NOTE: MARYLAND HEALTH CARE FOR ALL IS A BAD ORGANIZATION.....DON'T BE FOOLED!
Below we see Bill de Blazio of NYC running for mayor replacing Bloomberg. What is interesting about this candidate is that he has stood for all the right issues for progressive labor and justice and now the people have him polling in the lead as the neo-liberal candidate Quinn is left in the dust. Now, this is NYC and one would have to be crazy not to think that de Blazio will be a Wall Street guy if elected. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT THE PUBLIC.....AND THE DEMOCRATIC BASE OF LABOR AND JUSTICE ARE MOVING AWAY FROM THE CENTER NEO-LIBERALS AND TO THE LEFT FOR THE PROGRESSIVE LABOR AND JUSTICE CANDIDATES.
If you do not see the structures being placed in this health care reform for what they are......ending access to most health care for most people so that profits are maximized you have not been paying attention. In Maryland, if you do not realize that all the candidates for governor are neo-liberals and will continue O'Malley's privatization of health care.....
YOU NEED TO REALIZE THIS....WE NEED A LABOR AND JUSTICE CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR IN MARYLAND....WHO IS YOUR LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATION RUNNING IN THESE ELECTIONS?
As you can see all around the world nations are being pushed to privatize their public health in anticipation of health care becoming a global market. The US leads in telling nations with strong public health that they must get rid of subsidies to the public in order to join the trade agreements. WE HAVE EVIL DUDES IN LEADERSHIP IN AMERICA!
By Anna SandersPublished: July 7, 2013
Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio rallies to save Brooklyn hospitals from closure
Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio rallied with nurses and healthcare workers outside the struggling Long Island College Hospital Sunday, calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to intervene to save the Cobble Hill facility and another Brooklyn hospital.
“There are powerful forces working to shutter these hospitals. Some want to make money, others are out to save money ” said de Blasio in a statement at the rally.
In a letter sent to Cuomo Sunday morning, de Blasio said LICH and Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Interfaith Medical Center “face closure not because of an overarching imperative in delivering patient healthcare, but because of bottom lines and profit margins.”
SUNY Downstate Medical Center has been moving toward closing LICH since February, clearing out intensive care units and refusing to take in new patients in the maternity and surgical wards.
In April, SUNY announced it would not seek to close the hospital. Last month a state judge ordered LICH to maintain enough staff to function, but the hospital is still diverting ambulances away from its emergency room, de Blasio said.
“Blocked by legal action, SUNY Downstate appears to be executing a deliberate plan to starve the Cobble Hill hospital out-of-business,” de Blasio said in the letter.
Interfaith also faces closure after filing for bankruptcy in December. Though the facility was set to merge with Brooklyn Hospital Center, de Blasio wrote in the letter that talks are in jeopardy because the state has not provided funding for the merger.
“There is a growing healthcare crisis in Brooklyn. If either LICH or Interfaith closes, care for hundreds of thousands of Brooklyn patients will be at risk,” said LICH nurse Maribel Agosto at the rally.
In his letter, de Blasio asked Cuomo to reject any plans that included LICH’s closure.
He also asked for full funding for the merger of Interfaith and Brooklyn Hospital Center.
“People’s lives are at stake. Community health is at stake. Hundreds of jobs are at stake,” said Estela Vasquez, the executive vice president of SEIU 1199, a union representing healthcare workers on the East Coast.
In his plea to Cuomo, de Blasio cited the loss of the West Village’s St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, which closed in 2010 after suffering financial troubles and being sold to the Rudin real estate family.
Investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office reportedly looked into the conditions for closure, suspecting St. Vincent’s was run into the ground on purpose to pave way for a new development.
De Blasio appears to fear similar wrongdoing, also urging Cuomo to be transparent with SUNY’s plans for LICH.
“Moreover, many of the decisions driving these hospitals toward closure are being made behind closed-doors, out of view of the people most deeply affected by them,” de Blasio said in the letter.
