POLITICAL observations & opinions

* about this blog

Now that Barack Obama has won a convincing mandate-producing victory, we’ve decided to continue our “election” blog by switching our focus to how President Obama and his team are governing. As before, we will select and abstract articles that we think merit thought, and add our own perspectives.

We invite your comments and dialogue.


3 Responses to “* about this blog”

  1. Bob Lurer said

    More Thoughts From A Flaming Liberal

    The past two weeks have caused my hair to stand on end, what little hair I have left. As a past strong supporter of the President and the administration, I have to question the way this Ship of State is being steered. I feel as if I need significant doses of Dramamine to curtail my nausea. Just think of the “strong” stands the administration has taken:

    We will do away with “Ask Don’t Tell”!
    Well, maybe we should appoint a commission to see if we should do away with “Ask Don’t Tell”.

    We will try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in a civilian court in New York, the place where the 9/11 attack took place.
    Well, we may try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in a military court.

    Regarding the attempt to a get health care bill passed: This is a health care bill, not a abortion bill. There will be no change in current abortion laws.
    Well, let’s put everything on the table, after all, we really need a health care bill passed.

    My question is when will the President and majority leaders in Congress carefully choose a course and steer it? If the President feels strongly about an issue, he should stay the course. Need I remind anyone that the former President decided he was going to order the invasion of Iraq and not advice from our intelligence agencies, former ambassadors or other national security advisers could move him. He made did what he wanted to do and stayed that course.

    There are some really good and needed issues that are addressed in the health care bill but I see nothing that controls premium costs spiraling out of control. I see nothing to do away with the antitrust exemption awarded to health insurance companies. Some states have one major provider holding over 85% of the health insurance coverage while other states have only two major providers holding in the aggregate 90% or more. The Republicans offered and the spineless Democrats accepted hundreds of amendments to the health care bill and still, not one Republican Senator and only one Republican member of the House voted for the bill.

    Republicans have offered several ideas to make the health care bill more workable: allow people to purchase insurance across state lines; significantly limit tort awards; and finally, my favorite, let the free market and private industry solve the problems. Please allow me to address those “solutions”.

    The purchase across state lines issue is a giant canard. Yes, I could purchase my health insurance coverage in a state where the rates might be significantly lower. What is never discussed is the insurance regulations in that state. Take a state with little or no regulation on health insurance companies. If people were allowed to cross state lines, insurance companies would relocate to that state, free to run their companies with little or no control over their operation. Let’s remember that before changes were made controlling interest rates charged on credit cards, credit card issuers move to North Dakota. Why? Because they enjoyed the crisp weather? No. Because interest rates that credit card issuers could charge in that state could be sky high. I predict the same will happen if we allow purchasers to obtain coverage across state lines.

    As to tort reform, one only has to look to the State of Texas. Texas significantly revamped its tort reform laws. Payment for pain and suffering was slashed. And even the recovery from proven gross malpractice was reduced. What happened to the cost of the premiums for health insurance? Through the roof. The passing of tort reform did nothing to reduce the cost of health insurance premiums. Only one to two percent of health care expenses are due to malpractice suits.

    And now to my favorite, let the private industry address the problem. Well, I think we will all agree that that method has always worked and not just in the health care industry but in all industries. Auto maker had to be dragged kicking and screaming to install seat belts in cars and make cars that could produce better gas mileage. Various companies objected to the establishment of a consumer protection agency; industry fought a provision allowing the government to force meat packing plants to recall tainted products; oil companies objected to removing lead from gasoline so that the air we breath is cleaner. This list goes on and on. The health care industry has done nothing to keep premium costs down except denying coverage to insured individuals on any basis they can think of, while at the same time producing record profits and paying their top executives millions and millions of dollars in remuneration. Yeah, let’s have industry handle the problem without government input. What a great idea!

    Bob Lurer

    • Chris said

      What boggles my mind is this group of people who want to give away everything. We are in financial melt down and it’s not even being discussed honestly or reported. The government runs Medicare, Medicaid, Social security and VA hospitals where in this group is the example of any positive reform? Instead these are some of the biggest parts of our national debt. The thought that this bill being proposed is going to save money and not increase the national debt is a lie. What the boomer generation has done to this country is a disgrace.

  2. Chris said

    We invite your comments and dialogue.

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