Archive for February 7th, 2009

Please Tell Me This Is Not For Real…

Hopefully this is just another trial balloon, or something to make the next lobbyist hack look good, or else Obama has just radically shifted his healthcare strategy…

I’m puzzled by recent reports that President Obama is “in serious discussions” with former senior HMO executive Phil Bredesen to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Bredesen isn’t just an ex-HMO executive, he’s the current governor of Tennessee, and his record does not suggest that he is particularly interested in increasing access to health care.  According to an attorney who I trust on Tennessee policy issues:

  • Bredesen  presided in 2005-2006 over the deepest cuts in a public health insurance program in the nation’s history. The cuts took $1.9 billion a year out of the state’s health care system. The 170,000 disenrolled was the largest single increase to that point in the number of uninsured and accounted for a third of the entire national growth in the number of uninsured.
  • Tennessee is one of two states (the other being Mississippi, where Gov. Haley Barbour also cut Medicaid) that in 2005 bucked the national trend in steadily declining infant mortality. Tennessee’s infant mortality rate rose in 2005 to 9.0 per thousand. Tennessee is 45th in infant morality among the states. Memphis, the state’s most populous city, has the worst infant mortality rate in the nation. Gov. Bredesen is now cutting the state perinatal network’s funding by 50%.
  • Tennessee ranks 50th in support for home and community-based services as alternatives to institutionalization. Two months ago, a federal court found that the Bredesen Administration’s cuts in home nursing services violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by forcing people into nursing homes.

I believe that Candidate Obama meant it when he promised to make health care accessible and affordable to all Americans.  So I’m sure the reports that Bredesen could become President Obama’s point person on health care are mistaken.

It was bad enough when Obama nominated Foldy McMilquetoast to fight for universal healthcare, but now he wants someone whose whole history is fighting against it?  Has Obama joined the War On Healthcare, or is this some kind of clever reverse-psychology strategy?  After all, the GOP will reflexively oppose everything his administration does, so if his HHS Secretary starts crusading against universal healthcare, maybe the Republicans will start championing it.

3 comments February 7th, 2009 at 10:20pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Product Plug Of The Day

From J&R’s product page for Excalibur Electronic NF07-08 NFL Vibrating Football Tabletop Game:

The most realistic graphics on a vibrating football game

You know, I don’t think that sounds nearly as impressive as they think it does.

I’m also trying to figure out what they mean by “Multi-function Quarterback” – I hope they just mean that he can run and pass…

February 7th, 2009 at 06:00pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes,Sports,Weirdness

Mission Accomplished!

So the Senate “moderates” have hammered out a “compromise” (and by “compromise,” I mean “watered-down piece of crap that stands no chance of working”) that achieves all of the Republicans’ major objectives:

1) Contains lots of yummy tax cuts, which are the most important and beautiful economic policy in the world, even if they don’t actually do squat for the economy or job creation.

2) Is guaranteed to fail.  Can’t have Obama and the Democrats taking credit for turning the country around, now can we?

3) Will be completely owned by Obama and the Democrats.  In 2010 and 2012, the GOP messaging will be, “You got everything you wanted, so why are we still in a ditch?  We told you there weren’t enough tax cuts!  Time to let us take over and do it our way.”

Guess it’s time to start fitting Ben Nelson for that flightsuit.

February 7th, 2009 at 10:51am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Elections,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

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