Archive for the ‘healthcare’ Category

La comunidad latina

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

o-DREAMER-FILM-facebookEl Partido Demócrata del Condado de Unicoi le invita a involucrarse políticamente en nuestra comunidad. La comunidad latina es una parte vibrante de nuestro condado de Unicoi, y nos gustaría saber de usted y hablar de los temas más importantes a nosotros. Reunámonos para hablar de la educación, la inmigración, la economía, y los servicios médicos en nuestra comunidad. También le suplicamos que se registre y vote. Venga a la próxima reunión en el Ayuntamiento de Erwin.

Para más información, póngase en contacto con Mike K. Hampton a 743-7696. También puede encontrarnos en Facebook en https://www.facebook.com/UnicoiCountyDemocraticParty

o visite nuestro sitio Web en http://unicoi.tndcca.org/ “.

A Greed Driven Budget or April Fool’s Joke?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

WASHINGTON — Todays unveiling of Paul Ryan’s newest Republican budget exposed what Republicans will do if they gain complete control of Congress. His greed driven budget will allow the rick to harvest a windfall of tax cuts while the poor and middle class would be burdened with the painful costs. This budget will also allow Democrats to broaden the political difference between the two parties beyond health care, minimum wage and unemployment benefits.

Ryan laid out a budget plan that slashes $5 trillion in spending over the next decade on the backs of the poor and middle class. He falsely claims he would bring federal spending and taxes into balance by 2024, through drastic cuts to Medicaid and food stamps, and the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act just as millions are reaping the benefits of the law.

Domestic programs would be reduced to the lowest levels since modern government accounting while defense spending would increase. Medicare would be converted into a “premium support” system, where people 65 and older could purchase private insurance with small federal subsidies instead of government-paid health care. Subsidies in truth could not pay for health care of these people.

“We need to be a proposition party, not just an opposition party,” said Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin. “We believe we owe it to the [rich] country to offer an alternative to the status quo. It’s just that simple.”

Even with those tough political choices, the budget would balance in 2024 only because Ryan is assuming his cuts would prompt a burst of economic growth to raise tax revenues above what independent economists forecast. Back to trickle-down economics. He also does not adjust the government’s revenue ledger to reflect the cost of repealing the health care law’s tax increases and Medicare cuts, which could add an additional $2 trillion.

The Ryan budget will be formally drafted on Wednesday in the Budget Committee and brought to a House vote on Friday — if Republican leaders can find 217 votes to pass it over the concerns of moderates who say it goes too far and conservatives who say it does not go far enough.

Regardless of the vote, the budget will be front and center in the coming campaigns.

Paul Ryan’s budget is close to the heart of core Republican values and beliefs: Deliver Wealth to the wealthy, Power to the powerful, and suffering to everyone else…

In all, Ryan said, spending would be cut by $5.1 trillion over the next decade. More than $2 trillion of that would come from repealing Mr. Obama’s health care initiative, the Affordable Care Act, a political move that may be much more difficult now that more than 10 million Americans have gotten health insurance through the law, either through private policies purchased on insurance exchanges, through expanded Medicaid or private policies purchased through brokers but subsidized by the law.

Such an [Ann Rand] approach “empowers recipients to get off the aid rolls and back on the payrolls,” Mr. Ryan wrote. More importantly, it stuffs money in the pockets of the rich and powerful.

The toughest cuts would come from domestic programs that have already been reduced steadily to rubble, since 2011, when Republicans took control of the House. Nor did Ryan shy away from hot-button issues.

Education funding would be cut by $145 billion over 10 years. Pell grants for college students would lose $90 billion. University students would start being charged interest on their loans while still in school, reaping $40 billion.

Under the greed driven world of Republicans, Federal subsidies for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting “can no longer be justified,” Ryan said.

Not even big bird and Sesame Street will be spared the pain of Ryan’s cuts. The arts, in addition to public television, will be wiped off the face of the earth.

Obamacare Exceeds Goal: 8 Million Sign Up

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

obamacare_400_360_360Open enrollment for Obamacare ended last night at midnight. The 7 million target was exceeded on the last day to sign up for ObamaCare.

