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September 19, 2009

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mockmook

Yeah, like being the party of No Child Left Behind and the Prescripotion Drug Program worked out so well for the GOP.

Sometimes NO means "Good Idea!"

bgates

Why can't they publicize one?

Yeah, they could take one of the five Sunday talk shows. Oh, wait.

Well, why not go to the newspapers? A major American paper wouldn't just flatly refuse to run an editorial by an important Republican. Again.

The paragraph before TM's quote:
The current tax system discriminates against individuals who do not receive health care from their employers, gives more generous health tax benefits to upper income employees, and fails to provide every American with the ability to purchase an affordable health care plan. Republicans propose to correct inequities in the current tax code that drive up the number of uninsured and to level the playing field so that individuals who choose a health insurance plan in the individual market face no tax penalty. All Americans should receive the same tax benefit as those who are insured through work, whether through a tax credit or other means.

Do you have any idea what that means, TM?

bishop

Isn't the irony of someone from the Times gesturing to the GOP kind of ironic. I think the fact that the 'Tea Party, Townhall
attendies, and "She who will not be named"
are the real force

clarice

If there were a leader he or she would be palinized.
If there were a plan it would be shredded.(Which is why O's Plan is non-existent)

When your opposition is stumbling, tripping, throwing pie in his own face it would be unwise to interfere or offer any distraction.

centralcal

I totally agree with all the points Clarice has made. Why interfere with disaster?

Original MikeS

Not sure if Adam Nagourney was already in his present coma during the 2007 SOTU or if he just couldn't hear over the booing and lack of civility by Democrats in the chamber.

Bush introduced a health care reform plan at that SOTU. The plan dealt with pre-existing conditions by breaking that group away from the insured group, because of course, no person in their right mind could imagine insuring against something that has already happened or pre-existed.

On the other hand Nagourney's Dept. of the Obvious should probably change its' name to Dept of Stuff that Already Happened Years Ago!

Charlie (Colorado)

Another economist eviscerates Paul Krugman.

Charlie (Colorado)

I have no idea what that means.

On purpose, I suspect.

jimmyk
All Americans should receive the same tax benefit as those who are insured through work, whether through a tax credit or other means.

Do you have any idea what that means, TM?

It's still a little vague. A more courageous and principled position would be to tie a cut in tax rates to taxation of health benefits. That would (more or less) result in all receiving the same tax benefit. The second part of it was what McCain proposed, but by itself would represent a large tax increase. Obama seems to be proposing only that plans above a certain value get socked with a tax, and then adds all sorts of other taxes on top of it.

Jane

Why don't they just propose legislation that will allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Now that may be a states issue, which makes it even easier for them. We could call them "heroes" and continue on without them.

centralcal

Why I really, really miss DoT on these threads:

As a horrified nation watches this administration's descent into Carterism, it is refreshing to review the assessment of that vile, segregationist cracker by the late Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy:

"Mr. Carter," he said, "quite simply abdicated the whole responsibility of the presidency while in office. He left the nation at the mercy of its enemies at home and abroad. He was the worst president we ever had."

Fascist Hyena
comment at Tapper's today


clarice

cc--or you could read it in the original Hitchens cited by insty today. Not that I, too, don't miss DoT.

clarice

Jane, I haven't researched this so I'm talking off the top of my head but I don't see why you ned federal legislation to deal with that. Suits in federal court challenging legislation limiting coverage to specified carriers in state seem to me to violate the commerce clause of the constitution.

clarice

***Suits in federal court challenging legislation limiting coverage to specified carriers in state WHICH LEGISLATION seemS to me to violate the commerce clause of the constitution.
***

Schornick

The GOP has 4 different plans, here is one of them. Why don't the rightie blogs make an effort themselves to push or at least discuss these programs? After all, if they can talk about Pelosi's crying jags and Obama's big fat flop of a plan, they can talk about what the Republicans want as well.

Charlie (Colorado)

Why don't they just propose legislation that will allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Now that may be a states issue, which makes it even easier for them. We could call them "heroes" and continue on without them.

Jane, god knows I'm more comfortable with the actuary side than the legal side, but I'm given to understand that interstate sales are complicated by legal issues -- like state to state regulation issues. That's why I've been suggesting Federally-chartered mutual insurance companies, analogously to "national banks" versus "state banks".

I'd bet serious money that if you could buy health insurance with the efficiencies of a single national regulatory scheme, no coverage mandates -- so if I want Chiropractic coverage I can buy it, but insurance companies aren't required to include it in every policy -- and do it with pretax dollars just like corporations can for their employees, you'd have something that was both less expensive and made more money. What's more, the risk pool would be very large, so pre-existing conditions wouldn't be as much an issue either.

Hmmm. I think I may feel an article coming on.

bishop

That was harsh coming from McCarthy, then again he didn't have a particularly good opinion of any of the recent presidents

Charlie (Colorado)

Jane, I haven't researched this so I'm talking off the top of my head but I don't see why you ned federal legislation to deal with that. Suits in federal court challenging legislation limiting coverage to specified carriers in state seem to me to violate the commerce clause of the constitution.

I don't think they do it like that, at least de jure if not de facto. I think it's that since insurance is regulated by the individual states, you have to do all the work to get policies etc to fit each state's regulatino. That's a pretty significant barrier to entry, and you can bet that the companies who are already in a state lobby the hell out of insurance commissioner to keep other companies out.

matt

there's a pulse, but as TM implies, very little brain activity.

Old Lurker

Clarice, remember when Kathleen Kennedy Townsend was LtGov of Maryland? She very much wanted Md to inplement a Hilary Care single payer plan for Maryland. The strategy was to 1) establish a state plan, then 2) crank up the requirements imposed on all other plans so that they would either withdraw from the state or else price the mandated coverages so high that the sheeple were driven to the state plan. They claimed absolute right at the state level to welcome all comers to sell inside the state, but only if the policies met the requirements of the Insurance Commission(er).

Fortunately they were run from office before springing the trap.

That same "rule by mandate" has ruined the home insurance business for your friends in Florida where the political pressure demanded that unsound actuarial coverages for hurricane risks be included and in effect paid for by spreading the costs to homeowners not in the risk zones, again driving those companies out of the business and the homeowners into the clutches of the state run pool.

That hodgepodge is behind the entire web of individual state fiefdoms in insurance, including health, and therefore the 1)wisdom of breaking down the walls, and 2)the opposition to it from states which feed at that trough.

Porchlight

H.R. 3400 is one such GOP bill that seems reasonable enough. It's a tad unrealistic for TM to suggest that if you build it, they will come. The media isn't going lift a finger to facilitate that.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Okay a proposal.

When I worked at the Union Tribune, we had a choice between several providers for health insurance and we could make a selection each November.

My best friend is the single mother of 4 children and during her years at the Trib, she would plan their health needs before the Nov. selection time. For herself, she always went with Aetna, but when she knew her kids were facing things like tonsillectomies or other childhood things, she would switch from Aetna and go with Kaiser.

My suggestion is a national plan (meaning available no matter which state you live in) that gives you a checklist of services. For instance, ob-gyn, mental health, substance abuse, diabetes care, etc. and you could go down the list and select a la carte. For instance, I'd like a plan that gives me help on expensive prescriptions plus maybe a couple trips to the doctor per year and a couple of xrays or say one cat scan or MRI, and since I don't foresee any need for hospitalization or surgery coming up for a few years, the only other coverage would be for an unexpected accident giving me some limited hospital coverage.

It would keep costs way way down for younger healthier purchasers, yet still offer all the selections one would get with comprehensive coverage that most plans force us to buy today. It would help offset costs for heavier users, the fixed income elderly, by eliminating services they don't need, like maternity coverage.

I had double coverage for 31 years and for 20 of those I never used any coverage even one time. Then during an 11 year period I had multiple surgeries that drove up my own costs and the cost to my insurance, at least for the hospital/surgical payments, but I still didn't come anywhere near needing all the other services included in my plan. Now I have zero coverage and would give anything to have enough coverage to help me get a followup xray on my badly damaged L5 vertebrae and pain medication. Instead, I don't go to the doctor at all or I save for 6 months and then go. Unfortunately, the doctors out here will not prescribe more than a month's worth of pain meds, so to keep a prescription current it requires paying for both the drugs and a doctor's visit over and over and over again.

I'm not sure how to make something like this work, but it is what I'd like. A menu of services I could sign up for on a year by year basis as my own needs wax and wane.

clarice

Charloe, OL, then the challenge must be state by state in federal court against the state insurance laws on the ground that in effect they preclude competition across state lines in health insurance. Surely it would not be difficult to find experts willing to testify to that.

Semanticleo

Maguire says it's time for serious dialogue.

Could it be he sniffs the inevitable end of teh Republican healthcare drama, and seeks to acquire SOMETHING from the sloppy sentimentality of the former Grand Old Party?

Oh, and you former conservatives (aka Libertarian) can run from your party of choice but you have no genuine party of your own. So, like Maguire, you might want to pick something from the coming revision that you can live with and be happy for it.

What choice do you have?

clarice

Yes with the Demc' popularity and O's sinking faster than whale s*(& in the Pacific, we're the ones with the problem.

Good luck with that one.

Semanticleo

"we're the ones with the (overwhelming) problem."

Forgot the adjective.

maryrose

Being an independent is always an option. Face it cleo, a bad idea,House bill 3200 is always going to be a big fat turkey that no one will support. Portable insurance, free clinics for illegals,Clevland Clinic type of operation for combined hospitals and tort reform with no awards to exceed 250,000. There health care crisis solved. Here in northeastern Ohio. Our top two hospitals-Clevland Clinic and University own and run all the suburban hospitals. All the insurance company does is tell you how many days you get and you plan accordingly.

Old Lurker

Clarice, it's not so much a barrier to entry, but rather a requirement that the coverage deliver the political goodies deemed advisable by the party in power in each state. One of my partners lives almost in sight of my Potomac, Md house, but he is in McLean, Va. His Blue Cross policy costs a fraction of what my Blue Cross policy does precisely because BCBS has to include coverages for (just guessing) sex change operations and mental health things popular in Md but less so in Va.

Sara, the problem with your idea is that the closer you craft your coverage to pay for just ("only" in the extreme example) those things you think you will incur next year, then the marketplace (which assumes buyers and sellers each with sufficient knowledge to make informed decisions) will set the price of your custom coverage at the cost of that service you plan plus admin, overhead, and profit. So in a perfect market, it won't really work unless the insurance becomes a truer form of "prepaid health care" and less like "insurance against a bad thing". Your friend at the Trib was making rational decisions but within a pool setting in which she possessed more knowledge than the counter party did. That works for one person within one pool, but is not scalable up to a national scope. At the end of the day, consumers have to pay for the costs of the serices they use, and the game is all about shifting the costs around. Bob Dylan had it right when he said "don't tax you, don't tax me. Tax the fellow behind that tree."

verner

Clarice, Someone very close to me is an exec in a major insurance company. If the governing class was serious about healthcare reform, then they should let the private insurance companies (ie the free market) take care of it.

Half of the problem is waste and fraud in medicare/medicaid. The private companies would take care of it because it cuts into their bottom line--the government doesn't care, if it becomes unprofitable, it just raises taxes.

And there are other stupid regulations that get in the way of affordable health care. For example, did you know that medicare will not pay for a wheelchair. It will only pay to rent a wheelchair--even if the rent in the longterm is ten times the cost of a wheelchair.

That stuff adds up.

Although, of course Obama doesn't want to hear it, because this is nothing but a stinking marxist power grab...

Old Lurker

And don't any of you smarties tell me that was not Bob Dylan who said that.

Fresh Air

I don't think it really matters whether the GOP has an alternative. The Mediacrats don't want them at the table, and won't incorporate their ideas, no matter how beneficial or clever they may be. The best answer is simply to stop the leftwing march to socialized medicine. After the dust settles in 2012, we can talk about a little insurance reform.

Original MikeS

The idea of fixing the problems in our health care system with a massive new system designed by liberals scares the hell out of most people. I heard an analogy by one politician. He said, "If your dog has the fleas, you don't kill your dog and get a new one! You buy a flea collar."

There are three very big problems with the way we pay for health care. I propose that any health care plan ought to deal with only those three problems.

1. Allow insurance companies compete across state lines. Several commenters have pointed out that is a difficult problem to solve, which validates the logic of a limited effort.

2. Allow personal deduction for health insurance purchases. That we don't do this is the basic mistake that caused us to purchase health insurance the way we do.

3. Tort reform. The main argument against tort reform is that it might save less money than projected. That may be right.

Medicare:
If Obama can save $500 billion in medicare over the next 10 years, good. Medicare needs that money. It is still not enough to make Medicare sustainable.

clarice

OL--certainly that's part of it, too, which is why govt interference is bad..whichever lobbyists get there with the biggest bag of cash determines what MUST be in that package. Surely, there has to be a way to allow the consumer to make his own choices in a competitive market.

verner, I think that should be the Reps only position right now. Before telling us about magic ponies, take concerted steps to reduce the waste in existing programs and then we'll take about anything else.

clarice

**we'll taLK about anything else"

trentk269

The simple fact is the most elected Republicans are cowards. It's all well and good that they don't get a fair shake from the media, but so what?

It seems to me that the GOP was in second place for so long that they became altogether too comfortable with being there. They are happy to inherit votes from the Donkey Party's numerous missteps, but thinking up stuff on their own seems like too much work and too much risk.

After all, the core group of these pansies gets re-elected no matter what.

Semanticleo

Things Have Changed

A worried man with a worried mind
No one in front of me and nothing behind
There's a woman on my lap and she's drinking champagne
Got white skin, got assassin's eyes
I'm looking up into the sapphire tinted skies
I'm well dressed, waiting on the last train...

Dylan----


I'm sure Maguire has no idea what that means.

PD

I don't know, either, and I couldn't care less because I've never cared for Dylan.

verner

OL:At the end of the day, consumers have to pay for the costs of the serices they use...

Right OL. And what Obama proposes will absolutely suck any and all innovation out of the health care market/system. If you want to bring the cost of health care down, let the market do it's magic.

As we write, some genius is hard at work on a wonder drug to cure heart disease or cancer. Why? For the betterment of mankind? Well yeah, but also so that he/she can have a villa in the Virgin Islands.

Take the financial incentives away (ie market forces), and we'll be on par with India.

Yeah, it's true. I had a house call at my hotel at 7AM from a board certified cardiologist, got a shot for my fever and chills, and it cost me 500 rupees. But ask yourself. Would you rather get really sick here, or in India?

clarice

trent, michael barone had a great article this week you might want to examine--it seems more Dem districts are solidly Dem and more Rep districts are mixed party which means that more Reps are likely to be moderate and more Dems utter batshit crazy.

bishop

I'm more a Jim Morrison fan lately, and of course you can't leave out the Who's "Won't
Get Fooled Again" . Clearly the first and third lines of the Dylan stanza don't make any sense, as with the rest of it.

DrJ

Bob Dylan had it right when he said "don't tax you, don't tax me. Tax the fellow behind that tree."

OL, that was Russell Long. Dylan may have said it (dunno!) but it originated with Long.

Old Lurker

I'm with Mike S on his short list.

#1 is not difficult, it just requires the fortitude to take that power away from State Pols.

#2 is tricky but also doable. IF we could start from scratch, all insurance would be paid for by families (not their employers, who would then adjust pay levels upwards and that would be taxed as income), would be deductible and maybe subject to tax credits of some sort to address affordability desires.

#3 is a no-brainer.

#4 of course go implement all those waste, fraud and abuse savings he says are there for the picking.

DrJ

Here's another Long tax quote:

"A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform."

Old Lurker

I told you NOT to pop my bubble DrJ!

I was just thinking of you, DrJ, when I read Verner at 2:36.

DrJ

Hey, I didn't claim the Dylan didn't say it!

(Russell was Huey Long's son, FWIW.)

Rick Ballard

I'll second OL in his support of the OMS list. I'll also note that the actuarial assumptions regarding Medicare are currently undergoing a severe beating (same for the BLS labor force projections). The number of persons choosing to retire at the minimum age has jumped by an annualized 500K since last October. You can see it very clearly here by going to the bottom and scrolling up.

Geezers were supposed to stay chained in their cubbies until the Reaper called. They're walking out the door humming a Johnny Paycheck tune instead - and they're going to give the Congress of Criminals a fit by doing so.

Captain Hate

DrJ: Congrats on Meechigan's big win over the Domers last weekend; nice QB the Rod got.

PD

#4 of course go implement all those waste, fraud and abuse savings he says are there for the picking.

Which could of course be done in the absence of any of the rest of the huge reform push. Dems are only interested in this because it provides a way to claim they can pay for the rest.

Ignatz

IMO my health insurance should be as deductible and as employer provided as my life, auto and homeowners insurance, which is to say, not at all.

DrJ

CH,

Thanks, but I am only a vicarious viewer. Congrats go to the team.

But yes, beating ND is always a big deal.

jann

I think the GOP kind of hopes all this goes through and they will one day take over the power the democrats will have confiscated. If you watch and listen to them they are slowly getting off on the wave the people are now providing for them if we let them take it from us. They did not contribute to this wave except for a few, Palin, DeMint, Bachmann and I just can't think of anyone else right now. We need to really watch the GOP and realize just who these people truly are and not let them get away with anything.

bishop

That's probably true and a stupid bet, has any country really been able to reverse a national health care program, even Thatcher
couldn't do it. It will swamp any chance of any significant tax relief, any defense capacity worth considering; no matter how bad the system turns out to be.

Ann

What the Hell!!!!!

Brezinski Calls for Obama to Shoot Down Israeli Jets; "A Liberty in Reverse"

Ric Locke

Bah. There's nothing in the whole idea that will improve anything for anybody but a few bureaucrats and other freeloaders.

Kill it, put a stake through its heart, and bury it at the intersection of 14th and Eye.

Regards,
Ric

Charlie (Colorado)

Charlie, OL, then the challenge must be state by state in federal court against the state insurance laws on the ground that in effect they preclude competition across state lines in health insurance. Surely it would not be difficult to find experts willing to testify to that.

I see the strategery there, but if that was amenable to challenge wouldn't someone have done it already?

clarice

Zbig, another gift to the world from Jimmy .

Jim Ryan

Y'all hear about the market crash? Heh. What will this market do after yesterday's Friday document dump?

bishop

He was one of Obama's mentors, right.

Dennis D

GOP needs some decent ideas. For example
Most Uninsured Americans are short term problems usually less than one year. They are probably between jobs and cannot afford Cobra. Why not an addition to either Unemployment or Health Insurance that would cover the cost of COBRA for the 18 Months is available? I am sure the cost per person would be minimal and perhaps could be a voluntary rider. I do not know what numbers would work but I would assume it would be relative to the current Unemployment rate. No freebies. Just private market insurance.

Charlie (Colorado)

What choice do you have?

Well, to start with, reality. The two-party system is thoroughly entrenched in law as well as custom; it ain't going away, and unlike at the time of Lincoln, it's not going to be a case where a third party supplants one of the major two.

But that's not necessary: consider the transition from the permanent minority Taft-Rockefeller GOP to the Goldwater-Reagan GOP. I was there for the transition, which really happened in the 1976 conventions at the state level; Reagan didn't win the nomination (by a hair) but Reagan supporters won control of most state GOP organizations.

By the 1980 election, the more conservative Goldwater/Reagan folks had control.

If I were to predict right now, I'd say that the likely course of events is that the Tea party folks will tend to dominate GOP politics, moving things in a more Tea-Party-ish direction, at least in 2010. High probability that there will be big gains for the GOP in 2010, which means their influence will stay the same or increase in 2012. High probability of a big change in the leadership in Congress in the next Congress.

The same 2010 election will reduce the influence of the Obama/SEIU machine, not least because I suspect a lot of well-known names from the machine will be in jail or fighting to avoid it. I also, right now, predict that neither Harry Reid nor Nancy Pelosi will be in leadership in the next Congress.

If this happens, then I suspect there will be a primary challenge from the "blue dog" side of the Democratic party in 2012, and a big sit-out by one side or the other depending on who wins. Hillary might be that challenger if she leaves the Administration soon and with vehemence. I think it's entirely possible, from my POV right now, that Obama might even lose in the primaries and not get the nomination.

Result would be (in this scenario) that both parties will have moved significantly to the right by 2012. No change in the names of the parties, but considerable change in direction.

clarice

Chaco, I don't know if anyone even tried. I haven't researched it but I think the commerce clause hwas for a while stretched beyond all recognition. Only in recent decades has the SCOTUS taken a closer look (first case I remember was feds trying to set wage standards for state employees).

It's different for auto insurance I think because the state can regulate travel on state roads and set standards but the constitution cannot permit the state to require you to have health insurance nor should it be allowed to limit from where and what kind you get.

Charlie (Colorado)

Clarice, I bow to your superior knowledge. I'd love to know if anyone ever did try.

Did anyone ever challenge the creation of national banks?

Jane

Jane, I haven't researched this so I'm talking off the top of my head but I don't see why you ned federal legislation to deal with that.

Clarice, Charlie,

That was my very unclear point. I don't want anything to be done on health care - at least under this administration, so I was trying to assign some busy work to the right.

I'm sort of done with all the people in government these days. My goal is to try and return this country to the people. Nothing wrong with thinking big I guess.

clarice

Here's some stuff that might give you some leads..
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574412793406386548.html

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment21/


When these insurance regs were first promulgated I think was under the Roosevelt expansive reading of the commerce clause and I am not sure those old precedents still hold --see first link.

clarice

Chaco search thru Volkh and see if he has anything on this issue.

centralcal

I know several of you are in deep thought about the commerce clause, etc., so I briefly interrupt and apologize for changing subjects.

Following a link from Ace that led to a HotAir Greenroom forum, it appears that Andrew Breitbart was on the Savage (ugh) radio show recently and said that something more is coming in the next week. "Blockbuster." "Out of left field."

While reading the speculation that follows in the comment thread, I saw some good ideas being offered by our very own Tops. She is of the mind that Andrew is out for not only the Dems, but their media enablers.

I certainly hope so, and I also hope he has something really good - a lot of somethings. We are battling a 2-headed demon and the legacy media is one of those heads.

Okay - really sorry for interrupting. As you were. :)

Old Lurker

Ignatz, basically I agree with you about the tax deductibility of premiums. Had I the magic wand, they would not be deductible at all, and if paid for by employers, the value of the employer contribution would be taxed as income to the employee. That would remove an entire layer of obfuscation which contributes greatly to the muddled mess. But if making them deductible is the price of getting them to be the personal responsibility of individuals...I could live with it. Particularly if in so doing some of the progressivity is removed from the tax scheme. :-)

Sue The Skinny Bastard

Hey, Jane, Clarice,

Someone mentioned on another blog that Michelle Obama had voluntarily went inactive on her law license. Out of curiosity, I searched https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=232486129>ARDC and found this: No malpractice report required as attorney is on court ordered inactive status. My question is why would a court order her inactive? She held a law license for 4 years and then voluntarily went inactive? WTF????

bishop

Last person who really challenged the National Bank was Andrew Jackson, and we were able to avoid them for nearly a quarter
of a Century until the Boys from Jeckyll
Island were able to use the Bust of 1907-1908 as an excuse to foist the Fed

Sue The Skinny Bastard

Well, nevermind, then...I should have looked further but I found this...

The last bit has caused quite a stir, however a paralegal with Illinois ARDC has just clarified for me that this is not an indication of wrongdoing. Rather, prior to 2000, attorneys who wanted to become inactive had to seek the permission of the IL Supreme Court, and that's the court order being referred to. Since 2000, no such court order is necessary, but prior to 2000 it was. Further, I'm informed that if there were any sort of disciplinary action taken against her it would be listed on that page.
http://24ahead.com/michelle-obama-court-ordered-inactive-status>source

Still, she only held her law license for 4 years? That is just odd.

clarice

Sue, I don't know. It looks like a hot story but may not be--perhaps she didn't take the continuing legal ed courses or something. I'd check with the Illinois Bar to see what that means.

I did know she voluntarily went inactive and suspected it was because her law firm told her she had no chance at being partner and had to leave.

cc--I remember reading somewhere tht breitbart had videos of the kids pitching their story to the media which refused to run it. Perhaps that rumor is true.

centralcal

Clarice: yeah, that is one of the theories being bandied about at the forum too. Another commenter says that someone at Free Republic thinks/has info that it is Hollywood related and further theorizes that the youngest Rahm E. brother - Ari - is a big player there, in DNC fundraising, etc. etc.

Whatever it is, I think Andrew has the legacy media squarely in his sights, along with whatever other liberal icons are in cahoots.

Sue The Skinny Bastard

Clarice,

Sorry. I jumped the gun. It just took me by surprise to see a court ordered inactive status.

clarice

Nothing to be sorry about--it was an honest mistake.

Extraneus

This health care thing is like a giant jawbreaker candy. Democrats, giddy with the Emmanuel Rule, got it past their teeth, but they can't swallow it, and now they can't even get it back out of their mouths. If they don't pass something, it'll be a huge defeat for The Once, but whatever they do ultimately pass will galvanize the opposition, and people will be elected in 2010 and 2012 on a platform to reverse the damage.

They may get an extremely tiny fig leaf from a Snowe or Voinovich, but I don't think it makes sense for Republicans to help with an alternative. They should have to have some teeth pulled instead.

Extraneus

Good article about James O'Keefe in, of all places, the NYT.

Would the blizzard of media coverage for his latest project make him too identifiable to go undercover again? Mr. O’Keefe scoffed at the notion.

“I’m not going to go deep into the actual logistics of what I physically plan to do with my appearance,” he said. “Frankly, I think I’m just getting started.”

clarice

Chaco, You might try to contact pacific Legal Foundation to see what they think or Heritage.

Old Lurker

"and people will be elected in 2010 and 2012 on a platform to reverse the damage"

The problem is, Ext, that changes to the health care system will be very difficult to undo. Congress generally does not repeal many things, they just paper over another layer to whack one mole just to see another pop up elsewhere. Ah the tax code...

Jane, I'm with you on disgust with the whole bunch.

Sue The Skinny Bastard

I was stunned that she willingly gave up her law license 4 years after getting it. However, if she was required to maintain malpractice insurance, even if she wasn't practicing law, then I can understand why she didn't want to keep it active. Malpractice insurance is expensive. In Texas, you aren't required to maintain malpractice insurance. Doctors aren't either, for that matter.

Extraneus

Understand, OL, but aren't most of the changes these bills call for scheduled to take effect in 2013? "So we have the time to get it right," I believe The O has explained.

Why yes. Here's Ezra Klein helpfully explaining how this helps with the 10-year CBO scoring.

The slow start is a way of holding down costs in the 10-year budget window. If the bill begins in 2010, but the subsidies don't kick in until 2013, then that's three years that are under the budget but aren't costing much money.
(Never had the pleasure of seeing that nerd's pic until now.)
centralcal

omg. I am feeling queasy. Per a headline at HotAir via The Hill, Huckabee won the Value Voters' Straw Poll.

Old Lurker

oh gag me CCal

Jane

Still, she only held her law license for 4 years? That is just odd.

I dunno, my best friend from law school hasn't praciced law for about a decade and I doubt he still has had an active law license. (I'll have to remember to ask him.) Lots of people go to law school and don't practice law. There is a doctor in every law school class, and I've never met one that chose law. Why pay the dues? Of course I have no idea what is involved with reactivating a law license, so maybe I am all wet.

