United States News Digest
Medicare Premiums To Rise; Social Security Frozen
Oct. 20 (EIRNS)Medicare premiums will increase next year, while Social Security payments will be frozen at their current levels.
The rise in Medicare premiums will affect the prescription drug plan (7% increase), the Medicare Advantage program (22% increase), and Part B Medical Insurance (15% increase for those making over $85,000 a year). Yet, because of the fraudulent manner in which the government calculates inflation, Social Security beneficiaries will not receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in 2010, on the spurious rationale that there has been no increase in the Consumer Price Index over the past 12 months.
Instead, the Obama Administration is offering seniors a one-time payment of $250, a tiny fraction of what seniors will lose throughout their retirement. The Senior Citizens League calculates that seniors will lose over $10,000 over the course of 20 years, due to the loss of the compounding effect of the average annual COLA.
Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has introduced the Emergency COLA Bill (H.R. 3557), which would provide a 2010 COLA equal to the average of the COLAs for the past ten yearsabout 3%. This would give the average beneficiary an additional $415 in 2010; it also would prevent the loss of the compounding effect of annual COLA increases. "Because Social Security benefits are calculated using faulty methods that fail to account for the true cost of inflation, COLAs have been less than actual inflation and seniors' purchasing power has been dramatically eroded as a result," Jones said in a Sept. 17 statement.
The Senior Citizens League estimates that seniors have lost 20% of their purchasing power since the beginning of the decade, and they calculate that seniors' living expenses have risen almost twice as fast as the annual COLAs.
Why They Want To Get Rid of Chairman Rangel
Oct. 20 (EIRNS)Congressional sources report that President Obama and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) are meeting to discuss a fascist budgetary scheme which would seize the taxation and spending powers granted to Congress by the U.S. Constitution. The sources say that the talks on what is euphemistically called a "special legislative process," are being coupled with the Baucus health-care bill.
Last week, nine Democratic Senators, plus Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), sent a letter to Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid calling for adoption of "a special process to deal with our nation's long-term fiscal imbalances," which, they assert, cannot be confronted "under the regular order in Congress."
The reference is to legislation introduced in both houses of Congress, known as the Securing America's Fiscal Economy (SAFE) Commission Act; the bills would create a commission to take over Congress's budgetary powers, to order massive budget cuts and slashes in Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, and require Congress to adopt or reject their dictates with a simple up or down vote.
As with the proposed nazi Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC), the "death panel," which its defenders demand must be allowed to kill people without interference from elected representatives, Lieberman and his cohorts are moving to adopt dictatorial budgetary powers in order to implement genocide against the American population. The Hill reports that more than two dozen Senators have now backed the idea of a "special process," including a bill pushed by Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), a similar bill by Lieberman and George Voinovich (R-Ohio), and one by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.)all demanding what The Hill calls "politically perilous changes to entitlement programs, particularly Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security."
The Hill identifies House Ways and Means Committee chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) as one of the foremost opponents of this scheme to circumvent "regular order" and the committee structure in the House. Which sheds light on the ferocious attacks on Rangel, as a desperate effort to deprive him of his committee leadership.
California Nurses Set One-Day Strike Over H1N1 Unreadiness
Oct. 20 (EIRNS)Some 16,000 registered nurses, at 39 Catholic hospitals in California and Nevada, will join in a one-day strike and picket Oct. 30, to protest poor readiness by hospitals to confront the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. The strike is also an outreach to the public, in conjunction with the nurses' contract negotiations with a Catholic hospital chain, where the swine flu situation is a big part of the dispute.
In California alone, swine flu has hospitalized over 3,000 people and killed over 200, including an RN infected on the job. Since August, the California Nurses Association (CNA) has cited as proof of unreadiness: nationwide problems with poor segregation of infectious patients; lack of sufficient N95 surgical masks; numerous hospitals where nurses have been infected; inadequate training for hospital staff; and punitive sick-leave policies.
The CNA became increasingly concerned after an oncology nurse (a triathlete and marathon runner) at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Sacramento died July 17 of a severe respiratory infection, pneumonia, and H1N1. The hospital is one which the nurses will strike Oct. 30. The Los Angeles Times quoted a CNA spokesman saying, "We have a global pandemic of swine flu, and we need the hospitals to do a better job preparing. If the hospitals don't do a better job, they become incubators."
Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center officials released a statement Oct. 19 stating they will have enough backup staff to remain open, should nurses strike. In a statement quoted in the Los Angeles Times, they called the union's salary and benefit demands "unrealistic," adding, "Given the current economic environment and the challenges Catholic Healthcare West faces, the CNA's demands, if agreed to, would add to the ballooning cost of providing care and threaten our ability to meet our community's needs."
Britain's Global Euthanasia Directorate Inside U.S. Government
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)A top official of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the president of the British-based, Crown-approved group directing the promotion of global health-care rationing (euthanasia), the killing of the elderly, and other vulnerable population categories.
The American official, Marion Danis, heads the NIH Bioethics Department's Section on Ethics and Health Policy. Her unit works to apply to public policy the euthanasia strategies of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, chairman of the NIH Bioethics Department, and the leading health-care policy advisor in the Obama Administration. Florida, Utah, and other states have promulgated "in-case-of-pandemic" guidelines for hospitals to refuse or remove certain categories of patients from medical treatment, guidelines developed in accord with the explicit advice of Emanuel and his deputy Marion Danis over the past several years.
Danis is president of the International Society on Priorities in Health Care, Ltd. (ISPHC), headquartered at the University of Birmingham, England. This is the global group promoting rationing, and scheming how it may be implemented against the known public hatred of rationing.
Danis's ISPHC was founded in 1996. The group's orientation was set by its founding chief executive, Birmingham University's Chris Ham, who was ISPHC chairman from 1998 to 2000. Chris Ham is a longtime paid operative of the King's Fund, the British medical policy-setting unit of the Royal Family, headed by Prince Charles. From 2001 to 2004, under Prime Minister Tony Blair, Ham was head of the Strategy Unit of the U.K. Department of Health. He worked in tandem with Blair's health-policy aide Simon Stevens, who established an experimental euthanasia killing policy (the Liverpool Care Pathway) that Prince Charles' King's Fund subsequently adopted as standard practice for the National Health Service.
Ham edited a book published in London in 2003 called Reasonable Rationing: International Experience of Priority-Setting in Healthcare. The contributors to the book included others from the King's Fund and from Danis's ISPHC, along with genocidal bioethicist Peter Singer. The book was a preview of the rationing regime the British Crown and its associates wish to impose on the United States, and which the ISPHC has been advising countries from Peru to Israel to adopt.