We all know people who believe and feel the need to repeat complete and utter crap when they hear it, and The Right Wing Fart Machine has been working overtime with the health care reform bill.
But if they thought I was finished with my previous piece, they don't know me very well. For the next couple of months, I'm going to take this crap and expose it; feel free to send it to everyone you know. We have to fight these people with the truth; for the right wing, it's like garlic to a vampire. We have to work overtime for a while, and shout
"Bullshit!" to everyone who repeats this crap, and present them with the facts.
You know the morons who repeat this crap to us aren't making it up; they don't have the brain cells. They're getting it
from somewhere, and usually, that "somewhere" is Fox News, or any
number of right wing media outlets, or Betsy McCaughey.
To that end, this blog
will be more dedicated to cutting the crap than ever before, and it may look at times as if we're obsessed with health care. Bummer.Pass on everything
you see here, and for chrissakes, click here and read the bill yourself.
Know what it says, and what it does.
And when you're not fighting the
right wing, get your ass to every town hall possible; during this break,
inundate your Congresscritter and both Senators with letters and cards
from everyone you know. Stop with the e-mails and phone calls; they need to SEE what you think. The single-payer option isn't going to happen in one
step, folks, so for now,we need to unite and fight for a viable public option together.
The most important thing is to get everyone covered; we can always tweak the
system later, but for now, let's make sure we get the bill passed, and make
sure everyone has health care.
Now, let's burst some
holes in some more wingnut health care bill garbage, shall we?
This is from the July
25 edition of Fox and Friends. Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum is
certainly not above lying; we knew this. But some lies are more blatant than
others. Like this one:
fact — the House bill is very specific that private insurance would be ended.
You have to go through this government system, which again mandates certain
benefits to be covered. The bottom line is, Gerry, that cancer survival rates
in America are the highest in the world.
In one short
paragraph, you get a two-fer.
The House bill is very
specific; no one who wants to keep their current
insurance will be forced into the government system. In fact, the House bill
says just the opposite:
SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE.
(a) GRANDFATHERED HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE DEFINED. — Subject to
the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing
acceptable coverage under this division, the term ''grandfathered health
insurance coverage'' means individual health insurance coverage that is offered
and in force and effect before the first day of Y1  if the following
conditions are met:
(1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT. —
(A) IN GENERAL. — Except as provided in this paragraph, the
individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any
individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or
after the first day of Y1.
(B) DEPENDENT COVERAGE PERMITTED. — Subparagraph (A) shall not
affect the subsequent enrollment of a dependent of an individual who is covered
as of such first day.
See the title of that
section? The House bill PROTECTS your choice to keep your current coverage. It says so right in the bill, and nothing in the section contradicts the title. How
many times must President Obama have to go on national television and
scream at the top of his lungs that you get to keep your coverage, if you so choose,
just because some of these idiots lie about it?
Now, the second part
of the dog boy's crap — the part about the cancer survival rates — isn't quite a lie, but it certainly qualifies as non sequitur. Cancer survival rates in
the United States are definitely the highest in the world, in part because our
government (not insurance companies) funds cancer research pretty well. But while
that's one of the right wing's favorite talking points, it is without meaning
in a discussion of our health insurance system.
See, it's only
possible to detect cancer survival rates when you track a person with cancer from
the moment they develop a tumor until they pass away from their cancer. In
other words, such a number only tracks DIAGNOSED cancer cases. The current
issue Congress is trying to deal with has to do with insurance, and making sure that everyone has access to health
care when they need it. It's about how to pay for it when a woman detects a
lump in her breast, and goes to the emergency room for a mammogram, and then
gets an operation or chemo, even though she doesn't have insurance. It's about
making sure people with cancer go to their doctor and an oncologist and NOT
straight to the ER. It's about making sure everyone who thinks they might have
cancer doesn't have to suffer through it without medical care. NO ONE is
arguing that we have a bad health care delivery system. The problem with our
system is with ACCESS. Too few people have access. So, Homophobe Ricky spouted a
lie, followed by a non sequitur. And the people of Pennsylvania
elected this clown repeatedly why, exactly?
I used to think Sean
Hannity was one of the greatest liars on the planet. I mean, the guy is capable
of telling whoppers, and keeping a completely straight face. But then I figured
out, Hannity is just plain stupid. It's not that he doesn't realize he's full
of shit; he does know that. But his stupidity kicks in when he gives his
opinions; he actually believes most people are stupid enough to believe his
Take this one from his
"Universal Nightmare" special on Fox News,
medicine is by no means a new idea. In fact, the citizens of Canada and the
United Kingdom are living through what can only be described as a
take a look at what could soon become a reality right here in America.
coming all right, and if the Obama administration has its way, millions of
Americans are staring at another massive government tax hike.
