Monday, August 03, 2009

4 cents to travel 1000 miles in an hour - Anyone interested?


I just donated a dollar a day till health care reform gets passed. (Small price to pay for something so immensely important. Just one dollar in a 24 hour Earth rotation.)

(The circumference of the
Earth at the equator is 25,000 miles. The Earth rotates in about
24 hours. Therefore, if you were to hang above the surface of the Earth at the equator without moving, you would see 25,000 miles
pass by in 24 hours, at a speed of 25000/24 or just over 1000 miles per hour.)

That's a little over 4 cents to travel over 1000 miles, in an hour. Pretty good bargain if you ask me. And if it shows the insatiably greedy insurance companies that "we the people" mean business and will not settle for anything less than a passage of a public option in this Health Care Reform, debate (and it will represent an even more cost efficient effect over the years of one's life time.)

(The report, How Health Care
Reform Can Lower the Costs of Insurance Administration (issue
brief, 20 pages, PDF), found that including both private and
public insurance choices in a new national insurance plan could
save the nation as much as $265 billion in administrative costs
between 2010 and 2020, while a plan that provided a choice of
private plans only would increase administrative costs by $32
billion over the same period. Savings from the mixed
private-public reform approach would be realized through lower
marketing and underwriting costs, reduced costs associated with
claims administration, less time spent negotiating provider
payment rates, and fewer or standardized commissions to insurance
Philanthropy News Digest, via

What the hell is the problem here? Including a public option would save hundreds of billions of dollars, but Congress can’t come to an agreement? Do they think we're all stupid? Oh yes, right, it's better to be subjected to skyrocketing health care costs, driven by the high costs of administering private plans? Yup, no competition is what Democracy is all about.

I hope everyone will feel the passion and hop on board for your
04.16 cent 1000 mile ride to a more efficient Health Care
Industry and one that matches the other industrialized nations
who have less money than our America but have a Health Care
System that puts ours to shame.

Myth: The
U.S. has the best health care system in the world.

Fact: The U.S. has among the worst health statistics of all rich


The U.S. does not have the best health care system in the world -
it has the best emergency care system in the world. Advanced U.S.
medical technology has not translated into better health
statistics for its citizens; indeed, the U.S. ranks near the
bottom in list after list of international comparisons. Part of
the problem is that there is more profit in a pound of cure than
an ounce of prevention. Another part of the problem is that
America has the highest level of poverty and income inequality
among all rich nations, and poverty affects one's health much
more than the limited ministrations of a formal health care

Chip in a dollar a day to help pass real health insurance reform.Click Here To Donate A Dollar A Day Till Health Care Reform Gets Passed.

Opponents of change are doing everything they can
to slow the pace of health insurance reform. So we're launching
our "Dollar-a-Day" campaign to fight back.
A huge response will show the insurance companies and their allies in Congress that their delay tactics will only make our movement stronger.

Your donation will help us to keep training volunteers, hiring organizers, running ads, organizing local events, bringing constituent voices straight to Congress,
and make sure real life stories are heard louder than the lobbyists' spin.

We'll bill your credit card for thirty days worth of donations now and once a month until the President signs real health insurance reform into law. When the bill is signed, we'll refund a prorated amount for that month.

Please make your donation today using this form CLICK HERE.

Posted: August 3, 2009 05:17 AM

August Offensive to Define Health Care Debate: Insurance Companies in the Bull's Eye

A potentially decisive battle to define this year's health care debate - and the Obama
Presidency - will take place in town hall meetings, little league bleaches, and conversations on door steps near you during the August Congressional recess.

The White House, its Congressional allies, and progressive
organizations supporting health care reform have launched a new
August offensive to write the narrative of the health care
debate. The story line is clear: on the one side are America's
health care consumers. On the other are the eight private health
insurance companies that dominate the health insurance market,
who are doing so much to deep-six the health insurance reform
that America so desperately needs.

Americans United for Change (for which I am General Consultant)
helps kick off this offensive today with a new TV spot that
begins to personalize the private health insurance industry. It
asks the question: Why do the health insurance companies and
Republicans want to kill President Obama's health insurance
reform? It answers with the tale of H. Edward Hanway, the CEO of
giant Cigna Insurance.

Hanway made $12.2 million as CEO of Cigna last year. Sometimes
that kind of number just rolls off the tongue. But someone who
makes $12.2 million is making $5,883 per hour. He makes 30 times
more than the CEO of the federal government - the President. He
makes more in one day than the average American worker makes all
year long.

