IT'S ALL GOOD
I'm still puzzled by the initial GOP response to President Obama's Healthcare reform legislation. Granted, he was naive enough to think that embracing a conservative health reform idea cooked up by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and enacted into Massachusetts law by (severely conservative) Governor Mitt Romney would be embraced by EVERY congressional republican, he wasn't prepared for the full throated hair on fire republican backlash.
The individual mandate championed what republicans once embraced: if you can afford to buy health insurance you should be forced to do so. Hospitals are legally obligated to treat everybody and too many people didn’t pay their bills. And those unpaid costs were passed on to the rest of us through higher premiums. One of the original republican talking points stressed individual responsibility.
Republicans know what's wrong with the Affordable Care Act and it’s not socialism. The individual mandate was only designed to get more people to buy private health insurance. (What god-fearing republican could be against THAT?) And what a bonanza it’s been! Have you noticed what's happened to stock prices? Over the past six months United Healthcare was among the highest performing stocks, if not number one, and a couple of others - maybe Wellcare and Humana - were in the top ten. (I’d like to take the Way Back machine to last November and buy 1,000 shares of each.)
Having more Americans covered will indeed keep people from having to sell their homes to pay medical bills, but the underlying problem with the American healthcare system remains firmly place: it’s incredibly expensive.
The U.S. is #1 in per capita cost and #1 in percentage of GDP. The only way to get those costs down is to enact a real socialistic pricing agenda, something no politician would dare suggest, but it’s stupid that the cost of an MRI in Atlanta is triple the cost of the same MRI in Berlin or London or Paris.
And it’s ironic that Wellcare stock has benefited so much in the past six months. After all, it was their proposed 39% cost increase that helped propel the Affordable Care Act through Congress. I image the shareholders threw one heck of a party this year.
President Obama hijacked the republican health care reform idea and I don’t think they’re going to get much political traction talking about repeal, and after today we're not going to hear very much from republicans about Obamacare.
IT WAS OVER FROM THE START
Heralded as an independent investigation into 'Bridgegate,' this fluff piece by Christy lawyers and pals theorize that the GWB was shut down for four days because Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly had an affair with, and was subsequently dumped by, former campaign manager Bill Stepian. The report doesn't bother to explain the relevance. They claim that Bridget Kelly shut down the bridge because she got dumped. The report does not offer a reasoned explanation.
Maybe the could have thought up a reason if they interviewed either Kelly or Stepian.
This is not an investigative report. It's a thousand page narrative, a legal play book for the day Christy is indicted by the US District Attorney. Apparently Kelly and Stepian know where the bodies are buried because they are singled out in the report and discredited three different times. Claims by the Mayor of Hoboken are dismissed based on biased interpretation of the Mayor's body language.
At the end of the day none of this would have matter. Christy's Presidential dreams were dead long before the first orange cone blocked the first toll both. Long before administration officials told the Hoboken mayor she could have her millions in relief aid if she approved a private development that would benefit political cronies.
No, the campaign was doom the instant Christy shook hands with the President of the United States.
IT'S A GREAT IDEA
I think every employer should get to design employee health care coverage based on religious conviction. For instance, I don't believe in vaccines or blood transfusions so I'll have the insurance company drop those provisions. Since I don't believe in Science, it's not really a stretch to claim I don't believe in doctors or medicine or hospitals. If my workers get sick I'll just pray for them. Heck! I can drop health insurance entirely! Thank you, Hobby Lobby!
Of course, employees will whine about how health insurance is part of their compensation package, but screw that. A buck is a buck, and with the grace of god, the Supreme Court will let me off the hook.
I can't wait to institute mandatory Muslim prayers. Remember, corporations are people, my friend. Employees are not.
EUROPE IS OVER A BARREL
It’s too bad that Obama jumped the gun and condemned Russia’s invasion of Crimea. The truth is the United States does NOT have a vested interest in Ukraine but the invasion has already had a big impact without us lifting a finger. The Russian economy is taking a beating and Putin has spent billions trying to prop up the Ruble.
While Putin has a grand dream to reunite the old USSR, I don’t think he wanted to take this action this soon but then Ukraine kicked out Putin’s stooge and threatened to join the EU. Putin thought he had to protect the Russian navy’s only warm water port.