Pretty amazing, isn't
The UK does have a
socialized medical system. And it used to be pretty bad, back in the day when
the Thatcher (right wing) government tried to kill it via starvation. But since subsequent
governments started funding it, it's actually been doing quite a bit better. Canada's
system is absolutely not a system of socialized medicine at all,. The only thing socialized is the insurance system. Either
Hannity doesn't understand what socialized medicine is, or he's lying. Or both.
But it almost doesn't
matter, because there is no "socialized medicine" in the current House
bills at all. Nothing. It simply fills in the coverage gaps, and allows those without
insurance access to insurance, and access to health care. The bill adds another choice
to an insurance system in which most people really have little or no choice currently. It doesn't change medical delivery one bit,
except to implement regulations that have
been used by Medicare for years, and which have made Medicare one of the
most efficient insurance systems in the world.
As for tax hikes,
let's think about that for a moment. The use of "another" is pretty
interesting, don't you think? When was the last "massive tax hike"? The last one I can think of was the one Reagan smacked us with in 1986. And what does "millions of Americans" mean? The only people looking to see a significant increase will he the tip 1%, which means about 3 million people, so the term "millions" is meaningless. People like Hannity, who
make tens of millions of dollars per year are looking down the barrel of a
(gulp) one percent tax hike on every dollar they make OVER one million; where's my fricking violin? The only
businesses to face a new health insurance tax are those businesses who choose
not to offer any health insurance, including the public option, and they'll be
limited to 8% or less of their total payroll. (More on this later.) Of course, if everyone is covered
by health insurance, their liability insurance will decrease, and worker's comp
insurance could be eliminated or become wholly unnecessary.But why quibble over details; Hannity doesn't care about anyone but those poor health insurance companies.
"massive tax hike" being proposed by anyone currently, unless you
call one percent "massive." How big of a wimp is Sean Hannity,
Of course, I don't
know how much of a wimp he is in general, but I do know he seems to be afraid
of telling the truth to a startling degree. Several days before, on his July
20th Fox News crapfest, he told another whopper:
we look at the provisions of the bill, it's pretty astounding. For example, if
you're not — if you don't have private insurance the year that this bill is
passed, you can't get that later on from your employer.
This, of course, came
on the heels of his July 16 program, in which he parroted an oft-cited, and
oft-refuted Investor's Business Daily
editorial. This is what Hannity said:
were actually, if you look at the bill — Investor's
Business Daily had a great piece today — and under the Orwellian
headline, "Protecting the choices to keep current coverage," they
actually go into very specific detail, and what they — they put in here:
"If an individual, for example, a health insurer, if you don't enroll the
individual in such coverage in the first effective date of coverage" — if
it's on or after the first day of the year this legislation becomes law, you
cannot go into a private plan. Does that eliminate private insurance and
one thing that we do know in the health care bill is that it's gonna literally
— the bill says — Investor's Business Daily had
an article today — and the bill says that if you don't have your insurance the
year this legislation is implemented, you can't have a private insurance
company. So that will end — hang on — that will end private insurance.
Now, you'll recall
Section 201, which is reprinted above seen the section above; the bill
protects workers who have health insurance, and lets them keep the insurance
they have. What logical sense would it make to limit coverage for those who are
just entering the system? Isn't the whole purpose of this reform to cover as
many folks as possible?
Not to worry: Hannity
and his compadres at Investor's Business Daily are simply confused. Lawmakers
are doing fine, thanks.
SEC. 311. HEALTH COVERAGE PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS.
employer meets the requirements of this section if such employer does all of
(1) OFFER OF COVERAGE. — The employer offers each employee
individual and family coverage under a qualified health benefits plan (or under
a current employment-based health plan (within the meaning of section 102(b)))
in accordance with section 312.
CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS COVERAGE. — If an employee accepts such offer of
coverage, the employer makes timely contributions towards such coverage in
accordance with section 312.
CONTRIBUTION IN LIEU OF COVERAGE. — Beginning with Y2, if an employee declines
such offer but otherwise obtains coverage in an Exchange-participating health
benefits plan (other than by reason of being covered by family coverage as a
spouse or dependent of the primary insured), the employer shall make a timely
contribution to the Health Insurance Exchange with respect to each such
employee in accordance with section 313.
SEC. 312. EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITY TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS EMPLOYEE
AND DEPENDENT COVERAGE.
IN GENERAL. — An employer meets the requirements of this section with respect
to an employee if the following requirements are met:
(1) OFFERING OF COVERAGE. — The employer offers the coverage
described in section 311(1) either through an Exchange-participating health
benefits plan or other than through such a plan.
