McCamy Taylor's Journal
Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 06:05 PM
Number of posts: 15,231
Number of posts: 15,231
Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/
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Reasons we need to retake Congress in 2016 so that the Affordable Care Act can be improved:
1. To put the Affordable back in Affordable Care: Too many plans tack the whole annual out of pocket onto the start of the insurance as massive deductibles, $3000 to $5000 a person. Since these are the plans that the poorest people pick (because they are the only plans they can afford) they do not use their new insurance, except in an emergencies---and sometimes not even then. I see too many people in the office who refuse to get necessary care at the hospital. "I can't afford that $3000 deductible. You'll have to give me something for my ____ (insert stroke, heart attack, concussion) in the office or I am going home without treatment." High deductibles kill. More often, people put off necessary tests---like breast biopsies, because they do not have the cash up front to schedule "elective" procedures. Meaning when they finally get so sick that they have to bite the bullet and go to the hospital, their disease has progressed.
2. To Put the Care back in Affordable Care : Too many insurers have found a sneaky way around the "No exclusion for pre-existing conditions". They refuse to pay for necessary treatments for the most costly pre-existing conditions---in effect denying care to those who need it most. AIDs patients suddenly find that they can not get their meds. Cancer patients can not continue their chemotherapy. The same insurers make most medications available for a reasonable copayment. When insurers choose not to cover the treatments which the sickest people need, they do so in order to discourage the sickest people from signing up for their plans. For those who say "Some insurance is better than none", AIDs patients on Medicaid get good drug coverage. If we force them onto private plans that do not cover their meds, they will not be able to afford their meds.
3. To Force Red States to Act on Affordable Care: The Supreme Court found a nasty loophole. States could choose not to accept billions in federal funds earmarked for their poorest citizens. In effect, some states could decide to let their poorest citizens die---just because. The result has been the closure of rural hospitals in Red States, causing everyone, even those with insurance to be at risk for preventable death. This is a public health disaster. If the states won't take the money, then the feds need to write a new law creating a new program which is federally managed to insure the poor.
Universal health care is a work in progress. The job is not done. To make any progress, Dems will need to control both houses again.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Tue Feb 17, 2015, 03:10 AM (7 replies)
GOP gets this:
We've got this:
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Feb 15, 2015, 08:45 PM (12 replies)
I am truly dismayed at the number of folks posting today who dismiss "social issues" as if they are extras. Gravy. A cherry on the sundae but not something that we need to be concerned about right now, when so many people are unemployed, uninsured, homeless. So many white people. So many men. So many adults.
How do you think we got into this financial mess? Why is our minimum wage so low? Why do so few people belong to unions? Why do most folks in Western Europe have health care but we don't? Why don't working mothers get maternity leave? It's because the bosses, the capitalists who employee us can undercut wages and deny benefits by hiring the scapegoat du jour. Once upon a time, it was the Irish. Then the Italians. And the Blacks. Now it is women and Latinos.
Say you are an unwed mother, 18, no college degree with a small mouth to feed. You got pregnant because the Koch Brothers lobbied to deny you sex ed and birth control. That's because the Koch Brothers want you slaving in their Dixie Cup plant until the day you die. The Koch Brothers tell the world that you are a drain on the economy. Because you could not keep your legs together, now you have a baby you can not support. They make sure than everyone hates you---and your baby--and that they feel no sympathy at all for you---and your baby---as you struggle to get by. As you make the already insanely rich Koch Brothers even richer through your labor, which they are getting for a bargain price, because you do not dare go on strike or ask for more---your baby could die!
Worse yet, the Koch Brothers tell their "responsible" employees "I'm gonna have to cut your wages, because all those unwed mother sluts will work for less." And so, the workers who should be hating the Koch Brothers end up hating the unwed slut mothers and their undeserving bastards instead. They begrudge them health care and education. And so we raise another generation of underfed, undereducated, low income low expectation workers to drive down wages for all.
If we really did act like a village, if we demanded that all children get a decent start in life, there would be no one on the bottom to be exploited. There would be no hopeless, despairing, self hating demographic to work for less than a living wage.
