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  This one contains a tongue-in-cheek look at the wealthy "decision makers"  who are deciding to "fix the debt" by cutting services to ordinary people rather than take simple steps like closing tax loopholes designed by and for the benefit of the rich, raising the current cut-off level on the Social Security tax, eliminating offshore tax shelters, going after income tax fraud, and raising corporate income taxes, which have plunged over the past few decades.   My apologies to any political figures I may have inadvertently shamed by low-balling their income.  I will gladly make any needed corrections. 

 

Milliman Medical Index on Obamacare

 

Milliman Medical Index on Obamacare

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Milliman calls itself one of "the world's largest providers of actuarial and related products and services."

 

It provides independent consulting services. It does so in areas including healthcare among others. It says it maintains "rigorous standards of professional excellence, peer review and objectivity."

Congress Today: Who Does it Really Represent?

With U.S. approval of Congress holding steady at a whopping 15%, one wonders just who it is the elected representatives are representing. Perhaps we can answer that question, by looking at some of their recent activities, and considering some of the things currently left undone.

Politicalspeak: U.S. Style

                It has been some time since the language of U.S. politics has been twisted so far as to render words nearly meaningless. In an effort to clarify what is actually being said in Washington, D.C., this writer offers this glossary of terms, with historical context, current usage and, at times, synonyms and antonyms.

                Some of these words and terms have been around for a while; others are brand new.

Ducking the Full Costs of War: The Ongoing Scandal Called the Veterans Administration

 

By Dave Lindorff


 

My mother died last Thursday at the age of 89. Her death, fortunately coming peacefully after she suffered a stroke during her sleep, followed a long mental decline caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Obamacare: Unaffordable Coverage

 

Obamacare: Unaffordable Coverage

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) co-founders Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein examined evidence on "skimpy health insurance among low-income, insured Americans."

 

A PNHP press release said:

Money for Militarism, not for People: Obama’s Betrayal of Social Security

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

What’s wrong with the Obama administration’s proposal to change the way Social Security checks are adjusted for inflation from using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to instead using something called a “chained” CPI?

Let’s start with the fundamental problem: Social Security is not a cause of the federal budget deficit, and will not be for years, even if nothing is done to raise more revenue for the program.

Crashing the 2-Party System: The Way Forward is a Single-Issue Social Security Defense Party

 

By Dave Lindorff


The history of third parties in America is pretty dismal. The system is rigged against them, for one thing. But equally problematic is the lack of focus that leads to infighting and splits whenever a third party is created.


The Foodopoly: Too Big to Eat


We've come to understand that the banks are too big to fail, too big to take to trial, too big not to let them write our public policy, too big not to reward them for ruining our economy.

Why have we come to understand that? 

We've been told it by a mega media cartel that has itself been deemed too big to fail, too big not to subsidize with our airwaves, too big not to reward with political ads buying back our airwaves in little bits and pieces.

Speaking of which, the buying of elections is moving rapidly in the direction of monopoly ownership itself.

More Evidence Obamacare Ripped Off Americans

 

More Evidence Obamacare Ripped Off Americans

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Make no mistake. March 23, 2010 will live in infamy. With strokes from 22 pens, Obama enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

 

It's a ripoff. It's a healthcare rationing scheme. It's a boon to predatory providers. It's a plan to enrich insurers, drug companies, and large hospital chains.

North Carolina Gets Bill for Single Payer Healthcare

(Raleigh, NC) State Representative Marcus Brandon has introduced a bill for a single-payer system in the 2013 General Assembly session. While Republican lawmakers are content to simply block President Obama's healthcare exchange system, Rep. Brandon offers a real solution to the problems of rising healthcare costs.

"It's not enough to just say no," Brandon said in reference to these obstructionist attempts. "We can't just have Republicans saying no in Congress, and we can't just have Democrats opposing everything in Raleigh either. We have to present viable solutions. My single-payer bill does that."

While Republicans are sure to try to defeat this bill, Brandon knows that this is a struggle worth fighting for. "We have to talk about our issues, what it is that we say about ourselves. This is not just about Democrats and Republicans, it's bigger than that. It's about finding real solutions instead of just offering up another political talking point."

"Single Payer, Not for Profit healthcare is the only sustainable plan for NC” Brandon continued. “Healthcare costs continue to sky rocket, and you can make any law you want, but as long as you have a for profit system you will never control cost. Eventually, our flawed system of tying healthcare to employment will no longer be feasible and more and more people will lose coverage, and the state will have to provide services for these people."

The current edition and status of the bill can be found here:
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2013&BillID=H70
.

