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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 22, 2010 10:05 AM. The previous post in this blog was Dead horse receives another blow. The next post in this blog is Portland cops: "We can't threaten you with other people around". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Obama's Mission Accomplished moment

Well, they've passed health care "reform," and the Democratic Party crowd is whooping it up. I'm just glad it's over with, for a while. It got old, and depressing, about six months ago.

Gee whiz, guess who made out. The hospital corporations and the drug companies, who are now guaranteed more customers than ever. The insurance companies may have been dinged a little, but we can count on those lovely people to figure out a way to protect their profits.

Folks who can't get insurance will now at least have a shot. And the insurers can't pull their "lifetime limit" and "pre-existing condition" trash. All good. But it's the least we should expect. And for that, we waited 14 months.

Single payer? Dream on -- never. Not even a public option. Instead, we get Gatsby Wyden's goofy state-by-state "market" where people are supposed to "shop" for insurance. Whatever. And employers will have new excuses to take the cheap route in providing for employees' and their families' health.

The folks who are strutting around today as if Lincoln just freed the slaves don't seem to get it. One thing the Blue Birds are crowing is "This is just the start -- if it doesn't work, we'll fix it." Do you think so? The slim majorities that passed this are about to get even slimmer this fall -- if they're not lost altogether. Don't look for any fixes that move this in any direction but reverse.

Perhaps the height of naïveté is the conclusion that the main battle is now over, and the Democrats won. Are you kidding? Many of the "reforms" (including the taxes on the wealthy that are going to pay for this) don't take effect until 2013, and many not until even later. In 2013, Mitt Romney may be President, and the Republicans may control Congress. Everything that's passing this week can be repealed, and the tighty righties aren't going to let go of this any time soon.

Take it from somebody who's watched the toupees on Capitol Hill dink around with the tax laws for the last 30 years: When Congress tells you what the law is going to be three years from now, or five years, or 10 years, the only thing to do is laugh.

It's a historic week, all right. But it could have been a lot more, and it may wind up being a lot less.

Comments (48)

Dump all aspects of parties from official government deliberations.

No office space for parties at the state capitol. No minority or majority leaders sanctioned by paid staff.

Parties are like my neighbors: do whatever you want but I'm not paying for it.

Hoopla is right. There is a reason that heath health insurance stocks are at a 52 week high.

This is not good news, more propaganda being thrown at us by our hacks and their media spin machines.

What are they celebrating?

There's zero chance of ever realizing the $500 billion in Medicare "savings" to pay for this.

The tax increases to fund the other half will have corresponding detrimental effects.

There will not be deficit reduction resulting from this.

Implementation will never occur as envisioned.

Yet 30 million people will now be provided health care insurance?

You betcha.

Now pass amnesty and cap and trade to complete the democrat political suicide.

While you're having those NYC trials, closing GITMO and ending the wars.

BTW- Author Fred Reed makes some interesting comments on how to handle our out of control federal government.

So far, 11 state AG's have filed law suit to block implementation. Any bets the mandated buy-in is found unconstitutional? I say the SCOTUS will find against the mandate thus making way for a public option... we'll see.. the battle has just begun..

Lifetime limits may be out, but annual limits are still in until at least 2014. Having unlimited lifetime coverage but a $100K annual limit means that the insured is still likely to be on the hook for a lot of bucks in case of major illness or accident.

This is a nice little tweak with a few relatively non-controversial provisions that aren't likely to be repealed. It's NOT a real reform. That's single payer. We'll get there in a few years when the rapacious insurers continue hiking premiums 30%+ every year and people finally decide that they'll be happier increasing the Medicare tax rate from 1.45% to 5% so we can cover everyone.

However, if I were the Republicans, I'd wait before making Mr. Suntan the next Speaker of the House or the dour Mitch McConnell president of the Senate. Once people find out that the health care bill isn't anything earth-shaking (and might actually make people feel a little more secure about their ability to get coverage if they lose their jobs), they might just remember who lied and exaggerated so badly in the pursuit of making life safer for insurance companies.

Medicare has a $57 Trillion unfunded liability.

Why do you Democrats keep pretending we can afford to all be on Medicare and it will save money?


And how is it that the massive upsurge in deficit spending is somehow OK because you bring up prior bipartisan spending on the wars?
Is there some connection there? Some point?

I know many of you like to say Republicans were not oppoosed to spending a trillion dollars on the wars.

