However wrong this may seem, in my mind it’s a better option than care simply being uncompensated and falling on the provider or the facility to take the hit. At least in this model, there is some revenue stream going for care, even if it is basically a servitude for service model.
This is a strike I can easily support since I rarely eat fast food anyway!
This article explains how 31 people are being laid off from a hospital in Keene, New Hampshire, due to a number of factors including less reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid and problems stemming from high deductible health plans:
Hospital officials said in December recent trends toward high-deductible health insurance plans have apparently led to increases in outstanding bad debt, which includes unpaid patient bills, and also to reductions in the public’s use of some medical services. The number of patients, which at the hospital averages more than 30 filled beds at any one time, is down, and demand for outpatient services is also off.
Truly, Diane Ravitch is an amazing woman — no matter what side of the education reform movement you are on, you must admit this. She is 74 years old and blogs about 10 times a day, runs all over the country defending public education and helping to build morale for an industry being brutally attacked, and still finds time work on a book. Since she started her blog last April, I have learned so much from her.
Comments on Diane Ravitch’s blog result in a letter from the Anti-Defamation League…the teacher who made the comments speaks again.
Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
I mentioned in a post this morning that I had received a letter form the Anti-Defamation League warning that comments on my blog displayed “insensitivity” and that I should take this opportunity to warn readers about the dangers of “hurtful analogies,” especially in referring to Hitler and the Holocaust.
A reader wonders if he was the one who wrote the comment that was reported as offensive to the Anti-Defamation League:
I think that the comment referred to was mine. I am a teacher in one of the 24 “closed” NYC schools. I went back to look for what I actually wrote but could not find it but I definitely remember reading the comments after that post and being surprised at the reaction.First, let me say that I am also Jewish. Whichever members of my family remained in Poland at the start of the war, were totally wiped out in the camps. I am also a history buff, I read and make analogies. (Obviously, I am a product of a great public education, Thomas Jefferson HS, Brooklyn, NY.) If I offended anyone by my comparisons I am sorry, but I do not withdraw my statements. Let me instead, back them up.
I typically refer to the Holocaust and our situation in 2 ways and I don’t remember which I used in that previous post. First, I believe that our mayor, his flunkies, and all those trying to tear down public education are using what my World History text back in 1962, called the “Big Lie” technique. Tell a lie often enough and boldly enough and even those who know it is a lie will back down. Hitler and Stalin were both masters of the “Big Lie” and used it to secure and maintain their power. The “Big Lie” technique includes scapegoating. Again, as a Jew I am particularly sensitive about scapegoating but now, as a teacher being scapegoated, I think I have have an even better understanding of what my Jewish/Polish/Austrian family and their friends felt as they heard Hitler rant about how the Jews were responsible for every bad thing in post WW I Germany. Yes, I know that there are (currently) no camps to be transported to, but the lie still hurts every time I hear it.
This leads into the second way I draw analogies to the Holocaust. As I said above, my family split just about the time of WW I. One branch came to America, the other branch stayed in Poland and Austria and were decimated. My grandma spoke German as well as Yiddish and English. Even after the holocaust, she proudly referred to our family as Austrian. From her, from other friends and family and from my reading I have learned that most German and Austrian Jews thought of themselves as Germans. Even as the Nuremberg laws went into effect, even as Kristal Nacht destroyed their businesses and homes, they told themselves that they were good Germans, important to the Reich and the minority of hotheads will eventually see this and respect them for the contributions that they made to their country. Many Jews continued this denial until they were packed off to the camps.
A few days before the end of this school year, as we were sitting in the heat grading the Regents exams, my colleagues and I were being told our fate by those involved in this ridiculous hiring system. I know that the ones not hired are not going to camps but the damage to their spirits was still substantial. These are people who have been teaching for 10 even 15 years. One of the main centerpieces of their identity is teacher, right up there with mother, father, Jew, Christian or other identity labels. This central part of their identity was ripped out unjustly and with violence. Not the violence of guns but more like the violence of the Judensau when Jews were forced to bend down and kiss the statue of a pig for only one purpose . . . public humiliation. Teachers were being divided into 2 lines. The “effective” teachers who were staying and the “ineffective” teachers with astonishment and tears in their eyes who could not understand this injustice that had been done to them. As my friends and colleagues were told their fate my thoughts went back to the words of Victor Frankl, a survivor of the camps who said, “the best of us did not survive.”
No, I don’t expect the Brown Shirts to be knocking on my door tonight. In fact, as much as I think teachers are being falsely scapegoated and blamed for things beyond our control, I think the real holocaust (note the lower case) is being carried out against the children of NYC. Under performing students need smaller classes which means more teachers. They also need more experienced teachers. Privatizing education siphons off money that should be going to the children and sends it to overpaid CEOs and shareholders of these charter businesses. Thomas Jefferson saw public education as necessary to maintain a democracy. Wouldn’t it be terrible if after true public education is gone we discover that Jefferson was right.
