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Individuals who buy MVP health plans through new exchange reportedly not covered in Genesee County

Customers signing up for an MVP health insurance plan through the new government-run exchange might find they can't get treatment from doctors in Genesee County.

A local healthcare provider was alerted to the potential hole in coverage and he said he's confirmed it with MVP representatives.

The lack of local coverage arose after UMMC declined to sign a reimbursement agreement with MVP.

The situation affects only customers who sign up for individual plans through the exchange. People who get any type of group coverage through MVP or who get MVP health insurance directly from the company (rather than through the exchange) are not affected.

An MVP spokesman has not responded to a request for an interview.

Jeff Baldick, at Genesee Orthopedic, alerted The Batavian to the hole in coverage and said he has spoken directly with MVP about the situation and confirmed with the insurance provider that his patients who purchased insurance from MVP through the exchange will not be covered.

He said MVP told him that it is not providing coverage for any patient in Genesee County who purchased insurance through the exchange.

According to Bob Chiavetta, CFO for UMMC, the hospital was presented with a take-it-or-leave-it reimbursement plan by MVP some months ago for patients covered by insurance through the exchange.

The hospital rejected the reimbursement agreement because the health care reimbursements are significantly lower than those of other insurance providers, even lower than what MVP reimburses for group coverage and Medicaid.

So while the hospital continues -- as it alway has -- to accept patients covered by these other MVP products, it has no agreement with MVP for reimbursements of patients who purchased MVP insurance through the exchange.

"We communicated to them that those rates were not adequate," Chiavetta said. "They told us they were trying to work on their network and would get back to us, but we never heard anything back from them. We never received a letter or any written communication that we were being excluded. Then a week and a half to two weeks ago, we started hearing from patients that we were not listed as a network provider. When we heard that, we spoke with them and we're trying to work through something."

Chiavetta is hopeful an agreement can be reached soon with MVP to provide adequate reimbursements for patients who purchase MVP insurance through the exchange.

MVP is the only insurance provider, Chiavetta said, who significantly lowered reimbursements for patients coming through the exchange. All of the other insurers, he said, provide reimbursements to the hospital that are consistent with policies obtained outside the exchange.

It was Chiavetta's understanding that MVP was providing coverage on the exchange product to patients in Genesee County up to the point the patient might get referred to UMMC, but Baldick said MVP told him explicitly that no Genesee County patients would be covered because any doctor's office visit could potentially result in a referral to the local hospital.

Across the board, Chiavetta said, the Affordable Health Care Act, is leading to lower reimbursement rates for the hospital, but that won't affect the quality of care at UMMC.

He's more concerned, he said, about the higher out-of-pocket expenses some patients might encounter if they purchase health insurance through the exchange.

The lower premium plans have deductibles as high as $6,500 annually.

He said people planning to purchase health insurance through the exchange should look very closely at those plans and ensure they are adequate to meet their needs. Just because a monthly premium is as low as $200 doesn't mean it's the right plan for an individual.

"I can see where it's attractive to them," Chiavetta said. "The only thing I would say is for people who are actively looking for insurance on the exchange is be very aware of what the cost is going to be. A lot of people are gravitating toward the lower premium plans, but that's a risk. It doesn't take much of an illness to cost a lot of money.

"A product for $200 a month might work great for some, but they might be better off paying more if they picked a higher plan. You've got to take your own health care needs into account."

The hospital has three people going through training next week on how to help people navigate the exchange.

"As patients come to us who are uninsured, just as we do now, we will help them understand financial assistance, Medicaid, and we will add to that help in getting through the exchange and selecting a health care product that is out there that is appropriate for them," Chiavetta said.

Anyone with questions now are welcome to call Sue Brown, director of patient financial services, at (585) 344-5428.

Kevin Squire
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If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. PERIOD!!!!
Here we go!!!

