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Gov. Romney was wrong on health care

On Meet the Press, former Gov. Mitt Romney was asked about health care. The former Massachusetts governor, who is credited with getting health care in Massachusetts, is somehow seen as an expert on health care reform. Gov. Romney, when asked about health care reform, stated, “We have a model that worked.  One state in America, my state, was able to put in place a plan that got everybody health insurance, and it did not require a public government insurance company. That’s the last thing America needs.  You know exactly what it is.  President Obama, when he was campaigning, said he wanted a single payer system.  That’s would it would lead to.  He would subsidize this over time, it would become larger and larger, drive the private options out of the healthcare industry. It would be just disastrous for health care in this country.  And therefore the right way to proceed is to reform health care.  That we can do, as we did it in Massachusetts, as Wyden-Bennett is proposing doing it at the national level.  We can do it for the nation, we can get everybody insured, we can get the cost of health care down, but we don’t have to have government insurance and government running health care to get that done.”

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I thought David Gregory was supposed to be the moderator of a policy debate. Instead, he acted as a pitch man for the Republican infomercial. Gregory had plenty of opportunities to ask a decent follow-up question but instead he asked none. Here’s a few follow-up questions I would have asked:

  • Gov., you stated that in Massachusetts you have a model that “worked.” Exactly what you mean by “worked”? Massachusetts has a system that is spending 33% more on health care than the national average. Why is that?
  • Why would driving private options out of the healthcare industry be disastrous for America?
  • By expanding Medicare and Medicaid to cover the poorest people in Massachusetts haven’t you selected the healthiest people to be covered by private health insurance?
  • Aren’t some of the very high profile hospitals in Massachusetts getting paid more to do the same procedures are smaller hospitals?  Why is this?  How does this help decrease costs?
  • Finally, you said “we can get the cost of health care down” but in your state healthcare has done nothing but increase since the instituting of this reform program. Healthcare costs have increased since 2006 by 42%. How do you plan on controlling costs if you can’t even do it in the small state of Massachusetts?

Universal health care can control costs using several mechanisms.

  • Eliminate insurance costs. This saves $700 billion.
  • Negotiate drug prices. Give pharmaceutical companies longer patent times so they have the ability to recuperate their R&D costs.
  • Fund research to find the best medical options for the most common diseases which include congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and others.
  • Pay primary care physicians and hospitals differently. Hospitals and primary care physicians should each take care of a population of patients. This eliminates the incentive to see patients over and over and over again. Instead, we should increase incentives to see patients once and get it right the first time.
  • Truly look at medical products (wheelchairs, scooters, CT scanners and lab machines). The government working with physicians and other medical personnel should come up with guidelines for all of these devices. Who truly needs a scooter? Does every hospital need a CT scanner?
  • Fix the immigration problem. By closing our borders, and only letting in people that we want in this country, we can decrease the strain on the emergency rooms across the country.
  • Business saves. Businesses don’t have to spend any money trying to figure out healthcare plans. Instead, they can use that money to increase salaries and to increase investment into their business.
  • End of life. We have to begin to discuss end-of-life issues.
By |2009-06-29T16:59:53-04:00June 29th, 2009|Healthcare, Obama administration, Sunday Morning Shows|Comments Off on Gov. Romney was wrong on health care

More Newt – Why?

newt-gingrichI figured that it was just me.  I look at who is on the TV and whom journalists are interviewing and ask whyRick Santorum has been on the tube recently. Why?  He is a partisan politician who isn’t all that bright and was voted out of office.  What could he have to say that would be of any importance?  Why does Liz Cheney keep popping up on my screen?  Don’t we know what she is going to say before she says it? Tom Tancredo! Please.  This guy has the IQ of an empty soap dish.  He has never, as far as I know, said anything that was really worthwhile or insightful.  Why does anything that he thinks about any nominee to the Supreme Court have any relevance?  Steve has more:

Looking over the list of guests for tomorrow’s Sunday morning shows, we see that CBS’s “Face the Nation” will feature two guests: David Axelrod from the White House and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

It comes just two weeks after Gingrich was a featured guest on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He was the featured guest on “Fox News Sunday” just two weeks before that.