President Obama confirmed that 8 million had signed up by mid April.

Seven million was the original target set by the Congressional Budget Office for enrollment in taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance through new online markets created under President Obama’s signature legislation.

Early website problems made that target appear unattainable.

During the last week of open enrollment, a technical glitch was preventing people from filing new applications. A tech team, though, was brought in and resolved the issue.

The website, which was receiving 1.5 million visitors a day last week, had recorded about 2 million through 3 p.m. EDT. Call centers have more than 840,000 calls.

The White House said that more than 6 million Americans have signed up for private insurance plans since October 1 through the federal and state ObamaCare exchanges — a major accomplishment toward the White House’s goal of 7 million enrollees by March 31, considering the disastrous start.

Although open enrollment ended at midnight, the White House announced that Americans who have unsuccessfully tried to enroll by March 31 now have until mid-April to complete registration.

The White House and other supporters of the law were hoping for an enrollment surge that would confound skeptics and they got what they hoped for but some skeptics refuse to admit they were wrong.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said Monday that Republicans remain committed to repealing ObamaCare. The congress has voted [unsuccessfully] over fifty times to appeal Obamacare.

The Real Facts on Obamacare

Friday, January 10th, 2014

obamacare_400_360_3601.1 million people signed up for health insurance through Obamacare’s federal insurance marketplace in 2013. Nevertheless, that 1.1 million figure is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the Affordable Care Act has already accomplished. The total number of people is at over 10 million and could be 14 million people who are currently getting coverage under the law.

How many people are currently covered through the law? You have the 1.1 million who have gotten care through the federal website. Include the number of enrollees who have gotten coverage through state-run exchanges that and that number tops 2.1 million. Add the 3.9 million people who have gotten health coverage under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. And don’t forget about the young adults under 26 who are still covered by their parents’ health insurance plans thanks to the Affordable Care Act… that estimated figure had reached 7.8 million. Total those numbers and you get a minimum of 9 million Americans covered through Obamacare and a maximum of nearly 14 million.

This explains the eerie silence from the anti-Obamacare wing-nuts. The Affordable Care Act is “no longer just a piece of paper that you can repeal and it goes away… We have to deal with the millions of people that are currently covered under Obamacare.”

Obamacare critics will point out that the context of 50 million uninsured it’s only a start – but it is a start. The Obamacare horror stories [lies] and website disaster’s effects are still being felt and the law’s well-publicized stumbles have certainly taken their toll in polls.

It is also very clear that the GOP seems to be building its 2014 strategy around Obamacare’s [GOP created] flaws. They will continue to demonize the idea that insurance for everyone is a bad idea but risk the chance that growing success of Obamacare will leave them with no recourse but a failed strategy as elections draw near. It is a big gamble and one that seems to have big flaws and miscalculations.

Here’s a fundamental flaw in this GOP calculation: Obamacare’s not the cutting issue they seem to think it is. Health care is not a wedge issue. The right’s problem is that it fixates on approval-disapproval numbers without evaluating what the numbers mean.

Another factor will affect the Affordable Care Act in 2014. The health insurance industry is going to go all-in on the law. Health insurers are fighting for these millions of new customers. The Wall Street Journal suggested that insurers will spend $500 million on local TV ads in 2014.

This ad campaigns is a major shift in strategy for health insurers, most of whom have never really had to market directly to consumers aggressively until now. A full fledge “capitalism based” fight for customers could help the law reach the 7 million mark – bringing the total number of people insured under it to nearly 20 million.

Is the GOP really going to spend the fall and all of 2014 campaigning to take health care away from nearly 20 million people?

Sign Up for Affordable Health Care: Over Ten Million Americans Insured

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

logoRev1If you currently do not have health care insurance, there are some things you can do to get prepared to get coverage. Go to http://www.healthcare.gov/ for more information. Under the Affordable Care Act, ten million Americans have received healthcare insurance- see more. Open enrollment continues and you can still select affordable health care insurance for yourself and your family by viewing your options and choosing the plan that is best for you during the open enrollment period. If You have not signed up for healthcare coverage, you can still sign up and have affordable health care and you can continue signing up for health coverage through March 31st.

