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Monday, January 22, 2007

State of the Union preview

Comments (28)

I dunno, that sounds more like something our governor would say...

Sadly, Hillary proposed the same thing back in that brief co-Presidency period.

Prediction: this will probably last along as his big plan for the trip to Mars.

On the subject of Mars, look for a Kennedy-isq announcement to build a permanent moon-base by 2024.

Judging by how well our public schools perform, nationalizing health care is definitely not a good idea.

As if Medicare/Medicaid isn't bloated enough already.

...look for a Kennedy-esque announcement to build a permanent moon-base by 2024.

Tom Friedman is right. Energy independence is this generation's moon shot. We've been to the moon. It's time to shoot for something new. Unfortunately this president is incapable of doing that.

How about affordable hydrogen fueled cars in every garage by 2017?

"As if Medicare/Medicaid isn't bloated enough already."

You might want to look at some objective facts about this -- for example, the administrative cost of Medicare compared to the administrative cost of private, insurance-based health care. Then, on the other hand, they might not support your bias, so maybe it's best not to look.

How about affordable hydrogen fueled cars in every garage by 2017?

Doesnt that produce water vapor? I thought water vapor was the biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect?
How does that help?

That last line should be "How does that help global warming?"

I know it helps energy independence.
(Except for all the plastics we make, and heating oil.)

"Judging by how well our public schools perform, nationalizing health care is definitely not a good idea."

Silly me. I had no idea our schools were run by the federal government. That explains almost everything.

Just keep defending the status quo Allan. So good to see your partisanship clouding your logic. Boy, the OHP and Oregon public schools are really thriving, aren't they?

BTW, Medicare/Medicaid many 'administrative' costs are left out of all those 'objective' reports you're referring to. Add in things like debt servicing and management costs, Medicare meets or exceeds private admin costs.

S/B: "many of Medicare/Medicaid's…"

The State of Oregon already imposes a hidden tax on health insurance to pay for the Oregon Health Plan. Oregon charges each insurance company about $180 per year per employee covered. The insurance company passes the cost back to the company, which may pass some of it back to the employee. So, our state is a little ahead of Bush.

It's not like Junior has ever cared about finding the money to pay for his programs before. Why start now?

Chris, I can't tell whether you are defending the current state of health care in the U.S. or avocating against public education. Either one, I would think, is a steep hill to climb.
I would be interested in seeing sources for your assertion that Medicare administrative costs exceed those in the private sector. I think that's demonstrably wrong. Studies that I have seen that try to defend private sector costs mostly show that, while private sector costs may not be ten times Medicare's, they are certainly four or five times as high, even after a lot of massaging. Capital costs are not administrative costs in either public or private financial reporting, but to my knowlege there are no capital costs yet in Medicare (though the drug "benefit" will probably change that).
I don't think it is necessary to defend public education in order to argue for a better health care system. But I would strongly defend it in principle, even though I would agree with you that it is not in a good state here in Oregon (or very many other places in this country). There are a lot of reasons for that, and inadequate funding is among them. Inadequate funding, by the way, is the main reason the Oregon Health Plan is no longer achieving its objectives. Meanwhile, we are all paying (some of us only indirectly) far too much for far too little in health care.

"advocating" against public education

How does that help?

Well it gets us thinking. And moving toward a solution. I don't think we can afford to spend another decade talking about how new ideas won't work. I'm merely suggesting we spend the next 10 years thinking of ideas that will get us toward energy independence and putting those ideas to work. It's not just about the environment. It's about jobs. It's about trade. It's about education. It's about a lot of things. There's a tremendous opportunity here, but if we sit on our hands and complain that it's too tough and allow our leaders to continue business as usual, this opportunity will be lost for another generation.

I'm not sure what the objection to this proposal is, as it only taxes benefits under those "gold-plated" plans that offer health insurance valued at more than $15,000 a year. It is those people who have very generous health benefits who can afford to go running to the doctor for every sneeze and sniffle, without thinking about the cost, that drive up the cost of medicine. If no one is concerned about the cost (because, after all, their insurance will pay in full, with a $5 co-payment) then people overconsume the resource -- and that's just basic economics.

