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Thread: The NEVERENDING Political Discussion Thread

  1. #2651
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Rubioing during my post-SOTU address.




  2. #2652
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I'm not a huge Obama fan, but shouldn't conservative Republican's be thrilled by the notion of the Sequester? Instead, Obama is getting smeared for "scaring the American people".

    Wasn't it the Republicans who wanted "spending cuts first".

    The Republican Party cannot win on this issue, in my opinion. And it's too bad, because I think the country is ready for spending cuts where needed, but with a more balanced approach. Now we're going to get exactly what the conservative Republicans wanted and its going to blow up in their face.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  3. #2653
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I'm not a huge Obama fan, but shouldn't conservative Republican's be thrilled by the notion of the Sequester? Instead, Obama is getting smeared for "scaring the American people".

    Wasn't it the Republicans who wanted "spending cuts first".

    The Republican Party cannot win on this issue, in my opinion. And it's too bad, because I think the country is ready for spending cuts where needed, but with a more balanced approach. Now we're going to get exactly what the conservative Republicans wanted and its going to blow up in their face.
    The republican position on this seems to be that Obama is a huge spender that will never make cuts and that cuts are good and won't harm the economy but that they wont negotiate on something else but these cuts are actually really bad and its Obama's fault that its happening. Okey dokey.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  4. #2654
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    The republican position on this seems to be that Obama is a huge spender that will never make cuts and that cuts are good and won't harm the economy but that they wont negotiate on something else but these cuts are actually really bad and its Obama's fault that its happening. Okey dokey.
    I haven't followed anything with any sort of seriousness, but it seems to me that the republicans want spending cuts with no tax increases. The sequester was painful, ill-conceived cuts designed to force both sides to negotiate faithfully. The democrats want to do some cuts (re-appropriate them, reduce/expand in various areas) and do tax increases. The republicans will not negotiate with tax increases on the table.

    My opinion, we some tax changes with spending cuts to make somewhat meaningful budget improvements.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  5. #2655
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    What's up with Bob Woodward these days? Watching his work lately is kind of like watching Jordan in his comeback with the Washington Wizards. Sure, he's got some talent left, but it's more about him trying to massage his own ego than anything else. Really disappointing.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  6. #2656
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Very nice!

    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    Rubioing during my post-SOTU address.



    Hey hey RJ. Hilarious.

  7. #2657
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    What's up with Bob Woodward these days? Watching his work lately is kind of like watching Jordan in his comeback with the Washington Wizards. Sure, he's got some talent left, but it's more about him trying to massage his own ego than anything else. Really disappointing.
    I agree. What the what? In my days as a newspaper reporter he was something of a hero. Now he is more of an embarrassment. Very prickly and ego-driven.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  8. #2658
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    What's up with Bob Woodward these days? Watching his work lately is kind of like watching Jordan in his comeback with the Washington Wizards. Sure, he's got some talent left, but it's more about him trying to massage his own ego than anything else. Really disappointing.
    I think he's got a severe case of look-at-me-itis. As in sports, the key is to know when to hang 'em up and call it a career.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  9. #2659
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    I agree. What the what? In my days as a newspaper reporter he was something of a hero. Now he is more of an embarrassment. Very prickly and ego-driven.
    Agreed. He has really soured the impression I have had of him since seeing All the President's Men (great movie!). He's no Robert Redford (who also has more integrity IMHO)
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  10. #2660
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Is the right of minorities to be free from voter discrimination a "racial entitlement"?
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  11. #2661
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/2...re-killing-us/

