Jump to navigation
Obama Up, Obama Down
I am currently running a poll at Big Brass Blog
, asking readers the following question: "Overall, what grade would you give Barack Obama for his performance to date as President of the United States?" You are invited and encouraged to participate in this unscientific, but perhaps revealing, survey of reader assessment of our President.
to go to the poll.
Been there. Done that. Didn't get a T-shirt. *pout*
Actually, Moody Blue, I should sell the graphic I made for this post as a T-shirt.
The Dark Wraith might even commit some of the proceeds to a retirement buyout for Rahm Emanuel and Joe Biden.
Good T-shirt idea, Wraith. A Rahm and Joe retirement buy-out would require a lot of shirts, though.
Speaking of shirts, and of losing them (loose connection, I know): with so many people driven into bankruptcy because of medical bills during this recession, here is the correct figure that I failed to recall this evening:
Study: 86.7 million Americans uninsured over last two years
The study, commissioned by the consumer health advocacy group Families USA, found 86.7 million Americans were uninsured at one point during the past two years.
Among the report's key findings:
• Nearly three out of four uninsured Americans were without health insurance for at least six months.
• Almost two-thirds were uninsured for nine months or more.
• Four out of five of the uninsured were in working families.
• People without health insurance are less likely to have a usual doctor and often go without screenings or preventative care. [...]
The number of Americans without health insurance reported by Families USA is much higher than those reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the census numbers, in 2007 there were 45.7 million uninsured Americans.
Families USA says those numbers tell only part of the story. The Census bureau counts only people who were uninsured for the full calendar year. For its own study, Families USA commissioned The Lewin Group to analyze data from the Census Bureau and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Its study includes people who did not have health insurance for all or for part of the past two years.
Here is an updated (8/26/08) report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, linked from their earlier (8/29/06) article:
The Number Of Uninsured Americans Is At An All-Time High
Data released today by the Census Bureau show that the number of uninsured Americans stood at a record 46.6 million in 2005, with 15.9 percent of Americans lacking health coverage. “The number of uninsured Americans reached an all-time high in 2005,” said Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “It is sobering that 5.4 million more people lacked health insurance in 2005 than in the recession year of 2001, primarily because of the erosion of employer-based insurance.”
Are you one big illness away from bankruptcy?
June 14, 2009
Although health care has been eclipsed by overdue mortgages and credit card debt as the primary cause of bankruptcy, it remains a potent driver of debt. And once the current wave of foreclosures abates, it could quickly regain its No. 1 status in the bankruptcy courts, unless something is done to fix the medical system first.
“Unless you're Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy,” said David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard.
“For middle-class Americans, health insurance offers little protection. Most of us have policies with so many loopholes, co-payments and deductibles that illness can put you in the poorhouse,” Himmelstein said.
The study by Himmelstein and a team of researchers at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University shows that 62 percent of bankruptcies in 2007 were at least partly caused by problems involving health care. That's up from 55 percent in 2001.
More than three-quarters of the people who were bankrupted for medical reasons had health insurance at the start of the “bankrupting illness,” according to the study, which will be published in The American Journal of Medicine in August. Most of them “were solidly middle class before financial disaster hit.” Two-thirds were homeowners, and three-fifths had gone to college.
“In many cases, high medical bills coincided with a loss of income as illness forced breadwinners to lose time from work,” the study reported. “Often illness led to job loss, and with it the loss of health insurance.”
Even filers who retained their insurance often faced high out-of-pocket medical costs, because of co-payments, deductibles and services that the insurers declined to cover.
Oh, and on another topic, this is an excerpt from what I thought was a good article: Ending the Hidden Agenda Behind Tax Cuts
Taxation as Progressives Understand It
Progressives have a different understanding of taxation that can be expressed through a variety of metaphors: Taxes Are an Investment, Taxes Are Membership Dues, Taxes Are Pathways to Opportunity, Taxes Are Infrastructure and Taxes Are a Duty. [...] Reasoning that emerges with these metaphors can be seen in this progressive story:
Our great nation was founded on a promise of protection and opportunity. Through our shared wealth, pooled together by taxation with representation, we have invested in the public infrastructure that makes possible the creation of new wealth. We have a sacred trust to keep this promise alive throughout our lifetimes, expand it as we are able, and pass it along to our children.
This perspective is grounded in the beliefs that (1) Individuals are influenced significantly by our communities; and (2) People are inherently good and benefit from cooperation with others. I like to call this the "People First" perspective because it assumes that people must help each other in order to enhance their ability to help themselves. It can be summarized with the declaration, "We're all in this together!" The People First perspective assumes that we are greater than the sum of our parts and that new opportunities emerge when we make wise investments with the common wealth we share.
I am so
Moody Blue, fired by enthusiasm as I am by your latest comment, my new motto is going to be (at least for neo-conservatives and like-minded 'tards):
I'd like to help you out; which way did you come in?
Peter, I'm quite sure they entered from Stage Right.
Also from that tax article, above:
"Something as simple as a metaphor can mean the difference between shared prosperity and widespread suffering.
"It's time to tell the truth about tax cuts. This phrase dominates political discourse and is coughed out every time a conservative public figure opens his mouth. It is treated like the basis of sound reasoning, yet no one points out what should be obvious - that "tax relief" and "tax cuts" are just code words for destroying the capacity of government to serve the public. [snip]
"The progress of our nation is being held hostage by a malicious metaphor. Treating taxation as nothing more than a burden is tantamount to declaring that citizenship is nothing more than getting all you can for yourself … everyone else be damned. Conservative elites have undermined the responsibilities we have to one another to advance their agenda."
And yet, we still keep hearing those same "tax cuts" bleatings from the selfish, "me first" greedy reich-wing nutjobs. And it always plays to the base of their base voters, who somehow actually think tax cuts (welfare) for the rich are of a benefit to their ownselves.
"When someone says, "People need tax relief," respond by letting them know that "We really need to invest in one another." Make it clear what the consequences of tax cuts really are - the destruction of our mechanisms for protecting and empowering one another. And let's stop taking their language for granted just because everyone is doing it. That logic didn't make much sense in middle school. It's all the more dangerous to follow as adults. Challenge the conservative meaning of taxation directly. Declare that we are decidedly NOT on our own. Point to the benefits we've taken for granted too long, things like education and schools and roads and courts."
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Become a Registered Commenter