Saturday, August 19, 2017

Charlottesville Counter-protester DeAndre Harris Also Beaten

In a Huffington Post article regarding additional felony charges against the car attack suspect, there is a police twitter post about it. I added the following comment to that article in hopes that Mr. Harris' Charlottesville story gets heard by more people:

Also mentioned in the police twitter post in this article is an investigation into the beating of DeAndre Shakur Harris. Mr. Harris, who was unarmed, attended the counter-protest and was attacked afterward with poles by "the KKK and white supremacists" in a parking garage right next to the police station (no police showed up to help him; it's not clear if they were called or not).

The photo of him bleeding profusely from his head went viral, and he ended up with a broken wrist, a chipped tooth, and wounds which required eight staples in his head and which caused him to lose consciousness during the beating. He was taken to be treated with other victims at the rally but was transferred to the hospital due to the severity of his injuries. Mr. Harris said if it wasn’t for his friends who helped him, after they noticed him under the pile of white supremacists, he probably wouldn’t be alive to tell his story.

I would think that since the beating of a counter-protester was by white supremacist protesters who were part of the rally, and who apparently objected to the non-whiteness of Mr. Harris's skin, that this mayhem would also be prominently mentioned in stories about Charlottesville. The police twitter post mentioning him is the first I've heard about this.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Protect Medicare and reject the House's FY18 Budget

Cutting Medicare? Cutting Medicaid? Is the Medicare payroll tax not enough? Is the Medicaid Extension too expensive? So you don't want to adjust the payroll tax. And you want to cut Medicare/Medicaid because you are having problems with your budget. And your philosophy is to take more money from people who can't afford it instead of taking it from the profits of companies or the pockets of wealthy people who by definition can afford it.

So the thought of grandma or grandpa having to choose between health care and food or car repairs or house repairs or increased rents or dental work or new glasses or hearing aides makes you smile and dance a little jig in your expensive shoes and expensive ties and expensive shirts and suits and perfect teeth and designer glasses that you can replace any time your prescription changes. Try cutting your bloated military spending. Try paying your fair share and stop screwing the workers in this country.

Vision, dental, hearing - not covered by Medicare. 20% copay. Deductibles. Premiums. I got a Medicare Advantage plan because it took me more than a year to pay for my share of physical therapy. My premium for the Medicare Advantage plan went up by $5 per month this year. That's okay, my Social Security monthly benefit went up by $4. My cable bill and my food bill went up, I need the brakes fixed on my car, and my electric bill went up by $50 a month even though I no longer use air conditioning. That's okay, my benefits went up by $4 and I cut out cable TV. I took out a bank loan to fix a tooth because I cannot afford to lose any more, and am paying it back $100 a month for the next 13 months. That's okay, I got a $4 a month raise. I need new prescription glasses. No problem. I get $4 more a month this year.

Sure, cut Medicare and Medicaid while at the same time you are threatening to decrease Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age, as if cutting a self-funded program that is separate by law would help your budget woes by even one thin dime.

I am your constituent and an AARP member, and I am demanding that you reject the House of Representatives' selfish FY18 budget bill. Your budget that would cut billions from programs that seniors count on to survive -- slashing Medicaid, making it harder to get food assistance, and even opening the door to turning Medicare into a voucher system.

It's simply not right that some in Washington want to put at risk the programs that I and other seniors rely on. I expect my legislators to represent our interests and protect the benefits that we worked hard for our whole lives.

I am counting on you to put aside the corruption and greed and take a moral stance.

Monday, August 7, 2017

VA Hospitals as an Argument Against Universal Coverage?

You cannot equate VA facilities with universal health care. VA facilities are government owned and operated. Universal health care is not nationalization and confiscation of private facilities nor is it forcing hospital providers and workers to become civil servants. Single-payer simply means that the federal government pays for health care.

I would much rather have a public servant between me and my doctor than some insurance agent whose primary motive is not my health, but his wallet. I don't like having a company whose driving motive is getting 20% of every health care dollar with a CEO who makes millions. Would you rather go back to insurance for healthy people only and the routine denial of coverage for bogus reasons when healthy people finally get sick? Long lines for a chance at treatment by doctors in animal stalls by people who could not get coverage? Medical bankruptcies even when covered? Finding out your coverage is more like a coupon? Bake sales to raise money to help someone get treatment?

Save your free market profit-driven corrupt health coverage for elective procedures. Relying on the free market for needed treatments is the freedom to go without health care, the freedom to go bankrupt, the freedom to die. Whenever I hear freedom and flexibility by radical conservatives, I hear the subtext of freedom from accountability, oversight, safety standards, wage minimums, competency, integrity, and legality. Keep your greedy hands out of my pockets and tell your health care lies to your Republican base.

"Some of Us Pay Our Own Way for Health Care."

And I suppose that people who can't get coverage only have themselves to blame? Bad lifestyle, bad choices. Less worthy. Lazy. And all the other excuses put out by people who think that greed is a virtue, that everyone must be individually responsible even if they are paid peanuts. If people are not paid well enough to go without government assistance, it is called corporate welfare. Ever hear of the concept of the wealthy paying their fair share? Ever hear of Social Responsibility? Not everyone wants to be a CEO or manager or owner of a business. Some people just want fair wages. And for you radical conservatives to recognize that your concept of freedom means freedom to do without, as in freedom for us to be without living wages, without health care, without a safe retirement income, without clean air and clean water, without maintenance of infrastructure, and without adequately funded agencies.

Every time I hear freedom and flexibility from you jokers, I hear the subtext of freedom from accountability, oversight, safety standards, wage minimums, competency, integrity, and legality. Spare me your version of morality. It's corrupt and selfish and greedy and heartless. Glad you can afford to pay your own way. So sorry you think the rest of us who can't are just lazy and are not worthy of health care. So sorry the wealthy want the profit on the money they send to work to be taxed at a lower rate than the total income from the sweat of someone who does the actual work.