Are you one of the millions of Americans without Health Care Insurance? Are you or a member of your family suffering from an illness but your unable to afford health care coverage? If a health care emergency affected you or a member or your family, could you lose everything you own? These are only a few of the serious questions facing millions Americans who cannot afford health care insurance. Affordable health care can now be attained for you and your family. Go to here and see the options for you and your family.

Health care is a fundamental right not a benefit to be enjoyed by the well to do. You and your family do not need to continue to worry about the many problems associated with not having health care coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, you can now have affordable health care for yourself and your family. Go to healthcare.gov. Beginning October 1st, enrollment of the Affordable Care Act begins. Go to http://www.healthcare.gov/ to get the answers. It is easy to see your options.

Don’t listened to the lies about Obamacare, go and see your options for yourself. Now it is easy to select a plan that is right for you and your family, go to http://www.healthcare.gov/ to see your options.

You can also visit here to check the options in each state.

The Unicoi County Democratic Party will not be able to assist folks sign up for health care coverage online. We do encourage each person to check out and select the option which is best for them.

Happy Holidays

Friday, November 29th, 2013

As the holidays approach, many of us have so much to be thankful for. As a nation, we have been blessed with an abundance of food, good health and wealth. Unfortunately, many in our nation are not faring so well.

Over 47 million Americans go hungry daily. Over 101 million Americans currently receive government food assistance. Approximately 40 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. Over 44 million Americans do not have health insurance but most of these people will be able to get affordable health care on January 1 under the affordable health care act . Millions of Americans are still unemployed. 633,732 Americans are currently homeless. Over 20 million Americans say they have experienced homelessness once in life.

These are sobering facts, and sadly, some try to ignore or gloss over these facts. Millions of Americans are struggling to survive and these people need help.

Some people say it is the place of the church to help these people; but the church does not have the resources to help everyone. Some people say it is up to charities to help; but charities are struggling to stay open. Food pantries are empty. Some people say those in need are lazy or a victim of their own bad choices. These are a few of the excuses used to justify not giving help. In reality, the only entity that is large enough to provide the level of help needed is the federal government.

This was proven during and after the Great Depression, and when it comes to past, the same will be the result in the current economic conditions. This is probably unwelcome news for those who spend their time assaulting the federal government and protecting the 1%.

It seems some who attack the federal government only do so with their party is not in the majority. It is even more interesting that when they are in control of the government, things seem to collapse; the economy fails, financial institutions collapse, greed and self indulgence runs rampant.

Many people have demonized the act of helping those in need by using the word liberal or calling those in need lazy. Greedy people love the word Liberal. Liberalism is what made this nation great. You have your social security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, disability insurance, Veteran benefits, consumer protection, food protection, food stamps, environmental protection, worker protection, and many other benefits because of the acts of liberalism.

The bankers stuffed their pockets full of taxpayer dollars. Large corporations stuff their pockets full of stolen taxpayer dollars and corporate welfare. Elected officials misuse taxpayer money. Greed permeates our society at every level. The 1% get tax breaks while the middle class is carrying the burden and/or being crushed. Some even suggest that the Bible should be revised to remove the sections that direct people to care for the poor.

How long will we have no compassion or sympathy for those in need? Some people seem to have no problem with fellow Americans having no health insurance coverage. Many have no problems with American families sleeping in tent cities under bridges. Republicans and conservatives have no problem slashing money from the SNAP programs although millions of Americans are hungry and need food assistance.

We have much to be thankful for but how long will it be before we become one of the less fortunate? We are the 99% and many are one pay check away from the streets. If you loose your job, home, health insurance or food, do you want to be told, “I will pay for mine and you pay for yours”?

The Teabagger Shutdown: Its Effects on America

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

1234866_570391279663222_1579568118_nThe government shutdown continues because wing-nut members of Congress refuse to reach an agreement on legislation to authorize funding for a new fiscal year. Republicans appear to be moving away from their original demands to defund Obamacare as the reason for the shutdown. Republicans scramble to find a way out as the effects of the shutdown slowly take hold and move across the nation as the suffering grows.

