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      From a study by his officials: In the report, “The State of Homelessness in America,” even shelters get some of the blame for increasing the number of people who are homeless.The argument: Some people would be able to find their own housing if they were turned away from shelters. “While shelters play an extremely important role […]
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And the problem is? What? The end of Murder-By-Spreadsheet?

Hilarious: The Wall Street Journal thinks that a public plan costing 18% – 32% below what I’m paying now for Health Insurance is “Free” (laughing) Only a Wall Street resident could call a $600 – $700 per month bill “Free”

Also? If that’s the best the Democrats can do to make Health Care affordable, then we’re in trouble.

I’m hoping we can do better.

—-
And who knows? Maybe we can . . . . (It’s starting to look like we might get something)

BAUCUS AND KENNEDY SET THE PACE.

In a letter to Obama today, Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Ted Kennedy, chair of the health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, not only outlined a timeframe for health reform but also put forward a strategy for overcoming the turf warfare of years past. The key bit:

Since our committees share jurisdiction over health care reform legislation in the Senate, we have jointly laid out an aggressive schedule to accomplish our goal. Both committees plan to mark-up legislation in early June. Our intention is for that legislation to be very similar, and to reflect a shared approach to reform, so that the measures that our two committees report can be quickly merged into a single bill for consideration on the Senate floor.

Believe it or not — THIS is an open thread!

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74 Responses

  1. So right about Healthcare, KatieBird.
    Btw, I started a wordpress blog called Age of Aquarius and I fully intend to become a front pager here. *is emailing RD now*
    Look at my first post!!!

    http://mysticgirl.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/its-raining-and-im-thinking-of-queen-elizabeth-today/

    • (reading your link — I like it so far but, wanted you to know you weren’t being ignored)

    • Woo hoo! GO littleisis GO!

      I left you a comment on your blog and bookmarked it. 🙂

      • Just got it! I swelled with all sorts of flowery proud feelings when I read your comment!

        • FBI Workers Suspected of Secretly Taping Teens in Dressing Room
          MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Two FBI workers are accused of using surveillance equipment to spy on teenage girls as they undressed and tried on prom gowns at a charity event at a West Virginia mall.
          http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517222,00.html
          ….

          I left this for you too, as I was thinking gees golly look where they are looking for security breaches! TEENS UNITE.

          I think it was John Mayor (sp) that said our society doesn’t give teens/youth their KUDOS as he had written his Grammy honored song when he was sixteen and well his lament was that the only thing that makes the news are bad things about teens. The latter is so sad as, we have some of the brightest teens (who are over shadowed by those doing not nice things) and we need to embrace them and tell them how AWESOME they are.

          Go littleisis Go!

          • I think they should be fired. What they did was wrong. They are supposed to protect citizens not spy on them in bathrooms. These were teenagers they were spying on!!!!

    • Would love to see you posting here littleI–I dropped by your blog too 🙂

    • Wah hoo!!! Awesome!

  2. I bought a bottle of absinthe a while back. It’s pretty cool — the bottle’s really pretty, too. Google “Le Tourment Vert” and take a look.

    I’m gonna fill it up with bath salts when it’s empty.

    • So Janis, I like your posts, but I have not seen you around here. Are you friends with Afrocity? She’s one in a million, isn’t she?

      • Oh Janis is around periodically, and has been here often lately. She’s a wild fire–I enjoy her ferocity.

      • I pop in, become embroiled against my better judgment, and then get disgusted, cynical, hopeless, and overstimulated and leave. That seems to be my MO. And yes, Afrocity is all kinds of awesome.

    • Are you sure they aren’t using recycled bath salt bottles? It looks like a perfect re-use to me!

  3. thanks for the comment katiebird. I approved it, but I am new to wordpress… have no clue how to make it so my comments don’t automatically go into moderation. MEH!

    TEE HEE! *you liked my post*

  4. Katiebird,

    And to think we could have had Universal Health Care under Hillary… 😥

    • (nodding)

      Of course I was sure we would get it when Bill was elected so you never really know….

      • You know if they can’t get it done with control of congress and almost full control of the senate for lack of one, then they really don’t represent the people and it was all JUST WORDS! I think we need term limits of no more than twelve years, as the finest example of the ineptness is Joe Biden, who has never been out front championing Universal Health Care in his 26 + years in the Senate because he had the best policy possible provided by the tax payers.

        OOOH I get so mad over all their excuses…we are the wealthiest and the last Western country without Universal Health Care yet we send money to countries that do have it (shaking head). 😥

  5. Hillary was cheated out of the nomination, but still has to pay her debt. I maxed out for Hill, but will not donate to any other Dem until the DNC moves out of Chicago and the cheaters have been run out of the party. Here’s the email from Paul Begala that I received today:

    Imagine yourself walking into an exclusive event in New York accompanied by none other than President Clinton.

    Picture yourself in California as part of the live audience of the most hotly anticipated TV finale.

    Think about sitting across from James Carville and myself discussing politics in the shadow of our Nation’s Capital.

    Well you don’t have to imagine anymore…you just have to pick. And if it were up to me, I’d pick door number three.

    By clicking here and making a contribution you could be on your way to one of these three once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. So don’t imagine, just click.

    Make a contribution today, and you could be on your way to one of these once in a lifetime opportunities!

    Your contribution today will mean so much more than just a chance to take part in these fantastic prizes. It will also mean a great deal to our friend, Hillary Clinton.

    We’ve paid off most of Hillary’s presidential campaign debt and your gift today will help us get rid of the final bit that remains.

    Hillary Clinton has meant so much to me over the years as I know she has to you as well. So when they asked me to take part in this once in a lifetime contest, I was compelled to act. I hope you will be too.

    Sincerely,

    Paul Begala

    P.S. Remember these prizes are only available online and only for a limited time, so please don’t delay in acting. Click here to enter today!

    • I maxed out for Hill too. I read that some of her supporters are balking at the idea of funds going to Mark Penn, who mismanaged her campaign (and got paid too well for it).

      Paul Begala has become another whining, narrow-minded partisan parrot.

      • I think this man has been demonized too much. Aside from the mismanagement of campaign money, I don’t think he deserves all the hatred he has gotten. He helped Hillary win super tuesday 1 and 2. She won the big states. She had the most votes. Even with all the, caucas cheating, fraud and DNC doing everything to get their man the nomination, Hillary beat the odds and won. In the end it was stolen from her by her party. Why is this man still being blamed for everything? Another thing, the stories of his badness continue to be changed. During the primary, the pundits on MSNBC said that there were those in Hillaryland who wanted her to take the gloves off, go negative etc. and it was this man that was against it. Surprisingly, when the campaign emails were revealed it was him that was advising her to take the gloves off not like the idiots at MSNBC had reported. I think he has been demonized for too long which is not fair especially since we know the true outcome of the primary.

    • Paul begala is an ass, but at least he’s not a backstabbing ass, that’s more than you can say for 99% of these stooges. I still hate him, though.

  6. Why do I have the horrible feeling that they’re going to screw health care up worse than it is now?

    I can see it now. Health care decoupled from employment with a weak regulation that the employer raise salaries to keep up with cost, if that, so big employers ignore it.

    Put that with no public plan or a weak public plan with it’s costs tied to the price of private insurance, so there won’t be real competition.

    Or, a miracle could occur and they’ll get it right by mistake.

    • I’m just hoping someone looks at the numbers and realizes that it HAS to be capped by percentage of income (in the 5% range) — that people cannot sustain a 25% of income commitment forever.

      • If they don’t have a cap based on income, then sooner or later we will all be completely screwed. In fact a public plan without a cap makes no sense.

      • Especially when you see those income disparity numers that Daki posted earlier. It’s a disgrace that lower and middle income wages have remained so static. Who can afford much of anything on the salaries we get now? Meanwhile, I know people who are swimming in $$, just because of the particular career they chose, inherited, or lucked into. It’s not right.

    • Actually we probably should look at what we had originally – you paid the doc cash – a sliding scale of $20-60 (of course back then it was more like $5-20)and had hospitalization – the cost would be more like $500 – 1000 a year instead of a month and the insurance companies would make money (certainly not what they are making now) and people could afford to take care of their kids – supplimental would be available for seniors who are on medicare.

      We are seeing this in some parts of the country – the docs like it because they don’t have to deal with the insurance companies except for hospitalizations and they are even making housecalls in the afternoons again.

    • Okay, I’ll try again – two of my comments have disappered today.

      We probably should think about going back to the way it used to be – you paid cash to the doc – sliding scale say $20-60 depending on region. You’d pay $500-1000 a year for hospitalization.

      There are docs who are doing this already here in the US – they love it because they don’t have to deal with the insurance red tape – and seniors are covered by medicare and supplimentals.

    • Okay, I’ll try again – four of my comments have disappered today.

      We probably should think about going back to the way it used to be – you paid cash to the doc – sliding scale say $20-60 depending on region. You’d pay $500-1000 a year for hospitalization.

      There are docs who are doing this already here in the US – they love it because they don’t have to deal with the insurance red tape – and seniors are covered by medicare and supplimentals.

    • Okay, I’ll try again – five of my comments have disappered today.

      We probably should think about going back to the way it used to be – you paid cash to the doc – sliding scale say $20-60 depending on region. You’d pay $500-1000 a year for hospitalization.

      There are docs who are doing this already here in the US – they love it because they don’t have to deal with the insurance red tape – and seniors are covered by medicare and supplimentals.

    • Okay, I’ll try again – six of my comments have disappeared today.

      We probably should think about going back to the way it used to be – you paid cash to the doc – sliding scale say $20-60 depending on region. You’d pay $500-1000 a year for hospitalization.

      There are docs who are doing this already here in the US – they love it because they don’t have to deal with the insurance red tape – and seniors are covered by medicare and supplimentals.

  7. Katiebird, don’t you have a birthday this week? I remember from last year.

    (and no, I’m not a stalker – I have a b-day this week too, which is why I remember)

    as I recall, half of the old Confluence had birthdays this week, but sadly people have scattered.

    anyway, if I’m correct, happy happy birthday!!!

  8. kiki, Thank you!! Saturday is my birthday.

    I was just wondering that about you too! I always remember the April Birthdays (or almost remember) It’s amazing how many of my Facebook friends have birthdays this week!!

    What day is your Birthday? Have you got anything fun/exciting planned?

  9. Ralph, I dunno – I think I’d like to see it decoupled from employment…..I’m confused though

    • Like you, I’m not crazy about employer based health care. But, it does yield discounts for coverage and, based on the number of people covered, they can be fairly high.

      Then to lots of really large employers self insure and only hire the insurance company to do the soul crushing paperwork. In those cases, if the employer only gave the employee what it cost them for insurance, the empoyee would be totally hosed.

      Admittedly it was over 10 years ago, but we used to purchase PPO coverage for people in a small company owned by partners and I. We got a better deal than an individual could get at the time.

      My real problem is I have no confidence or trust in the Congress to get it right.

      • I guess I’m thinking there could be groups for insurance that aren’t determined by employment, if we end up keeping the current system. my preference would be groups that one joins voluntarily, rather than at the whim of an employer. I keep hearing horror stories of employers that cut people’s hours just enough to make them ineligible for health insurance. I’d like to take away that power to demoralize and harm – it seems these days even the *threat* is held over employee’s heads. sad situation.

      • That’s what lots of employers are already doing, oh we’re discontinuing health care but we’ll give you a stipend so you can buy your own. But the stipend isn’t enough to buy an individual plan that covers anything.

  10. lol, my b-day is tomorrow. I’m going to work. how’s that for a plan?

    I’ll be 56. somehow that doesn’t seem like a special one.

    it’s Queen Elizabeth’s birthday too. I bet she’ll do something more fun than me. she always does! and I take it personally 🙂

  11. Good night I am off to tea and zzzz’s.

  12. Night WomanVoter! 😀

  13. anywho, I’m also off to the sack. Night everyone!

  14. The one thing that might actually push this through is Ted Kennedy’s condition, and that BO owes him big time. Ted is determined to make this his legacy, and Obama would not have won the presidency without his endorsement, and he knows it. There will be major arm-twisting behind the scenes, and all markers will be called in from every connection nationwide. We’ll see…

  15. night y’all

  16. katie, your WSJ link goes to Facebook (for me anyway)

  17. $600-$700 a month for health care??? I buy my own insurance and I pay A LOT less than that! These people have got to be crazy.

  18. Some good news for gay marriage in NY – and Rudy will provide the entertainment

    • Ah, the hell with him. When he’s 80, he’ll be going, “What the hell? Let them marry … ” They all do.

  19. Good morning, Katiebird! I hope they really do something. I’m suspicious and worried, but still hopeful.

  20. GM, bb. They have to give health care a shot. Perhaps it’s a new tactic. Instead of “distracting” us with made up irrelevancies, they will do something big and helpful. Could happen.

  21. Hi purplefinn!

    Maybe if Ted Kennedy hangs on, they’ll do it for him.

  22. **de-lurking**
    I have been reading here since last summer. Y’all got me through the election, I felt your pain over Hillary’s loss and I grew to love the voices that speak so eloquently here! I always appreciate your honesty, courage and LOVE of others. I have never followed a blog before, don’t even know how I found TC, but I can’t NOT read it, usually daily. I am so glad to see the caring & warmth & encouragement you showed towards each other, that was so BEAUTIFUL during the election, still going strong…..even stronger perhaps after a few bumps and bruises! The regulars here are an inspiration and you make me proud to be a woman, an American, a human…..Thank you for walking the walk! I just felt the strong need to express my joy at finding The Confluence….back to lurking…..

    • Morning has broken
      Like the first morning
      Blackbird has spoken
      Like the first song………..

      HippieRepublican, you inspire me.

  23. Wouldn’t this be loverly here?? Nah….smear politics is how things work here…all the time…without repercussions…

    Labour (UK) Facing Poll Meltdown After “Smeargate” Allegations–Brown’s Fmr. “Spin Chief” (Now Political Director of a Union) Involved

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/labour-uk-facing-poll-meltdown-after-smeargate-allegations-browns-fmr-spin-chief-now-political-director-of-a-union-involved/

  24. Okay, I’ll try again – three of my comments have disappered today.

    We probably should think about going back to the way it used to be – you paid cash to the doc – sliding scale say $20-60 depending on region. You’d pay $500-1000 a year for hospitalization.

    There are docs who are doing this already here in the US – they love it because they don’t have to deal with the insurance red tape – and seniors are covered by medicare and supplimentals.

  25. Obie is already showing signs of caving:

    Health-Care Dialogue Alarms Obama’s Allies

    As Congress returns to begin an intense debate over reshaping the nation’s $2.2 trillion health-care system, prominent left-leaning organizations and liberal House members are issuing a warning to their Democratic allies: Don’t cave on us.

    More than 70 House Democrats recently warned party leaders that they will not support a broad health reform bill that does not offer consumers a government-sponsored policy, and two unions withdrew from a high-profile health coalition because it would not endorse a public plan.

    “It’s way too early” to abandon what it considers a central plank in health reform, said Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union. He said the organization pulled out of the bipartisan Health Reform Dialogue because it feared its friends in the coalition were sacrificing core principles too soon. “You don’t make compromises with your allies.”

    Last week, two top administration officials suggested that Obama is open to compromise on the public plan, comments that set off alarm bells in some corners of his party.

    But that amiable tone is precisely what troubles liberal advocacy groups such as Consumer Watchdog.

    The California-based nonprofit, in unusually harsh rhetoric, is accusing the Obama administration and congressional Democrats of negotiating a deal with industry lobbyists at the expense of average Americans.

    “This process has gotten away from the public because it is being carried out behind closed doors with lobbyists in the room but no consumer advocates,” said Jamie Court, the group’s president. “We’ve got to make our views known before we are presented with a fait accompli.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/20/AR2009042003702.html

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