Great Scott! What’s in his pants? Welcome to the Senate Mr.Centerfold

Unless you have had your head under a rock, you know Scott Brown is the winning candidate for the senate seat of Massachusetts, and in case you really are one of those people that have had their head under a rock, the seat was previously held by Ted Kennedy for 30something yrs who was a Democrat and Scott Brown is a Republican.

Which brings me to my point…

Did the Dems wake up this morning and say “Oh its all Coakley’s fault, lets still move ahead” as one of Obama’s top aides suggested yesterday by saying “Campaigns and candidates matter.” or did they wake up and say “Perhaps we should take a good long hard look at ourselves in the mirror and “change” the way we have been running things?”

Or as White House senior adviser David Axelrod told POLITICO: “I think that it would a terrible mistake to walk away now. If we don’t pass the bill, all we have is the stigma of a caricature that was put on it. That would be the worst result for everybody who has supported this bill.” He said the administration will work with Capitol Hill to figure out how and even Obama’s former campaign manger, David Plouffe, added on ABC’s “Good Morning America”: “I’m very confident we can pass health-care reform.”

But on the flip side of all of this, why the Republicans are basking in the glory (Holy crap we have someone on our side that has charisma, is young and can make jokes), do they understand that perhaps Scott Brown was elected because he is not a true Republican, in fact he began the race as an independent and then switched to a republican ticket and that most Republicans don’t want someone who is ‘conservative’, but someone who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal….as I’m sure most Democrats do as well. I think the election results considering Obama took the state by 26 points shows that people care really more about the Libertarian, not the Republican or the Democrat.

But the question is: Will either side see it or continue to run the same way as they both have been for years?

Why you ponder this question, Ladies enjoy the pic below.

Welcome to the Senate Mr Centerfold

If Coakley does not win, will the Dems play dirty on the Hill?

The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders, scrambling for a backup plan to rescue their health care legislation if Republicans win the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday, have begun laying the groundwork to ask House Democrats to approve the Senate version of the bill and send it directly to President Obama for his signature.

Please dont tell me its true? The health care bill as its written right now, only makes the “evil” insurance companies richer, gives breaks to unions etc, etc and because the discussions have gone on behind closed doors we have no way of knowing how many under the counter handshake deals are going on.What – you did’nt know the Insurance companies were going to stand to make more money? Hehehehe, you did’nt really think some of the biggest financial contributers to the previous election were going to go without, did you?

Some Democrats suggested that even if their candidate, Martha Coakley, scraped out a narrow victory on Tuesday, they might need to ask House Democrats to speed the legislation to the president’s desk, especially if lawmakers who had supported the bill begin to waver as they consider the political implications of a tough re-election cycle.

It is unclear if rank-and-file Democrats would go along, and House Democratic leaders said no final decision would be made until they talked to their caucus.

But even as Democratic leaders pondered contingencies, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, insisted that the legislation would move forward, though she acknowledged that Tuesday’s results could force a tactical shift.

“Certainly the dynamic will change depending on what happens in Massachusetts,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters in California on Monday. “Just the question of how we would proceed. But it doesn’t mean we won’t have a health care bill.”

So much for fair, bi-partisian, transparent politics?

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Did you know…..Massachusetts already has health care

Everyone is talking about the Massachusetts election between Coakley and Brown and I know many people are scratching their heads as to why this election is so close given the nature of such a blue state…well I think the simple answer is – Massachusetts already has health care so why on earth would they risk higher taxes given the fact that they are already set up.

Brown said, “The health care bill that’s being proposed in Washington is broken,” BrownThe back-room deals, Nebraska, Louisiana, we all know about it. We need to start over.” He added a short while later: “I would be proud to be the 41st vote, and go back to the drawing board.”

Coakley responded. “I would be proud to be the 60th vote,” she said, and discussed the importance of passing a health care bill. “As Sen. Kennedy said, it should be a right, not a privilege. I believe that doing it in Washington, and doing it incrementally is apparently how we will do it, we can lay the groundwork.”

Brown shot back that Massachusetts shouldn’t vote for national health care reform, because they already have an insurance reform program. “We have insurance here in Massachusetts. We have some of the best doctors, nurses and hospitals in the country, that’s why people come here,” he said. “Not only is this bill going to be bad for the state, my job is to be the senator from Massachusetts. I’m not going to be subsidizing for the next three, five years, pick a number, subsidizing what other states have failed to do.”

So what will happen tomorrow is anyone’s guess, but its certainly one worth taking an interest in.

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Obama gives Unions a BIG break on Health Tax…Non-union members, not so lucky

Well, looky here…its a belated Xmas present to the people that helped elect O-man into office

President Obama and congressional Democrats agreed to exempt union workers from the whopping “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health-care plans until 2018.

The hush-hush deal will save union employees at least $60 billion over the years involved, while others won’t be as lucky — they’ll have to cough up almost $90 billion.

The 40 percent excise tax on what have come to be called “Cadillac” health-care plans would exempt collective-bargaining contracts covering government employees and other union members until Jan. 1, 2018.

Well at least we know now why all these conversations are going on behind closed doors and not transparent

In another major concession to labor, the value of dental and vision plans would be exempt from the tax even after the deal expires in eight years, negotiators said.

Under the plan to help fund health-care reform, the tax would kick in for plans valued at $8,900 or more for individuals and $24,000 or more for families.

That’s slightly higher than the $8,500 and $23,000 thresholds in the bill passed by the Senate last month.

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Healthcare bill….only a few steps away

Despite a last-minute weekend deal that put the Senate on the brink of passing health care reform this week, liberal and moderate Democrats remain on a collision course over the bill, as both sides dug in Sunday for the next phase of negotiations.

President Barack Obama’s liberal base and powerful union leaders once hoped the expected House-Senate conference would partly undo a year of retreats and compromises, with Obama weighing in to nudge the moderate Senate bill to the left.

But the titanic struggle to lock in Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) as the 60th senator for the first key test vote early Monday morning has changed all that. The need to hold Nelson and other moderates in line means major changes on the public option, abortion, taxes, Medicare and Medicaid are unlikely — and that the Senate’s vision of health reform is likely to prevail over the House’s in the final talks.

So do they think there will be many more changes to the bill?

Not likely

“It is very clear that the bill — the final bill — to pass in the United States Senate is going to have to be very close to the bill that has been negotiated here,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Otherwise, you will not get 60 votes in the United States Senate.”

So who has read the bill anyway and how many pages is it now?

Published in: on December 21, 2009 at 11:58 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Obama: There will be penalties for those trying to get a free ride on Health Care

????

During an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Jake Tapper today, President Obama said that penalties are appropriate for people who try to “free ride” the health care system but stopped short of endorsing the threat of jail time for those who refuse to pay a fine for not having insurance.
“What I think is appropriate is that in the same way that everybody has to get auto insurance and if you don’t, you’re subject to some penalty, that in this situation, if you have the ability to buy insurance, it’s affordable and you choose not to do so, forcing you and me and everybody else to subsidize you, you know, there’s a thousand dollar hidden tax that families all across America are — are burdened by because of the fact that people don’t have health insurance, you know, there’s nothing wrong with a penalty.”

The only thing wrong with that Mr President, is you are not required to have a car, so therefore you dont have to have health insurance

obama-health-plan

Published in: on November 10, 2009 at 2:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Happy Halloween – Civil Rights Act, 8 pages. Health Care reform, 1990 pages. Trees. Priceless.

With Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats unveiling their 1,990 page health care reform bill – it made you wonder about other landmark pieces of legislation in U.S. history and how long they were.

The original draft of the 1935 Economic Security Act, which established the Social Security Administration was 64 pages
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 – forbidding discrimination based on race and sex: 8 pages The 19th amendment to the Constitution, giving Women the right to vote in 1920: 1 page
The Emancipation Proclamation, with which Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in 1863: 5 pages
Or, if you really want to get back to basics: The Declaration of independence came in at 1 page in 1776

The Democrats say they’ll post the final version online for lawmakers and the public to read 72 hours before a vote. Good luck reading 2,000 pages in 72 hours.

Meanwhile although the Democrats keep talking about openness and transparency in this process, there are reports that they blocked the public from attending the unveiling ceremony for their health care bill outside of the Capitol yesterday. Videos online show people – not on a pre-approved guest list – being turned away.

Note to Nancy Pelosi: You people don’t own the Capitol – we do.

So much for saving the environment

pelosi-emanuel-happy

Got Swine flu? You may not be able to get insurance again…

In the aftermath of beating H1N1 virus, some children may never be elligable for Health Insurance agin becuase of the lifetime cap…that is unless you are on medicaide, then the tax payers paid for it.

After six weeks in intensive care, Lateasha Howard has apparently beaten H1N1.

But Carolyn Howard has no idea what saving her daughter’s life will cost.
“Are you expecting to see a big bill at the end?” asked CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann.

“Hopefully not,” Howard said. “Praying and hoping that I don’t see one.”

Tony Estlinbaum’s finally home. He fought H1N1 for a month in the same ICU, at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.

As a stress relief, his parents used to joke about the whopping expense.

“How much is this going to cost to be in the ICU for a month?” Hugh Estlinbaum asked.

“Hold your breath for three seconds, oh, there’s $500,” Lizzy Estlinbaum said.

More coverage of Tony and others at Children’s Hospital:

A Child H1N1 Patient’s Joyous Homecoming
Two H1N1 Kids Now Show “Miracle” Progress
Two H1N1 Patients, Two Different Outcomes

A machine called an ECMO is the big expense. It’s a lifeline for the heart and lungs and requires two nurses in the room, around-the-clock.

“Staffing, training, equipment – very quickly you’re going to be running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Cole Eslyn the CEO of OU Medical Center.

Lateasha Howard’s hospital charges? $1.2 million – and rising.

Tony’s bill? Almost $900,000.

And that’s just the hospital.

“That doesn’t include the doctors or nurses, or the CT or the plastic surgeons that came into the room,” Hugh Estlinbaum said. “The list is long.”

Hospitals usually negotiate much lower settlements. But unlike many insurance plans, the Estlinbaums have a lifetime cap on expenses: $1.5 million. Tony’s hospital stay and continuing rehabilitation could top that.

“I don’t know how we’re going to do these medical bills,” Hugh Estlinbaum said. “I have no idea.”

Every insurance plan’s lifetime cap varies. But in extreme H1N1 cases, with sky-high medical bills, a child who once had a severe flu might have trouble getting health insurance ever again.

“Their ability to purchase individual insurance in the open market is very limited, if not zero,” said Dr. Peter Kongstvedt, a health insurance expert.

Carolyn Howard relies on Medicaid — which will pay Lateasha’s bills.

“You’re better off having Medicaid than private insurance with that type of cap,” Kongstvedt said.

Congress is now considering three major bills to overhaul American health care. All three would eliminate lifetime caps.

“I can’t put a price tag on what he is worth,” Lizzy Estlinbaum said. “There is no price tag on what he is worth.”

So the Estlinbaums could soon face a new crisis. Not medical – financial.

funny-pictures-swine-flu-and-mad-cow

Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 7:56 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Pelosi unveils new Health Care Bill from the steps of the Capitol.

pelosi_cruellaWell folks, its just around the corner……

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress was “on the cusp of delivering on the promise of making affordable, quality health insurance available to every American.”

Officials said the measure, once fully phased-in over several years, would extend coverage to 96 percent of Americans. Its principal mechanism is creation of a new government-regulated insurance “exchange” where private companies would sell policies in competition with the government. Federal subsidies would be available to millions of lower-income individuals and families to help them afford the policies, and to small businesses as an incentive to offer coverage to their workers.

Large firms would be required to cover workers, and most individuals would be required to carry insurance.

Obama praised the bill, which was developed without Republican input.

The House legislation includes critical reforms to the insurance industry, so that Americans will no longer have to worry that they will be denied coverage, or that their coverage will be dropped or watered down when they need it most. I’m also pleased that the bill includes a public option offered in an exchange,” he said in a statement released shortly after the unveiling.

No Republicans are expected to vote for the sweeping legislation, which would raise taxes on upper-income earners and cut Medicare payments to insurers, hospitals and other providers to cover a price tag that costs $894 billion over 10 years. But Democrats control 256 seats in the House, and can afford about 38 defections on the vote and still prevail.

Pelosi has also said the bill would strip the health insurance industry of a long-standing exemption from antitrust laws covering market allocation, price fixing and bid rigging. Democratic officials said the bill also would give the Federal Trade Commission authority to look into the health insurance industry at its own initiative. The officials spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to pre-empt a formal announcement.

While precise figures were not immediately available, it appeared the legislation would target the drug industry for more than the $80 billion pharmaceutical firms agreed to contribute toward health care in a deal earlier this year with the White House and key senators. But the industry managed to come away with a provision worth billions: 12 years of market protection for high-tech drugs to combat cancer, Parkinson’s and other deadly diseases.

Medical device makers also took a hit, with a 2.5 percent excise tax on sales of their products that is reported to cost the industry $20 billion over the next decade. A $40 billion fee on those businesses was included in a Senate Finance Committee-approved version of the legislation, but Reid is considering cutting it by as much as half.

And that’s all folks!!!

Health Care: Pelosi gives public option a new name

Pelosi thinks that the ‘public option’ needs a new name.

In an appearance at a Florida senior center, the Democratic leader referred to the so-called public option as “the consumer option.” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., appeared by Pelosi’s side and used the term “competitive option.”

“You’ll hear everyone say, ‘There’s got to be a better name for this,'” Pelosi said. “When people think of the public option, public is being misrepresented, that this is being paid for with their public dollars.”

The speaker said the “competitive option” idea emerged during her closed-door roundtable, you know one of the ones where the repblicans got locked out at the Sunrise Senior Center with advocates of seniors and others who work with older populations. Wasserman Schultz suggested the term might be here to stay.

As for having the votes to pass such a measure, both women said a public option would survive. They wouldn’t get into numbers of congressional supporters, but said it was simply a matter of picking which type of public option to pursue.

092807-shultzpelosi