Saturday, February 23, 2008

Why We Need Single Payer, Universal Health Care

Health Net ordered to pay $9 million after canceling cancer patient's policy

One of California's largest for-profit insurers stopped a controversial practice of canceling sick policyholders Friday after a judge ordered Health Net Inc. to pay more than $9 million to a breast cancer patient it dropped in the middle of chemotherapy.The ruling by a private arbitration judge was the first of its kind and the most powerful rebuke to the state's major insurers whose cancellation practices are under fire from the courts, state regulators and elected officials.

Calling Woodland Hills-based Health Net's actions "egregious," Judge Sam Cianchetti, a retired Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, ruled that the company broke state laws and acted in bad faith."Health Net was primarily concerned with and considered its own financial interests and gave little, if any, consideration and concern for the interests of the insured," Cianchetti wrote in a 21-page ruling.Patsy Bates, a 52-year-old grandmother, was at work at the Gardena hair salon she owns when her lawyer William Shernoff called with the news. Bates said she screamed and thanked the lawyer.

At the arbitration hearing, internal company documents were disclosed showing that Health Net had paid employee bonuses for meeting a cancellation quota and for the amount of money saved."It's difficult to imagine a policy more reprehensible than tying bonuses to encourage the rescission of health insurance that keeps the public well and alive," the judge wrote.

Situations where employees are rewarded for finding ways to cancel people's coverage ought never to be happening in this country. When are we going to acknowledge that access to health care is a right that everybody should enjoy...not just those who are employed at a company that offers health benefits????

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Age of Enlightment Still Far Away in Saudi Arabia, Our Middle East Ally

Human Rights Watch has appealed to Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a woman convicted of witchcraft.

In a letter to King Abdullah, the rights group described the trial and conviction of Fawza Falih as a miscarriage of justice.
The illiterate woman was detained by religious police in 2005 and allegedly beaten and forced to fingerprint a confession that she could not read.
Among her accusers was a man who alleged she made him impotent.
Human Rights Watch said that Ms Falih had exhausted all her chances of appealing against her death sentence and she could only now be saved if King Abdullah intervened.
The US-based group is asking the Saudi ruler to void Ms Falih's conviction and to bring charges against the religious police who detained her and are alleged to have mistreated her.
Its letter to King Abdullah says the woman was tried for the undefined crime of witchcraft and that her conviction was on the basis of the written statements of witnesses who said that she had bewitched them.
Human Rights Watch says the trial failed to meet the safeguards in the Saudi justice system.
The confession which the defendant was forced to fingerprint was not even read out to her, the group says.
Also Ms Falih and her representatives were not allowed to attend most of the hearings.

And this is our ally in the middle east??? Scary!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bush Rocketing to the Bottom in Popularity

Among all Americans, 19% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 77% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 14% approve and 79% disapprove.

Or put another way, people are fucking pissed off that the war continues to drag on, the value of their house dropped 20%, gas hovers at $3/gallon, their credit card rates just spiked for no good reason!

I can only wonder what the majority were thinking in 2004 when they re-elected this clown???????? Based on the prior four years, did they really expect anything different than what we have today????

Bush....Officially Too Stupid For Words

Lessons Learned

Fox News's Special Report yesterday:

GOLER: The president says it's better that African nations deal with African problems. White soldiers in Darfur, he believes, would be targets for all sides.

BUSH: A clear lesson I learned in the museum was that outside forces tend to divide people up inside their country and are unbelievably counterproductive.

The museum was the Rwandan genocide museum.

I guess Bush has now totally forgotten about the War he insisted on having in Iraq.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Now If They Could Just Get The Trains To Stop Wrecking So Much!

Amtrak will start randomly screening passengers' carry-on bags this week in a new security push that includes officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains.
The initiative, to be announced by the railroad on Tuesday, is a significant shift for Amtrak. Unlike the airlines, it has had relatively little visible increase in security since the 2001 terrorist attacks, a distinction that has enabled it to attract passengers eager to avoid airport hassles.

I can't tell you how much better I will feel the next time I am on a train that is running four hours late.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

And While I'm On The Subject of Homeland Security...

Baby detained, dies in Honolulu airport
Child had been flown in for emergency heart surgery, official says.

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa - American Samoa's delegate to the U.S. Congress is calling for an investigation into the death of a baby at Honolulu International Airport.
Delegate Eni Faleomavaega has asked the Department of Homeland Security to begin an investigation into death of 14-day-old Michael Tony Futi last Friday.
The baby had been flown to Honolulu for emergency heart surgery. He died while detained inside a customs' room at the Honolulu airport with his mother and a nurse.

Thankfully, the baby was prevented from committing any terrorist acts against the U.S.!!!!!!

Confused About FISA??? Help Has Arrived!

Click on the title above to be whisked off to an explanatory video that everyone should be able to understand about why it is necessary for the government to illegally spy on us.