Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Who Is Rick Scott And Why Does He Want To Kill Health Care Reform For American Working Families?


Rick Scott is one pissed off, angry, right-wing sociopath-- and he's all over my TV. I don't watch much but every time I turn on CNN on come the transparent distortions from Rick Scott's swiftboat operation, CPR, the acronym for a Republican Party front group calling itself Conservatives for Patients Rights. But if recent history is any clue to what they are actually for it's clearly one thing: cheating Americans out of health care reform-- and they're spending millions of dollars in the attempt.

The ads purport to show a series of horror stories about people living in countries with universal health care. I've lived and worked in both Canada and England and used the health care system in both. As a former corporate president I have pretty sterling health insurance here in the U.S. I found the U.K. system much better. Scott's TV ads paint the U.K. system so that it sounds nearly as bad as the system everyone in America actually does hate. Oddly, in each vignette his ads highlight, there's a portayal that sounds as though it's a story we've all heard a dozen times from friends, family and co-workers about the private insurance everyone detests. And know one knows more about this inadequate system than Rick Scott himself, who has been one of the pre-eminent creators of a health care company widely acknowledged to be the McDonald's of medical care.

And that brings us back to why Scott is so pissed off, so angry and a dangerous sociopath. He build his hellish empire, Columbia Health Care, and was caught cheating, lying, stealing, fined $1.7 billion and forced to resign. Watch this short film that explains exactly who Rick Scott is and think about it next time you see one of those swiftboat ads he's running:

Yesterday Rasmussen released a poll that shows 62% of Americans still believe that our ongoing economic problems were caused by the Bush Regime. Public trust in the Obama Administration to do the right thing is still running very high. And there's no one inside the administration who I trust more on health care than OMB Director Peter Orszag, who has been tasked with making sure Obama's reforms are within the boundaries of fiscal discipline. Yesterday he talked about how the administration's cost containment falls into two categories:
Medicare and Medicaid savings that are key to achieving scoreable savings over the medium term but that by themselves would be unlikely to generate substantial long-term efficiency improvements in the health system, and "game-changers" that are unlikely to generate significant scoreable savings in the medium term but that are crucial to moving toward a health system that addresses the issues discussed in Atul Gawande’s compelling New Yorker article. (These game changers include, among other steps, items such as patient-centered quality research and re-orienting financial incentives through bundling and payment for quality rather than quantity of services delivered. After attending innumerable meetings of the Institute of Medicine and other gatherings of health policy types, I believe we are aggressively pursuing virtually all the game changers that have been put on the table by analysts. If anyone has ideas for what we’re not doing that could be done, please let me know! I also believe that since health care constantly evolves, it is impossible to specify today all the steps that will be necessary to reduce cost growth in a sustainable manner over the long term. Instead, cost containment must be a dynamic process, in which different processes are employed in an ongoing effort to make the system more efficient.)

What should not be overlooked in all these discussions of cost containment measures, however, are the backstop fiscal constraints we are demanding of a plan in the short to medium term: We are insisting that health reform be deficit neutral even over the next five to 10 years, through scoreable offsets such as savings within Medicare and Medicaid and (as necessary) additional revenue.

This belt-and-suspenders approach means we are not just banking on the long-term impact from the game changers to protect the budget. We also are demanding quantifiable cuts, efficiencies, and revenue-raisers so that the budget is not adversely impacted in the medium-term. That is to say, if the long-term savings from the game-changers materialize as expected, we wind up with a more efficient health care system and a better fiscal position. If they don’t, then at worst, we have a deficit-neutral plan that will not worsen our fiscal situation.

This isn’t the "voodoo economics" of supply-side tax cuts – not only because of the weak empirical basis for the claims behind such tax cuts, but also because proponents of supply-side economics were not willing to offset the cost of tax cuts through hard, verifiable offsets in the medium-term. Our approach, by contrast, not only attempts to address the key forces behind inefficiencies and rising costs in our health care system, but is also backstopped by hard-headed budget accounting and clear-eyed fiscal discipline.

I can't help but wonder, though, what all the reasonableness is going to mean up against corporate shill like Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Burr (R-NC), Max Baucus (D-MT), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Arlen Specter (R-D-PA), and the two kooks each from Oklahoma, Idaho, Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Utah and Arkansas who are not thinking about anything that benefits their constituents, only about how to serve the special interests who have bankrolled their careers in politics. Rachel Maddow explained Rick Scott's role in the health care battle a couple weeks ago.

