Barack Obama’s Healthcare

Last week Senator Hillary Clinton detailed her vision and plan for reducing healthcare costs. Her cost reduction plan for healthcare is part of a larger Progressive Agenda which she submitted to the public earlier this week. Hillary knows how treacherous the healthcare waters are. Hillary knows not to overpromise and not to underestimate the opposition nor the difficulty of achieving universal healthcare coverage.

A few days ago, Senator Obama produced his healthcare plan. Obama for months had spoken, as he so often does, with many inspirational adjectives about what he would include in his first ever national healthcare plan. Earlier this year, on January 25, 2007, according to his own website, Obama spoke at a healthcare forum and said this:

“In the 2008 campaign, affordable, universal health care for every single American must not be a question of whether, it must be a question of how. We have the ideas, we have the resources, and we will have universal health care in this country by the end of the next president’s first term.”

Barack Obama, Speech in Washington, DC

Obama’s statement was actually much more emphatic than his website let’s on. Preceding the Obama quotation above were these sentences:

Plans that tinker and halfway measures now belong to yesterday. The President’s latest proposal that does little to bring down cost or guarantee coverage falls into this category. There will be many others offered in the coming campaign, and I am working with experts to develop my own plan as we speak, but let’s make one thing clear right here, right now: In the 2008 campaign, affordable, universal health care for every single American ….”

The Washington Post, unrefuted by the Obama campaign apparatus, quoted Obama’s actual words as even much more emphatic: I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country,” Obama told a conference of Families USA, a health care advocacy group.”

All the high flying talk and promises aside, Time magazine has now reviewed Obama’s healthcare proposal and concluded:

In truth, Obama’s plan could fall somewhat short of real “universal coverage.” It would exempt the smallest businesses from the requirement that they cover their workers. (The exact size of the exemption has yet to be determined, but one campaign official said it would apply to businesses employing “some number less than 15.”) And while it would require coverage of children, adults could choose not to take advantage of his plan and go uninsured, even if they could afford coverage.”

The Hillary and Edwards campaign are critical of Obama’s scheme: “One difference among the Democrats is whether all Americans should be required to have health insurance. Obama said he would mandate coverage only for children. Edwards has proposed mandatory insurance for everyone, and Clinton’s campaign said Obama didn’t go far enough. “We have to achieve true universal healthcare so that every American has health care coverage,” said Neera Tanden, the campaign’s policy director, in a statement yesterday.”

Neera Tanden, policy director for the Hillary campaign added,

“We commend Senator Obama for entering the healthcare debate and supporting incentives to make healthcare more affordable; Senator Clinton has long fought to expand healthcare coverage and initiated the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that now covers 6 million children and has led the fight in the Senate to pass health information technology.

“Senator Clinton believes that in addition to making healthcare more accessible, we have to achieve true universal healthcare so that every American has health care coverage.”

Obama argues that his proposal will eventually succeed in achieving universal healthcare coverage. We laughingly suppose it is possible that, with sufficient deaths and cessation of births, by 2012 any plan could achieve universal coverage. However, unless you are Richard Lamm, that is not rational public policy. It is also not rational as Senator Obama seems to think, that somehow the opposition to universal healthcare will be anything less than ferocious, sustained, organized, well-funded, and highly partisan.

There are many ideas on healthcare being proposed. But only one candidate has the experience, has faced all the pitfalls already, to actually get the job done.

Years ago Hillary achieved her goal of getting healthcare coverage for millions of children. She is experienced, determined, and willing to fight to get healthcare coverage for all Americans.

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A Thing of Beauty

Yesterday, we posted a longish piece about the Richardson, Edwards, and Obama campaigns in a munificent, yes, bighearted, attempt to help them. We did not discuss the Hillary campaign in that piece.

Today we discuss the Hillary presidential campaign.

Recently we have witnessed a movement towards Hillary in the polls. CBS News gave her a 22% lead nationally and the ARG polls which came out this week have Hillary leading in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Of course she has been leading just about everywhere else. Why is this movement towards Hillary accelerating?

Look at what has happened recently.

