Hillary? Please Tell Me You're Joking.

Ellen Goodman is a lady I read and often agree with. She is insightful and has a heavy dose of that thing the guys like to call Women’s Intuition (substitute: instincts) because a good many males just can not bring themselves to admit that women can actually cogitate. So yes I often agree with her assessments. And I strongly agree with her when she says the country is ready for a woman or a Black as president. I would even go so far as to say we are long overdue. For years it has amazed me that the most liberal country in the world for women is the most gender biased as far as elective offices are concerned. Whereas several countries around the world whose culture allows women to be considered chattel have had women in the top governmental positions.

I was happy to agree with Ms. Goodman’s article Ready or not A woman is most qualified Dem for president in 2008; a black is most exciting, but only partially. When she gets to promoting this particular candidate I staunchly disagree. Ms. Goodman is of course referring to Hillary as the Democratic candidate for president in 2008. A topic I have read and heard discussed now for six long years and we still have two whole intense years to go. Dear Lord! I even had a serious moment when I actually considered a move to Outer Mongolia to get away from this nonsense. Well, I can’t do that, and as long as I am anywhere near a computer with Internet, radio or television I WILL continue my almost life long addiction to news. The only logical action I can take then to get it off my chest is to toss Hillary in the trash can where she belongs. I may also slip Mr. “Who in Hell Are You?” Obama in there with her. (Tho I may pull him back out after more consideration, but for now he is just a charming man who came out of the blue with no experience governing and I would hate to entrust him with running the country at this time.)

I keep hearing that Hillary’s albatross is her husband. No way! Billy Boy may not have been able to keep his zipper zipped, but that is merely typical behavior for an alpha male, and as such it was common behavior for several of our previous presidents. Just not common knowledge because our public was not obsessed with prurient gossip so the newspapers whose editors generally knew of these aberrations saw no need to pass them on.

Clinton’s penchance for unzipping in the Oval Office did not hinder him in his presidential duties or decisions. ( I can’t refrain from passing on a bit of Monica’s book that my Mom read me since I had refused to read the book.: Monica related that Bill was eating a pizza, was not having sex relations with that woman and talking to Arafat on the phone all at the same time. Dam! Talk about multi-tasking.) Now that I have found an opportunity to pass along that little tidbit we can get back to Bill: He was no more than settled in the Oval Office when the campaign to smear him began. It went so far that in the summer of 1994 a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the many allegations. As Special Prosecutor Ken Starr labored mightily from August 1994 to December 1998 to fine anything criminal in Bill Clinton’s past behavior, and after four years and a third of the gold at Fort Knox the only thing they could accuse him of was perjury when he said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” **

I think in time William Jefferson Clinton will be seen as one of our better presidents. He was an outstanding diplomat who if not for Arafat’s refusal to accept Israel’s offer even after Clinton had convinced the Israelis to give the Palestinians everything they asked for and a bit more, the problems in at least that part of the Middle East would probably have been solved.

He kept the economy going strong and for the first time since 1969 Clinton balanced the budget from 1997 to 2002. Republicans took office in 2002 with a surplus! There is much more to his record, but these two are very strong talking points in his favor.

My thinking is that the only thing Hillary has going FOR her is Bill! But this isn’t about Bill Clinton it is about Hillary Clinton and the only reason I had to bring him in was because of all the “deep, deep thinkers” making him out to be her doom.

So let us now get back to Hillary and her real baggage. Hillary is now and ever has been her own worst enemy. Campaigning against Hillary should be a snap as all that has to be done is to allow Hillary to be Hillary. Her voting record, her nasty personality and her lack of integrity as shown in her willingness to “dump and jump” any principle and any person in an effort to keep the political wind in her sails amply describes her mode of operation. She reminds me much of Jesse Jackson chasing the camera, only she is chasing the current correct political posturing.