The bill is unlikely to get much traction in a General Assembly dominated by Republicans. However, Brandon is not planning to give up without a fight.

###

Goldman, Other Welfare Queens Tell Us Forget Social Security-Medicare Until 70

Michael Collins

(Washington, DC 1/21)  A long standing  Money Party front, the Business Roundtable, wants you to wait until you're 70 years old before you get Social Security and Medicare benefits.  This is just a reprise of the November 2012 dictate from the king of corporate cronyism, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.  (Image: DonkeyHotey)  (Greenspan statement)

The boss announced, "So there will be things that, you know, the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the benefits have to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments have to be revised. But in general, entitlements have to be slowed down and contained."  Lloyd Blankfein, CBS News, November 2012

That's easy for Lloyd to say.  He makes tens of millions of dollars a year without so much as lifting a finger.  You can be sure that Blankfein has a deluxe health insurance and retirement plan.

Flu Epidemic Hysteria

 

Flu Epidemic Hysteria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

We've heard it all before. Media scoundrels hype fear. So do drug companies. Doing so boosts sales.

 

On January 11, The New York Times headlined "Flu Season Deaths Reach Epidemic Level but May Be at Peak, CDC Says."

America’s Political Dysfunction at Root is an Unwillingness to Cut War Spending

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

I was asked earlier this week by an reporter for PressTV, the state television network in Iran, if I could explain why the US political system seemed to be so dysfunctional, with Congress and the President having created an artificial budget crisis 17 months ago, not “solving” it until the last hour before a Congressional deadline would have created financial chaos, and even then not solving the problem and instead just pushing it off for two months until the next crisis moment.

 

Playing to Lose? Obama’s Just Another Chicago Player Throwing the Game

 

The latest from ThisCantBeHappening!:

Playing to Lose?

Obama’s Just Another Chicago Player Throwing the Game


By Dave Lindorff


Witch Hunting in Kansas: Anti-Abortion Pols Pile on to Attack Doctor Who Aided Tiller in Keeping Abortion Available

 

By Michael Caddell


… [Dr. Ann Kristin] Neuhaus wishes that she'd skipped the hearing.
 

Election's Over: It's Time to Organize!

 

By Dave Lindorff


Okay, the etch-a-sketch vulture capitalist who would have given us four years of that smarmy missionionary-at-your-door smile, was thankfully sent packing by the voters, and Barack Obama gets four more years in the White House.


Obama Campaign Displays Democratic Dysfunction and Warnings of Future Betrayal

 

By Dave Lindorff


We know that there isn't much "Hope" for "Change" -- at least for progressive change -- should President Obama win a second term as president.

Even when he had the chance, with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress during the first two years of his presidency, and with a solid mandate from the voters to act on restoring civil liberties, taking significant action against climate change, ending the wars and defending Social Security and Medicare, he did nothing.

Obama Lost The 'Debate' but the Reason is His Campaign Wanted Him to be a 'Moderate'

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

President Obama was was painful to watch at the debate on Wednesday night.

Time after time, he allowed Mitt Romney to make fraudulent statements or empty statements without slapping the Republican presidential candidate down.

TX Gov. Rick Perry Pressured to Expand Medicaid

 

Single-payer activists deliver healthcare petition with 16,000 signatures to Gov. Perry's office in Austin, TX.

By Ken Kenegos, Healthcare for All – Texas – via Healthcare Now

On Friday September 21st, advocates for healthcare rights brought together by The Texas Organizing Project, SEIU, Good Jobs = Great Houston, Mi Familia Vota, Health Care for All Texas and others converged on the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Buses from Houston, San Antonio and Dallas brought hundreds of protesters to the office of Gov. Rick Perry to demand that he accept the expansion of Medicaid authorized by the ACA (Affordable Care Act). But the Governor was not there. Instead, a line of State Troopers stood at the door of his office and told us that it was closed.

We were bringing the Governor a petition with over 16,000 signatures gathered by the national single payer movement demanding that he and other governors stop blocking the expansion of Medicaid. The petition confirmed a commitment to securing healthcare as a human right under an improved and expanded Medicare-for-all model and stated that protecting the current expansion of Medicaid is a necessary and life-saving step in that direction. We were told that we could leave the petitions at the office door. True to our chants of “this is what democracy looks like,” we voted and decided that the petitions would be brought back when they could be given to Gov. Perry directly.


Healthcare activists gather in the Texas capital.

