Why We Should Trade Broccoli and Asparagus for Hot Dogs and Apple Pie

apple pie

Robert Reich: The requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, or pay a fine doesn’t appeal to many Americans. They don’t like the government telling them they have to buy something. But the healthcare system can’t work without this mandate. Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions, or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.

Why Has Every Pro-Repeal GOP Lawmaker Given Their Congressional Staff Taxpayer-Funded, Government Health Care?

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL)

Lee Fang: Evan as they rip the bill as some sort of “monstrosity” of “socialism,” nearly every Republican lawmaker eagerly accepts government health benefits afforded to them as members of Congress.

Republican Assault on Health Care Could Backfire

gop healthcare

Robert Reich: If successful—either in Congress or in the courts—a Republican victory could turn into a Phyrric one by opening the way to the alternative model, based on the system Americans seem to prefer: payroll taxes and public insurance.

Reconsidering Japan…Reconsidering Paul Krugman

krugman

Steven Hill: No one has been more influential in defining this narrative than New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

The Myth of the Overtaxed Europeans

Comedy Congress

Steven Hill: In return for their taxes, Europeans get valuable support systems like childcare, senior care, university tuition and healthcare. Americans must pay exorbitantly, out-of-pocket, for these support services often going without because the cost is prohibitive.

What’s the Matter with America? The Big Disconnect

palin and miller

Charles Hayes: If America is going to have a better future, we need to put our Stone Age feelings of exceptional identity aside and intellectually guard ourselves against emotional manipulation while reasoning our way forward.

In Praise of “ObamaCare”

diana peterson more

Diana Peterson-More: I thank President Obama enormously for having persevered against much rancor and dis-information to pass health reform. My family, along with all American families, will benefit a great deal.

Health Care Reform – Six Months Later

healthcare

Peter Dreier: Lots of reporters and pundits-all of whom have good, employer-provided health insurance plans-now say that Obama invested too much capital getting the Affordable Care Act through Congress when he should have been concentrating on the economy.

Congress Should Pass the “Medicare You Can Buy Into” Act

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida)

Tracy Emblem: Grayson’s simple public option plan is more cost-effective for many individual’s who are held hostage now by the BIG Four. Buying into Medicare’s larger insurance risk pool brings down individual premiums.

Americans Need a Job

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Tracy Emblem: Workers are the backbone of America but the backbone has been aching for some time and needs immediate and serious attention – through job creation policies.

The Economic Fallacy of ‘Zombie’ Japan

happy worker

Steven Hill: Paul Krugman and others have got Japan wrong: Americans should be so lucky as to get a Japanese-style lost decade

California’s Cutbacks Imperil “the Obama Generation”

obama youth

Randy Shaw: From an environmental agenda imperiled by nationwide public transit cuts, to a “Jobs” agenda jeopardized by state-induced layoffs, to the lack of full implementation of the President’s prized national service expansion, state budget cuts imperil progressives’ electoral gains of 2008. And no group risks having their expectations more shattered than the students and recent college grads – often described as “the Obama Generation” —whose energy and turnout helped define the 2008 election cycle.

Corporations/GOP Run Wild

Jerry Drucker: Corporations in with the Republicans have created and are holding a savage tiger by the tail. Combined, they let an uncontrollable, hateful and dangerous genie out of their Communist Chinese manufactured bottle and can’t stuff it back in. Today the Republicans share two major goals with the international terrorists. Both want to bring down the U.S. Government and both will kill Americans.

Soul of a Citizen: Vaclav Havel, Barack Obama, and Unforeseen Fruits

vaclev havel

Paul Rogat Loeb: None of us can predict when the causes we support will capture the popular imagination or enlist someone who goes on to do powerful work for justice. “Before water turns to ice,” writes psychologist Joanna Macy, “it looks just the same as before. Then a few crystals form, and suddenly the whole system undergoes cataclysmic change.”

Exec Bonuses/Newsroom Outsourcing a Virtueless Circle

Michael Sigman: The decimation of the media industry, and particularly the newspaper business, has meant the elimination of health insurance benefits not only for the tens of thousands thrown out of work but also for the many writers, designers and others now forced to freelance. Media companies have to make cuts to stay in business, and some outsourcing is inevitable. But rewarding execs with big bonuses for, in effect, taking away workers’ health insurance is unconscionable.

The Final Health Care Vote and What it Really Means

Healthcare-rant

Robert Reich: It’s not nearly as momentous as the passage of Medicare in 1965 and won’t fundamentally alter how Americans think about social safety nets. But the likely passage of Obama’s health care reform bill is the biggest thing Congress has done in decades, and has enormous political significance for the future.

