Black and White Dallas Night Skyline wallpaper

Black and White wallpaper

Black and White Dallas Night Skyline wallpaper

If politics and good governance are all about snapshot polls than by all means be discouraged that health care reform has apparently notched down a couple points. On the other hand if you think good governance is about leaving a positive legacy – FACTBOX-US healthcare bill would provide immediate benefits – and about the common good than just say to hell with poll snapshots. Here’s why. Doing the right thing is not always popular. That popularity also takes a beating when you have a constant barrage of misinformation about big changes like health care reform. While I tend to think health care reform ( The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) involved relative modest improvements to accessibility and the protection against the worse excesses of the predatory health insurance industry, PPAC was the single biggest health care reform package since Medicare. The history of Medicare provides the single biggest reason that no Democrat or one of those few remaining moderate Republicans should regret supporting the PPAC. Health Care Reform Circa 1965: Polling on Medicare

A July 1962 Gallup poll found mixed feelings about President John F. Kennedy’s proposal, 28 percent said they held generally favorable views of his plan, 24 percent were generally unfavorable, and a sizable plurality (33 percent) said they didn’t have an opinion on it or hadn’t heard about the plan.

[   ]…Following Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s election, Americans remained somewhat divided on the plan, with 46 percent telling Harris pollsters in Feb. 1965 that they’d prefer “a Federal law which would provide medical care for the aged by a special tax, like Social Security” and 36 percent more inclined to support “a plan of expanded private health insurance.” Then, as now, Democrats were more apt to favor the government option (58 percent) than were Republicans (27 percent).

Asked another way, 62 percent said they favored “President Johnson’s program of medical care for the aged under Social Security.” A smaller majority, 56 percent, backed the American Medical Association’s alternative plan, which would have “everyone who could afford it covered by private health insurance” and “those who couldn’t afford it …covered under a government health plan.”

Medicare has had its ups and downs but continues to be a very popular program.

Those comparisons show the depth of Medicare’s popularity. According to a national CAHPS survey conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2007, 56 percent of enrollees in traditional fee-for-service Medicare give their “health plan” a rating of 9 or 10 on a 0-10 scale. Similarly, 60 percent of seniors enrolled in Medicare Managed Care rated their plans a 9 or 10. But according to the CAHPS surveys compiled by HHS, only 40 percent of Americans enrolled in private health insurance gave their plans a 9 or 10 rating.

More importantly, the higher scores for Medicare are based on perceptions of better access to care. More than two thirds (70 percent) of traditional Medicare enrollees say they “always” get access to needed care (appointments with specialists or other necessary tests and treatment), compared with 63 percent in Medicare managed care plans and only 51 percent of those with private insurance.

For today’s right-wing conservatives the only things which seem to matter are greed, power and the belief in some radical ideology that is the antithesis of an enlightened democracy. That blind herd mentality might win them a few seats in Congress, but history is not on their side. Despite all the BS about repealing health care reform, killing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Unemployment Insurance – those programs have remained popular with the public. It is not the popularity of these programs alone that matters. They are essential to any modern industrialized nation. If Conservatives are truly for the continuation of a free market based economy – they seemed to love the corrosive crony capitalism of the Bush and Reagan years – than they should be pro social safety net. Modern free markets with a capable labor force are not possible without the stabilizing effects of the safety net to counter balance the unpredictability of free markets. If modern right-wing conservatism’s aim is a permanent crony capitalism, a kind of cruel and unstable modern plantation nation, in which there is little real upward mobility than they are on the right path.

GOPers Decrying “Socialized Medicine” Go To Govt. Hospital For Surgeries

Fly Fishing Wallpaper

Fly Fishing Wallpaper

19 of the 22 states suing government over ObamaCare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) accept grant money from health care law.

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 45 states and the District of Columbia “will receive $1 million in grant funds to help improve the review of proposed health insurance premium increases, take action against insurers seeking unreasonable rate hikes, and ensure consumers receive value for their premium dollars.” The $46 million are part of the $250 million in rate review grant dollars authorized by the new health care law. Indeed, interest is so high that states that oppose the health law applied for grants. As the Wonk Room points out, 19 of the 22 states that are suing the federal government over the constitutionality of the health care law will receive $1 million each to improve their rate review capabilities

Courage of their convictions anyone? Money of any kind from any source is to conservatives what heroin is to an addict. Just this pass February Democrats tallied up the number of Republicans who either voted against the stimulus(Recovery Act) and/or bragged to their constituents about the funds they can snapped up for their state – How Will Republican Recovery Act Hypocrites Mark Tomorrow’s Anniversary?

The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times have both pointed out in the last week that the very same Republicans who indignantly raised their fist in opposition to the Recovery Act have, with the other hand, brazenly accepted funding for projects in their home states and districts. Many have even gone so far as to attend ribbon cutting ceremonies for the same Recovery Act projects that they routinely dismissed as wasteful. We’ve identified 120 of them – and counting. These people have in one breath decried the Recovery Act as ineffective and in the next breath championed the funding as essential to job creation. Incredible.

The truth is the Recovery Act is doing exactly what it was intended to do. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the Recovery Act has – in this first year alone – resulted in up to 2.4 million jobs and prevented us from falling into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression..

This week in baseless Reagan hagiography – Why is it so hard for pundits to admit that Reagan was just as unpopular in 1982 as Obama is in 2010?

I swear, I want to stop writing about the nearly-identical political trajectories (at least so far) of the Reagan and Obama presidencies. But too many pundits just can’t seem to get it through their heads that Reagan, as president, was not some magical political super-being who was immune to sagging public confidence, poor midterm election prospects, and intraparty dissent and second-guessing that Obama is now faced with. And this week brought us two more egregious offenders.

[  ]…Let’s leave aside Ajami’s ridiculous contentions about the Reagan crew’s respect for the public treasury (ahem); others have provided the context he ignores. The main problem with Ajami’s narrative is that there’s just no evidence that the unbreakable bond between the president and his people that he celebrates ever really existed — or that Reagan’s poll numbers at any point in his presidency were really that remarkable.

Where, for instance, was the “deep and true” bond in the 1982 midterms, when double-digit unemployment prompted voters to toss 26 of Reagan’s Republican allies out of Congress and to hand seven new governorships to Democrats and 11 state legislative chambers to the Democrats? Or where was it in 1986, when a pre-Iran-Contra Reagan pleaded with Americans — the Americans with whom he supposedly shared a mutually affectionate relationship — to preserve his party’s control of the Senate, only to watch as voters handed Democrats an eight-seat gain and their first Senate majority since 1980.

Steve Kornacki also notes the S&L meltdown in which Reagan did something far closer to actual socialism than anything Obama has done – Reagan seized the S&L and forced them to reorganize. This week a lot of the right-wing conservative blogs were having yet another inappropriate keyboard spasm over finding an old Reagan video on YouTube in which he asked Americans if they were better off four years ago. Only 24% of the country actually said they were better off under Saint Ronnie’s policies. I’m not sure I agree with the tidy analogies Steve makes, but one historical trend is certain. Every Republican presidency from Nixon through Bush 43 was more corrupt than the last. Reagan had the Wedtech scandal, the HUD scandal, Iran-Contra and enough other shenanigans to get 138 Reagan administration officials indicted. Bush 43 was more corrupt but was better at hiding the evidence by either refusing to honor Congressional subpoenas or claiming national security as a cover.