Hillary's Health Care Plan: A Bonanza For The Insurance Companies
Hillary's health care plan in a nutshell is this. The health insurance industry is working just fine. It covers those who can afford to pay. It leaves out those who can't afford to pay. So if you want everyone to have insurance, you mandate it for those who can afford it but choose to stay out, and you have the government pay for all those who can't afford to pay, which is the vast majority of the uninsured.
Don't tell me Hillary does not respond to lobbyists' money. What better deal could the health insurance industry ask for? Hillary is so totally taking care of them.
Hillary's plan will lead to further skyrocketing costs in the health care industry. You are going to see food fights, there will be so much food, err, cash.
Universal health insurance is a goal that has to be coupled with the goal of bringing the costs down across the board. Health care reform is about asking why America pays more for health than any other country, more than most other countries put together, but why it does not have the number one health care in the world.
Hillary refuses to tackle the many dysfunctional aspects of the health care industry. I guess she feels like she burnt her fingers back in 1993. When you can't beat them, join them. She has learned the lessons the hard way, but I get the impression she has learned the wrong lessons.
Take a more functional industry like the computer industry. The price of computers has fallen consistently over the years, decades. It is because the market forces are at work in the computer industry.
In the health care industry, the market forces are not at work. Instead there is this evil collusion of vested interests. The biggest proof is the poor adoption in the health care industry of information technology. If the health care companies felt like they were competing with each other to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible price, they would be trying to outdo each other in terms who will best adopt information technology in all aspects of their operations. But they are not. They have not been. That is one example to show there is a big need to inject market forces into the health care industry.
But Hillary's plan makes it sound like the health insurance companies have too little money and that is the number one health care problem in the country.
She mandates health insurance. It sounds like it will become illegal to not have health insurance. But no. There will be no punitive measures. So it will be a voluntary mandate. You will be required to have health insurance, but if you don't get it, that's okay too. She should switch words. Instead of calling it a mandate, she should call it a suggestion. As in, Hillary wants you to have health insurance. She also wants you to eat your vegetables.
In a nutshell, when she says mandating, she does not mean that.
And her plan to help people out who can't afford it is tricky too. There is an emphasis on tax credits.
She has been dancing around the possibility that the government will actually have to step in and pay wholesale for those who just can't pay for it now.
Barack's plan is clearer and simpler. Bring the costs down across the board, and pay for those who can't pay. So if you currently do have insurance, your premium goes down. If you don't, you get it.
Of course John Edwards has a point. Hillary is wedded to Washington's corrupt ways. She is by now chummy with the forces she tried to fight in 1993. She has become one with them. That does not count for strength and experience. That, in my book, is capitulation. She has accepted defeat.
There is a reason why Barack's bill for universal health insurance in only half of Senator Clinton's. You are looking at $50 billion in one plan, and $100 billion in another. Because Barack intends to show some tough love to the insurance companies. Yes, there will be universal health insurance. So, yes, you will make more money. You will have more customers. But first cut out the fat. Under Barack's plan, the premiums go down for everyone involved.
Hillary is in disbelief. No wonder she accused Barack of not being for universal health insurance during the Las Vegas debate. She just can't see how you can provide universal insurance for only $50 billion.
That smaller dollar figure means Barack's plan is more likely to get Republican support than Clinton's. And the end result will have to be bipartisan. We all know that. It can't be just a Dem plan.
That plays to Barack's number one strength. He can bring people together. Hillary can't.
So not only is Barack's plan superior, more market friendly, more gutsy in terms taking on the insurance companies, but it also has a much better chance of getting enacted.
And it is curious that Hillary wants eight years to implement her plan. What is more presumptuos, that she thinks she will be a two term president, or that she thinks she is already the nominee, already the president?
Barack's plan is more challenging to implement. He wants four years to do it. So when he seeks reelection, you will actually be able to hold him accountable. Hillary's plan is to just give more money to the insurance companies. For that she wants eight years.
What if she does not deliver even in eight years? She goes writes a memoir. You are stuck with no health insurance. After all, Harry Truman also tried, and he was no pushover.
And her newest ad actually tries to say her 13,000 page 1993 plan was actually a good one. She thinks of the issue as a position paper to be written, instead of a political process to be navigated. That might be her number one flaw on the issue.
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Hillary is smart. She got better grades at Yale than Bill Clinton. She has had a lifelong commitment to public service. Bill Clinton as Governor was making 30,000 a year. Makes you want to think in terms of a minimum wage idea not just for teachers, but also Governors.
But she has never held any local or state level office. Years as First Lady don't really count, and if they do, release your records.
The only elected public office she has ever held has been that of US Senator. She has been an excellent Senator.
Barack is smart. He has had a lifelong commitment to public service. But he has had more experience than Hillary as an elected official. He has held a state level office.
If the spouse's experience can count for yours, I'd like to claim Barack could manage a hospital. But in all honesty, I don't think he could. I mean, he could after a learning period, but not as in, let me just step in. It is a different skill set.
