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I imagine I am going to get a lot of grief on this diary.  As one of those who originally proposed the idea of a public option as part of the choice offered to all Americans under a reformed system (CHOICE proposal) and as a very strong supporter of women's reproductive rights (Halpin on Women's Reproductive Rights), I am prepared to hear it from all sides that I have somehow "sold out", given up, jumped the fence, etc.

But they will be wrong.  What I have done is to become a political pragmatist.  I think that we simply cannot let the present opportunity for health care reform slip away.  It is too important.  There are too many people who are depending on it.  And what they want is affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage for themselves and their families.

The Democrats all are simply going to have to close their eyes and hold their noses and vote "YES". if we are to pass health care reform this year.

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I thought since it seems that with every passing day we are closer to having a bill with a public option or perhaps Medicare Part E (Medicare for EVERYONE) that we could enjoy some humor at the expense of the health insurance industry, who despite their best efforts to kill it, seem to be losing the war.

Here is a wonderful guerilla musical that took place at the AHIP meeting yesterday.

AHIP is the powerful insurance lobby that spends 5 million dollars a week trying to kill health care reform. Billionaires for Wealthcare is a grassroots network looking to stop them - with song!


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A study published this afternoon in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that the vast majority of physicians practicing in Massachusetts support the State's health reform law and they report it has had a positive or neutral impact on their medical practice.

The paper, conducted by researchers at Harvard,  and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, presents the results of a recent poll of 2,135 Massachusetts physicians (primary care and specialists) regarding their perceptions of the comprehensive health reform law  that was enacted three years ago. The poll was conducted between August 11 and September 15, 2009 and has a sampling error of +/-1.9.

The poll assessed Massachusetts’s physicians’ perceptions in three areas:

  1. Their overall support for the State’s health reform legislation,
  1. Their views of the law’s impact on their own practice of medicine, and
  1. Their views of the law’s impact on health care across Massachusetts.

NEJM article at RWJF website

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Recently, demands from progressives regarding the public option have changed to include the rhetoric of a "robust" public option.

But does anyone really know what we mean when we call for a "robust" public option?  And how in the world will we know it when we see it?

Below I outline the 4 major goals for offering Americans the CHOICE of a public option and how it must be structured if it is to be successful and meet the needs of the American people.

More below the fold:

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At 2:00 pm today, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a new report to the press (embargoed until 5 pm EST) summarizing the views of physicians on the contentious issue of the public option in a reformed health care system. (Will post a link as soon as it is available)

And you will never guess what the researchers found.  In a survey of  6,000 US physicians conducted in April of this year, which covered physicians across all geographic regions of the US and all specialties, researchers found overwhelming support for the public option offered as a CHOICE along side private health insurance plans in health insurance reform.

63% overall support public option and 10% support single payer = 73% support public plan

NEJM link to paper

Link to RWJ report

Story was just on All Things Considered on NPR.

Top of the Rec List.  :-)  Thanks everyone!

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I am so discouraged.  So disheartened.  So many have come before me and written of the struggle for women in academia.  It is an old story, told over and over again.  But as time passes, it feels harder and harder to accept it anymore.  It is painful.  I feel a deep hollowness in my very being.  I feel I have been robbed of my dignity and my worth, with each grievance.  In fact, I often despair.  Everything I have tried to do to improve the plight of women in academia feels for naught.  Is it time to stop beating my head against the wall.  Time to stop encouraging brilliant young women to pursue a position in the academy?

The old saying seems true:

"Women have to work twice as hard, to be considered half as good."

Nothing has changed.

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President Obama just spoke from the White House.  It was not a press conference. He took no questions.

What he said was this:

Health care reform WILL happen this year.

There will be many sleepless nights ahead getting it done.


He was tough, clear, straight forward, no nonsense - dead serious.


To those who are betting against Healthcare reform you are badly mistaken

Here is the link. It is called, LOWER COSTS, MORE CHOICES

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The House of Representatives released their universal (97% of Americans will be covered) health care reform bill (HR 3200) yesterday and it looks pretty darn good.  Of course there are some pieces that need tweaking (not enough financial protection for those earning between 300%-400% of poverty), but it has all the major pieces to guarantee access to an affordable high quality health plan WITH A PUBLIC PLAN OPTION offered in the Federal Health Insurance Exchange along side a choice of qualified private health plans, with comprehensive benefits and limits on premiums and cost-sharing  (and options for states and regions to apply for their own exchanges).

Here is the link to the full bill.  It is 1,000 pages!  More below the fold:

UPDATE: For those of you who don't want to wade through 1,000 pages of legalese, here is a nice summary of the bill:

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I blogged the debate for health care, and then forgot I had posted a diary yesterday and had to wait until this morning.

McCain started off again this debate wishing the best to someone in the hospital.

We all have loved ones in the hospital.  Last time it was Kennedy who McCain wished will for being in the hospital, only he wasn’t in the hospital.  He had been discharged before the debate.  Tonight McCain wished Nancy Reagan well for being in the hospital.   We all have loved ones who are sick and in the hospital or who have died in the last year.  I buried my mother last weekend.

This is a universal truth.  People get sick and die.

Then the question is why we do we, as a society, not take care of the sick and do our best to keep people healthy?

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Health Care for America Now is out with a new ad on McCain's health care plan.  

I had to laugh.  It basically says that people were so shocked at how bad his plan is, as it was first described in the first few Obama ads on health care, that they can't believe it is true.

But it is.  Here is the new ad.

Healthcare for America now is a "national grassroots campaign organizing millions of Americans to win a guarantee of quality, affordable health care for all.   We are grounded in organizations that can mobilize people at work, at home, in their neighborhoods, and online."

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"We need to see around the corners."

This line in the debate last night by Barack Obama said it all.

We need to look to the future.  The damage done over the last 8 years has been unimaginable for our people, our economy and our international position.

And the future in America is health care as a right and universal coverage.

John McCain will make the problem worse.20 million lose coverage under McCain

And a new Obama ad attacking McCain's plan.Taketh

Obama  is the future.   This defines Barack Obama.   Not the past.   He learns from the past.  Not the present. He appreciates how every day people are living now and cares about them and their future.  But ultimately, he is using this information on both the past and the present to look forward and shape the future.


What do you believe?

90%40 votes
9%4 votes

| 44 votes | Vote | Results

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The Obama campaign has issued three new ads on health care reform.  They hit the McCain campaign hard on their health care reform proposals. (links below the fold).

McCain will start taxing your health benefits from your employer. Right now, employers can deduct the costs of your benefits from the costs of doing business so that your health premium is paid for by pre-tax dollars.  McCain's plan will change all that.

UPDATE In fact, it appears that this will mean taxing the retiree health benefits workers receive from their company.

Also, McCain has said that the way he will pay for his health reform is by cutting approximately $1.3 trillion (about twice the cost of the bailout) out of MEDICARE and Medicaid. McCain will be making HUGE cuts to the Medicare program at the same time that millions of baby boomers will retire?  This spells doom for Medicare.


More below the fold.

UPDATE: Link not working - here is url

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