    That is a link to the Time Magazine article. Some highlights:
    The first of the 344 lines printed out across eight pages of his hospital bill — filled with indecipherable numerical codes and acronyms — seemed innocuous. But it set the tone for all that followed. It read, “1 ACETAMINOPHE TABS 325 MG.” The charge was only $1.50, but it was for a generic version of a Tylenol pill. You can buy 100 of them on Amazon for $1.49 even without a hospital’s purchasing power.
    When I asked MD Anderson to comment on the charges on Recchi’s bill, the cancer center released a written statement that said in part, “The issues related to health care finance are complex for patients, health care providers, payers and government entities alike … MD Anderson’s clinical billing and collection practices are similar to those of other major hospitals and academic medical centers.”
    The president of MD Anderson is paid like someone running a prosperous business. Ronald DePinho’s total compensation last year was $1,845,000. That does not count outside earnings derived from a much publicized waiver he received from the university that, according to the Houston Chronicle, allows him to maintain unspecified “financial ties with his three principal pharmaceutical companies.”
    The chargemaster, I learned, is every hospital’s internal price list. Decades ago it was a document the size of a phone book; now it’s a massive computer file, thousands of items long, maintained by every hospital.
    It turns out that Medicare would have paid Stamford $13.94 for each troponin test rather than the $199.50 Janice S. was charged.
    “We use the CT scan because it’s a great defense,” says the CEO of another hospital not far from Stamford. “For example, if anyone has fallen or done anything around their head — hell, if they even say the word head — we do it to be safe. We can’t be sued for doing too much.”
    His rationale speaks to the real cost issue associated with medical-malpractice litigation. It’s not as much about the verdicts or settlements (or considerable malpractice-insurance premiums) that hospitals and doctors pay as it is about what they do to avoid being sued. And some no doubt claim they are ordering more tests to avoid being sued when it is actually an excuse for hiking profits. The most practical malpractice-reform proposals would not limit awards for victims but would allow doctors to use what’s called a safe-harbor defense. Under safe harbor, a defendant doctor or hospital could argue that the care provided was within the bounds of what peers have established as reasonable under the circumstances. The typical plaintiff argument that doing something more, like a nuclear-imaging test, might have saved the patient would then be less likely to prevail.

    When Obamacare was being debated, Republicans pushed this kind of commonsense malpractice-tort reform. But the stranglehold that plaintiffs’ lawyers have traditionally had on Democrats prevailed, and neither a safe-harbor provision nor any other malpractice reform was included.
    And a lot more...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  12. #2662
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I agree 100%. I'm no economist, but this just seem more fair to me somehow. If I want to choose a simple life, spend very little and hoard my money, I should not be penalized by the government via income taxes. There has to be a smarter way to fund government at the federal level.
    IMHO, the 16th Amendment is one of the myriad of things from the 20th century that should have stayed there - and it's near the top of my list. Simple - if you tax work, innovation and success at ever-increasing rates for more work, more innovation and more success - you'll get less of it. This is actively suppressing one of the USA's biggest historical attractions - that being the ability to better one's self through hard work and innovation. Also, as was mentioned in other posts, a grossly progressive rate card is very ineffective at bringing in revenue (IMHO, 'bringing in needed revenue' should be the only reason for taxation).

    More recently, I have been solidifying my opinion on the increasing 'progressivity' of the rate card and its support by the extremely asset-weathy as being nothing more than the most effective way of all of keeping the riff-raff out of their country clubs.

    And this doesn't even touch the stifling amounts of paperwork, unending government intrusiveness into a very private aspect of one's life and the limitless breaks and loopholes that are continually added to the code at the behest of this or that politically-connected special interest, such that I consider it to be only a matter of time before the whole souffle comes crashing down.

    Yes, I support conversion to an easily-administered consumption tax.

    Mike

  13. #2663
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Yes, I support conversion to an easily-administered consumption tax.

    Mike
    FairTax? I have stated my support for this in the past. I think there are many issues with the "easily-administered" part though.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  14. #2664
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    IMHO, the 16th Amendment is one of the myriad of things from the 20th century that should have stayed there - and it's near the top of my list. Simple - if you tax work, innovation and success at ever-increasing rates for more work, more innovation and more success - you'll get less of it. This is actively suppressing one of the USA's biggest historical attractions - that being the ability to better one's self through hard work and innovation. Also, as was mentioned in other posts, a grossly progressive rate card is very ineffective at bringing in revenue (IMHO, 'bringing in needed revenue' should be the only reason for taxation).

    More recently, I have been solidifying my opinion on the increasing 'progressivity' of the rate card and its support by the extremely asset-weathy as being nothing more than the most effective way of all of keeping the riff-raff out of their country clubs.

    And this doesn't even touch the stifling amounts of paperwork, unending government intrusiveness into a very private aspect of one's life and the limitless breaks and loopholes that are continually added to the code at the behest of this or that politically-connected special interest, such that I consider it to be only a matter of time before the whole souffle comes crashing down.

    Yes, I support conversion to an easily-administered consumption tax.

    Mike
    Oh, then you don't support government interference with women's medical issues or the rights of unmarried adults to marry whom they choose, regardless of gender?
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  15. #2665
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Yes, I support conversion to an easily-administered consumption tax.

    Mike
    What about the regressive nature of consumption tax i.e., it hitting those who can least afford the hardest?
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  16. #2666
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    What about the regressive nature of consumption tax i.e., it hitting those who can least afford the hardest?
    The poors are only poor because they are lazy? If we punish them for being poor maybe we will have less poors?
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  17. #2667
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    The poors are only poor because they are lazy? If we punish them for being poor maybe we will have less poors?
    The only way around it is to exempt the basics i.e., certain types of food, etc. That leads to the second problem. In order to make up for the lost revenue, you tax "luxury" items more. That makes it a non starter among the people who back it. Nothing has changed since we discussed in college.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  18. #2668
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    The only way around it is to exempt the basics i.e., certain types of food, etc. That leads to the second problem. In order to make up for the lost revenue, you tax "luxury" items more. That makes it a non starter among the people who back it. Nothing has changed since we discussed in college.
    Herein lies the problem. Such a tax is not "easily administered". I honestly believe that a consumption tax is more "fair" and progressive than our current taxes because it is clear and simple. A less educated person will be able to understand exactly what the tax is. Not what their marginal or effective rate is. A poor person does not have the means to hire a CPA to find all the loopholes. The question is how would you administer a program that would have to have monthly stipends (for a lack of a better word) for those who are below a certain threshold. Mailing checks out monthly seems like a costly and fraud filled process.

    I would imagine it would be done much like food stamps / welfare. You get prebates based on your income level and they are phased out as you go up the ladder.

    I think it is more fair, pushes for savings and full understanding of your spending, and with prebates, is progressive. It would capture illegal transactions with legal taxes on items those illegal activities funded.

    There are more good reasons to go to a consumption tax, then reasons to be scared of it, but the reasons to be scared are pretty ingrained in our countries fabric.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  19. #2669
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    The only way around it is to exempt the basics i.e., certain types of food, etc. That leads to the second problem. In order to make up for the lost revenue, you tax "luxury" items more. That makes it a non starter among the people who back it. Nothing has changed since we discussed in college.
    I do know that the 'Fair Tax' consumption tax proposal exempts retail-level services and new goods spending up to the poverty level from taxation and that under it, one would be under no obligation to claim that exemption. It is a flat-rate tax on all spending above that level and if one is thrifty, it would figure as a negative tax. It would not measure one's (so called) 'ability to pay', as it is neutral in that regard.

    Would paperwork be involved? Yes. How would that paperwork compare with the existing income tax? (Need one ask?)

    Mike

  20. #2670
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    and in a great example of what NOT to do as a communications director for a U.S. Senator, I humbly submit Sean Rushton, Communications Director of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas:

    http://smmercury.com/2013/03/06/lett...t-the-mercury/

    He is responding to this op-ed piece:

    http://smmercury.com/2013/02/27/free...z-wont-answer/

    In case you are wondering, the San Marcos Mercury is exclusively an online local news publication with a somewhat limited readership. Most articles, unless they relate to the school board or a controversial zoning decision, don't garner more than a handful of comments if any. Yet this goofball Communications Director chose to respond to it. I'm not even sure how he happened across this op-ed, which is actually buried on the website and doesn't appear in the newspaper's twitter or facebook feeds.

    I'd like to apologize to my fellow Americans for my fellow Texans that chose to elect this degenerate wackjob. On a positive note, a younger generation is now learning the history of McCarthyism. Also, if Cruz keeps this up I think we may actually get to see a Democrat gain a statewide elected office for the first time since the early 90s. I never thought I'd hear Cornyn referred to as "the more moderate Texas Senator."

