Health Care

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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?

OH NO!! NOT ANOTHER TAX!!

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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 Befunky.com.

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Robert Reich is Mr. Cool and… da man! See and hear him explain what this Public Option is:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBi8A_HutII&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

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Bill Moyers tells it like it is to Bill Mayer. Part 1: Health Care
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gSQ2DWkVE0&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]
Bill Moyers tells it like it is to Bill Mayer. Part 2: Afghanistan
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj7UUnS_yNs&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

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?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcRr5xA-K80[/youtube]

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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Here are the best arguments for Single Payer Health Insurance I’ve come across yet:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi1acHg3mhw[/youtube]

We’re lucky we have that great journalist, Bill Moyers, around. Here he’s interviewing two strong advocates of Single Payer, David Himmelstein, MD, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, and Sidney Wolfe, MD, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

What chance in Hell does Single Payer have in this country?

I’ll answer my own question. It has NO CHANCE.

So what do we do? Stand with Dr. Dean and go all out for the Public Option. He explains this in the following:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzASZoU2obM[/youtube]

This piece by Bernie Horn convinced me that Single Payer can’t work politically, and that our only option is the Public Option.

Right now, members of congress, including Olympia Snowe in the Senate are watering down the Public Option so that it will end up not being a Public Option. Read Paul Krugman on the Snowe “trigger”.

That’s why we’ve got to Stand with Dr. Dean. Sign his petition!

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