Spokespeople for the two hospitals did not respond to requests for comment.
- See more at: http://www.metro.us/newyork/news/local/2013/07/07/public-advocate-and-mayoral-candidate-bill-de-blasio-rallies-to-save-brooklyn-hospitals-from-closure/#sthash.sCRbSphF.dpuf
Regarding State Health Insurance Exchanges:
Why did a democratic state go with private health insurance exchanges that are tiered and tied to health business profit at the expense of people's ability to access care? As Dr Sharfstein and Baltimore's Public Health Commissioner Barbot know these private health exchanges are policy written by health businesses in Maryland and the policy is led by Wall Street and Johns Hopkins both looking at creating global health systems that are wildly profit-driven and will make health care not only priced as high as the market will bare.....but, with the work of Drs Sharfstein and Barbot, the public health sector in Maryland and Baltimore are being privatized into private non-profits and private contractors so that there will be no oversight of these fast-growing global systems. Why is this important? Government watchdogs and doctors already know that 1/2 of entitlement spending, Medicare and Medicaid, is stolen through health fraud by doctors and health institutions and it is the public health department that should be identifying the criminality in the system but instead they are making the system less and less transparent so the public cannot see all the massive fraud in the health system.
Don't these people have nerve to tell the citizens of Maryland that they will be forced into a tiered system of health care that will have people dying from lack of access to care and all of this is being done for corporate profit? As O'Malley and your neo-liberals who work behind the scenes to make this corporatization of public health possible know.....THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE PAID PAYROLL AND INCOME TAXES FOR DECADES THAT PAID FOR ALL MEDICAL ADVANCES WE HAVE TODAY......WE PREPAID ACCESS TO THIS CARE AND WE WILL NOT HAVE IT TAKEN AWAY FOR CORPORATE PROFIT! That is what these private health insurance systems do and indeed......Anthony Brown/Ulman, Gansler, Mizeur, and all Maryland's neo-liberals will pursue this corporate profit scheme.
We do not yet have a democratic labor and justice candidate running for governor shouting loudly that the citizens of Maryland demand Universal Care! IS YOUR POLITICIAN AND/OR JUSTICE/LABOR ORGANIZATION SHOUTING OUT AGAINST PRIVATE CORPORATE HEALTH SYSTEMS? I don't hear them.
State Insurance Exchange Launches Ad Campaign
By Bret Jaspers
Credit Bret Jaspers / WYPR (from left) Rebecca Pearce, Executive Director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange,
Maryland Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, and U. S. Rep. Elijah Cummings watch the new ads for the state's online health insurance marketplace.
Listen 0:59 State Insurance Exchange Launches Ad Campaign State officials, including Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein, today unveiled the paid advertising campaign for the Maryland Health Connection, the state’s new online insurance marketplace. Broadcast ads will soon air on television and radio stations, and digital ads will appear on popular websites and social media channels. About $2.5 million total will be spent on advertising through the end of 2014.
Starting October 1st, uninsured individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid must buy insurance or face a penalty, as stipulated by the federal law commonly referred to as Obamacare. The state’s goal is to enroll about 180,000 uninsured individuals into new plans by March 31, when open enrollment closes. Another goal is to get 100,000 new people into an expanded Medicaid program. Currently about 800,000 Marylanders have no health insurance.
At today’s launch at the UMBC Technology Center campus in Catonsville, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange's Executive Director talked about a video conference between state exchange directors and President Obama. “The topic of our conversation was outreach," said Rebecca Pearce. "How are we informing them about the Affordable Care Act? How are we motivating them to take action and actually enroll come October 1?” The new ads depict a range of demographic groups and will air in both English and Spanish.
But informing potential enrollees has been a consistent challenge since the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act. A Kaiser Health Tracking Poll from August found that 51 percent of Americans say they don’t have enough information on what Obamacare means for their families.