Jeff Allen
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C'mon Hope and Change supporters, it's local now. No MSNBC vs. Fox, no right vs. left, no Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi vs. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Just ordinary Genesee county residents either losing coverage, having their costs skyrocket, or losing access to providers Let's hear from you how what we are seeing is not actually what we are seeing, how the average American is going to see their healthcare costs go DOWN by $2500 to $3000 annually, how this is going to lower costs, how it is going to lower the debt. Hear is your chance to defend this debacle in light of local reality and not pundit prognostication. You're up.

C. M. Barons
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https://swp.mvphealthcare.com/wps/portal/mvp/shared/aboutus

Rick Brodsky
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Just wait until the business extension expires next year and local businesses start eliminating health care...they voted for it....they're about to get it!!

Mark Potwora
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Why would reimbustment rates be any different from MVP for UMMC vs Rochester General..Are cost that much higher at UMMC...

Mark Brudz
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Jeff, In the words of the Late Karen Carpenter

"WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN...."

Mark Brudz
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OK Obama Care lovers, it isn't because of the greedy Insurance companies here, MVP is NOT FOR PROFIT

Mark Potwora
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Howard was just saying that if MVP will reimbuse Rochester General but not UMMC is it because UMMC cost are higher then Hospitals in monore county..Your story claims they are not covering Genesse county..So i assume they are covering those in monore county.You got UMMC side of the story...What is MVP side of the story..

Thomas Schneider
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Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

John Roach
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Mark,
You did not read it right.

MVP covers Genesee County residents, IF you buy direct from MVP, or through a plan, then you are covered by them.

IF you buy from the exchange, then you are not covered.

Rick Brodsky
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Not a single liberal chirp in rebuttal to Jeff's well stated post?...Really?...Nothing??

Mark Brudz
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They haven't received their unified talking points yet Rick

C. M. Barons
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If the majority of Liberals are in favor of a single-payer system, why would they bother to comment on issues with the ACA? Sort of like asking someone who dislikes bananas to comment on a banana split. The essence of the Affordable Care Act is a former Republican proposal that aims to preserve the hold for-profit insurance companies exert on the nation's health care options. Suggesting that the ACA is something Liberals are going to defend is naive at best. Don't expect many Liberals chirps!

Kyle Slocum
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C. M., you will have to define your terms if you are going to make that argument. The progressive leadership in the Democrat party dragged every single liberal in their caucus into this mess by getting/bribing/threatening/hoodwinking them into voting for the ACA.

Liberals may have wanted single-payer, but they voted for this monstrosity without demanding a proper vetting. The ink is on their fingers, they voted for it. Either they supported Obamacare like they said they did, or they are lying about why they voted for it both then and now.

I think that justifies a response. Hopefully it will come in the primaries and elections next year.

Rick Brodsky
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Naive is every single democrat voting this monstrosity into law without even understanding what it entails. Trusting the administration blindly without question. Every democrat, every liberal now wears the ACA around their neck. An anchor which will prove to be extremely heavy in years to come. If libs didn't like the plan, why didn't they demand reviews? I'll tell you why, because none of them has the moxy to question this President or Democrat leadership! They see the shiny object set before them and become oblivious to reason and consequence.

Bob Heininger
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So UMMC and MVP not yet reaching an agreement on rates is Obama's fault?

Damit Barack, you did it again! :slamfist:

:rolleyes:

I can't complain. I'm with Excellus and my premiums got cut literally in half for the same coverage.

Debbie Pugliese
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I cannot speak for other liberals but myself...I no longer comment here because of the disrespect shown for "my kind" here. Instead of just talking about the issues personal insults are spewn.

"They haven't received their unified talking points yet Rick"

"I'll tell you why, because none of them has the moxy to question this President or Democrat leadership! They see the shiny object set before them and become oblivious to reason and consequence."

See we libruls are sooo stooopid we are lead around by the nose and like shiny objects and cannot think for ourselves, etc. I was told that "people like me" are destroying the country and ruining my children's future and drinkin the kool-aid.
----
My thoughts before I leave you to your anti-liberal, anti-progressive circle jerk..

1) This affects people who use MVP through the exchange. As the exchange is not even in use yet I dont see how anyone is "losing their plan". The plan does not exist yet.

