Whitehouse to Prez: Dude, You’re Copying My Ideas! Keep it Up!

From the Whitehouse Press office:

New Obama Administration Goals for Medicare Mirror Sen. Whitehouse Recommendations

Senator Whitehouse has Been Urging Administration for Years to Set Clear Goals to Improve Care and Reduce Costs

Goals Resemble the Whitehouse-Steinberg Compact in Rhode Island

Washington, DC – Today the Obama Administration announced that it is setting clear goals and a specific timeline for reforming the way doctors and hospitals are reimbursed when treating Medicare patients. The goals announced today come after U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has been urging the Administration for years to set clear targets for health care delivery system reforms, arguing as early as 2011 that, “we can and must have a clear challenge to strive toward.”

In 2013 Whitehouse co-authored an opinion piece urging President Obama to set specific goals for reforming payment systems, noting that “at least 75 percent of Medicare payments should be assessed in some way other than fee-for-service” by 2020. Whitehouse also released a report in 2012 chronicling the Administration’s progress in implementing the delivery system reform provisions within the Affordable Care Act, and identifying payment reform as one of five key areas for reform.

“As we continue working to improve the delivery of care and lower costs in our health care system, it’s vital that we set clear, accountable goals,” Whitehouse said today. “Vague calls to ‘bend the cost curve’ will never galvanize our nation’s health care providers and insurers in the same way that specific goals with a number and date will. Today’s announcement by the Obama Administration reinforces the reforms already taking place under the Affordable Care Act and could accelerate the shift to a system that works better for everyone.”

More specifically, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today set a goal of tying 30 percent of traditional fee-for-service Medicare payments to alternative payment models by the end of 2016, and tying 50 percent of payments to these models by the end of 2018. HHS also set a goal of tying 85 percent of all traditional Medicare payments to quality or value by 2016 and 90 percent by 2018. Whitehouse was briefed by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell in advance of today’s announcement.

Since 2011, Senator Whitehouse has been calling on the Administration to set a specific cost-savings target to drive health care delivery system reform efforts, and has identified payment reforms as one of the key areas in any such effort. More recently, he and Rhode Island Foundation President Neil Steinberg brought together a coalition of Rhode Island health care leaders to develop recommendations on how the state can improve care and lower costs. Among the recommendations they agreed to was to establish specific payment reform goals this year.

Senator Whitehouse has long been a leading voice for health care delivery system reforms. He founded the Rhode Island Quality Institute during his time as the state’s Attorney General, helped secure new investments in Health Information Technology in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and was a strong advocate for the inclusion of delivery system reforms in the Affordable Care Act.

How is the Rhode Island Foundation Coalition-Building for Health Care Reform? – Health Policy | Grants | Inside Philanthropy

The first female Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, is going to have her work cut out for her with requests for all sorts of things — funding for everything under the sun, reform ideas from every political perspective, and, oh yes, health care — that little elephant in the room, costing us all a fortune, wreaking havoc on middle class and poor families, and making us look bad internationally for having the most bloated, ineffective system in the world.

Enter Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the Rhode Island Foundation, stage left. They bring with them many years of sustained investment in improving health care. Whitehouse founded the Rhode Island Quality Institute during his time as Attorney General and is a leading voice in Washington for health care delivery system reform. The Rhode Island Foundation has been funding health care initiatives since early in its history, and continues to look for and fund innovative ways to improve health care access and delivery.

via How is the Rhode Island Foundation Coalition-Building for Health Care Reform? – Health Policy | Grants | Fundraising – Inside Philanthropy.

What Did This Scholar Learn From His Deep Dive Into the World of Billionaires? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy

We write about billionaires and their philanthropy almost every day here at IP, and so we’ve been intrigued by Darrell West’s new book, Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust.

via What Did This Scholar Learn From His Deep Dive Into the World of Billionaires? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Perception is Something People Care About — Chafee Caves to Angus Davis

Angus Davis feels better, so I guess everything is right and good in the fiefdom of downtown Providence.  Lame duck Governor Chafee is not feeling like having a big fight, so Angus will get his way.  As the new corporate zoning Czar for the city, I wonder if Mr. Davis would consider helping to rehabilitate the poor and downtrodden, rather than just exiling them from his high tech encampment.

