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Archive for November 23rd, 2009

Let the Debate Begin

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:48 am by HL

Let the Debate Begin
After a tumultuous lead-up, the U.S. Senate has voted to hold full debate on a health care reform bill. The vote was 60-39, with all Republicans, except one who was absent, hitting the “no” button. The BBC: The US Senate has narrowly voted to hold a full debate on a landmark bill designed to overhaul the country’s healthcare. All 58 Democrats, plus two independent senators, approved it. All but one of 40 Republican senators voted against. Two Democratic senators whose support had been in doubt earlier said they would back the package, a key election pledge of President Barack Obama. The White House said Mr Obama was “gratified” by the result. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

After a tumultuous lead-up, the U.S. Senate has voted to hold full debate on a health care reform bill. The vote was 60-39, with all Republicans, except one who was absent, hitting the “no” button.

The BBC:

The US Senate has narrowly voted to hold a full debate on a landmark bill designed to overhaul the country’s healthcare.

All 58 Democrats, plus two independent senators, approved it. All but one of 40 Republican senators voted against.

Two Democratic senators whose support had been in doubt earlier said they would back the package, a key election pledge of President Barack Obama.

The White House said Mr Obama was “gratified” by the result.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Raymond J. Learsy: The Pope, The Arts, A Nation in Crisis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:47 am by HL

Raymond J. Learsy: The Pope, The Arts, A Nation in Crisis
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Quick fact: Wallace falsely claims health bills direct task force to decide what services “aren’t covered”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:46 am by HL

Quick fact: Wallace falsely claims health bills direct task force to decide what services “aren’t covered”

On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace falsely claimed that it’s a “fact” that the House and Senate health care bills direct the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to “determine what services, what tests, screening, are covered and aren’t covered,” and asked whether that amounts to “government rationing.” In fact, the bills require insurers to implement task force recommendations in favor of specific preventive care, but they are not required to adopt those that recommend against preventive screening.

Wallace falsely claims under health bills task force “will determine what services … aren’t covered”

From the November 22 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW [D-MI]: As the only woman on this panel, let me say, first of all, I don’t agree with that recommendation, and thank goodness it’s not going to have any impact. It was only a recommendation. But the bigger issue here for us is the fact that what we’re doing is, for the first time, making sure that women have maternity care and actually have mammograms covered. That’s what’s in our basic plan.

WALLACE: If I may bring Senator [Arlen] Specter [D-PA] in, because you have had a battle — a personal battle with cancer yourself for years, sir. While the mammograms study set off a political storm and Health Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius backed away from it, the fact is both in the House bill and in the Senate bill, it repeatedly refers to this preventative services task force and says that it will determine what services, what tests, screening, are covered and aren’t covered. Isn’t that going to be government rationing?

SPECTER: The legislation pending specifically provides for testing. The report made on mammograms and pap tests not binding on us in any way. The bill up — provides for testing just as I had an MRI, which was very, very beneficial to me. Listen, Chris, the real issue here is whether we’re going to have governance.

Fact: Neither Senate nor House health bills require insurers to adopt recommendations against preventive services

The Senate health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires insurance companies only to cover screenings that the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends, those rated as an A or B recommendation; it does not require insurers to adopt guidelines that recommend against preventive screenings:

SEC. 2713. COVERAGE OF PREVENTIVE HEALTH SERVICES.

(a) IN GENERAL. — A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost sharing requirements for –

(1)   evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of ‘A’ or ‘B’ in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force

Similarly, the House health care reform bill, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, requires insurance companies to cover the A or B recommendations of a new task force, the Task Force on Clinical Preventive Services, but does not require that insurers adopt recommendations against preventive services:

SEC. 3143. RESEARCH ON SUBSIDIES AND REWARDS TO ENCOURAGE WELLNESS AND HEALTHY BEHAVIORS.

[…]

(c) INCLUSION IN ESSENTIAL BENEFITS PACKAGE. — If, on the basis of the findings of research and demonstration projects under subsection (a) or other sources consistent with section 3131, the Task Force on Clinical Preventive Services determines that a subsidy or reward meets the Task Force’s standards for a grade A or B, the Secretary shall ensure that the subsidy or reward is included in the essential benefits package under section 222.


GOP Inquiry Fails To Show Obama’s Firing Of AmeriCorps IG Was Politicized

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:45 am by HL

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CREW Files Complaint Over Landrieu Camp’s ‘Mysterious’ $25K Donation
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Palin is the New Nixon

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:41 am by HL

Palin is the New Nixon


From Book Tour to Presidential Campaign

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:40 am by HL

From Book Tour to Presidential Campaign
The Chicago Tribune notes “it’s an old ritual put to an updated use: The traditional author’s book tour transformed into a vehicle for setting up to launch a campaign for the White House. Where presidential hopefuls once traveled the country buttering up party bosses and courting county chairmen, today’s would-be candidates often choose a different approach — the national book tour.”

But this isn’t another article about Sarah Palin; it’s about Mick Huckabee.