2) MVP being non-profit obviously has no effect on how its executives are compensated,

MVP Health Care paid CEO David Oliker just more than $1 million in 2011. Oliker’s 2011 compensation was roughly even with his $1.1 million 2010 pay package and up 57 percent over his 2009 compensation of roughly $649,000.

In 2009, a year in which MVP’s financial performance lagged, Oliker did not collect a bonus. His salary last year was $668,750, an annual statement MVP is slated to file with the state Department of Financial Services Mar. 31 shows. A bonus and other unspecified payments account for the balance of his 2011 compensation of $1.02 million.

MVP ended 2011 with a $32.7 million surplus on revenue of $2.9 billion, company officials said Friday. Those results compare to a $40.1 million surplus on $2.9 billion in revenue in 2010.

MVP’s top-ranking Rochester employee—Lisa Brubaker, executive vice president – government programs—in 2011 earned $508,952, making her the insurer’s fourth-highest-paid executive. Ranking second and third were James Morrill, executive vice president – human resources; and Christopher Henchey, chief operating officer. They earned $511,725 and $510,875, respectively.
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In 2012, MVP denied 15.5 percent, or 89,841, of the 579,502 claims it received. That is more than twice the percentage of claims denied by Blue Cross, which rejected 194,496, or 7.6 percent, of its customers’ 2,572,729 claims.

Of those denials, the ones “that directly impact member cost sharing,” the filing says, are called “member impact claim denials.”

“It mostly has to do with the level of coverage,” Schilling said about these denials. “It’s mostly (an insurance company) saying these services aren’t covered or you didn’t go through the proper procedures to get this coverage.”

MVP’s member impact denial rate was about five times that of Blue Cross. Of MVP’s claims, 3.97 percent, or 20,704, were member impact denied. Meanwhile, 0.8 percent, or 20,211, of Blue Cross’ claims were member impact denied.

MVP also paid out more than twice as much for its CEO in 2012. MVP paid $1,250,000 for the CEO position, which Denise Gonick took over from David Oliker in December. Of that amount, $704,000 went to MVP’s CEO salary, $241,324 went to CEO bonuses and $305,176 went to the CEO in “other compensation.”

Blue Cross CEO Don George, by comparison, earned a total $587,184 last year — $574,913 went to George’s salary and $12,271 was paid to George in bonuses.
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So apparently MVP finds its CEO pay more worthy than hospital reimbursement rates?
============
3) Well gee how about we just let that free market concept that is so highly touted do its job. There are other insurers on the exchange to choose from for people going through the exchange. If MVP doesnt want to cover exchange customers for in our county then other companies will get their business, unless MVP decides to rethink their reimbursement rate and the puts the care of their customers ahead of their CEO pay, bonuses in excess of $200,000 dollars and "other compensation". Obviously they dont care about losing business in our county, must not affect their bottom line to shut UMMC out. If it does start to affect it....they will renegotiate.

Have a nice holiday.

Debbie Pugliese
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Well Howard I guess we see that differently then. As a Democrat, I see someone saying Democrats and Liberals have no moxy to dare think for myself and like shiny things as a personal insult.

I choose not engage in conversations with people who think I am a mindless idiot who watches the "librul tee vee" to tell me what to think because I am a moron and cannot think for myself.

I would not voluntarily sit in a room with someone who speaks to me like that and I chose not to partake in a forum where the same thing happens. Is this more civil than other forums, sure, but the fact is this is I derive no enjoyment from conversation here so why would I waste my time. Time is money, life is short.

P.S. My no longer commenting here has no bearing on my visiting here. I visit your site daily and find it a very informative local news source and appreciate the time you and Billie and the other contributors spend.

Jeff Allen
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Debbie, I was at first puzzled by your comments about how you feel treated on here but then see that you joined in March of 2013. You would have a quite different view if you looked through the archives of TheBatavian and see how the discourse differed when Obama was first elected through and including his re-election. There was no shortage of Liberals on here defining Conservatives as uneducated, rube, kool-aid drinkers and rejoicing vociferously in the coronation of President Obama. As expected, when his policies became clearer and his failures, lies, and ineptness more prevalent; the Yes We Can flag wavers faded off into the sunset.

Frank Bartholomew
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Debbie, this is by far the best place to debate any subject, I usually take the side no one else will, just to stir the pot, you just have to grow thicker skin. It's a game of " point, counter point". Don't take it personal, others who post here are just stating opinions. or political
views they agree with.
My own view of the political circus in this country is simple, neither party can do anything that would actually benefit the American people.
With that being said, I welcome a challenge to that opinion. Obama screwed up, but how does it rate in comparison to the mess GWB left behind?
Time will tell, in the mean time, cast your votes wisely, after all, we put these people in a position to fail us.
Look at the comment above, in my opinion, you could plug in GWB, WJC, and so on
and so forth, it is opinion, not absolute fact.

Look at like this, 50% see a blue object, the other 50% say the object is red. Some
have never even seen the object, but are willing to beleive because they like one
color over another. Sound familiar?

Rick Brodsky
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Debbie,
The fact is...every democrat voted in favor of this law. And few to none of them knew what was in the bill. "You have to pass it to know what's in it". Fact: there was no bipartisan discussion regarding possible changes to the law, democrats rallied together and followed their leadership blindly(see fact 1). Obama continuously and repeatedly lied to the american people while knowing full well that obamacare cannot work if people are not funneled into it. He knew that the insurance companies would raise rates and cancel the so called "junk plans". Thus leaving the millions of uninsured no choice but to buy into obamacare or stay uninsured. He said this won't cost the people a single dime. Do you remember that? You seem to be quite the fact finder, perhaps you might be able to provide us with a cost to date on the exchange website? Also, maybe you might estimate for us the loss offset payments that will be made to insurance companies by the government as required by this law?......I'm sorry you feel the need to confuse debate as a personal attack but nowhere in your replies have I see anything resembling an intelligent rebuttal to the claims made here. I see the liberal agenda as many do..they wanted change, change was offered and never questioned. To me, this equates to blind acceptance. There are far more displaced insured then there are people benefitting. This is just the tip of the iceburg. Do you think its coincidence that the individual mandate was(illegally I might add) set back to after the primary elections? What do you think will happen when the business extension expires? How many millions more will be funneled into the exchange because the employers cannot afford to pay the cost increases?.... You can cry unfair treatment and defame us as to how you feel treated all you like. It still doesn't change the fact that you either refuse to defend your precious law or are unable to...

DOUGLAS MCCLURG
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Average American thinks like this..New health care reform plan?. I haven't gotten anything In the mail yet saying I need to enroll?.Nothing showing me my options?
cost?I really don't think they know the cost?I'm uninsured..This may help me get affordable insurance If I get hurt or have an accident?I'm even scared to hit save here..Because I'm so confused on my options now

Kyle Couchman
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Debbie you seem to be very intelligent. But I have to ask though if a group is ridiculed even if you are a part of the group. Isnt retreat kind of like empowering the assumptions of the other side and re affirming them? I hear slights all the time about groups I belong to, my being a cracker, redneck, squid (the nickname of members of the Navy) and so on. But I dont take them personally. I do my best to show that those assumptions are wrong,

Just like I myself try to avoid lumping people of color under a definition as I have many friends of color and see them just as angry about the actions of the ignorant few. We have a little more power of our political ascociations than we do of race or sex or ethnic, but it really is up to us to be the exceptions to make people question. As Mr. Bartholomew pointed out we can be passionate without being personal. Hw and I rarely see eye to eye but I would not refuse to shake his hand or talk with him if we came across each other in public.

How can you expect us to understand or respect a point of view if it isnt put in front of us and poked and prodded otherwise we have to fill in the gaps ourselves. Its like a home built boat. You dont just build it load it and sail off into the sunset it has to be tested, sometimes modified and even changed if need be before you can have the confidence to sail off. I hope this made sense and it's not intended to be insulting or demeaning just and honest communication from one person to another.

Frank Bartholomew
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The best way to end the Ins. Industries strangle hold on our wallets is every American who can, should cancel their health ins.. Force them to
offer their product on the open market, as it should be. My employer should not make that decision for me, nor should he have to.

