UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Health Care not Insurance company Care.


I found this at Dirigo Blue where Gerald takes on the health care industry, and many more of the hypocrites that infest our airwaves with greed and hate. Yes, that does apply to Glen Goebbels Beck, and Rush to idiocy Limbaugh.

I only give you a preview, go to DirigoBlue for the “rest of the story”. To go directly to DirigoBlue click the title link below.

Reform without a public option is simply giving more money to insurance companies

by: Gerald Weinand

Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 07:05:39 AM EDT

It is pretty simple to understand, which is why it is so frustrating.

If America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200) is to be enacted in anything like its current form, but without a public option, it will only increase the cost of premiums while not providing more health care.

Or, in other words, a windfall for insurers.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
And in Sec. 301. Individual responsibility, every American is required to purchase and maintain “acceptable coverage,”
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

So why are Republicans and those Democrats that are beholden to corporations that donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to them willing to impose this system?

Money.

We can use Medicare Part D as an example ………………………………………………………………………

Part D led to increases in overall pharmacy spending among all beneficiaries,”

“These increases were offset by decreases in spending on other medical care services in those with little or no drug coverage before they enrolled in Medicare Part D,…………………………………………….

Medicare Part D specifically banned the Fed from bargaining with pharmaceutical companies to obtain lower prices. ……………………………………………………………………

Since private insurers would now be required to cover more claims, they will demand ever increasing premiums, and Americans will have no choice but to pay – insurance coverage is mandated.

Think Enron, but on a nationwide scale.

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September 9th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Shut Down Day at the Hampden Rest Area

September 4 members of MSEA handed out leaflets and spoke to the public at the Hampden Rest Area.

We told the Public that we wanted to be working for them, making Maine a better place to live and to visit.

Many members of the public stopped your brothers and sisters to ask why the jobs had been outsourced when there were people who already had the jobs and could do the work.

We had nothing to tell them except that politicians wanted to claim lay offs, never mind the cost. Your brothers and sisters were there and we told people that while we were laid off for the day the State was still paying contractors to do the jobs. No money saved, only political cover.

We do good work, we are less expensive than contractors, we are getting the message out. This is what your Union is all about. Join us when you can.

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September 6th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Will Our Representatives Help a Mainer Who is Not Rich or a Lobbyist? Will They Even Answer Questions?

BalanceImage via Wikipedia

Unionmaine is taking on both the Democrats and the Republicans that represent Maine on the health care debate. There are a lot of rumors going around, the “Obama will kill your grandmother” and “it’s unfair to health insurance companies” buzz so I have decided to get some facts.

Continue reading at the bottom, I will update this post as answers or lack of answers show up. The first answer is from Congressman Michaud.

The first thing I would like to give our representatives a chance to tell the whole truth about is their so called “Golden Health Care”. Do they pay all of it? Do they pay some of it? Does Congress get a lot more than the regular citizen?

I don’t know so I called their offices to ask.

We will get a chance to see how well our representatives respond to a member of the public. On Wednesday, August 19, I called Senator Snowe, Senator Collins, and representatives Michaud, and Pingree. I made two statements and asked a question. I said I was strongly in favor of a public option for any health care plan and second, that I was also a blogger. I further said that the reason for my call was to judge the responsiveness of our representatives to a request for information!

The responsiveness to a citizen is my real motive, I used the health care question because it is in the news, I am interested, and our representatives have had months to prepare for any kind of question from the public.

Will they give an answer? Remember, everything I asked for is public information, I only asked for help as a citizen for information that could help to decide which way I should continue to feel about a public option.

I asked each office for a copy of the explanation of benefits for the health care plan the Senator or representative had had elected to participate in and a financial statement for how much the tax payer paid and how much the representative paid.

Senator Snowe’s office was simply rude. I was told that it is public information, go look it up. I asked for a link to the information and again I was refused. I asked for an email, and got a big NO. Senator Snowe’s office would not even agree to send me an email with a refusal. I was told they don’t do email.

So much for Senator Snowe.

Senator Collins Office took my request and said they would “look into it”. While it sounded like a brush off we will see.

Representative Michaud’s office, while polite gave much the same answer.

