Tag Archives: Health Care Reform

Rock Star Alex Chilton Dies From Lack of Health Insurance

The year was 1967 – middle of the Vietnam War. Those of you not familiar with Blue-Eyed Soul may or may not recall the Box Tops version of the letter.

(Did we actually dress like that in the 60s?)

Their lead singer was Alex Chilton, who would later move to NOLA and join the music scene there. Last week he passed away…

Yet another victim of the dysfunctional Health Care System right wingers fight so hard to protect-

Alex Chilton Delayed Medical Treatment Due to Lack of Health Insurance

Alex Chilton‘s unexpected death last month at age 59 might have been prevented if he had health insurance. According to a report in the Times-Picayune, Chilton’s wife, Laura Kersting, says that although he had symptoms of heart trouble, he declined immediate treatment due to lack of coverage.

Chilton, who at age 16 had a No. 1 US hit single with ‘The Letter’ in 1967 as lead singer of the Box Tops, passed away just days before he was to appear at a reunion show in Austin, Texas, of his ’70s group, the widely influential power-pop band Big Star.

“At least twice in the week before his fatal heart attack, Chilton experienced shortness of breath and chills while cutting grass,” the article reports. “But he did not seek medical attention, Kersting said, in part because he had no health insurance.”

The Times-Picayune reveals that on the morning of March 17, the Big Star frontman called Kersting at work to tell her he wasn’t well. She made it home before the ambulance and rushed him to the emergency room, running a red light at his insistence, before he lost consciousness when they were just a block from the emergency room.

The piece also takes a close look at Chilton’s private life in New Orleans, where the Memphis-raised Louisiana transplant lived in the mixed neighborhood of Treme, where he rode out Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “He identified with black people more than white people,” Kersting said. “He was very much a part of this neighborhood.” Neighbors across the street marveled as Chilton cut his grass with a manual push mower.

Despite his iconic indie rock stature, Chilton’s wife said, “He was kind of lazy … He took it very easy. He’d say, ‘Why work when I don’t have to?’ He wanted a very simple life. He was not interested in fame. He was interested in money — he wanted enough to be comfortable and to travel.”

The Box Tops seminal song would later be covered by a number of groups, none more famously than by Joe Cocker and Mad Dogs and Englishmen, in 1970…

In the Age before white people learned to dance in this country! :)

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Posted by on April 14, 2010 in American Genocide


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Republicans Threaten To Impeach Georgia Attorney General for Following the Law

How stupid are Republicans?

The right-wing morons in Georgia are now threatening to impeach their Attorney General…

Because he refuses to waste the state’s money on filing a frivolous lawsuit against the Health Care Reform Bill.

Considering that such lawsuits have only about a .005% chance of succeeding – even in a stacked SCOTUS whose 5 member majority puts politics and ideology over the welfare of the country and the Constitution, and the fact that most states are cutting back on everything from schools to policing due to budget shortfalls…

You have to ask if the bozos who are joining in the Lawsuits to attempt to overturn the Law shouldn’t be charged with criminal malfeasance.

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Posted by on April 7, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks


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Republican Waterloo

David Frum, a leading Republican strategist points out the obvious – Instead of handing President Obama  his Waterloo, Republicans have led themselves to their own. The radicalization of the Republican Party and platform is going to have a kickback – it may not be obvious now…

But by November.


Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they’ll compensate for today’s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. But:

(1) It’s a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November – by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs.

(2) So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now.

So far, I think a lot of conservatives will agree with me. Now comes the hard lesson:

A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

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Posted by on March 22, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks


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Tea Baggers Hurl Racial Epithets At Black Lawmakers

One of the Signs at the Tea Bagger Protest Before Congress

Not really surprising the racism coming out of the closet with the Tea Baggers now that push has come to shove on passage of the Health Care Bill. It is what it was really all about all along…

Protesters hurl racial insults at member of Black Caucus

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol, angry over the proposed health care overhaul bill, shouted racial epithets Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death at an Alabama march in the 1960s.

The protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, lawmakers said.

Capitol Police escorted the members of Congress into the Capitol after the confrontation.

“They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis said. “But, it’s okay, I’ve faced this before. It reminded me of the ’60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean.”

Lewis said he was leaving the building across from the Capitol when protesters shouted, “Kill the bill, kill the bill,” Lewis said.

“I said, ‘I’m for the bill, I support the bill, I’m voting for the bill,’ ” Lewis said.

Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., told a reporter that as he left the Cannon House Office Building with Lewis, some among the crowd chanted “the N-word, the N-word, 15 times.”

“It was like going into the time machine with John Lewis,” said Carson, a large former police officer who said he wasn’t frightened but worried about the 70-year-old Lewis, who is twice his age. “He said it reminded him of another time.”

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said he was behind Lewis and distinctly heard the slurs. Cleaver’s office said later in a statement that he’d also been spat upon.

