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Author Topic: Corporate Profits over Patient in the Health Care Field  (Read 2759 times)

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Why Nurses Fight for Medicare For All

949 views • Oct 23, 2019

Thom Hartmann Program
187K subscribers

Nursing is joining together to fight for universal healthcare and they can help you as we support them.

🔴 Subscribe for more clips like this: https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhart...

There’s never been a better time for nurses to have a national media presence. And strong leadership is critical if the vision of a transformed health care system is to be realized. Nurse Talk Radio is hosted by two smart, funny, sassy, political RN’s who proudly sport a collective sixty-five years of service between them.

Whether the topic is patient care, workplace rights and safety, holding hospital CEOs accountable, protecting the environment and more — Nurse Talk Radio takes it on.

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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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They Profit By Denying You Care! w/ Alex Lawson
2,325 views•Oct 25, 2019

Thom Hartmann Program
188K subscribers

Private insurance companies profit by denying you Healthcare. Alex Lawson explains how to navigate Healthcare in America.

⭐ Join our Membership and Support the Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhart...
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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November 9, 2019 9:53 AM

Wendell Potter: Together, we’re going to make Medicare for All a reality

Health care is hard.

Democrats spent 100 years trying and failing to reform our broken, profit-driven health care system before enacting the Affordable Care Act in 2009. Hillary Clinton was at the forefront of one such attempt in 1993, and now she’s back in the news, warning Democrats that Medicare for All is the right goal, but “unrealistic.”

I appreciate Secretary Clinton’s assessment of the power of the insurance industry. But as a former industry spinmeister―and one who played a role in killing her reform plan―let me tell you why I now disagree:

I worked at 😈 Humana in the 90s when Hillary led the Clinton administration’s attempt to create a more equitable and rational health care system. As a 🐍 PR flack, I worked with other health insurance industry executives to craft what are now their greatest hits—like dubbing “Medicare for All,” “government-run health care.”

Our campaign on behalf of corporate insurers worked: Public opinion that had been rising in support of sweeping reform dropped like a rock. 

Fast forward 25 years and the industry play now is the same as it was then, and the same as they ran against the Affordable Care Act. Why, then, should Clinton expect to feel any differently about passage of single payer?

Here is why this time is different, and we are poised to win Medicare For All this time:

A majority of Americans who receive health insurance through their employer now say they support a switch to Medicare For All.

A majority of small business owners support Medicare For All. (Most small employers can no longer offer health insurance because it’s too expensive. It’s not because they don’t want to, it’s because they can’t afford to offer coverage to their employees.)

► The number of Americans receiving health insurance through an employer is falling—55%, down from closer to 70% just a few years ago.

► And those who do get coverage through an employer increasingly find it too expensive. The average family insurance plan now costs more than $20,500 annually.

► And furthermore, those people find their health plan too expensive to use. While 30 million of us are uninsured despite the ACA, more than twice that many are now “underinsured”—meaning their deductibles and copays are so high they can’t afford to go to a doctor or hospital if they need to or even pick up their prescriptions.

A majority of Americans support Medicare For All even after it has been attacked. Simply remind people their out-of-pocket costs, premiums and deductibles will go away—and they’re all for it.

Finally, (and this is harder to track) we didn’t have politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren 10 and 25 years ago with the power those two have now. Their social media followings, their email lists, the media they draw—it all contributes to getting out the truth about the broken for-profit health insurance system the industry was able to lie about for years.

There’s now a chorus of voices, led by Senators Sanders and Warren, that are saying, “enough!” 

Wendell Potter
Medicare for All NOW!

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Agelbert NOTE: Except for Charles Hugh Smith's bias aganst Medicare for All based on the exactly backwards notion that the "administrative costs" (a term CHS conveniently avoids using because, if he did, his argument against Medicare for All would be exposed as a backdoor defence of Corporate "Health Insurance") of Medicare, because of the massive Medicare billing fraud he we are now saddled with, would "get worse" under Medicare for All.

CHS knows damned good and well that "Adminstrative Costs" in Private Health Insurance Corporations are 5 to 10 TIMES GREATER than the "Administrative Costs" for Medicare. He ALSO KNOWS that the REASON FOR THAT is the CEO multi-million dollar pay of all these corporate crooks from Humana to Aetna to Blue Cross (and so on). There are NO "pay packages" like that in Medicare, PERIOD!

These thieving "health care"corporations defraud and milk people for all they are worth, making them a Capitalist's gravy train to the tune of over 17% of US annual "GDP" (see: stock market valuation based false equivalence with US economy GDP). If CHS really wanted to put the US stock market in a swan dive, he would be cheering Medicare for All instead of trashing it because of the 40% billing fraud. The fraud costs of Medicare are minuscule compared with the FRAUD, worthless or harmful meds and procedures, paper-pushing and OVERBILLING that Corporate Health Insurers engage in 24/7. Medicare for All would put Wall Street in a death spiral. CHS's inability to connect those dots is evidence of bias.

Other than that, the article is correct in stating that the populace is not going to take much more of this Oligarchs 'R" US country impoverising economy.

Stock Market Cheerleading: Why Do We Celebrate The Super-Rich Getting Richer?

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 11:30

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

It's not too difficult to predict a political rebellion against the machinery of soaring wealth and income inequality.

The one constant across the media-political spectrum is an unblinking focus on the stock market as a barometer of the national economy: every major media outlet from the New York Times to Fox News prominently displays stock market action, and TV news anchors' expressions reflect the media's emotional promotion of the market as the end all to be all: if stocks rose, the anchors are smiling and chirpy, and if the market fell then their expressions are downcast and dour.

This cheerleading of the stock market is based on an implicit assumption that the rising stock market raises all boats: a rising market is assumed to reflect an expansion of sales and profits that trickle down to the masses in higher wages, more jobs and rising 401K retirement accounts.

The reality is starkly different: the vast majority of the gains generated by a rising stock market flow to the top 10% households who own 93% of all financial assets, and the gains within the top 10% are highly concentrated in the top .01% of financiers, super-wealthy families and corporate managers who have reaped the vast majority of the past decade of stock market gains.

The 1% grabbed 82% of all wealth created in 2017 (and 2018 and 2019...)

America's Richest 1% Now Own As Much Wealth As The Middle And Lower Classes Combined

As my friend Adam T. recently observed: when we cheer the rising stock market, we're celebrating the super-rich getting even richer. Why are we celebrating an unprecedented widening of wealth inequality that erodes democracy (because the super-wealthy buy political influence) and the social contract (as the vast majority of wealth and power flow to the top .01%)?

Soaring wealth inequality is extremely destabilizing politically, socially and economically: much of the social unrest breaking out around the world can be traced to the political, social and financial disenfranchisement of the masses by super-wealthy elites.

Economically, soaring inequality concentrates and capital and power in the hands of the few, creating fertile ground for cartels and monopolies which raise costs without generating better services or more jobs. This dynamic is easily visible in the U.S.:

The U.S. Only Pretends to Have Free Markets: From plane tickets to cellphone bills, monopoly power costs American consumers billions of dollars a year.

Politically, the 90% who are losing ground seek political redress, generating tension in a political system dominated by the super-wealthy. Since the political machinery is controlled by the elite, the bottom 90%'s efforts to gain political redress will fail: Medicare for All (to take one example of many) is just an expansion of rapacious sickcare cartels that further concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.

(Recall that 40% of Medicare spending is billing fraud, worthless or harmful meds and procedures and paper-pushing. All Medicare for All will accomplish is sickcare CEOs skimming $80 million a year in stock options will skim $160 million.)

In cheering advances in the stock market that benefit the financial and political elite, we're cheering the destabilization of our economy and society. Is that really something worth cheering?

At some point, people will awaken to the fact that the soaring stock market is the primary engine of soaring inequality, the erosion of democracy and the destabilization of the social order.

It's not too difficult to predict a political rebellion against the machinery of soaring wealth and income inequality, which will eventually lead to a severe reduction in the power of the Federal Reserve and its greed-driven dependent, Wall Street.

It's not just wealth that's concentrated in the hands of the top .01%--virtually all the income gains of the past decade of "recovery" have flowed to the top .01%: and the super-wealthy's response? Let them eat brioche , a response so disconnected from reality that it would be humorous were it not a reflection of a completely corrupt and rotten status quo.


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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What could possibly go wrong?

Homeland Security will soon have biometric data on nearly 260 million people

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

DHS already operates the second-largest biometrics database in the world.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expects to have face, fingerprint, and iris scans of at least 259 million people in its biometrics database by 2022, according to a recent presentation from the agency’s Office of Procurement Operations reviewed by Quartz.

That’s about 40 million more than the agency’s 2017 projections, which estimated 220 million unique identities by 2022, according to previous figures cited by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a San Francisco-based privacy rights nonprofit.

