On Valentine's Day, Senator Bernie Sanders sent a letter to the President, authored by himself and signed by 15 other Senators, all Democrats. The letter was a response to the rumors that the President intends to include his Chained CPI proposal to cut Social Security benefits in the budget he will soon send to Congress. Read more about What that Letter Should Have Said
Paul Krugman suggests in his New York Times column today that continuing the expansion of Medicaid is the answer to the outlandish cost of health care in the United States. He's wrong. Medicaid is a lifeline for the impoverished, but the program would have to be reformed to the point that it would no longer be recognizable as Medicaid to be satisfactory for most Americans.
The reason Krugman likes Medicaid is the program's success at controlling costs. He says that of all the health care delivery systems in the country, Medicaid is the one most like those in Europe, which have much lower costs than ours. If that's true, it's only because most of the rest of our fragmented system is completely fucked up.
Among the primary aims of European systems is health care equity — providing everybody with the same access to high-quality health care regardless of income or station. Medicaid does not come close to doing that. Krugman says that care from Medicaid providers is good and that lack of access is greatly exaggerated. In my experience the former is sometimes true and the latter, never. Read more about Paul Krugman is wrong about Medicaid
Joseph Kishore of wsws refers to the latest phase of Democrat/Republican budget skirmishing as a “dog and pony show”. The “big business” parties, Democrat and Republican, are united in ESSENTIALS -- the gutting of two programs, Social Security and Medicare, that have OVERWHELMING SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN POPULATION.
After Obama’s SOTU message on February 12, 2013, Jill Stein, Green Party 2012 presidential candidate, addressed a national video audience with "Our Green State of the Union" assessment -- what Jill Stein herself called the “REAL state of our nation.”
We need a real discussion of where we are, so we can set our priorities right and secure the future for our imperiled families, communities, country and planet.
I wonder if Obama’s face will be carved into Mount Rushmore. Has the universe seriously become that cruelly surreal and Orwellian?
I think so.
A few days ago when I saw Obama’s likeness photoshopped onto Mount Rushmore on Al Sharpton’s show it made bitter bile burn my throat and choke me.
I then managed to scream and announce to a brother and nephew that if or when Obama ended up memorialized in such a way that would be the day I moved to another country.
“Where will you move to?” my nephew asked. Read more about Obama’s Continuing ‘Garden Path’ to Fascism
If video won't play go to It's time to jump off the Fiscal Cliff
In a recent broadcast, Thom Hartmann makes a compelling argument why Democrats should allow Congress to jump of the “fiscal cliff” and allow the automatic tax and spending cuts to take place on December 31st (when the Bush tax cuts expire and automatic cuts to defense and domestic spending occur as stipulated in the Budget Control Act of 2011). Read more about The Fiscal Cliff: Time to Go Ahead and Jump
Seriously, if you want to wipe out large numbers of people, why bother with entitlement cuts when you've got high-tech weaponry available? It's fast, impersonal, and you can just hose down whatever's left and voila! Problem solved!
Unfortunately, it looks like Obama prefers the slow, painful method of saving us from the debt.
From a Healthcare NOW email [bolding added]:
Just because President Obama won another term doesn't mean that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are safe. Far from it. Obama's seeking a "grand bargain" with the Republican-controlled House by January 1.
Social Security Card -- Illustration
Illustration: 3D Social Security Card. SSA# 000-00-000, This number has been established for Jane Doe.
DonkeyHotey's photostream, flickr Read more about Remember "The Old Days," Before Social Security
[Hat Tip to Mr. Alexa for tipping me off to this leak.]
White House Grand Bargain offer to Speaker Boehner
Obtained by Bob Woodward Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:58 AM EST
Below are documents obtained by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward that show a grand bargain proposal the White House was prepared to make in July 2011, in order to reach agreement with the House Republicans last year. This is how Woodward described the documents on Meet the Press this morning:
"This is a confidential document, last offer the president -- the White House made last year to Speaker Boehner to try to reach this $4 trillion grand bargain. And it's long and it's tedious and it's got budget jargon in it. But what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare. And there are some lines in there about, "We want to get tax rates down, not only for individuals but for businesses." So Obama and the White House were willing to go quite far."
I don't watch the Sunday morning political talk shows. Haven't for a couple years now. The only one I allow myself to watch sometimes is "Up" with Chris Hayes since ever once in awhile some actual alternative voice pops up like the wonderful Occupy the SEC woman whose name I can't remember. Read more about It's a Set Up - It's not about Obama or Romney
I ran across the Kaiser Health News piece referenced below, while I was researching another topic. The policy "reform" that this piece addresses hits home for me, since we have a number of close relatives who live there, and spend several months each year in Tennessee. Read more about Coming to a State Near You, "Reduced" Medicaid-Funded Nursing Home Care
(Reprinted from Moslereconomics.com with the Express Permission of the Author)
CAUTION: BE SEATED WHEN READING
By N. Gregory Mankiw
March 26 (NYT)
The following is a presidential address to the nation — to be delivered in March 2026.
My fellow Americans, I come to you today with a heavy heart. We have a crisis on our hands. It is one of our own making. And it is one that leaves us with no good choices.
For many years, our nation’s government has lived beyond its means.
A rookie, first year student mistake. Our real means are everything we can produce at full employment domestically plus whatever the rest of the world wants to net send us. The currency is the means for achieving this. Dollars are purely nominal and not the real resources. Read more about Harvard's Mankiw – A Disgrace To the Economics Profession
Well, maybe not "oops." More like "on purpose." And not Obama, personally, but his Administration. Words fail me, so I'll just quote from McClatchy:
By telling Arizona Tuesday it can effectively end Medicaid coverage of a quarter million people, the Obama administration has pointed out a potential escape hatch for other financially strapped states seeking to cut people from the program. ...
Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, says that the Obama administration is "walking that fine line of trying to be helpful [to states] but trying not to undermine health reform." [Ed. note: Bwahahaha! Stop! You're killing me!] ...