Representative Pingree’s office asked questions about what I was doing, what I wanted and the woman who took the call was both polite and professional without giving any promises, except that whatever decision was reached, they would let me know.

I was not seeking detailed financial records from our representatives. I would think they would have been prepared for questions like these already. This investigation into ”responsiveness and effectiveness” in our federal representatives will let us know how they feel not so much on health care, but about us. If they send the information, good and if they will or they won’t Mainer find public information that will show what level of respect they have or do not have for the voters.

I asked for the following:

  • A listing of the total cost for each representative and Senator for the health care plan they have enrolled in.
  • A listing of the tax payer contribution to the plans.
  • Their personal costs for their health care plans.
  • A copy of their explanation of benefits from their plan to include deductibles, limitations, drug benefits etc.

  • How long do they have to work for the Federal Government before they are vested in their health care plans and do they continue to receive those plans upon retirement?
  • Do they pay for their plans in retirement?

Either the information or the refusal to help will become public–just as the debate in the House and Senate picks up. Senators and representatives might think a little differently about how and who they represent. If the public sees Congress receiving a golden plan far better than the one they are willing to pass for us, or if we see a plan just like any Wal-Mart employee could buy it will help us to understand how our representatives view us and our needs for care.

If it is a great plan we will have to ask Congress to stop obstructing reform may change their commitment from obstruction to progress pretty quickly

August 21 Congressman Michaud

This is my reply, read on for the Congress critter’s answer.


Congressman Michaud,

Thank you. My request was for a copy of your explanation of benefits booklet for your federal insurance and a financial breakdown of how much you pay, how much the tax payer pays and whether your insurance will continue when you retire.

Please see my article at http://www.unionmaine.blogspot.com/2009/08/will-our-representatives-help-mainer.html where I have published my request to the whole Maine delegation. This form letter addresses very little of my request.

Please let me know if you intend to provide the information. Senator Snowe has already refused although her office agreed it was public information.

Thank you,

Thomas Maher



From: me02@housemail.house.gov [mailto:me02@housemail.house.gov]
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2009 5:28 PM
To: NarsBars@TDS.net
Subject: A Message from Congressman Michaud


August 21, 2009

Mr. Thomas Maher


Dear Thomas:

Thank you for contacting me regarding healthcare reform in the United States. One of the most important parts of my job is to hear the many perspectives from the people I represent. That’s why I come back to Maine almost every single weekend – so I can stay in touch with what’s on the minds of the people of Maine’s Second Congressional District.

It is clear that our health care system is broken. Premiums have doubled in nine years and have grown three times faster than wages, which is squeezing everyone’s ability to make ends meet. Average American families already pay an extra $1,100 per year in premiums to support a broken system with 46 million Americans uninsured. Soaring costs harm the competitiveness of American businesses in the global economy and eat up a larger chunk of our gross domestic product every year. We have the most expensive health care system in the world with our country spending almost 50% more per person on health care than the next most costly nation. But we’re no healthier for it. As such, if we do nothing, in a decade, we’ll be spending $1 of every $5 on health care. In 30 years, it will be $1 of every $3.

Health care reform is too big of an issue to rush, and it’s important that Mainers know what it consists of before Congress votes on it. That’s why I recently sent a letter with my colleagues that asked congressional leaders to promote an open and bipartisan process that allows Members of Congress and the American people sufficient time to review the bill and add their input. Our letter also requested that Congress live up to the President’s goals of passing comprehensive reform that is deficit-neutral and that lowers costs for our families and businesses, increases the quality of care provided, and expands access for every American. In addition, we urged congressional leaders to make sure that small businesses and rural areas are treated fairly in any reform efforts. My signing of this letter was in no way an attempt to disrupt the process or water down a public insurance option, but rather a request for thoughtful consideration of the most important public policy issue of our time – with probably only one chance for us to get it right.

H.R.3200, America’s Affordable Health Choice Act, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 14, 2009. By preserving choice of doctors, hospitals, and health plans, this legislation would uphold President Obama’s promise that anyone who is satisfied with their current health insurance plan should be allowed to keep it. Additionally, H.R.3200 would make investments to promote prevention and public health programs, reduce waste and fraud, and expand the health care workforce. Medicaid coverage would be expanded to all individuals with an income up to 133% of the federal poverty level. Finally, H.R.3200 would create a self-sustaining public health insurance option, providing an affordable option to the millions of Americans without coverage.