This week “Hillary Clinton laid out her progressive vision for strengthening the middle class in the face of rising income inequality and globalization today. In a speech at the Manchester School of Technology in New Hampshire, she called for a return to shared prosperity and tax fairness, while expanding access to quality education and healthcare for all Americans.” Her plan is:

1. Leveling the playing field and reducing special breaks for big corporations. That means scaling back oil and gas subsidies; allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices with big drug companies; and requiring big oil companies to either invest in alternative energy or pay into the Strategic Energy Fund to spur clean energy research and development.

2. Eliminating incentives for American companies to ship jobs and profits overseas. Specifically, the tax code rewards companies for offshoring jobs by enabling them to defer paying American taxes for as long as they hold the money abroad. The current policy puts companies that create jobs in America at a competitive disadvantage. We must pursue tax policies that reward the decision to create jobs in America, rather than abroad.

3. Reforming the governance of corporations and the financial sector.It is inconsistent with our values to allow CEO pay to skyrocket while workers’ wages and benefits are under threat. There needs to be greater public scrutiny of CEO pay, and more independence of Boards of Directors.

4. Restoring fiscal responsibility to government. That means balancing the budget; saving Social Security; reducing our dependence on foreign creditors (e.g.China); returning high-income tax rates to the 1990s levels; reforming the AMT; and ensuring that corporations pay their fair share of taxes.

5. Give every young person an opportunity to attend college, and ensure that education starts early in life and continues into adulthood. College should be made more affordable so that students of all backgrounds can attend. Also, every child should have ready access to high quality pre-K.

6. More support for community colleges and alternative schools.We should expand regional skills alliances to ensure workers have the valuable skills they need.

7. Help working people earn enough to support their families and help them save for the future. That means simplifying and expanding the EITC; overhauling the unemployment insurance system; and making it easier for workers to join unions.

8. Ensure that every American has quality, affordable health care.It is intolerable that 45 million Americans are without health insurance, particularly considering that we are spending nearly $500 billion on the war in Iraq.

9. Make investments necessary for creating new jobs.New job sources are needed to preserve and expand the middle class. Investments in alternative energy can create new jobs for the 21st century; expanded access to broadband will bring opportunities to underserved/disadvantaged communities; the manufacturing base can be re-energized through creative partnerships; and innovation-with increased government support for R&D-will help us find and develop the jobs of tomorrow.

[[Read the full plan here.]

Today, the Progressive Agenda leads to a major political endorsement.

“Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton have delivered another one-two punch that reflects their combined political power: corralling the endorsement of Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, one of the most powerful Democrats in California and among the most influential Hispanics in the nation.”

“With the endorsement, which is to be announced today in Los Angeles, Mrs. Clinton has outflanked her Democratic presidential rivals — including Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, the first Hispanic to seek the party’s nomination — in a crucial primary state with a large number of Hispanic voters and Democratic convention delegates.”

“For several of the Democratic candidates, the Villaraigosa endorsement was pursued as a huge political prize, which it may turn out to be. The California presidential primary has taken on new importance with its move to Feb. 5 from June. Mr. Villaraigosa, the mayor since 2005, has a network of supporters as mayor of the nation’s second-largest city and as a former speaker of the State Assembly, and he is widely seen as a rising star in the party and a national spokesman on Hispanic concerns like immigration and education.”

The Hillary campaign quickly followed up the prized Villaraigosa endorsement with a strategy memorandum [PDF file] about the Latino vote from Mark Penn.

The detailed Penn memo points to the big lead Hillary enjoys with Latino voters and then discusses the pivotal role Latinos play in Nevada, California, Texas, Florida, New York and New Jersey. George Bush had 40% of the Latino vote in 2004. With Hillary as the presidential candidate in 2008 Ripublicans will be deprived of the Latino vote and this will lead to great Democratic victories.

Notice the progression of events this week. Last week there was the big NO vote against the Iraq funding resolution. Voters who want the Iraq war ended now, know for sure that there is a candidate with experience who will end the war. Then last week too, Hillary gave a healthcare policy address to be followed up with her Progressive Agenda this week. Immediately the progressive agenda presentation is followed up with a major Latino/California endorsement and a Latino vote strategy.

In addition, last week the Hillary campaign got ahead of the cash for rehash attack books by exposing the contradictions and “preposterous” claims made in them. Further, the campaign opened 10 new Iowa offices, and is maximizing use of surrogates like Vilsack stumping on Hillary’s behalf. The Hillary campaign is running on full cylinders not only in the policy arena but in the political arena as well.

