Saturday, July 04, 2009

So we have one governor, Sarah Palin, who resigns without giving us a logical reason, and another, Mark Sanford, who refuses to resign while giving us, endlessly, a compelling reason for his resignation. Maybe Mr. Sanford should have gone to Alaska instead of Argentina.

Monday, June 29, 2009


French President Sarkozy is threatening to ban the burka. What's next - required bikinis or bustles?

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Let's hope that President Obama is just delaying action on gay rights and that he is just holding back on strong statements on behalf of the public option as an essential part of health care reform. Will he say "I will veto any bill ....?" Will he realize that getting a couple of Republican votes is not bipartisanship and that 51% can pass the needed legislation?

As the President does say, the public option will tend to keep the insurance companies "honest" and more competitive. But the real value of the public option is for many to choose it. That will lower the cost of health care, just as Medicare does. As we know, Medicare has only a 3% administrative burden as opposed to over 20% for private insurers. And the power of a large public option pool, combined with Medicare, means the ability to negotiate lower charges by providers and medical equipment and pharmaceutical corporations.

Republicans and other opponents of reform charge that it is foolish to want a government option when Medicare is going broke. Well, it is going broke largely because of the funding method, not because of mismanagement or inefficiency. If you compared the Medicare cost and outcomes for any set of health conditions with the same set for private insurers, I would bet that Medicare does better.

Some Republicans also claim that a bureaucrat would come between the patient and the doctor. Untrue of course, but wouldn't it be better to have a government official who wants to help you than an insurance clerk who wants to deny the benefit?

If decent health care is a right for any citizen, isn't it most logical to have the government, or non-profit organizations, provide the access? Although the arrangement started innocently, having access to health care depend on where you work is indefensible.