How is that supposed to justify spending trillions more that we don't have?


Well, for all you overachieving parents out there, this will probably mean more medical-school slots will eventually have to be opened to handle the influx of patients. Start buying the MCAT study books for your kids now!

I'm disappointed this legislation didn't go far enough and the ugly politics and parliamentary shenanigans that accompanied it. But I, for one, am glad this has passed. Everyone (both Rs and Ds) has talked about the problems with our health care for decades; someone has finally done something about it, imperfect as it is. And after spending billions on foreign wars and bailing out wealthy bankers over the last few years, I, for one, am happy my tax dollars will support something that helps the little guy and gives us all a little extra security if we lose our jobs or our retiree heath benefits are cut back.

Flame away, but this was the right thing to do.

Aside to Jack: I see a Wyden for Senate ad is appearing on your blog. Saw it while reading this post, as a matter of fact.

Jack's comment The folks who are strutting around today as if Lincoln just freed the slaves don't seem to get it. One thing the Blue Birds are crowing is "This is just the start -- if it doesn't work, we'll fix it." Do you think so? The slim majorities that passed this are about to get even slimmer this fall -- if they're not lost altogether. Don't look for any fixes that move this in any direction but reverse.


The "fix" was in for the private industry from the get go and witness all the twisting to arrive at that conclusion. Look into the subject in depth, not just what one hopes for. One can only hope for a "fix" but that hope is unbelievable because Congress could have "fixed" the problems now. It is crystal clear that they did not want to and this should have all of us up in arms over this shabby treatment of the public interests. Simply calling it better for the people or hoping it will get better does not make it so.

Why would some be crowing when the individual mandate, uses the IRS to force people to buy a product from a poorly regulated, private industry? Unless we change Congress, it doesn't look like there will be a ceiling on the price mandated to pay! 2014? Very clever indeed.

Some of the lefties who may think they are superior to the teabaggers intellectually can intellectualize all they want, do they not recognize neo-feudalism?

Who invited Debbie-Downer to the party? :)

Ben, why do you care now? And why are deficits so important when the common thought from the Republicanleadership was deficits don't matter (unless of course, the Democrats are in power)... Im just curious?

Disappointed as I am in the result, I don't begrudge Obama and the leaders in congress their little celebration. Imagine what the Republicans would be saying today if it hadn't passed in the house. There will be challenges to constitutionality, but it would take a Bush v. Gore type of supreme court decision to strike down the insurance "mandate", which takes the form of a tax. Bringing costs down is going to be the big challenge; without that, health care swallows up our economy, no matter what kind of system we end up with.

Ah, Jack, always looking on the bright side.

This may not have been as important as freeing the slaves (executive order, I believe), nor even enacting Medicare, but given the fact that nearly half of Congress has been taken over by extreme right-wing zombies, it stands as an impressive achievement.

I'd say the Dems have a better chance of retaining their majorities in Congress now than if they had not passed this bill. The real question will be how the economy is doing in October.

Granted, the results of this process are not ideal. Would we be in better shape if the Republicans had prevailed and there were no improvements to our healthcare system whatsover? Have the Republicans proposed anything except medical malpractice limits? Can anyone seriously take the Republican criticism seriously when their leader Senator Boehner insists on referring to passage of the bill as Armageddon? Progressives have been trying to pass health care legislation since Teddy Roosevelt. We are the only "developed" country in the world without universal health care for all its citizens. I would ask to partisans to work together but I realize this is futile.

The "'pre-existing condition, trash" means only they are not insurance companies any more. They are buyer's agents.

If I form a non-profit buyer's club, but without the "insurance" label, will I be able to demand the same discounts for club members as the targeted insurance companies? (Or as offered to government purchasing agents?) The reasoning behind "form over substance" applies here, with ease.

A corporate employer should treat any mandate to carry "insurance" for employees as the same thing as an increase in the federal minimum wage. The pay stub should list the employer's full cost on the pay stubs and then itemize the extraction from the employee's pay; i.e., the amount that the federal government is compelling each employee to pay from their income over to some crony capitalist. Right along side the FICA tax it can be labeled the CC tax, the crony capitalist tax. That is how the demand for a living wage gets expressed through the legislative process, for the benefit of another.

I won't get too excited about Repeal of anything unless first on the list is the legislation that converted the private obligations of the then-private Fannie Mae into a public debt. That or placing a cap on wealth guaranty offered by the FDIC (with implicit cover by the public for knowingly low-ball insurance premiums) per person (per natural person) for all accounts anywhere and everywhere (including pass-through coverage) in aggregate of $40,000. Investment without risk is not capitalism.