I support a public insurance option, but I also believe that it is important that it be affordable and properly structured to address the needs of rural states like Maine. One such very serious concern with the current draft of the bill is that using Medicare-like rates for a public option would have a grave effect on Maine. Currently, the formula used to reimburse physicians and hospitals through Medicare puts rural states at a disadvantage by undercutting payments to our health care providers and contributing to higher health care premiums in Maine. Making matters worse, there is a severe shortage of health care providers in our state, and this number will continue to decrease unless we can develop a reimbursement system that will not drive our providers out of business and, ultimately, out of Maine altogether.

I strongly believe that we need to pass a fiscally responsible reform plan that fixes what is wrong with our healthcare system while preserving what works. Individuals that are satisfied with a private health insurance plan should be allowed to keep it. Furthermore, I do not support proposals to tax current health care benefits to finance reform or any measure that will place an excessive burden on small business owners. President Obama and the U.S. Congress must work together in a bipartisan fashion to deliver a plan that considers the many positive aspects of the American health care system and includes the best elements of the plans put forward so far.

Over the next few weeks, three House committees will work to merge their versions of health care reform into one package. The Senate is also working on a bipartisan way forward. Recent agreements reached in the House are likely to improve the legislation, making reform work better for Mainers and our small businesses. Current information, as well as the full text of the legislation, is available by going to http://www.michaud.house.gov and clicking on “Health Care Reform.” I remain hopeful that this process will produce strong legislation that will lower costs, expand coverage and improve quality for all Americans.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me. In addition, I also provide occasional email updates on a range of issues affecting people in Maine. If you would like to receive this information, please visit my website at http://www.michaud.house.gov/enewsletter and sign up for my email newsletter. I appreciate the opportunity to represent you.

With warmest regards,

Michael H. Michaud

Member of Congress

Stay tuned, I really want to see what healthcare Congress carries and why you and I should not have access to the same plan.


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August 21st, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Health Care Reform. They don’t care who dies.

great hedImage by Esthr via Flickr


Health Care Reform, Lies and Lies. They don’t care who dies.

The Republicans said Obama will come to your house at night and kill your grandmother.

Half trained idiots led by the real death panel supporters are trying to shout down the voice of reason in town meetings while claiming their rights are being violated.

I heard a woman call a talk show, saying that her husband had health care from the military, she was old enough for Medicare and she damn well didn’t want anyone to start any kind of government run health care.
What she had worked, and she did not want the government involved.

Every time they tell another lie and get caught they just want to tell more. I don’t understand the stupidity of people with no health care or lousy health care defending the right of insurance companies to have death panels while demanding that no one cut into the billions of dollars in profits the companies make.

Some of the Real facts:
The U.S.A. does not have the worlds best heath care…….unless you are rich.
The U.S.A. does not have the worlds best child mortality rate………unless you are rich.
The U.S.A. has some of the worst preventive medicine in the major industrialized countries.

The U.S.A. spends twice as much on health care as the rest of the major industrialized nations and receives less, and worse care.

If you don’t believe any of this, research it, cross check it. It is hard to lose your pride but that is what the likes of Limbaugh are selling.

You can be a proud American, get sick and die, but you will die proud………and ignorant.

An emergency room will fix your broken arm, but if you need therapy to keep from being paralyzed, that is not covered.

Do your kids need braces to keep from looking like Horace the horse? I did, and without a good health care plan I hope your kid likes sugar cubes

The Repulicans said that AARP did not support health care reform. Watch the ad and decide for your self.

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August 18th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Nine Miles of Lazy, Dangerous Road Work

The first thing the public thinks when they see road work is the D.O.T. and lazy State workers.

There are several miles of construction going on from Palmyra to the Pittsfield line and someone may get killed.

A report came in that Flaggers were in one case standing on the wrong side of the road, at the other end of the construction a flagger was standing in the shade and nearly invisible to cars with the sun in their faces.

The village of Palmyra must love the work being done by another flagger, a flagger who was supposed to wait for his replacement before going to lunch. During lunch hour recently there was no flagger, no cotrol and over thirty cars lined up in the middle of Palmyra village.

