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Truth and Consequences

May 18th, 2011 · No Comments · Corporations and Industry, Health Care, jobs, Politics, taxes

From time to time we may begin to drop in a little digest of Right Wing lies and other assorted items you may be able to use to set the record straight.

Why Are Some Companies and States Getting Waivers from the Health Care Reform Bill?

Mona Charen, a Right Wing writer for the Right Wing magazine NATIONAL REVIEW says that some companies and even states are getting waivers from HHS and she wants to know why. Well, that’s a red herring being written about by every Right Wing writer at this point because it sounds bad…people getting waivers from the government and other people not….sounds discriminatory. It isn’t. Here’s why. Do you even know what a waiver is? No, you don’t. If you did Mona Charen couldn’t write about it.

A waiver from the Health care plan means this. If your company, say Pepsico (who got a waiver) or your state (Massachusetts got a waiver) or your union (unions have good plans, the Teamsters got a waiver) has a plan that exceeds the standards of the Health Care Reform Bill, then your company union or state does not have to follow all of the standards that the law says must be in every health care insurance plan.

These standards are not excessive. Like, for example, that you should be able to get a physical every year. That actually saves lives and saves money. So if your policy has that, and some other basics, your company may be able to get a waiver because you are meeting those standards. That’s a waiver. That’s a good thing. Not a bad thing. The waiver means less paperwork. You can avoid some reporting. That’s all.

But if the American people don’t know what it means, then it gives Dick Cheney a great opportunity for propaganda. He sends a message to Karl Rove and Rove sends a message to Roger Ailles and to Mona Charen and to Rush Limbaugh and to all the organized Right Wing talkers who make up 90% of radio and over half of all television reporting. They begin to do what Mindless Mona Charen did…spew out propaganda. Mona Charen is not a reporter. She is simply one more of those highly paid Quislings that used to be in the national press, now owned by the Right Wing billionaires for thirty pieces of silver.

The Truth About Paul Ryan’s Medicare Proposal

The criticism of the Paul Ryan… the Repbulican…budget, the one they all, every single one voted for recently has to do with many things. But here is the real problem with it. He wants to leave all the current seniors as they are, down to people who will retire ten years from now. And he wants to pass a bill now, this year, that would change Medicare from a guaranteed program to a voucher program. So what does that mean. That means that each senior citizen would get a predetermined amount of money that he or she would be able to use to buy complete coverage.

If they got a good deal, then they could put some of that leftover money into a tax-free savings account for use the next year and presumably build up a little equity fund. Well that sounds good, but here is the problem. If Ryan said…we really want to do this, to bring down health care costs and so we’ll guarantee that you will never be charged more than the amount that we give you to pay for health care…that might be all right.

The problem is this. Do you trust him? He has voted against health care reform every time it came up. He has taken money from the health insurance industry. They have shown no inclination…spent $400 million…to try to short circuit health care reform to keep prices high and services low. After all, to them, it’s just a business.

But even worse, Ryan knows that the health care companies will work out a system whereby the elderly will be charged more. They will always cost more because they are the ones that get sick most often as their bodies begin to break down. That is, in fact, why for a couple of hundred years until Ronald Reagan all hospitals were non-profit. Have you heard of St. Joseph’s, or Lutheran Hospital, or Columbia Presbyterian, or the Shriner’s children’s hospitals? Nuns used to run hospitals. Because hospitals are not profitable unless you make them so expensive that you can only afford to take care of the people who don’t need them!

And so why haven’t you heard this? Have you ever heard of the corporate media? Heard of Rush Limbaugh? Heard of Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter? These people and others like them in the media are paid huge salaries to put out lies or simply to create obfuscations, distractions, false statements, deliberate misunderstandings….in short, propaganda paid for by companies like United Healthcare, Wellpoint, Humana, Cigna…on and on, who will spend tens of millions to support these people with advertising to earn salaries that would be unheard of for them if they were not shills for the Right Wing.

Hannity alone makes $20 million a year telling lies for the rich, for the Chamber of Commerce, health insurance corporations and the military industrial complex. Hannity is a lying little twirp. Even the Internet is suspect. You often have to go twenty or thirty articles attacking a Democratic piece of legislation before you can find one supporting it and telling the truth.

So what does it all mean? It means that these people who are 55 today, when they are 65, will basically be handed an inadequate check each year for medical care. They will never be able to find a plan that does not cost them more than the amount they are given. Each year they will spend down their meager savings to keep up but they never will. They never will because this Ryan plan does nothing to reduce health care costs. It merely shifts the costs, which will grow, from the government to the individual at the worst possible time in their lives…when their earning power is at its lowest.

Unless of course workers keep working. And that it what the Right Wing Neocons like Ryan want. The rich and the corporations want wages to go down and government costs to go down so that they can simply keep more of their profits. It isn’t more complicated that that.

The Truth About Unemployment

You will now begin to see numerous articles on the Right about who is unemployed and why and so on. Right now, May 2011, there are, for certain, almost exactly 6 million people who have been out of work for more than 26 weeks. There are another verified 8.6 million people who need full time jobs to live but can only find part-time jobs. This is not the total of part-time workers, only those who want full-time work.

Those two groups alone amount to 14.6 million people, out of the roughly 100 million people who work in this country. This is not the total unemployed, merely those two groups. The official statistics say that we have about 9% unemployment. You don’t need to be a statistician to see that this number is much lower than actual unemployment.

When people tell you that tax cuts lead to more jobs, tell them this. Before Reagan, long term unemployment was a manageable problem. By 1982-83, we had almost 3 million long term unemployed.That dropped somewhat, but never to levels of earlier years, and under Bush I it began to climb. Under Clinton, long term unemployment fell every year until it was substantially under 1 million. Then Bush II took it from under 1 million to nearly 6 million before he was through crashing the economy.

Since 2008, the Republican Senate has filibustered every single jobs bill to try to either get small business financing into the marketplace or to create private sector jobs. Obama has never even tried to get a public jobs bill through Congress. And now all Congress wants to do is a. cut Social Security and Medicare and b. crash the economy even more, leaving us in a worse Depression. The point is that with tax cuts for the rich in the 1980s and again in the 2000s, with no tax increases except under the wildly successful Clinton Administration, jobs have fallen enormously, in fact worse than at any time since the Great Depression. We don’t need to cut any part of government. We simply need to restore the jobs and the tax revenues to this country that have been stolen from us since 1980.

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