2.14-15 Open Threads
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! 🙂 Got some good news on the Medicare front via an email from PNHP.
February 11, 2023
Dear Medicare supporter,
For the past 18 months, an incredible coalition of Medicare champions has worked tirelessly to push back against the privatization of our most important and beloved public health program. We’ve raised the alarm about the REACH program, which places third-party middlemen between Traditional Medicare beneficiaries and the care they need.
Despite our efforts, the program has continued to grow, from 53 Direct Contracting Entities in 2021, to 99 such entities in 2022, to 132 REACH entities as of January 1. But in a major victory for our campaign, I’m happy to report that the growth of Medicare REACH ends today.
Don’t take my word for it. Listen to what Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, told the California Public Employees’ Retirement System recently:
“We have no plans to open up another application period [for REACH],” she told the CalPERS Board. “There will not be any more than 132 organizations in the model and most likely no more than 2.1 million beneficiaries.”
This is in sharp contrast to Fowler’s publicly stated goal of moving all 36 million Traditional Medicare beneficiaries into a program like REACH by the end of this decade.
Why the change of heart? Because over 300 grassroots organizations from across the country—representing seniors, people with disabilities, workers, medical professionals, and community advocates—joined us in demanding an end to REACH. Because members of Congress like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Pramila Jayapal pressed the Biden administration about this Trump-era program and the threat it poses to their constituents. And because nearly 20,000 advocates like you signed our petition to protect Medicare.
It is important to recognize this victory, but it is equally important to continue demanding fundamental changes to the way federal policymakers conduct business.
We must renew our commitment to …
End the REACH program, for the sake of the 2.1 million Medicare beneficiaries who have been assigned a middleman without their full knowledge or consent;
Call out “bad actors” that have been allowed to administer Medicare benefits through REACH despite long and troubling histories of bad behavior;
Guard against REACH 2.0, recognizing that the policymakers who developed this program—and the corporate entities that lined up to participate—aren’t going away;
Replace Medicare Advantage and its limited provider networks, prior authorization requirements, and high out-of-pocket costs with an improved version of Traditional Medicare that builds on the successful, public elements of the program; and
Win single-payer Medicare for All, the only health care reform that is compatible with economic, racial, and health justice.
Help sustain the fight against Medicare REACH! Make a tax-deductible donation to PNHP, or find other ways to take action today.
Wall Street investors have been trying to get their hands on Medicare for decades, but they’ve overplayed their hand with REACH. We must continue to press the issue—and continue to build the kind of people power we will need to take on an industry that is laser-focused on generating profits … and indifferent to the suffering of patients.
Together, we can reverse the course of privatization in Medicare and build a brighter future that includes publicly funded, publicly administered, and publicly accountable health care for all.
Phil Verhoef, M.D., Ph.D.
I copied and pasted the email in its entirety. We can always use this kind of positive action. I’ve been an email member for awhile. This is excellent considering how insidious ACO REACH is. Hope this finds you all well and staying warm and dry. 🙂
Cuidate! (Take care)
Gov JB Pritzker is giving the IL State of the State addy (I noticed Whitmer is doing a similar thing in MI) and he’s laying out how the state is finally balancing the budget. He’s explaining why it’s important to pay the bills on time; it means taxpayers not having to pay for interest payments. Instead, the state can work on investments such as improved behavioral health services, expanded pre-K, child care for unemployed parents etc. I did not hear anything about specific tax cuts for businesses, other than the film industry.
He’s got some explaining to do about Medicare Advantage for retirees. But I don’t expect any plans for it to be tackled this year since he is focusing on children and expanding pre-K education for them. I think it’s a good idea. I wish I’d had that opportunity for educational programs as a kid.
My favorite part of the speech:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 89, officially announces she won’t run again
I hope she stays in until 2025. It needs to be a fair primary.
Well if she resigns Newsom is appointing her successor
And they would be the incumbent. Newsom will go with Schiff I think if there has to be an appointment, and the incumbent (see Alex Padilla) is likely to win the primary (and defacto, the GE). That’s why I hope she can hang in there.
I’m not sure he will go with Schiff. Optics of appointing another male to Cal Senate (which for years had two women) isn’t good. He will appoint someone he thinks will help him down the road in his inevitable run for President.
I agree that whomever he would pick would be strategic towards Newsom’s POTUS run–if Feinstein retires this year.
That Senate race will be interesting to follow regardless of what Newsom and Feinstein do. At least, Feinstein is being realistic about her physical condition.
Baffled Dianne Feinstein walks out of Senate chamber wondering what just happened: ‘Did I vote for that?’