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  21. #2671
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    and in a great example of what NOT to do as a communications director for a U.S. Senator, I humbly submit Sean Rushton, Communications Director of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas:

    http://smmercury.com/2013/03/06/lett...t-the-mercury/

    He is responding to this op-ed piece:

    http://smmercury.com/2013/02/27/free...z-wont-answer/

    In case you are wondering, the San Marcos Mercury is exclusively an online local news publication with a somewhat limited readership. Most articles, unless they relate to the school board or a controversial zoning decision, don't garner more than a handful of comments if any. Yet this goofball Communications Director chose to respond to it. I'm not even sure how he happened across this op-ed, which is actually buried on the website and doesn't appear in the newspaper's twitter or facebook feeds.

    I'd like to apologize to my fellow Americans for my fellow Texans that chose to elect this degenerate wackjob. On a positive note, a younger generation is now learning the history of McCarthyism. Also, if Cruz keeps this up I think we may actually get to see a Democrat gain a statewide elected office for the first time since the early 90s. I never thought I'd hear Cornyn referred to as "the more moderate Texas Senator."
    This interested me mainly because my mother's maiden name was Hankins and I don't come across them that often. Cousin Lamar seems to be doing a pretty decent job here holding Senator Cruz's feet to the fire - way to go, cuz!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  22. #2672
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    The justices did probe that broader legal question at times, including an exchange between pro-Proposition 8 attorney Charles Cooper and Justice Elena Kagan.

    "The concern is that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historic traditional procreative purposes, and it will ... refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires ... of adult couples," Cooper told the justices.

    "Mr. Cooper, suppose a state said that, because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55," Kagan asked. "Would that be constitutional?"

    "No, your honor, it would not be constitutional," Cooper answered.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/26/politi...tml?hpt=hp_bn3

    Ms. Kagan's quote brings the issue to a head for me. I am at a loss as to how people can view this as anything but a legal right that is being denied.

    The country is pro gay marriage (over 50% support it). You have liberals, but you also have libertarians. The only group that is missing is the religious right. A right is a right. We shouldn't be pandering to homophobia by a diminishing demographic. I hope (and pray) that the Supreme Court make this a federal issue. Because it should be.
    Last edited by Hink; 26 Mar 2013 at 4:39 PM.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  23. #2673

    energy policy and lack of investment in batteries and clean energies and public transport

    I find a lot of the comments right on. Personally both Immigration and Gay Marriage don't move me much. They should but they don't. I do get a bit animated around health care but can sink into listlessness rather easily on that topic also, although some public health "issues" get me goin. What I am really and truly interested in is energy policy. My thinking is that the rural, more fossil fuel dependent states are holding back the urban more open to public transport states.

    With the shared powers the smaller states have parity with the larger states in congress. Although this is flawed, the reality would be if we went to straight majority voting that California and Texas would decide everything for everyone for infinity. So, the states having equal voice in the house and senate has flaws and pluses. So, basically the smaller rural states would fight a gas tax and also nobody wants to invest in clean energies especially the battery technology. The Oil companies basically said never no way nada to investing in clean energy.

    I am annoyed that we didn't start serious investment in clean energies and have a strong energy policy 30 freakin years ago when we first knew about the impact pollution was having on weather and the ocean etc.. So, we seem to be getting off to a very slow start on having an energy policy and investment in research for clean energy and public transport in the USA. So, the federal government could theoretically tax big oil and invest in clean energy research. My arse.

    Right now whats really limiting us is battery technology. Japan basically said flat out we won't invest in the billions of dollars to do it. So for now car batteries are heavy cost 10K last 2 hours and i would argue that you would be better off buying a good used gas efficient car in the 2000s than buy that very expensive car battery. So, once we get batteries that are last longer and are cheaper things will be lookin up. Because then we could put wind or solar or the en-word energy in that battery and not oil or coal energy.

    Plus we could use our existing train system that is already zoned for transport and just use trains more efficiently and start looking at some sort of major overhaul like the highway system once was when it came into being. As far as our debt goes borrowing for public transportation infrastructure would be a lot better investment than things we get less long term use, not mentioning etc. Also, heartening that so many places are interested not just the USA in how to cut emissions.

