Tag Archives: Opinions

The Defining Moment–Krugman Health Reform Op-Ed

“I won’t try to psychoanalyze the “naysayers,” I’d just urge them to take a good hard look in the mirror.”

By PAUL KRUGMAN
O.K., folks, this is it. It’s the defining moment for health care reform.

Krugman PhD

Past efforts to give Americans what citizens of every other advanced nation already have — guaranteed access to essential care — have ended not with a bang, but with a whimper, usually dying in committee without ever making it to a vote.

But this time, broadly similar health-care bills have made it through multiple committees in both houses of Congress. And on Thursday, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, unveiled the legislation that she will send to the House floor, where it will almost surely pass. It’s not a perfect bill, by a long shot, but it’s a much stronger bill than almost anyone expected to emerge even a few weeks ago. And it would lead to near-universal coverage.

As a result, everyone in the political class — by which I mean politicians, people in the news media, and so on, basically whoever is in a position to influence the final stage of this legislative marathon — now has to make a choice. The seemingly impossible dream of fundamental health reform is just a few steps away from becoming reality, and each player has to decide whether he or she is going to help it across the finish line or stand in its way.

For conservatives, of course, it’s an easy decision: They don’t want Americans to have universal coverage, and they don’t want President Obama to succeed.

For progressives, it’s a slightly more difficult decision: They want universal care, and they want the president to succeed — but the proposed legislation falls far short of their ideal. There are still some reform advocates who won’t accept anything short of a full transition to Medicare for all as opposed to a hybrid, compromise system that relies heavily on private insurers. And even those who have reconciled themselves to the political realities are disappointed that the bill doesn’t include a “strong” public option, with payment rates linked to those set by Medicare.

But the bill does include a “medium-strength” public option, in which the public plan would negotiate payment rates — defying the predictions of pundits who have repeatedly declared any kind of public-option plan dead. It also includes more generous subsidies than expected, making it easier for lower-income families to afford coverage. And according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, almost everyone — 96 percent of legal residents too young to receive Medicare — would get health insurance.

So should progressives get behind this plan? Yes. And they probably will.

The people who really have to make up their minds, then, are those in between, the self-proclaimed centrists.

Read more:

Related Story:

Path clears for House to OK compromise health bill

They may not like it, but many House liberals look ready to accept a compromise health care bill, putting Democratic leaders well on the way to delivering on President Barack Obama’s call for overhaul.
Full story @:

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Filed under Democrats, Health, Medicine, Uncategorized

Get Off Obama’s Back: Second Thoughts From Michael Moore

posted by GeoT

Thanks to Michael Moore for articulating so well what many of us here @ 44-D have thought and argued for quite some time…

Michael Moore writes today in The Huffington Post and DailyKos


Friends,
Last night my wife asked me if I thought I was a little too hard on Obama in my letter yesterday congratulating him on his Nobel Prize. “No, I don’t think so,” I replied. I thought it was important to remind him he’s now conducting the two wars he’s inherited. “Yeah,” she said, “but to tell him, ‘Now earn it!’? Give the guy a break — this is a great day for him and for all of us.”

I went back and re-read what I had written. And I listened for far too long yesterday to the right wing hate machine who did what they could to crap all over Barack’s big day. Did I — and others on the left — do the same?

We are weary, weary of war. The trillions that will have gone to these two wars have helped to bankrupt us as a nation — financially and morally. To think of all the good we could have done with all that money! Two months of the War in Iraq would pay for all the wells that need to be dug in the Third World for drinking water! Obama is moving too slow for most of us — but he needs to know we are with him and we stand beside him as he attempts to turn eight years of sheer madness around. Who could do that in nine months? Superman? Thor? Mitch McConnell?

Instead of waiting to see what the president is going to do, we all need to be pro-active and push the agenda that we want to see enacted. What keeps us from forming the same local groups we put together to get out the vote last November? C’mon! We’re the majority now — the majority by a significant margin! We call the shots — and we need to tell this wimpy Congress to get busy and do what we say — or else.

All I ask of those who voted for Obama is to not pile on him too quickly. Yes, make your voice heard (his phone number is 202-456-1414). But don’t abandon the best hope we’ve had in our lifetime for change. And for God’s sake, don’t head to bummerville if he says or does something we don’t like

Thank You Kathleen!!

Thank You Kathleen!!

**44-D Note: Michael, buy your wife a huge vase of flowers, dinner out, do the laundry for a week, and thank her for being so wise. And thank you, Michael, for listening to her.

And thank YOU Kathleen!

Read the full article here: Huffington_Post_Logo

Michael Moore’s First Thoughts

Congratulations President Obama on the Nobel Peace Prize — Now Please Earn it!

Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story now playing nationwide

capitalismalovestoryyellowposter 200On the 20-year anniversary of his groundbreaking masterpiece Roger & Me, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story comes home to the issue he’s been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world). But this time the culprit is much bigger than General Motors, and the crime scene far wider than Flint, Michigan. From Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan, Michael Moore will once again take film goers into uncharted territory. With both humor and outrage, the movie explores a taboo question: What is the price that America pays for its love of capitalism? Years ago, that love seemed so innocent. Today, however, the American dream is looking more like a nightmare as families pay the price with their jobs, their homes and their savings.

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Filed under Capitalism, Change, Democrats, Economy, Editorial, Gay (LGBT) Rights, Media and Entertainment, Money, Nuclear Weapons, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized, War