And that's not all. Hanway just announced he will be retiring at
year's end. For his retirement, H. Edward will get a good deal
more than a gold watch. He will get a golden parachute worth $73
million. Probably a fair amount more than the guy who runs
Medicare, don't you think?

The private insurance industry is pretty crazed about a health
insurance reform plan that will require them to compete with a
public health insurance option focused on covering everyone and
controlling costs, instead of making off with fortunes.

They would love to see a plan that requires the taxpayers to
reach into their jeans and plunk down hundreds of billions more
dollars as long as they could continue to skim their take off an
ever-exploding national health care bill. They would love to have
the government require that everyone must buy their health care
insurance. But the idea of competing with a public plan that
forces efficiency, drives down the industry's growing profit
margins and gives consumers an option other than the oligopoly of
eight major health insurance firms? They think that is a terrible idea.

They feel the same way towards a public health insurance option
that the local mob boss feels about some interloper who tries to
cut into the piece of the action he takes from the bookies
operating within his turf.

So, like the local mob boss, they will be pulling out all the
stops in August to terrorize members of Congress and sow fear and
confusion about the Obama Health Insurance Reform plan. They will
run ads. They will make copious political contributions. They
will provide ammunition to the right-wing talk show hosts. They
will do everything in their power to stop the Obama plan dead in
its tracks, because they know that once people have a new health
insurance system, there will be no going back.

But this August, Progressives have no intention of being bowled
over by the assault of the "insurance gang."
Progressives have learned the lesson of 1994, and this time we
will go right at them. There are four reasons why we are likely
to prevail:

• The polling shows clearly that most people agree that the
health insurance industry has worn out its welcome with
Americans. Since 1994, there have simply been too many people
denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, or told that they
are no longer covered because they have gotten a serious illness,
or gouged so that H. Edward Hanway can have a $73 million
retirement package. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know
that something's wrong with the health insurance industry when
premiums go up three times faster than wages and 14,000 people a
day are losing their health insurance, yet insurance industry
profits still keep going up in the midst of a horrible recession.

• Even though the health insurance industry has more
resources than we do, it is also true that it costs less to
convince people that what is good for them is good for them, than
it does to convince people that what is bad for them is good for them.

• We have a President and Democratic leadership in Congress
willing to make the case against the insurance companies in
stark, clear terms.

• Well-organized progressive coalitions like Health Care for
America Now (HCAN), and Obama's field operation - Organize for
America -- have been preparing for this engagement for months.
They have been accumulating resources, testing public opinion,
organizing grassroots field operations - all in preparation for
this decisive battle.

Now the insurance gang has shown its hand. Of all of the
"stakeholders" in the health care industry, it is the
one that is prepared to sink health care reform if change
threatens its ability to siphon off billions of dollars into the
bank accounts of the H. Edward Hanway's of the world.

This month let's all look carefully at the way the H. Edward
Hanway's live. Let's contemplate whether the fortunes of a few
are worth the continued suffering of 43 million Americans who
worry everyday that they might fall seriously ill - or be injured
driving home -and be bankrupted by their health care bills.

Let's ponder whether we should protect those fortunes, even
though by doing so we continue to pay 50% more per person for
health care than any other country on Earth, for outcomes that
rank 37th in the world.

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of the woman who testified
before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who had paid her
health care premiums for years and had her policy
"rescinded" (cancelled) on a technicality after she got
cancer. When asked if they could guarantee that their companies
would not continue to "rescind" policies in the future,
the insurance company representatives refused to do so. Wouldn't
want to cut into H. Edward's $5,883 per hour pay check, after all.

During the month of August, let's make sure that the topic of
conversation at every bar stool, kitchen table and barber shop is
the health insurance industry and the small group of people who
profit from its fine print and monopoly practices.

Much of the health insurance industry's power is its ability to
pull the strings of politicians from behind the curtain. Like
Count Dracula, another famous baron who was good at siphoning off
other people's assets, the health insurance industry does a lot
better if it is not exposed to daylight.

In the next four weeks, let's light up the health insurance
industry like Yankee Stadium on an August night.

If we all do that, when the game is over, after decades of
struggle, America's consumers will finally come out as winners.

Robert Creamer is a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of the recent
book: "Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win," available on

Live: Obama answers questions on Health reform North-Carolina part 4 of 4 29th of July 2009

Let's keep our heads, while we continue to


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