The United State’s addiction to oil has been our Achilles heel for the better part of a century. It has put us at the mercy of the oil producing countries which unfortunately tend to have unstable governments. This is simply an untenable situation to be in and it only becomes more and more so as our population grows and our need for energy increases. Oil consumption is polluting of our atmosphere causing global warming, a fact which is finally getting the nod from more scientists as being a fact. Whether or not burning fossil fuels has been the sole cause of global warming as some believe, or merely a boost to the severity of a natural cycle of climate change is a moot point. The problems caused by global warming should be our only concern and leave off the arguments of how it happened. It is happening and the impact on the peoples of the Earth will be enormous. Something must be done and done quickly to try to at least minimize the disaster looming on the horizon. This something is of course to stop polluting the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and it is something we are capable of doing by making the same kind of effort to find alternate sources of cheap energy that we have succeeded in putting into other direly needed projects. The Atomic bomb comes to mind.

Senator Clinton seems unaware of this situatin and can only see as far as the next barrel of oil. She voted for an expansion of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. She also voted against an ethanol bill which certainly is not the best alternative energy idea floating out there, but is at least a beginning. She voted against more stringent vehicle fuel-efficiency standards. She voted against the Energy bill because it gave too many incentives to the oil companies, not considering the other more important parts of the bill. When America’s central states better known as our bread basket is a desert no one will care how much profit the oil companies were able to rip off. She did however come thru with a good vote for saving the environment when she voted YES on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This however after approving drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Go figure!

There is another pressing reason to for promoting alternative energy sources and cutting off the oil pipeline. No matter how much we expand the drilling and pumping of oil in territory that belongs to the United States we will still have needs far beyond our ab ility to produce thus leaving us at the mercy of the Middle East, Russia and in the future Afghanistan which has a huge untapped reserve of oil. If you wanted a rogues gallery of countries these would certainly make the first row!

Hillary sounds real good when she talks federal spending. She uses all the key words like pay down debt, cut taxes, balance budget, invest in people, protect the next generation from our debts. Then she votes NO to reduce federal overall spending by $40B in December 2005. And I have yet to see a pet project that she hasn’t liked. One in particular got to me because it is in an area where I happened to have enjoyed spending several winters. After Katrina hit thwe Gulf Coast Biloxi, Mississippi was no more; no homes, no stores and huge casinos pushed a block up from their anchor on the coast. But, a railroad was there that had been in the same place for 150+ years. To bring in needed freight it was among the first things to be repaired. Then the powers that be wanted the railroad moved 20 feet from it’s original position. Hillary voted Yes to pay for this folly. People are still without homes, but that railroad is in a new and expensive setting and carrying tourists down to gawk at the devastation and the people still living in trailers and tents. This is just one asinine project she has voted for while using the correct key words (see above).

Remember Hillary’s big Health Care Plan that she presented to the Congress in her first term as first lady? Congress applauded and cheered her with gusto when she enter the House of Representatives to present the bill, and then very wisely simply ignored it. But, you can bet Hillary hasn’t forgotten her staggering bill. She will spend her time in office pushing for a gargantuan entitlement program because she wants universal health care to be her legacy. While you’re remembering do remember the double digit increase in medical cost for decades after Medicare and Medicaid where established in 1965. It is a sad fact that when the government gets involved the price tag goes out of sight. Our country desperately needs some sane changes made in the health care system and health care made affordable, but a new overwhelming entitlement program when we already have two (Social Security and Medicare) that are on the verge of bankruptcy is not a move to make. Again I refer you to Hillary’s key words (see above) when she is speaking of the economy and the budget. She really talks a good talk, it is sad that her walk verges towards the irresponsible.

In foreign affairs she is the typical new Democrat in that no matter what happens, or how we are attacked, the response will be peace at all costs. The Muslim terrorist will accept this attitude as fear and increase their jihad against the West and the United States in particular. The sad fact is that despite her nasty temper with those who serve her Hillary is a light weight and will be totally ineffective in foreign affairs. If elected I hope she has the sense to appoint an outstanding Secretary of State and then step aside. Of course with her overweening ego she will never allow anyone to take the lime light away from her.