I understand the problem of people who would wait to get insurance 'til they got really sick, but the mandate solution is clunky at best. It's going to be a huge problem.
Still 7 years ago we were debating whether we should kill hundreds of thousands of people in a preemptive strike.
I'd rather be fighting about giving people healthcare. It just feels better.

I frankly think the middle is fed up with both parties. I am and I'm mostly disappointed in this bill.

However, I loudly applaud the easing of the lifetime limits and the pre-existing condition exclusion. Those are two things that needed to be fixed.

On the other hand, I think it's ridiculous to expect the poor to pay for health insurance as it now. How the hell are the unemployed expected to pay premiums?

But what I'm most upset about is that the bill did nothing to curb the health care corporations and the drug companies. Nor did it slay the elephant in the room: tort issues.

Nor did it slay the elephant in the room: tort issues.

The estimates I've seen show that "tort issues" account for about 1.5% of health care costs. Hard to see how that's much of an elephant, no matter how small the room.

It is, however, the main GOP talking point on health care, which makes people think it must be more significant than it really is.

"... the fact that nearly half of Congress has been taken over by extreme right-wing zombies ...."

I'd put that the other way around -- r-w zombies peaked at their high-water mark and now we see them receding to 'less than half' and a minority of Congress. Although, and so ordinary as to almost seem inevitable, the number of losers floundering, being carried on the ebbing tide out to sea and their drowning doom is a splinter minority, 'insignificant' in statistical terms, yet they scream loudest in their desperate death throes with a din those of us on the dock and safe on shore can hear far out across the water, powerless to reach them. 'We'll get you for this' (their own demise), they scream. Yeah, sure, we might say, how's that antisocial intransigence working for you ...?

"I'd say the Dems have a better chance of retaining their majorities in Congress now than if they had not passed this bill."

I'd say so, too. Not that I know a lot about odds handicapping of political races, (I don't), nor that my forecasts have been mostly accurate, (they haven't), but there just is such a long list of bogus 'Wolf!, Wolf!' cries and 'the sky is falling' fear-flinging by the usual gang of loudmouth r-w zombie suspects, which have all been false alarms up to now, I figure their screaming threats today about what massive revenge they are going to muster in November against the majority popularity of health care, is only more of the r-w zombie zany insanity bedlam.

Jack, several of the points in your predictions also appear in today's collection at Media Matters .ORG of all the bigoted and brainless threats and warnings and 'epic FAIL' promises BLARED OUT by FIXedNEWS and their fanatical rightwing extremist fans of fascism during the last year. One fool in it who I favor to see failing is Rash Lamebrain --
weeks ago: "if health care passes I am leaving this country;"
today: "I never said I'd leave this country."
LIARS.

Let's go to the video tape ....
.

I lost interest in the contents of the new health care law enacted. The mass media are all r-w zombies programming TV-addicted Americans with propaganda for despotic totalitarianism; and those 'reporters' and 'journalists' decided that the narrative of their media storyline, all year, was about process and procedure and partisanship vengence. The 'free press' reported nothing of what's actually in the Bill, (indeed, they reported LIES like the "death panels" idiocy that Sarah Palin tweeted). It was all about 'procedure' and blocking the Bill's passage, a whole whomping massive two thousand pages of lawmaking rightwingers can't read, all being 'crammed down their throats.'

Seems to me they would not feel it crammed down their throats if they had not left their mouths wide open and round, shouting "nO, nO, nO." But they did, and it was, and now maybe it'll choke off their airways, stop their hate talk, they'll shut up and the most of us can enjoy some peace and quiet. Yeah, I hope they choke on it. 2000 pages ought to be enough, I barely care what's in it and, anyway, the details and definition are usually worked out later for New 'Historic' laws put into practice. That's the way it is. And so it goes.

From now on we've got health care.

I'm just glad it was NOT Obama's 'Waterloo,' he did NOT 'fail,' and the mass-media LIARS end up today all looking like LIARS.


David J.: Don't think "Tort Issues" are a concern to people that practice medicine? Look at the malpractice premiums they pay. In some specialties they are more than most people earn in tw to three years. And let's not forget all the mostly un-needed medical tests that are done every year mostly to avoid litigation.