A slide deck, shared with attendees at an Oct. 30 DHS industry day, includes a breakdown of what its systems currently contain, as well as an estimate of what the next few years will bring. The agency is transitioning from a legacy system called IDENT to a cloud-based system (hosted by Amazon Web Services) known as Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology, or HART. The biometrics collection maintained by DHS is the world’s second-largest, behind only India’s countrywide biometric ID network in size. The traveler data kept by DHS is shared with other US agencies, state and local law enforcement, as well as foreign governments.

The first two stages of the HART system are being developed by US defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which won the $95 million contract in February 2018. DHS wasn’t immediately available to comment on its plans for its database.

Biometrics “make it possible to confirm the identity of travelers at any point in their travel,” Kevin McAleenan, US president Donald Trump’s recently-departed acting DHS secretary, told congress last year. The criteria used by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, a division of DHS, to screen out specific travelers as suspicious is top secret, but was determined in conjunction with Palantir, the Silicon Valley data-mining firm co-founded by controversial billionaire and ardent Trump supporter Peter Thiel. The EFF said it believes CBP could be tracking travelers “from the moment they begin their internet travel research.” As the group has noted, DHS says “the only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling internationally is to refrain from traveling.”

Deep intel

Last month’s DHS presentation describes IDENT as an “operational biometric system for rapid identification and verification of subjects using fingerprints, iris, and face modalities.” The new HART database, it says, “builds upon the foundational functionality within IDENT,” to include voice data, DNA profiles, “scars, marks, and tattoos,” and the as-yet undefined “other biometric modalities as required.” EFF researchers caution some of the data will be “highly subjective,” such as information gleaned during “officer encounters” and analysis of people’s “relationship patterns.”

EFF worries that such tracking “will chill and deter people from exercising their First Amendment protected rights to speak, assemble, and associate,” since such specific data points could be used to identify “political affiliations, religious activities, and familial and friendly relationships.”

But DHS and CBP already track relationships between travelers, and a recently unsealed criminal case filed in federal court demonstrates how effective the method can be. After a suspected drug trafficker fled from a security checkpoint inside San Francisco International Airport earlier this year, investigators analyzed his network of relationships. They identified a woman who claimed to be his girlfriend when the two flew to the US from New Zealand last January.

Their research revealed that the woman “had exhibited suspicious travel patterns,” and happened to be in the States at that time. She was set to fly to Sydney, Australia after only a three-day stay, and on another recent trip had spent just two days in the US before returning home.

CBP officers intercepted the woman on the jetway as she was boarding her flight. A search turned up about 0.33 pounds of pure methamphetamine hidden inside her clothing, neck pillow, and ****.

Privacy concerns

EFF researchers said in a 2018 blog post that facial-recognition software, like what the DHS is using, is “frequently…inaccurate and unreliable.” DHS’s own tests found the systems “falsely rejected as many as 1 in 25 travelers,” according to EFF, which calls out potential foreign partners in countries such as the UK, where false-positives can reportedly reach as high as 98%. Women and people of color are misidentified at rates significantly higher than whites and men, and darker skin tones increase one’s chances of being improperly flagged.

“DHS is also partnering with airlines and other third parties to collect face images from travelers entering and leaving the US,” the EFF said. “When combined with data from other government agencies, these troubling collection practices will allow DHS to build a database large enough to identify and track all people in public places, without their knowledge—not just in places the agency oversees, like airports, but anywhere there are cameras.”

Hackers, who can seemingly now touch nearly every aspect of modern life, are also of concern. In June, CBP announced that a federal subcontractor had suffered a “malicious cyberattack,” resulting in the theft of tens of thousands of photos used in CBP’s facial-recognition database. The images were captured at a single, unnamed, US border crossing over a period of six weeks, and did not include passport details or other sensitive personal information, according to CBP. Less than a year earlier, the DHS inspector general’s office found that CBP had “not ensured effective safeguards for information, such as images and video, collected on and transmitted from” its border drone fleet.

Frank Slijper, project leader of the Arms Trade group at Pax, a Netherlands-based peace nonprofit, says we are all partially to blame for the existence of a creeping surveillance state.

“We have allowed it with social media platforms as well—we blindly embrace them until we realize how they start controlling our lives, and then get angry at Facebook,” Slijper told Quartz.

“Hopefully the general public becomes more aware of the risks that come with the more immediate advantages of all these new digital technologies [like] free social media, quickly paying [bills], smoothly going through airport control.”


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