This isn’t quite as annoying as having Liz Cheney live on the cable networks, but it’s getting there.

Atrios asked a couple of weeks ago, “[Y]ou know, disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has precisely zero power but his every pronouncement is treated as Incredibly Important News. Any journalists want to explain why?”

That need not be a rhetorical question.

I suspect “Face the Nation” wants to hear from Gingrich about the Sotomayor nomination, since Gingrich led the way in smearing the judge, and then kinda-sorta-but-not-really backpedaled this week on the use of the word “racist.”

But here’s a little secret: whether Gingrich respects or loathes Sotomayor is of no consequence. He doesn’t have a vote in the Senate, and more importantly, he doesn’t have any real influence in the Senate, either.

In our reality, Gingrich was forced from office in disgrace more than a decade ago. His limited power comes by way of the media, which keeps putting him on national television.

Eric Boehlert’s recent take on this — before Newt had an op-ed published in the Washington Post and before his “Meet the Press” appearance had even been announced — still rings true:

[A]s often happens when I read breaking, this-is-what-Newt-said dispatches, I couldn’t help thinking, “Who cares what Newt Gingrich thinks?” And I don’t mean that in the partisan sense. I mean it in the journalistic sense: How do Gingrich’s daily pronouncements about the fundamental dishonesty of Democrats (Newt’s favorite phrase) translate into news? Why does the press, 10 years after Gingrich was forced out of office, still treat his every partisan utterance as a newsworthy occurrence? In other words, why does the press still treat him like he’s speaker of the House? It’s unprecedented.”

I’m still waiting to see the media frenzy surrounding the latest pronouncements from Jim Wright and Tom Foley. Remind me, when was the last time either of them was invited onto a Sunday morning show?

By |2009-06-07T04:49:06-04:00June 7th, 2009|Media, Party Politics, Sunday Morning Shows|Comments Off on More Newt – Why?

Pundits and torture

Sometimes I just have sit back and take in the stupidity.  If a Democratic president had twisted the law to make torture legal, conservatives would have been seizing in Congress.  I thought the Republicans were the Law and Order party.

Steve has more:

It was pretty painful over the weekend to see/hear so many political pundits whitewash torture. To hear many of the leading conservative media voices, the problem wasn’t with the Bush administration’s illegal policies, which embarrassed the nation and undermined our national security, but rather with the Obama administration’s transparency.

While most of the nonsense came from the usual suspects (Rove, Armey, Kristol), perhaps the most striking argument came from Peggy Noonan, the Reagan speechwriter turned Wall Street Journal columnist.

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“Sometimes in life you want to just keep walking,” Noonan said, adding, “Sometimes, I think, just keep walking…. Some of life just has to be mysterious.”

It was, to be sure, one of the more ridiculous arguments of the debate. Noonan wasn’t prepared to defend the Bush administration’s abuses, but she suggested accountability is necessarily a bad idea because … well, apparently it has something to do with walking.

Today, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), after criticizing the Obama administration’s reluctance to prosecute alleged Bush-era crimes, marveled at Noonan’s absurd argument.

[T]he Senator took a swipe at some of the rationalizations for avoiding prosecution that have been voiced by Washington lawmakers and pundits.

“If you want to see just how outrageous this is, I refer you to the remarks made by Peggy Noonan this Sunday,” he said, referring to the longtime conservative columnist’s appearance on ABC’s This Week. “I frankly have never heard anything quite as disturbing as her remark that was something to the affect of: ‘well sometimes you just have to move on.'”

Of course, no one has been able to crystalize the stupidity of Washington into a bite sized nugget for us like Jon Stewart.

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By |2009-04-22T01:01:02-04:00April 22nd, 2009|Bush Administration, Sunday Morning Shows, Torture|Comments Off on Pundits and torture
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