I think this proposal to offer families a tax deduction for their health insurance up to a value of $15,000 (regardless of who provides the benefit, self or employer) and individuals deductions of $7,500 would make health care more affordable to more people. And that's a good thing. Finally Bush is getting SOMETHING right, even if it is late in his presidency.

Now if we could just get him to understand basic Constitutional precepts, we'd really be getting somewhere!

It is those people who have very generous health benefits who can afford to go running to the doctor for every sneeze and sniffle, without thinking about the cost, that drive up the cost of medicine.

That has a nice ring to it, but there are very few people in this category.

Finally Bush is getting SOMETHING right, even if it is late in his presidency.

Amen. Isnt this what people want? Its essentially government subsidized health care...just that the "care" is kept in the private sector, where it belongs.

Although I doubt teachers here will be happy with it. Their benefits package is in the $25k ballpark (according to a Trib article a while back). I would bet most of that is their health coverage. Anyone want to bet they bitch up a storm? Or will the state offer the Teachers Union something similar?

Although I doubt teachers here will be happy with it.

Bingo. This thing is a dead letter and the president knows it. But it plays right into the right wing talking points.

Unions bad!

Teachers are overpaid!

Public education sucks!

He doesn't want to talk about healthcare at all. And the media is eating it up (again). Every story you hear about this proposal reminds us unions have these gold-plated plans GWB wants to tax. Just when I thought the president was the dumbest guy in the room.

It's all the unions' fault. It has nothing to do with filthy rich doctors, ripoff hospital corporations, or crooked pharamaceutical companies.

Even discussing a domestioc proposal Bush will make in the SOU is a waste of time. Haven't you caught on yet? To him these are just speeches, they don't actually mean anything. Look back at the previous ones, he always make a bunch of proposals which are promptly filed, seen any switch-grass farms?

seen any switch-grass farms?

Ask Gregg Clapper.

It's all the unions' fault. It has nothing to do with filthy rich doctors, ripoff hospital corporations, or crooked pharamaceutical companies.

Actually, I think it has a lot more to do with the crooked, filthy rich health insurance companies...Im not the type that goes to the doctor "for every little sniffle", but I sure get tired of the damn insurance company arguing about every single nickel they are billed for. Especially with the amount of money they get from all of us every month.
Just last week I finished an argument with my insurance company from a single $130 office visit in April of last year! It was for my daughter, and it was the ONLY time all year she went to the doctor. They get several hundred of my hard earned dollars a month, and they bitched about $130. Now yes, I could afford to just pay for it. But its the principle. I pay them to cover my family. (I did win though.)

Its just stupid. I mean c'mon, my family is fairly healthy. Out of 5 people...we went to the doctor a total of 3 times all year. Total with prescriptions about $500. Yet they got about $12,000 of my money in premiums. Year before that, maybe 5 office visits for flu & such, and I broke my ankle. Emergency room, and maybe 6 office visits. Total about $7,500.
Its one helluva racket.

I'll bet GOP guru Gregg Clapper's entire marijuana crop that W doesn't talk about Iraq for more than two sentences... one of them linking it to 9/11.

Then, I'll wash down W's garish garbage with some Vicodan and call it a night, like the Bush Twins do most evenings.

The health care problems in this country are intractable, but I guess it's good that politicians on both sides are trying to do something.

Regarding the people with "gold-plated" health plans, Julie Rovner on NPR said this morning that about 20% of people with insurance would fall into this category. The Administration seems pretty open that the intent of this is to limit the number of high-end plans as a strategy for controlling costs system-wide. Intellectually, this idea makes some sense and is consistent with Bush's view that the tax system is the appropriate place to influence individual behavior, rather than through a government program. (Personally I think the tax code IS a government program, but whatever.) Bush has been proposing health care tax credits and deductions for years, this is just a newly expanded program.

That said, of course this is also political because it goes after mostly union workers and avoids directly taking on the health care industry. And Bush knows it has no chance in Congress, but he can claim to be doing something.

Finally, Jon, the reason the insurance company makes money off of you is because they are providing insurance. You pay too much because some other poor soul was nailed by a bus and is still racking up $100k hospital bills.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
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Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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