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  • The government to enhance the management and supervision of the operation of medical institutions, the planning of health service development, and the basic medical insurance system.

    - Public hospitals to receive more government funding and be allowed to charge higher fees for treatment. But they will be eventually banned from making profits through subscribing expensive medicines and treatment, which is a common practice at present.

    - Central and local governments to increase investment in the public health sector, grassroots-level clinics, subsidies for public hospitals, and basic medical insurance systems.

    - Governments to increasingly regulate the pricing systems of medical services and medicines, with particular control on the price of basic services at non-profit hospitals and essential medicines those hospitals use.

    - Supervision of medical institutions, health insurance providers, and pharmaceutical companies and retailers to be strengthened. Governments will also tighten monitoring of drinking water and food safety, and safety in workplace.
    Sounds familiar doesn't it?

    June 9, 2009 at 6:08 p.m.

  • Sorry Mike,

    It didn't trigger my shield anyway...
    BEIJING, April 6 (Xinhua) -- China Monday unveiled a blueprint for health-care over the next decade, kicking off a much-anticipated reform to fix the ailing medical system and to ensure fair and affordable health services for all 1.3 billion citizens.
    This will be supplemented by a more detailed implementation plan for the three years until 2011. The plan has yet to be published, but the State Council announced earlier this year an investment plan of 850 billion yuan (124 billion U.S. dollars) fo rthe reform in three years.
    After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, governments covered more than 90 percent of medical expenses for urban residents, while rural people enjoyed simple but essentially free health care.

    But when China began its economic reforms in the early 1980s, the system was dismantled as the country attempted to switch to a market-oriented health care system.
    Continued...

    June 9, 2009 at 6:06 p.m.

  • Waywardwind
    You make some very good points and I will go more in detail tomorrow ,when I have more time the right now it’s supper time and time to watch my hapless Astros.

    It is not exactly the way you describe it because all the major players are at the table trying to make this happen. It is in their best interest. Despite your fears, President Obama does not want to let this opportunity slip by, so he does not want a single payer option to derail all the efforts of those involved. He has studied the failures of the Hillary care.

    To say that we cannot improve the Canadian or European models of universal healthcare , is simply not true. Sweden has another model….

    On a personal note , I do not relish being forced into Medicare next year because Aetna will be my secondary provider but I am willing to pay the extra Medicare part B premiums and a higher premium rate to make sure that everyone is covered. If we don’t get this high health care cost in check, everyone loses.

    Have a good night.

    June 9, 2009 at 5:59 p.m.

  • Legion357
    Perhaps you can provide another link because the one you provided gave me a McAfee Internet protection warning of malware, spyware, and other viruses that come from that site.
    Thanks for the info, I would look it tomorrow.

    Have a good one.

    June 9, 2009 at 5:45 p.m.

  • Mike..."IMO… We have several reasons for the rising cost of Health Care…. My age group is the number one reason."

    I'm in that age group, too. Yeah, I'm concerned about the price of health care AND prescription drugs -- especially because I have a chronic ailment that will require drugs for the rest of my life. Of the four prescriptions I take each day, only one is generic and can be purchased for the $4.00 a month price at the pharmacy.

    But even more than cost, I am concerned about availability of the health care in this country -- something I've not seen discussed here. I'm not willing to wait anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to see the doctor. Perhaps I'm spoiled, but for six decades, I've been able to (usually) see the doctor either the day I call or the next and within two to four days for specialists. I also insist on being able to see the doctor I trust to treat me. I don't want to see just the next available doctor. All those horror stories of people placed on waiting lists for diagnostic procedures that can stretch for weeks and then being wait listed again for surgeries or other treatments is NOT acceptable. And Mike, there are too many of those stories from Canada, for example, for them all to be false. It may be okay with BO, but THIS taxpayer is not going to be happy if that happens. I believe that the government will, not MAY, tax my health care to coerce me to use the government system. I DO NOT believe the president is happy with the idea of people freely going to the health care provider he/she wants to use. I believe that he wants EVERYBODY to use the government system.

    The biggest problem I see with the changes the president wants to make is that IF THEY DON'T WORK, there probably won't be any way to put the system back the way it was. I would much rather pay more to "millionaire" doctors if I can be treated in a timely manner rather than wait -- perhaps in pain -- while my name creeps to the top of a list at which time I can be seen by the next available doctor. I've got a sneaky feeling that you'll see many doctors get out rather than work inside the system BO is threatening. Like you said, Mike, a lot of doctors a rich and can afford to retire rather than jump through more governmental hoops to make less money than they do now.

    June 9, 2009 at 5:40 p.m.

  • BigJ
    Forget it, for one thing he’s not going to say it, and anotherhing, he does not introduce legislation, Nancy Pelosi does.

    Another thing you must not be in touch with the Obama Administration because he does not want to go back to era of fossil fuels, greenhouse emissions, and producing gas guzzlers.

    Enjoy your evening but I’m through with the Dakota/ Montana fantasy.:-)

    June 9, 2009 at 5:24 p.m.

  • IMO… We have several reasons for the rising cost of Health Care…. My age group is the number one reason. I believe we have a Health Care industry rather than a Health Care system. We are probably the only for- profit Health Care industry in the world where it is commonplace to have multi-millionaire doctors , hospitals, HMOs and CEOs of very profitable Health Care Insurance companies…..It is what it is, and I am not suggesting that we change it, just pointing out of a fact…Am I wrong?

