Tag: ObamaCare

Fifth Nick’s Crusade Video Blog: “A Seat At The Table” Determining Health Reform, Doesn’t Include People With Disabilities

Fifth Nick’s Crusade Video Blog: “A Seat At The Table” Determining Health Reform, Doesn’t Include People With Disabilities from Alejandra Ospina on Vimeo.

In my fifth video blog, I go after the administration’s health reform deliberations for their lack of inclusiveness.

Full transcript of the video, with supporting links and footnotes

Hello, this is Nick Dupree for the Nick’s Crusade blog.

This is day 262 of me being in an institution, and tonight I’m gonna talk about Barack Obama and the insurance industry.

Lately, the administration has been really ramping up, and saying that health care is their #1 domestic priority.  The health secretary, and Joe Biden have both said, that this is #1 on the agenda.

Now there have been a flurry of meetings at the White House about the health care package and what’s it gonna look like, what’s gonna be in it, what’s not gonna be in it.  And recently, Barack Obama met in the Roosevelt room with the top insurance executives.  On HealthReform.gov, they released this picture1, with the caption that these are the health care “STAKEHOLDERS.”  Look at this picture.  It’s all white people! (except for the president)   And it’s all MEN, except for the two women beside the president, there’s another woman, an industry lobbyist, an industry lobbyist who’s at the table.  The administration keeps talking about “a seat at the table,” that the industry has “a seat at the table,”   And they’re offering them “a seat at the table” so they won’t oppose the plan.  Now … where’s MY “seat at the table?”  Where’s YOUR “seat at the table?”   Where’s the “seat at the table” for the black people and the people in wheelchairs?  You don’t see any people in wheelchairs at the table do you?   You don’t see any black people,or Hispanics, or Asians, or any minorities around this table, do you?

We’re giving the “seat at the table” to the people who already have the power.  And the insurance industry, they already have the power; they don’t need help from the administration.  They’re making trillions2.  And they’re getting trillions, by denying life-saving care to millions of people.   They’re trying to limit the use of life-saving medical care; they’re sending denial letters like they did with my little brother.

They’re trying …  they’re SQUEEZING the American people.  They’re basically these giant leeches on the American economy, and the American people3.  Everyday people are getting SCREWED by these guys, and Obama is offering them “a seat at the table.”

In exchange, they’re offering to lower the explosive growth of health care costs.  They’re not offering to lower costs, let’s make this clear.  They’re not offering to lower any costs; they’re offering to slightly slow the growth of costs.4

This is a promise that they made during the Jimmy Carter presidency5, and we all see…and we all see how that worked.  They didn’t keep their promise, and I see no reason why they’ll keep their promise this time.

Voluntary regulation does not work, and I see no reason why these guys are getting “a seat at the table” and people… people with disabilities, get no “seat at the table.”

I don’t think that’s right. And I think that’s something that needs to CHANGE.


1. this picture.

The photo was originally captioned “President Barack Obama met with healthcare stakeholders in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on May 11, 2009.

In this photo from HealthReform.gov, President Obama meets with various corporate pigdogs from the Health Care industry.
In this photo from HealthReform.gov, President Obama meets with various corporate pigdogs from the Health Care industry.

I found the above photo on HealthReform.gov (though it’s now been replaced, along with the related links, in one of their near-daily updates)

2. “The US health care sector has combined revenues of 1.5 trillion annually.  Hoovers.com Industry Overview: Healthcare Sector. (for comparison’s sake, the entire continent of Africa has a combined annual GDP of 1.3 trillion)

3. Publications and Research: Study Shows More People Go Without Health Coverage as Insurance Costs Outpace Income Eightfold

4. http://healthreform.gov/factsheethealthreformstake.pdf

5. From a quote from a Carter administration official, in “No One’s Falling For Big Health’s Bogus Promise to “Reform”” By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted May 13, 2009.

This is the first video blog edited by myself independently

Fourth “Nick’s Crusade” Video Blog: ObamaFail! Administration Refuses To Lead On Disability Desegregation

Transcription (as captioned in the video):

Hello, this is Nick Dupree for the for the Nick’s Crusade blog. This is my fourth video blog, and today is the 252nd day that I’ve been in an institution because I can’t get access to community services. And it seems that the Obama administration is not going to help us fix this problem — the problem of the institutional bias, where if you need services, they’re not readily available in the community so, so many people end up in expensive institutions, and it’s a lot worse for them, lowers their quality of life, and ends up costing exponentially more. I know in Alabama, it costs a quarter of a million dollars to keep someone in an institution, and it cost $70,000 to give them 24/7 home care. It’s a very stupid financial decision that the government keeps making, and despite all the activism and the years of court decisions that are on our side, we’re still not getting change we can believe in, as Obama says.

It’s even more disturbing, because during the campaign, Obama promised us that he would support the Community Choice Act, which would let people have a choice to live in the community, versus being forced to go into a nursing home, as that’s all the government will pay for.

He promised he’d support the Community Choice Act during the campaign, but yesterday we discovered that the Community Choice Act has been removed from the White House website. The White House website had the Community Choice Act featured on their Disability web page, and now it’s gone. They erased us. They erased what we really needed, and that’s despicable. And now, they’re going forward with health reform initiatives, without addressing long-term care. They’re going to reform health care without addressing one of the largest expenses of health care, which is long-term care. They say “we don’t have time”. With this kind of expense, how can we afford to wait? How can we afford, morally, to segregate part of our population, and keep them trapped in nursing homes with no choice? It’s not moral.

I advise you to go to the website of the President’s health reform initiative, HealthReform.gov. There’s no mention of long-term care, not a word whatsoever. There’s no mention of nursing homes, there’s no mention of home care, and there’s definitely no mention of the Community Choice Act. Go to HealthReform.gov and see for yourself. We’re not included, and our segregation is continuing unabated. Nobody notices us. That’s something that really has to change.

Nothing About Long-Term Care In HHS Progress Report

In recent days, I’ve been scouring the HHS email updates for anything of relevance to people with disabilities and our struggle for freedom.

Yesterday, HHS put out its Progress Report, “a comprehensive report on the Department’s progress over the first 100 days of the Obama Administration.” (PDF file)

It contains NOTHING about long term care, not a word about home care or nursing home transition, nothing about Olmstead, or the 2001 executive order supposedly implementing Olmstead.

The law is on our side. The administration isn’t yet. We get no mention in the “Progress Report.” We aren’t a priority.

That needs to change.