I find it really odd that one would be required to maintain malpractice insurance if you aren't practicing. Oddly enough malpractice insurance gets more expensive the longer you practice, because statistically you are due for a claim. But it certainly doesn't rival med mal. For 2 of us, the price is under $5k a year at my firm.

centralcal

Old Lurker - I can't! If I open my own mouth I gag. No way I can stick an index finger down your mouth, without heaving myself.

Please, God. This too, shall pass. (Huckabee, I mean! Otherwise, nausea may be permanent.)

Ignatz

--The problem is, Ext, that changes to the health care system will be very difficult to undo.--

OL,

I believe that difficulty may be temporary. From WWII, demographics still allowed the Ponzi scheme of the middle class welfare state in the West to prosper, Madoff like.

We are now just beginning to enter the phase that begins to break the back of the pyramid. When that 50 trillion unfunded future liability begins a relentless year by year plunge into present reality people will not have the luxury of not getting rid of these shams. It will be national bankruptcy which will destroy the wealth needed for the welfare state or the dismantling of it prior to bankruptcy.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Old Lurker: Thank you for your explanation on my wish for an a la carte type policy.

We lost our power here around noon and it just came back on at about 4 pm. Don't know if it was a brownout or some accident. We are still having triple digit temps and with unusually high humidity not normal for this desert area.

daddy

OMG, Who else was on the straw poll?

Rocco

OT...is this too good to be true?

centralcal

daddy: Romney, Palin and ???? (means I can't remember) were all basically tied for second. I think the ??? might have been Pawlenty, who I understand got several standing ovations.

centralcal

From The Hill, the following excerpt:

"Romney was at the top of a tight pack for the runner-up spot in the straw poll. Following him was Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, then former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and then Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.). All hovered around above or below 12 percentage points of the vote."

PD

I find it really odd that one would be required to maintain malpractice insurance if you aren't practicing. Oddly enough malpractice insurance gets more expensive the longer you practice, because statistically you are due for a claim.

Why isn't that an instance of the gambler's fallacy? Is there no statue of limitations such that beyond a certain date malpractice claims cannot be filed?

PD

Pawlenty, who I understand got several standing ovations.

He convinced them he was alive?

bishop

I'm jaundiced on these things, because of my own informal CPAC poll vs. the Fabrizio/
McLaughlin one that I actually participated it.Huck gamed that with his people,because well the real values candidate, is actually
living out her values, waiting for her son
to come home this week from Iraq. Pawlenty, maybe out of the shock of the Franken win, has gotten better, much less Sominex more like Tylenol(sarc)

centralcal

Oh, bishop, I hear ya! I too am "jaundiced."

Ann

No doubt, Huckabeen will be lauded in the press. They would love to see him as our candidate.

CC, I hope Breitbart kicks the media in the arse, too. Fingers crossed!

Sue The Skinny Bastard

My husband was firmly in the Romney camp last time around. He is now a Huckabee fan. ::arrgh:: I can't even imagine how someone that supported Romney could now like Huckabee. Anyway, we will cancel each other out, because I will never, ever vote for Huckabee. He asked me would I vote for Obama if Huckabee was the candidate? I actually had to think about it. ::arrgh::

Extraneus

No kidding, Ann. I haven't noticed any big news about Republicans fixing the open-primary issue that screwed them last time, so we can probably expect to see even more Dems crossing over to vote for Huck in the primaries than they did for McCain, especially if they don't have their own fight. Hopefully they'll be too preoccupied with Hillary.

Old Lurker

Ignatz, as you say, it is the demographic certainty that the greatest Ponzi game of all time will come crashing down that underpins my general pessimism because they will try to get first, everybody's earning power, and then, everybody's assets into the hopper before failure is admitted. That's what behind the PUK & Clarice floorsafe business.

Old Lurker

Could you strangle him in his sleep, Sue?

daddy

I suggest we get David Brooks, David Frum, McCain's campaign manager, Peggy Noonan, Charles K, Mort K, Randy Andy, Gergen, Buckley's kid, Colin Powell, George Will, and any other dipstick (apologies Charles K) all in a big room, and let them hammer out who is the best Republican candidate for 2012, and who is the worst.


Then we all get behind the one they select as the worst.

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Wilson/Plame