Mark Brudz
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Debbie,

Again we come to this impasse where when one has an opposing view you assume that that person thinks that you are mindless. This is far from the truth, in fact the exact opposite.

On no less than four times in the past, when you inferred that my difference of opinion with you was somehow demeaning I went out of my way to point out that you make some of the most cogent arguments on the left side of the fence that I have seen. As Howard pointed out, and as I myself has said to you before, you are well researched in everything that you present, there is nothing mindless about that at all.

As my comment seemed to irritate so much that you referenced it, about talking points that is, the fact is you are one progressive poster that that statement definitely does not apply too.

I differ with you politically, so what? You seem to care deeply that an executive at MVP makes one half a million a year I could care less, that doesn't make either one of us wrong or right, it makes clear only that we have a different opinion. Some share my opinion, some share yours, some have an opinion about this from a totally different perspective.

Nothing that I have ever posted, ever was intended to be personal at you or anyone else for that matter. Likewise few on here make arguments personal. The few that do, rarely are on sound ground to make any point at all.

Our freedom is strengthened by the free flow of ideas, that applies to you as well as it does me or anyone else. My reference to talking points was very valid, even if it didn't apply directly to you. Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives even some libertarians all use them so there is in no way an inference of any kind that someone is lessor for using them.

Intelligence has nothing to do with opinion, only in the manner of how an opinion is presented. Regardless of differences of opinion many of us have with you, one thing we and those who share your opinion agree on is that you do an outstanding job researching facts to support yours. I haven't seen a single post referring to you as mindless except from you yourself. That is a shame, because you consistently bring good points to the table.

Mark Brudz
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The issue in this article has absolutely nothing to do with employers Frank. It is exactly the PERSONAL insurance purchased through the EXCHANGE that is at the heart of the issue.

If it is not resolved, when the waiver on the employer mandate runs out and many are forced into the exchange, (Or making their own decisions as you put it) this will be one option that theoretically be eliminated for us in Genesee County, the exact opposite effect of what you suggest.

I have MVP, I like it. It is in no way inferior coverage.

C. M. Barons
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There are far better sources than myself to define terms like Liberal and Progressive. For the sake of this discussion, Liberal, Conservative, Socialist, Fascist and Progressive represent fairly concrete political philosophies. Republicans, Democrats, Green, Whig, Unity, Socialist Worker are political parties. To what degree any party conforms to any political philosophy is relative. One may assert that the current Democratic Party is MORE liberal than the Republican Party after comparing the two parties' platforms. Being MORE liberal is not the same as being liberal. I would venture that individuals, self-described, liberal, are less than comfortable with many Democratic politicians. Recent calls to modify Social Security represent a watershed deviation. In the last four decades the Democratic Party, policy-wise, has shifted to the right, residing well within the center of the political spectrum. Anyone labeling the Democratic Party, liberal, is tallying specks of dust.

Frank Bartholomew
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Mark, My point is, if the ins. industry had to sell, across the board, health care coverage on the open market, just like car or homeowners ins., we would not be
having this discussion.

Kyle Slocum
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C. M., thank you for making the effort to respond to my challenge. I appreciate your willingness to engage in discussion about the nature of our current political dysfunction. I think your analysis of the Democrat Party is wishful thinking, supported by garden variety progressive rewriting of history, though.

I see liberal as very different from progressive. Both are worldviews and philosophies, but they are based on very different assumptions about humanity and human nature. Most "authoritative" definitions are written by people with a dog in the fight, just like mine is.

Liberalism is the healthy and necessary balance to man's instinctive resistance to change and the necessity of growth. Conservative's resistance to change is necessary to keep mindless change from winning the day. For every good change there are thousands of bad changes that never are allowed to happen. The push-pull of liberal versus conservative ideas furthers society by forcing partisans to defend their ideas and agendas in front of society.

Progressivism is a "third way": An evil "third way".

