Monday, February 22, 2010

The President’s Proposal puts American families and small business owners in control of their own health care. | The White House

The President’s Proposal puts American families and small business owners in control of their own health care. | The White House


A public option is a great invention, something between government provided care or insurance and a free market of private companies. Today, we have neither. But - if pre-existing condition denials, rescission on technicalities, etc., are outlawed on a federal basis, the insurance companies, faced with a much broader pool of applicants both healthy and sick, may be forced to provide high quality and affordable coverage instead of the mess they administer today.

A mandate for all is necessary to expand the indemnity pool, so the well pay for the sick - the 80/20 rule. A mandate is working, in fits and starts, in Massachusetts. Mandates have been Republican ideas for a couple of decades.

Buying insurance across state borders is fine. It has to be heavily regulated, so the companies in the worst states have to perform like the companies in the most heavily regulated states, so this is really just another smokescreen. Deregulation and cross-state-line banking sure has been a success! Look at Joe Biden's Delaware state credit card machine.

Tort reform, malpractice reform...few people who use the word tort know what a tort is. Yearly in the US, about 90,000 malpractice lawsuits are filed; about 10% of those reach settlement or trial; of those, only 10% are found in favor of the plaintiff. The culprit here is, drumroll, please, the insurance companies, making things miserable for both providers and consumers for decades! Health care reform as we see it today is insurance reform, which when clearly seen is what will fix malpractice lawsuits (errant lawyers etc. are already regulated by states). And how do we set a cost today for tomorrows sponge left in an abdomen by a tired surgeon or for a the next day's wrong limb amputated after mislabeling by a double-shift OR nurse?

There is no excuse for not shaking our insurance system to the core. Now. Around 50,000 of us die each year simply because they are stuck between government programs and private insurance-robbery. 15% of us don't have any insurance. Many of us make less money than we did a decade ago due to increases in employer-furnished insurance increases of 3-5 times the rate of inflation. Many of us avoid using the insurance we do have - our jobs are unstable in this economy, and we're afraid that we won't be able to buy insurance at any price if we change jobs, and copays/deductibles are so high that they put minor issues and preventative care out of reach.

The radical extremists screaming at town hall meetings and rallies are the ones most affected by this mess, and they should be screaming for rationality in our health care system. The corporatization of our health care, and profitization of our health care dollars, are the real issue. And this issue kills.

Malpractice Reform: A Smokescreen to keep us from achieving true health care reform.

Malpractice Reform: A Test Case for Bipartisanship At The Health Summit - Kaiser Health News

"Sorry Works" is one of many approaches that can decrease insurers' roles in doctors' procedures
...doctors report medical errors to hospital administrators, who would then notify patients and begin negotiations
. Our president clearly supports malpractice reform.

in 2005, while he was still just a senator, (Barack Obama) co-sponsored (with Hillary Clinton) a bill that would have implemented a "sorry works" model nationally. It didn't become law, but Obama kept talking up malpractice reform.

The insurance companies are the common enemy of both consumers and providers of medical care. Lawyers and courts already have solid controls in most states that limit frivolous lawsuits and errant lawyers, and in the states that don't have sufficient controls (typically Republican-dominated southern or western states), more controls should be put in place. Without insurance regulation on a national level, the perceived problem with malpractice lawsuits and insurance increasing costs to consumers (and decreasing care quality) won't go away.

Only about ten percent of malpractice lawsuits make it to settlement or court. Of those, only about ten percent are found in favor of the plaintiff.

Those ranting about malpractice reform either know this, or are too ignorant to join the discussion.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Obama to announce loan help for nuclear power | Reuters

Obama to announce loan help for nuclear power | Reuters

Nuclear waste, political fallout.

I'm quite sure that Barack Obama hasn't come up with a way to eliminate the danger from waste that stays toxic for half a million years.

He does seem to have come to the realization of the fact that never in the history of nuclear power has it produced one watt of electricity that wasn't heavily subsidised with taxpayer funds. No private industry has ever fully funded, or profited from, a nuclear power plant and the energy that it delivers without corporate welfare, whether in the US or France or elsewhere.

