Tag Archive: health care reform

Christie Stoops Even Lower Than Usual for Rep. Steve King

Rep. Steve King
OMG is that kibble in the bucket, Rep. King?

This week we learned that Gov. Christie will headline the “Defenders of Freedom” fundraiser in Sioux City, Iowa, making Rep. Steve King the latest in a long line of Republicans Christie wants to leave the state, and the state’s business, behind to campaign for. Yesterday in Haddonfield, Christie had to defend that decision. Christie rarely lets facts get in the way of his vigorous self-defense of whatever narrative serves him – he’s still talking “Jersey Comeback” and tax cuts for the rich despite NJ unemployment data, after all. But courting the right-flank brings Christie attention and money, so he’ll do it. He doesn’t discern where advancing his own brand is concerned.

Plus, as King said in a release, he and Christie bonded when Christie walked out on a House Judiciary Committee hearing he was called to testify before (video) on the lucrative monitoring contract to former US Attorney David Kelley, who let Christie’s brother Todd off the hook in a stock fraud case that hauled in indictments for 15 others.

Here’s the lazy-thinking national embarrassment Christie’s raising $$ for:

  • Terrorist sympathizer: Told CPAC he could “empathize” with suicide bomber who attacked a Texas IRS office. Urged audience to “implode” their local tax office.
  • Resents African-American president: Obama “favors the black person.”
  • Dogs: King defends dogfighting.
  • Teh gays: Same-sex mariiage is “a push for a socialist society”.
  • English as national language: King decries “modern multiculturalism” and says English is being “subdivided”.
  • Delusional/offensive: “Babies in garbage cans” prove health care reform is unconstitutional.
  • Holy Christmas: Legislation promoting Christianity. Ramadan and Diwali, not so much.
  • Fear-monger: Barack Obama’s middle name “matters” and al-Qaida danced in the street at his election.
  • Abedin conspiracy theorist: King backs allegations dreamt up by Michele Bachmann that Huma Abedin is tied via “her networks” to the Muslim Brotherhood, questioning the patriotism of Secy. of State Clinton’s top aide. Helping King right now is particularly odious given that this Governor knows Abedin had to be placed under federal protection after a New Jersey man threatened her after the conspiracy chatter (John McCain managed to see through the tea party bull, but he’s not running for president anymore).
  • Jon Stewart Leads with Christie Hypocrisy

    Chris Christie loves the spotlight, and got plenty of it on last night’s episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Stewart highlighted Christie’s promised veto of A-1465, which would decriminalize up to 15 grams of marijuana. Christie’s guiding principle here? The federal government still considers marijuana illegal, and it’s not NJ’s place to question the wisdom of the federal government.

    “I don’t think the state should be in the business of undercutting the federal government on that policy.”

    Of course, the inverse logic applies to Christie’s take on currently illegal sports betting, which our governor figures everyone is doing anyway. So he says he’ll fight the federal government on that.

    “If someone wants to stop us, then they’ll have to take action to try to stop us.”

    Oh, and he doesn’t like Obamacare, either. So of course, his statement on today’s healthcare ruling is predictably convenient, if not hypocritical given his stance on pot:

    “…each governor should have the ability to make decisions about what works best for their state.”

    Watch and giggle:

    Of Vice and Men – New York Weed Bill Dies & Chris Christie’s Veto Threat

    Scott Garrett versus The Affordable Care Act

    Cross posted at http://retiregarrett.com

    I know it’s not a hot topic right now, but when I come across important information I try to write it down immediately for use at some future time.  Usually I save it on a file in my computer and by the time I find it again I can’t remember the context or even why I saved the information in the first place.

    That was the old me.  The new me will post the information here on Retire Garrett under the proper category with plenty of tags for future recall.  Such is the case with this next bit of information.

    I was watching Ezra Klein filling in for Rachel Maddow the other night and he showed some graphs and charts and talked about a recently completed report that analyzed the success of the health care reform legislation enacted under then Governor Romney in Massachusetts.  Remember, The Affordable Care Act was modeled after the Massachusetts law.  Since the Affordable Care Act has not been fully implemented it’s impossible to know if the legislation is as cost-effective, covers as many people and improves care as projected.

    Health Care Reform Matters to Women in New Jersey

    Yarrow Willman-Cole is an organizer with New Jersey Citizen Action. Legislation to create the New Jersey health insurance exchange, A2171/S1319, is scheduled for a vote Thursday in the Assembly & Senate. To take action on tomorrow’s exchange bill vote, go here. NJCA operates a Helpline to assist callers in navigating the health care system. It’s 1-888-NJ-GET-WELL.