I do agree with Ellen Goodman that it is time for a woman president. It’s just a shame the mind set of the country having finally arrived at acceptance of this idea when we simply don’t have any qualified women to run in either party. We need a woman of the stature like some we have had in the past. Just a few come to mind quickly: Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Barbara Jordan, Madelyn Albright and Jean Kirkpatrick. BB

Ellen Goodman
Washington Post 12.29.06 and various reference materials

**Bill Clinton was not official impeached as it takes both houses to agree to impeach. On December 19, 1998 he was impeached by the House of Representatives on grounds of perjury to a grand jury by a vote of 228 to 206, and for obstruction of justice by a vote of 221 to 212. Bill Clinton was aquitted by the Senate.


didnt read all of it

just perused. I will say that while I do not support her for president it is not because I dont like her. Its only partially because I think there are better options (both policy and electability). Mostly my reason is that I want her to be in the Senate for the rest of her life. Vive Hillary.


"Keep the Faith"

Just Say No

to Hillary for President.

She's a mighty fine Senator - I hope NY keeps her.

I've never voted Republican in a national election - I don't want to start now.

Just say No.

I realize my essays are

I realize my essays are long. Sorry. I am(was) a lecturer rather than a writer so I tend to "fill up the time" with asides and jokes. Can't break this habit, so it has just become my blog style. Those who enjoy me do read me, those who don't, well they just don't. My motto I guess is: Why use one word when ten will say it better? BB


Hillary would get creamed in the south

Is that not obvious? I can only imagine she is being promoted by the press because they want the Republicans to continue to control the White House.
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

That's the Way I See It -

I hate it when 'they' tell me what I want. I *know* what I want and it's not Hillary.

She's just a better story

I haven't seen much indication that more than, say, 5% of the mainstream press is interested in policy, unless the policy is linked to actions that make people feel something strongly enough to want to consume media on that topic.

A Hillary haiku:

Hillary, she moved,
right, to New York to run for
Senator? Bill's blow job?

Apparently, Bill has a really bad problem

did you see last week's Newsweek? A family friend called it an "addiction" but said he would refrain if it would help get Hillary elected President? An addiction?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Did that story have anything about Belinda Stronach?

She's been the tabloids' favorite partner for Bill as of late.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

No, it didn't go into specifics

It was the cover story, which otherwise was fairly well done - about whether a woman or African American could get elected. It was just weird that the reporter finds it necessary to bring up Bill's problem as told by a "close friend of the family". I'm sure they were discussing obstacles for Obama and Clinton. I'll go read again and see if it's as strange the second time.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Your rant is off base.

She will spend her time in office pushing for a gargantuan entitlement program because she wants universal health care to be her legacy. While you’re remembering do remember the double digit increase in medical cost for decades after Medicare and Medicaid where established in 1965. It is a sad fact that when the government gets involved the price tag goes out of sight. Our country desperately needs some sane changes made in the health care system and health care made affordable, but a new overwhelming entitlement program when we already have two (Social Security and Medicare) that are on the verge of bankruptcy is not a move to make.

"entitlement program", so you are back to your Republican leanings?

The facts are these, that every other developed country in the world has universal health care. They pay for it in different ways, but they all have it.

Every other developed country has a better infant mortality rate than we do, see the connection?

We pay much more, but have worse health, per capita than any other developed country.

For 67% of what we pay, countries like Sweden have universal health care, we leave 47 million without health care.

About 66% of all our health care costs are already paid by taxes and public subsidies.

Put those last two together and you can see that we already pay enough in public money to have universal health care, we just don't get it.

Lastly, Medicare and Social Security are ONLY in trouble because those in power rape their proceeds to pay for their little wars. Leave the money where it belongs and they are the most stable programs in the country.