The President has also forgotten that if we decentralize, conserve, insulate, etc., much more can be saved in terms of money or carbon than with an infinite number of nuclear power plants.

At least we have elected a president who can pronounce the word nuclear.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Evidence of Dick Cheney's Treason - 'This Week' Transcript: Former Vice President Dick Cheney - ABC News

'This Week' Transcript: Former Vice President Dick Cheney - ABC News

Dick Cheney has regressed from bullshit politician to treasonist with this interview.

Read the transcript! He is so full of shit, making up lie after lie, distorting his record as shadow-Commander-in-Chief, and slandering the current administration - he should be waterboarded. In fact, he should be executed for treason.

"The president's been largely silent" "the president was trying to avoid treating this as a war"

Repeat a lie often enough, and enough people will start to believe it. You know that long before day one of his majority-elected presidency Barack Obama has clearly and repeatedly said "Make no mistake about this - we are at war."

"I was and remain a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program."

That's torture, gramps. That violates every moral concept ever adopted by civilized humans. You show that you do not belong to that group.

"he went out and said this was the act of an isolated extremist. No, it wasn't. And we found out over time, obviously -- and he eventually changed his -- his assessment"

No change on the part of President Obama...again, lie, lie, lie. There were no further attacks after the "jihad that couldn't shoot straight" tried to blow up a plane on Christmas. This guy was a nutcase who wanted to avenge what he perceived as a world against him, and he received training and support from those with the resources to do so and with similar aspirations, but he failed and we didn't. Obama 1/terrorists 0.

"... the professionals need to make that judgment. We've got people in -- we had in our administration -- I'm sure they're still there -- many of them were career personnel -- who are expects in this subject. And they are the ones that you ought to turn somebody like Abdulmutallab over to, let them be the judge"

These spooks are not judges! They are spys, operatives, and law enforcement officials. We are a nation of laws, no matter what obscene lengths you will go to slander a political rival, destabilize the security of the United States of America for you own and your party's short-term political aspirations, and lie, lie, lie to make a point to an ill-informed and emotional electorate. If you want to live in a country without laws, where justice is served in the shadows, move! Iran, China, North Korea...many nations would be willing to accept an evil-doer such as you, Dick Cheney.

"Well, first of all, I believe he was not tried. He plead guilty. They never did end up having a trial."

That's called a trial, gramps. You need to regain your sense of reality and justice. This was a trial, under the laws of the United States of America, the very laws you transparently reject, show you oppose, and want to circumvent for your personal monetary and political profit.


This miscreant, Dick Cheney, should never be allowed in front of a microphone again. Dick Cheney shouldn't be allowed a soapbox to rewrite history as it happens. He should never have served as the de facto President of the United States, as he did during his stint as Vice President under minority-elected George W. Bush.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Poll - Obama Has Edge Over G.O.P. With Public -

Poll - Obama Has Edge Over G.O.P. With Public -

At a time of deepening political disaffection and intensified distress about the economy, President Obama enjoys an edge over Republicans in the battle for public support, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

I hate the political football...but this poll represents the true state of the nation.

The Democrats have to realize this and start to LEAD. They have a strong majority in the House and Senate, and they are solidly in the Executive branch (the partisan, activist Supreme Court is another story). Health Care reform, bank and broker regulation, tax fairness, climate's time.

Health insurers take heat for rise in profits -

Health insurers take heat for rise in profits -

The five biggest companies covered 2.7 million fewer people last year but earned 56% more...

Is there any living, breathing human who doesn't think our health care system is broken?

Basically, these companies kill people to retain a few profit dollars to sink into Wall Street so they can pay their CEOs/board-members/institutiona-investors more. Fewer expenditures to pay to the dropped means more money for the already-wealthy. The already wealthy pay capital gains rates on this largesse instead of the income rate that most of us pay. They reward a few for being wealthy instead of making it possible for more to become secure through their work.