Here’s another link to a Firedoglake article, this one with an excellent analysis of the health care bill and a marvelously clear table of myths and truths about the bill.

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/03/19/fact-sheet-the-truth-about-the-health-care-bill/#comment-98286

Here’s are just three of those 18 items in the table:

Myth # 2: Insurance companies hate this bill--
Truth: This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint VP. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.

Myth #4: 4. The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.--
Truth: The bill will impose a financial hardship on middle class Americans who will be forced to buy a product that they can’t afford to use. A family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income — out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible.

Myth #5: 5. This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable.--
Many Massachusetts residents forgo health care because they can’t afford it. A 2009 study by the state of Massachusetts found that: * 21% of residents forgo medical treatment because they can’t afford it, including 12% of children * 18% have health insurance but can’t afford to use it

In addition (my words), the Massachusetts Health Plan has run WAY over projected budget, and functioned so poorly that in my opinion it led to a protest vote and a Scott Brown victory. But of course the Dems are determined to draw the wrong conclusion about their senate loss...

This issue won’t go away. In about three years people will start to realize that they’ve been screwed. And the media machine will again go into overdrive. (The Oregonian today, in its analysis of the bill’s effect on Medicare, mentioned only closing the donut hole, but neglected to mention that federal funds to Medicare Senior Advantage programs will be slashed, which will force seniors to either pay higher premiums or settle for skimpier care).

The story in three years will be ... patience... next year (just before the 2014 election) the plan will REALLY kick in, and we’ll get the benefits that the Republicans are fighting.

I am so sick of the Good Cop-Bad Cop routine the Republicans and Democrats have been staging my entire voting life...

I disagree that we won’t ever have single payer. Simple economics will compel it. (Unless we descend into total collapse and barbarity first... mandatory gas chambers for the seriously ill, anyone?

In the meantime, Rep Alan Grayson has a bill allowing anyone to buy into Medicare. It has over 80 cosponsors in the House and over 40,000 citizen cosponsors at WeWantMedicare.com.

Whether or not it has a chance of passage, it’s worth signing onto just to let congress know that people know what direction we need to go. It would be a lot easier to fix Medicare than to wring a shred of honest intention out of the robber barons who presently run our health care system.

"Many of the "reforms" (including the taxes on the wealthy that are going to pay for this) don't take effect until 2013"

I thought normal people started paying more Medicare taxes as soon as it is signed.

Also, glaringly missing, anything about cost controls.

Why do I get the feeling it will be like Medicare where we tell doctors that instead of paying them $1.00 like last year, we'll give them $0.80 for the same thing this year?

Not a great bill but a step towards becoming a first world country. We may even crack the top 30 health care systems when the thing is fully functioning.

It will bring a degree of certainty to the middle classes and should reduce the fear we all live under (I think this is the part the Republicans hate the most). A few weeks ago I told the wife we have enough money saved to cover 15-25 years of retirement or 10-12 weeks of medical costs if they come along with a job loss (as they normally do ).

Grayson will be the next VP , and annointed to follow B O

David A, the real reason the republicans have targeted tort claims is because the trial lawyers lobby supports mainly democratic party candidates... ask people where tort reform has occured, Texas and California, how much there health insurance bills have been reduced... from what Ive heard of people calling into talk radio from those states, its not measurable...

I wonder how many health insurance providers also provide malpractice insurance?.. from my experience, the two are seperate entities... and most times, the plaintiff in malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits have to pay back the health insurance providers including Medicare, should the plaintiff prevail in their case... All you who raise the tort reform claim know nothing about it and are just repeating right wing talking points.

So tell me, how does tort reform affect health care providers based on what I just told you, because I was a plaintiff in a wrongful death case.. Deadly mistakes happen all the time... Would you just say oh well and walk away should a fatal and blatant error in judgement occur on someone you loved and cared about?

Bee,
Thank you for your posting and link.

In my view, the only good that could ever come out of this, is that the game Congress played this time became clear that the people are lowest on the totem pole.

The clarity before our eyes for those who care to see was that it was over, corporates now own Congress, not we the people. Question now, will we let it continue or has our country already been taken to the point of no return?


It's painfully humorous when citizens of any party forget that corporations largely run the federal government.

What other government on the planet would grant the rights of human beings to corporations? Even Mussolini didn't do that.

For those who think that this is going to cut the cost of healthcare, please think again. Anytime, ANYTIME, the government gets involved in anything but government....well, you do the math.

