How did President Obam do in his first year?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Palin's actions offensive to people with disabilities

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s double standard on the use of the R word last week was not her only offensive act for people with disabilities. Taking money from Tea Party protesters is itself an offense to people with disabilities.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Scott Brown

All Democrats should welcome Scott Brown to the Senate not because we are happy he is there, but because he won, he is a Senator, and he should be shown respect. At the same time, the election of Scott Brown does not mean the end of the Democratic Party and it does not mean that Democrats cannot get important work done. Too much is at stake -- our economy, our healthcare, our party, and our country. Welcome Scott Brown, and then Democrats get back to the business of reforming healthcare, creating jobs, and getting ready to shock the world in November 2010.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Admiral Mullen -- Honorable

Honorable is the word to describe Admiral Mullen. It was not the easy path or necessary for him to give his personal views on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It will not make him popular with many of the military brass and retired military brass. But he was right. And he stood up for what was right.

Here is what he said.

"It is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do. No matter how I look at this issue, I can not escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy that forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, personally, it comes down to integrity - theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Beginning

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's ending." '
- Semisonic "Closing Time"

Well today, February 1st, 2010, I end life outside the blogosphere. The plan is to write periodic blogs from the perspective of someone who is proud to be a progressive.

Pass the Senate Bill NOW with or without reconciliation

Democrats in the House need to pass the Senate bill by the end of February. The reforms are too important to sacrifice to the chance that a better bill will somehow materialize.
Should they try to make it better through reconciliation? Yes.
Should they pass it if they don't get a companion reconciliation bill? Absolutely.
This is where I disagree with Firedog Lake,, and other progressive zealots. Yes, the bill is filled with pork, does not fix major problems with the healthcare system, and does not include a good public option. But it is a bill that has passed. And we can fix it as we go forward.

Senator Kennedy lamented that he did not help get healthcare reform passed under President Nixon. If healthcare had passed in the early 1970s, then we would have had over 35 years to make it better since then. If we do not pass healthcare reform now, then we may have to wait for more than 35 years to get a President to try to get it passed. Republicans will not try to pass healthcare reform. They have made that clear with 40 (now 41) votes. No future Republican President will redraw this line in the sand.

Similarly, no Democratic President will try to pass healthcare reform any time soon. It helped destroy President Bill Clinton's agenda. It is in the process of wreaking havoc on the rest of President Obama's agenda. With the devestation of two Democratic Presidencies in its wake, what future president would want to take on helathcare reform?

And yet it is vital that healthcare reform get passed. Without reform, insurance companies will get worse and quickly. They will see the end of reform as a free pass to continue putting their bottom line ahead of people. More -- not fewer -- people will be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, more denials of coverage will take place, and more consolidation will leave consumers with even fewer choices.

Not even the Republicans will be pleased with the monster they will have created. After all one of the greatest casualties of the lost reform will be -- small businesses. It is small businesses who have the hardest time getting and keeping quality health insurance for their employees. If a business of 50 to 100 employees has one person with a catastrophic health condition in one family, then that will cause massive increases in health insurance costs for the whole business. This leads to difficult, if not impossible choices, for the small businesses. Do they drop or increase coverage? Do they increase co-pays, deductibles, and dependent coverage costs? Or do they fire employees or cut wages to make up for the healthcare costs?

This is just one of the tremendous consequences that will result if healthcare reform is not passed now with or without reconciliation.