Health Care

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gemli is a trusted commenter Boston 3 hours ago

Libertarians are starting to get on my nerves. Rand Paul and his earnest plea to let people have the freedom to die when they can’t afford medical care is just the most immediate example. Paul is essentially saying, “Give me liberty, AND give me death!” What a rallying cry.

Given the bizarre performance of their presidential spoilers during the last “election,” I’d think they’d want to include a mental health option in any healthcare plan. But I digress.

Paul is merely doing what the Republicans always do, which is to come up with plausible-sounding excuses for why we should put the old and the sick on an ice floe and let them drift out to sea. Conveniently, we’ve got one as big as Delaware in the antarctic.

Lying is the essential arrow in the Republican quiver. It’s the very foundation of their economic arguments, which always suggest that by letting a few people become obscenely rich the rest of us will flourish.

The president doesn’t have a clue about–well, anything, including health care, and the Vice President lies with the pseudo-sincerity that religious hypocrites are known for. The Senate is controlled by the drawling destroyer Mitch “sit down and shut up” McConnell, while the House is overseen by a self-described policy wonk and Ayn Rand acolyte who’s a complete fraud.

I don’t know what’s happened to our government, but I do know that letting it decide how to provide health care for the country is going to kill us all.

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Keynes Florida 20 minutes ago

In macroeconomic terms, an increase in taxes followed by an equivalent increase in spending (and that therefore does not increase the deficit) increases the GDP. It is called “the balanced budget multiplier” (you can Google it!), BBM.

Conversely, a reduction in taxes followed by a reduction in spending reduces the GDP, and therefore increases unemployment.

In this particular case (repeal of the ACA), the reduction in taxes benefits higher income people who have a relatively low “marginal propensity to consume” (Google it!), MPC, and negatively affects lower income people, who have a relatively higher MPC. The net effect is that a reduction in taxes and an equal reduction in spending will decrease the GDP by an amount larger than the reduction in taxes. The effect on the unemployment rate will be larger than predicted by the BBM.

Will the repeal of the ACA be the trigger for the next recession/depression?

How long will it take for the country to be plunged into a depression? (a) two years (b) four years (c) eight years.

It will depend on how large are the tax and spending cuts.

GWB managed to do it in eight years, but he started with a stronger economy and made no significant spending cuts.

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Just read the latest NYT Op-Ed by my buddy, Uwe Reinhardt. See Paying for Health Care (and War, by the Way).

He mentions that David R. Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin, has introduced the Share the Sacrifice Act of 2010.

All this does is call for an explicit war surtax to pay for our continuing wars. Not a bad idea, is it? (I bet Frank Zappa would agree.)

If we’re all going to have to pay for every last cent of Health Care Reform, why don’t we all also pay for every last cent of our wars instead of letting only the military families bare the burden?


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Juan Cole has a nice piece on the contrast between the two Joe Wilson’s, one called Bush a liar for stating Iraq bought yellowcake uranium from Niger, and the other called Obama a liar for stating that the health reform would not cover illegal immigrants. Well, the first Joe Wilson was right: Bush lied when he said Iraq bought yellowcake uranium, and for pointing out that lie Joe Wilson was vilified by his government. The second Joe Wilson was wrong: Obama told the truth when he said illegal immigrants will not be covered. (In fact, the illegal immigrants will pay but will receive no benefits, just as happens when they must pay into social security.) Obama accepted the second Joe Wilson’s apology. Bush, especially Cheney, never accepted the truth and tried to destroy the first Joe Wilson’s reputation. Read Juan Cole’s excellent analysis of this, and see the funky graphics by

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Robert Reich is Mr. Cool and… da man! See and hear him explain what this Public Option is:

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Bill Moyers tells it like it is to Bill Mayer. Part 1: Health Care
Bill Moyers tells it like it is to Bill Mayer. Part 2: Afghanistan

What a breath of fresh air Bill Moyers is!
Let’s get the hell out of Afghanistan like he says! AlQaida’s not even there any more!

UPDATE: Even George Will says we should get out of Afghanistan!

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I can’t believe this woman. What planet does she live on?


The irony is Obama is moving away from socialized medicine and caving to the drug companies at the same time the know-nothings are screaming socialized medicine. In other words, the problem is not that Obama’s plan is too socialistic but that it’s not socialistic enough. The American people are beginning to see him as a compromiser willing to throw away negotiations for lower drug prices to get the support of the drug industry. If the Republicans knew anything, which they don’t, this is where they could be attacking Obama instead of screaming socialized medicine.

This is what I learned today after reading Is Obama Punking Us? by Frank Rich, If Private Industry Loves Obama’s Healthcare Plan, Americans Will Hate It by Allison Kilkenny, and FLASHBACK: Obama Promises to Let the Government Negotiate Medicare Drug Prices by Huffington Post.

UPDATE: It’s not over yet!
We still need to keep the heat on Congress and the White House to make sure that whatever lands on Obama’s desk gives Medicare and any Public Insurance Plan the same power to negotiate with drug companies as the VA has.

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Yes, I seem to be feeling better for now after I stopped that metronidazole antibiotic and started on Imodium. The metronidazole antibiotic had almost run its 7-day course but I didn’t take the last two pills. My almost constant diarrhea urges seemed to stop when I stopped the antibiotic, although on Tuesday starting right away on the Imodium — four pills a day I was told to take by the Doc — has brought a complete stop to the diarrhea. Now will my problem be constipation? I’ll be going back to Stephens hospital tomorrow for my blood test to check on my INR level. The INR was high on Tuesday because of the antibiotic — I didn’t get the number — so I was told to stop the Coumadin until I get my next blood test tomorrow. This morning I had my normal pre-diarrhea breakfast of one egg on toast, juice and coffee with half a banana. Isn’t this all fascinating?

But what is really bothering me at the moment are the fascists in this country shouting down health care reform at the Democratic town hall meetings. I won’t say any more on this because I’m too pissed off.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention: I probably have a touch of Irritable Bowell Syndrome (IBS). Maybe that’s why I’ve become irritable? Ha ha?

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Most popular comment on Paul Krugman’s Op-Ed this morning:

I’m beginning to believe that George W Bush was the president the American people deserved. I can’t believe the take away from President Obama’s press conference was his comment about the idiocy in Cambridge. The American people’s brains have been turned to mush. Too much Fox News, American Idol, etc…has rendered people into easily duped dolts. We now have a chance to take a positive step towards fixing our Health Care embarrassment, and the debate is off the charts ridiculous. In a simple nutshell: do you want to keep being screwed by the Corporate Health Insurance Companies, or do you want to move towards fair, moral, universally accessible Health Care. It’s that simple.

Thank you Mark C. from San Francisco.

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