Do you know that baby boomers spent 4 decades paying payroll and income taxes that funded all grants to the NIH and NCA which in turn funded all medical advances these few decades.....BABY BOOMERS PAID FOR THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ALL MEDICAL PROCEDURES THAT CORPORATIONS AND THEIR NEO-LIBERAL POLS ARE NOW SAYING WE NEED INSURANCE WE CANNOT AFFORD TO ACCESS CARE.
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Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs Podcast: Download
Time Magazine, Vol. 152 No. 19
About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006. Before we look at the details, a heartfelt plea from the Save the CEO’s Charitable Trust:
There’s so much suffering in the world. It can all get pretty overwhelming sometimes. Consider, for a moment the sorrow in the eyes of a CEO who’s just found out that his end-of-year bonus is only going to be a paltry $2.3 million.
“It felt like a slap in the face. Imagine what it would feel like just before Christmas to find out that you’re going to be forced to scrape by on your standard $8.4 million compensation package alone. Imagine what is was like to have to look into my daughter’s face and tell her that I couldn’t afford to both buy her a dollar sign shaped island and hire someone to chew her food from now on, too. To put her in that situation of having to choose… She’s only a child for God’s sake.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to federal subsidies from taxpayers like you, CEO’s like G. Allen Andreas of Archer Daniels Midland was able to take home almost $14 million in executive compensation last year. But he’s one of the lucky ones. There are still corporations out there that actually have to provide goods and services to their consumers in order to survive. They need your help.
For just $93 billion a year the federal government is able to provide a better life for these CEO’s and their families. That’s less than the cost of 240 million cups of coffee a day. Won’t you help a needy corporation today?
The Traditional Welfare Queen Definition: social welfare n. Financial aid, such as a subsidy, provided by a government to specific individuals.
When one thinks about government welfare, the first thing that comes to mind is the proverbial welfare queen sitting atop her majestic throne of government cheese issuing a royal decree to her clamoring throngs of illegitimate babies that they may shut the hell up while she tries to watch Judge Judy. However, many politically well-connected corporations are also parasitically draining their share of fiscal blood from your paycheck before you ever see it. It’s called corporate welfare. The intent here is to figure out which presents the greater burden to our federal budget, corporate or social welfare programs.
There are, of course, positive and negative aspects to this spending.The primary negative aspect is that you have to increase taxes to pay for it. Taxing individuals lowers their standard of living. It reduces people’s ability to afford necessities like medical care, education, and low mileage off-road vehicles.The common usage definition of social welfare includes welfare checks and food stamps. Welfare checks are supplied through a federal program called Temporary Aid for Needy Families. Combined federal and state TANF spending was about $26 billion in 2006. In 2009, the federal government will spend about $25 billion on rental aid for low-income households and about $8 billion on public housing projects. For some perspective, that’s about 3 percent of the total federal budget.
Note: I do not consider Medicaid to be included in the term “welfare” as it is used in common parlance. Typically, if one states that someone is “on welfare”, they mean that the person is receiving direct financial aid from the government. If we included Medicaid in our definition of social welfare, we would also have to consider any service that the government pays for to be “welfare”. For instance, public roadways to individuals’ homes would also be considered “welfare” under that expansive definition.
TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families) Another negative aspect relates to the fact that social welfare programs reduce the incentive for recipients to become productive members of society. However, in 1996, Congress passed a bill enacting limited welfare reform, replacing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with the new Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program. One key aspect of this reform required recipients to engage in job searches, on the job training, community service work, or other constructive behaviors as a condition for receiving aid. The bill was signed by a man named Bill Clinton, who is much better known for an act of fellatio which, of course, had far greater societal implications. Regardless, the success of this reform was pretty dramatic. Caseloads were cut nearly in half. Once individuals were required to work or undertake constructive activities as a condition of receiving aid they left welfare rapidly. Another surprising result was a drop in the child poverty rate. Employment of single mothers increased substantially and the child poverty rate fell sharply from 20.8 percent in 1995 to 16.3 percent in 2000.
Graph Source: http://census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html
The Corporate Welfare Queen Now, let’s consider the other kind of welfare.
Definition: corporate welfare n. Financial aid, such as a subsidy, provided by a government to corporations or other businesses.
The Cato Institute estimated that, in 2002, $93 billion were devoted to corporate welfare. This is about 5 percent of the federal budget.To clarify what is and isn’t corporate welfare, a “no-bid” Iraq contract for the prestigious Halliburton, would not be considered corporate welfare because the government technically directly receives some good or service in exchange for this expenditure. Based on the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) findings of $1.4 billion of overcharging and fraud, I suppose the primary service they provide could be considered to be repeatedly violating the American taxpayer.On the other hand, the $15 billion in subsidies contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to the oil, gas, and coal industries, would be considered corporate welfare because no goods or services are directly returned to the government in exchange for these expenditures.
Infographic Source: http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/1012/subsidize-this/flat.html Tax breaks targeted to benefit specific corporations could also be considered a form of welfare. Tax loopholes force other businesses and individual taxpayers without the same political clout to pick up the slack and sacrifice a greater share of their hard-earned money to decrease the financial burden on these corporations. However, to simplify matters, we’ve only included financial handouts to companies in our working definition of corporate welfare.
Whenever corporate welfare is presented to voters, it always sounds like a pretty reasonable, well-intended idea. Politicians say that they’re stimulating the economy or helping struggling industries or creating jobs or funding important research. But when you steal money from the paychecks of working people, you hurt the economy by reducing their ability to buy the things they want or need. This decrease in demand damages other industries and puts people out of work.
Most of the pigs at the government trough are among the biggest companies in America, including the Big 3 automakers, Boeing, Archer Daniels Midland, and now-bankrupt Enron.
Farm Subsidies However, the largest fraction of corporate welfare spending, about 40%, went through the Department of Agriculture, most of it in the form of farm subsidies. (Edwards, Corporate Welfare, 2003) Well, that sounds OK. Someone’s got to help struggling family farms stay afloat, right? But in reality, farm subsidies actually tilt the cotton field in favor of the largest industrial farming operations. When it comes to deciding how to dole out the money, the agricultural subsidy system utilizes a process that is essentially the opposite of that used in the social welfare system’s welfare system. In the corporate welfare system, the more money and assets you have, the more government assistance you get. Conversely, social welfare programs are set up so that the more money and assets you have, the less government assistance you get. The result is that the absolute largest 7% of corporate farming operations receive 45% of all subsidies. (Edwards, Downsizing the Federal Government, 2004) So instead of protecting family farms, these subsidies actually enhance the ability of large industrial operations to shut them out of the market.
Graph Source: http://ers.usda.gov/data
Wal-Mart. Always high subsidies. Always. The same is true in all other industries, too. The government gives tons of favors to the largest corporations, increasing the significant advantage they already have over smaller competing businesses. If, in the court of public opinion, Wal-Mart has been tried and convicted for the murder of main street, mom-and-pop America, then the government could easily be found guilty as a willing accomplice. Wal-Mart receives hundreds of millions of dollars of subsidization by local governments throughout the country. These subsidies take the form of bribes by local politicians trying to convince Wal-Mart to come to their town with the dream of significant job creation. Of course, from that follows a larger tax base. For example, a distribution center in Macclenny, Florida received $9 million in government subsidies in the form of free land, government-funded recruitment and training of employees, targeted tax breaks, and housing subsidies for employees allowing them to be paid significantly lower wages. A study by Good Jobs First found that 244 Wal-Marts around the country had received over $1 billion in government favors.
The Big Picture So now let’s look at the big picture. The final totals are $59 billion, 3 percent of the total federal budget, for regular welfare and $92 billion, 5 percent of the total federal budget, for corporations. So, the government spends roughly 50% more on corporate welfare than it does on these particular public assistance programs.
Should we spend less on corporate welfare and/or social welfare programs? Or should we spend even more? It’s up to you. A bunch of people died horrible deaths to make sure this country remained a democracy, so if you feel strongly about this issue you owe it to them to call or write your congressman and senators and give them a piece of your mind.
The answer for Maryland citizens is YES....your entitlements, both Medicare and Medicaid are heading to private health systems that will tie funding to specific kinds of institutions and these will not be the cream of the crop....they will be predatory and profit-driven.
News & Politics AlterNet /
By Emily Manuel
Is Your State Stealthily Privatizing Medicaid and Putting Patients at Risk?
Louisiana's Bobby Jindal and other Republican governors are handing over taxpayer dollars to private companies to provide health care--and make profits. August 31, 2011 | There have long been moves to privatize the management of Medicaid, but with shock-doctrine austerity hawks making as much mileage from their budget crises as possible, this year has seen an especially strong push to privatize the heath care of low-income and disabled Medicaid users at a state level. All across the country in states like Texas, New York, Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina and Kentucky, state governments are stealthily privatizing Medicaid by handing over the money they get from the federal government to private contractors -- sometimes with minimal savings to the states themselves. It’s all part of a broader trend called “managed care” or “co-ordinated care” -- deceptively bureaucratic terms for a turn with sometimes deadly consequences for Medicaid patients.
Figures recently published by the Commonwealth Fund, show that the percentage of people receiving Medicaid who are signed up through publicly traded HMOs has increased nationally from 19.6 percent in 2009 to 27.1 percent in June this year. This is set to increase this year by at least 1.7 million new people, bringing Medicaid patients in privatized health plans to a record 29.8 percent.
In June, California began moving 380,000 older and disabled patients into private plans, while New York will begin moving 1.5 million patients into managed care in October. Further south, Florida is looking to move most of its 3 million Medicaid enrollees into private plans. And with the Affordable Care Act (the recent health care reform law) expected to raise Medicaid enrollment by 16 million by 2019, the Commonwealth Fund concluded that "given recent patterns in state contract awards to managed care plans, it is reasonable to anticipate that plans operated by publicly traded companies will enroll the majority of the expanded Medicaid population." As a result, the Washington Post reports that insurers expect $60 billion in new annual revenue from this market after 2014.
As usual, Republican governors are leading the way when it comes to trading public programs for private profits. The most severe move is in Louisiana, where managed care is being brought in without the approval of even the State Legislature. There, Governor Bobby Jindal is unilaterally turning over $2 billion in tax money to contractors to run the Medicaid system, while the savings projected to the state are only $135 million. In a state as poor as Louisiana, even that relatively small savings might seem significant, though the true cost to the state may end up being much greater.
Research on the over-65 Medicare system has shown that private sector health care is a significantly less efficient use of public funds. A 2009 report delivered by the Bart Stupak-chaired Energy and Commerce Committee found that Medicare spends less than 1 percent on administrative costs and 98 percent on health care, while HMOs eat up 15 percent of their revenue on profits, marketing and other corporate expenses. As with Medicare, the privatization of Medicaid through managed care is likely to result in a significant reduction in public moneys spent on health care.
In Louisiana, as in other regions of the country, there’s a transparently ideological rather than fiscal reason for privatization. Nola.com columnist John Maginnis reports that Jindal has long aimed for this model, calling for it as early as 1996 when he was health-care secretary. And it should be noted that this comes as the latest part of a greater pattern of Jindal's support of privatization. In June this year, a Jindal-backed move to privatize the Louisiana state employees' insurance was shelved amid claims of a suppressed report indicating the privatization would in fact run at a loss. For Medicaid, as with other privatization contracts, there’s good reason to be suspicious of the governor's numbers.
This policy of privatizing health care is happening all over the world as the US pushes all nations through the TPP trade deals to end subsidized public health and build structures that create health markets based on profit. In Baltimore we have Johns Hopkins who go to places like this article....the Philippines.....to work with that government in building these structures so that Hopkins.....now becoming a global health corporation will profit. AMERICANS NEED TO REVERSE THESE PRIVATIZATION POLICIES BY WORKING FOR UNIVERSAL CARE AND A STRONG PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT. OBAMA IS TURNING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH INTO PRIVATE JUST AS THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IS NOW PRIVATELY RUN. If you have no public health department.....you will have no accurate health data and no public protections against fraud and misuse!
December 11, 2012
Opposition vs. privatizing public health care snowballs 65 2 101 1 By CONG B. CORRALES
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Opposition to a proposed law, aimed at turning public hospitals into government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) has snowballed, here. This, despite its proponents’ claim that the bill would boost public health care.
Entitled, “An Act Converting Government Hospitals into National Government Corporation, Providing Funds Therefore and Other Purpose,” HB 6069 authored by Bacolod City Rep. Anthony Golez and SB 3130 authored by Sen. Franklin Drilon, have been widely criticized because, people’s organizations said, will make public health care more inaccessible to marginalized Filipinos.
Earlier this month, local people’s organizations under the Network Opposed to Privatization (NOP) held a picket rally in front of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) to show their resistance against the proposed act. NMMC is a tertiary regional government hospital here.
Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas, in a text message, enjoined members of Congress not to be too hasty in passing HB 6069 and SB 3130 into law.
“I still have to (study) the details of the proposed (law). But if the purpose is for profit only, our legislators should think twice,” said Acenas.
“I still maintain my stand that public hospitals in the Philippines (are) for services, especially for the needy and indigents,” he added.
Department of Health (DOH 10) spokesperson Emiliano Galban concurs with Acenas’ stand that government hospitals are supposed to be for public health care service and not for revenue generation.
“Can they guarantee that when this bill is passed into law, there will be no hike in the cost of services and of the medical professionals’ fees?” Galban rhetorically asked.
In an interview over the internet, Monday evening, Gene Nisperos, MD, national vice chair of the Health Alliance for Democracy (Head) said that privatization by any other name spells more suffering for the people.
“The two bills are explicit in their statement on the rationale behind corporatization—fiscal autonomy, revenue-generating activities and public-private partnerships (PPP). The context of corporatization is the national government’s refusal to provide adequate funds for health care,” he said.
Gabriela Women’s Party regional coordinator Rhodora Bulosan, said in a phone interview, Tuesday, that the proposed law will make NMMC even more inaccessible to the people.
“They may call it whatever they like but in essence, the law is corporatization of public hospitals and is really geared towards the privatization of government hospitals—including NMMC,” said Bulosan.
“A private investor, who will shell-out capitalization to augment medical equipment of public hospitals, would always aim to earn their profit or the return of their investment (ROI) the soonest time possible. Who will benefit from the 10 units of Dialysis Machines in NMMC if it will be privatized,” she added.
Bulosan posited that it is bad enough that regular check-ups in the Out Patient Department at NMMC are not free of charge anymore. “This law will make NMMC even more inaccessible to the public,” she remarked.
“Presently, the poor expectant mothers in the region have reported that is has become increasingly difficult for them to access to free maternal delivery at the charity ward of NMMC. You have to pay before a doctor could attend to you,” said Bulosan.
She further claimed that laboratory test fees at NMMC have increased since “about 90 per cent of the laboratory equipment at NMMC is already privately-owned.”
“In essence, corporatization of DOH-retained hospitals is all about money. It is about the national government giving less—not more—money for health, even when this has run contrary to social imperatives, in particular,” Nisperos posited.
“At the bottom of this is the lie that has been repeated as justification of past and present administrations for giving the health sector such a low budget: ‘the government has no money.’ In fact, what the Aquino administration has is (the absence of) political will,” he added.
- See more at: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/12/11/opposition-vs-privatizing-public-health-care-snowballs/#sthash.jhMEdqrl.dpuf