How can the government make the industry "more efficient"? How can the government force hospitals to reduce costs without impacting staffing and services? How can the government influence better outcomes when patients are only people, and doctors and hospitals will have fewer resources to work with?

At the hospital I work for, there are countless employees whose jobs revolve around dealing with the complexities of government payors, government regulations, and trying to stay on top of ongoing changes in billing, coding and so forth that were develped by some government entity. The government ADDS to the cost, adds to the big bloated machine and it diverts resources from patient care.

I also forsee lower reimbursement to hospitals and physicians in the long run, and this is going to impact each and every one of us when we need medical care. If a healthcare system has less money to pay for nurses, technology, staff, physicians, etc, they simply cannot provide MORE and BETTER care for less dollars.

And don't even get me going on the tax increases for all those "rich people" who are supposedly going to pay for it all. Class warfare is so picking the low hanging fruit!

We need reform, but in my perhaps naive perception, this doesn't fix much and will surely cost us all a whole lot in unanticipated ways when we need care, and when our families need care. And, no I am not a Republican. Just a person who understands how medical care is provided and paid for, and is very saddened by what the American people have just been medicated with.

"We may even crack the top 30 health care"

Tell me where you want to go besdies the US if you are really sick. I am not saying it's cheap here, but name me a better country for medical treatment.

Lets face it.. this bill sucks.. its a gift to the insurance corporations and Im tired of hearing the cheerleaders say how wonderful it is.. its just payback to the corporations by the dems with the intent they will get lots of cash from them (and us now by our mandate to buy their products) for their future elections and all courtesy of the recent supreme court decision allowing corporations the right to free speech..

All those backroom deals occurred last spring and we were punk'd through the summer and fall making it look like real reform was in the queue...

Obama (and I voted for him) never intended to provide a public option.. the goal is to eliminate the federal govts involvement in social programs and place that responsibility onto the states.. this bill is just a detour till that plan is accomplished.. the fed will just be in place to provide contracts to the military industrial complex..its called privitization...

Why won't the politicians just be honest with us and say what the long term plan is... and just remember one thing about corporate mindsets.. people are expendable.. when profits are hurting, the employees/citizens become the first casualty...

Steve,

Having experienced healthcare systems in several other countries, I can think of many that I would rather be sick in. In fact, I guarantee that you would feel the same for you and your family if you had done the same. How about (just the big ones): France, Spain, Austria, Japan, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, UK (post Blair it's actually very impressive), Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Israel, Canada, Finland, Australia, and Denmark.

In any of those countries you and your children would live longer, have guaranteed access and as a taxpayer would be paying less with a better chance of controlling costs in the future. Whenever someone says the US has the best healthcare in the world you know that they know absolutely nothing about what they are talking about.

Fortunatly those that voted for Obamacare will be out of work by Nov. 5th.....

Let the states take control and do away with federal incorporation. Give it back to the states.

I agree with the comment above that the 'pre-existing condition' exemption makes this no longer insurance - unless they can charge an appropriate premium for the risk.

Heck....if its such a good idea, let translate that to other sectors of the economy. For instance if the average cost of a used car sold in the US is $7000, from now on, all used cars cost $7000 - regardless of year/make/model/condition.

Actually, that's not an accurate model. If we follow the government model, even if on average all used cars sell for $7000, they'd have to sell them for $11,500.

Mitt Romney will be President? Come on, BoJack, everyone knows Sarah Palin will be the next Republican President. Get with it.

Don't post if you're not going to stay current or if you're bent on spreading misinformation. Geez.

Myth # 2: Insurance companies hate this bill

Myth no doubt...they're just tickled that the government has guaranteed them another 30 million paying customers.

This bill will be repealed.

Sidenote to Suburban Bliss: As I understand it, the complicated medical codes were developed by the AMA, and if you mess with it they will sue you -- it is a profit center for them.
My real question: If the Supreme Court rejects the compulsory insurance, will that mean we will go back to having the rest of us pay for those who don't have insurance, including all those young healthy folks who think they are immortal right up until they flip a motorcycle or inject their car into a tree?
The Republicans would not have supported real health care even if it came in at no cost. Their stated goal was to cripple Obama -- they were afraid of him after the election -- and if some rank and file Republicans die for lack of health insurance, at least the Congressional leaders can keep their jobs.
Why are the Republicans angry? They got what they wanted. Obama has been seriously damaged, just as Clinton was when Newt ran the same play against Clinton Care. And as a bonus, a lot of Ralph Nader political thinkers on the left helped them out.
Two moderately good results: Obama survived, and health care is now a federal responsibility.

Sort of.

Got my first real world feedback on the Bill yesterday. Cleaning woman is quitting her department store job that gets her healthcare -- says she can get it from the government now. She doesn't want to miss out on this one like subprime when she didn't apply for a loan until a month or two after the system fell apart. Hey, when can I quit my second job too? Can't you people do something for me?

Grady, If she's referring to that pool that adults with pre-existing conditions can buy into, she may be in for a big surprise.. A family member sought their states pool for their circumstances.. for her and her husband, the state's premium was $2400 a month.. they ended up finding a place that would insure them for just over $1700 a month.. they gross around $50k a year and have a house payment and all the other expense that an approaching retirement age couple has... not much left over with a monthly insurance bill like that..

"I can think of many that I would rather be sick in."

Am sorry to hear you are placing your family in grave medical risk by being in the US.

Yes, I know people who live in Canada, France and Australia and I have even travelled.

There are some things they do better such as first level care that we could fix (80% of GP business could be handled by a NP.)

However, when it comes to things like standard surgery, for example a hernia, here you can get it done within two weeks, those other places - take a number and wait.

As far as complex surgery, I'd still put our system up against any one. YOu might want to ask the Canadian politician that came here instead of Canada for heart surgery or all the Canadians who sued to be able to get supplemental private insurance.

At least give me some example besides your say-so or name-calling that the others are better.

That Canadian politician doesn't exactly balance out the tens of thousands of people going the other way to get the drugs they need to stay alive without going bankrupt. It's nice that you can get a hernia operation in 2 weeks, as long as your insurance company OKs it, your company is still one of the barely 50% that offers insurance and you can afford the copay. Plus you better hope that they enter the right code so you don't get a $50k bill which you could spend years fighting.

There are good things about the US "system." The main one for me is the wife makes so much money working in it that I have had the last 6 years off.

Steve,

No system is perfect, and you can certainly cherry-pick examples of shortcomings in the health care systems of other countries. And our system does excel in some things and works great for people who -- and this is key -- can afford it or whose employers pay for it.

This Wikipedia entry collates competing data and opinions on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of our system compared to others in the world. We do well in some measures but fail abysmally in others considering the money we spend. We are not getting a good return on our investment: we spend much more than other countries on health care as a percentage of GDP but we are middling or worse on outcomes such as infant mortality, unnecessary deaths, and life expectancy.

I'm sure you have really good health insurance, and I'm glad you can get your hernia taken care of in short order. But to extrapolate from that and insist that U.S. has the best system in the world and doesn't need reforms is laughable.

And our system does excel in some things and works great for people who -- and this is key -- can afford it or whose employers pay for it.

Well, and for those (read: anyone) who could walk into any ER and get free care by law. I mean really...if you dont have coverage, why go into an urgent care and pay $100 plus the prescriptions when the ER is just easier?
I really dont think our health system needs "reform". The insurance industry does. They are the ones controlling it. And this bill doesnt change that.

And I have a suspicion that employers are going to start dropping health coverage like hot rocks.

Jon,

The bill takes an important first step in reforming the insurance companies -- banning them from rejecting or dropping people with pre-existing conditions. Sure, I myself wanted a public option and am disappointed it didn't happen. I don't like that the health of our citizens is in the hands of for-profit companies.

But you're not going to replace this system root and branch overnight-it's been over 70 years in the making. Look at how much resistance this reform met, even though it retains a market-based system and incorporates many ideas from earlier Republican proposals. Think of the juggernaut of opposition that would have been unleashed had the companies not largely stayed out of the fight.

As for employers dropping plans, somebody (maybe Jack) will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the tax deductibility of employer-provided health plans disappears with this reform. That would be an incentive for them to keep offering it (but only time will tell). But besides, if health care in this country can be decoupled from employment, in the long run that will ultimately benefit both companies and workers.

I don't like that the health of our citizens is in the hands of for-profit companies.

I hear that. And I certainly hope our premiums dont skyrocket. But with the billions the insurance companies are mandated to pay the government under this law, I wont hold my breath.
And what about the actual costs of the care? Are they putting restrictions on the providers to keep costs down as well?
I would call my rep, but he didnt read it.


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In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

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: 220
At this date last year: 67
Total run 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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