Whole Foods and Health Care

I have tried to avoid the health care debate up to this point. Neither side of the argument has really captured me yet. Large areas of our health care system are despicable. The massive turnout at last week’s fee clinic in Los Angeles indicate something is rotten in Denmark. Clearly, the problem is too large to ignore any longer. We shouldn’t rush out any bill just to say that we have something. That could hurt more than it could help. How we will pay for this plan and how much families will actually save are my main concerns, not “death panels” or big brother telling me what doctor I have to choose. That is not to say I’m against market-based solutions, I’m just not ruling out any proposal, government intervention or no, that solves our problems appropriately. No, I’m content to listen to other people’s opinions at this point. Continue reading

You’ve Got to Have an Opinion on the Matter – Obama speech views

As I promised here are some other views on Obama’s address last night.

Wall Street Journal says Obama’s words on big government don’t sync with reality

One, two, three from hopeful but skeptical responses from The New Republic

The Moderate Voice asks, “Is Obama now center-left?”

Reason throws in their two cents

Politico tells us what Obama really meant last night

Vodkapundit and Althouse try a little live blogging, though it’s a little late for the live part.

And if you missed it you can always check out the Maine View.

Obama on the Offensive – Obama defending stimulus, attacking critics

President Obama has been racing around to every media outlet trying to drum up support for the stimulus plan. Thursday he submitted an op-ed piece to the Washington Post. In the piece Obama highlighted why he thought the stimulus plan was perfect.

from Washington Post:


This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending — it’s a strategy for America’s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education. And it’s a strategy that will be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability, so Americans know where their tax dollars are going and how they are being spent…

Every day, our economy gets sicker — and the time for a remedy that puts Americans back to work, jump-starts our economy and invests in lasting growth is now.

Now is the time to protect health insurance for the more than 8 million Americans at risk of losing their coverage and to computerize the health-care records of every American within five years, saving billions of dollars and countless lives in the process.

Now is the time to save billions by making 2 million homes and 75 percent of federal buildings more energy-efficient, and to double our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy within three years.

Now is the time to give our children every advantage they need to compete by upgrading 10,000 schools with state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries and labs; by training our teachers in math and science; and by bringing the dream of a college education within reach for millions of Americans.

And now is the time to create the jobs that remake America for the 21st century by rebuilding aging roads, bridges and levees; designing a smart electrical grid; and connecting every corner of the country to the information superhighway.

Yes our economy is getting worse. Just take a peak at the news for proof. And it will get worse before it gets better no matter what we do, that much is a given. Knowing this, why rush an imperfect plan that may end up just wasting money and not helping turn around our economy?

Obama says “there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis — the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems.” That’s true. Strategic spending is needed. I disagree with President Obama’s empatuation with health care and education spending as economic recovery. Our health care and education systems are in need of help. Throwing money at those problems hasn’t helped yet, so why would it help this time? Don’t waste money on health care and education. Bring true reform instead.

Green spending that will save us billions and Obama’s infrastructure spending I agree with, as I’ve said before. J.O.B.S. YES YES YES! That was lame and I appologize. We need a little laughter though.

Friday morning Obama threw some punches at his detractors.

from Crooks and Liars:

Now, I read the other day that critics of this plan ridiculed our notion that we should use part of the money to modernize the entire fleet of federal vehicles to take advantage of state-of-the-art fuel efficiency. This is what they called pork. You know the truth. It will not only save the government significant money over time, it will not only create manufacturing jobs for folks who are making these cars, it will set a standard for private industry to match.

And so when you hear these attacks, deriding something of such obvious importance as this, you have to ask yourself: Are these folks serious? Is it any wonder we haven’t had a real energy policy in this country?

It’s good to the Dems sticking up for themselves. They’ve been wet noodles for too long. I hope they remember what happens when you govern with hubris.

Caroline is out!

Breaking News at 6:59 PM ET the New York Times has reported Caroline Kennedy is planning to withdraw her name from consideration to replace Hilary Clinton’s New York Senate seat. Kennedy called NY Governor Paterson today. Caroline Kennedy has stated her concern for her uncle Ted Kennedy’s health prompted her to not continue pursuing the senate seat. After her uncle Ted Kennedy’s seizure yesterday, Caroline said she will be focusing on him leaving her little time for public office.

NY Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand from the Albany area are said to still be in the running.

More on this story as it develops

The Libertarians Were Going To Come Save Us, But They Thought We Should Learn How To Fix The Economy Ourselves.

Libertarianism…I figured someone would bring that up eventually, other than the fine folks at Reason Magazine that is. Oh that delightful belief that we can solve everything by doing nothing. Well, I read an article the other day stating that libertarianism, mostly its tenant of little to no government regulation, will provide a viable and needed alternative to what the “big government” Obama administration plans to attempt. While I certainly agree Libertarianism has its time and place to be useful, now is neither. Wasn’t 8 years of Bush style Libertarian polices enough?

Bush was no Libertarian you say. On matters such as wiretapping of US citizens, LGBT rights, and stem cell research, the Bush administration operated in a hands on matter to understate the issue. When Bush applied a little Libertarianism the results were utter failure.