This is the legacy of a corporate coup de etat in the United States, and three decades of people working against their self interest by voting idealogues into office who have destroyed any sense of this country being a meritocracy.

If you fancy yourself a revolutionary tea party libertarian freedom-seeker - look, even superficially into this. We've been had. The corporations are killing you, and have each and every one of your federal legislators in their pocket.

The wars of choice and welfare for the wealthy of the last administration, pumping billions into US and foriegn companies to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, and to give tax breaks to the wealthy few while we are in a deficit situation, are simple examples. And shamefully, many who call our current administration socialist and question our President's citizenship supported these shameful policies.

We already pay for nearly a third of all medical care in the US, and we overpay by up to 30%. Health care is a vital national economic, security, and moral issue, and to not fix this is criminal, and works against the security of each American.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

'Miss me yet' billboard shows power of outdoor ads in Internet age / The Christian Science Monitor -

'Miss me yet' billboard shows power of outdoor ads in Internet age / The Christian Science Monitor -

The billboard showed a picture of former President George W. Bush with the words: "Miss Me Yet?"

By Tuesday, the billboard along Interstate 35 outside Wyoming, Minn., was one of the hottest searches on Google, generating news articles and nationwide attention. It's mystery just added to the allure.

The creators are a "group of small businessmen and individuals who just felt like Washington was against them,"

This is amazing.

Miss George W. Bush as President?

The very president who's administration, and others stretching back to Reagan's, virtually destroyed the ability of small businesses and individuals to prosper?

Think for yourselves people! How many of you are already wealthy, and have a great sense of security? Few small businesses and individuals are, and fewer can hope to be under Republican policies of welfare for the wealthy, corporate control of government, and the Politics of NO.

These administrations have handed us, and President Obama, a shit sandwich of debt, war, and division, and if you look at any objective measure Barack Obama is successfully handling this with intelligence and foresight.

Trust me, nobody but the isolated and extreme miss the policies of the nation-breaking President George W. Bush.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tell 'The Nation': Voices of the Uninsured

Tell 'The Nation': Voices of the Uninsured

In College and Out of Insurance

I haven't had health insurance since I was 18. I'm 23 now. My health started to take a turn for the worse around two to three years ago. I currently have many conditions--TMJ, tendonitis, spinal problems, poor eyesight, poor dental health, etc., and I almost never see doctors or dentists because they're so hard to afford on a student budget.

I once had insurance for three months but it was cancelled after I had trouble paying the premiums on time. Now I can't get insurance from anyone due to pre-existing conditions, and I've applied multiple times to every carrier on eHealthInsurance. There are no options for me in the US, except to pay out-of-pocket, which is wildly expensive. I can't even move to another country because I'm still in college.

I have been living with these conditions too long and I really don't want to do it anymore. I've been suicidal for a while and my one hope was health insurance reform (specifically the interim high-risk pools, ban on rescission, and the extension of maximum age on a family plan to 27). I've been happier for the past month since the Senate bill was passed, but stunningly, that all went away because of the sudden rise of Brown's support, which virtually no one saw coming. Politicians almost always defend lack of progress by citing how slow Congress moves and how it's not an institution that makes sudden and/or radical changes, but this election at least partially proves them wrong.

So my hope is almost completely gone and I don't want to continue living with these conditions.

J. Travis Rolko, 23

A Member of the Country's Invisible Poor

In a letter sent to the White House:

I've been coping with chronic pain and autoimmune dysfunction throughout my life and, as it has with far too many others, it has become debilitating. An ever-increasing number of the population is living with these invisible illnesses. Due to the very nature of these symptoms that are hard to track and harder to see, medical care is seldom pursued or even available until one's quality of life is severely diminished. I reached that point years ago, once I was no longer covered by my parents' health plan. My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck, so insurance has never been an affordable option. Doctors can do little more than guess once the few tests I can afford fail to provide answers. Healthcare clinics and employee benefits are equally outrageous in price and too seldom available.

