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Archive for December, 2009

Hi little girl, it’s me – don’t you know who I am?health
I met you last summer when I came up to stay with my Gram
I’m the guy-uy-uy who left you with tears in his eyes
You didn’t answer my letters, so I figured it was just a li-i-i-i-ie

“Girl Don’t Tell Me” – The Beach Boys


The health care debate has so many moving parts that it’s hard for anybody to keep them straight. So we decided to put together an overview of where we’re at—both good and bad—and what we’re all going to need to keep fighting for.

Neither of these bills is close to perfect. But we’re entering the home stretch where we risk losing a lot of what’s good in these bills and where we have a huge opportunity to strengthen the parts that need work.

Here’s where we are:

The House of Representatives passed their bill last month. The Senate is aiming to pass its version before Christmas.

Overall, both pieces of legislation would do four major things:

* Create a “Health Insurance Exchange.” The bills create a one-stop marketplace where people can choose from various insurance plans, including the public option. The details aren’t set yet, but initially the Exchange would likely be open to the self-employed, people without insurance at work, and small businesses.1 The key with the Exchange is that it brings “the bargaining power and scale that’s generally accessible only to large employers” to individuals—and with that, lower costs and better options.2

* Provide insurance to over 30 million more people. The House bill would expand coverage to 36 million people by 2019. The Senate bill extends coverage to 31 million.3

* Outlaw discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and gender. Insurance companies will have to stop denying coverage to people with “pre-existing conditions.” And they won’t be allowed to charge women more than men for the same coverage.4

* Eliminate coverage limits and price-gouging. The bills differ on some details, but in general would place limits on how much people have to pay for health care beyond their premiums. They both cap out-of-pocket costs and ban insurance companies from setting limits on how much health care they’ll cover for a person each year.5

batgirl

Of course, the devil is in the details, and much in these bills still needs work.

Here’s what still needs to be fixed:

* Both bills leave millions uninsured. The House bill leaves 18 million without insurance in 2019; the Senate bill, 24 million. Neither comes close to the vision for universal coverage so many of us fought for for years. We’ll all need to fight to continue to expand coverage in the bills this year, and in the years to come.6

* The Senate public option is weak, and conservatives are pushing to make it weaker. The public option is a core piece of reform that will create real accountability and competition for private insurance—and that’s why it’s at the center of such a huge fight. While the House bill creates a national public option, the Senate lets states opt out, denying their residents access to it. Plus, conservatives are working to weaken it even more. We’re all going to have to fight hard for the strongest version possible.7

* Many reforms don’t start quickly enough. While some pieces of reform go into effect right away, the larger structural changes are not scheduled to go into effect until 2013 (House bill) or 2014 (Senate bill). This includes the Exchange, the public option, and subsidies—the major ways coverage will be expanded.8

* Required insurance could still be too expensive for many. Both bills require virtually all Americans to have insurance. But the caps on how much we’re expected to pay are way too high, and the subsidies are way too low. Many progressives are working to fix this, but it’s going to be a significant fight.9

* Reproductive rights are severely restricted in the House bill. An egregious anti-choice amendment in the bill virtually prohibits anyone purchasing insurance in the Exchange from buying a plan that covers abortion—even if paid for with their own money. We need to make sure the final bill doesn’t include this rollback of reproductive rights.10

* The Senate bill could discriminate against lower income workers. The current Senate legislation retains a version of what’s called the “free rider” provision, which essentially penalizes employers for hiring lower income workers. This provision needs to be fixed before the bill is finalized.11

There’s a lot going on in these bills, and we’re all going to need to be vigilant to ensure the good pieces end up in the final bill, and the bad ones are fixed. It’s going to be a rocky ride. But if we fight together, we’ll come out stronger in the end.

Sources:

1. “A Health Insurance Exchange: The Fine Print,” The New York Times, August 20, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85241&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=3

“Health Reform at a Glance: The Health Insurance Exchange,” House Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor, July 14, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85665&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=4

2. “Health Insurance Exchanges: The Most Important, Undernoticed Part of Health Reform,” The Washington Post, June 16, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85664&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=5

3. “H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act,” Congressional Budget Office, November 20, 2009

http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10741

“Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, November 18, 2009

http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10731

4. “Top 10 Ways Health Insurance Reform Works for You,” The Speaker of the House, October 29, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85669&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=6

“How Health Insurance Reform Will Help Your Family,” Senate Democratic Policy Committee

http://dpc.senate.gov/dpcdoc-responsiblereform.cfm

“Meeting Women’s Health Care Needs,” The Speaker of the House

http://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/legislation?id=0327

“Reports on Health Insurance Reform—Women,” Senate Democratic Policy Committee

http://dpc.senate.gov/dpcdoc-responsiblereform.cfm

5. “Top 10 Ways Health Insurance Reform Works for You,” The Speaker of the House, October 29, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85669&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=7

“How Health Insurance Reform Will Help Your Family,” Senate Democratic Policy Committee

http://dpc.senate.gov/dpcdoc-responsiblereform.cfm

6. “H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act,” Congressional Budget Office, November 20, 2009

http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10741

“Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, November 18, 2009

http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10731

“REPORT: How the Senate Bill Compares to Other Reform Legislation,” Think Progress, November 19, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85670&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=8

7. “Sen. Reid Announces ‘Opt Out’ Public Plan,” The New York Times, October 26, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85673&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=9

“Carper: Conservative Democrats Not Likely To Support Senate Public Option,” Talking Points Memo, November 17, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85675&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=10

8. “Top 14 Provisions That Take Effect Immediately,” The Speaker of the House

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85676&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=11

“What happens before 2014?” The Washington Post, November 19, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85677&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=12

“Senate, House Democratic health bills compared,” The Associated Press, November 18, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85667&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=13

9. “The Details of The New Merged Senate Bill,” Think Progress, November 18, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85668&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=14

“REPORT: How the Senate Bill Compares to Other Reform Legislation,” Think Progress, November 19, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85670&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=15

“Analysis: How the Senate health care bill stacks up with the House health care bill,” Think Progress, November 19, 2009

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/11/19/senate-house-comparison/

10. “The Ban on Abortion Coverage,” The New York Times, November 9, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/opinion/10tue1.html

11. “The noxious ‘free rider’ provision,” The Washington Post, November 25, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85671&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=16

“Senate Health Bill Improves Employer Responsibility Provision,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, November 19, 2009

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3003

“The Baucus Bill: The Worst Policy in the Bill, and Possibly in the World,” The Washington Post, September 16, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85672&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=17

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“We’ve been friends AF-Logo-08
Now for so many years
We’ve been together through
The good times and the tears”

“Friends”- The Beach Boys


With the release of the book, “They’re Not Gone,” we have had a lot of friends call and give us support.  One of those friends is Caesar Augustus, owner of Augustus Films.

This is from Caesar’s recent newsletter.  All we can say is, “We love you Caesar, and thank you very much!”  Augustus Films produced the trailer for “They’re Not Gone”.

skrull

Hey Ceasar for everything you do… this blogs for you.

Hello Everyone,

Its Been a while since our last email. I hope this finds everyone in good health and spirits. Today is a very special day. My friends Amy Butler and Rick Wood have release their new book called “They’re Not Gone”.

I have been honored with reviewing the book and developed a trailer to promote the book.

Today is the day! “They’re Not Gone” is officially on sale! yay! Check out the trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtzD18GnlpE

If you order today get $155.00 of coupons for FREE! Visit http://www.theyrenotgone.com!

What happens when we die? Regardless of your belief system, receiving proof that the spirit lives on can be a life-altering experience. They’re Not Gone provides detailed accounts of 13 people who, through Psychic Medium Ricky Wood, reconnected with a loved one they lost. With names, phrases, mannerisms, and much more, Ricky delivers irrefutable evidence that our spirits are still very much alive after our physical death.

Your Outlook on Life and Death May Never Be the Same.

“They’re NOT Gone” presents in a Chicken Soup for the Soul format with a John Edwards One Last Time theme. Following each short story, get to know Ricky Wood in a question and answer section where he addresses common questions such as — Is there a heaven and a hell? Is there a difference between where you go if you die naturally versus suicide? Do you see things differently after dying? And much more! Through humor and his down-to-earth nature, get to know what Ricky believes based on his years of experience as a Psychic Medium.

Available December 2, 2009

Get Your Copy at Amazon.com

For more information go to

http://www.theyrenotgone.com

Edited by Caesar Augustus

http://www.augustusfilms.com

Check out Ricky Wood at http://www.rickywood.net

If we nourish our souls and our minds the closer we are to total Union with it all.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!


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