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Archive for June 17th, 2009

share save 120 16 links for 2009 06 17
  • During his speech yesterday to the American Medical Association in Chicago, President Obama said not once, but twice that if you have health insurance today and like it, you will be able to keep it under his reform. Shortly afterwards, the congressional budget Office released its initial scoring of the health care bill drafted by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP), concluding that it would result in roughly 23 million people losing the insurance they currently have. Oops!
    (tags: Obamacare)
  • The leaders of South Korea and the United States told North Korea to drop its atomic ambitions and stop threatening the region while media reports on Wednesday said Pyongyang was moving ahead with plans to launch a long-range missile.

    After a summit with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Washington on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said a nuclear-armed North Korea would pose a "grave threat" to the world. He vowed new U.N. sanctions imposed for North Korea's May 25 nuclear test would be strictly enforced.

  • ABC is refusing to air paid ads during its White House health care presentation, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, including a paid-for alternative viewpoint!

    The development comes a day after the network denied a request by the Republican National Committee to feature a representative of the party's views during the Obama special.

    Conservatives for Patients Rights requested the rates to buy a 60-second spot immediately preceding 'Prescription for America'.

    (tags: Obamacare)
  • After a fairly smooth opening, President Barack Obama faces new concerns among the American public about the budget deficit and government intervention in the economy as he works to enact ambitious health and energy legislation, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

    These rising doubts threaten to overshadow the president's personal popularity and his agenda, in what may be a new phase of the Obama presidency.

    "The public is really moving from evaluating him as a charismatic and charming leader to his specific handling of the challenges facing the country," says Peter D. Hart, a Democratic pollster who conducts the survey with Republican Bill McInturff. Going forward, he says, Mr. Obama and his allies "are going to have to navigate in pretty choppy waters."

    (tags: barack_obama)
  • President Barack Obama signaled to gay rights activists Wednesday that he's listening to their priorities by extending some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. But he didn't give them even close to everything they want, bringing growing anger against the president to the surface.

    Obama aides urged gays and lesbians to have patience with the new White House's slow-and-steady approach to the politically charged topic. But his critics – and there were many – saw Wednesday's incremental move to expand gay rights as little more than pandering to a reliably Democratic voting bloc, with the primary aim not of making policy more fair but of cutting short a fundraising boycott.

    "When a president tells you he's going to be different, you believe him," said John Aravosis, a Washington-based gay activist. "It's not that he didn't follow through on his promises, he stabbed us in the back."

    (tags: gay_politics)
  • Tens of thousands of protesters massed in central Iran again Wednesday to demonstrate against the disputed presidential election, as the government expanded its crackdown on journalists to try to block their coverage of opposition activities.
    The protesters marched silently down a major thoroughfare, some holding photographs of the main opposition candidate in Friday’s vote, Mir Hussein Moussavi. Others lifted their bare hands high in the air, signifying their support for Mr. Moussavi with green ribbons tied around their wrists or holding their fingers in a victory sign.
  • Iran clamped down Tuesday on independent media in an attempt to control images of election protests, but pictures and videos leaked out anyway — showing how difficult it is to shut off the flow of information in the Internet age.

    The restrictions imposed by the government made such social-networking sites as Twitter and Flickr more prominent — with even the U.S. State Department calling on Twitter to put off a scheduled shutdown for maintenance.

    Iranians were posting items online, but it wasn't known how much of that information was being seen by others inside the country. And although some of the posts on Twitter appeared to be from users in Tehran, others clearly were not.

    (tags: Iran Twitter)
  • Congressional Democrats and the White House are scrambling to regain their footing after a series of setbacks has stalled political momentum to reform the nation’s healthcare system.

    Despite having a popular president in the White House and comfortable majorities in Congress, the Democratic rollout on healthcare reform has encountered significant bumps in the road.
    A cost estimate hanging a $1 trillion price tag on an incomplete bill, salvos from powerful interest groups and great uncertainty among key Democrats on what will actually be in the legislation that moves through Congress have emboldened Republican critics.

    The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee postponed the markup of its healthcare reform bill by one day, to Wednesday. On the eve of that markup, the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce publicly ripped the bill.

    (tags: Obamacare)
  • After being briefed today on President Obama’s firing last week of Gerald Walpin, Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said the president did not abide by the same law that he co-sponsored – and she wrote – about firing Inspectors General.

    “The White House has failed to follow the proper procedure in notifying Congress as to the removal of the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service,” McCaskill said. “The legislation which was passed last year requires that the president give a reason for the removal.”