We are members of this country's invisible poor, hiding in plain sight as job-seekers and rent-payers who look the part of middle-class America but are struggling to buy groceries, much less medical care or insurance. In the current status quo, I am neither recognized as poor nor ill, but am living with the constantly increasing pressures of both. A healthcare system that takes into account not only affordability and availability but allows for the many different circumstances American citizens find themselves in can literally begin giving me, and those like me, our lives back.

My husband is currently laid off, and has been since December. I got significantly sicker during my last job (yet have no diagnosis). We cannot afford a vehicle (but have been consistently just above the poverty line), and have not had health check-ups in years (due to continually rising costs). We deserve, along with every citizen against whom there is a financial bias, to do more than survive; we are ready to thrive.

I've done mostly retail over the years with a stint in theatre as a stage manager. My last job was manager of a Hollywood Video in Fountain Valley, California. My husband is a writer-for-hire whose last job was the manager-on-duty at the Palm Springs Hilton. Finally, allow me to say that I'm very invested in healthcare reform. As frustrating as the process has been, I have to believe we can get something signed that at least gives us a platform to work from. Congress needs to stop buying into rhetoric, allowing things like a sixty-vote requirement, and pay more attention to policy than politics and simply care more about their constituents than their own asses.

Dorian Rhodes and Dave Rhodes, 41 and 50

Will You Stop Fighting, and Listen? We're Dying Out Here

Our son has been severely disabled since birth; he is wheelchair bound and cannot sit, stand or walk on his own. He is also developmentally handicapped. We have a $5 million lifetime insurance cap, and are about to hit it. My son is 11, and last Christmas (2008) he had an almost $600,000, thirty-day hospital stay. If that happens again, I'm doomed. Add to that almost $1500 a month in prescription food, $100 a month in diapers, wheelchairs, etc. and the costs are staggering. It is no wonder most bankruptcies are medical, and those folks have insurance.

We're dying out here, and the Congress wants to fight about... what are they fighting about again? I forget. Oh yeah, they're mostly fighting for the folks that pay them to be there: insurance companies. I sent my letter to President Obama and almost every member of the Senate, to no avail. With the announcements from Pelosi and the Supreme Court, I fear I am well and truly screwed.

I am, frankly, disgusted. Not just by the demise, but also by the way the Democratic "leadership" (and in the case of Senator Reid, I use that term quite loosely!) has conducted themselves in this matter. Having, first Joe Lieberman, and then Ben Nelson, and a parade of other Democrats hold the process hostage was disheartening, to say the least. The idea that somehow, we Democrats need a super-majority to fix a mess that a simple majority of Republicans created is just downright stupid. If Lieberman wants to filibuster, make him stand up on C-SPAN and read the phone book make him look like the ass that he is acting like. And start by taking his chairmanship away.

I fight with United Healthcare, and Ceridian (who manages our healthcare spending account) on a weekly basis, and I'm tired of it. Add to that the impending lifetime benefit cap, and the inability of me (and my family) to move from state to state--my Medicaid coverage is not portable!--and I'm trapped. On top of that, there is no consistency of coverage from policy to policy. So, for instance I work (this week) for Sun Microsystems. We have a defined set of benefits, as negotiated, and are actually self-insured (though the program is [mis]-managed by United Healthcare). But next week we are being taken over by Oracle. How will my coverage change? I have no idea. There is no basic level of coverage either mandated or provided by the federal government. So I have no idea what will happen.

I'm not panicked, yet, because Medicaid covers my son. But that's not portable, so should I get transferred to another state? He would fall out of Medicaid coverage, and would have to get on a waiting list for Medicaid waivers. Currently, the state of North Carolina is considering increasing the Medicaid co-pay to 30 percent. If I had to pay 30 percent of $600,000, it would ruin me.

We need single-payer. We need to remove the profit motive. As I've said for over a year now, this has not been correctly framed from the beginning. It is not healthcare reform. It is health insurance reform. Our healthcare is pretty darned good. Our insurance system is shameful. The former CEO of UnitedHealthGroup was paid $129M one year. one year. That's money that could have been spent on medical care. But it was wasted.