Anyone who thinks that a few demographic groups can rise out of this depression while leaving the rest to wallow is deluding him or herself. When some workers get left at the bottom, everyone else is pulled down.
Wanna know the real reason why right winger hate and fear Hillary Clinton? It's because Divide and Conquer is the way they keep themselves rich and us poor. Their worst nightmare is that the 99% will look around at each other and say "We're not different! We're the same. We're united. We all have value. We all have worth. I have your back and you have mine. We're a Village---one big family--- and we aren't going to be pushed around anymore."
Angela Davis writes about this issue eloquently in "Women, Race and Class."
Oh, and before anyone gets any ideas about tombstoning this thread by saying "unwed slut mothers" and "bastards" are inflammatory words, those are what the Koch Brothers call us. I call us "mothers" and "children." I mention this, because Divide and Conquer really is the capitalist's best money making tool, and they will go to any lengths to keep us divided and conquered. It is that important to them.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Feb 15, 2015, 08:03 AM (130 replies)
The great challenge of this conference is to give voice to women everywhere whose experiences go unnoticed, whose words go unheard. Women comprise more than half the world’s population, 70% of the world’s poor, and two-thirds of those who are not taught to read and write. We are the primary caretakers for most of the world’s children and elderly. Yet much of the work we do is not valued -- not by economists, not by historians, not by popular culture, not by government leaders.
From Hillary Clinton's Address at the Fourth World Conference in Bejing, 1995
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Feb 15, 2015, 03:52 AM (121 replies)
I am good with Hillary Clinton for president, but my heart still belongs to Bill, the most intelligent man in my lifetime to be 1) president and 2) NOT a dick (as in Tricky Dick Nixon). You gotta love a man with brains and a conscience. It is such a winning combination.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Feb 15, 2015, 02:18 AM (7 replies)
If you were a Republican (which some of us may well be, since we do not really know who is posting), one of your worst nightmares would be the thought of 16 more years of a Democrat controlling the DOJ, Health and Human Services, the military and especially the power of the veto to block stupid and harmful legislation.
So, if you were a Republican (which some of us almost certainly are, since meddling in the opposition's primary is something that has been done since the end of time--Pat Buchanan did not make it up in 1972, he just raised it to a high and illegal art) you would be absolutely terrified at the thought of the Clintons back in the White House, since Bill Clinton is incredibly popular, his wife is almost as popular and they proved their ability to weather any GOP shit-storm and emerge even stronger than before. And Julian Castro is smart, handsome, a great speaker and can draw on the support of the fastest growing demographic in the country.
If you were a Republican (and yes, I realize that at Some Other Sites even suggesting that some of us might not be what we claim to be would get me tombstoned--that is because Some Other Sites exists in a fantasy land where no one ever ever ever lied or was paid to post and if they are being paid to post---well that just generates more business for Some Other Sites) you would want to "crib death" (to quote one of Hillary's arch enemies in the MSM) the Clinton/Castro ticket. Because we all know (in our hearts) that it is a winning ticket. Absolutely fail proof. Hillary has been attacked by the Right Wing more than any other woman since Eleanor Roosevelt and she is still strong. Castro comes from a political family, so I seriously doubt there will be any skeletons in his closet--his political mom has been grooming him since kindergarten.
If you were a Republican (no, I am not talking to YOU. We all know that YOU are a good Democrat. I am talking to someone else) you would be careful this time around not to raise objections to Clinton that involve the use of the following words or phrases: Whitewater, Vince Foster, Cookiegate, Monica, and , of coure, witch, bitch, slut, cunt. Because those phrases are a dead give away that the hatred is coming from the right which hates Hillary first, last and in between for being a Strong Woman.
If you were a Republican (and you hated women, and hated Hillary Clinton with a special fury) you would pretend to be an ardent feminist and therefore you would say "I don't trust Clinton. I trust____" (Insert the name of another woman, preferably one who has indicated that she will not run). Which would have been a bit like saying back in 2012 "I just don't like Obama. Now if ____" (Insert the name of any African-American, for instance one who owns a pizza franchise) I would vote for ____" was a sneaky way of disguising the fact that you would rather die than see a Black man remain president of the United States.
