AddThis Feed Button "Frequently Copied, Never Duplicated"

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Importance of Being Earnest

In the Oscar Wilde play of the same name Wilde uses Lady Bracknell to embody the mind-boggling stupidity of the British aristocracy, while at the same time, he allows her to voice some of the most trenchant observations in the play.

Lady Bracknell state's “I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.”

Perhaps we are dealing with mind boggling ignorance of the pundits in the new administration - and Members of Congress - when it comes to the health care debate.

If one is familiar with current health care concerns, they know all too well that people who are the "Medicare eligibles" and "Medicaid recipients" are in between the proverbial 'rock and a hard place' because they already are being turned away from care because of low reimbursement rates.

Now on top of the excessive costs and privacy risks of electronic health care records, Obama wants to further reduce reimbursement.

"...make big changes to health care, including lower reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid treatments and prescription drugs."

We do not see any effort to reduce reimbursements, treatments and Rx from the health care plan used by members of Congress.

We also haven't seen any move to reverse the horrendous gift to the drub industry by Bushites AKA Medicare Plan D. Changes here would save millions, just starting with bidiing for supplying the drugs and elimination of the estra level of bureaucracy called "case management".

I remind you that it is a violation of the equal protection clause to continue these dualistic and more costly in the long term type of patches to the long broken health care system.

Your effort in learning what you can do to build your health is the key. You'll find some of our many health education programs at TOC, and of course we also offer consultation to you and to health care providers.

A move to reign in lobbyists is just as massive an undertaking - and of course we have the culture of bureacracy, something not unfamiliar with the new crew in the White House and the pack of hardline cronies with no vested interest in real change.
Obama challenges lobbyists to legislative duel
By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer
Sat Feb 28, 3:39 pm ET

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama challenged the nation's vested interests to a legislative duel Saturday, saying he will fight to change health care, energy and education in dramatic ways that will upset the status quo.

"The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long," Obama said in his weekly radio and video address. "But I don't. I work for the American people."

He said the ambitious budget plan he presented Thursday will help millions of people, but only if Congress overcomes resistance from deep-pocket lobbies.

"I know these steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they're gearing up for a fight," Obama said, using tough-guy language reminiscent of his predecessor, George W. Bush. "My message to them is this: So am I."

The bring-it-on tone underscored Obama's combative side as he prepares for a drawn-out battle over his tax and spending proposals. Sometimes he uses more conciliatory language and stresses the need for bipartisanship. Often he favors lofty, inspirational phrases.

On Saturday, he was a full-throated populist, casting himself as the people's champion confronting special interest groups that care more about themselves and the wealthy than about the average American.

Some analysts say Obama's proposals are almost radical. But he said all of them were included in his campaign promises. "It is the change the American people voted for in November," he said.

Nonetheless, he said, well-financed interest groups will fight back furiously.

Insurance companies will dislike having "to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that's how we'll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs," the president said. "I know that banks and big student lenders won't like the idea that we're ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but that's how we'll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable. I know that oil and gas companies won't like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but that's how we'll help fund a renewable energy economy."

Passing the budget, even with a Democratic-controlled Congress, "won't be easy," Obama said. "Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington."

Obama also promoted his economic proposals in a video message to a group meeting in Los Angeles on "the state of the black union."

"We have done more in these past 30 days to bring about progressive change than we have in the past many years," the president in remarks the White House released in advance. "We are closing the gap between the nation we are and the nation we can be by implementing policies that will speed our recovery and build a foundation for lasting prosperity and opportunity."

Congressional Republicans continued to bash Obama's spending proposals and his projection of a $1.75 trillion deficit this year.

Almost every day brings another "multibillion-dollar government spending plan being proposed or even worse, passed," said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who gave the GOP's weekly address.

He said Obama is pushing "the single largest increase in federal spending in the history of the United States, while driving the deficit to levels that were once thought impossible."

On the Net:Obama address:
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press.

No comments: