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Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Those Aren’t Balls, Harry

That must be a sock stuffed into Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s shorts, because it sure isn’t the new set of cojones I had hoped for. Word is that Senate Democrats, led by balless-Harry has decided to drop any type of public option from a newly agreed to healthcare “reform” bill. Instead, they have decided to mix several plans together, including an ability to buy into Medicare for those 55 and older. Reid just touted this as a major break through. But I don’t get how?
First of all, I don’t know a person on Medicare who is happy with it, and many are forced to buy supplemental insurance to get satisfactory coverage. Oops! … there go your savings!! So, why would anyone want to buy into a plan like that? Nothing like paying for the privilege of being kicked in the nuts.
Plus, what about the rest of us suckers looking for some relief from the ridiculous cost of healthcare who haven’t reached the magic double-nickels? Unfortunately, the patchwork of plans for the younger set will be administered by private concerns. So, don’t expect to get any more of a break than we already enjoy from the “private concerns” running the current health insurance show.
So what happened? Plain and simple, Harry and the Dem-management caved to the lobbyists of the most powerful group in DC. When the going got tough, they folded like Chinese laundry. And, speaking of the Chinese, why not let them compete in the market … that would drive down prices! But, seriously, why not just give us the same plan that members of congress enjoy? Too easy, I suppose. Though, don’t the generals say “the troops come first”? And, it wouldn’t even put us first, just on the same level playing field.
Bottom line is, the Senate plan won’t likely have much of an impact on our collective bottom lines, other than to continue to spiral up. Maybe at a slower rate (and I’m sure they’ll celebrate that when the time comes), but don’t expect to pay any less than you already do. Can you say, “Status quo”?

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Enough, Already!

WARNING: THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND/OR ADULT THEMES

First it was Joe “I’m Sorry” Wilson yelling, “Liar! Liar!! Pants on fire!!” at the President of the United States in front of the entire Congressional gathering; then, it was Rush “I Didn’t Say That” Limbaugh crying in the milk about not being able to play football with the big boys; and, just this past week, it was Rep. Kevin “Schoolyard Bully” Brady making up statistics and “facts” as he went along during finance reform hearings trying to get Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to voluntarily step down from his post. It’s as if the right has been reduced to a whining bunch of 5 year olds, who hope that if they whimper long enough they might actually get their way.
But, can you blame them? Matron Saint Palin is back in the limelight, proving again in interviews that she has absolutely no clue. Unless you consider not knowing the difference between Iraq and Iran (beyond the disparity in 4th letters) an improvement over being able to see Russia from her house.
You’ve got Ms. Prejean showing up in film without her jeans. Illuminating the fact that it’s better to be seen hanging with Camel Joe than it is to be caught playing with your Camel-toe.
And now, it seems as if Harry “Big Balls” Reid is going to take his version of Health Care reform direct to a vote without giving the GOP faithful a chance to read from the local phone book.
I suppose it is enough to reduce anyone to the level a sniveling pre-schooler. But, really … enough, already! I can’t stand it when my own flesh and blood gets crotchety, so I surely don’t want crabbiness from the folks who are supposed to solving our various national crises. I will say to them the same thing I say to my kids when they get too pissy, “Keep it up, and you’ll be going on a permanent time out!”

Chicken Little Lieberman

November 10, 2009 1 comment

I already have it in for Joe Benedict Arnold Lieberman. I mean, how does a guy go from being the Democratic nominee for VP to keynote speaker at the Republican Convention in just 8 years? Was the guy a plant, a political black-op operative meant to cause disruption and turmoil in the progressive camp? I’m starting to believe in this very possibility.
Lieberman was on TV over the weekend yelling “Terrorism” at the top of his Chicken Little lungs in the case of the nation’s newest mass murderer, Major Nidal Hassan. While evidence has since come to light that Hassan may have had Islamic extremist sympathies, there is no evidence that this was an organized act of terrorism. Certainly, there was absolutely nothing to insinuate a terrorist connection when Jumpin’ Joe declared that the terrorist-sky was falling.
So, why was he stirring the pot while simultaneously pushing the number one panic button for the American public? Was it a diversion tactic to deflect the media away from the historic house vote for healthcare reform? Was it an attempt to rekindle public support for the Bush/Cheney led rape of the Bill Of Rights? Or perhaps, just trying to shift attention away from the fact that he is to the Democratic Party what Brett Favre is to diehard Packer fans?
Whatever his motives were for prematurely making Hassan the latest al Qaeda poster-child, there was definitely an agenda. What it was isn’t readily visible, yet. But, we can be sure that it had designs, and intentions that probably weren’t very altruistic. After all, the Bushinators proved that if you create enough hysteria you can get away with anything.

Is Harry Reid Growing Some Cojones?

WARNING:  THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND/OR ADULT THEMES

Late yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, announced he would be supporting a new Health Care Reform bill that has a modified public option included, citing strong public opinion in favor of such an option.  Additionally, he said he would consider using “reconciliation” in order to only require a 50% majority, rather than the usual 60%, to pass the bill.

This is a huge gamble for the Nevada Democrat, but one he is apparently willing to back with the rarely invoked “reconciliation” which would give the one-finger-salute to any attempt at bipartisanship.  Since the exact details of his proposal have yet to be released, and will be reviewed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, I won’t discuss the merits of it here …yet.  But, the bold move does deserve some examination.

Is Harry Reid getting “Mavricky” on us?  Suddenly grown a huge set of balls?  Or, just emboldened by the growing public opinion consensus?  I think the evidence points solidly towards the latter.  “Public Option” wasn’t even part of his vocabulary when the Health Care debate began in earnest several months ago.  Then, when President Obama stated that he would prefer a bill with the PO, Reid pretty much poo-pooed it, saying he doubted he could get it passed.  Then, when Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) suggested a PO back-up plan if certain thresholds were not met over the next 5-7 years, Reid said it was a “pretty darn good idea”.  In other worlds, he has waffled more on this subject than breakfast at IHOP!