Medicare is also a great example of how well a government program can run. It uses 2-3% of its income for overhead, while private insurance companies use between 25-33%.

Health insurance companies have recorded record profits at the same time their stock portfolios have crashed, guess who made up the difference? A national insurance plan would not rely on such things and would be stable one decade to another.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

p.s. I don't support Hillary in the election

bit I couldn't let this Republican disinformation pass without comment.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I agree with everything you

I agree with everything you said (with the exception of calling me a dirty word: REPUBLICAN Yuk!) Every word you wrote is true. But everything I wrote is also true. Before 1965 and the advent of Medicare and Medicaid health care was affordable and the poor were cared for in free clinics rather than hospital emergency rooms. Doctors donated their time to these free clinics much like lawyers donate their time to those who need legal aid. AND, infant mortality rates were lower. The sad fact is our government is so bloated and bureaucratic that we can not seem to keep a handle on either our bureaucracy or our elected officials. That is why giving them another huge pot full of our tax dollars to play with is not the way.
The one thing you didn’t mention that is all important: these other countries health care systems and is totally different from ours. They are ALL regulated as to what doctors one can see (most are assigned to clinics), what hospitals one can go to and what procedures the government will pay for. All hospitals do not have all the medical equipment ours do but have to share with each other. Patients are required to go sometimes a hundred miles or more for a test or screening. Also there is a waiting list that everyone is required to get on for operations and more serious care, and they receive treatment as their names come up unless they are on their death beds. Canadians routinely come to the US for heart and lung operations if they can afford to; the poor Canadians just die of heart of lung illnesses before their name comes up. As to the procedures that the government will pay for please look further into the different countries plans and you will find that Americans simply would not permit such a plan. The state of Oregon tried in the 1980’s (I believe it was) to set up such a plan where they would not pay for procedures that had no hope of saving the patients life. This came about because more money is spent on medical needs during the last year of a persons life than their entire life before and most of these procedures do nothing to prolong their life even the medical establishment admits. Oregon’s plan was voted on and approved by the people of the state. The federal government bureaucracy then came in and told the state that if they did not relinquish their plan the state would be cut off from Medicare and Medicaid funding. Oregon dropped their voter approved plan naturally since no state could possibly take on the burden of health care for all their citizens alone.
What I hope to see is that you young and very intelligent people begin to look closer at what is, and what has been, before you make up your minds as to what you believe. Sincerely, An old broad who has maybe seen too much and done too much crying for the poor and cussing the politicians. Brenda Bowers



You say that before 1965 everyone was taken care of and life was perfect because Doctors were amazing people and donated their time. I have no idea whether that is true or not. But, why has that changed (if it happened at all) ? You mentioned it and then didnt say anything else. The assumption you seem to be making is that in a system free of government intervention people were better. Except, the problem here is that those doctors have to eat. If one person gets something for free the doctor has to make up for that from somewhere else.

As for the thing about our youth. I was in a class less than a year ago full of people just like me, college seniors, juniors and some sophomores. The class was public policy. When presented with facts, costs etc, the reaction to universal health care was amazingly progressive. I just hope we can overcome a generation of lies spread by men like Reagan about government's role.


"Keep the Faith"

Misinformation and FUD!

Also there is a waiting list that everyone is required to get on for operations and more serious care, and they receive treatment as their names come up unless they are on their death beds. Canadians routinely come to the US for heart and lung operations if they can afford to; the poor Canadians just die of heart of lung illnesses before their name comes up.

False and lies. For an emergency (heart attack, stroke, collapsed lung, broken limb), there is NO waiting list. None. They go to the ED and get treatment. No waiting.

Elective procedures (knee replacements, anything that ISN'T an emergency) go on a waiting list. BUT if they have money, and don't want to wait, they can get it right away. Or come to the US.

Ezra Klein did a series on the health care of 5 different nations that have universal coverage: Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and Canada.

