Saturday, September 05, 2009


The other day, a former neighbor came by to visit. At one point she complained that, having just signed up for Medicare, she feared the Medicare changes in health care reform plans. Well, the reform does not threaten Medicare. Medicare changes are not the thrust of these reforms. Medicare's funding problems have to be addressed separate from current reform plans.

Putting aside drummed up fears like "death panels". what's not to like about health care reform? Certainly, there is the cost of insuring the uninsured, but most Americans are in favor of righting this wrong. (and we're paying a lot for their health care as it is). President Obama wants to eliminate pre-existing condition limitations, prevent denials when illness occurs, help preserve insurance when jobs are lost, and reduce costs for the benefit of businesses and individuals. It's all good stuff.

Then there is the public option. This is not government take over or socialism; it is a public insurance option, to operate like Medicare. It is not government-run, like the VA System (although the VA system is efficient and successful) Nor does it put a government bureaucrat between patient and doctor. I've had Medicare for almost 20 years and have yet to run into a bureaucrat, and have had no denials.

At the outset, the public insurance option is necessary because we will have to subsidize some of the currently uninsured; and so we want a lower cost alternative. Longer term this government insurance operation will help keep private insurers competitive and can better negotiate with providers to reduce the overall cost of health care.

Everyone agrees that our health care system is broken and presents an unsustainable burden on our society. Now is the time for President Obama and the Democrats to bring the change voted for last November.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Some of the News
That may be True


It was formally announced tody that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would address the United Nations when it resumes meeting in September. This is seen as part of her global outreach as she expands the foreign policy iniatives she started after leaving office.

The arrangements for the speech were made by former Ambassador John Bolton in a show of U.S. support of the UN and its mission. Governor Palin has agreed to waive her usual six figure
speaker fee.

Right-Wing Furious Over Obama's Speech To Schoolkids

Foolishness. School districts in six states are refusing to show President Obama's upcoming back-to-school speech to students, set to air next Tuesday. Wise to keep students from hearing positive messages from their president?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Reports that President Obama will not insist that reform include the public option is really distressing. Most experts consider this an integral part of meaningful reform. Without it the insurance companies benefit from all the influx of the previously uninsured and do not face strong competition.

From a public relations point of view, perhaps it should have been called the public insurance option. This would have mitigated but not prevented the misleading claims that government is taking over health care.

But I do agree with Republicans when they say that the Democrats control the White House and Congress and can pass health care reform legislation. Those Democrats that have not been supporting their president on this issue should be threatened with loss of perks, primary fights, and long sessions with Rahm Emmanuel.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I hate to be in agreement with George Will but have long thought it best to reduce our effort in Afghanistan. Fight al Qaeda but forget the nation building and also the prevention of Taliban extremism (although we hate it ) unless the world's nations are with us in halting Taliban's abuses.

I doubt if we can meet our needs in Afghanistan/Pakistan area from offshore as George Will suggests. Ideally, we could keep a base in a relatively secure Afghanistan from which to fight Al Qaeda there and in Pakistan.