Obviously, I could go on and on and on forever. I've tried meeting with my Congressional representatives. Senator Kay Hagan "didn't have time" and Congressman David Price wasn't available until Contessa Brewer wanted to interview me on MSNBC, at which point he was magically available. Obviously last week's Supreme Court ruling will only make our Congressional representatives less available and less responsive to individual constituents so that they can pay better attention to corporate sponsors. We spin further and further out of control.

Have you had enough yet? Believe me, I have. But I have to fight on. I have no choice but to continue this fight until a solution is found that serves the needs of my son, because he cannot fight for himself.

David G. Simmons, 46
North Carolina

Why Couldn't My Tax Dollars Pay to Save My Stepfather's Life?

I lost my job a year ago, and I don't have health insurance. I'm 37. My stepdad did have private health insurance--he was healthy and fit, and paid hundreds of dollars a month. And when he did get sick with a rare cancer, we had to fight for every appointment and wait months for others. His cancer spread quickly and he died within several months, but I believe the insurance companies caused his death. His illness was treatable and he could have beaten it.

It's been a few years and I still miss him.

I actually hope the current version of the healthcare bill fails. I cannot afford insurance right now--and to be put on my husband's insurance will be over $300 a month, and that's with Kaiser Permanente; I haven't had good dealings with them in the past.

In any case, the bill currently punishes people with fines for not having insurance, and it's just wrong. It's a giveaway to the insurance companies, and that makes my blood boil. At the very least, we need a public option, but I'm a single-payer girl. I just refuse to believe that those moronic teabaggers are the majority opinion in this country. I know they aren't, but you'd think they were with all the attention they get. I'm also an "average Joe." I've worked all my life and paid taxes. I'm sickened (pun intended) that my tax dollars pay for war and death, and not saving people's lives, like my stepfather's.

Jennifer M., 37

Do the Right Thing--Start Leading, Stop Following Lobbyists

I'm a single mom on the verge of declaring medical bankruptcy. I was forced to sell my home. My son, now 17, and I live with my 89-year-old mother (illegally) in a retirement community. For the past year, we have shared a 10x10 bedroom roughly the size of my old walk-in closet. I have two college degrees and I am now working only fifteen hours a week as a church administrator. Due to a pre-existing chronic medical condition, I am not able to buy insurance (even if I could afford it). As a result, it is being left untreated.

I am absolutely dismayed with the Massachusetts election outcome and its potential ramifications for healthcare reform. Whether on moral/ethical grounds, as a human rights issue or viewed solely on the numbers, I do not understand how anyone could be opposed to healthcare reform in this country. If conservatives want to stay away from the "touchy/feely" views, fine. However, how can they not see the bottom line? The costs of no healthcare reform far outweigh the costs of the status quo. We have a failed system and it is affecting everyone.

I'd like to see Congress actually represent the people and not corporate America. I'd like to see Congress develop a spine, some ethics, locate their hearts and do the right thing. They all know what that is, but are all in bed with Big Pharma and the insurance industry and the fear of not getting re-elected outweighs everything else. We need healthcare reform and not a watered-down version rubber-stamped by the above. We need our elected officials to actually lead and stop following lobbyists.

Suzi Spagenberg, 49

We Need Real Protection

I've honestly suspected from the get-go that neither the conservatives nor the liberals really care about healthcare reform, and that both sides have done their best to silence the progressives, who do. Frankly, the more cynical part of me is not the least bit surprised. I find it train wreck level interesting, that at the first little excuse the Democrats start to drop even making an attempt at healthcare reform and run in the opposite direction.

As for my investment in healthcare reform, being working-class poor, it's a bit like asking someone on the Titanic if they feel invested in the ship's sinking. I'm in this boat so there's no way for me not to be invested. Last year my wife and I both came down sick at the same time. We were living in West Virginia at the time, and it was during the weeks of the big freeze, twenty below zero at night and zero during the day, and we both came down sick with what we suspected was a sinus infection. Our solution? Swallow enough symptom suppressors to be able to sleep, and enough to be able to work, and hope that it wouldn't get any worse.

I want Congress to pass the bill that is most likely to pass (sadly, I know that is the Senate version) and then use reconciliation to put the public option back in play, and if it fits within the boundaries to also put the individual mandate on a trigger so it would not kick in for at least ten years. Then they should prepare to be dogged by progressives until they perfect the legislation, so that it offers real protection and access to healthcare that doesn't turn into vaporcare the first time you try to use it.

RFT, 36

One Pretzel Hit Cost $500--This is Not the American Dream

I have healthcare. However, I recently took legal custody of my 11-year-old cousin, and because it's residential custody and not full, he is unable to be put under my insurance. His mother is on welfare. Before giving him up to my custody, she let his New Jersey Family Care insurance lapse. So right now we're waiting to see if we qualify to cover him. If we make too much money or don't jump through the proper flaming hoop, then my cousin will remain uninsured. He was recently hit in the eye with a pretzel while having lunch at school. It required an ER visit. I now have a bill of over $500.

The demise of healthcare scares me. I am a stay at home mom and paternal caretaker. Besides the 11-year-old, I have a 6-year-old autistic son and an aging, wheelchair-bound mom, who has been diabetic for over thirty-six years and is now on Medicare. One bad illness will bankrupt us for generations, and aid for my son's lifelong autism ends at age 22.

This is not the American dream. This isn't even basic compassion.

Shea Murphy, 35
New Jersey

The "Obscene Meanness" of America

After hearing Senator Jim Webb say that "The American people have spoken," when the Democrats lost the Massachusetts special election, I was so completely incensed that he or anyone could come to that conclusion, when the people of Massachusetts who have healthcare elected an anti-healthcare candidate.

My husband and I are educated, intelligent, unemployed and in our mid-40s. I am a writer and he is in commercial insurance. We used to rely on his employment to cover the entire family. He has been unemployed for more than a year. We could not afford the COBRA, and indeed can barely afford our mortgage. All other creditors are waiting in line until we get back on our feet, and I have several herniated disks. I live in pain and anxiously await a healthcare plan that will provide me with an opportunity to get the surgeries I need. My husband was raised in London and is so discouraged with what he calls the "obscene meanness" of our system. We have contemplated uprooting our entire lives, to move to England, just to get the surgeries I desperately need. It is difficult to understand how the American people can stand for this and how our politicians can come to the insane conclusions that we do not want it. Howard Dean seems to be the only person talking sense on the pop-culture news.

We have three adult children who are struggling for insurance. My 25-year-old son graduated from American University and lives and works full-time in DC and is covered for now, but he is planning to leave work to get his masters. He has had major back surgery (scoliosis) and can never afford to go without insurance. My 23-year-old daughter works part-time at an advertising agency and part-time pursuing her career as an artist (for which she studied at Boston University). My 21-year-old son is in school at American University, covered for now, but also had major back surgery (stenosis) and cannot go without insurance.

Again, we could not afford the COBRA for ourselves, let alone to help the kids, even if we were allowed to cover them. It's killing us.

Angela Combs, 47

Beside Myself, Waiting for Change

I was diagnosed with throat cancer on Tuesday, January 12. I am unemployed and have no health insurance. I intend to get the care I need. My doctor has not turned me down, nor has the hospital for treatment. I anticipate the bills will begin soon and I will not be able to pay them. Prognosis is 80/20 for recovery with radiation and chemotherapy. I have a notion I am going to face something nastier than cancer in my life: bill collectors. So it begins.

My occupation used to be an administrative assistant. The last two positions that paid well were transferred to different states so my job was gone with them. At 59, with the tight job market, I am not getting any offers. And now, with this diagnosis, there really isn't going to be a job.

I've been beside myself with the Democrats not coming together at once to pass healthcare, and I am livid that just a few people held it hostage. I've tried to do my share by signing petitions and beating up Evan Bayh. This was before I knew I was ill. I think Congress should pass some scrap of something. I wanted the public option. I also hoped they would lower Medicare eligibility to 55. That was selfish, of course. Still, they must try to do something, if only to have it to build upon. They are crazy to think this will come around again this generation.

Sarah Hurt, 59

Get Tough For God's Sake and Ours

My brother is losing his COBRA on February 28. He recently was hospitalized for a heart attack and stroke.

It is difficult for my brother to type since his stroke. I have been researching to find him insurance. There is nothing affordable since he is out of work. Part of the reason he had his stroke/heart attack was because he had cut back on his medication due to finances. His cardiologist told me he keeps seeing this, people who can't afford medication and they stop taking it, which causes dire complications.

Even with health insurance, he owed the hospital over $5,600 and rehabilitation about $2,000. We were able to have the hospital bill "forgiven" after proving my brother had no money. The hospital has a charity fund we applied for; we are applying for the same for rehabilitation. We live in Charlotte, North Carolina, and there are low-cost medical clinics for people who are not more than 20 percent over the poverty level. This is what I have been looking into once COBRA runs out. My brother is not eligible for Medicaid since he is a single male. He lost his job and his house last year so is now living with my husband and I.

I went through a similar instance with my daughter when she graduated college in 2007 and went off our insurance. She had an ultrasound due to menstrual cramps earlier that year and it was inconclusive. Not one insurance carrier would cover her because of the "inconclusive" diagnosis! She took no medications and her doctor wrote a letter to the insurance companies. Eventually she was able to get insurance when she found a job, but the immorality of this made me so angry!

I have been fortunate because I have had good healthcare. However, now that I have someone in my family who has no insurance, it makes me very angry. I have been following healthcare ever since Obama took office.

I want to see the Democrats get tough, for God's sake. I love Obama, but he is too damn nice. Why can't we get fifty-one Senate votes and go for reconciliation? I tell everyone about my brother and tell them that it could happen to them. We elected Obama to be the president who would finally get healthcare done. He needs to get tough and do it. The Republicans only want him to fail for their own selfish political needs. They couldn't care less about the American people. They don't want him to go down in history as the president that got healthcare.

LR and BT, 55 and 51
North Carolina

Is Congress the Opposite of Progress? I Hope Not

I used to be covered by my mom's insurance, but I couldn't afford this semester of school and they cut her, so now both of us are uninsured.

She's 56, works in retail as a salesperson. She's been there for almost twelve years. I'm 21 and currently work a few hours a week as a homemaker. They started cutting her hours in September, but I was in college at the time so we somewhat had coverage.

It bothers me greatly that there's the possibility but no progress with the healthcare bill. I tore the ligaments in my shoulder a few years ago and had I not been under my mother's insurance I'd have to pay $1,500 per MRI. Hospital bills have prevented me from going on with education. I was supposed to have surgery, but couldn't afford it. So now we're sort of at the edge. We can't get sick or anything. Honestly, the Senate bill does bother me. But I can't expect a huge change right away. In my opinion, it would be a baby step toward progress. A friend once told me "If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?" I hope not. I wish Democrats would unite. There are worse cases than mine.

Bisera Rozic, 21

Saturday, February 06, 2010

California's outsize problems won't be easy for Schwarzenegger to solve -

California's outsize problems won't be easy for Schwarzenegger to solve -

All this blather about California and no mention of Prop 13, or of the corporate and out-of-state takeover of our initiative process?

Prop 13 was not a populist tax revolt, it was a corporate and big-state governemnt money grab.

From the initiative that brought in the CA state lottery to Prop 8, wealthy and powerful out of state interests have flooded money into the legislative process of our state, the world's sixth largest economy. It's time to take back control of our governor's mansion, and of our state legislature.

We need to repeal or significantly modify Prop 13. Commercial real estate has to be subject to the same regulations and local governments must be given back the power to set their own revenue through their own political process, while keeping reasonable property tax controls for homeowners to provide stability in an always volatile CA home real estate market.

It's time to ban paid signature takers, ban out of state money from our initiative process, and provide for constitutionality review before any intiative becomes law.