Progressives are a threat to all individual liberty and human rights. They always have been. When Hillary described herself as "an early 20th century progressive" I wondered whether she was referring to a belief in, and endorsement of, eugenics, prohibition or the cleansing of the "defectives" and the unproductive from the populace. (History is an inconvenient thing for progressives, that is why they change it.)

My observations of the progressive movement are that they believe that if they are given (1) sufficient governmental power and (2) are allowed to control the education of the masses they will be able to change man's nature and lead us to a utopian future.

We are to ignore all previous attempts at this modest experiment, from the Soviet Union to Hugo Chavez. But those dead white people weren't as enlightened, or as special, as our own current crop of progressives, after all. Just ask them.

Liberals are supposed to believe in liberty for all. Strangely, today they keep voting for politicians who vote for the exact opposite.

The old hippie has drifted into the libertarian camp. We now seem to have a developing nexis where Constitutionalists, old hippies, libertarians and the "little people" are all coming together to oppose the grand experiment of progressivism.

Progressives see people as cattle that need to be herded and husbanded. They are so enlightened and special that they can succeed in changing human nature. The old folks call that hubris. So do I.

People are starting to realize that when you see people as cattle, it isn't very long until you need cattle cars. Unfortunately for Progressives, people have this pernicious habit of not wanting to be slaves... Even if it is for their own "good".

Bea McManis
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Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, is looked upon as a Progressive. Hard to believe he fits the description noted above.

Dave Olsen
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Labels suck and only seek to divide people and keep us fighting amongst each other; thereby ignoring the unholy alliance of big money corporations and elected government. Better know as crony-capitalism or Fascism light.

I'd like to share 2 quotes, if I may:

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds"
Bob Marley

"We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace."
William Gladstone (paraphrased famously by Jimi Hendrix)

bud prevost
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Fascism Light, love it Dave

Jeff Allen
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Howard, has there been a change in the edit feature on posts?

John Roach
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You forgot the 1906 Brownsville, TX incident. That is where TR dishonorably discharged over 160 Black soldiers on trumped up charges. Oddly, it was Nixon who, in the 70's, gave them their pardon.

Billie Owens
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Jeff, I'm not aware of a change to the edit feature for comments. You should be able to edit your comments and save the changes.

C. M. Barons
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So far the discussion has done little but confirm my point: politics and political philosophies are relative to one another- not wholly defining. TR's policies to protect labor, regulate the drug industry and conserve natural resources would correspond to Progressive-ism. His fanatic obsession with military interdiction would not. In its simplest form, Progressive means steady, calculated advancement. Regardless of whether Roosevelt defined the Progressive-ism of his era, the philosophy embodying Progressive-ism has outgrown him.

The four pillars of Progressive Politics as defined by current Progressives are:

(From the Think Progress website) " 1. Freedom. In terms of our political foundations, the most basic progressive value is freedom. This also happens to be one of the most contested values in American life. Progressives have a two-part definition of freedom: “freedom from” and “freedom to”. First, we believe that all people should have freedom from undue interference by governments and others in carrying out their private affairs and personal beliefs. This includes our rights to freedom of speech, association, and religion as well as the freedom to control our own bodies and personal lives. Second, we believe that all people should have the freedom to lead a fulfilling and secure life supported by the basic foundations of economic security and opportunity. This includes physical protections against bodily harm as well as adequate income, economic protections, health care and education, and other social provisions…

2. Opportunity. Complementing our commitment to human freedom is our belief in opportunity. Like freedom, the concept of opportunity has two components: one focuses on political equality and the other on economic and social arrangements that enhance our lives. The first component of opportunity prohibits discrimination against anyone based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious faith or non-faith, or disability. It also means embracing the diversity of American society by ensuring that all people have the chance to turn their talents and ambitions into a meaningful life, not just the rich and powerful or dominant racial and ethnic groups. The second component of opportunity involves the conditions necessary for people to be secure and to move up in life—health care, education, a decent job, labor rights, a secure retirement…

