To no one’s great surprise, the House bill for health care reform includes a public option. When Nancy Pelosi says something is non-negotiable, you’d better believe her. In general, the bill is exactly what most of us thought it would be. The big thing is the Health Insurance Exchange that would allow people who aren’t covered for whatever reason to buy insurance through the exchange, which would increase competition and drive down prices. There’s also a mandate, which is uncomfortable but should help drive down costs.
One big thing the bill does that will help a lot of people out is it not only bans denials based on pre-existing conditions, but it also bans premium increases. This was a major concern of mine, because simply mandating that insurance companies cover everyone doesn’t really help that much, if they just jack the rates up on the people with pre-existing conditions. The elimination on caps will also help people with catastrophic illnesses.
What makes reading this summary of the bill really exciting is that not only did the House make sure to get the minimum basic decency standards covered, but they threw in a bunch of goodies on top of the necessities:
# Guarantees that every child in America will have health care coverage that includes dental, hearing and vision benefits.
# Provides better preventive and wellness care. Every health care plan offered through the exchange and by employers after a grace period will cover preventive care at no cost to the patient.ADVERTISEMENT
# Increases the health care workforce to ensure that more doctors and nurses are available to provide quality care as more Americans get coverage.
If you think about it, moves like eliminating the co-pay on preventive care will save a lot of money over the long run, because it will encourage people to get that preventive care. For instance, I got the flu shot yesterday and balked slightly when they said it was $25, because my insurance doesn’t cover it. I did decide to get it, because I got the flu a couple years ago, and I was reminded of how bad it really is. Plus, I missed SXSW, even with my wristband, because I didn’t feel up to going. Imagine a world where the flu shot is free and available everywhere you go. The enormous gains in productivity alone would make it worth it.
Of course, some things haven’t been hammered out yet, primarily because of this whiny fuckwad. Representative Stupak has made it his life’s work to whine and whine until women who currently have abortion coverage with their insurance see that coverage disappear. Stupak is either stupid or lying, because if his only concern is not using federal funds to pay for abortion, then the Capps amendment should satisfy him. But he’s threatening to try to shut down the entire bill unless there’s a stiffer anti-choice amendment attached. At which point, I have to assume that he wants to take away care, because the Capps amendment he objects so strenuously to doesn’t really affect abortion care one way or another. I swear to god, his strategy for getting his way appears to be whining Pelosi to death. This is where her status as the mother of five children really matters, I suppose, because I’m sure she’s learned to be strong in the face of all sorts of childish whining.
The irony in all this is that I think that a lot of Americans who have abortion coverage in their insurance plan don’t realize it. As Amy Sullivan discovered, Focus on Family—who is throwing a mega shit fit over “federal” funding of abortion under the Capps amendment, funding that doesn’t exist—covers its employees through a company that, you guessed it, covers abortion. I’ve joked to friends that most anti-choicers who are freaking out over this probably have insurance plans that cover abortion, but they probably just never thought about it. The abortion freak-out is 100% red herring, an attempt to halt health care reform with bullshit tactics. The result of all this coverage of the issue might be that a lot more people are made aware that insurance plans usually do cover abortion, and there might be an uptick in people billing their insurance companies for it.
Pence abruptly canceled trip because person he was meeting was about to be busted by the feds
The White House abruptly canceled a planned trip to New Hampshire to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from being seen with somebody about to be busted for interstate drug trafficking of fentanyl, Politico reported Monday.
"Among the problems was a federal law enforcement probe involving individuals Pence would likely encounter, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the incident. If Pence stepped off the vice presidential aircraft, one of the people he would have seen on the ground was under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration for moving more than $100,000 of fentanyl from Massachusetts to New Hampshire," Politico reported.
‘Do you love Puerto Rico?’: Fox News’ Shep Smith rips governor to shreds
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was outed for cold and heartless comments he exchanged about his own island in wake of the horrific hurricanes that destroyed the island in 2017. He's also being forced to ask questions about the corruption involving the funding for hurricane relief. Nearly 1 million people have taken to the streets demanding accountability and action.
In his first interview, Rosselló may have assumed he'd meet a friendly audience on Fox News, but Shep Smith let him have it.
"The corruption is rampant in Puerto Rico," Smith said. "Economically Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis, $70 billion in debt and a 13-year recession. In the leaked 900 pages of profanity-laced messages, dubbed RickyGate, after you, sir, you made light of the casualties of the Hurricane Maria, you tossed homophobic and misogynistic remarks, You were calling the former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverit a whore. Of the oversight board that rules Puerto Rico's finances, you said, 'Go F-yourself. And when your representative to that board said he is salivating to shoot the woman who is the mayor of San Juan, you said, 'You’d be doing me a grand favor.' So, attacks on woman, gays, dead relatives on your own island and after that who is left to support you? Is it even safe for you to govern?"
Puerto Ricans launch biggest protest yet against governor
Angry protesters blocked the main road in Puerto Rico's capital on Monday as they launched what was expected to be the largest yet of a wave of demonstrations seeking the resignation of the US territory's embattled governor.
Marching under sunny skies in San Juan, the demonstrators sang, chanted, danced and carried the territory's red, white and blue flag with a lone star.
Altogether, hundreds of thousands were expected to turn out.
Puerto Ricans are up in arms over alleged corruption involving money meant to be for victims of Hurricane Maria in 2017, which left nearly 3,000 dead.