15 Aug 09 (pm)

Posts of the day; we will be leaving for a 5K run in about an hour.

President Obama’s weekly address

If you wish to see President Obama’s town hall in Montana, you can see the whole thing here.

Humor (sort of)

A cat gets an online high school diploma; then again this cat couldn’t possibly be any dumber than some of the students that I’ve seen. :)

Speaking of academics, classes start soon and I’ve seen students starting to text during class. Yes, that irritates me, and I don’t like the idea of being a baby sitter. Some professors are using this device, but I understand that this device is illegal.

Science Interestingly, you sometimes hear people whine about atheists hurting the cause of educating the public on evolution. Here is some pushback against that “meme”. But the huge irony here is that atheists (in general) are leading the way for research into evolutoin!

More Science: the universe can be a hard place; here is a neat list of some “violent” natural activity that is out there.

Politics Yes, racism still exists (open racism) and yes, it affects people’s response to President Obama. This story is about some Ohio police forwarding racist stuff about President Obama from their work computers.

Politics Rachel Maddow did get something wrong on Thursday’s show: she reported that Shirley and Bannister currently represented; they haven’t since 2004. But Shirley and Bannister did more than attempt to set the record straight. Maddow hit back, hard. :)

Oh yes, she interviewed a principled conservative Republican representative on her show. Yes, Rep. Gao and I don’t agree on much, but this is what principled opposition looks like.

Paul Krugman: points out that Senator Isakson (who is in favor of allowing end of life counseling be covered) did call some of the “death panel” smears “nuts” but wants some distance between him and us.

Some more political humor
Tiny Frog has a funny quote

This is the spirit of it (I saw it at a Bill Maher board on facebook)

More on Health Care

A Peoria area doctor has been pushing for single payer for a long time.


For more than a decade, Dr. William Albers has been one of the area’s singular voices on a singularly radical solution to the crisis in health care.

He has educated, debated and advocated the merits of a single-payer health plan in forums both large and small, talked to doctors, politicians and average citizens. And he is more convinced than ever that a health care system financed largely through private, for-profit, employee-sponsored insurance is a fool-hardy approach.

“We’ve had a private, free enterprise system for many years. In the last 15 years, the quality has gone down, the costs have gone up. Is this the system we want to continue?”

Now that reforming the nation’s health-care system is hot topic number one, Albers and others who agree with him – for instance, 16,000 members of Physicians for a National Health Plan, including President Barack Obama’s former primary care doctor – find their voices have largely been banished from the meatiest part of the debate.

A single-payer plan, based on the idea of Medicare-for-all, is the simplest, most effective means to provide universal health care coverage and cut national health care costs, Albers says. It’s estimated a single-payer plan would save $400 billion a year in reduced administration costs. It’s the only proposal that assures full universal coverage, he says.

“But in this country, the term ‘single-payer’ automatically shuts off discussion for many people, part of it is philosophical concerns about big government taking over, part of it is misinformation.”

A public option, or government-sponsored insurance plan, is one of the more controversial aspects of the current debate, in part, because it would compete with private insurers. A single-payer plan, however, would end private health insurance coverage, particularly employer-based coverage, as we know it. Single-payer is not on the table, Albers says, “but it’s the elephant in the back of the room.”

Albers, 75, is officially retired from the medical school, but he still sees some patients in Peoria and at the clinics in other cities. He still flies his plane to at least one of the cities when the weather is nice.

Here is a companion article that dispels misconceptions about single payer:

Myth: Interference. Patients will lose choices.

In a single-payer system, you have more choices rather than less, compared to a private system.

If you have private health insurance, most likely you’re in a network, which means you have to see a physician in the network, go to a hospital approved by the network or PPO (preferred provider organization.) You have to get prior approval for most tests.You have to get prior approval to go to a specialist. You can’t go to any old specialist.

In a public system, any provider who wants to can be a provider for Medicare or Medicaid. The number of doctors who don’t accept Medicaid is a problem, but the level of choice in a private system is not better.

It’s not the government bureaucrat between the patient and the doctor, it’s the insurance company.

Myth: Rationing, waiting for treatment.

