Opinion

Insurers Use PR Playbook to Keep Us in the Dark About Health Insurance

If you wonder why the health insurance industry has to set up front groups and secretly funnel cash to industry-funded coalitions to influence public policy, take a look at the most recent results of the Kaiser Family Foundation's (KFF) monthly Health Tracking Poll.

Screaming infantIn its November poll, KFF added a few new survey questions to find out exactly which parts of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare are the most popular and which are the least popular. Insurers were no doubt annoyed to see that the provision of the law they want most -- the requirement that all of us will have to buy coverage from them if we're not eligible for a public program like Medicare -- continues to be the single most hated part of the law. More than 60 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of that mandate.

Defunct War Strategy Program May Still Overshadow University of Wisconsin-Madison's History of Dissent

Guest post by Steve Horn and Allen Ruff

This article is part 2 of a two-part series on the military's influence in academia. Part 1 ran previously on Truthout.

Once viewed by some as a "rising star" at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, historian Jeremi Suri announced in early May that he was leaving Madison to pursue his fame and fortune at the University of Texas-Austin.

With him went the fortunes of the short-lived and now deceased UW-Madison Grand Strategy Program (GSP), which he founded and headed as one part of a broader network of strategic studies programs currently underway on select campuses elsewhere.

Health Insurers, Lobbyists Re-Tuning Their Spin Machine

One of the reasons why Congress has been largely unable to make the American health care system more efficient and equitable is because of the stranglehold lobbyists for special interests have on the institution.

Capitol-soldWhenever lawmakers consider any kind of meaningful reform, the proposed remedies inevitably create winners and losers. Physicians' incomes most likely will be affected in some way, as will the profits of all the other major players: the hospitals, the drug companies, the medical device manufacturers, and the insurers, just to name a few. The list is long, and the platoons of highly paid and well-connected lobbyists who represent their interests comprise a large private army that conquered Capitol Hill years ago.

The Supreme Court Will Uphold Health Care Reform, and Here's Why

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act who believe the Supreme Court will declare the law unconstitutional are going to be disappointed next year when a majority of the nine justices vote to uphold it. It will likely be a 5-4 decision, but moderate conservative Anthony Kennedy will, I'm confident, recognize that without the law, the free-market system of health insurance, so highly valued by conservatives, will implode, sooner rather than later.

Supreme Court healthcareThe high court announced earlier this week that it will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the law next March. A decision is expected in June, just a few weeks before the parties hold their conventions. Regardless of which way the justices go, the decision will ensure that health care reform will be as contentious a campaign issue as it was in 2008.

As Zuccotti Park is Cleared, Congress Moves to Gut Financial Reform

In the dead of night November 14, the movement to hold big banks accountable for their crimes took two major hits. Occupy Wall Street activists were swept from Zuccotti Park as radical members of Congress moved to gut funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and advance a series of shocking proposals to roll back financial reform.

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