    -promoted by Rosi

    Michelle Obama delivered a compelling speech in 2009 about the importance of health insurance reform for women. The first lady, in recounting a story of the Obamas’ daughter Sasha’s meningitis scare, reminded us that health insurance is a personal issue.

    Women are often the major decision makers on health issues for their families while facing numerous barriers to health care for themselves such as lack of coverage, out-of-pocket expenses, and more.  Basic health needs for women are more complex than for men, and routine screening and care, such as pap smears and mammograms are crucial in preventing and treating serious illness. This type of preventive care is often not covered by medical insurance policies or there are significant cost barriers.

    In the United States, 20% of women between the ages of 18 and 64 are without any type of health insurance.  Even more staggering, 39% of Latina women and 25% of African-American women are uninsured.  Of working women, only half are able to get health coverage through their jobs compared to 57% of men. When insured, many women are at higher risk of losing their insurance, since more women are employed in a part time situation without coverage, or are dependent on their spouse’s insurance. Many women are priced out of coverage on the individual private insurance market since insurance companies are able to gender discriminate and frequently charge more for health care plans for women.  

    Fighting For Our Health

    I woke up New Year’s morning with a nervous stomach. It was finally 2012, the year that I’d been talking about casually since people started asking me,  “will the Affordable Care Act survive?” As I wrote in the epilogue to my new book, Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States, health reform has to jump two big hurdles in 2012 to survive. The first is the Supreme Court ruling on its constitutionality, with three days of oral arguments in March now just a few weeks away. The second, of course, is the election for President.

    On the campaign trail in Iowa, Rick Santorum baldly revealed why the right is so intent on killing the promise of good health care for all: Santorum said it would make people “dependent” on the government. As I write in my book: “The right understands that if the Affordable Care Act is implemented, it will create a bond between the American people and government, just as Social Security and Medicare have done. The last thing that the corporate and ideological right want is for a new health care pillar to be added to the foundations of government social insurance.”

    The battle over the Affordable Care Act needs to be understood in its historic context. While the legislation that passed was certainly compromised from an ideal law, it will for the first time – when its key measures are implemented in 2014 -establish a government responsibility to make decent health care affordable to almost everyone.  Following a century of failure, during which the United States emerged as the only developed nation to guarantee health care, the passage of the ACA needs to be understood as a remarkable accomplishment.

    That history weighed over the battle that began in 2008, when I helped found Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a coalition that as health care historian Paul Starr told me, was the first time that there was a major grassroots, field campaign to pass reform. Fighting for Our Health is the story of that campaign, starting from its early roots in 2003, when Yale professor Jacob Hacker (pdf) and I (pdf) separately developed a new policy approach, the public option. We each envisioned the public option as a way to bridge the gap between those who championed single-payer government health insurance and reforms based on expanding private health coverage. As I write: “It is impossible to overstate how important the idea of the public option was to creating the powerful unified coalition that became HCAN.”

    Will Republicans “Recapture” $250 from Seniors?

    Senators Menendez and Schumer are pointing out that

    One of the major goals of the Affordable Care Act is to close the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, better known to most as the “donut hole.” The law will fill that hole over a decade, and in 2010, that meant many seniors received a $250 rebate check.

    “Richard Foster, the Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has said that “in theory,” seniors would have to return the checks if repeal becomes law,” the letter reads.

    Yes, Leonard Lance, Jon Runyan, Frank LoBiondo et al. literally just voted to take $250 from seniors with large prescription drug bills. And since the elders of their party — LoBiondo, Smith, Frelinghuysen et al. — created the “donut hole” system in the first place it’s obvious they really do want those seniors to owe the $250.  

    Here’s Cantor’s unreassuring response:

    “If a repeal bill passes and there’s any uncertainty as to whether those checks would have to be recaptured, we can speak to that then,”

    I don’t see how they will “recapture” 2010’s check, but they sure want the ones for 2011, 2012, and especially 2013.  

    Christie calls Pallone “the sponsor of Obamacare”

    The Cook Report has shifted NJ-6 from Solid Democrat to Likely Democrat, as Frank Pallone’s lead on Tea Party approved Republican Anna Little dropped from 12 points to 7 with a week to go.

    Now comes Chris Christie hard-charging for Pallone, calling him “the sponsor of Obamacare”. Obamacare being pure dogwhistle pitched to get people who may be without health care coverage themselves to agitate against what may be their own best interests. Yet another signal that Chris Christie’s take on New Jersey is temporary.

    With this ad, Christie allies himself with the shriekers, screamers and name-callers of last summer’s Town Halls on health care reform. With this ad, he chooses a Tea Party candidate to pump, defusing some of the lingering resentment from the uber-right that Christie isn’t ‘conservative’ enough, that Steve Lonegan was better.

    Most importantly, Christie becomes a huckster for the national stink bomb that is the far-right’s gross distortion of health care reform; not that it’s problematic because it doesn’t go far enough or fast enough, but for them that it dares to tie any responsibility or requirement at all to insurance companies making vast sums. Worse, with New Jersey having the 9th-largest number of uninsured people in America, quite a few of those 1.2 million living in Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset & Union counties that comprise NJ’s 6th congressional district, we now have a Governor huckstering for the right-wing on their national issues – not his state issues – flying around the country doing favors for Republicans he can collect on later, and screwing up just about everything at home. Good plan!

    Historic Health Care Reform

    promoted by Rosi

    Cross Posted on Daily Kos

    It’s been a little over 24 hours since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act went into effect.  Now, we have real reform that lowers costs, holds insurance companies accountable and guarantees more choice for consumers. Together, we fought against and beat back powerful special interests and partisan extremists to deliver real results and meaningful reform for Central Jersey’s middle-class families.  Not only were we able to ensure that this reform would be deficit neutral, it will even lower the debt by slowing the growth rate of health care costs.  And this was all done in an effort to bring about better, more-accessible, high-quality health care for all.

    more below the fold

    The politics of John Adler’s vote, and why I don’t want to hear him defended

    Politicker NJ has a notable quote about John Adler by Democratic State Chairman John Wisniewski (in an interview that otherwise focuses on bashing Christie’s terrible budget choices) that defends Adler’s no vote on health care reform:

    “I certainly in my legislative district feel comfortable making the case healthcare reform – for the reform the House adopted,” Wisniewski added. “I believe John Adler made the right decision for his district. He knows his district.”

    Obviously, Wisnewski wants us to understand this as just another vote. It’s not unusual, after all, to see members feel pressure. Democrats have picked up Republican votes in swing districts this way from time to time. So we hear that it is just necessary politics, and it’s the voters’ fault after all. Adler is admirable for siding with the Republicans in his district. Even if Wisnewski doesn’t really believe this, he surely thinks his job to publicly support his incumbents. Political parties, after all, are as much about a group gathering and holding onto power as they are about advancing some noble principles.

    But principles do come into it, especially for ordinary voters and the activists who make up “the base.” The Democratic base is very unhappy with John Adler, because this wasn’t just another vote. We all know the Republicans decided to oppose a moderate bill to destroy Barack Obama’s Presidency and the Democratic Congress, openly admitting that they aimed to make it his “Waterloo.” Meanwhile, Democrats, as Ted Kennedy’s beautiful memoir reminded us, have been fighting for universal health care for over a generation, and Obama and Adler promised health care reform in their campaigns. In this context, for Adler to join the other side and attack the bill was an astonishing betrayal. (Let me say, too, that his announcements in both votes came while we know frantic negotiations with Stupak et al. to round up votes were still going on; I believe Adler was not “released” by leadership.)

    Perhaps Wisniewski would think we’re worrying too much about a bill, that after all, passed anyway. But I would remind him, and any other party leaders, of the tremendous disasters of the last decade. You see, to the people who vote and volunteer Democratic, from 2000-2008, and even earlier, the disasters were not solely due to Republicans. Democrats acquiesced as Republicans lead us into those disasters. Some Democrats in Congress voted to invade Iraq, not only due to their “districts” but many because they thought it would help their presidential campaigns! Some Democrats voted for the Bush tax cuts that wrecked our finances. Some Democrats voted to dismantle the system of financial regulation that had served us since the New Deal (I include the 1990s votes here) returning us to the pre-FDR world of financial panics every decade. Democrats voted to curtail civil liberties. They agreed to torture detainees and bypass the court system. In short, Republican administrations have easily found Democrats to go along with every lousy, disastrous, extreme conservative idea they could dream up. (Only on privatizing Social Security in 2005 did Nancy Pelosi finally keep Democrats together to say no, or rather, “Never. Is never good enough for you?“)

    And so, I fear, and I suspect many in the base fear, that John Adler has shown that the lessons he learned from the Bush (43) Administration is that the cowardly Democrats, the Democrats who voted with the conservatives, were the smart ones. This is why, I think, Adler’s no vote on health care reform is even worse than a vote to abandon one core principle and undermine his party’s President. if John Adler remains in Congress long enough, and finds himself in Congress with a Republican Administration, for all I know he’ll be voting to invade Iran, end the inheritance tax, deregulate the banks, or give Social Security to Wall Street. It could be any crazy conservative idea, because “It’s the right thing for his district.” I definitely don’t want Republican Jon Runyan to win. I’m even putting my time into that. But the truth is, I no longer really want Adler to win.

    Blue Jersey readers, what do you think? Am I too harsh? Do you feel otherwise? Should Wisniewski defend Adler’s vote?