The Hillary campaign is like an unfolding flower. A Thing of Beauty.

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Club 44

The Hillary campaign has started something called Club 44. We like. Wonder where they got the name?

Club 44 is having a fundraising event on June 6, 2007, from 5:00 to 7:00 in Washington, D.C.

The cost is $20. That’s right, not $200, not $2000. $20 bucks. Twenty.

Under 18 years old and admission is FREE. Can’t beat that.

Dolores Huerta, Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, Geraldine Ferraro, Billie Jean King and Hillary! Who could ask for anything more?

We noticed that the event is Metro Accessible: Gallery Place/Chinatown, Metro Center, Mt. Vernon Square.

If you live along the east coast – Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, consider taking friends with you on the “Chinatown” Bus Service which is very inexpensive and spend the day in D.C. and then go to Club 44.

Maybe we will all go and turn Club 44 Pink!

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What Can They Do To Me?

Patrick Healy of the New York Times can usually be relied on to twist the facts or use innuendo to make Hillary look bad. Maybe it’s the Memorial Day good feelings we have been experiencing, but today Healy actually says something nice about Hillary.

Here is what Healy writes today (check out the cute picture of Hillary talking with a voter, possibly Marilyn Learner herself):

“It is the question that every presidential candidate must have a good answer to: Why do you want the job?
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton had a pretty punchy, pithy response this afternoon in Nashua, N.H., when a voter, Marilyn Learner – who has been leaning toward a Clinton rival, Senator Christopher Dodd – approached her with the query. Here’s the exchange, which took place at Martha’s Exchange, a restaurant popular with politicians.

Ms. Learner (tentatively): “Can I ask you a very naïve question?”

Mrs. Clinton (pursed lip smile, nodding): “Yeah.”

Ms. Learner (a little exuberantly): “Why do you want this job?!”

Mrs. Clinton (lol): “Well, the mess we’re in is so bad, I’m the only one with the experience to begin turning it around. And what can they do to me? I’ve been through it all.”

Ms. Learner, who took Mrs. Clinton to mean the Republicans when she said “they,” liked the answer quite a bit.

“‘She looked me in the eye and answered my question, directly and with some humor, and it seemed very genuine to me,” Ms. Learner said. “I feel more predisposed to her than I did before.”

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Let’s Help Richardson, Edwards, Obama, Day

In the spirit of the Memorial Day holiday, and the fact that eventually all Democrats will be united in support of the Democratic Party nominee, let’s be kind and generous today.

We have thought for well over a year now that the Democratic nominee for 2008 will be Hillary. Since her announcement of candidacy Hillary has led in just about every national poll taken. Hillary leads in just about every state poll taken too. This week’s Rasmussen poll says “The stability of her support has become the defining feature of the Democratic Presidential competition.” Why Hillary leads is apparent. Not only is she the best candidate for president, with the best positions and understanding of issues, Hillary is also running the best campaign.

Let’s do a bit of quickie remedial politics.

First of all, a campaign for president is a collective effort designed to win the election. The candidate is a component in the race – as are the volunteers, field staff, policy staff, communications staff, strategists, finance committee, and allied organizations, etc. The campaign must have a message and that message should be repeated and repeated and repeated as well as emphasized in as many ways as possible, including internet and television. It is an effort by the whole. That is why it is called a “campaign”. It is not called a “candidate” or a “volunteer” or a “message”. It is a “campaign” with the candidate in a leadership position, promoting her issues and positions using a crafted message and assisted by volunteers, and paid staff.

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Gore

Memorial Day 2007

Another week passes.

“As of Sunday, May 27, 2007, at least 3,452 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.”

Tens of thousands of American military personnel have been wounded.

We probably will never know the number of non-combatant Iraqis dead and wounded.

In Iowa Hillary discussed how to deal with traumatic brain injuries to returning military personnel. Also, “To fulfill our promises to the nation’s veterans, Hillary has proposed:

  • Fully funding our veterans’ health care system and providing intensive care for vets suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
  • Reducing the red tape our wounded service members and veterans face.
  • Increasing pay and benefits for our troops and their families.Expanding educational benefits for those who serve.
  • Providing support and assistance for the children, spouses, and families of those troops who make the ultimate sacrifice for our country. “

Former Vice President Al Gore, voted for President by a majority of American voters in 2000, but never inaugurated into office has written a book called The Assault On Reason. This past week the former Vice President “criticized the “trivialities and nonsense” of celebrity gossip in the media and called on people to focus instead on issues like Iraq and climate change.” Al Gore asked:

“What is it about our collective decision-making process that has led us to this state of affairs where we spend much more time in the public forum talking about — or receiving information about — Britney Spears shaving her head or Paris Hilton going to jail?” Gore asked.

He lamented what he described as the “destruction of the boundary between news and entertainment” and said the United States was “vulnerable as a democracy to mass and continuing distraction.”

Where is this distraction coming from? The remaining Imus – Chris Matthews – on MSNBC is one continuing distraction. On Sunday, May 27, 2007, the day before Memorial Day, this televised slimy creature who salivates and rubs his legs together every time Hillary or Bill Clinton are mentioned, spent valuable air time on his NBC show to discuss the latest of many in the long line of Hillary books.

“Josephine Hearn downplays Tweety’s obsession and says the best that Carl Bernstein could come up with after eight years was that she’s controlling. That didn’t stop his lust for Hillary…When Gloria Borger referenced the Godfather movie, Chris dug deep into the screenplay by labeling Hillary Clinton as having: “Luca Brasi  behavior.” OMG. Did she send out packages of dead fishes?

Howard Fineman (Newsweek’s Chief Political Correspondent) says that Hillary can still win the WH even with these books trying to bring back the 80’s & 90’s. Matthews wouldn’t let anything stop his one track mind and when Borger tried to remind Chris about how bad the Republican values candidates are—-Oppps—(she had the audacity to bring up Rudy Giuliani’s marital problems)—Chris immediately cut her off by saying that nobody is perfect in this business. Huh? WTF?”

Hillary campaigned in Iowa this weekend and according to the Washington Post “she was asked about the war in Iraq, illegal immigration” and whether Bill Clinton might be appointed as Secretary of State in a Hillary Presidency. “But at no time during events in Algona, Mason City, Charles City or Emmetsburg was she asked for her reaction to a pair of soon-to-be-released books”.

While Hillary discussed matters of life and death we learned about the coverage by another Chris Imus Matthews type distractor:

What’s more important: Iraq or Anna Nicole Smith?Depends on which network you’re watching.
According to PEJ’s first quarter News Coverage Index, “MSNBC and CNN were much more consumed with the war in Iraq than was Fox.” (See the chart to the right.)

In daytime, FNC devoted 6 percent of its time to Iraq, and 17 percent of its time to Anna Nicole. For CNN, the mix was 20 percent Iraq, 5 percent Anna; for MSNBC, the mix was 18 percent Iraq, 10 percent Anna.”

Fox N_ws we know is hopeless. They are a propaganda outfit. Democrats have begun to wisely boycott them and the presidential candidates are refusing to appear on debates hosted by them.

What about MSNBC and NBC? Tim Russert, David Gregory, the rest of NBC news personnel as well as Howard Fineman and the rest of the Newsweek crew appeared on the Imus circus for years knowing full well of the nasty nature of Don Imus and his willful insults against gays and African-Americans. Russert, Gregory, Fineman, NBC and Newsweek have not learned. They still giggle and wiggle in their seats when Chris Matthews hurls his insults and mudballs against Hillary, usually in the most mysogynistic of terms.

When will this clown, Chris Matthews, be taken off the air? When will Democrats stop appearing on his Imus-like circus? When will so-called journalists stop wigglin’ and gigglin’ at Matthews’ Jabba The Hut sliming of Hillary?

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Ohio

The Democratic Party primary in Ohio takes place on March 4, 2008.

It is likely that the Democratic nominee will be known at the end of the day on February 5, if not sooner. On February 5 many states will vote and therefore thousands of delegates to the nominating convention will be chosen. By March 4 when Ohio Democrats vote, the nominee will likely be known. This does not mean that Ohio has been forgotten or is being ignored.

