Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Ownership Society

Isn't really working to most Americans benefit. In another shining example of presidential disconnect, the "administration" has decided to once again disregard Congress' and the people's wishes by using regulation instead of referendum. Bush has decided to go from signing statements to bypassing Congress altogether. The GOP just isn't what it used to be. They spend money like it's oil, while creating more rules, regulations and paperwork. Very strange. Expensive too!.

This new attempt at creating a permanent underclass has the earmarks of spite and uncontrolled power. After eliminating good paying jobs by sending them overseas, limiting access to higher education to the already privileged few, redefining worker salary status to eliminate overtime pay, spending the citizens hard earned tax dollars in the foolish pursuit of a "global war on terror" while the surplus bloomed into crushing debt for the coming generations to pay, and after ignoring the largest natural disaster to ever befall a major city since the 1906 earthquake, he now wants to reduce Medicaid payments to hospitals (as if he pays his own medical bills!) in an extremely misguided effort to control costs instead of causes.
Planned Medicaid Cuts Cause Rift With States - New York Times: "More than 330 members of Congress, including 103 Republicans, have objected to the plan. A letter signed by 82 House Republicans says it “would seriously disrupt financing of Medicaid programs around the country.” A bipartisan group of 50 senators recently urged President Bush to scrap the proposed rules, which were set forth in his 2007 budget and could be issued before the end of this year.

Medicaid finances health care for more than 50 million low-income people, with money provided by the federal government and the states.

Under the White House plan, the federal government would reduce Medicaid payments to many public hospitals and nursing homes by redefining allowable costs. It would also limit the states’ ability to finance their share of Medicaid by imposing taxes on health care providers. About two-thirds of the states have such taxes."
Yep, cut the revenue from both ends, thereby ensuring that the system breaks of its own volition. Nursing homes. Like the ones in Louisiana that couldn't evacuate their patients? When will people wake up and realize that these guys want to turn the nation into a feudal society? The concentration of wealth and benefits at the top end of society is completely out of proportion to the reality of the average Americans lifestyle.

While the proportion of Americans living in poverty is increasing, the ability of society to stanch the flow and reverse the trend, is being destroyed. If you can't earn more than what Wal-Mart pays and the price of gas keeps going up, you have no income left over for college or health insurance. Food either, but that is a different story. People are using emergency rooms at an ever increasing rate because they don't have coverage, so they wait until they can't take it anymore and that costs society more in the long run.

Yes, there is waste. Not on the scale of FEMA, but improvements can definitely be made. Reducing Medicaid payments to hospitals is not an improvement, it is a draconian effort to reduce a section of society to the equivalent of movie extras wandering the polluted streets in Blade Runner.

Medical care should be provided to every American. Equally. Not designer medicine for the rich, ridiculously high premiums, co-payments and payments for the dwindling middle class and whatever is left over for the rest of us.

As the Bush administration pursues its policies of giving to those who don't need and punishing those who do, at what point will America say "we have had enough"? From eliminating medical care for returning injured veterans to the illnesses of the 9/11 workers, Bush has shown a wilfull disregard for the health, home, liberty and happiness of the majority of America's citizens. How much more obvious can he be?

This post was written listening to:
1. Time Tough by Toots & The Maytals
2. Love theme from "Romeo & Juliet" by Henry Mancini
3. Angels Among Us by Pamela Williams
4. The Dream of the Dolphin by Enigma
5. Peel Me A Grape by Diana Krall
6. Every Ship Must Sail Away by Blue Merle
7. Old Time God
8. Born In America by Robert Bradley
9. Same Old Scene by Bryan Ferry
10. Lush by Ottmar Liebert
11. I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite by Boyce & Hart
12. My Prerogative by Bobby Brown
13. My Head's In Mississippi by ZZ Top

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