Protesters also used a slur as they confronted Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., an openly gay member of Congress. A writer for Huffington Post said the crowd called Frank a “f—–.” Frank said the crowd referred to him as “homo.”

Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Capitol on Saturday as the House Democratic leadership worked to gather enough votes to enact the health care legislation. Most were affiliated with so-called tea party organizations that originally sprang up during last summer’s protests of the health care proposals.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said Saturday’s ugliness underscored for him that the health care overhaul isn’t the only motivation for many protesters.

“I heard people saying things today I’ve not heard since March 15th, 1960, when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus,” Clyburn said. “This is incredible, shocking to me.”

And more –

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) issued a statement late Saturday saying that he was spit upon while walking to the Capitol to cast a vote, leading the Capitol Police to usher him into the building out of concern for his safety. Police detained the individual, who was then released because Cleaver declined to press charges.

“The congressman was walking into the Capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him. The congressman would like to thank the U.S. Capitol Police officer who quickly escorted the other Members and him into the Capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care,” said Danny Rotert, a spokesman for Cleaver.

And this tidbit –


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Republican Opposition to Healthcare Backfires

It appears Rethugly opposition to Health Care Reform peaked too soon, and now public opinion is shifting… Rapidly.

For the Interactive verion go here – Tracking Trend in Healthcare polls

He’s winning!

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Posted by on March 11, 2010 in News


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Warren Buffet Lays Out Why The Failure to Pass Health Care Reform Destroys America Economically

Warren Buffet lays out that the current Health Care System is inferior to that of much of the competitive world, and is a fatal drain on the American Economy resulting in America being less and less competitive.

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Posted by on March 1, 2010 in American Genocide


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Mr. President – Time to Flush This Toilet

The US Commission on Civil Rights became  complete farce during the Bushit Administration, just as the Justice Department’s Division on Civil Rights became polluted and dysfunctional through ideologically racist Republican hires. While we can hope Attorney General Holder is ultimately successful in cleaning out the ideological debris, and returning the Justice Department to an organization which actually has something to do with it’s charter to protect all Americans (and there is some evidence of this). However, there is also plenty of evidence that Republicans will do almost anything to prevent those efforts in blocking a number of President Obama’s nominations, including that of  Dawn E. Johnsen to head the Justice Department’s  Office of Legal Counsel. However, as part of the effort to clean up the maisma left by the previous administration…

The US Civil Rights Commission needs more direct action.

Under the precedent set by the Bushit Administration, that can be accomplished by the simple expedient of removing two or more of the Appointees, including naming a new Chair.

Case in point is this letter from the Commission.

Two arguments are being advanced in this letter – both are duplicitous.

There are several issues which the Bill is trying to address. The first is Health Care disparities, in terms of lack of Health Care professionals in low income areas which include Rural and Urban environments. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, yet they are served by only nine percent of the nation’s physicians.

The second, is something I’ve discussed here numerous times is the racial disparity in Health Care, in terms of treatments received by patients of different races. A recent study by the Mt. Sanai Urban Health Institute in Chicago concluded

There’s a stark, human cost in that: In all, the researchers estimated that the toll of the black-white health disparity is an additional 3,200 deaths of African Americans in Chicago every year.

Indeed, the study – Researchers reported that the African-American death rate from breast cancer was 99 percent higher in Chicago than for white women, a fivefold increase since 1990.

Two provisions in HR 3590 and HR 3200, the Affordable Health Care Act seek to address these issues through contracting with Schools and Universities to produce more Health Care personnel from, and serving these communities – including rural communities.

So why exactly do the Republican appointees oppose the legislation?

Because statistically it will result in the training of more minority Health Care personnel – and it might be a step towards stopping medical genocide of minorities in the US.

Now, as usual when there is racial dirty work to be done, cover is provided by one or more of the captive Uncle Toms on the right. ..

President George W. Bush designated Gerald A. Reynolds to serve as Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on December 6, 2004.

Peter N. Kirsanow (AKA Snidely Whiplash) received a recess appointment from President George W. Bush on January 4, 2006.

In this case two appointments by the Bushit – Reynolds and Kirsanow…

Both of whom signed the above letter.

In view that neither of these individuals has offered the least idea of how to address the problems inherent in the current system – the only thing I can do is to make a brutal comparison…

The temptation is to compare these two to the Jews who tossed other Jews into the ovens at Auschwitz. That’s not a fair comparison – to those Jews who chose to serve the Nazis. It’s impossible to say who will, or won’t make an accommodation with the Devil with a gun pointed at their heads. Reynolds and Kirsanow don’t have guns pointed at their heads – so their full acquiescence and support of genocide comes from a much deeper trough of degeneracy, devoid of exigency or moral principle.

Buckdance on down and get your “Lawn Jockey of the Year”, awards boys.


Posted by on December 28, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life


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