Tag Archives: Health Care

Is the U.S. Crazy?

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Inquiring minds from around the world want to know By Ann Jones TomDispatch January 11, 2015

Americans who live abroad — more than six million of us worldwide (not counting those who work for the U.S. government) — often face hard questions about our country from people we live among. Europeans, Asians, and Africans ask us to explain everything that baffles them about the increasingly odd and troubling conduct of the United States. Polite people, normally reluctant to risk offending a guest, complain that America’s trigger-happiness, cutthroat free-marketeering, and “exceptionality” have gone on for too long to be considered just an adolescent phase. Which means that we Americans abroad are regularly asked to account for the behavior of our rebranded “homeland,” now conspicuously in decline and increasingly out of step with the rest of the world.

In my long nomadic life, I’ve had the good fortune to live, work, or travel in all but a handful of countries on this planet. I’ve been to both poles and a great many places in between, and nosy as I am, I’ve talked with people all along the way. I still remember a time when to be an American was to be envied. The country where I grew up after World War II seemed to be respected and admired around the world for way too many reasons to go into here.

That’s changed, of course. Even after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I still met people — in the Middle East, no less — willing to withhold judgment on the U.S. Many thought that the Supreme Court’s installation of George W. Bush as president was a blunder American voters would correct in the election of 2004. His return to office truly spelled the end of America as the world had known it. Bush had started a war, opposed by the entire world, because he wanted to and he could. A majority of Americans supported him. And that was when all the uncomfortable questions really began.

In the early fall of 2014, I traveled from my home in Oslo, Norway, through much of Eastern and Central Europe. Everywhere I went in those two months, moments after locals realized I was an American the questions started and, polite as they usually were, most of them had a single underlying theme: Have Americans gone over the edge? Are you crazy? Please explain.

Then recently, I traveled back to the “homeland.” It struck me there that most Americans have no idea just how strange we now seem to much of the world. In my experience, foreign observers are far better informed about us than the average American is about them. This is partly because the “news” in the American media is so parochial and so limited in its views both of how we act and how other countries think — even countries with which we were recently, are currently, or threaten soon to be at war. America’s belligerence alone, not to mention its financial acrobatics, compels the rest of the world to keep close track of us. Who knows, after all, what conflict the Americans may drag you into next, as target or reluctant ally?

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Continue reading Is the U.S. Crazy?

The US President introduces a new healthcare program to help its poorer citizens. His enemies put every Political obstacle in its way – when that fails what do they do – they lie – Outrageously!

Republicans’ “Death Panel” Smear Was Appallingly Effective By Brian Beutler @brianbeutler Published in New Republic JUNE 23, 2014

For several months last year, US conservatives racheted up their reprehensible, years-long smear campaign against the Affordable Care Act. I’m speaking specifically of demonstrably false claims and insinuations, distinct from other, contestable claims about the law’s impact on economic growth, the labor market, government spending, health outcomes, disruption and so on. “Death panels” is the most famous of these, followed closely by red-baiting allusions to socialism, then by unsubstantiated claims about the availability of doctors and the vulnerability of personal information, and eventually the implication that Creepy Uncle Sam would sexually violate beneficiaries.

The purpose of these kinds of tactics was initially to kill the legislation (failed), then to elect a Republican government to repeal the law (failed), and finally to discourage enrollment, deny ACA marketplaces critical mass, and collapse the system intrinsically (also failed).

The last of these goals was always the most grotesque, because it entailed convincing strangers to undertake great personal risk by lying to them. It was insanely reckless. And if this Washington Post report is any indication, it worked:

That doesn’t make Carolyn Underwood, 63, a supporter of expanded government health coverage, even though she would benefit from it. In a region where the decline of the coal industry has sent poverty and health-care needs soaring, another force has grown at least by equal measures: antipathy to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“I am scared of Obamacare,” Underwood said. “We’ve been hearing too many tales about it. We heard there’s doctors who get to decide…” Before she could put her finger on the term “death panels,” her sister Nancy Taylor, 62, made a gun gesture with her hand and said, “Pow!”
And…

A few houses down, a woman whose only job is overseeing a table covered in a hodgepodge of clocks, hats and ceramic figures said she pays all her medical expenses out of pocket and wouldn’t have it any other way. She can get generic blood pressure medicine cheap, but her anxiety pills cost $192.50 a month, she said.

She and her husband, who works security but receives no benefits, would rather pay a penalty for being uninsured than participate in Obamacare, said the woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was talking about her medical conditions.

“I refused to go there because I didn’t feel it was the government’s place to tell you where you have to get health care. I want to go to the doctor of my own choice,” she said, adding that she doesn’t trust the president. “I think he has actually lied to the people about a lot of things.”

Conservatives have never shown any remorse for the consequences of these tactics. To the contrary, they’ve exploited the tribulations of the very Obamacare skeptics they helped mislead for political gain. People like Carolyn Underwood and Nancy Taylor weren’t unfortunate victims as far as the right was concerned. They were the whole point. But now that even staunch Obamacare opponents are conceding that Obamacare isn’t going to be repealed, isn’t going to collapse under its own weight, and certainly isn’t going to subject anyone to a death panel or a sexually deranged government bureaucrat, these kinds of lies serve no strategic purposes of any kind. They merely put people’s health at risk out of spite.

Original Article

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Quote from a Legend of the left who masterminded the foundation of the NHS – What would he think today after 4 years or Tory Govt

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“That is why no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through.”

Nye Bevan Speech on 3 July 1948 at the Bellevue Hotel, on eve of the launch of National Health Service.

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“NHS safe in my hands” says Cameron 

Britain has the BEST healthcare system in the world

Tory health minister Jane Ellison tells private meeting that coalition reforms ‘pretty much gave away control of NHS’

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Tory health minister Jane Ellison tells private meeting that coalition reforms ‘pretty much gave away control of NHS’

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NHS is out of control, says Tory health minister – Jane Ellison tells private meeting that coalition reforms ‘pretty much gave away control of NHS’ by Toby Helm, political editor The Observer, Saturday 21 June 2014 21.00 BST

A Tory health minister was at the centre of controversy after she was secretly recorded saying that the government could no longer exert much day-to-day control over the increasingly stretched NHS.

The public health minister, Jane Ellison, told a private meeting of the Tory Reform Group that providing political direction to the NHS was like being on a high wire without a safety net – which she described as “exciting”.

The remarks were seized on by Labour as evidence that coalition reforms of the NHS driven through by Andrew Lansley, before he was sacked as health secretary in 2012, have created far more confusion and less clear lines of command, rather than greater efficiency. Labour accused Ellison and other ministers of trying to wash their hands of responsibility for the coalition’s reforms, as NHS costs soar, waiting lists rise and more and more people are unable to see a GP swiftly. On the tape, leaked to the Observer, the minister appears to place responsibility for the government’s declining influence on the NHS on the reforms themselves, saying that power has been given away without the public realising. Ellison, a health minister since last October, said that Lansley’s successor Jeremy Hunt had done a “brilliant job”, “turning the narrative round” from one focused on reform of NHS structures to one focusing on patients and patient care.

Original Article

Britain has the BEST healthcare system in the world

“NHS safe in my hands” says Cameron