I don't think many of us were surprised when we read this:
Washington, DC --- With just over a week before the Super Committee's deadline, today U.S. Representative Heath Shuler (D-NC), Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), U.S. Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID), U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), and U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), lead a bipartisan, bicameral call urging the Super Committee to “go big.”
This bicameral effort represents the first time House and Senate Democrats and Republicans have come together on a large scale to announce their support for a comprehensive $4 trillion plan to reduce the deficit. House Members recently released a bipartisan letter with 102 signatures calling on the Super Committee to “go big,” following a similar bipartisan Senate letter signed by 45 Senators.
Before our "brave" Congressional members of the Super Committee decide to go “big” and cut every program that is valuable to the middle class, it is worthwhile to take a look at some of the people who will be effected by the cuts that are being proposed:
…the number of (medically) uninsured are now equal to the combined populations of Oklahoma, Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, Kansas, Kentucky, Arkansas, Utah, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming.
That’s right. The number of people in our nation who are without health insurance equals the population of 25 states, and if the Blue Dog Dems and the Republicans - who are urging larger cuts - have their way, these uninsured people will have even less opportunities to find help.
While I was appalled by that bit of trivia in an opinion piece that was posted by Matt Miller, like Digby, I was amused by the argument Miller presented to influence the justices of the Supreme Court to uphold the individual mandate in the Obama healthcare plan:
If the GOP succeeds in invalidating the one way to use private health plans to achieve universal coverage, frustrated Americans will eventually say, “Just give us single-payer and be done with it.” I can’t say whether that tipping point comes at 60 million uninsured or 70 million. But it will happen.
And needless to say conservatives don't want the mandate or single payer and they'll be happy to wait until there are 70 million people uninsured to have the fight again. They want people to barter with their doctors with chickens and shop around for cut-rate angioplasties. Basically, they think that people who can't afford expensive health care don't deserve health care.
But it's certainly telling that Mr Centrist is fearmongering liberal policies in order to preserve the individual mandate.
Oddly enough, on tonight's program, Keith Olberman discussed a proposal that has been submitted to the Super Committee by members of the OWS - The 99% Deficit Proposal. Olberman asked economic journalist Jeff Madrick what stood out in the plan.
"Here's what I like, I more than like this, I love this: Medicare for all."
That, of course, is the plan that Progressives fought for during the healthcare debate...but despite Obama's assurances that he was listening to us, we know now that he had already made the decision to follow a plan that had been developed by a...Republican.
(All bold emphasis mine)
3:26 AM PT: I just read this on the Huffington Post:
WASHINGTON -- With three weeks left for seniors to change their Medicare prescription plan for 2012, a new study brings distressing news: Copays for brand-name drugs are going up – sharply in some cases.
Copays for preferred brand-name drugs will increase by 40 percent on average next year, and non-preferred brands will average nearly 30 percent more, according to the study by Avalere Health. Copays are the portion of the cost of each prescription that the customer pays the pharmacy.
Avalere, a data analysis firm that serves industry and government, says its findings show that Medicare prescription plans are steadily shifting costs to chronically ill patients who need more expensive kinds of medications. At the same time, the plans are trying to keep costs in check for the majority whose conditions can be managed with less-expensive generics.