“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Free health care for all. Minorities lining up wish lists.

Minority lawmakers want bill to close health gaps

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black, Latino and Asian lawmakers warned Democratic leaders that any health care overhaul that ignores health gaps between whites and minorities will face stiff opposition.
The lawmakers said they would be hard-pressed to support a bill without a new program providing access to health care for all Americans.

"The public health option has to be there," Rep. Mike Honda, a California Democrat who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said at a news conference. "If we don't have a public option, there's no discussion."
Republicans are resisting a government health insurance program that would compete with private insurance companies, arguing that the companies would be put at a competitive disadvantage.

Members of the Asian caucus, along with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said they plan to introduce legislation this week that includes their wish list for broadening health care overhaul beyond various plans floated in the House and Senate. The three minority caucuses have a total of 91 members, most of them Democrats and enough to help shape the final legislation.

Citing federal research showing higher rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and infant mortality among minorities, they said they would seek more funds for community health centers that provide care in poor neighborhoods.

The lawmakers also called for expanding a National Institutes of Health center that focuses on minority health concerns, works to improve work force diversity in the medical industry and collects more data to better track disparities in health care.

They said the costs of reaching into low-income, minority communities to improve upfront health care would be more than offset in the long run by preventing expensive procedures and hospital stays.

"Believe me, a comprehensive health care reform bill without the aspects that we're discussing today will be set for failure," said Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a New York Democrat who chairs the Hispanic caucus.

Later, at a discussion of minority health issues at the White House, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the Obama administration is committed to addressing the "alarming disparity in the delivery of quality health care."

Doing so, Sebelius told officials, is critical to lowering health care costs.

Sebelius noted that 75 percent of the nation's $2.2 trillion health care expenses go toward treating chronic diseases, referring to far higher rates of such diseases among minorities. She said the rising rates of HIV/AIDS among African-Americans is among "the most troubling" developments in U.S. health care.

"Minority Americans not only are more likely to be uninsured, so they don't have preventative care, don't have early intervention, but are less likely to have quality care when they come to seek the care that they need," she said.

The White House issued a summary report on minority health care showing that African-Americans are seven times more likely as whites to have HIV/AIDS, that blacks and Hispanics have diabetes rates nearly twice as high as whites, and that black men are 50 percent more likely than whites to have prostate cancer.

The report said more than one in three Hispanics and American Indians, and about one in five African-Americans, are uninsured. That compares to one in eight whites lacking coverage.


  1. Go to 3:11 if you cannot stand watching the whole thing. Guess who "you" is.

    Hint: It aint you.

  2. I refuse to believe this can last for two terms.

  3. Make, mandate, that the Native Americans put aside some meaningful percentage of the take from all the Indian Casinos for real health care for the tribes. That should help to solve their problems. Though actually, around here, they have the same access to the hospitals as everyone else. They just aren't paying for it.

    Obama On North Korea

  4. I had a Philly cop who worked part-time for me tell me about the calls from unwed black mothers, who call the police to take their child to the emergency room.

    In reality they have a kid with a cold and do not want to pay for the bus, the doctor and the prescription. The cops have to do it.

  5. If he follows the lead of Great Britain, Canada, or other countries whose systems he admires, he can definitely bring down costs. He can do it the way they have, by rationing care. But Americans should bear in mind this summer that when the president promises to get health-care costs under control he is really promising less care. There is a better way. More competition, not less. More market discipline, not less. This will affect every American for generations to come. The stakes could hardly be higher.--

    And more doctors, I'd add.

    Mona Charen--Rationing/Less Care

  6. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Peter Orszag, said the research will be used to improve medical care for patients and information availability for physicians, according to government officials.


    “The health reform that will adopted at some point this year working with Sen. Baucus and others will be deficit neutral based on CBO scoring of very clear offsets in terms of Medicaid and Medicare savings and additional revenue,” Orszag said.

    Baucus said he is planning to include a comparative-effectiveness research markup on the health-care reform bill -- which is expected to pass the finance committee this summer.

    Won't Lead to Health Care Rationing

  7. It's good to know Baucus is thinking about it, but I'm not buying his argument. Least not yet.

  8. Figuring out where the victims were seated and studying their injuries might help explain what brought down Flight 447 as it flew into thunderstorms on May 31, according to Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board.

    And could the loss of a rudder or stabiliser bring down a jet?

    “Absolutely,” Goelz said. “You need a rudder.

    Air France Crash

  9. We already have a picture of such a grim future. Randy Stroup, 53, a cancer patient, applied for aid under Oregon's state health plan in 2008. He got a letter denying payments for chemotherapy, but offering money to help him kill himself.--


  10. The President wants you to tell him why ensuring choice, controlling costs and guaranteeing high quality affordable health care are so important in your health.

    Did you notice the soft music playing in the background while you earnestly urged you to take action "now!"?

    I don't trust the Federal government to deliver on any of those three promises. In fact, it's been my experience that they will only screw things up.

    Sorry, Barry.

  11. Any fool with one eye could see this coming.

    A word of advice to Republicans: "Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way."

  12. Guys, I don't know how big a mess this is going to be, but it doesn't have to be as bad as you think. You don't realize how expensive the fouled up system we have now really is.

    We're spending way more on these people than it would cost to "treat" them. And, YOU are Paying for it. You're just paying in a more indirect manner.