    For instance Hilary Clinton is involved in a womens project to give little kerosine camping stoves to the 2 billion people who cook over open fires every night. As foraging is dangerous for women and children plus the deforestation and risk for burns and fires. also just small things like taking all the older model cars off the roads and limited fireplace use has shown to reduce emissions. i read a good article on how all these smaller measures really add up. the usa is starting to make noises about these things but its just too slow its urgent now.

    also in anticipation for the next big developments in battery technology all the lithium mines have already been boughten up and also other heavy metals all over the world are being secured by whomever can get em since these metals are used in the battery production. I read that in the economist a long time ago and that magazine can tend to be a bit slanted toward investors so i always took it with a grain of salt no pun intended (get it lithium) anyhoo, it would be great if the usa had a strong energy plan like point A to point B.

  24. #2674
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/restau...235200077.html

    Restaurant owners have been fierce critics of the health-care overhaul law, fearing that its mandate for employers to offer insurance more broadly will drive up costs and deter hiring.

    Now, some operators say the law may not be that costly after all. They say many employees won't qualify for coverage, and many of those who do qualify will decline company-offered insurance.

    Wendy's Co. (WEN) initially estimated the health-care law would increase the cost of operating each of its 5,800 U.S. restaurants by $25,000 a year. But Chief Financial Officer Steve Hare told an investment conference on March 14 that executives have cut the estimate by 80%, to $5,000 a year, primarily because they expect many employees to decline the insurance offering.
    Although I am not a strong supporter of the ACA, I think when people try to demonize something that is meant to help people knowing full well what they are saying isn't going to happen, we get into an awkward situation.

    So many of these businesses said they would go under if they had to do this... turns out they didn't. Turns out their numbers were 80% off. I am supportive of reasonable regulations, but the concept that any regulation is burdening business and killing jobs is just untrue.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  25. #2675

    CFOs to Bullet trains

    Although I can be blythe about the new health care insurance I am really excited and happy about it. I agree with the previous post that there should be a special place in hell reserved for Chief Financial Officers who lie. Well that would likely be all of them.

    The Affordable Health Care and Patient Protection Act is an INSURANCE. The new insurance will work in scope like Medicare. Instead of the payment being taxed out of our paychecks, if you look closely we are all paying for Medicare already. The new insurance will be paid by the individual. The only thing is that everyone must have insurance or face a tax penalty basically kissing their tax returns goodbye and not having health insurance so it would be better to have the insurance. Also keep in mind Medicare only pays 80% of most medical care and there are co-pays and fees, it's not blanket coverage. Most people who have Medicare carry a private insurance to pay that small portion, pay it out of pocket, or have Medicaid. I don't remember enough about the ins and outs of Medicare anymore.

    I read that for a family of four with above poverty wages this would be about 800 dollars a month and about 300 for an individual. I for one can not wait until we can have health insurance that is not attached to a job. If you don't already know Medicare is for people over 65 and disabled and Medicaid is for low income which is usually women and children although now men can get Medicaid also. And now the new health care insurance that will be income based also with a cap on premiums. Then private insurance offered by your employer if they are required by law to offer it they will have to still have insurance benefits. Most people want the new health insurance as it is often better than the company health plans.

    One of the cheapest insurance right now is strangely Medicaid because there is no middle man agency that takes the money for doing that. Medicaid is a direct payer. Medicare it depends on what the person signs up for but they have both direct payer and middle man also known as HMOs. I don't see this new health plan as the total solution but I see it as a stepping stone on our path to a one payer system. When Medicare was started the plan was to phase it in every ten years until everyone was covered but that was never done down the line.

    I read a great article today in the IHT International Herald Tribune the European version of the NYTs, the article was called "California Beeming Once Again" by Timothy Egan saying that California was well on its way building the first bullet train from LA to SF and that they were expected to have a budget surplus and are open to Mexican immigration and all sorts of great stuff; basically the good parts of the USA. And I see Calfornia about ten years ahead of the rest of the USA for whatever reason so it's not all gloom and doom out thar.

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