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Tuesday, July 14, 2009



The Senate Health Committee just passed their reform measure today. The House passed their's yesterday. If Baucus quits cow towing to Republicans on his committee and the health care related special interests that pump millions into his campaigns, he will get something out of committee soon.

Obama gave bipartisanship a chance, but as with the stimulus, Republicans remain the party of no on health care. So, it appears his strategy is shifting to one of forcing the hands of "moderate" Democrats as he has launched TV ads in select states aimed at enhancing public support for reform. In short, it's a bit premature to write-off the reform effort.

If the treasury spends one trillion on reform, that does not necessarily mean there is a net loss to the economy. As you and I have noted earlier, most people do get care. There likely will be savings in other sectors if government picks up more of the tab because, for example, ER use could be reduced if people used insurance to go to clinics instead.

And I am bothered by your lack of clarification as to taxing employer-funded plans. I know of no proposal to tax all such plans. Only an amount above a certain level was to be taxed, perhaps anything over $12,000 for a family plan. In other words, only the so-called Cadillac plans and then only the portion above the Buick plans.

Whose numbers are you using to project $trillion deficits for the next ten years?


I should have said House Democrats unveiled their plan yesterday. My bad.

The point is, there is movement. And as to disarray, isn't that pretty much the norm for congress--especially when confronting problems that involve fight big-money interests?


When has Washington D.C. never been in dissaray, KB? This is not news to me. There will always be chaos in the halls of Congress, it's politics as usual and it's how things get done.


Please excuse resorting to the link, but this is my kind of disarray: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/16/gop-lawmaker-admits-congr_n_235357.html


KB, sounds like the "dissaray" you talk about in Congress is going to lead to both the confirmation of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and passage of the Healthcare Reform Bill. Even Rep. Hoekstra (REPUBLICAN) admits the bill will pass. Have a wonderful day and keep bloggin' away 'cause I always enjoy reading your posts!


You step out of the classroom for a day or two...
Oh, wait, I'm supposed to be making it a kitchen.


My only satisfaction, if one can call it that, is that if this debacle of "Health Care Reform" passes, it will be owned by the Democrat / Progressive majority. Hopefully, it will pass on a strictly party line vote.

Once the public truly realizes the impact this has on the economy, their communities and their freedoms, this may be a "tipping point" that will repudiate the "progressive movement" for at least a few generations...

My hope is that once the public becomes aware of the impact, that people realize that government, by its very nature, is not benevolent or wise but self-serving and corrupts itself with every increase in its power.


A.I.: the Senate Health Committee passed the bill. The Senate Finance Committee now gets to figure Out how to pay for it. Senators skeptical of the bill and its costs are not the only ones who receive campaign contributions from interested parties.

President Obama's bipartisanship is a joke. He demonstrated that by redefining the term to include legislation that doesn't have a single Republican vote. Everyone is bipartisan by that standard.

You are right that a trillion dollar bill doesn't necessarily mean a drain on the budget or the economy. It is achieves comparable savings, it might be a wash or a benefit. The latter will depend on whether the Wizard of Oz lands his balloon, and one of the Obama girls shows up with the Witches broom. Name me one big expansion of the welfare state that has led to savings, rather than growing expenditures over time. But more on that in my next post.

My statement about trillion dollar deficits every year over the next ten is based on a chart laying out the President's own projections. He projects trillion dollar deficits this year and next, if I remember correctly. After that the deficits will decline, though they will will remain higher than ever before in our history. Since I have been paying attention to politics, deficits are almost always larger than projected. President's make rosy assumptions about savings that will always be achieved next year or the year after that. They manufacture savings by cutting imaginary spending. Obama has already shown that he is adept at that game. So even if his projections about economic growth are realistic, it is realistic to expect about a trillion a year for the foreseeable future.

Mac: you are quite right that legislation often looks like a mess. Laws and sausages. But sometimes legislation blows up in its author's faces, as health care legislation did under the Clintons. The Democrats suffered for that, but they figured they would suffer more if they had passed Hilary's Bill. I wonder about that again.

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