In Texas, 5.9 million people are without any health insurance, nearly one quarter of the state population – the highest percentage in the nation. Medicaid in Texas covers about 2.6 million children in poverty today, but only about 225,000 of their parents. A single parent with two children cannot make more than $308 per month and qualify for Medicaid*. That dollar-limit was set in 1985, and has never been increased or updated for inflation. No childless adults are covered unless pregnant, fully disabled, or over 65. The Medicaid expansion would cover adults with incomes up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level ($14,900 for an individual and $30,750 for a family of 4).

But Gov. Perry says that the expansion would be an intrusion on the rights of the states. What about the rights of the people to healthcare? He says it’s too expensive because as the newly eligible adults enroll, it is projected that many currently eligible children who are not enrolled will also be brought in. This is what opponents refer to as the “woodwork affect,” comparing children who need healthcare to insects. The expansion would extend eligibility to nearly 2 million people currently shut out of access to health care. It would bring $85 billion into the Texas economy over the next 10 years. It doesn’t give us a system covering all with quality health care as Improved Medicare for All would, but it does save lives.

We marched from the Capitol, past the Governor’s mansion and eventually to the AT&T Center where Gov. Perry was addressing a conference. He was addressed from the street by hundreds of Texans determined that their message of healthcare justice be heard over political posturing. We will be back and our numbers are growing!

*If a parent is not working their maximum income cannot exceed $108 a month.

Philly DA Scored for Defending Prosecutorial Misconduct

 

By Linn Washington Jr.


The recent outrage in Pennsylvania over the scheduled October 3 execution of a man who killed two men who had sexually abused him during his childhood has tarnished the reformer image of Philadelphia DA Seth Williams, exposing him as just another prosecutor willing to trample justice to preserve a death penalty.

Romney's Albatross

Michael Collins

The public is just beginning to pay attention to the key issues of the 2012 presidential campaign. Even at this early stage, there is a clear trend in opinion against vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's Medicare voucher program. On this and other key issues, Ryan's very explicit positions and legislative proposals spell doom for the Romney campaign. Ryan's record and a Republican platform endorsing those extreme views are Romney's albatross.

A Pew Research poll, August 23, exposes the impact of one key campaign. Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular captures the impact of timing for Ryan's exposure as a hard core, right wing extremist.

Basically, Ryan destroys Medicare by turning it into a voucher system. Seniors would receive a grant from the Federal government to purchase their own coverage (on those useless exchanges Obama created, perhaps). The additional costs represent 35% of median senior income in 2022 and go up from there to 50% of median income by 2050. A Republican death panel, this approach will deny a major portion of seniors of part of all of their medical services.

Let's Start a Medicare and Social Security Action (MASS Action) Party!

 

By Dave Lindorff


If you want to know how moribund the Democratic Party is, how completely owned by Wall Street the president is, and how sick our national politics have become, just consider Social Security.


Democracies Don't Start Wars, But Fake Democracies Sure Do!

 

 

By Dave Lindorff


We’ve all heard it said by our teachers when we were in school, we’ve all heard it said by politicians, including presidents: “Democracies don’t start wars.”


US Leadership Increasingly Just Serves Big Corporate Donors

 

By Dave Lindorff


This article originally appeared on the website of PressTV


America a Democracy? Really?

By Dave Lindorff

This article was originally written forPressTV

We Americans are taught it in school. The propaganda put out by Voice of America repeats the idea ad nauseum around the globe. Politicians refer to it in every campaign speech with the same fervor that they claim to be running for office in response to God’s call: America is a model of democracy for the whole world.

But what kind of democracy is it really that we have here? 

Probing New Depths of Inanity in the Tea Party Crowd

 

By Dave Lindorff


Let me preface this column by saying that I don’t think all conservatives and right-wingers are stupid. In fact I have some right-leaning friends of a libertarian bent who are really smart, and a lot of fun to argue with. They may have an unquestioning faith, bordering on religious zealotry, in the wonders of the “market,” but like Jesuit-trained Catholics defending the existence of God, debating that faith with them can be entertaining and even challenging.

Supreme Court upholds healthcare law as advocates continue call for single payer system

The Supreme Court ruled today that the President’s Affordable Care Act can go forward almost unchanged, except that state Medicaid expansion is now optional instead of mandatory. Though Democrats, women’s health advocates and progressive groups celebrated the decision, others say defending the Health Care Reform bill isn’t enough, and are calling for a universal, single payer system. FSRN's Alice Ollstein was outside the Supreme Court this morning, and files this report.

Nobody Wins: High Court Backs ‘Obama/RomneyCare,’ Leaves Public on Life-Support

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

Looking on the bright side, the Supreme Court has ruled that something that President Obama has done is definitively not unconstitutional.

 

That’s probably the best that can be said of the 5-4 decision by the High Court today in upholding the ironically named Affordable Health Care Act.

 

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