One quote from the section on Canada (emphasis mine):

Wait times for elective surgeries can suck real bad and, according to an LA Times article from April 10th, some folks do cross the border to speed things up. But vital procedures are done quicker and, amazingly, any Canadian can get any necessary surgery done that they want. If elective, it may take some time, but there's never a question over whether they'll be treated. So next time someone goes off on Canadians-in-line to you, remember: the question they're facing is whether to allow the rich to pole vault over the poor. America looked at that calculus and chose the rich; our poor don't have mere waiting times to face, many of them simply can't get any non-emergency medical care.

there is even more to it than that...

a recent study showed that the Canadians are bad at one thing, taking people off their lists. So, their long average "waits" were due partially to folks who had moved, had the procedure elsewhere, or died of other causes. All of these people were added into the "average wait". The real average wait was very comparable to the Unites States for elective surgery.

Also, I think Brenda forgets that before the 1960s there were still segregated hospitals where blacks were not allowed. I would hazard that the conditions were not nearly as nice as those she describes.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Things were always better Before.

Right? Back in the Good Old Days.

I didn't read her whole comment (too many words too close together, hard to focus), but I keep reading more of it. It sounds like rationing is Evil, because hospitals/clinics have to share resources. Oh noes!

In the town I lived in in Oregon, there were about 50,000 people. We had at least 5 million-plus-dollar MRIs and one shiny open MRI. Please note that the town had exactly one hospital, which had 1 MRI; the remainder were in private clinics. That's a lot more MRI than any one town needs.

In Durham, there are two hospitals right across the street from each other, and they each have an MRI or two, plus several CTs. Now, I'm not saying that hospitals shouldn't have MRIs, but do we really need 1 per 10,000 people? Surely there's a more cost-effective way to have access to MRIs.

I think there's something to be said for having basic health care (biannual dental cleanings, annual physicals and eye exams, plus more intensive ambulatory care for people with chronic conditions (which has been shown to improve outcomes and decrease hospitalizations)) for everyone in the country. If preventive medicine is used effectively, long-term costs due to decreased development of preventable condtions go down. Which is only a good thing.

And Robert, please debunk the RWTalking points! I'm no expert.

I'm getting there, the weekend has been crazy.

I'll have to read your comment more carefully as well.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


"**Bill Clinton was not official impeached as it takes both houses to agree to impeach. On December 19, 1998 he was impeached by the House of Representatives on grounds of perjury to a grand jury by a vote of 228 to 206, and for obstruction of justice by a vote of 221 to 212. Bill Clinton was aquitted by the Senate."

Incorrect. The House of Representatives impeaches, and it alone has the sole power to do so. It did so in the case of President Clinton. (Art. I., Sec. 2 of the Constitution)

The Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments (Sec. 3). President Clinton was not convicted, but he surely was impeached.


Blue South: Heavens no

Blue South: Heavens no before 1965 wasn’t at all perfect. There was much wrong with our world then just as there is much wrong now. Health care was one of the many needs, but the government taking it all on like it did with Medicare and Medicaid was the wrong approach and this has been proven with the horrendous costs of health care today. There was no excuse for double digit inflation for years that has brought us to this impasse where it would take millionaires to pay for their own health care. Whereas in 1962 I had my own health insurance policy that cover everything, yes every charge if I went into the hospital was paid for and it cost me $20 a month. In today’s dollars that would be about $120 per month. Larger cities did have free clinics and doctors did donate a portion of their time. Perhaps they charged the paying patient a bit more but it worked. People in smll towns and country unfortunately didn't havethis. Doctors were willing to take trades and somehow we made out okay in the country too. Daddy had hospital insurance and there were only two doctors in town and I think my Dad looked after Dr. madson's car from time to time I never heard why so I am just surmising.
C. Diane, I didn’t mention emergencies because I felt that was a foregone assumption that emergencies were taken care of immediately. So where is the lie? You agreed about the waiting list and that is all I talked about. You also pointing out another point that I did not bother to touch and that is that money talks and people with money can get any procedure they want and when they want. No problem and no argument. Those who have money can always buy what they want, so I didn’t see a need to point this out.
Those who went off on the Canadian health care system to me were Canadians. Of course there again vital procedures where the life is at stake are taken care of. I didn’t say they weren’t. I talked about going on a waiting list. A dear friend waited two years for shoulder replacement and told me this was common. She also told me she likes the Canadian system so she wasn’t putting it down. I don’t see an American waiting two years for anything, do you?
Robert P. Granted Canadians are people and just walk away forgetting to do what they should and much time is wasted trying to find people who are next on the list. However please see above. Gail waited actually a bit over two years for her shoulder replacement and logged 900+ miles going to various hospitals for different tests and x-rays and whatever.
And no I most certainly did not forget about the deplorable state of the segregated hospitals in the South including my own West Virginia. Blacks routinely crossed the border and went to Ohio and Pennsylvania when they could for medical treatment. Blacks were treated deplorably by Whites in the South. But we certainly didn’t need the Medicare and Medicaid programs as they are designed to take care of this problem.
C. Diane. Good point and NO we do not need all the medical equipment we have at every hospital. It is stupid and wasteful but as the Medicare and Medicaid system are now funded the hospitals and private clinics did not work together but were in competition to get the most patience to get those federal dollars. The US military shares equipment when possible and for the years I was in the military system with my husband I could not fault the care I got. When money from Uncle Sam is so readily available then it is taken advantage of. Again I say we needed some changes to the system for the poor and those who couldn’t afford private insurance. What we didn’t need was the wholesale ALL people 65 and older getting free health care that you young people are paying for. The poor elderly yes but not as the system was and is. You see this is on the backs our young and we greedy geezers ( I’m 65) are breaking your backs. I am ashamed to have to admit that my parents and my generation elected the people and demanded this juicy plum for ourselves. What I am saying right here is what I have been saying for years and it was crying in the wilderness. Now it is your turn and maybe with hope and a whole lot of luck your generation can get it right. But just do not keep making the same mistakes. Take what is right and throw out what is bad and perhaps make a new and uniquely better system that is American. BB

And I sincerely thank you all for coming by and talking with me and to each other. This is good.


Then you must define emergency differently than I do.

Canadians routinely come to the US for heart and lung operations if they can afford to

Heart surgery is usually emergent or urgent. You don't get "elective" quadruple bypasses. Ditto lung surgery. Volume reduction (for cancer) isn't one of those "elective" procedures.

Read Ezra's series of posts. They're very informative and based in real policy.

I don't see a rich American waiting for anything. What I do see, working in the Durham health department, is people who aren't getting ANY medical care except the women who get annual pelvics to get birth control -- but no testing or treatment for diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, etc. The people who come to the health department are by and large Hispanic and black. Every last one of them is poor.

What I envision, and this is where people usually break out the name-calling, is every American contributing to the health of the society through some form of universal coverage (France's seems compelling.) Implicit social contract, good Christian values, whatever you want to call it. The rich pay more, because they can afford it more than the poor. There are checks and limitations (call it rationing if you want), and specialized centres for certain procedures.*

Last I checked, which was about a year ago on a 6-week stint in a managed care plan run by the hospital where I did my residency, Medicare wasn't free. I think the Sam Advantage premium was $150/person/month, including parts A, B, & D. Plus copays, then the doughnut hole. That sounds to me like cheating our elders out of their dinner money.

*There is very good evidence that unless X number of procedure Y are performed per annum, the patient outcomes are worse. I think with cardiac catheterizations, the number is around 300. So if a small-town place doesn't get many caths, they shouldn't have a cath lab but send them to the bigger place where they do them all the time. Granted, this does make it tricky for people who live in the remote areas, but AS IT IS, remote areas don't have that technology.