3. Responsibility. Along with freedom and opportunity comes responsibility — personal responsibility and the responsibility we have to each other and to the common good. Personal responsibility requires each of us to do our part to improve our own lives through hard work, education, and by acting with honesty and integrity. Responsibility to others and to the common good requires a commitment to putting the public interest above the interests of a few and an understanding that strong families and communities are the foundation of a good society. It means working to achieve greater social justice and economic conditions that benefit civil society broadly. It demands an open and honest government and an engaged and participatory citizenry…

This requires pubic investments in things like transportation and trade, innovation, a skilled workforce, courts to protect patent rights and contract agreements, public safety and other measures that support the creation of wealth and help to make individual prosperity possible. It also requires progressive taxation, meaning those who have and earn more should pay more to help support the investments in things like schools, transportation, and economic competitiveness necessary to advance the interests of all.

A key component of responsibility involves ecological and social sustainability. This requires on-going stewardship of our land, water, air and natural resources, smart use of energy, and the responsible consumption of goods…

4. Cooperation. Rounding out these political values which are primarily directed at the rights, opportunities, and duties of individuals is the basic progressive value of cooperation. Cooperation is the foundation of our most important social institutions including our families, our communities, and our civic and faith groups. Freedom without cooperation leads to a divided society that cannot work together to achieve common goals and improve the lives of all. Cooperation as a value requires that we try to be open-minded and empathetic toward others and that we are accountable for their well-being as they are accountable to us. Progressives believe that if we blindly pursue our own needs and ignore those of others, our society will degenerate.

Successful families and communities cannot exist without cooperation. We also value human interdependence on a larger scale and accept the importance of looking beyond our own needs to help others and find global solutions to global problems."

Jeff Allen
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Billie, I was going to correct a grammar error on post #3 and the edit function is not available, it is on #23 I thought maybe a time limit was put on edits.

Kyle Slocum
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C. M.,

The quote "You shall know them by their acts." comes to mind.

The most horrific atrocities of the 20th century came with "sales brochures" just as happy sounding as Think Progress' Pillars.

Here's is a taste of the USSR's Constitution for reference:

Article 39. Citizens of the USSR enjoy in full the social, economic, political and personal rights and freedoms proclaimed and guaranteed by the Constitution of the USSR and by Soviet laws. The socialist system ensures enlargement of the rights and freedoms of citizens and continuous improvement of their living standards as social, economic, and cultural development programmes are fulfilled.
Enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms must not be to the detriment of the interests of society or the state, or infringe the rights of other citizens.

Article 40. Citizens of the USSR have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employment and pay in accordance wit the quantity and quality of their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society.
This right is ensured by the socialist economic system, steady growth of the productive forces, free vocational and professional training, improvement of skills, training in new trades or professions, and development of the systems of vocational guidance and job placement.

Article 41. Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure.
This right is ensured by the establishment of a working week not exceeding 41 hours, for workers and other employees, a shorter working day in a number of trades and industries, and shorter hours for night work; by the provision of paid annual holidays, weekly days of rest, extension of the network of cultural, educational, and health-building institutions, and the development on a mass scale of sport, physical culture, and camping and tourism; by the provision of neighborhood recreational facilities, and of other opportunities for rational use of free time.
The length of collective farmers' working and leisure time is established by their collective farms.

Article 42. Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection.
This right is ensured by free, qualified medical care provided by state health institutions; by extension of the network of therapeutic and health-building institutions; by the development and improvement of safety and hygiene in industry; by carrying out broad prophylactic measures; by measures to improve the environment; by special care for the health of the rising generation, including prohibition of child labour, excluding the work done by children as part of the school curriculum; and by developing research to prevent and reduce the incidence of disease and ensure citizens a long and active life.

Article 43. Citizens of the USSR have the right to maintenance in old age, in sickness, and in the event of complete or partial disability or loss of the breadwinner.
The right is guaranteed by social insurance of workers and other employees and collective farmers; by allowances for temporary disability; by the provision by the state or by collective farms of retirement pensions, disability pensions, and pensions for loss of the breadwinner; by providing employment for the partially disabled; by care for the elderly and the disabled; and by other forms of social security.

Article 44. Citizens of the USSR have the rights to housing.
This right is ensured by the development and upkeep of state and socially-owned housing; by assistance for co-operative and individual house building; by fair distribution, under public control, of the housing that becomes available through fulfilment of the programme of building well-appointed dwellings, and by low rents and low charges for utility services. Citizens of the USSR shall take good care of the housing allocated to them.

Article 45. Citizens of the USSR have the right to education.
This right is ensured by free provision of all forms of education, by the institution of universal, compulsory secondary education, and broad development of vocational, specialised secondary, and higher education, in which instruction is oriented toward practical activity and production; by the development of extramural, correspondence and evening courses, by the provision of state scholarships and grants and privileges for students; by the free issue of school textbooks; by the opportunity to attend a school where teaching is in the native language; and by the provision of facilities for self-education.

Kyle Slocum
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Where it all comes off the rails is that human beings have to run the show. They have to have unlimited power in order to move society forward toward the utopian tomorrow. It takes exactly one nanosecond for those flawed human beings in control to start using that power to help themselves, their families and those they favor.

Chronyism quickly becomes the only working currency and millions die or are killed to further the progress to utopia. It is inconceivable to the enlightened that they are just smelly-assed human beings like the rest of us. If you give these people enough power to force the appearance of a change in human nature, they will use that power for themselves and their cronies, not for their publicly stated goals.

Big government is just as bad as big business, worse actually.

C. M. Barons
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Kyle, you are simply missing the point. Politicians behave as politicians, regardless of philosophies, morality or ethics. This nation was founded by 18th Century "Liberals" who asserted all kinds of high-minded ideals. Our Declaration of Independence claims, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It goes on to proclaim, "...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

Despite these founding principles slavery was indemnified through the mid-19th Century; only male, landowners (6% of the population) were allowed to vote until 1850, women were denied suffrage until the 20th Century, former slaves were not granted voting privileges until 1870; Native Americans, 1924; etc., etc.

The so-called, "isms," exist in a plane reserved for academics. Historians may argue into which category any politician or party may fit, but the laws, practices and policies of any politician, party or administration behave independent of categories. We are a nation that on one hand can site the Warren Court for declaring segregation to be unconstitutional, while at the same time a state governor stands in a school doorway to block African-American students from entering, a cadre comprised of citizens and public law enforcers execute a carload of civil rights activists and a President signs a Civil Rights Act.

Kyle Slocum
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C. M.,

I would argue that our founder's high-minded ideals were why we got from the restrictive definitions in place at our founding to where we ended up, a beacon of freedom in the world.

Your argument seems to be that it wasn't perfect the moment the country was founded so any progress made is an indictment of the ideas and ideals of the founders. I've seen that argument for years. Originally made by supporters of the Soviet Union trying to convince Americans that Communism was the way to go...

Mark Brudz
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Bea, Teddy Roosevelt was a standard bearer for The Progressive Movement.

http://historicaltextarchive.com/sections.php?action=read&artid=598

C. M. Barons
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I give up.

Kyle Couchman
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And thus CM Barons shows us the true reason for the country being the way it is. Too many people just "Give Up" and thats what both the left and the right count on.

They all do the same things once they get in office its just a matter of what they promise before getting there.

Jeff Allen
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I thought this was one of the better discussions on here in a long time. I think C.M. and Kyle Slocum both presented excellent, well thought out points and I learned from both.

Kyle Slocum
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C. M., don't.

Acknowledge my point that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Then try to convince me with facts and compelling argument that the modern Progressive movement isn't a continuation of the hubristic movement that championed horrific policies in the first half of the 20th Century.

Do some research on the American NAZI party circa 1935. Not the same bunch of racists as the current crop, not at all. Racist, sure, but with the cloak of science and social respectability to bolster their self images. Early 20th Century Progressives, every one.

Take a look at the history of Margaret Sanger. Polish that up any way you want, but she wanted to cleanse the human population of defectives and inferior races. Progressive Hero.

I don't mean to be rude, but you will need to be very compelling and very convincing if you wish me to change my mind about what Progressivism means today.

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