Heartland distorts AMS climate survey results, paper

The Heartland Institute, an organization known to have pushed a pro-tobacco, “smoking is safe” agenda in the 1990s on behalf of Phillip Morris and that now pushes climate disruption denial, released a short “news” article on February 1 titled “Meteorologists Reject U.N.’s Global Warming Claims.” The article distorts the survey it purports to be reporting on and ignores the associated Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) paper’s conclusions in favor of Heartland’s political position. Continue reading

Massachusetts

As a former resident of, and still eligible voter in, the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I feel compelled to comment on yesterday’s special election to fill out the unexpired term of the late and great Ted Kennedy. As the entire universe now knows, Martha Coakley, the State Attorney General and Democratic candidate, lost to Scott Brown, a state legislator and the Republican candidate. This will have consequences, such as reducing the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate from 60 to 59. There are also numerous press reports and blog posts about how this is the death of health care, of Obama’s program, and of democracy as we know it. The circular firing squads are lining up even as I write.

So, two things. First, what happened? Simple. Democrats didn’t show up. Brown got about the same number of votes as John McCain did, but Coakley only got about 60% of the votes that Obama got. There was no massive swing to the Republicans. It’s just that the Democrats didn’t bother. Continue reading

Exclusive: Whistleblower reveals how insurers can game healthcare bill

Still think this health insurance bill wouldn’t be a massive gift to the insurance companies? Then you should definitely read this Raw Story write-up of my nearly hour-long interview with former Cigna executive-turned-whistleblower Wendell Potter, in which he details all the ways insurers can game the proposed health insurance legislation:

Wendell Potter, a twenty-year veteran of the insurance industry and former vice president of communications for Cigna, warns that current healthcare legislation does nothing to prevent the insurance industry from continuing its ongoing practice of increasingly shifting healthcare costs to consumers.

A form of bait-and-switch, such practices often set up individuals, families and small businesses for inadequate or unaffordable access and a continued looming threat of financial ruin. The overlooked element, Potter says, is that insurance companies will be able to claim they are reducing premiums by forcing more Americans to pay higher deductibles and offering less coverage.

READ THE FULL STORY