Your points just aren't believable.

Health care in the 1960s consisted of checkups, emergency surgeries, and penicillin. To compare that to today's medicine is just ridiculous. As for Medicare, it is the shining star of government intervention, without it millions of seniors would be cast into poverty or allowed to die without medical intervention. The biggest change in our medical system has not been the creation of medicaid and medicare, it has been the bastardizazation of the non-profit entities like BC/BS into proceed-producing "non-profits" at the expense of their patients.

We know have a much-increased life-expectancy.

The increase in life expectancy is due largely to an increase in seniors.

The end result is that Americans live longer and need health care for a longer period of time, which will not be paid for by any former employer or by anyone else if the government does not do it.

In fact, the other countries with national health care plans not only take care of their seniors, but of everyone, don't forget that we leave 47 MILLION Americans uninsured. Plus, we leave 17 million underinsured. But, at least we save money, right? Wrong.

What those bars mean is that we pay more per capita in private and public financing than the other countries, yet they insure everyone, while we don't.

But, at least all that extra money makes us more healthy.

Oh, no. That's right, we're less healthy.

And, just one more thing. That Medicare that is so bad? Well, it ends up that people like it.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Medicare did play some role in inflation.

That is true. Because, just like with the drug benefit, the federal government agreed to not limit costs. In other words, they agreed to pay whatever was asked by the providers. This is, of course, never a good policy. This is not the major cause of health care inflation. Look at the last few years when payments have been capped, yet health care costs have skyrocketed. Along with these increased health care costs, we have had increased insurance company profits. At the same time, these companies are still recovering from losing their investment shirts in the stock market.

How can a company lose money in the stock market and still make money? By pawning off these losses on their customers.

Other reasons for inflation include the advances in technology, such as CAT scans, MRIs, and high-cost pharmaceuticals. How many of us remember our grandparents taking twenty drugs a day? Not me. Now, not so uncommon for our parents to do that.

Beyond that, there is the inefficiency of private insurance companies. They spend 20-30% of all income on administration, and what are those added dollars being spent on you might ask? Figuring out how to dump those who need medical care, or how to avoid insuring them in the first place.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Much more insidious

This society will either provide univeral health care or it will not. There is still a very strong element of social and ecomonic Darwinism among the more well off concerning the lowly plebs, who so obviously do not deserve help because it is their fault and anyone can get rich in America on our "level playing field", chance is not an issue. Kevin Phillips said in "Wealth and Democracy", "We have had class warfare and the rich won.". And, so they did. Is not all the rest of this commentary? So let the undeserving poor die in the "poor house" in the midst of plenty which is maldistributed.



