Senator Maria Cantwell (Dumbocrat, Corporatia) once again totally misses the point. As the following, from her website, shows:
Senator Cantwell Proposes Common Sense Health Care LegislatioI have always felt that Washington state can provide a blueprint for nationwide improvements in health care. For years, we have been at the forefront of innovation, and developing practices to improve the quality of care and make it more affordable. Over the past few months, I have heard from thousands of Washingtonians and met with groups of health care experts across our state to ensure that national reform legislation offers practical solutions to the problems in our current health care model.
Over the next few weeks, Congress is going to start debate in earnest over possible health care proposals. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which will play an integral role in reforming our country’s health care system, I am working to ensure that any proposal increases access to quality care for patients while reducing costs.
Earlier this month, I introduced the Medical Efficiency and Delivery Improvement of Care (MEDIC) Act, a bill which provides common-sense solutions to many of the most critical problems besetting our health care system. While every piece of the health care puzzle requires individual attention, one common thread connects them all: the need to improve the quality of care patients receive, while bringing down costs.
The MEDIC Act aims to accomplish this goal through the following means:
Medicare Payment Improvement -- For years, Washington state has been penalized under the Medicare program for providing efficient, high quality care. My proposal is designed to address this longstanding problem by providing incentives for providers to ensure the care they are giving to patients is high quality and low cost. It would create a new physician payment component that rewards the quality, and not quantity, of services.
Our state already ranks 16th out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in keeping costs per Medicare beneficiary under control, with an average of $5,280 statewide. If we could achieve this nationwide, the country could save close to $55 billion a year.
Physician Workforce Enhancement -- The MEDIC Act will improve access to health care by increasing the number of physicians trained in high-need specialties. And it will expand the nation’s graduate medical education training capacity to a larger number of suburban and rural hospitals.
Preserving Patient Access to Primary Care -- In our current health care system, there is a critical shortage of primary care physicians and an inefficient system of Medicare reimbursements that do not reward a coordinated approach of patients’ health care needs. My proposal specifically addresses those problems, and will also help provide cost effective, prevention oriented care throughout the country, especially in underserved and rural communities.
Washington can take pride in having two great examples of integrated care systems which would qualify as patient-centered medical homes. Group Health and Providence Health and Services provide excellent care coordination, and thus are able to offer better and higher-quality care. Despite these successes, the current Medicare reimbursement structure doesn’t reward integrated providers like Group Health and Providence. I will work to change that reimbursement structure so that we no longer penalize preventive and quality care.
Project 2020: Building on the Promise of Home and Community-Based Services -- My proposal is also designed to fix a deficiency in current law that prevents people from accessing long-term care information or services until they have spent their entire life savings, and become poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. By this time, it is often too late to provide cost-effective home care, and people end up in nursing homes, where all too often they spend the rest of their lives.
I want to ensure that people have the resources they need to pay for the services and support they need to stay in their own homes and communities, without being forced to spend down their life savings. This investment will save money over the long term and significantly improve access to care.
Home and Community Balancing Incentives -- The final piece of my MEDIC Act reforms state long-term care systems. By offering an enhanced federal Medicaid matching rate to states that are willing to implement programs geared at promoting home and community based services, we can help seniors stay out of nursing homes and enable them to access quality, individualized home- and community-based care.
As you can see, I am focused on three key aspects of reform: updating Medicare’s pay structure so that it rewards quality of care, not quantity of care, as in the current structure; expanding and improving long-term care services and programs to provide patients with options and alternatives to nursing homes; and, increasing the number of practicing primary care physicians to ensure coordinated care for patients.
Our state has been at the forefront of efforts to lower health care cost and improve care. Over the next few weeks, I will work to share our successes and include our innovative ideas in upcoming health care reform legislation so that we can develop similar models nationwide to ensure that every American is eligible for high-quality, affordable health care.
I've made several calls to her offices during the past weeks, and I've yet to get a straight answer as to where she stands on the issue of a public option for healthcare. She can't seem to screw up the courage to back Bernie Sanders on single payer, and she can't seem to admit to backing Kent Conrad's sham of an option either. However, she can come up with a bill that has nothing to do with the real problem: Making healthcare affordable and available for all.
I say, "Once again," because back when Jim Webb introduced his bill to restore the benfits to veterans that were taken away by Reagan, Bush and Bush, I called Cantwell's offices and was asked if I'd heard of her bill. Not an amendment to Webb's bill, but a stand alone bill that took away all sunset provisions on GI Bill benefits. Of course it would have been nice if there were beefits to use, but... She restored nothing, granted nothing new, just gave them their remaining lifetime to use what they didn't have.
I'm beginning to wonder if this is her way of hiding: Create a smoke screen and hope that when her bill dies, she can vote against the public good and no one will notice..? ??? There's nothing "wrong" with her MEDIC Bill; it would go nicely as an amendment to a single payer bill. There was nothing "wrong" with her GI Bill; it would have made a nice amendment to Webb's Bill (which if you remember, could only get passed as a rider to a War to Enrich Halliburton funding bill). They just miss the true mark by a mile. They both totally fail to address the true problem.
Add these to her vote to invade Iraq, sending soldiers to die for nothing, and her continued failure to admit to the fact of and magnitude of her fuck up... Why do we keep electing her? Who does she represent? I think we need to ask ourselves:
What's Darcy Burner doing in 2012? ???