I could go on about the economics of fascism as taught to me by Mr. Kraft in the 5th grade, Mr. Hudesman in the 7th grade and Mr. Horowitz in the 10th grade (great teachers among other great teachers who I remember fondly) how we can draw parallels to big business today, but this is already a very long post so I shall stop now.
While being a member of Congress definitely has its benefits, it seems to be a pretty frustrating job these days. Take, for instance, this article by Ezra Klein outlining why this is the worst Congress ever:
Nevertheless, some people are trying to get work done, or at least make it look that way. In fact, some are willing to stay up all night if that’s what it takes to get some attention:
Senate Democrats to Hold “Midnight Vigil” on DISCLOSE Act
If GOP Blocks Effort to End Secret Election Spending, Democrats Will Continue Debating Past Midnight and Ask for Second Vote Tomorrow
Washington, DC – With Senate Republicans threatening to block debate this evening on the DISCLOSE Act, Senate Democrats are sending a clear message that they won’t back down easily. If Republicans succeed in blocking a key procedural vote on the measure today, a group of Democrats have pledged to hold onto the Senate floor late into the night tonight in an effort to bring greater attention to the issue and force a second vote on the bill tomorrow.
The late night “midnight vigil” effort will be led by the members of the Citizens United Task Force, which includes U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Al Franken (D-MN). The group was organized by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, who will also take part in tonight’s effort.
“We recognize that you don’t win every fight in round one, and this is a fight worth continuing,” said Whitehouse, the lead sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act. “Putting an end to secret election spending by special interests is an essential step in protecting middle class priorities. For that reason, we are committed to continuing the debate on the DISCLOSE Act late into the night and asking for a second vote tomorrow if need be. We can’t let the special interests off the hook after just one round.”
The DISCLOSE Act requires any organization that spends $10,000 or more during an election cycle to file a report within 24 hours, identifying any donors who gave $10,000 or more. It will require political groups posing as social welfare organizations to disclose their donors and will prevent corporations and other wealthy interests from using shell corporations to funnel secret money to super PACs.
“We are determined to prove that transparency is not a radical concept,” said Udall. “Our bill is as simple and straightforward as it gets – if you are making large donations to influence an election, the voters in that election should know who you are. The American people are blessed with common sense. They know that when someone will not admit to something, it is usually because there is something to hide.”
“This is too important an issue to let it lie quietly,” Shaheen said. “New Hampshire voters were subjected to a flood of negative ads this primary season, many of them fueled by unregulated, secret money. It isn’t right. We need to stand up for accountability and fairness in our politics.”
“Tonight we will debate whether we truly believe in the first three words of our Constitution: ‘We the People.’ The flood of secret money unleashed by Citizens United is drowning out the voice of the people,” said Merkley. “Indeed, those who oppose disclosure are seeking to replace ‘We the People’ with ‘We the Powerful.’ This is wrong in so many ways. It’s way past time to shine a light on the darkness and discover who or what this money really stands for.”
“Coloradans have been inundated with attack ads funded by a small number of people through anonymous groups,” Bennet said. “Disclosure would at least provide information about who is behind these ads and bring accountability that bolsters democracy in our elections. Unfortunately, a minority of senators are poised to block progress on the DISCLOSE Act and prevent necessary transparency in our election system.”
“The DISCLOSE Act will not fix all of the evil effects of Citizens United, but it is certainly a step forward,” said Sen. Franken. “And it will bring much needed sunshine to our political system, which will go a long way toward reducing the number and dishonesty of negative attack ads that further corrode our public dialogue and ultimately threaten our democratic system.”
“We believe that all of the unlimited cash allowed by the Citizens United decision must at least be disclosed,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer. “This legislation seeks to limit the damage of the Supreme Court decision that has given corporations and the very wealthy unprecedented sway over our elections, and represents one of the most serious threats to the future of our democracy.”
Individuals are encouraged to follow the floor debate throughout the night on Twitter, using the hashtag #DISCLOSEVote.
Just got back from the May Day march for workers and the 99%. The crowd looked about 200 people, diverse in age, class, race and politics. What Cheer Marching Band was there. The march route took us through the City Hall lobby and I was right next to the tuba player. That was an experience.
What was it all for? For a more fair tax system, for a stop to illegal evictions and help for homeowners, for health care, for employment, for immigration reform and an end to profiling, for youth of all colors, for education.
The march started in Armory Park with drums and music and proceeded downtown. Stops were the Providence School Department, Verizon, City Hall, Bank of America and the Federal Building.
It’s something to get that many people to come out on a chill, rainy day for over three hours. One of the signs said, ‘Another World is Possible’. Not without work and sacrifice, but possible.
Why hire someone for minimum wage when you can get prison labor for half the cost? While work can be an important part of rehabilitation, we have to look at how it impacts the job market when we are turning over millions of jobs to prisoners. From Salon.com: 21st century chain gangs.