Yes, I can hear the general outrage. "But I love____" (Insert the name of any woman who is not running). Yes, I know you love___" (Insert the name of any woman who is not running). I am not posting this about YOU. Your love is as pure as the driven snow. But that other person, who also professes to LOVE _____(insert the name of any woman who is not running)---well, maybe that person is not what he or she appears to be.
Luckily ____ (Insert the name of any woman who is not running) is probably too smart to have her head turned by all this clamor and acclaim from anonymous folks who swear, absolutely swear on a stack of Bibles cross their hearts and hope to die that they will donate a gazillion dollars to her campaign and volunteer for her 24-7 and vote for her six or seven times in the general and force all their neighbors to do the same. ____(Insert the name of any woman who is not running) knows what happened to poor Old McGovern. He was courted by the press and by the GOP--and as soon as he was the party nominee, the MSM went into overdrive trashing that war hero's rep. _____(Insert the name of any woman who is not running) does not really want to step into that trap which is a bit like the Tar Baby with some sharpened wooden spikes and dog shit thrown in for good measure. _____(Insert the name of any woman not running) knows that there is one woman who can take whatever the GOP and MSM dishes out and throw it back. With a smile.
Clinton/Castro 2016: Sixteen more years of Democratic control of the White House. It's what keeps the GOP awake at night.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Feb 14, 2015, 03:16 PM (49 replies)
Hi. No links, just my two cents worth.
First, a disclosure. I supported Elizabeth and John Edwards in 2008, so I watched the Obama/Clinton wars with amusement rather than true interest. Either candidate was fine by me, and as a yellow dog democrat I was prepared to vote for my party's nominee.
Now, for some history. The modern Democratic Party got its start during the flooding of the Mississippi in the 1920s, when the Republicans lost the support of African-Americans by siding with landowners and whites who enslaved Blacks to work on the levees.
FDR then courted Blacks--and labor and all the other groups that make up our modern Democratic Party--during his New Deal, when it was Us against the Banksters. LBJ, a veteran of the New Deal cemented the modern party by working like a yellow dog himself to pass the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and Medicare.
That is my Democratic Party, the one of jobs for all, equal opportunity for all, the one that believes that the key to economic success is a strong middle class with strong purchasing power and a voice at the table, the one that believes that no child should live in poverty and no one should die of a treatable disease for lack of health insurance.
Hillary did not have to become a Democrat. With her background, she could just as easily have become a Republican. However, she worked on the McGovern campaign in 1972. She worked to prosecute Dick Nixon on the Watergate committee. She supported her (Democratic) husband Bill when he was governor and president. She was a (Democratic) senator for that blue-est of blue states, New York, and she very graciously supported her nominee rival in 2008 in the general election and was his Secretary of State.
Now, I am going to go back in time a little bit. To 1980. Had Ted Kennedy acted like Hillary in 2008, would the outcome of the general have been different? Let's go back further. 1968. Had Humphry's rivals gotten behind him, would we have had the Killing Fields in Cambodia?
You call it "inevitability". I call it Solidarity. Looking forward to the primary. It is how we show the world how Democrats do things---by discussion and consensus. But I am not about to stay home in November 2016 as a "protest" and I am never, ever going to dismiss a candidate for being too popular and too electable.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Feb 11, 2015, 03:10 PM (9 replies)
Yes, you, the one with platinum plated health insurance through your job. You, the one with all those millions of dollars in the bank and the sound real estate investments (property is always a good bet). You, the socially responsible one who runs the organic farm and makes pretty good money doing it--enough that you could afford "silver" insurance through the ACA. You, the retired teacher with Medicare and a supplemental.
It does not matter if you have health insurance. If there is no place nearby where you can use that insurance in an emergency, you could die.
Just like Portia Gibbs in North Carolina. Four days before her heart attack, the local hospital closed, a victim of lack of funding. So, when Ms Gibbs had her heart attack, it took a Medevac helicopter more than an hour to arrive. She died just as the helicopter was about to lift off. Would she have survived had there been a closer ER?
