President Obama a liar after telling dozens of lies about his policies and refusing again and again to offer specifics about his budget and job creation plans.

If you want to call than wonkish, if you want to call that winning, that’s your call; it isn’t mine.

 

More lies in the mail

My husband is registered to vote, but not in either party (I’m a registered Democrat; you could look it up). As a result, we get stuff in the mail from both parties.

The ones that get me the most are the lies about health care reform, or “Obamacare.” The latest one repeats the lie that the law will cut Medicare services by $716 billion. It will not. That is an out-and-out lie. No matter how many times they repeat it, it still will be a lie.

The Affordable Care act does NOT cut services for seniors. In fact, services should improve.

For example:

  •  As of Oct. 1, hospitals will be fined if Medicate patients are discharged and then readmitted within 30 days.
  • The Affordable Care Act closes the prescription “doughnut hole” for seniors.
  • Seniors now get their annual checkups with no out-of-pocket costs.
  • It cuts millions of dollars to private, corporate-run “Medicare Advantage” plans, which are more expensive for seniors anyway.

There’s more, but you get the drift. The $716 billion number is actually the estimated amount that will be SAVED by taxpayers over the next 10 years by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

And as for the “death panels,” that un-elected board will only be gathering data to ascertain the most efficient and effective treatments for various illnesses and disabilities. No one’s actually been doing that.

For example, one hospital in Utah studied treatments for prostate cancer in older men and found that aggressive treatment in older men actually results in worse outcomes than the “watchful waiting” tactic.

The board will not have the authority to limit any treatments but instead will allow doctors to inform patients of the efficacy of various treatments. That’s information I want to have, don’t you?

And yes, Obamacare does raise taxes on prescription drug makers, whose profits are obscene and who are not re-investing those profits back into research. We are the only country in the industrialized world that doesn’t regulate drug prices. I think the least we can do is make these companies pay their fair share in taxes.

So, there you have it, the truth about that flyer you got in the mail yesterday. If you want to know more, go to www.healthcare.gov. The truth is there for you to read.

What are you hiding, Mitt?

So, what is Mitt hiding?

I go away for one week and all kinds of fun breaks out in the presidential campaign.

Mitt, in trying to talk his way out of the realities of his tenure at Bain Capital, now has his lackey saying he retired retroactively. He wants us to vote for him because of his extensive business experience, but he doesn’t want us to know about his extensive business experience.

Romney claims he left Bain in 1999, but there’s plenty of evidence he was there after that, until 2002, actually. The thing is, he doesn’t want to be associated with the worst of the outsourcing and layoffs for which Bain was responsible during that time.

In fact, there’s a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, dated Feb. 11, 2001, signed by Mitt Romney and filed in 2002 claiming, that Mitt Romney was the sole owner and shareholder of Bain Capital and that he was CEO, president and managing director.

Either he lied in the SEC filing — a crime — or he’s lying now.

And when President Obama refers to that evidence, Romney demands an apology as though he’s completely innocent of all the damage Bain has done to American companies.

He wants us to believe he’s on the up and up, that he has nothing to hide, but he won’t release his tax returns.

He seems to forget that we have recording devices and paper trails and that we can see how many times he has flip-flopped and outright lied about his record.

He said the other day that John Kerry only released two years of tax records, but a quick look back shows that Kerry released 20 years of tax records. For somebody with as much business experience as Romney has, that’s pretty bad basic math.

Even members of his own party are calling in Romney to release his tax records and come clean about Bain.

I suppose he’s probably hoping he can stop all the attention by naming a running mate. I’m not certain that will help now. He needs to come clean.

 

You bet I’m angry

By my friend, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies

I had a pretty lengthy rant going on Local Edge Radio the other day. I started with the arrogance and mean-spiritedness of Justice Antonin Scalia, making light of the Affordable Care Act, complaining it was too long to read and saying it was OK to let people die.

It was NOT OK to let my son die, or any other American whose life could be saved by appropriate medical treatment. A study released this week placed the United States 19th out of 19 industrialized nations in health care outcomes. Dead last (pun intended). It also estimated 101,000 Americans die each year because they lack access to appropriate treatment.