Was this the D.O.T. NO! This was more contracting out! Risking the lives of the public, wasting our money, while everyone blames the State employees who are not there!

Where will the Senators and representatives that love contracting out so much be when someone is killed?

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August 17th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | one comment

Friday Music Festival

This is a day off. If you like cats or not, this is all about the kindness and generosity of feline kind.

Some humor, some great music and one of the best guitar pieces ever played, Cliffs of Dover.
If you have never heard this piece it is over ten minutes long and take until about the five minute mark before it will peel your ears off.

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August 13th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Chellie Pingree Defends Lobster Marriage

Who better than Colbert to expose the Democratic plan to let marriage equality lead to Mainers marrying lobsters?

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a District – Maine’s 1st – Chellie Pingree
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Meryl Streep

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August 12th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Julie Andrews

The Sound of MusicImage by elycefeliz via Flickr

It wouldn’t be funny if it weren’t so true… Julie Andrews starred in “The Sound of Music” when I was young and foolish. Not everything has changed, I am no longer young.
Here are the updated lyrics for “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound Of Music.”

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,Bundles of magazines tied up in string,These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillac’s and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses,Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,These are a few of my favorite things..

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,When the knees go bad,I simply remember my favorite things,And then I don’t feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin‘,Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin‘,And we won’t mention our short, shrunken frames,When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break,When the eyes grow dim,Then I remember the great life I’ve had,And then I don’t feel so bad.

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July 31st, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Nevada State Employees win Rights equal to Maine


June 1, 2009

In Maine we used to think State workers had collective bargaining rights.

A win in Nevada only goes to show how much we have lost.
Nevada State Employees were given eome collective bargaining rights. After a 13-8 Senate vote over objections most Republicans, who said the bill doesn’t fit with Nevada being a right-to-work(For Less) state.

The bill was opposed by Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno. All Senate Republicans, fought the bill except the Republican Senator, Mark Amodei of Carson City, whose district includes a lot of state employees.

The bill, AB395 limits collective bargaining rights to non-economic matters such as work conditions, just like Maine. Unions see the passage as a major step toward getting state employees broader bargaining rights.

Senator Amodei, (with the voting State Workers in his district) said AB395 was a fairness issue.

“If you’re represented (in negotiations), fairness is with a capital F,” he said. “If you’re not, you get double digit cuts.”

Now for the Rest of The Story

NEVADA PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM REFORM

Changes approved by lawmakers for workers hired after Jan. 1, 2010

All employees can retire at any age after working 30 years on the job and receive full retirement benefits.

Police and firefighters who work 20 years can’t retire and receive 50 percent of full benefits before age 50.

Regular employees can’t retire after working 10 years and receive 25 percent of full benefits before age 62.

Their retirement pay is cut 6 percent for each year they retire early.

The health care benefit deductible paid by an individual is $725.

The health care benefit deductible paid by a family is $1,450.

To acquire a retirement subsidy, employees hired after Jan. 1 will have to work as long as 15 years for the state.

Premiums paid by the state for health care programs for employees would be reduced by 5 percent.

SOURCE: 2009 Nevada State Senate

Just like in Maine, Republicans refused to work on the budget unless State Employees were made to feel an over sized helping of hurt.

The Repubs have been doing this to anyone who makes under a million and the Dems have been caving in to their demands.
When is the party we elected going to grow a pair or get an estrogen fix?

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June 1st, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

An apology to subscribers or Blog Bug Bites Blogger

This Blog has been neglected. I have been putting all of my efforts into Http://WWW.UnionMaine.BlogSpot.Com

Several Blog Bugs crept in and mail was not sent, posts not posted, and more.

Starting later this week I will be moving all of the new posting over to this location. Over 95% of all subscribers to this blog have not been getting update messages and several posts have not gone up at the time I intended. It looks like I am going to have to get to work. I will be adding a number of new features to this blog in the next few weeks.


As soon as this location is up and running I will let you know and if you are subscribed at the other location y0u will be able to unsubscribe and follow new posts here.

I will be adding a twitter link and several other features. Please bear with me and if you have any suggestions please post them here.

May 31st, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments