Friday, June 12, 2009

Washington State Increases Basic Health Plan Premiums To Drive Poor Off The Rolls

Basic Health Plan premiums to rise sharply

By Kyung M. Song
Seattle Times health reporter

Premiums for Washington's Basic Health Plan will as much as double in January as part of a strategy to drive thousands of members off the popular but cash-strapped state-subsidized insurance program.

Ending weeks of deliberations, officials announced this morning that they will boost Basic Health's rates by an average of 70 percent as part of their effort to boot 30,000 to 40,000 working-class people off its rolls.

Officials rejected four other potential options on how to shrink the 100,000-member pool, including a lottery and ejecting members based on how long they'd been on the program.

In the end, officials punted on the dilemma, leaving it up to the members themselves to decide whether to stay or to leave.

"This is the best possible option out of difficult choices," said Preston Cody, deputy administrator of Washington State Health Care Authority, the agency that operates Basic Health.

Currently, Basic Health's premiums range from $17 to $281 a month, depending on the member's age, income and county of residence. Starting in January, the poorest members with incomes below the poverty level will pay twice as much, $34 or $45.

Rates for higher-income enrollees will go up by about 50 percent, to about $400 a month for those 55 and older. This will be the biggest premium increase in the program's 21-year history.

In all, the average monthly premium for all members will climb to $61.60 from $36. Yet even with the increases, the average person will still will be paying only 25 percent of the actual cost of coverage, with the state chipping in the rest.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Manipulation, propaganda, imagery & PR wizardry

America's Nightmare: The Obama Dystopia
By Andrew Hughes

Global Research, May 23, 2009

After 8 years of the Bush-Cheney nightmare during which we saw the wanton destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq, the cynical negation of centuries of Law designed to protect the most basic human rights and a foreign policy worthy of Genghis Khan, there came along the "Great Black Hope" in the persona of Barack Obama. The collective world consciousness turned uncritically to what was presented as a new era for peace, change and trust in Government.

Never before had one witnessed such an accomplished use of manipulation, propaganda, imagery and public relations wizardry to sell the public a man who was to take the baton from Bush and run with it in the race to destroy the economy, the rights of the people and help birth a nation totally controlled by those who have always lurked in the shadows of power. "Change" was promised and was delivered in the form of a deepening of the already Dystopic nightmare.

Promises were broken with no apology, the same creative legalese that infested the Bush administration, in the form of John Yoo and Alberto Gonzalez, was again used to deny justice to the inmates of Guantanamo, It was used to justify more torture, more destruction of the Constitution and more illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens.

The President that extended the hand of peace to the Muslim world has murdered hundreds of Pakistani men, women and children. The President who promised accountability in Government has filled his staff with lobbyists, banksters and warmongers. His Attorney General refuses to prosecute some of the worst war crimes committed in modern history and continues to give legal cover to criminals who tortured with impunity.

The country has been further bankrupted by the continuing theft of taxpayer money as the Wall St. campaign donors receive their quid pro quo. Obama has stood by idly as Bernancke states that the private Federal Reserve is not answerable to either Congress of the American public. The U.S. taxpayer is now on the hook for $14.3 Trillion and rising. Foreclosures and unemployment are rising with no meaningful efforts by the administration to alleviate the symptoms, never mind the cause. The new image of America is one of tent cities, lengthening soup kitchen lines, sherrifs evicting countless thousands of young and old from their homes, once prosperous towns descending in to an eerie stillness and an increasingly disillusioned populace.

The "War on terrorism" has mutated in to a control grid for an increasingly aware population. The foundation for this had already been put in place by Bush with the Patriot Act, Patriot Act 2, Military commissions act and numerous executive orders that strangled what was left of Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.

Homeland Security now defines "Terrorists" as those who believe in the Constitution, the first, second and fourth amendments. Returning veterans are being targeted for a denial of their second amendment rights. A "Terrorist Watchlist" of more than a million and rapidly growing, is being used as the basis for denying citizens the rights to travel and to work.

Obama is now mulling over the idea of indefinite detention without trial for U.S. citizens. This, from a teacher of the Constitution ! Bills are in congress to criminalize free speech on the Internet via the Cyberbullying Act which will make hurting somebody's feelings a felony. Just like the Patriot Act this will morph in to a criminalization of political free speech and any criticism of the Government.

"Cyberterrorism" is being used as a pretext to bring government regulation to the the last stronghold of unbiased information. Washington has realized that it's getting harder to get away with their Fascist agenda and are moving to control the field. The populace have become more aware of just what kind of "Change" Obama intended to deliver.

There has been a growing resistance on a state level with several invoking their 9th and 10th Amendment rights in a valiant attempt to stop the Federal Vampire from draining the last drops of blood, the last vestiges of Freedom and Hope.

This is the Dystopic Nightmare that America finds itself in today and each day brings new assaults on Freedom and Sanity. The framework for total control of the citizenry, the economy and the media is being built upon in a relentless aggrandization of Govermental power. Obama sits atop his new Empire still smiling that sickeningly disingenuous smile surrounded by his seasoned courtiers who have worked for decades to bring America in to this new era of the New World Order.