Tag Archives: health care

The other side: Illegal immigration healthcare costs affect you

By Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

The national spotlight is on Arizona for doing what the Federal government and previous Governor Napolitano refused to do: rein in an invasion of illegal aliens bankrupting our state (Arizona). At an August 2009 healthcare Town Hall in Phoenix, legislators said that more than half of Arizona’s 4 billion dollar budget deficit was the result of paying for three areas of services to illegal immigrants: education, healthcare, and incarceration.

What does illegal immigration have to do with your costs and your access to medical care when you need it?

Estimates are that 20% – 40% of uncompensated (“free”) medical services are provided to people in the US illegally. The actual number may be much higher. Shockingly, hospitals and clinics don’t ask about citizenship…a medical version of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Continue reading The other side: Illegal immigration healthcare costs affect you

A failed bombing and: What are we doing in Afghanistan? Plus: My health-care crisis!

By Jack Hoffman

In just days since the abortive attempt by the 23-year-old Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to detonate an explosive device onboard Northwest Flight 253, information surfaced that indicated a quintessential, breakdown of our intelligence and security network. Evidence has shown it to be extraordinary and shocking but not surprising in both its character and scale – especially after the 9/11 debacle.

Should we be shocked?

So what has happened with the preliminary findings from the time of the bombing attempt and now? How Umar put this all together. The dildo detonator and explosive powder stitched in his underwear. A powder that should have been detected by the Amsterdam security police, what with the new body scanners supplied by the United States. And the frightening news Umar trained with another twenty jihadist ready to go. Continue reading A failed bombing and: What are we doing in Afghanistan? Plus: My health-care crisis!

Family Health Center shit-storm

By Rosalie Tirella

Last week I wrote the piece about FHC’s inability to process SNAP (Food Stamp) applications.

First, I got a call from the wonderful Dennis Irish who, in his typical even-handed, thoughtful way, told me yes, the SNAP program had been stopped at FHC. He also told me FHC reapplied for grant $ and got it – so now FHC will once again be able to take Food Stamp applications! This is great!

Dennis also said he would get an email out to me, with more info., which he did:

Here it is:

Hello Rosalie,

Dennis Irish has asked me to follow up with you regarding SNAP outreach happening around the city. In addition to being able to apply at DTA as well as at St. Vincents Hospital and at UMass Memorial Hospital, SNAP application assistance is available at a variety of locations in the city. With the help of Project Bread funding, Family Health now has SNAP application assistance and information available daily from 9:30-2:30. Also, through continued funding from the Health Foundation of Central MA, Hunger-Free & Healthy is able to fund a mobile SNAP Outreach worker that travels to a variety of sites including Jeremiah’s Inn, Friendly House, Continue reading Family Health Center shit-storm

Interest group politics, justice and democracy

By Richard Schmitt

With Congress in session again the pressure is on to complete the health care overhaul bill. As we come into the home stretch, the lobbyists will be out in full force once more. Here is what some of the largest lobbyists spent before Christmas 2009: the big drug manufacturers – $6.2 million dollars; the American Medical Association – $4 million; different insurance companies spent $1 or $2 million each. The total is unclear, but it apparently set a record for health care lobbying. Some estimates speak of lobbyists spending $1.4 million per day. Just think of how much health care that sort of money could buy.

The outcome is predictable: there are some winners and some losers. On the whole, the people who spend money lobbying are the winners and the rest of us who don’t have money to lobby are bound to be the losers. Private insurance companies will continue to make money off all of us; the big pharmaceutical companies will continue to get bigger and fatter; the poor, the working people, and the middle class will continue to pay too much for often not adequate care. Continue reading Interest group politics, justice and democracy

Dear Jack Hoffman …

Hi, Jack.

Hopefully, my e-mail will reach you. Absolutely, accidentally I read your ‘Our healthcare boondoggle’ article in the ‘InCity Times’ paper.

I am really impressed. Maybe the reason for that is that not so often I see an objective, honest and ‘cool’ analysis of the social, etc. situation in the US. We came to the US in 1999. Not from Belorussia (Belarus) but from Lithuania : I would never believe that the health insurance, working conditions, social structure, etc are in such bad condition. This country is on the bottom of the civilized countries in the world. And it is going down. Even during these 9 years – I see that. And people even don’t know how tough is life here. Continue reading Dear Jack Hoffman …

Is bigger better?

By Richard Schmitt

When critics call President Barack Obama’s health reform plans “socialist” they often worry about the overwhelming power of government. The federal government is very powerful; the worry is justified. But if the same people then go on to say that health care should be in the hands of private business, they forget that private business also is often very large and even more powerful than the Feds.

Do you remember that we had to shell out almost a trillion dollars in tax money only last year to save the largest insurance company in the world, as well as Bank of America and other banks because they are “too big to fail”? Continue reading Is bigger better?

Farewell to the late, great Ted Kennedy!

By Jack Hoffman

The late US Senator Edward Moore Kennedy was a true, stalwart liberal. He defined the meaning of liberal in its truest sense: a philosophy of the people and for the people. Whether it was protecting unions, jobs, education or health care, he stood for those whose voices were silent among the corporate and congressional power brokers who cared more about the bottom line and the slush funds they garnished.

He was there against an unconstitutional war in Vietnam, a trumped up war in a country no one hardly knew, Granada and an invasion in Iraq to save the despots of Kuwait and sanctioned by our own government. Most importantly, the greatest blunder in this nation’s recent history – Iraq. Continue reading Farewell to the late, great Ted Kennedy!

Health insurance reform: beyond the town hall meetings

By Congressman Jim McGovern

Recently, in the back and forth over the health care issue, we seem to have taken our eyes off the ball.

Most of the news coverage has focused on the “debate over the debate” – who shouted down whom at a town hall meeting. I believe we must refocus on the underlying issue at hand – namely, how is our health care system broken and how should we fix it?

First, the problem. Right now, the United States spends more per person on health care than any other country in the world. And what do we get for all that money? In terms of the life expectancy of our people, we rank 30th, just behind Bosnia. Continue reading Health insurance reform: beyond the town hall meetings

Don’t be fooled by “statistics”

By John J. Foley, Jr.

In a recent issue of InCity Times, Congressman Jim McGovern and Jack Hoffman presented their cases for a radical overhaul of our health-care system. I do not deny that we need some reforms to the system. My main objection to both of their articles is the intellectual dishonesty running through their arguments.

I have long ago ceased to expect anything akin to objectivity or fairness from Mr Hoffman, but we have a right to hold a public official to higher standards. Continue reading Don’t be fooled by “statistics”

Can President Obama deliver the goods?

By Jack Hoffman

At first glance I got the feeling I was at some local Odd Fellows group. The difference being the audience was not made up of worshipers singing Onward Christian Soldiers. These people were the soldiers of peace and social change. These folks were the veterans, the vanguard of change that drove in freedom buses through the South in the 1960s, registering black voters, marching in the main streets of America protesting an illegal war. And in a last bit of breath they marched again against an invasion of Iraq. We were gathered to hear the words of famous anti-Iraq War protester Cindy Sheehan, an inspirational leader of the movement that refuses to give up the good fight. The big difference was that at this lecture, there were only three people out of 150 under the age of 25. Continue reading Can President Obama deliver the goods?