How Obama’s Health Care “Reform” Kills Health Care

Healthcare costs

Shamus Cooke: The ability for millions of people to see through the muddle in Washington points to a larger distrust of the two-party system. Even as “progressive Democrats” and other liberal pundits bow before the health care industry by urging passage of “an imperfect” health care bill, workers, the poor and the elderly aren’t taking the bait.

Bust Up the Health Insurance Trusts

health-insurance-reform

Robert Reich: Regardless of what happens at the White House’s health care meeting , we’ve got to make sure health insurers compete for every one of our dollars. The Federal Trade Commission should launch an investigation immediately, and end the health care trusts.

It’s Time To Enact Health Care With 51 Senate Votes

GOP-empty-heads

Robert Reich: My free advice to the President: If you want to get healthcare enacted you must use reconciliation and quickly. Host your bipartisan gab fest at the White House on Thursday. Then tell the House and Senate to get to work on putting their bills together (or tell the House Dems to enact the Senate bill and then save their disagreements for reconciliation), and tell Harry Reid you want the Senate bill on a fast track of reconciliation.

California’s Prop 16 is Worst Measure on June Ballot

shame on pge

Paul Hogarth: Every election cycle has an awful state ballot proposition, with plenty of corporate funding to fool voters. For the June primary, it’s Prop 16 – a thinly veiled power grab by PG&E to shut down competition to keeps its monopoly.

Democratic “Accomplishments” Not Nearly Enough

Democratic spine

Joseph Palermo: Unless the Congress moves some progressive legislation quickly there’s going to be trouble this fall because any political party that is stupid enough to allow a couple of shmucks like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, or the outcome of a special election in New England, to unravel its governing coalition doesn’t deserve to be in power.

Medicare-for-All: The Answer to a President’s Call and a Nation’s Woes

Obama-sotu

Dr. Margaret Flowers: I was overjoyed to hear you say in your State of the Union address on Wednesday night: “But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.” My colleagues, fellow health advocates and I have been trying to meet with you for over a year now because we have an approach which will meet all of your goals and more.

Blue Dog Democrats Exposed as Frauds

Blue-Dogs

Paul Hogarth: many Blue Dogs are in trouble because of health care, and ironically what could save their hide is a public option. Instead, they are left selling a corporate-friendly bill hashed behind closed doors that forces Americans to buy private insurance – which will only make their constituents vote Republican. That’s why so many Blue Dogs are retiring – so they can bail and become lobbyists for the insurance industry.

Blue Shield Cares — About What?

Hairdresser

Wendy Block: My criticism of Blue Shield (substitute Blue Cross or Aetna or…) is that the medical experts who know and have treated me for many years, got disgusted and finally left. My HMO doc gives me normal prescriptions and orders routine lab tests. But often, normal isn’t enough.

Massachusetts Debacle

Obama first year

John Peeler: The defeat of Martha Coakley in the race to succeed Ted Kennedy certainly shows the folly of taking victory for granted and failing to mount a serious campaign. But it also puts on display the complete political incompetence of the Obama administration and the national leadership of the Democratic Party and the Congress.

The Last Big Question: Will Health Care Reform Be Paid For By The Rich or the Middle Class?

Public Option

Robert Reich: Some say the Senate’s excise tax is the only way to control long-term health care costs. Baloney. If a portion of the middle class loses their health care, they won’t get the preventive care that’s so crucial to containing long-term costs.

Friday Feedback: Idiot Responds

Fridays the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Robert Illes responding to comments on his article, Obama, Never Mind FDR, How about JKP?, by Ianam. Here’s Robert’s comment: Idiot responds: The point of the article was that Polk, the only President in history [...]

How to Create Elections That Money Can’t Buy

Clean-Money

Wayne Williams: Voters are ready for Fair Elections — the elections that money can’t buy. In an October 2009 survey, likely June 2010 voters supported the California Fair Elections Act by a nearly 3-1 margin.

Pass the Health Care Bill: Then Improve It

Healthcare_Collision

Peter Dreier: It is incredibly irresponsible for some radicals and progressives to call for killing the health care bill. It is important to push for changes that would improve the Senate version of the bill. For example, the House funding plan (a tax on families with incomes over $1 million) is much better than the Senate version (a tax on so-called “Cadillac” health insurance plans). That’s what the labor movement, liberal and progressive Democrats in Congress, pro-choice advocates, and others will be doing in hopes of putting a better bill on President Obama’s desk, as Harold Meyerson discusses in his latest Washington Post column.

African-American Presidents Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Rhetoric

Jonathan David Farley: White American liberals foolishly chose not to wait to see if Obama was the kind of man who would stick to his guns when the bandits rode into town. He wasn’t. African-Americans run away from noble fights.

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