Someone commented to me that we can’t afford to treat everyone — just look at all the problems the Euro-nations are having.

Well, first of all, the economic mess comes from the power of Wall Street and the big banks to do whatever they please, rob the economy blind, take us to the brink of world economic disaster and suffer no punishment for it. Secondly, every one of those countries pays far, far less than we do for health care because it costs far, far less to care for people before they become critically ill. It costs far, far less to treat mental illnesses in a clinic than it does in a jail, which is where some 60 percent of people with chronic and persistent mental illnesses get treatment nowadays.

And we’re just talking about the financial cost, not the human cost of allowing people to suffer needlessly.

Regulation is important, not just for health insurance companies, but for banks, Wall Street, utilities — every industry. Without it, you get economic meltdown as the 1 percent steals ever more from the working class.

Without regulation, there is less safety in the workplace — the reason my son has had third-degree burns three times where he works.

The Right would have us believe government can do nothing right. They point to schools, which have been defunded at historic rates.  When schools were funded, American children had the best education system in the world. That hasn’t been true since the 1980s. In fact, we have been slipping badly.

Now they’re defunding highways and transportation, claiming that the market will build and maintain roads where they’re needed. Yes I have heard that claim many times; I’m not making it up.

But you still can turn on your tap and get water. You still have libraries and police and fire departments you can call when you need them — at least until the Right privatizes them or eliminates them entirely by defunding them. Already, we’re seeing concerted efforts to reduce their power to negotiate and reduce their salaries and benefits.

Workers’ salaries aren’t keeping pace with inflation. In every city in the country, it takes more than twice the minimum wage to pay for even the most basic needs (housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, child care). Those basic needs do not include cable TV, any meals out, including McDonald’s, or Internet service.

Why do you suppose that’s true? Well, we’ve villified the American worker and killed the unions.

This sustained attack on working Americans has reduced our salaries and increased our debt — it hearkens back to the Guilded Age when factories put people up in company-owned housing and paid them in company scrip which could only be spent at the company store. Prices at the store were high enough to keep workers in debt so they couldn’t leave.

If you think that’s not where we’re headed, think again.

And now they attack women, forcing us to have transvaginal sonograms — against our and our doctors’ wills — before we can have a perfectly legal surgical procedure. They call us whores because we want to be the ones to decide when and if we will bear children, as though we can’t be trusted to control our own bodies.

I lived through the changing of those laws. I thought we had changed attitudes too, but apparently, we weren’t as successful as we thought.

We are engaged in endless wars, killing and maiming our soldiers while asking nothing of any of the rest of us. The military-industrial complex is making billions off of these wars while soldiers and their families suffer with not enough pay and not enough care, not to mention the misery we inflict on the populations of people we attack. But if we demand an end to war, we’re told we’re not supporting the troops. That’s bullshit, pure and simple.

I’m tired of the attacks on the American people and I’m furious about the lies they perpetrate on us.

The Affordable Care Act will not result in rationed care; that’s being done already by Big Insurance. It will not mean people over 75 will be refused treatment for cancer, not like my 30-year-old son was refused care because he didn’t have insurance. These things are deliberate lies.

You bet I’m angry.

 

Happy “Obamacare” birthday

Carolyn Comeau with her husband, Craig and their children, Louise and Colin.

As we celebrate the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we can’t become complacent. Its opponents, funded by the massive Health Industrial Complex, are stepping up their attacks and lies.

Just the other day I saw the tired old “death panels” online again, and the lie that anyone older than 75 won’t get treatment if they get cancer. I answered with a paragraph from the law that forbids age discrimination.

So, what’s the truth? Well, my friend Carolyn Comeau can tell you that she doesn’t have to worry about her family going bankrupt if her breast cancer should come back. She was diagnosed five years ago with breast cancer. Soon afterward, her husband, Craig, lost his job, but they were able to maintain coverage through COBRA. It nearly broke the bank to pay the premiums, but they got her through treatment.

Just as COBRA was ending and they discovered that Carolyn was uninsurable, the state’s high-risk pool came online, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The coverage isn’t cheap, but it’s not unaffordable for the family, either.