UPDATE: Insurance Industry Has Figured Out A Key To Win The Battle-- If Obama Acquiesces

Hard to imagine Obama and the Democrats would let the Insurance Industry roll over them on the #1 issue in America-- but, as much as it pains me to say so, the Democrats really are as useless and craven as the Republicans. Mike Lux, author of The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be understands better than most what a catastrophe this would be for the progressive cause. He explains over at HuffPo what the GOP front groups are up to and how the Insurance Industry plans to win the existential battle over health care reform. The fate of the entire health care debate rests on a debate raging in the incredibly corrupt Senate over a so-called "trigger mechanism" for having a public option in health care insurance.
The insurance lobby has had multiple tactics for stopping the public option idea, which they despise because they know if regular folks have choice to go to a public option, insurance companies won't have the same ability to treat their customers like garbage when they get sick. The first tactic was just to try to kill the public option outright, and the good news is that they appear to have failed at that. This so-called trigger proposal is the second tactic: the idea is to write a "trigger" that will allow for a public option only under certain conditions, but write the legislation so that those conditions would never get met in the real world. It's a classic DC tactic, right up there with calling for a commission to study something. Olympia Snowe is carrying the insurance industry water on their trigger proposal, proposing triggers that would only get tripped in some fairyland none of us have ever visited.

The great thing for the insurance companies in a tactic like this is that it gives "centrist" Senators (centrist in Washington, DC usually means those who have taken massive amounts of campaign contributions from the affected industry) an excuse to help the insurance industry while looking like they are open to the public option that their constituents have been demanding.

Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress have gotten some good things done so far, and are building real momentum in getting us moving in the right direction on health care. But if conservative Democrats force the adoption of the trigger, it will destroy Democratic unity and doom health care reform, because progressives will start attacking Democrats rather than insurance companies. We really are at a critical moment.

The only committee seriously considering the trigger turkey is the Senate Finance Committee, whose members average several hundred thousand a piece in insurance industry contributions. If you care about getting true health care reform, now is the time to make your voice heard: call the Senate Finance Committee members and tell them "NO to a trigger."

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At 12:15 PM, Blogger Jack Jodell said...

Rick Scott is as big of a despicable liar and crook as is Dick Cheney. Nothing either of them says can ever be taken as truth.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Juan Liberale said...

Rick Scott cannot kill health care reform. That will be done by fascist republicans and bribed democrats. And it will be killed. As a matter of fact, it is not breathing right now and Obama doesn't seem to be doing any chest compressions.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger John JP Patterson said...

Hmmm... Health Care for ALL Americans is Simple!

1) MERGE Medicare, Medicaid and CHIPS into one single "Income Based" system for children, poor and elderly citizens.

2) REQUIRE insurance companies to provide the same basic coverage for EVERY Uninsured citizen, regardless of health status, at
affordable rates.

3) ALLOW insurance companies to "Profit" by offering additional benefits and options to those who qualify and are willing to pay the

As for Funding…

1) Changing from an "Emergency Treatment" to a "Preventive Care" system will save local communities billions, maybe even trillions of
taxpayer dollars!

2) Consolidating and utilizing existing systems will expedite the process and make administration more efficient and cost effective!

3) Small business will be able to compete globally and hire additional taxpaying employees!

4) Wealthy seniors will pay their fair share!

The Tremendous Burden on Future Generations will be Greatly Reduced!

At 6:39 AM, Blogger Mr. RiGHT 4 PREZ said...

Fascist Republicans? that's an oxymoron! remember the Nazi's were the "National Socialist Workers Party of Germany" ..and Hitler too Nationalized healthcare funded abortion on the unwanted and weak, denied medical to handicapped and elderly to "cut costs" ...sound familiar???

You so called Fascist Socialists are so for the "little guy" yet you allow big business and Corporate Elite's to enslave the middle class and "small business" in tax-regulations...many of those taxes to subsidize "those same Corporations" ...General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Dupont..etc..etc...
while the poor get crumbs & inflation!!

Socialied medicine SHOULD ONLY be for the poor, elderly, handicapped!


NAZIonalizing healthcare BENEFITS ONE GROUP!!!!

that get out of offering healthcare in benefit as salray/compensation

And forces the bill on those who can afford their own insurance or have it through employer



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