Regardless of his motivation for the sudden discovery of backbone, Reid’s daring move deserves some applause.  While his bill may not ending up being a full-fledged PO that drives real competition in an overweight, out-of-shape Health Care system, it is a start in the right direction that will certainly drive the debate truly needed on this issue.  Most of all, though it took some time, it’s refreshing to see some of our elected officials seemingly inclined to heed to the will of the majority of the American people.

It remains to be seen if the Majority Leader can stick to his guns and get a bill done that will jive well with what the Pelosi-led House has proposed.  My suggestion to Senator Reid is to add some extra starch to his shirts in order to stand erect during the heated battle that is sure to follow, because I’m not sure if that is a faux Public Option in his pants pocket, or truly a new set of cojones.

Decisions, Decisions!

The current economic crises has put many of us on the financial brink.  As a result, we have had to make very hard decisions on where and how we spend the money we do have.   For many, it has been a choice of whether or not to continue insuring their car, their house, or even themselves.

I have several friends that have been debating, or already chosen, whether they should keep their health insurance vs. their home insurance.  Granted, health insurance has become a much larger portion of everyone’s economic expense pie than has insurance for their abode.  However, the choice has still been health or home – along with some other discretionary expenditures to make up the difference.

For me, the choice would be easy.  I have always been a firm believer that if you have your health (and the love of your family) you have it all.  Others have said that you have to ensure the roof over your family’s head will not be threatened.  While I agree with that, by not having health insurance for your entire family, you are putting your home and your family’s security at great risk.  Should a major health crises arise, you could be on the hook for thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.  If you are being forced into making a decision on whether or not to insure, you certainly don’t have the cash position to cover that kind of expense.  The result will most likely be bankruptcy, and the loss of your house anyway.  For others, though, the choice has been for the material rather than the ethereal.

I’m interested to see how others feel on this tough decision.  Please, log your choice on the poll above.

Why am I so stressed, Mr. President?

October 5, 2009 1 comment

WARNING:  THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND ADULT THEMES! (Sorry, no porn)

obama

Why am I so stressed?  I live a pretty stress free life, between all the pot I smoke and the number of times I wax the dolphin each day.  Throw in the fact that my favorite activities are golf, tennis, fishing, and laughing and playing with my kids (not necessarily in that order) and you’d think I wouldn’t have a real care in the world.  And, for the most part, I don’t.   Yet, for some odd reason, I am totally stressed out these days.

You don’t think it could be because the President that I actively helped elect last November apparently has no negotiating acumen whatsoever, and this little omission from his skills set is likely to produce a health care reform bill that will have all the teeth of my denture wearing grandmother?  Maybe it’s because I don’t know how I can afford to keep my wife and children insured when it is costing us 34% of our total income to pay the premiums.  Or, perhaps I just need to smoke and choke a bit more.  Let’s dive a little deeper into this morass.

Even I know that, when negotiating any type of deal, you must leave yourself some “wiggle room” to bargain with; and that you always start the process at a point of reference higher than you hope to finally settle at.  Apparently, Mr. Obama has forgotten this little elemental piece of Negotiating 101 doctrine.  Instead of starting with something like “Single Payor”, which would really create major reform and change for the health industry, and ending up with something like the “Public Option”, which would at the very least lower these out of control costs, he decided to start at the latter.  In effect, he is saying that the “Public Option” is the best he can hope for and will be willing to settle for something even less than that.

Unfortunately, what is now being bantered about within the bowels of Washington, D.C. is not reform at all.  It will hardly make a difference to most people struggling to make their premium payments; will not drive down costs, only slow their ascent; and, basically creates a status quo for the health insurance industry.  Two thirds of the citizens of this country are in favor of the “Public Option”, and more than half would welcome a “Single Payor” system.  But, the folks who supposedly represent us haven’t gotten that message, or just choose to ignore it.  I’m betting on the latter since the parasitic industry lobbyists running around the intestinal halls of Congress are on the tab for $14 million a day!

So, is our President really that dense, or lacking the backbone to stand up to the full-court press presented by the HMO gang.  I don’t think so … Obama is no George Bush – he actually possesses a brain and knows how to utilize it.  I also think there is more than just the starch in his shirt holding him upright.  Rather, I am convinced that the real reason he has started from such a totally weak bartering position is fear.  Fear of failure.

There is no doubt that the failure of the Clinton’s to get any healthcare bill passed during their tenure hangs over his head like a hole-ridden umbrella.  Politically, he feels he can’t afford to come away empty handed.  The funny thing is, that he could get any bill he really wanted passed, but it would compromise his myopic olive-branch pipe dream of bipartisanship.

Bipartisanship has never worked in American politics (outside of a few major crises like World War I or II) and never will.  The American voters gave the Democratic Party a pretty clear mandate last year, yet they somehow are failing to wield that mandate with any determination to get some real change going in an area that is quickly becoming this country’s next major crisis.

Fear is no place to begin any sort of negotiation.  It is a clear sign of weakness, and the folks sitting across the table from him can smell that debility like a pack of rabid Wolves.  Fear doesn’t beget change or reform.  Fear doesn’t move this country in new and enlightened directions.  Fear only will keep us in our current predicament.  Fear will assure that we remain the only western industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee quality, affordable (or even free) health coverage for all of its citizens.

At his first inauguration, President Franklin Roosevelt uttered the famous phrase, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”  What I fear is that my stress level doesn’t look to be coming down anytime soon.  Oh well, guess it’s time to go spark a doob and whittle the wood.