  • Your pressure is working, Blenders. This administration, the Congress and the DNC need to see the LGBT ATM shut down. NOW. That June 26 LGBT DNC fundraiser is toast. No one is buying a partner benefit plan that doesn't include health insurance, for god's sake. Will he announce an effort to send Congress something to act on? Uh, keep dreaming – his DOJ just wrote up a brief that uses defenses against incest and underage marriage to claim our relationships are unworthy of equal treatment under the law. They can't unring that bell.
    UPDATE: It gets so much worse. This partner benefit plan is simply an administrative memo – it expires when Obama leaves office! LOLOLOL. FAIL-O-RAMA.
    (tags: gay_politics)
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share save 120 16 Obamacare: Lawmakers Clash Over Costs
3636626065 6f04b50ce2 o Obamacare: Lawmakers Clash Over Costs

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez


The whole issue is about cost and who will pay.
Hoping to make history, the Senate set off on its major overhaul of the nation’s health care system Wednesday, but its first steps were quickly overtaken by fresh cost concerns and partisan anger. An ambitious timetable that called for completing committee action in early summer seemed in danger of slipping away.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee began work on a bill encompassing President Barack Obama’s top legislative priority. It marked the first time since President Bill Clinton’s ill-starred attempt in the early 1990s that Congress was tackling such a broad overhaul.

But the more important Senate Finance Committee announced it would delay action, as senators sought to retool their proposals to slash the cost by more than one-third, from an intial $1.6 trillion over 10 years, to less than $1 trillion. Of the five major panels working on health care, Finance has the best odds of coming up with a bipartisan proposal that could overcome gathering opposition.

Lobbyists representing every nook and cranny of the economy were on high alert – even if they were on their best behavior.

Majority Democrats running the Finance Committee have told lobbyists that their views will be taken into account as long as their groups don’t mount public campaigns against the legislation, numerous lobbyists say. So far, health industry groups have not launched aggressive attacks against Democrats’ emerging plans.

“We have a lot of sweat equity in this process,” said E. Neil Trautwein, chief health care lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, referring to hundreds of hours his group has spent with lawmakers as they prepared legislation. He predicted the bill would prove too costly and force lawmakers to pare it down – or else.

“We need cost relief,” he said. “But if comes to the point where we have to cut and run and build a coalition” to oppose the bill, “we’ll take that step.”

American business would love for the government to assume the costs of its employee’s healthcare costs. They don’t want to pay for it any longer.

However, the private medical sector which would shrink under Obamacare is waiting to etither stall the legislation or wait for the Democrats to committ to a plan and then launch a full out attack.

In the meantime, the GOP is biding its time waiting for issues upon which they can run in the upcoming 2010 midterm Congressional elections.

It is a waiting game on healthcare reform this summer.


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share save 120 16 Poll Watch: Americans Trust Physicans MORE Than Obama on Healthcare
3634918335 d202e187d9 o Poll Watch: Americans Trust Physicans MORE Than Obama on Healthcare

Well, this is reassuring – but not by much.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say they are confident in doctors to recommend the right thing for reforming the U.S. healthcare system. That is significantly higher than the public confidence extended to President Barack Obama, as well as to six other entities that will be weighing in during the emerging healthcare reform debate.

Doctors, hospitals, and university researchers may not generally be viewed as political powerhouses. But when it comes to healthcare reform, all three entities have a potentially important advantage over government leaders. As the Gallup Poll results suggest, they are well-positioned to have bipartisan clout with the public.

Obama and the leaders of the two parties in Congress are trusted on healthcare by most of their own party’s members, but are distrusted by most of the opposing party’s. By contrast, large majorities of Republicans, independents, and Democrats say they have confidence in what doctors, hospitals, and university professors and researchers recommend on healthcare.

Now, we know why President Obama went to lecture the AMA on Monday. He needs to persuade physicians and hospitals that Obamacare will be a better system for them than it is now.

The case has not been made.

Why?

As always – the cost.


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share save 120 16 Day By Day by Chris Muir June 16, 2009   Get A Room
3634095197 94080ea0b8 o Day By Day by Chris Muir June 16, 2009   Get A Room

Day By Day by Chris Muir

President Obama is going to need all of the help the Spinmeisters in his Administration and  ABC News can provide to sell his flawed and terribly expensive health care reform plan – Obamacare.

The health care lobby is out to scuttle the plan and there are already enough conservative Democratic Senate votes to support a filibuster. Convincing the American public to change their health insurance plans paid for by their employer to ONLY provide “free” care for a few more needy folks is gong to be a very tough sell.

It will take more than an ABC News production from a White House “room.”

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