Galbraith: Need to Spend Big $$ On Us!

Hot off the presses, did you see this headline about a major progressive initiative announced today:

Progressive Leaders Begin Push for Major Public Investments

Didn't think so. Despite the army of Congressional progressives pushing for major infrastructure and other public investment, the mainstream media decided their Tuesday event -- called the 'REAL INVESTMENT IN AMERICA CONFERENCE' -- wasn't news. Did the word `progressive' in the PR headline trigger an automatic news blackout?

There was a little info on the conference at a blog, TAPPED, since it semi-sponsored the conference. Progressive economist James Galbraith, who delivered the keynote address at the conference, favors massive spending generally to pull us out of the deep hole we're in. TAPPED writes (emphasis added throughout this diary):

Galbraith's keynote speech was quite good, dealing with the causes of the economic crisis and what kind of work needs to be done to fix it. Some of the ideas are familiar -- a moratorium on home foreclosures for example -- and others more novel, like lowering the medicaid entrance age to 55, which would move health care costs of the books of corporations like GM and onto the public roll. He also suggested increasing social security benefits and state-federal revenue sharing, two approaches that have not been used since the era of that dreaded liberal, Richard Nixon.

"I have already spent somewhere in the range of $400 to $450 billion without breaking a sweat," he said at one point in the discussion, "I tell you it won't be enough. ... Suspend half the pay-roll tax. Let the government pay it for the next five years. ...This is not a time to be nervous about big numbers. Let's now look beyond this year and ask what we have to do going forward. [What is required is] public action on a sustained as well as substantial and speedy basis."

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Action Needed: New Bush Regs Shred Health Care System

While most of us are focused on universal care, the Bush Administration has been incrementally shredding our existing public health safety net in ways that have yet to become apparent.  The most recent assault on our public health care infrastructure is escaping the notice of mainstream media and citizen journalists alike, probably because it is not easily explained. I am referring to a proposed set of arcane regulation changes by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) which, if enacted, will result in $15 billion dollars in cuts over five years to service providers.

The damage that Bush has not been able to inflict through legislation is now being secretly implemented through an administrative back door. Even if Congress rejects the cuts Bush proposed to public health in his most recent budget, changes in regulations will insure that funding is not available for specific programs and activities.

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My Covert Media Op to Save Public Hospitals-Media Attention

In early December, I diaried a proposed Medicaid Rules change, which, if it goes into effect in May as scheduled, will result in draconian cuts to public and teaching hospitals.  This is a non-partisan issue: the US v. the Bush Administration. Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Sue Myrick (R-NC)  have introduced HR 3533, the Preserve Our Public and Teaching Hospitals Act into the house to block the odious rules change.  Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)have attemtped to introduce a moratorium on the rule in the senate.

Unfortunately, the good guys have not been able to muster the votes to extend an existing moratorium on the rules change, which would spare our frayed public health care infrastructure a possibly mortal blow for at least another year.

Find out what you can do about it after the jump.

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Who Says We Don't Have Socialized Medicine

     Who says we don't have socialized medicine in America. We have it, just not the way the rest of the world does it. You see in other countries the citizenry are covered by national healthcare, in America it is the corporations that are being covered by Medicaid and Medicare. I have never been able to understand how with the massive buying power of the federal government I can get better prices than they can. If anyone still believes that Washington is not teeming with thieves, stories like these should dispel any doubts. Everyone wants to cut government spending so long as it doesn't affect them, so what if the country is going broke. Everyone agrees that the costs of Medicaid and Medicare are skyrocketing and that the system is on the brink of disaster and rather than businesses joining with the rest of America in trying to reduce the costs and solve the problem, we get this instead.

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A Summary for Dummies of Missouri Health Care for the Poor

Crossposted from Show Me Progress
You say you can't keep track of all the health care plans for the poor popping up in Missouri lately?  You say that a news article about the pros and cons of them causes your eyes to cross?  You ought to be ashamed to find yourself in the lower ... what? 98 percent? ... of the citizenry.  That makes you--and me, until tonva brought me up to speed--dummies.

But now that she's educated me, I'm here to do the same for you.  Succinctly.  Before your eyes glaze over.

When it was just Medicaid, we dummies could grasp the situation.  Essentially, the state paid 40 percent of medical bills for uninsured people below a given income, and the feds paid 60 percent.  Then a couple of years ago, Republicans knocked more than 100,000 poor Missourians off the Medicaid rolls.  Ah, but they promised to come up with something better than Medicaid in a year or so.

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