Health care reform: Saving American lives


Keith Olbermann on what really matters when it comes to health reform


Olbermann: Health care as basic as life itself
Oct. 7: In a Special Comment Hour, Countdown’s Keith Olbermann points out that there is no higher human priority than health and therefore no more basic government responsibility than ensuring the care of its citizens.


Since August 23rd of this year I have interacted daily with our American Health Care system and often done so to the exclusion of virtually all other business. It is not undercover reporting, and it is not an expert study of the field, but since that day, when my father slid, seemingly benignly, out of his bed and onto the floor of his home, I have experienced with growing amazement and with multiplying anger, the true state of our hospitals, our doctor’s offices, our insurance businesses, our pharmacies.

My father’s story as a patient and mine as a secondary participant and a primary witness has been eye-opening and jaw-dropping. And we are among the utterly lucky ones, a fact that, by itself, is terrifying and infuriating.

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Toys”R”Us scolded for gender discrimination

The Local, Sweden

Published: 6 Oct 09 16:26 CET

US-based toy retailer Toys”R”Us has been reprimanded for gender discrimination following a complaint filed by a group of Swedish sixth graders about the store’s 2008 Christmas catalogue.

Last winter, a sixth grade class at Gustavslund school in Växjö in south central Sweden reported Toys”R”Us to the Reklamombudsmannen (Ro), a self-regulatory agency which polices marketing and advertising communications in Sweden to ensure they are in line with guidelines set out by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

According to the youngsters, the Toys”R”Us Christmas catalogue featured “outdated gender roles because boys and girls were shown playing with different types of toys, whereby the boys were portrayed as active and the girls as passive”, according to a statement from Ro.

The group’s teacher explained to the local Smålandsposten newspaper that filing the complaint was the culmination of more than two years of “long-term work” by the students on gender roles.

Thumbing through the catalogue, 13-year-old Hannes Psajd explained that he and his twin sister had always shared the same toys and that he was concerned about the message sent by the Toys”R”Us publication.

“Small girls in princess stuff…and here are boys dressed as super heroes. It’s obvious that you get affected by this,” he told the newspaper.

“When I see that only girls play with certain things then, as a guy, I don’t want it.”

Classmate Moa Averin emphasized the importance of children being able to be who they want even if “guys want to be princesses sometimes”.

Upon reviewing the case, the Reklamombudsmannen agreed with the sixth-graders complaint, and on Tuesday issued a public reprimand of the toy retailer.

According to the Ro’s advisory committee (Opinionsnämnden), the Toys”R”Us catalogue “discriminates based on gender and counteracts positive social behaviour, lifestyles, and attitudes”.

Specifically, the committee found that the catalogue feature boys “playing in action filled environments” while girls “are shown sitting or standing in passive poses”.

“Taken together, the catalogue portrays children’s games and choice of toys in a narrow-minded way, and this exclusion of boys and girls from different types of toys is, in itself, degrading to both genders,” Ro said in a statement.

The public reprimand has no accompanying sanctions for Toys”R”Us, as the Ro has no authority to formally punish the companies it finds at fault.

David Landes ( +46 8 656 6518)

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Fuck the Amerikkkan Family Association Buy and Drink Pepsi

The Amerikkkan Family Association says “God Hates Diet Pepsi”

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So the small minded Nazi like klansmen of the Amerikkkan Family Association, who espouse some sort of twisted cultist babblings of some imaginary misogynist in the sky are now targeting Pepsi.  They are calling for a boycott of Pepsi.  I say buy Pepsi and show them we Zare more powerful than the bigots

Pepsi’s big crime..  Being american and espousing real American values of liberty, equality and justice for all.

No matter how closely one examines our Constitution, the definer of real American values one will never find in it a clause exempting LGBT/T people from its protections.  Indeed the 14th amendment guarantees the rights of all citizens to equal treatment not just the Christo-fascists, not just straight people.

Pepsi should be applauded for their support of real American Values.

Every time one of these bunch of bigots who wrap themselves in Bible and Flag and claim to support the “Family” I know that what ever they write, what ever they say will be un-American, something straight out of the Confederacy or Nazi Germany.

So fuck the Amerikkan Family Association

Buy Pepsi

Pepsi’s big crime was donating a half million to HRC to fight for marriage equality.  They deserve our thanks and support

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Fight the US Health Insurance Company Death Panels

UnitedHealth CEO Steve Hemsley makes 58,000 dollars an hour based on rationing health care to people his company supposedly insured.