“‘Team Huck’ rolls into the bookstore like a NASCAR pit crew, red uniform shirts adorned with the corporate logos of Mike Huckabee’s website, his speaker’s bureau, his publisher, and ‘Huck’ emblazoned on their epaulets. They strip the protective wrappings off a large, heavy object — a podium they install at all such appearances. Mike Huckabee doesn’t sit at tables. He stands, as a president would, even to sign books.”


The Memory Scrub About Why Ft. Hood Happened Is Almost Complete … If It Weren’t for Archives

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:39 am by HL

The Memory Scrub About Why Ft. Hood Happened Is Almost Complete … If It Weren’t for Archives
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Will There Be Justice for the Victims of El Salvador’s Jesuit Massacre?
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Jerusalem Syndrome

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Jerusalem Syndrome
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Glenn Beck Has A ?Plan? To Sell Books With March On Washington On The Anniversary Of MLK Speech

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Glenn Beck Has A ?Plan? To Sell Books With March On Washington On The Anniversary Of MLK Speech
Yesterday, while promoting his latest book at “a festive campaign-style rally” in The Villages in Florida, Fox News host Glenn Beck announced that he was crafting “a 100 year plan” that will be “radical” and will “restore our nation to the maximum freedoms we were supposed to have been protecting.” In his speech, which Media […]

Yesterday, while promoting his latest book at “a festive campaign-style rally” in The Villages in Florida, Fox News host Glenn Beck announced that he was crafting “a 100 year plan” that will be “radical” and will “restore our nation to the maximum freedoms we were supposed to have been protecting.” In his speech, which Media Matters captured on video, Beck told his followers, “we need to start thinking like the Chinese“:

BECK: I’ve done a lot of reading on history in the last few years and I was amazed to find that what we’re experiencing now is really a ticking time bomb that they designed about 100 years ago, beginning in the progressive movement. And they thought, “you know what, if we just do this and this and this and this, over time if we do it in both the Republican and Democratic parties, we will have our socialist utopia.” Well, I say again, two can play at that game. I am drafting plans now to bring us back to an America that our founders would understand. … We need to start thinking like the Chinese. I’m developing a 100 year plan for America. A 100 year plan. We will plant this idea and it will sprout roots.

Watch it:

At the rally and in a letter on his website, Beck said that he planned to organize a series of conventions in seven regions of the country, where his supporters can go to learn about “self-reliance, community organizing, the economy and how to be a political force in your own neighborhood and country.” The conventions will culminate in a new book by Beck called The Plan and a march on Washington to launch it:

– All of the above will culminate in The Plan, a book that will provide specific policies, principles and, most importantly, action steps that each of us can take to play a role in this Refounding.

On August 28, 2010, I ask you, your family and neighbors to join me at the feet of Abraham Lincoln on the National Mall for the unveiling of The Plan and the birthday of a new national movement to restore our great country.

Hot Air’s Allahpundit notes that the date of Beck’s DC event “happens to be the anniversary of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech” by Martin Luther King, Jr. “Eschewing the title of ‘leader’ is thus a curious display of modesty from a guy who thinks his book launch is worthy of a modern-day March on Washington with him in the MLK role,” writes Allahpundit.

But not everyone thinks Beck is just elaborately promoting his next book. “He might just be trying to sell books, but there are much simpler ways to sell books,” Media Matters’ Ari Rabin-Havt told the New York Times, adding that “Beck sounded more like a presidential candidate than a pundit.”

Chris Wallace selectively quotes CBO analysis to suggest Senate health bill increases costs.
This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace selectively quoted the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the merged Senate legislation to suggest that the Senate health legislation would increase government outlays on health care over 20 years and bend the cost-cure upward: WALLACE: According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, federal outlays for health care […]

This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace selectively quoted the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the merged Senate legislation to suggest that the Senate health legislation would increase government outlays on health care over 20 years and bend the cost-cure upward:

WALLACE: According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, federal outlays for health care would increase during the 2010-2019 period and the government-run health insurance plan would typically have premiums that were somewhat higher than the average premiums for the private plan. So here’s the question. The Democratic plan by the CBO’s own scoring fails to bend the famous health care cost curve at all over the course of these 10 years, and could you name a single Congress that has ever cut Medicare by half a trillion dollars as this legislation would?

Watch it:

Page 16 of the CBO report does predict that “federal outlays for health care would increase during the 2010-2019 period,” but the last paragraph of that same page adds that “during the decade following the 10-year budget window, the increases and decreases in the federal budgetary commitment to health care stemming for this legislation would roughly balance out, so that there would be no significant change in the commitment.” As Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) pointed out, the $848 billion bill would actually “save $130 billion in the first 10 years” and $650 billion in the next decade. Over on the Wonk Room, Igor Volsky debunks Wallace’s other claims about the bill failing to “bend the famous health care cost curve” and whether previous sessions of Congress ever cut Medicare.


Support for legalizing marijuana gaining ground rapidly

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Support for legalizing marijuana gaining ground rapidly
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