We have confirmed that the Hillary Clinton campaign has already started sending mailings to Ohio residents. Hillary, to whom many newly elected Democrats owe their election, has a strong Ohio operation. Hillary already has a strong supporter in Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, the most influential African-American leader in Ohio at the national level. Newly elected Governor Strickland had decided in 2005 not to run for Governor. After a phone call from Hillary now Governor Strickland changed his mind and ran for Governor. Hillary also helped put Strickland over the top in 1996 when she campaigned for Strickland at the end of his congressional campaign. We can expect many Democrats to support Hillary. What is surprising is how early the campaign is gearing up in the crucial state of Ohio.

We have also confirmed that Barack Obama has started phone banking operations in Ohio. His supporters are already calling Ohio residents in an attempt to keep Ohio in play even though Hillary is leading in the polls in Ohio.

Although we have not been told of any activity by the Edwards campaign rumors have circulated in Ohio that the Democratic Party Chairman might run the Edwards campaign in Ohio.

On June 10, 2007 President Bill Clinton will address the graduates at Ohio State University’s commencement ceremonies. Tens of thousands of graduates and guests will hear the former president speak. No tickets are required to attend this event.  If you are in central Ohio on June 10, 2007, go cheer a wonderful president. 

Check out the Ohio State website for more information on this event. Here are some of the details:

“Commencement at Ohio State is a festive and joyous occasion at which family and guests are welcome. The following information is provided to answer questions about the ceremony and to help you prepare for the day.”

“Spring Commencement is Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. in Ohio Stadium. The ceremony will last 2 1/2 to 3 hours. No tickets are required.”

“Ohio Stadium opens at 11:00 a.m. commencement morning. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Ohio Stadium provides easy access for guests with permanent or temporary disablities. Seating for those guests is located at entry level and throughout the stadium. Guests in wheelchairs, as well as those unable to climb stairs, and one companion are permitted in these areas. Please contact the Office of Commencement and Special Events at (614) 292-9051 by June 1 for further information.”

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Hillary Can’t Swim

It’s Memorial Day weekend. This Saturday, we remember a story.

When President Bill Clinton was under attack every day by editorial boards, the media, the vast right wing conspiracy, liberal and “progressive” dupes, blogs, websites, right wing nuts (yes this is a redundancy), Chris Matthews on Mudball, and by idle gossip from the general populace with nothing better to do because the Clinton presidency was repairing the American economy, fighting for social justice as well as equality, ending the long civil war in Ireland, saving the Balkans and restoring American moral authority around the world – a joke was circulating in Washington, D.C. and New York City political circles. Here’s the joke:

Bill Clinton and Pope John-Paul II are in a boat. A sudden and strong storm arises. The Pope is flung into the water and is being carried away by the waves. Bill Clinton steps out of the boat. Bill Clinton walks over to where the Pope is. Bill Clinton fishes the Pope out of the water and carries him back to the safety of the boat. The next day the newspaper headlines scream Clinton Can’t Swim!

Yesterday was a remarkable Hillary Can’t Swim type day.

This past week Hillary presented a universal Pre-K funding program to ensure all children in the United States have access to pre-kindergarted classes.

This past week Hillary unveiled the first part of her healthcare program, this one dealing with reducing healthcare costs.

This past week Hillary was one of 11 Senate Democrats who voted NO on the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill to continue funding the Iraq War.

This past week Hillary continued to campaign in Iowa and opening up more offices and hiring additional staff in Iowa.

Yet yesterday, Mudball and other idiot media outlets, instead of discussing these important Hillary accomplishments yelled “Hillary Can’t Swim”.

Realize, the latest CBS News poll released on Wednesday had Hillary’s level of support 22% ahead of her nearest Democratic rival. Yet, Mudball and other idiot press outlets, Ripublicans as well as unreformed Naderites were busy attacking Hillary over two discredited books.

How dead on arrival were these books? In a scene reminiscent of Dostoevsky’s Mr. Shchedrin, Or Schism Among The Nihilists the reporter/authors of one book began attacking reports on the books published by reporters of the Washington Post. “Peter Baker did a terrible job,” yelped Van Natta. “did a terrible job” can also be applied to Van Natta and his partner Jeff “Wen Ho Lee” Gerth’s book.