There’s the fear that, to limit costs, there will be rationing with long lines for services, emergencies that go untreated. It’s true that in many countries with national health-care services and universal coverage, there are waiting lists for certain procedures. But that does not usually include emergency services.

The other side is we already have rationing in this country, only it’s based on ability to pay or not having adequate insurance. Patients who are not covered ration their own coverage by not going to the doctor or not going until disease is well established. They don’t take medicine because they can’t afford it. That’s rationing, as well. I think that’s worse than the rationing in a government system.

Myth: Government medicine, by nature, will be of lesser quality.

I don’t think that’s true.

Again, the VA is a good example. It was a laughingstock about 15 years ago. If one looks at it objectively, the VA provides high-quality care with high satisfaction at a cost of about $1,500 per patient less than private or public plans, even though they have a sicker population.

The VA is not perfect but it provides good care; military medicine is not perfect, but it provides good care.

It doesn’t have to be bad just because it’s run by the government. Nobody’s advocating setting up a bad program.

Edited and condensed by Pam Adams.

More: At Daily Kos, I modestly suggest that maybe President Obama knows what he is doing. Of course, we (on the left) have our “peanut gallery” who hyperventilate and throw tantrums the first time some “setback” is reported in the media “Obama doesn’t know what he is doing”, “Obama = Bush”, “Obama is a right wing corporate sell-out”, “Obama is a Republican”, etc. Often these claims are made by people who have never served on a committee and who have never even won as much as city council seat.

I wonder if Republicans have to put up with this from their friends.

Health care: town hall with Representative Fudge in Cleveland: Mano Singham’s report.

I’d like to see more of this at town halls:

A Democratic lawmaker, faced with a batty question at a town hall Wednesday, derided conservative pundit Glenn Beck for propagating lies about health care legislation.

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) was asked, “Why are all Americans being forced into a government-run health care and insurance plan when only 46 million out of 312 million are uninsured?” The questioner went on to suggest that most people without insurance could get it without government assistance and concluded, “I’d be willing for the government to buy insurance policies for the 8.2 million chronically uninsured, but the other 37.8 million are not the responsibility of the American citizens and … and I am unwilling to throw my present health care away for them.”

Larsen responded: “With regards to the first comment about being forced to buy health care, I’ll say it again… The bill does not force anybody to buy health care … The bill does not force people to change their health care plan. If you’re in a plan, you will not be forced into the public option. You will not be forced into the health insurance exchange. Now folks will say that’s not true, but I’ve got facts on my side and you’ve got Glenn Beck on your side. It’s just not going to play out that way.


Of course, the Republicans think that they are winning (following is from the Dick Morris e-mail list). Then again, many of the same people thought they were going to win in 2008 too. :)

From Dick Morris:

Obama’s Poll Numbers Plummet.

He Will Do Anything to Start Obama Care.

Dick Morris Has a Plan to Stop Him.

Read More Below.

Dear Reader:

Barack Obama and his radical friends in Congress are on the run. They know Americans are shifting away from supporting his so-called healthcare “reform” program.

As Dick Morris, the chief strategist for the League of American Voters, says, “Obama’s plan is nothing less than a slick attempt to nationalize all of America’s healthcare.”

Dick has prepared a powerful TV ad that exposes Obama’s takeover.

You can see the TV ad by Going Here Now

Dick’s ad also warns seniors that when Obama adds 50 million new patients into the government system, it will collapse Medicare, causing massive rationing of healthcare to people who paid taxes all their lives.

Obama and the Democrats in Congress can’t afford to lose the seniors. They are a key swing group.

Polling data shows our message is getting out there.

A new Gallup poll out this week shows that seniors overwhelmingly oppose Obama’s plan.

For example, lower percentages of seniors expect the reform plan to benefit them personally than any other age group — and more expect their medical care to worsen than improve by a margin of 39 percent to 20 percent.

And only 34 percent of seniors think healthcare reform would improve medical care in this country.

It’s no wonder that Obama’s overall job approval ratings are plummeting.

Have no doubt: Democrats in Congress are running scared.

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August 15, 2009 - Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Democrats, education, health care, IL-18, obama, political humor, politics, politics/social, religion, republicans, superstition

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