YES! Wafranklin you hit

YES! Wafranklin you hit the nail on the head. There is class warfare in this country and the rich did indeed win! This is what I have been trying to get across. The rich have won and the middleclass are the ones who are being destroyed by having to carry the load for the poor and the rich with Medicare. I believe totally in providing full heath coverage to all Americans I just feel the system should be means based and it isn’t and that is why it is failing the population who really needs it, the poor.
Robert P: Right on! I know Medicare is not free I know because I am now a paying recipient and having to fight with my doctor about the number of pills he wants me to swallow every day so I can also support the drug companies. The Senior Drug Plan was so BAD! The government could not negotiate prices and the drug companies “promised” not to raise their prices. What a joke. This is what our elected officials voted for?! But where was the uproar from all the people over this travesty? There wasn’t one unless you want to count my lonely little letters to my Congressmen telling them to help the poor with drugs but not people like me who have good drug plans of our own or for grandma and gramps in their rv wintering in Arizona and golfing every day. But I can tell you what happened: It was in the mid 1970’s when the government woke up and tried to put Part B of the Medicare payments on a sliding scale according to income. That’s right the poor would get full coverage for nothing if their income was poverty level or below and the golfing crowd would have to pay mere for their coverage. Well AARP the scourge of our young, well off and upper middle class screamed, so the system stayed the same with ALL elderly paying the same for Medicare, and many having to decide between dinner or medical supplies. This is what happened with the Senior Drug Plan the better off got greedy and said Hell No we are not going to help the less fortunate out we are going to keep feathering our own nests.
Robert P; Yes the last few years when coverage has been capped played right into the private insurance companies hands because most of us can not afford not to have a supplemental policy to pick up what Medicare doesn’t cover. The insurance companies were so flush with money they overplayed their hand in the stock markets as you said and had to get back in your pockets. So they wined, dined, and bought your Congress to enact this scheme whereby medical cost could continue to go up to benefit their buddies the medical supplies and drug companies but people would be forced to buy supplemental insurance too. A win, win, win deal for the wealthy.
Getting into the economics of this whole thing (and believe me everything comers down to money sadly) the YOUNG middle class is being destroyed with most sliding closer to poverty and a few jumping up into the class of well off. I don’t know the answer, but I do know Hillary’s omnibus Health Care Plan which is what I was talking about originally in my post, is not the way to go.
C. Diane, you are so sincere and so hurt by what you see everyday and it breaks your heart. But do make note of what I related above about some people trying in the mid 1970’s to make the system work better and what the middleclass and upper class did. I remember well fighting with my aunts, uncles and parents about this as they called their congressmen and complained that it was fair to make them pay more. There wasn’t a one of them who couldn’t afford to ante up a bit more every month and not even notice it! It all comes down to Greed.
What I am trying to get across is another big medical entitlement that YOU will have to pay for with no controls and no consideration for who is able to pay more or less is NOT the way to go. Find a better way and start to campaign for it.
Oh, and by the way, you mentioned France. France is a country on the verge of total collapse because they are going bankrupt. Their cradle to grave welfare state has simply done them in. A person gets a job in France and keeps it forever no matter whether they work or not. They routinely get 10 week vacations each year. No economy can support that.

Hey, people this was great. Loved hearing from you all! You know your stuff, but you didn’t go far enough and learn your history, and neither do you yet understand the greed of people. But you have the power to get things right if you just get together and make it happen. BB


Most days I have hope for the human race

though today's not starting off so well. But at least now I know why I've renamed the Republican Party the Party of Greed.

As long as...

Horatio Alger and the Railroad Barons are considered American heroes, the greed will never disappear.

I grew up in a working poor, single mother household. She got $400/mo child support and earned about 25K/year in a town where the median income was about 75K. Thankfully my grandparents helped us out a lot. We didn't go to doctors very often, and summer camp was often out of the question.

Now, since my husband and I are both fully employed, we're solidly middle or upper-middle class, as our combined gross income is just into 6 figures. I would support a restructuring of the tax programme to include health care in the same way we pay FICA taxes - but raise or eliminate the cap on taxable income.

I think we could get the average American on board if we laid it out for them. Put their insurance premium on one side, then take the new tax and show that it's (most likely) less than their premium. Paying less for the same service -- or better -- is something most people can understand.

My hope for the human race

My hope for the human race is wearing thin, but I do have hope for this younger generation who are better educated and more aware. They also have a heathy distrust of politicians and governing bodies so are inclined to watch them more closely. This last Senior Drug Bill was pushed too fast because the Replicans wanted to show that they "care" too. It is really no better nor worse than the Medicare, Medicaid and other social reform bills pushed more or less by the Democrats. I am inclined to name both parties "Party of Greed". The Democrats just talk a better more humane talk, but when it comes to the walk they are hand in glove with the big companies who pay the salaries of the big lobbyist who wine, dine and pay the politicians.
PS: After all the hoopla and nice talk at the opening of Congress and swearing in of the new leaders those same new leaders had themselves a hellava party all paid for by big companies thru their lobbyist. Now people just don't hand out big bucks unless they expect a pay back. So that whole show just made me ill and more disgruntled than usual. BB