As the pain index grows, as a result of the Government shutdown, many in the Republican Party take cover and begin to back pedal on the ideal of the shutdown being a good idea as Republican poll numbers plummet nationally. The furry of the American people grows as the ill effects of the shutdown take hold. Every day more and more people are affected by results of the shutdown.

Here are but a few effects of the shutdown:

National Parks

Across the nation, national parks have closed because of the government shutdown. As fall color explodes, it will do so unseen as many national parks closed last week at the height of tourism season across the nation.

Welfare

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding is cut off by the shutdown, but many states have funding available for carryover into the new fiscal year.

Unfortunately, the WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) program is out of funds. In North Carolina, the WIC program closed two days ago leaving over 269,000 people (mostly children) without food.

Veteran’s benefits

ap_transfer_remains_ceremony_ll_120914_wmainAnger swept across the nation, as death benefits were not available for the families of five young Americans killed in Afghanistan this past Sunday. Today, the US Government took emergency action to immediately implement benefits to the families of these fallen Americans.

As with most federal agencies, some services will be temporarily shut down or slowed down: The Veterans Affairs website will be updated only “intermittently,” the VA says, and vocational and educational counseling for vets will be limited.

Veterans cannot receive federal tuition assistance.

States where the military presence is heavy are being hit hard by the impact of the Government shutdown. South Carolina has been hit especially hard.

In Tennessee

Y12 and Oak Ridge National Labs announced that 4,800 workers would be laid off because of the Government shutdown. The affects will be devastating to Tennessee. The furloughs will begin October 17th.

Senior’s benefits

Meals on wheels, a program that gives good assistance to seniors closed last week due to the shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of seniors stopped receiving this daily food assistance.

Small Business Assistance

Loans to small business have stopped because of the Government shutdown affecting their ability to expand and create new jobs.

National Guard Furloughs

Several states have laid-off National Guard members. Kentucky has been hit especially hard.

Government Workers

Across the nation, government workers have been laid off because of the Government shutdown. Virginia has been hit especially hard with hundreds of thousands of workers laid off.

Companies performing work related to Government contracts are also laying off employees as a result of the Government shutdown. Boeing furloughed over 3,000 workers.

FEMA and other Government Agencies have also furloughed workers.

The Jackson Sun: Voters will reject GOP over needless Medicare cutbacks

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

The Jackson Sun opinion editor Tom Bohs recently took Republicans to task for their vote to radically change Medicare into a vulture voucher system. The Paul Ryan, budget wonks say, would increase the out-of-pocket cost of health care for seniors by more than $6,500 a year.

Sens. Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander voted for it. As did Reps. Phil Roe, Jimmy Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlias, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn and Stephen Fincher.

From The Jackson Sun:

Republicans shot themselves in the foot by proposing to end traditional Medicare and replace it with vouchers for private insurance. If they don’t drop this scheme, it will cost them dearly in the 2012 election cycle.

Not only would privatizing Medicare through a system of insurance premium vouchers wildly complicate the purchase of health insurance for senior citizens, it is unnecessary.

Not only would privatizing Medicare through a system of insurance premium vouchers wildly complicate the purchase of health insurance for senior citizens, it is unnecessary. Seniors already have private insurance options under Medicare through Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplement plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. The only thing the voucher system would take away is the government option for Part A (hospital) and Part B (doctor services) that seniors know and largely love — talk about biting the hand that votes for you.

Under the voucher plan proposed by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, seniors would be allotted money they could spend on health insurance purchased through private insurance companies. The advantage, according to Ryan and other Republicans, is that people would be able to choose the health insurance that best suits their needs.

That is the biggest false hope I have ever heard perpetrated on old people. What is the best health insurance policy for anyone? The best policy is the one that pays the bills when you get sick without splitting hairs over whether a particular illness, procedure, service, doctor or medication is excluded in the fine print of the insurance contract.

It is a fallacy that different people have different health insurance needs. What health problem don’t you want coverage for? The idea that some people are in better health than others and don’t need as much health insurance is nonsense. No one can predict life’s illnesses and health mishaps, let alone those of old age. It would be like buying car insurance that only covered you on some days of the week.

The other reason Ryan’s approach to privatizing Medicare to save money surprises me is that it is unnecessary. The system is solvent for many years to come. Shortfalls after that easily can be addressed long before they materialize. Ryan is solving a problem that doesn’t exist, and making seniors and other voters angry in the process. He should focus on problems that are real and on the table right now such as the national debt, high unemployment, mortgage defaults and a host of social, military and international affairs challenges we face.

But the thing I find most disturbing about privatizing Medicare is that it complicates the last bastion of senior citizen comfort. People who are old, sick or near the end of life don’t want to be burdened with complicated insurance decisions. Can Republicans not let old people just finish out their years with peace of mind without a lot of rah-rah, take responsibility, every man for himself flag waving? All that’s fine when you’re young or 40 or 50 and still building your lifestyle and personal security. But when you are 70 or 80 or older, the last thing you need is a bunch of insurance companies trying to get their hands in your pocket.

The final problem with Ryan’s Medicare voucher scheme is that it might not – and I would hazard an educated guess it would not – be sufficient to purchase health insurance that would provide anywhere near the coverage afforded by Medicare. What would people do when their benefits ran out? Ryan doesn’t address that. Again, it would be every man for himself. Of course, there might still be Medicaid available to those brought to penury by uncovered medical expenses. But that only puts the burden on others, to say nothing of the emotional and psychological blow it would inflict on seniors.

Good grief. Medicare works. Leave it alone and find something to tinker with that really needs fixing. [Jackson Sun, 5/28/11]

FACTS & BACKGROUND:

 

REALITY: TENNESSEE’S ENTIRE REPUBLICAN U.S. HOUSE & SENATE DELEGATION VOTED FOR THE PAUL RYAN BUDGET

Tennessee Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander voted for Paul Ryan’s budget to privatize Medicare. [Senate.gov Roll Call Vote, 5/25/11]

Tennessee’s entire Republican delegation (Reps. Phil Roe, Jimmy Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Stephen Fincher) voted to turn Medicare into a voucher system. [U.S. House Clerk, April 15, 2011]

More than 1 million Tennesseans are enrolled in Medicare. [statehealthfacts.org, accessed April 15, 2011]


REALITY: REP. RYAN’S VOUCHER SYSTEM WOULD COST SENIORS THOUSANDS IN OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES

The Economist: Rep. Paul Ryan’s Plan Shifts The Burden Of Risk Onto Seniors By Only Delivering A Voucher For An Amount Ryan Thinks Ought To Be Enough For Health Care, Not Guaranteeing All Care. [Economist, 4/5/11]

Politifact: Rep. Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan Would Force The Average Senior Receiving Medicare To Pay $6,350 More Out-Of-Pocket For Health Care. [Politifact, 5/6/11]

Center for Economic Policy Research: A Person Born In 1957 At Age 65 Will Require An Additional $182,000 In Retirement Savings In Order To Purchase Private Insurance Rather Than Accept Coverage Through Medicare. [Center for Economic and Policy Research, “Letter to Rep. George Miller”]

 

REALITY: THE REPUBLICAN BUDGET ENDS MEDICARE AS WE KNOW IT

Wall Street Journal: “The [GOP Budget] Plan Would Essentially End Medicare.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

Los Angeles Times: “Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare Privatization Plan Increases Costs, Budget Office Says.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/8/11]

CBO: The Ryan Budget Plan Would Increase Debt In The First Ten Years. [TPM, 4/5/11]

The Fiscal Times: “The Big Winners” In The Republican Budget Would Be “High Income Earners And Corporations, Who Top Tax Rate Would Be Reduced From 35 To 25 Percent.” [Fiscal Times, 4/5/11]

 

REALITY: THE REPUBLICAN BUDGET RELIES ON “QUESTIONABLE ASSUMPTIONS” AND “FISHY FIGURES”

Washington Post: “The Ryan Budget Plan Relies On Dubious Assertions, Questionable Assumptions And Fishy Figures.” [Washington Post, 4/9/11]

National Journal: “Ryan Plan Pushes Optimism To The Outer Limits.” [National Journal, 4/5/11]