03 March 2008

Health care rally at Denver capitol

The AP had interesting coverage of the rally today.
Dozens rally for health care at state Capitol

Associated Press - March 3, 2008 4:34 PM ET

DENVER (AP) - Health-care advocates are asking Colorado lawmakers not to wait for the federal government to find a way to insure 790,000 residents who don't have coverage.

Dozens of people rallied at the Capitol Monday urging the Legislature to act.

Governor Bill Ritter has made health coverage a priority but is rejecting demands to support a single-payer plan.

He says Colorado needs a slower approach that is affordable and that helps control costs.

Ritter's initial $25 million plan would cover about a quarter Colorado's uninsured residents.

The plan calls for expanding children's health coverage, creating a center for improving value in health care and helping consumers find the best insurance.
Ritter's plan won't cover a quarter of Colorado's uninsured.

I didn't hear demands for him to support single-payer, and I didn't hear him reject single-payer.

Nader as a (damaged) single-payer mirror

Slate's Timothy Noah wants people to lay off Ralph Nader.


I actually haven't heard much about Nader in recent weeks. There was the wince and shake of the head when I heard he was running, maybe one cynical comment from CLJ, and that was it. OK. I guess I did also wonder aloud how much the Republicans had paid him in order to get him to run again.

We've mostly gotten over Nader. We're part of that common wisdom that sees Nader as part of the reason that Gore didn't win in 2000, yes. Along with blatant cheating on the part of the Bushies, and a disinclination on Gore's part to fight as dirty.

And because Gore didn't win, we got an addled born-again wannabe cowboy for a president who didn't pay attention to frantic warnings that we were about to be attacked. 9/11 happened and the Bushies immediately used the tragedy to their partisan advantage, whipping up fear and using it to get questionable legislation passed. Worse, they played off it to put us in a pointless war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

It is impossible to say whether 9/11 would have happened if Gore were president. It is possible to say that Bush wasn't paying attention and did not raise the alert level as Richard Clark and so many others advised. It is also reasonable to suppose that Gore would not have chosen to take us into Iraq.

So thanks, Ralph.

It wouldn't have come to mind except that Nader's running again. Even then, had he acknowledged that yes, turns out there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats, we could have seen him in a better light. It would also help for him to be able to see that he did play a role in the 2000 debacle.

Noah differs.
In the current election, Nader is the sole presidential candidate you're likely to hear about (now that Dennis Kucinich has dropped out) who stands forthrightly for adopting a single-payer solution to the health-care crisis, a stance universally regarded as politically impractical. But single payer is the only solution of much practical value in the real world, as evidenced by the experience of nearly all advanced democracies. If Nader does no more in the 2008 election than oblige major-party candidates to consider that stubborn reality for five minutes, he'll have done us all a big favor.

02 March 2008

Snow in Denver

Your premiums pay for their lobbying

This came from Colorado State Rep. Morgan Carroll's office:



From 1998 - 2007 here’s how much the following industries spent on lobbying activities nationally:
  • Insurance Industry spent $1,008,474,967 on lobbying
  • Pharmaceutical Industry spent $1,316,714,703 on Lobbying
  • Hospital / Nursing Home Industry spent $563,926,474 on Lobbying
  • Health Professionals spent $531,096,203 on Lobbying

*SOURCE: Open Secrets.org
*SOURCE: Kaiser Family Foundation

Rep. Carroll notes that the consumer is ultimately footing a big bill for lobbying activities that are not always in their best interests.