Europe needs to respond quickly. Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova should all be fast-tracked into the EU (European Union) and granted membership into NATO. It probably won’t happen because those spineless wimps are hoping Obama does their dirty work for them. Germany gets about 40% of its energy from Russian but Putin has all EU nations over a (oil) barrel.
Before you tea baggers get too high pitched in your condemnation, let me quote former Defense Secretary Bob Gates who served under both presidents Bush and Obama:
“My own view is, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force.”
Gates also said GOP lawmakers should tone down their criticism and “try to be supportive of the president rather than natter at the president.”
In the grand scheme of things Russia taking over Crimea is not a big deal, but If Europe does not respond swiftly and forcefully they shouldn’t be surprised to see how far Putin will be willing to go.
4 MILLION AND COUNTING
The March numbers will push that total higher, but right now there are at least 4 million more Americans with health insurance policies purchased from private insurance companies than there were 6 months ago.
Insurance exchanges offer Americans a choice, and when insurance companies compete for business they are forced to offer the best coverage at the best price.
But tea baggers want to go back to the 'good old days' of medical socialism where the uninsured were allowed to go get free medical care at ERs.
If you tea baggers love socialism that much move to Russia where you can worship your idol Vlad 'the impaler' Putin. We progressives prefer capitalism, free enterprise, and competition.
WATCH THE FINE PRINT
Zab proclaimed, "if you like your plan you can keep it" The worst lie every told to the American people. Seriously?
How about WMD in Iraq? Or, Invading Iraq has NOTHING to do with oil? Or, We can balance the federal budget by cutting taxes on the rich and increasing defense spending?
Obama was referring to 'legitimate' insurance plans, not crap policies that had to drop customers because their coverage fell below new basic insurance requirements. I know. I used to have one of those policies years ago when I was starting a business. I thought it was great, thought it was reasonably priced, and the agent seemed informative. And I might still have that policy if I never, you know, broke a couple of ribs and discovered everything it DIDN'T cover.
So the President said fine, anyone can keep those crap policies for another two years if you want. But god help anyone who requires medical treatment because the insurance companies sure won't.
DON'T GO THERE
Why would you pinhead tea baggers want to bring up the President and Putin? You think Vlad is acting like a leader for invading Crimea? You think leadership is invading another country on trumped up charges? To be fair, I suppose it would be impossible for you to reach any other conclusion when operating from an intellectual position of cynical ignorance.
At least President Obama didn't meet Putin and say, ""I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy….I was able to get a sense of his soul." (George W. Bush, after meeting Putin, June 16, 2001.) And how did our former President react when Putin invaded Georgia? Well, there wasn't much he could do outside of talking tough and threatening sanctions.
Ukraine, however, is different, and Obama would be wise to take the tact of 'Don't just do something, sit there.'
When markets opened on monday morning the Russian stock indexes fell by more than 10%. In one day $60 billion vanished which is more than Putin spent preparing Sochi for the Winter Olympics. Surveys designed to measure Russian support for the invasion actually showed over 70% are opposed. The Ruble dropped against the dollar to its lowest point in history and the Russian central bank spent $10 billion on the foreign exchange markets trying to prop it up. The Russian economy is stagnant and, according to Timothy Ash, head of emerging market research at Standard Bank, "This latest military adventure will increase capital flight, weaken Russian asset prices, and slow investment activity and growth. Western financial sanctions on Russia will hurt further," Ash told the Wall Street Journal.
So go ahead pinheads, keep admiring Putin and bashing Obama. You clowns will go to any length to criticize this American President, even when it looks like treason.
EMBRACE THE K.I.S.S. PRINCIPLE
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Gluteus Maximus preached, "Backwater.....once again your stupidity shines bright. Christianity requires an INDIVIDUAL decision to become a Christian and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Savior.........the door is always open to each INDIVIDUAL and there is absolutely no need for big guvment especially one run by a bunch of secular humanist pagan Democrats."
But apparently you believe there IS a need for a 'big guvment' run by fundamentalist self-described christian republicans to discriminate against anyone they 'believe' to be a sinner. The law may have been vetoed in Arizona, but republican legislatures around the country are trying to enact the same hate-based laws disguised as religious liberty. Imagine! Using religious justification to cast stones! What a crock!
Max, you're as big a hypocrite as those fundamentalist republican lawmakers, and I welcome your scorn. I know you're not all completely ignorant; you all know a great deal about hatred.
MUST BE MAGIC
JT, how do you manage to type so much and say so little?