Wednesday, July 22, 2009 Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioMichael_Jackson_Talk_Radio

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitalor weeks the Republicans tried to portray Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as an intemperate, racist, radical. All of which was nonsense. My only disappointment was that, under the grilling she received at the hearings, she frequently conceded ground to her challengers. Throughout the hearings she was sensible, erudite, charming and eminently qualified. The National Rifle Association and a few far-right conservatives are still fighting the nomination, but it would seem that her knowledge, opinions and talent will soon have her accepted on the Supreme Court of the land - the first female, Latina, to occupy such a position.

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitalealthcare reform. There are still so many questions to be adequately responded to, but it appears that the effort to change the system still garners greater support than any past attempts, but the complications are as acute as ever.  In a nutshell, the administration wants change , and lawmakers are attempting to fundamentally remake, that which will involve at least one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

For decades politicians have attempted to advance universal health insurance, but to- date, they have never succeeded. There is belief among many that the time is ripe and the prospect for passage is greater than ever before. The clearest divide between the Republicans and Democrats is whether or not to create a government run insurance plan (commonly referred to as a "public plan") that would go up against private plans in online marketplaces. President Barack Obama claims that a public plan would keep insurers honest. The Republican claim is that it would give the government too much control over healthcare. What has brought the issue to the fore time and again and why now? It comes down to two big areas; lack of coverage (impacting on tens of millions of Americans), and high costs.

I think it is accurate to say that, despite much outspoken disagreement between the two parties, there is a considerable amount of support for changing the way hospitals and doctors are paid, so that they are compensated for the quality of the care they provide, not necessarily for the quantity of procedures they do.

Both parties are vocal in their belief that insurance companies not be able to deny coverage to people who are already sick. There is considerable bi-partisan support this time.  As the recession continues one study, by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, found that as many as 14,000 people are losing their health insurance each day because of job losses. We already have a huge public plan in Medicare, which covers the elderly and some other groups. It pays doctors and hospitals less than private insurers. The more liberal Democrats would like to replicate that in the new market - and that won't happen.

How do you pay the expected costs, which are likely to be, minimally, over a trillion dollars over the coming decade?  Let's pursue that topic in our next journal.

Please stay well- it's cheaper.

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