Nikki Haley announces presidential campaign, challenging Donald Trump
Yeah, Nikki Haley and $hrillery Clinton, couple of close RWing twins. Only difference is $hrill is too old, and that is starting to become an issue even in this dimwitted country. 💩🤮 DeSh1tface will have to campaign nationally and debate. Hopefully, that will bury the ahole.
It should, As outside the bible belt , a lot of Rs wont vote for him once they get exposed to him. As Walker did in Wi DeFasist can control which media has access to him in Fla and script the softball Q&A sessions. But once he gets exposed to the wolves in the media is wont go so smoothly
Sure sounds like the usual DNC incompetent/RW crap. Or else, Byedone is just plain senile. 💩
Would be nice if Byedone would sashay along away with Feinstein.
MARATHON COUNTY ABSENTEE BALLOTS
Some voters in northern Wisconsin village got absentee ballots that were already filled in; clerk blames ‘human error’
Mitchell Schmidt | Wisconsin State Journal Feb 12, 2023 1
One of the test ballots accidentally sent out to voters in Kronenwetter appeared to have pre-selected votes for state Supreme Court and village president.
Mitchell Schmidt | Wisconsin State Journal
An unknown number of voters in the village of Kronenwetter have received absentee ballots for the Feb. 21 primary that appeared to have already been partially filled in, while others received ballots that had not been initialed by the clerk, the clerk’s office said.
In both cases, according to a post on the Marathon County village’s website, the mistakes were the result of “human error” and not evidence of fraud.
Voters who received one of the faulty ballots were asked to contact the clerk’s office as soon as possible to deactivate the ballot and have a new one issued.
“We understand residents are concerned and we wanted to address the remedy immediately,” according to the unsigned post. “There is still plenty of time to request a new absentee ballot.”
According to the statement on Facebook, which was posted on Feb. 2 and 3, “a few” village residents received test ballots in which the computer-generated ovals for some races were already filled in.
Some ballots mailed out on Jan. 30 and 31 — it’s unclear if they were the same ones — were also missing initials by the clerk or deputy clerk, which the post called “an oversight.”
“Having a clerk/deputy clerk initial an absentee ballot is an additional measure and something voters should be looking for to reassure their ballot is authentic and official,” the post said.
Voters who received the bad ballots were urged to call the clerk’s office at 715-693-4200 or email Birk-LaBarge at firstname.lastname@example.org or deputy clerk Jennifer Poyer at email@example.com or visit the village hall during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. “We will deactivate your ballot and re-issue you a new ballot,” the post said.
“With so many accusations of voter fraud that have been happening in the past few years, the Village wants to assure the voters this is definitely not the case,” the post concludes. “It was a human error, an oversight and a mistake that will take extra work to remedy by the clerk and deputy clerk, but it will be remedied. Any future ballots mailed out WILL be triple checked to assure a set of clerk/deputy clerk initials are on the absentee ballots.”
I have a question; the GQP in Wi screams that Madison and Milwaukee are hot beds for voter fraud. How come when something suspicious is found it in a Red county or R voter for the most part?
Well, at least it was caught and the alarm is going out. Now, down here, who knows?
Benny’s Bar is open and serving chocolate martinis. A little bit of Moody Blues to go with it.
“Days of Future Passed”: a great, iconic, work of art! 🙂
Well if we are doing Moody we need some White Satin
Another ABFAB choice!! Hear, hear! 🙂 Plus, the killer LP cover art.
Love it! 🙂
Thanks for all the classics Benny
Happy Valentines from the pups
Same down here from two Boogery Beagles to you all!! 🙂
A little levity for Valentine’s…
You mean jokecare, right?
Happy V Day everyone. Here’s a few Love songs.
I’ve not seen this version of the song on YT. Message is pretty simple.
I’m leaning towards reading Bacharach’s autobiography. It’s got to be fascinating. What a musical oeuvre he left us! (And I’m not a big fan of Pop.)
Love, love, love Benny’s Bar Tunes!!!!!!! 🙂
See what a bad influence you are, jcb! Hee-hee! 🙂
These right wing judges need to be reined in.
It will take a little time to respond to this.
On top of being reckless, they are also extremists!
LOL Even DK thinks Nancy made a misstep in trying to push SPM as a Labor secretary. (“Rare mistake” though 😂🤣😂)
Nancy Pelousy needs to take a big hint from Feinstein and retire. The sooner, the better! Man, do we need young progressives badly. BTW, if anyone is interested, the link for joining Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, I’m getting old and I’m not voting for SloMoJoe. I also hope Bernie visits my neck of the woods. Hopefully, Maxwell Frost will find the time to flag him down about it! 🙂