“Before, she would have been given nitroglycerin, put in the back of an ambulance and been to a hospital in about 25 minutes,” said Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal. “In that hour that she lived, she would have received 35 minutes of emergency room care, and she very well could have survived.”
The pace of rural hospital closures has accelerated in recent years. And while many factors are to blame, one of the biggest is the decision by some states to reject the Medicaid expansion. Take a look at the map of closures in this article and you will see the pattern.
Texas and the Deep South have been especially hard hit. Texas and most of the Deep South rejected the Medicaid expansion. They claimed it would cost taxpayers too much money. They did not mention that rejecting the expansion might cost taxpayers their lives.
When hospitals close, people die. Not just one or two people here or there. Here is a study from California about the effects of ER closures.
They found that 4 million of those admissions were to hospitals located near another emergency department that had closed. Patients at the affected hospitals were more likely than patients at unaffected hospitals to be black, Hispanic, female and under the age of 65; they were also more likely to be uninsured or on Medicaid, and to be sicker overall.
Keep in mind that the people 15% more likely to die made it to another hospital. If you can not get to the closest hospital because your disease will kill you in 60 minutes after presentation---like, say for instance, a heart attack, the number one killer in the country--- and the closest ER is 90 minutes away, your chance of death is 100%.
Do you hear that? The silence? That is how your heart monitor would sound if they bothered to hook you up to one after you arrived at the closest rural ER by ambulance thirty minutes after dying. But they won't bother. You'll be pronounced DOA, and once you are dead, you will not be able to raise your voice and demand that your state officials do something to improve your access to care. You will be as voiceless as all the poor folks that no one seems to notice got left out of so called "universal healthcare."
So, use your voice while you still have one.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Mon Feb 9, 2015, 12:38 AM (1 replies)
Here are how I see the stakes in the next election. We, in Texas---and in a lot of other so called "Red" states--are still suffering from a massive uninsured problem. Take kids. We are supposed to have universal health coverage for kids, right? Not true. A state can offer Medicaid and SCHIP, but if it throws up barriers and makes the process all but impossible to navigate and tells inquiring parents "You don't qualify" over the phone when they really do, that state will not have universal coverage of kids. Texas is one of the states with shamefully high rates of qualified kids who lack coverage. Other red states are the same.
Then there are the millions who would have qualified for the Medicaid expansion---had the state not decided to "opt out"---an innocuous sounding little phrase which really means "let poor folks die and let the rural hospitals that serve them go out of business so that no one living in the country can get timely emergency care while residents of big cities continue to pay high taxes to fund healthcare for the poor but who cares about residents of Texas big cities they are all Democrats anyway?" Yes, that is what "opt out" really means---death to the rural poor and death to everyone who lives in the country who has an emergency---like the little girl who choked on a grape and was rushed to the local ER only to find that the local (rural) ER had closed so she died. What? You thought the GOP was the party of family values and lower taxes? Silly rabbit. In urban areas in red states, we are being taxed twice, once to pay for health care for our local uninsured and once to pay for everyone else's health care. Meaning it is not about the money. Red states love them some free federal money. It's about the possibility that some brown or black person might get a timely coronary stent and survive a heart attack. And as for the children---the GOP is only about family values if it is their own children. If the village plans to take care of someone else's kids, then the village is a commie-pinko plot that must go.
Speaking of the village, we know who believes in the power of villages. We know who is not afraid to stand up to tyrants abroad and capitalists at home when women and children are being victimized. That's right. Mom. Our next president needs to have a healthy dose of "mom" because the kids in this country need someone to raise them out of poverty and women need someone to make pay parity more than just a great sounding law. And no, you do not have to be a woman to possess inner "mom." You just have to believe in your heart that a village or state or country is only as healthy as its most unfortunate citizens. What does the Evil-anti-mom believe? That having a certain level of unemployment, a certain level of childhood poverty and a certain level of pay disparity is important in keeping the rich rich.