Read more from Natasha Lennard at Salon.  

An Excuse to Sleep Late on Friday

Liberate Your Friday

If you want to enjoy some good company and a chance to help your neighbor, here’s one of many opportunities the season offers (thank you Phil Edmonds)…

16th Annual Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange

Thinking globally, acting locally.

The Providence 16th annual Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange takes place Friday November 23rd 10AM-1PM on the State House lawn, opposite Providence Place mall (rain/snow site Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 15 Hayes St. on north side of mall).

Buy Nothing Day began in 1992 by Adbusters Media Foundation in Vancouver, Canada, as a way to resist the advertising industry that abets over-consumption by causing people to feel unfulfilled with what they have. Since then, Buy Nothing Day has evolved into a

global phenomenon creating awareness of how entangled we are in the web of consumerism.

One may ask: “will it really make any difference if I buy nothing on the November 23 ?” If more and more people join the millions worldwide who do observe Buy Nothing Day, then the answer is yes. A quote from Hope’s Edge by Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe helps put this into perspective.

What we choose to buy, where we choose to shop, even whether we choose to be part of campaigns…all this is not a homage to some weighty obligation; it’s a celebration of the world we want…My choices as a consumer used to feel so small, but now I’m convinced they have real power. Together we are a sleeping giant and, awakened, we can really stir things up.

While critics of the day charge that Buy Nothing Day simply causes participants to buy the next day, Adbusters state that it “isn’t just about changing your habits for one day but about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste.”

Another focus of Buy Nothing Day is to “stir things up” – with a clear message that we no longer will be duped by the endless advertisements telling us the way to happiness. People are beginning to question this consumer-globalized economics way of life realizing we are not as happy as we thought we were, and as a result, are thinking more and taking steps in daily living where quality, rather than quantity, is the priority.

With global warming, along with the depletion of some of our natural resources and the loss of many species of life as a result of over-consumption, our planet is at a breaking point, and it is time to face up to it. Let’s think globally and act locally. On Friday November 23rd stop by the State House lawn in a show of solidarity for Buy Nothing Day. If you have a winter coat to donate, please drop one off; if you need a coat, come pick one up.

More on this at Rhode Island’s Future from Greg Gerritt

And Bob Plain say that Americans would like to save the tinsel until after Thanksgiving.

Diane Ravitch Talks about “Waking Up the Town” to Face the War on Public Education

I got to meet Diane Ravitch today as she served on a panel at Netroots about the war on public education. She spoke with amazing authority about what is going on in public education now with the overemphasis on testing, the blaming of teachers and teachers unions, and the right-wing money that is being poured into the movement for “education reform.” The best way to experience what went on is to watch the video.

Link to video of the panel.

Netroots Nation Opening Day

Here’s what is on the agenda for opening day at Netroots:

9:00am – 10:15am

From Defeat to Triumph: Erasing the Death Penalty in America
Taking the Offense in State Elections
The Heart of the Beast: How the Grassroots is Taking on Big Banking
Agitation and Inspiration: The Power of Art and Cultural Organizing

10:30am – 11:45am

Handcuffs, Conventional Wisdom and Dirty Oil: Activism’s Big Win Against the Keystone XL Pipeline
Collaboration, Not Co-option: Labor, Community Organizations and Occupy Wall Street Working Together
Organizing Lessons from SOPA and PIPA
Beyond Occupy: What Does a New Economic System Look Like?

3:00pm – 4:15pm

Whose Law Is It Anyway? ALEC’s Influence on State Legislatures and What We Can Do About It
The Battle for Congress: Q&A on the 2012 Elections
Liberate Your Ass: Why Sexual Freedom is Key to Fighting the Right
Occupy Goes Home: The Occupy Movement and the Foreclosure Crisis

4:30pm – 5:45pm

Protecting Voting Rights in Communities of Color in 2012
Marriage Equality: Past, Present and Future
Emerging Movements: The Face of New Progressive Online Communities
Why the Fed is the Most Important Economic Issue You Know Nothing About

7:00pm – 8:30pm

Opening Keynote featuring Eric Schneiderman