Concerning Iraq, the Bush administration favored using contractors rather than government military personal for many positions. A Libertarian would argue here that this would be favorable. Opening the market to many different bidders should allow the government to have the job for the best price by the best workers. That didn’t happen. Companies gouged the government, going way over schedule and way over budget. The government has found much of the building contractors are doing to be well below standards. And of course there is the whole Haliburton mess. KBR, which was a subsidy of Hal, has $2.7 Billion in undocumented spending. They supplied our fighting men and women with unsafe drinking water and faulty electrical work that led to troop deaths. KBR still operates in Iraq. Who picks up the tab? I’m sure you can guess.

How about health care? According to a recent article in the Atlantic in 2000 there were 39.8 million Americans without health insurance. By 2007 the number had swollen to 45.7 million. Health care premiums rose from $6,438 per year to $12,680 per year from 2000 to 2008. Could this have all stemmed from the Libertarian approach to letting the markets sort out health care the Bush administration took?

“Perhaps the most puzzling abdication was the GOP failure to do anything at all on health care. The window for saving private health care from government encroachment is closing, and both business and workers are feeling the pinch from rising costs. Yet Republicans failed to make health-care savings accounts more attractive, failed to let business associations offer their own health plans, and failed even to bring to a vote Arizona Congressman John Shadegg’s bill to avoid costly state mandates by letting health insurance be marketed across state boundaries.”

They missed their chance to fix health care without “big government” stepping in. By taking such an extreme hands off approach to health care, the Bush administration pretty much secured the need for government to step in and solve the issue.

Of course we can’t forget the current economic crisis; really how can we forget. While a few hard right free market groups will slap your mouth if they hear you blame deregulation for the crisis, most will agree that deregulation or at least a lack of regulation is at least partly to blame. The government did not prevent the sale of the toxic mortgages which started this whole mess. When the bubble was about to burst the Federal Reserve did not react accordingly. Had Fed Chair Alan Greenspan only identified the bubble the public perception of the housing market would have altered and the crisis would have been averted or at least contained. Lack of regulation on mortgage qualifications, loan risk assessments, and predatory lending ultimately pushed the crisis over the edge.

Now, here we are living the results of the Bush administrations Libertarian policies. Do you still think that is what he need right now? If you do I just have one more thing to say. Katrina.

The Libertarians Were Going To Come Save Us, But They Thought We Should Learn How To Fix The Economy Ourselves.

Libertarianism…I figured someone would bring that up eventually, other than the fine folks at Reason Magazine that is. Oh that delightful belief that we can solve everything by doing nothing. Well, I read an article the other day stating that libertarianism, mostly its tenant of little to no government regulation, will provide a viable and needed alternative to what the “big government” Obama administration plans to attempt. While I certainly agree Libertarianism has its time and place to be useful, now is neither. Wasn’t 8 years of Bush style Libertarian polices enough?

Bush was no Libertarian you say. On matters such as wiretapping of US citizens, LGBT rights, and stem cell research, the Bush administration operated in a hands on matter to understate the issue. When Bush applied a little Libertarianism the results were utter failure.

Concerning Iraq, the Bush administration favored using contractors rather than government military personal for many positions. A Libertarian would argue here that this would be favorable. Opening the market to many different bidders should allow the government to have the job for the best price by the best workers. That didn’t happen. Companies gouged the government, going way over schedule and way over budget. The government has found much of the building contractors are doing to be well below standards. And of course there is the whole Haliburton mess. KBR, which was a subsidy of Hal, has $2.7 Billion in undocumented spending. They supplied our fighting men and women with unsafe drinking water and faulty electrical work that led to troop deaths. KBR still operates in Iraq. Who picks up the tab? I’m sure you can guess.

How about health care? According to a recent article in the Atlantic in 2000 there were 39.8 million Americans without health insurance. By 2007 the number had swollen to 45.7 million. Health care premiums rose from $6,438 per year to $12,680 per year from 2000 to 2008. Could this have all stemmed from the Libertarian approach to letting the markets sort out health care the Bush administration took?

“Perhaps the most puzzling abdication was the GOP failure to do anything at all on health care. The window for saving private health care from government encroachment is closing, and both business and workers are feeling the pinch from rising costs. Yet Republicans failed to make health-care savings accounts more attractive, failed to let business associations offer their own health plans, and failed even to bring to a vote Arizona Congressman John Shadegg’s bill to avoid costly state mandates by letting health insurance be marketed across state boundaries.”

They missed their chance to fix health care without “big government” stepping in. By taking such an extreme hands off approach to health care, the Bush administration pretty much secured the need for government to step in and solve the issue.

Of course we can’t forget the current economic crisis; really how can we forget. While a few hard right free market groups will slap your mouth if they hear you blame deregulation for the crisis, most will agree that deregulation or at least a lack of regulation is at least partly to blame. The government did not prevent the sale of the toxic mortgages which started this whole mess. When the bubble was about to burst the Federal Reserve did not react accordingly. Had Fed Chair Alan Greenspan only identified the bubble the public perception of the housing market would have altered and the crisis would have been averted or at least contained. Lack of regulation on mortgage qualifications, loan risk assessments, and predatory lending ultimately pushed the crisis over the edge.

Now, here we are living the results of the Bush administrations Libertarian policies. Do you still think that is what he need right now? If you do I just have one more thing to say. Katrina.

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