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In The News
Obama's Got the Youth Vote, And They Can In Fact Vote Washington Post, United States out of the estimated 9,000 who showed up at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, at least a third were Obama supporters. To which Mandy Grunwald, a longtime adviser to Sen. Hillary Clinton, said, according to the Politico: "Our people look like caucus-goers, and [Obama's] people look like they are 18. [Mark] Penn said they look like Facebook." ...... "Good strategy: A week after finally setting up your campaign's organization to attract young people, tell them they won't vote anyway so their presence is irrelevant," wrote Erickson. ...... "I don't know what it gets Hillary for her team to criticize young people -- and to brand themselves the candidate of the status-quo. What is more, taunting Obama about it could backfire by providing what they call in football 'bulletin board material.' I can hear Obama now: 'Hillary thinks you won't show up! Hillary thinks you're to be ignored! Hillary thinks..." ......... "If Clinton's aides are right in their from-the-hip demographic analysis, they better hope that those young faces aren't carrying their Facebook social network with them." ....... Facebook is the unofficial capital of anti-Clinton country, with young voters -- male and female, mostly Republicans but with some Democrats -- forming numerous groups attacking the former first lady. .... "They look like Facebook" insult. Two days ago, the petition had 570 names. As of Friday morning, it's up to 2,985. ..... One of the newest members, Sean Taylor of Kentucky, wrote on the wall of the Facebook petition: "Barack Obama all the way! And I (and my friends) do vote, Hillary."
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Rovian ruminations: Karl Rove scans the presidential races Los Angeles Times, CA archived here. ..... reducing crime, welfare and the general coarseness of urban life there. ..... the strength he has in the early states is authentic .... the surprise to me is how they haven't been able to take advantage of the openings they've been given and exploit them." ....... Rove said Obama, who spoke next, could have drawn a dramatically stark contrast, creating a memorable moment by turning to her and saying of course it was her decision. All she had to do was order the papers released, which are the basis of her claims to be sufficiently experienced to become president. But the Illinois senator did not. Instead he compared the sealed papers to the secretiveness of the Bush administration. ......... Rove added, "Someone characterized Obama to me as another Adlai Stevenson, and I think that's probably accurate." ..... Rove, a self-taught student of history who never graduated from college .... a natural maturation process on the conservative side of the GOP that allows larger issues such as terrorism and national security to take a higher priority now than the onetime all-importance of social issues such as abortion. .... "When my book comes out in 2009."
The Case for Obama Atlantic Online In 2008, Obama is more likely than Clinton to win an impressive electoral vote total that will look like a mandate.
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Clinton Rallies, Counterattacks At Debate U.S. News & World Report Clinton changed her strategy, focusing more on attacking and counter-attacking her opponents than at previous events ....... Clinton "accused" Obama "of wimping out on health care ...... Clinton "was much more aggressive, repeatedly challenging her rivals by name, as she had not done in past debates. ...... If Clinton was "significantly more critical of her rivals, Obama was more direct than he has been in previous debates. ..... framing the Democratic contest as it now stands as a series of attacks that risked damaging the ultimate party nominee, even as she went on the attack for the first time herself ...... After two bad weeks in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, she recovered her footing and pushed back sharply at her opponents in a debate Thursday night." Obama "had only an average night, and on a couple of questions he seemed flummoxed. ....... And Edwards "should have stayed home." ..... Clinton said she was wearing her 'asbestos pants suit' in Las Vegas, but, more important, she was wearing a smile and carrying a fistful of ammo and sound bytes. ...... that Clinton "gave as good as she got. And those who tried to kick her, stubbed their toes. John Edwards got booed when he attacked her for taking money from Washington lobbyists...and seemed both surprised and irritated ....... poised and pugnacious ...... describes Obama as "focused, energized, tough, charismatic-pretty much everything the press had accused him of not being in previous debates. And yet the candidate who probably helped herself the most was Hillary Clinton." ....... for the second month in row McCain performs better against leading Democrat Hillary Clinton in hypothetical matchups than any other top-tier Republican ..... In the Democratic primary, 44% would vote for Clinton; 23% would vote for Obama ...... Clinton tops Giuliani 47%-43% and Thompson 49%-40%, but is in a tighter race with McCain, whom she leads 46%-45%. Clinton trounces Romney, 50%-37% ....... Giuliani leads the GOP field with 25%, followed by Romney, 21%; Thompson, 17%; McCain ....... ..... 27% of Iowa Democratic caucus-goers would vote for Hillary Clinton; 25% would vote for Barack Obama11% were undecided. ...... 27% of caucus-goers would vote for Mitt Romney; 18% would vote for Mike Huckabee; 16% would vote for Rudy Giuliani; 10% would vote for Fred Thompson; 6% would vote for John McCain; 5% would vote for Ron Paul ...... Clinton leads with 29%, followed by Obama, 27% ..... a prod toward greater transparency and disclosure on Capitol Hill. ...... Bush "accused the Democratic-controlled Senate of waging a 'search and destroy' mission against his judicial nominees that ruins reputations." ..... Bush's announcement was "applauded by Senator Charles E. Schumer," who "had called for opening up the military airspace." Schumer "said the change should be made permanent." ...... the root of the problem of airline delays: the nation's outdated air traffic control system." ...... Newsweek .. Karl Rove, who was announced Thursday as the magazine's newest contributor ... On Aug. 13, the same day Rove stood alongside President Bush on the South Lawn, Meacham said he e-mailed the strategist about getting his byline in print."
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