Already the key source, on the key allegtion in the book, the great Martin Luther King biographer Taylor Branch has labled quotes attributed to him as “preposterous“. What is hysterical and Hill-arious about this denunciation by Taylor Branch is that now Van Natta is attacking Branch. Imagine, the author of this book attacks the credibility of one of his key “witnesses” against the Clinton’s who in either case is denying the quotes the authors put in his mouth.

Media Matters For America has analyzed the books and destroyed them, innuendo by innuendo, in a 2,713 word article. Media Matters also analyzed the three “scandals” that Gerth reported on in years past and how the scandals turned out to be Gerth and his reportage. Ripublicans too “saw no reason for Clinton to be concerned about the books’ fallout. “It doesn’t strike me that there was anything new in either of these books that I didn’t already know about Hillary Clinton,” said Whit Ayres, a longtime Republican pollster and strategist.”

Meanwhile Hillary was in Iowa. Hillary said “I’m going to be in Iowa so often I’m going to be able to caucus for myself.” While in Iowa Hillary received the endorsement of Senator Daniel Inouye, Hawaii’s senior senator. Senator Inouye will also run Veterans and Military Retirees For Hillary.

While Hillary is in Iowa, other Democrats running for president possibly were happy with the “can’t swim” stories. They should not rejoice. We believe Hillary will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. But whoever is the nominee of the Democratic Party will be subjected to “can’t swim” type stories. Whoever the nominee is will be subjected to attacks. We are confident Hillary can withstand attacks and fight back but we are not so sure of the other candidates. Hillary’s unofficial song can easily be I Will Survive. Will the other Democratic candidates survive, with they fight back?

Already John Edwards is having trouble with a book and appears incapable of answering the charges therein. We find it reprehensible to have a Democratic consultant attacking his former employer but Edwards thus far has failed to answer the grisly allegations made against him in some passages of Bob Shrum’s book. Edwards has not done too well in answering the anti-gay allegations nor the message problems with his campaign. Meanwhile Obama is still embroiled in his continuing Rezko problems and the upcoming trial early in 2008.

George W. Bush ran for president in 2000 by repeatedly saying at every campaign stop that he would “restore honor and dignity to the White House”. Big Media rarely if ever replays the many video clips of Bush saying that. His administration is embroiled in scandal, top administration officials are indicted — but the media never reminds the country of Bush’s pledge to “restore honor and dignity to the White House.” Big Media loves to play old Bill Clinton “Monica” clips but they do not play “restore honor and dignity to the White House” clips. Meanwhile “progressive” blogs and “liberal” reporters do not demand an explanation for this ugly bias.

On this Memorial Day weekend Democrats must resolve to fight. We should all fight back together when Democrats are attacked by Big Media. Why hasn’t Big Media played over and over video clips of Bush saying he would “restore honor and dignity to the White House”. Let’s ask why? This is a test for the big so-called “progressive” blogs. All our candidates will be attacked by Chris Matthews, Maureen Dowd and Big Media. Let’s fight back.

We need to plan and act now. Perhaps we need a “real netroots rapid response team” to help the Hillary Team debunk the bunk. The Hillary Team cannot do it alone. Our memorial day weekend has to begin with a resolve to start fighting back. Taking back our Democracy has to begin with taking back our media.

This resolve to fight back will be our Memorial Day pledge.

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Hillary On Healthcare

When asked who they trust on healthcare in the latest Hotline poll, 62% of Democrats say Hillary (13% Edwards, 10% Obama). Yesterday Hillary delivered a plan on how to reduce healthcare costs.

Hillary, as she did well over a decade ago when she tried to reform the healthcare system, explained the need for cheaper drugs, generic drugs and negotiated prices of drugs covered under Medicare. Hillary also said “As president, I will end the practice of insurance company cherry-picking once and for all by allowing anyone who wants to join a plan to do so and prohibiting insurance companies from carving out benefits or charging higher rates to people with health problems.”

Hillary yesterday began the rollout of her full, well thought out plan, nurtured by years of experience, decades of experience, on the healthcare issue. The complete plan has three components: cost reduction, improved quality, and universal insurance.

