by altara, Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 04:16:16 AM EDT
HEALTH CARE CONCLUSIONS
The other day, a former neighbor came by to visit. At one point she complained that, having just signed up for Medicare, she feared the Medicare changes in health care reform plans. Well, the reform does not threaten Medicare. Medicare changes are not the thrust of these reforms. Medicare's funding problems have to be addressed separate from current reform plans.
Putting aside drummed up fears like "death panels". what's not to like about health care reform? Certainly, there is the cost of insuring the uninsured, but most Americans are in favor of righting this wrong. (and we're paying a lot for their health care as it is). President Obama wants to eliminate pre-existing conditions limitations, prevent denials when illness occurs, help preserve insurance when jobs are lost, and reduce costs for the benefit of businesses and individuals. It's all good stuff.
Then there is the public option. This is not government take over or socialism; it is a public insurance option, to operate like Medicare. At the outset, this option is necessary because we will have to subsidize some of the currently uninsured; and so we want a lower cost alternative. Longer term this government insurance operation will help keep private insurers competitive and can better negotiate with providers to reduce the overall cost of health care.
Everyone agrees that our health care system is broken and presents an unsustainable burden on our society. Now is the time for President Obama and the Democrats to bring the change voted for last November.
by altara, Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 08:10:07 AM EDT
Some of the News
That may be True
PALIN TO ADDRESS UN
It was formally announced tody that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would address the United Nations when it resumes meeting in September. This is seen as part of her global outreach as she expands the foreign policy iniatives she started after leaving office.
The arrangements for the speech were made by former Ambassador John Bolton in a show of U.S. support of the UN and its mission. Governor Palin has agreed to waive her usual six figure
by altara, Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 05:19:31 AM EDT
HEALTH CARE REFORM - THE PUBLIC OPTION
Reports that President Obama will not insist that reform include the public option is really distressing. Most experts consider this an integral part of meaningful reform. Without it the insurance companies benefit from all the influx of the previously uninsured and do not face strong competition.
From a public relations point of view, perhaps it should have been called the public insurance option. This would have mitigated but not prevented the misleading claims that government is taking over health care.
But I do agree with Republicans when they say that the Democrats control the White House and Congress and can pass health care reform legislation. Those Democrats that have not been supporting their president on this issueshould be threatened with loss of perks, primary fights, and long sessions with Rahm Emmanuel.
by altara, Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 11:12:30 AM EDT
We are pleased and thankful that Senator Jim Webb has been able to secure the freedom of John Yettaw, who had been sentenced to prison for swimming to the home of pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. The Senator, and the Obama administration and its State Department, are to be congratulated.
One somewhat disturbing thought. North Korea, which has a nuclear weapon, was able to secure the visit of a former president, Bill Clinton, to accept the release of imprisoned Americans. Burma, which has no such weapon, got only a Senator.
Would Iran, maybe on its way to nuclear capability, settle for a former vice president in order to release the captured hikers?
by altara, Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 10:19:54 AM EDT
HEALTH CARE REFORM
Some of the opposition to health care reform is truly mystifying. I can understand the political part where many Republicans just want Obama to fail (even at the expense of our country). These politicians and the insurance companies are successfully stirring up strong and vocal followers to repeat outlandish claims and disrupt town meetings. Many of these are just doing their bidding, without real conviction.
It is claimed that some of these unthinking dissenters are motivated by racism, against a black president. I would hope, and guess, that this part of the group would be small.
But there are also sincere citizens who oppose health care reform, and ignore the facts. There is no abortion funding, no euthansia, no single payer mandate. Most of these citizens have health insurance. Don't they realize that the goal here is to give them more rights and protection and to lower health care costs and thus halt or slow the increases in their premiums?
Some loudly oppose the public option, which insurers hate. But it's not government takeover and the existing public plan, Medicare, is efficient and effective and well liked by its participants.
Many voice legitmate concern about the cost of the reform. But the plan is to keep the reform from increasing the deficit, to lower the overall cost of health care in the long run. 47 million uninsured and at health risk. Providing health care coverage for all brings us into line with all other industrialized nations and is obviously the right thing to do. What happened to the earlier polls that showed that most Americans were willing to sacrifice in order to provide coverage for their fellow citizens?
So it's hard for me to understand how so many Americans are voicing unwarranted opposition. Is this a reflection of a deficient educational system?
At my age, I guess that I should just be content to worry about the death panels revealed by Our Lady of Wasilla.
by altara, Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:39:48 AM EDT
WHITE HOUSE CONFIRMS DRUG DEAL
White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion. $80 billion over 10 years. $8 billion per year, which may or may not be much of a burden on the drug corporations.
Don't know how it works. Reducing profit on a prescription from 300% to 150%? Or can a drug company say it was going to charge $50 for each pill of a new product, but will charge $35, saving patients all that money? But apparently this deal is supposed to prevent the government from negotiating prices for 10 years and will prevent importation from Canada for 10 years.
It's hard to see that this is a good deal, let alone the question of what could otherwise be achieved in a 10 year period. A risky arrangement. And will this stop hospitals from charging $30 for one aspirin?
If either of my blog readers can enlighten me, I would appreciate it.
by altara, Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:57:05 AM EDT
Some of the News
That may be True
REPUBLICANS IN SEARCH FOR LOUD VOICES
Party Chairman Michael Steele instituted today an intensive search for loud people to attend and disrupt town meetings and press conferences where Democrats would discuss health care reform. Mr. Steele emphasized that the Republican disruptive program is a public service, protecting the public from discussion of complicated issues that could lead to government take over of health care, as in the Medicare program.
Ideally, he said, all of the women recruited would sound like Ethyl Merman and the men like a loud Andy Devine, or a rock and roller. Some of the committee members would be dispatched to rural regieons seeking champion pig callers while others are flying to Switzerland to seek high level yodelers.
by altara, Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 09:17:49 AM EDT
THE BEER SUMMIT
Obama, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Mass., police are scheduled to gather over beers at a picnic table outside the Oval Office.
I've been an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama since the beginning. While still solidly in his camp, I have been critical of what I deem a less than forceful approach to the Democrats in Congress. Not to read too much into this, but his choice of the beer he will drink at this event does give me pause. Instead of any robust strong beer, he will be having a watery, wimpy beer, Bud Light.
by altara, Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:54:41 PM EDT
Some of the News
That may be True
LOU DOBBS - AMERICAN OR MEXICAN?
A news release from the Citizen Research Council today cast doubt on the citizenship of CNN commentator Lou Dobbs. According to the Council's spokesman Roger Smith, the research was prompted by recent support he has given to the "birthers", a Republican fringe group that questions President Obama' s status as a U.S. citizen qualified to be president. The group igtonores clear evidence of Obama's birth in Hawaii, choosing to continue to claim serious doubts.
The Council's research revealed that in September 1945 a Lou Dobbs was born in Juarez, Mexico, the son of an American man and a Swedish economist. No evidence was found to indicate that Mr. Dobbs had qualified to be a U.S citizen.
So Lou Dobbs may be a Mexican and, according to security experts, could have a problem getting through the border fence to return to his native land.
by altara, Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:35:44 AM EDT
I am still impressed with Obama's command of the facts and his ability to explain clearly and fully the facts and the issues. What a contrast! But this also means fewer questions from the press. The President can and does give extended answers that take many minutes. So it's good and bad.
I judge the press conference a success. President Obama gave a clear and convincing performance. I would have preferred more emphasis on the public option, more passion, and a more forceful insistence that this reform must be done and must be done right. "Here is what must be done; all Democratic legislators, take notice!"
Note: Should not the President threaten not to support those Democrats that don't support him?