Oh, I almost forgot the folks who have ACA but can not afford to use it. That must be because everyone else has forgotten them, too. You remember that lifetime cap that was supposed to keep people from spiraling into endless debt because of a catastrophic illness? Guess what happens if you stick that cap up front as a deductible? People can no longer afford to use their ACA except in an emergency. And you might be surprised at how many people think that angina--chest pain---and mini strokes are not true emergencies. People with a $5000 deductible (and yes, there really are people out there with plans like that, even though some folks claim that they exist only in the same imaginary realm as the Easter Bunny) will refuse any and all testing/specialty evaluation and treatment if it costs more than a Band-Aid and a $4 prescription as long as they are capable of dragging themselves to work. By the time they can no longer drag themselves to work, it is often too late. ACA makes sure that the hospital gets paid for their end of life care, but it does not save lives. Well, I guess it does, in a way. It keeps the hospital open so that people who have better insurance will be able to use it for their own preventive care. But it does not cut down that pesky ER wait that can stretch to hours in a typical urban hospital, because so many uninsured and under-insured people still have to use the ER as their primary care doctor, since it is the only doc in town that does not demand payment at the time of service.
The ACA is failing folks with so called "expensive" diseases like HIV, too, by forcing them to pay more for medications they need in order to survive.
"Eliminating discrimination on the basis of preexisting conditions is one of the central features of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)," said Doug Jacobs, MD/MPH candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study. "However, the use of formularies to increase costs and dissuade those with preexisting conditions such as HIV from enrolling in the plan threatens to at least partially undermine this goal of the ACA."
I saw something really scary for the first time last week. A woman with HIV who used to be on medications but has been off for a year, because she could not afford to see a doctor or buy her meds under her plan and now she is extremely ill. When is the last time that happened? I can't remember. I hope I never ever see it again. Please make sure that it never happens again. Please make giving ALL folks insurance that they can use a priority in the next election.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Feb 8, 2015, 06:23 PM (2 replies)
And neither of them is anti-vaxx.
One of the most important tasks of public health is disease prevention. So, the number one priority of public health officials around the world is to make sure that people have access to safe and effective vaccines and that they get these vaccines. When we have an outbreak of a deadly disease like measles in the US or polio in the Middle East, public health's number one, two and three top jobs are to promote those vaccines. Period.
Then, once the epidemic is under control and the disease is no longer a threat, public health must encourage researchers to develop newer, more effective vaccines for the many infectious diseases that plague us. Remember, not all vaccines are the best vaccines that will ever be developed for a certain disease. The old horse serum rabies vaccines made people sick. The old Hep B vaccines were culled from the blood of winos and drug addicts. The old measles vaccine did not prevent measles. The first rota-virus vaccines had to be pulled from the shelf. However, at the time they were marketed, the inferior quality vaccine was all that was available. So, yes, I took my Hep B vaccine culled from the blood of winos, despite being aware of the risks, because as a medical student I did not want to get Hep B and I did not feel like waiting a few years to see if something better came down the pipeline---I needed that immunity then.
To those who are not immune to measles, this is a scary bad disease. While we do not see it much anymore, in my three decades of medical practice, the sickest people with viral infections that I have seen have had measles. One young woman ended up in the ICU with measles pneumonia. A healthy young woman. So, you want your child or young adult son or daughter to end up in the ICU with measles pneumonia? BTW, if you are younger than me--i.e. in your forties, thirties or twenties---you might want to have a measles titer done to see if you are immune. The measles cases I see are always in adults who either never got vaccinated or got one dose of vaccine so many decades ago that they lost their immunity. Most (but not all) children that I see are fully immunized, it's their parents who are the walking time bombs. As far as I am concerned, we ought to be offering every adult under 50 or 60 a free dose of MMR right now (with a few exceptions such as those who are attempting pregnancy or immune compromised). If you are not a member of one of those special groups, you should join the immune herd to protect those who can not get the vaccine.
I have one word for anti--vaxxers: tetanus. All the herd immunity in the world will not save your child from lockjaw if he or she steps on a rusty nail.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:40 PM (79 replies)