Archive for August 27th, 2009

by jhwygirl

Tort reform seems to be a topic of discussion. It should be, and that’s what Howard Dean said to a person who asked “There’s $200 million over 10 years in savings if we had tort reform and nobody loses but the lawyers. Why have we not even considered that tonight in the discussion sir?”

“This is the answer from a doctor and a politician,” said Dean. “Here is why tort reform is not in the bill. When you go to pass a really enormous bill like that the more stuff you put in, the more enemies you make, right? And the reason why tort reform is not in the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everybody else they were taking on, and that is the plain and simple truth. Now, that’s the truth.”

We should be discussing everything but the kitchen sink. Not all of it’s gonna stick, but if I’m going to be taxed or penalties are going to be assessed people or employers or laws are going to be passed regarding pre-existing conditions or exemptions are going to be granted, or anything and everything else they’ve been talking about, then maybe we should talk about tort reform at least a teeny tiny little bit?

I also don’t know the validity of the $200 bmillion figure either. But somewhere in there’s a truth.

Look. Doctors aren’t God. We all make mistakes – only their mistakes have bigger impacts sometimes. Still doesn’t mean that they have to be treated like every mistake is intentional and premeditated or some sort of monstrous evidence of utter ineptitude.

Politico has the larger reporting of the event, and that’s worth the read to get a fuller picture of the environment.

Rating Comments

by jhwygirl

I’ve added a rating widget for comments. Don’t know how it’s going to work, or whether anyone’ll use it…but there it is.

by JC

“If the votes aren’t there, you’ll have to say you did the best you could and then you move on,” said Tester.

Just move on, huh. What a leader. If you have half the Senate looking at each other, saying the votes aren’t there, expecting the next guy to stand up and take a stand, well then you’re just being a defeatist. Not hardly what we elected you for, Jon.

“If the votes aren’t there” is just a euphemism for “my vote’s not there.” Politicians love to talk in passive terms because it allows them to not commit to a position publicly until they actually have to vote.

I call it the eternal finger pointing of the Senate: “if there is an uncommitted block of votes in the Senate, then I don’t have to take a stand either.” So what you get is a bunch of uncommitted Senators looking at each other and blaming the other for their own inability to take a stand–or have principles, for that matter.

What, you afraid to tell the “pull the plug on Granny” deather/birther crowds they’re whack? You know how to bust an ornery bull upside the head with a two-by-four. How about a few choice words for the bull the republicans have let out of the chute?

The AP’s Matt Gouras reported yesterday on Tester’s stand on the public option.

Tester said Wednesday he could envision voting for a health care reform bill with or without the option that would let the uninsured buy into a Medicare-type government program.

“I don’t need it either way,” Tester told the Associated Press between meetings with constituents. “I could either support it or not support it.”

With or without, support it or not. Talk about taking a stand! Must have been taking some Gumby lessons from the senior Senator. Even after dumbing down health care reform to a tepid pot of left-overs, Tester still misses the point.

Tester said he like such insurance reform as preventing companies from banning pre-existing injuries, canceling insurance when disease strikes and others that could rein in the double-digit cost increase of medical bills.

“Is that meaningful change?” Tester said. “If you have a pre-existing condition and you can’t get insured, that’s a meaningful change.”

About half of the country gets it’s health care from private insurers. So i guess he’s only really proposing “meaningful change” masquerading as insurance reform for the haves. Let’s treat the middle class to a little cost savings and call it “reform.”

For the have nots? Most people who have pre-existings cannot get insurance for a variety of reasons, cost being one of them. What’s the cost going to be for somebody trying to get a plan with cancer? Affordable? Subsidies for those who aren’t eligible for Medicaid, yet can’t afford a plan? Mandates and IRS penalties?

How you going to control costs and minimize cost shifting without universality?

“I trust Max” Tester said.

And just what has Max done to earn your trust, Senator? Set you up with some nice campaign financing deals with his buddies?

The Democrat said he has spent little time looking at more liberal legislation out of the House because he doesn’t think it will make it to the Senate floor.

If you haven’t looked at the House legislation, Jon, how can you come to a conclusion that it won’t make it to the Senate floor? Trusting what your buddy Max has to say?

I’d say this is a little closed-minded of you. And it sets you up for a battle to come to logger-heads with House progressives who say they won’t vote on a conference report that doesn’t include a public option. So what you going to do?

“Say you did the best you could and then you move on.”

Right… You might just have a block of progressive voters who will help you do just that, Senator. Just not the sort of “move on” that you had in mind. Hows about moo…ve on back to the farm?

In other health reform news, TPM reports on the list of 13 dem senators who haven’t committed to a public option. You might call them the “Gang of 13”:

One thing that’s striking about this the list is how reluctant senators are to take a firm position. Compare that to the situation in the House, where dozens of liberals have vowed that they’ll oppose any health care bill without a public option, and it casts some doubt on the conventional wisdom that health care reform will pass without a public option after the Congressional Progressive Caucus caves to pressure from Democratic leadership and conservatives in their own party.

“The immovable object meets the unstoppable force…”

Politics and corporations win and the people lose.
“C’est la vie”

Unabashedly Liberal

by JC


lib⋅er⋅al  [lib-er-uhl, lib-ruhl]

1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
2. (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.
4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.
9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.
10. given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation.
11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.
12. of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts.
13. of, pertaining to, or befitting a freeman.

14. a person of liberal principles or views, esp. in politics or religion.

1325–75; ME < L līberālis of freedom, befitting the free, equiv. to līber free + –ālis -al

1. progressive. 7. broad-minded, unprejudiced. 9. beneficent, charitable, openhanded, munificent, unstinting, lavish. See generous. 10. See ample.

1. reactionary. 8. intolerant. 9, 10. niggardly.

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