Older Americans are getting more help paying for their prescriptions; 2.5 million young adults are able to stay on their parents’ policies until they reach age 25. People who have insurance no longer have to pay anything out-of-pocket for screening tests like colonoscopies and mammography. Insurance companies can’t dump you if you get sick, and a birth defect is no longer grounds for an insurance company to refuse coverage to a child. That last one alone might have saved my son.

For all the bad press the Affordable Care Act is getting, for all the deliberate lies about what’s in the law, it still has the approval of about half of Americans, and many who don’t approve say it’s because the law doesn’t go far enough.

I’d still like to see a public option. Give me the opportunity to buy into Medicare so I don’t have to send money to insurance companies that spend billions on lobbyists and mega-bonuses for their executives.

For all its flaws — the biggest of which is that more than 20 million Americans will remain uninsured — the Affordable Care Act has improved our health care system and is poised to do a lot more.

So, I’m celebrating today that we finally got that first step to a better system for all Americans.

 

Who we gonna cut?

From my friend, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Matt Davies (http://www.gocomics.com/mattdavies)

I’ve been really dismayed the last week or so as people post on Facebook and Twitter how we need to cut spending, and they insist it can’t come from the “job creators.”  There’s no room for debate: we have to stop carrying the lazy, unemployed bums and others who won’t work and give breaks to the wealthiest on the off chance they’ll somehow find it in their hearts to create jobs.

Facts and history aren’t persuading these folks that we can’t keep on this way. In fact, there’s a sizeable chunk of people out there who think it would be good to default on our debt so we would have to cut programs that help people in need.

The debt ceiling wasn’t such an issue when Congress voted to raise it seven times during the George W. Bush administration. In fact, Vice President Dick Cheney said, “Debt doesn’t matter,” as he and his cronies started two wars with no idea how they would be paid for, and then cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Now, all of a sudden, debt matters. That’s because we’re running out of money from the debt THEY ran up. We have to cut spending, they say, not increase taxes.

So, who do we cut?

Medicaid is pretty much pared to the bone already. Come 2014, it’s supposed to cover all Americans who earn up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level; I’m hoping it still will be around then.

Already, most single adults are excluded from Medicaid. Even with Stage 3 cancer, my son Mike wasn’t eligible until he and his wife split. I was asked to write and sign a letter saying they had split and had no intention of getting back together when we thought Mike’s only option was to live with me (his best friend invited him to live with him, offering him somewhat more of a sense of independence).

People who use Medicaid often are denied the best drugs and treatments because Medicaid doesn’t cover it. If you have diabetes, you will get medication, but not the newest meds that really help control blood glucose. If you have a psychiatric illness, you won’t get the drugs that work the best, so your illness will be more difficult to stabilize.

The people served by Medicaid aren’t just “welfare mothers” and “bums” as so many Americans lucky enough to have jobs and good health believe. People with serious disabilities get services such as physical, occupational and speech therapy. Even the places they live, which offer the skilled care they need, are paid for by Medicaid. If we cut more, some of them will be placed in nursing homes with no therapy, no activities, surrounded by people with whom they have nothing in common.

OK, so do we cut unemployment compensation? Does it really keep people from looking for jobs?

Historically, no one has objected to helping people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. We give tax breaks to huge corporations when they ship jobs overseas and then criticize the people who lose their jobs as a result, plotting to punish them instead of the corporate bigwigs who took the jobs away.

So, let’s shave some dollars from the Pentagon budget. I think Halliburton and their ilk can afford to lose some revenues, especially since the’ve been allowed to wantonly rip off the American people with shoddy workmanship and overpriced, no-bid contracts for a decade now. Those billions could have fed the nation’s hungry children or fixed our crumbling national infrastructure.

Let’s cut some of the benefits we give members of Congress. No more free ride on health care. No more lifelong pensions — or jobs, for that matter. If we limit the amount of time people can spend there, maybe we can go back to citizen rule instead of a country run by corrupt corporate shills.

I’m really angry about how many Americans believe the lies they’re being fed by a bought-and-paid-for media, and how many really think it’s OK to let the Right have its way and destroy our lives and our country.

No more cuts to programs ordinary people need to get by. None. Not one cent. Tell your member of Congress today.

 

 

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