Regarding her experience with the issue Hillary said this: “Now, I’ve tangled with this issue before, and I’ve got the scars to show for it,” Clinton told an auditorium packed with medical students and doctors at George Washington University. “But I learned some valuable lessons from that experience. One is that we can’t achieve reform without the participation and commitment of healthcare providers, employers, employees and other citizens who pay for, depend upon and actually deliver healthcare services.”

Hillary’s cost reduction component of her healthcare plan can be summarized like this:

“Building a national consensus around these cost savings is the first crucial step to cover all Americans with quality, affordable healthcare,” Clinton said. “Our present system is outdated, ineffective, and unsustainable. But we know we can spend far less and create an efficient, high-quality health care system for all Americans. The key is to modernize our health care infrastructure and demand a better return on our investment.”

1.Create a Groundbreaking National Prevention Initiative to Reduce the Incidence of Such Diseases as Diabetes and Cancer that Impose Huge Human and Financial Costs

2.Institute a New “Paperless” Health Information Technology System

3.Transform Care of Today’s Chronically Ill Population to Improve Outcomes and Decrease Costs

4. End Insurance Discrimination to Help Reduce Administrative Costs

5.Create an Independent “Best Practices Institute to Empower Consumers, Providers and Health Plans to Make the Right Care Choices

6.Implement Smart Purchasing Initiatives to Constrain Excess Prescription Drug and Managed Care Expenditures

7.Put in Place Common-Sense Medical Malpractice Reforms

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Eyes On The Prize

Update:  Hillary Votes No.

“Tonight I voted against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill because it fails to compel the President to give our troops a new strategy in Iraq. I believe that the President should begin a phased redeployment of our troops out of Iraq and abandon this escalation. I fully support our troops, and wish the President had followed the will of the people and signed the original bill we sent which both funded the troops and set a new course of phased redeployment. But the President vetoed Congress’s new strategy and so Congress must reject the President’s failed policies. I will also continue to press with Senator Byrd for our legislation to end the authorization of the war in Iraq.

While I am deeply disappointed that the supplemental does not provide for a new course in Iraq, I want to recognize the many worthy parts of this bill: funding to help those sickened in the aftermath of 9/11, additional relief for Katrina and Rita victims, homeland security funds for high-threat cities like New York City, resources to protect parts of New York affected by recent flooding, $650 million for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the first federal minimum wage increase in ten years. I support these measures but cannot support this Emergency Supplemental which will not change our course in Iraq.”

—————– 

While Senator Obama waits to hear from Hillary on how to vote on the upcoming Iraq war military spending vote, and other candidates are waving flags from the parapets, Hillary is keeping her eyes on the prize. Newsday reports Hillary sent a letter to the Defense Secretary Robert Gates calling on the Defense Department to “draft a plan for pulling U.S. forces from Iraq”.

“Clinton said that in order to avoid confusion, the military needs to be prepared. “We’ve been hearing there is either no or very limited planning for withdrawal,” she said. “Withdrawal is very complicated. It doesn’t happen overnight. If they are not planning for it, it will be difficult for them to execute it in a safe and efficacious way.”

The New York Sun quoted Hillary saying:

“In light of growing violence and insecurity in Iraq, the continued lack of political progress by Prime Minister al-Maliki, the Iraqi defense ministry’s level of contingency planning, and the will of the American Congress to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq, it is imperative that the Department of Defense prepare plans for the phased redeployment of U.S. forces,”

These types of deliberate, forward-thinking and steady moves are the way to lead us out of Iraq.

We do not yet know how Hillary will vote on the approximately $120 billion military spending bills. We await her statement on how she will vote and are sure it will be lucid and well reasoned — qualities we desperately need right now to get us out of Iraq.

The House of Representatives is voting on these bills today. The Senate will vote on them tomorrow, Friday. The situation is at best confused. Democrats who negotiated the bills, such as Representative David Obey, say they will vote against their own bills. Even Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will vote against the funding bills. However, respected Senators such as Jim Webb of Virginia, an anti-war senator with a son serving in Iraq, is urging caution on these funding bills and it appears he will vote for the spending bills. Lives of Americans and Iraqis hang in the balance. These votes matter.

We urge careful analysis. While passion is a valuable attribute and emotional outbursts are often satisfying now is the time for cool headed thinking.

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