People with his company’s insurance are forced to lose their homes or watch their children die so this pig can enjoy his rich elite scumbag life.

End the stranglehold of private health insurance companies.

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Recession Drives Up Women’s Need for Medicaid

From Women’s E-News
By Sharon Johnson

WeNews correspondent

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Public health care has been vital to helping women survive the recession, says Joan Entmacher, a leading advocate for women. The latest government data found 850,000 additional women seeking Medicaid coverage in 2008.

(WOMENSENEWS)–The latest government data on women and health insurance coverage makes a strong case for public insurance, the option having the hardest time gaining support in Congress, says a leading advocate for women’s rights.

“Even more women would have been without health insurance if not for the growth in public health care coverage, such as Medicaid,” Joan Entmacher, vice president and director of family economic security of the Washington-based National Women’s Law Center, said in an interview.

“The proportion of women with Medicaid coverage rose from 9.8 percent in 2007 to 10.4 percent in 2008,” added Entmacher. “Nearly 850,000 additional women had coverage through this essential program in 2008, which shows why it is important for Congress to pass health reform legislation that will guarantee comprehensive health care for all.”

To ensure that any bill passed by Congress will include the public option, the White House and many Democrats launched an aggressive lobbying effort this week to win the support of centrist Democrats in the Senate. The effort emphasizes that the public option would enable consumers–especially those who do not have employer-provided health insurance–to afford coverage.

Many women don’t qualify for employer-provided health insurance because they work part time or are low-wage workers who lack benefits or Medicaid.

Conservative Democrats and Republicans have opposed the public health insurance option because they claim it is a stalking horse for a single payer system that would eventually lead to socialized medicine.

15 Percent of Women Lack Coverage

The latest statistics on male and female health coverage were contained in the Census Bureau’s Sept. 10 report of income, poverty and health insurance in 2008.

It found that 17.6 million women–15 percent of the female population–lacked health insurance in 2008.

The Census Bureau report found that 21.4 million men and 7.3 million children lacked health insurance in 2008.

In one of the report’s few bright spots, the number of uninsured children decreased by 801,000 in 2008. This was the lowest number of uninsured children since the government began collecting information in 1987 on health insurance coverage of children.

In 2008, 1 out of 3 children had coverage under Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Public health insurance coverage for children and women helped offset the decline of employer health coverage, which has been eroding for eight straight years. In 2008, the number of workers without coverage rose by 932,000 for a total of 46.3 million uninsured Americans.

Work Benefits Drop

The rate of employer-provided health insurance among women declined to 57.8 percent in 2008 from 58.5 percent in 2007.

Obama favors a public option that would create a new national insurance company operated by the federal government to provide insurance, offering some consumers an alternative.

Although the public option is included in four of the five bills that have passed various House and Senate committees, it has run into serious trouble in the Senate Finance Committee, the last Congressional panel to consider health care legislation before debate begins in the full House and Senate later this month.

The finance committee rejected two amendments on Sept. 29 that would include a public option as part of a broad health care overhaul.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, claims that the public option does not have enough support to pass the Senate. The Democrats need 60 votes, a super majority, to deter a Republican filibuster in the Senate.

Advocates for women’s financial security warn that more women will sink into poverty in 2009 unless Congress enacts legislation to extend health insurance coverage and other benefits such as unemployment insurance.

Poverty Warnings

“Last year was an economic disaster for women,” said Entmacher, whose law center was founded in 1972 to expand possibilities for women and girls in the United States. “The Census Bureau’s annual report of key measures of Americans’ well being indicated that the number of women living in poverty increased by 800,000, median earnings for women working full time, year round declined by $706 and the number of women without health insurance increased by half a million.”

The House voted 331 to 83 Sept. 22 to extend unemployment benefits for 13 weeks to the estimated one million people who live in states with unemployment rates of at least 8.5 percent and who are scheduled to run out of benefits by the end of the year.

“Extension of unemployment benefits is an important first step in helping women survive the recession because many women don’t have the savings to withstand extended unemployment because they earn less than do men,” said Entmacher.

“Median earnings for women working full time, year round were $35,745 in 2008, down from $36,451 in 2007. Median earnings for full-time, year-round male workers were $46,367 in 2008, down from $46,846 in 2007,” she said. (All figures were adjusted for inflation.)

Since the recession began in December 2007 the female poverty rate rose to 13 percent in 2008, up from 12.5 percent in 2007.

Sharon Johnson is a New York-based freelance writer.

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