Category Archives: HHS

Dump the Dems 11: Sibelius Says Obama’s Going to Fix It So There Can NEVER Be National Health

I’m getting a bit confused. On hand #1 Obama says he thinks we need a “public health option” if for no other reason than to take care of the people the insurance companies don’t want. On hand #2, his HHS Sec, Kathleen Sibelius, told NPR yesterday that all public health options are “off the table”, that they ought to be because single payer is “a bad direction to go” and, furthermore (just in case the insurance companies Rahm wants donating to the Democrats next year had any doubts or fears) that the president – the president elected by the people who are the 60+% percent who want single payer – has no plans at all to create one. None. (Via DCblogger at corrente)

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that a single-payer option is not on the table.

“This is not a trick. This is not single-payer,” Sebelius told Steve Inskeep. She added: “That’s not what anyone is talking about — mostly because the president feels strongly, as I do, that dismantling private health coverage for the 180 million Americans that have it, discouraging more employers from coming into the marketplace, is really the bad, you know, is a bad direction to go.”

***

Asked if the administration’s program will be drafted specifically to prevent it from evolving into a single-payer plan, Sebelius says: “I think that’s very much the case, and again, if you want anybody to convince people of that, talk to the single-payer proponents who are furious that the single-payer idea is not part of the discussion.”

(emphasis added)

The single payer option exists primarily as a threat (which is what we said it was), a stalking horse to scare the health insurance companies into line, Sibelius confirmed, even though she admitted that Medicare shows a real public option is demonstrably cheaper. Continue reading

Leavitt Asks to Meet with Dead Senator

From the WaPo:

Maybe Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and his staff are just in denial. Or maybe they don’t read the papers, thus missing the sad news that Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) died Monday, seven months after he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Whatever the case, Leavitt’s office called Thomas’s office late Thursday afternoon to request a meeting with the late senator.

Needless to say, grief-stricken Thomas staffers were stunned. One aide to Thomas sent the following e-mail to a friend (both names have been redacted):

From: (Thomas staffer) <@thomas.senate.gov>
To: (Staffer’s friend)
Sent: Thu Jun 07 16:49:36 2007
Subject: RE:

Oh yeah, note to Secretary Levitt’s [sic] office: Senator Thomas passed on Monday, 4 June. You may want to pass that along to his staff especially after they called today to get a meeting with the late Senator.

Call me if you’d like, really unbelievable!

These guys are so deep in the bubble, so insensitive to anything going on outside it, that they didn’t even know Thomas – a Republican, one of their own – was sick, let alone that he had died. An HHS flack tried to put the best spin possible on it, of course.

HHS spokeswoman Christina Pearson says she does not know who from the agency called Thomas’s office to set up a meeting but she acknowledged “obviously it’s a mistake.” She added, “Senator Thomas is held in the highest regard by the secteray [sic] and this office.”

Such high regard that they couldn’t be bothered to find out that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer 7 months ago, let alone that he had died. Somebody was ordered to arrange a meeting because they needed him for something. Until the moment they wanted use him, they couldn’t care less.

Continue reading