EMPLOYER REQUIRED CONTRIBUTION. — The employer timely pays to the issuer of
such coverage an amount not less than the employer required contribution
specified in subsection (b) for such coverage.
PROVISION OF INFORMATION. — The employer provides the Health Choices
Commissioner, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human
Services, and the Secretary of the Treasury, as applicable, with such
information as the Commissioner may require to ascertain compliance with the
requirements of this section.
AUTOENROLLMENT OF EMPLOYEES. — The employer provides for autoenrollment of the
employee in accordance with subsection (c).
I put the relevant
section in red, so that even Hannity can read it, if he is butch enough to
read columns that call him out for the fabricator he is. If a private insurance
company signs up to be a qualified health plan, employers are actually required
to include them among the choices available to their employees.
than creating a completely "socialist" system, the bill actually opens the
system up to actual competition. Right now, as it stands, your employer has
someone in the HR department review a few health insurance choices, and the
management of your employer decides on one to contract with, and you usually
have a choice of paying $200-300 per month or so for the insurance your
employer offers you, or going out on your own and paying $600-800 per month for
an individual policy, or $1300-1500 for a family policy. The above offers much
greater choice for everyone, and creates actual competition in the health
insurance field. At the very least, the premium the company is forced to pay will stop rising 15-20% per year.
Imagine that; MORE
competition. No wonder the health insurance industry is running scared.
As you can imagine,
while I'm picking on Hannity a little, he is not alone in the Fox News clan (sp?) in making things up about the
health care reform bill. Earlier on June 16, on the smiling happy-clappy Fox
and Friends crapfest, Gretchen Carlson lamented the "burden" that
small business will have to bear. Please feel free to cry along as you read:
is the real victim, potentially, of this health care reform — and that is the
small business owner. And these are the people who have been lobbying for the
last couple of months, saying, "What about the bailout for us?" …
Yeah, bail out the banks, bail out the car industry, but what about small
business? Now they are going to be hit potentially with this health care reform
if they don't offer health care to their employees — an eight percent penalty
As we've pointed out previously, she's just plain full
of crap. There's no other way to say it. Note that she just says eight percent, thus implying that the tax is eight percent of everything. There is an important
distinction to be made here. If the penalty was eight percent of revenues, that would be a hell
of a burden., and I might even agree with her, especially if that eight percent was on top of everything else.
Again, here's the
chart, which is right in the bill:
If the annual payroll of such employer for the preceding calendar
The applicable percentage is:
Does not exceed $250,000 ………………………………. 0
Exceeds $250,000, but does not exceed $300,000 2 percent
Exceeds $300,000, but does not exceed $350,000 4 percent
Exceeds $350,000, but does not exceed $400,000 6 percent
Small businesses with
payrolls of less than $250,000 will pay nothing. That means, if you have four
employees making $50,000 each, or 10 employees making $25,000 each, and you
choose to not even participate in the public option, you pay zero, zip, nada. The
eight percent that Gretchen feels sorry about doesn't even kick in until their
payroll hits $400,000. Businesses with payrolls of $400,000 are not your local card shop or mom and pop store.
But small businesses will not pay eight
percent of revenues; they'll pay eight percent of their PAYROLL. Assuming, for
argument's sake, that their $400,000 payroll is 15% of revenues, then the total tax is actually
1.2% of total revenues. Not exactly a huge hit to their bottom line, if their
business is healthy. And the only businesses that will be hit with the tax are those that choose not to offer a health insurance plan. It certainly is an incentive to offer health insurance,
don't you think? You know what else is an incentive? How about government
See, Carlson isn't just
fibbing about taxes. She makes you imagine the local shop owner with five
employees being hit with an eight percent tax, just because he can't afford
insurance for his employees. As you can see, unless that shop owner is paying
his five employees $80,000 per year and not offering health insurance, he's not
going to pay anything. In fact, he will actually get more money than he pays
in. I'd like to direct Ms. Carlson to the section of the bill starting on page 188,
B—Credit for Small Business Employee Health Coverage Expenses
SEC. 421. CREDIT FOR SMALL BUSINESS EMPLOYEE
HEALTH COVERAGE EXPENSES.
Yes, folks, you read
that right. Not only does the bill NOT tax small business eight percent of
their net revenues, as Carlson implies, but the bill offers tax credits to
small businesses that decide to offer health insurance to their employees.
This is important,
folks. People are dying out there, just because they can't access the health
care system at the moment. The far right is trying to get away with lying their
asses off about the bill itself, and it's important to call them on it. Read the
bill. Highlight the important sections of the bill. And when you see or hear
someone spouting right wing talking points bullshit, don't hit them with your
opinion; hit them with the bill. It's not the most perfect bill in the world,
but it is a huge step forward for our country. We can't let them blow it this