    Thanks for link..I will read it...perhaps i am wrong on China.

    June 9, 2009 at 5:13 p.m.

  • Not exactly true Mike, between the 1980's until last month, health care was a marketable commodity in China.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/200...

    June 9, 2009 at 5:04 p.m.

  • Or maybe you meant our competitors don't have the problem of "labeling" health care reform as socialized medicine?

    June 9, 2009 at 5:01 p.m.

  • Never mind legion357, it takes awhile for 63 old brain to zero in on a 6 pt. font.;-)

    I meant that all industrial nations have universal healthcare and China has a communist, socialist, an authoritarian type of government that provides free Health Care, so the price for the services or not factored in their trade agreements, leaving us with an unfair trade deficit.

    June 9, 2009 at 5 p.m.

  • In what way Mike?

    You yourself posted in the paragraph I pasted "Our competitors do not have this problem."

    Since the paragraph concerned health care costs, I was asking you which of our competitors do not have the problem of rising health care costs?

    June 9, 2009 at 4:59 p.m.

  • Your question is vague Legion.

    June 9, 2009 at 4:40 p.m.

  • Mike?

    Which competitors? China? India? the EU? the GOP?

    Can you clarify?

    "Labeling Health Care Reform “socialized medicine” will not do anything to stop the rising cost of Health Care; we have kicked this problem down the road long enough. Our competitors do not have this problem."

    June 9, 2009 at 4:35 p.m.

  • Well Ernie
    Not exactly apples and oranges.. The Obama Administration is not failing and on a personal note, my main complaint about the Bush administration was incompetence. I was vindicated on the Iraq war and in that last poll that stated that 89% of Americans thought to this country was going in the wrong direction. Not exactly a tit for tat, but the Bushies used to point at the Clinton administration instead of admitting their faults. As you say, that is in the past.

    I was really talking about the Republican Party, not about any individual. Corresponding with a legislator is one thing, them actually bringing forth any solutions to our current problems is another. For the past 5 months the GOP has been AWOL.

    I don’t really mind the Obama bashing, in fact I expect that in this state but I still have the option of hammering home my point, elections matter.

    June 9, 2009 at 4:07 p.m.

  • Ernie
    I do not know any one (myself included) who agrees 100% on how the stimulus money will be spent. I happen to believe we should have spent more money on the infrastructures, and Green technology, so it does not surprise me that Biden and Geithner are not completely on board with all of the president’s advisers…. I do believe that this president will change course, if his economic policies do not work. He does want to succeed. The naysayers never take that into consideration.

    Labeling Health Care Reform “socialized medicine” will not do anything to stop the rising cost of Health Care; we have kicked this problem down the road long enough. Our competitors do not have this problem.

    I know all the gloom and doom terms like deficits, inflation, and debt but we are in an extraordinary economic mess, so only short term deficits methods can be implemented to get us out of this mess. A lot of economists have said that the unemployment figures would drop in the middle of next year. It is at this time that the president said that we will start practicing fiscal restraint and possibly forgo some budget expenditures that passed.

    A carbon tax or cap-and-trade will not be voted on anytime soon..IMO

    June 9, 2009 at 3:49 p.m.

  • :)

    "You have been gone so long, I completely forgot, thanks for reminding me that only Ron Paul conservatives like you, have the ability to do any critical thinking…"

    No problem. Glad to do it.

    "How many delegates did he get? Was it 42?"

    I don't remember exactly but that sounds about right. Which lends credence to my theory that the dumbing down of America is about 58% complete.

    "The election is over the majority elected this president, his vision and politics…."

    Like I said.....

    "It is easy for you and your party to throw stones if you are not actively engaging on finding solutions to our current problems. "

    Sure it is... it was easy enough for you and yours to piss and moan when it was Bush on the hot seat. Now it's your candidate screwing things up and having to take the heat. Get used to it.

    I complained about Bush's admin when I thought he was wrong. I'll complain about the current one when I think it's wrong. But don't harbor any concerns about my not offering alternatives. I've done that here and in correspondence with my past Texas and with my now LA representatives. Without a long drawn out explanation, the quick and dirty of ALL of them is for government to sit down and shut up.

    Ernie

    June 9, 2009 at 3:47 p.m.

  • "Well Ernie how much confidence do you have in a 35 year projection?"

    'Bout as much as you have in a 90-year program which is what Waxman-Markey is based on.

    I have to agree to some extent, Mike, that we have to put the fires out when they crop up; i.e. throwing $1.5 trillion in economic "stimulus" at a seriously faltering economy. However, I don't agree that we must do so with no thought of the long term effects the current actions will have.

    No one can foresee the future but taking action without doing our best to estimate where those actions will lead is a fool's errand and those estimates MUST extend past the end of our collective noses. It seems to me that so much history of past spending excesses is simply being ignored or overlooked.

    Obama's own Secretary of the Treasury, Tim "Artful (Tax) Dodger" Geithner has said this course of spending excesses is unsustainable. VP Biden echoes that sentiment and yet not only does this (and yes, past) administrations keep spending at unsustainable rates, the current one is doing so in spades.

    Yet we still entertain alternatives, such as cap-and-trade and socialized health care, that add to the deficit, increase costs, drive inflation through the roof, reduce our ability to compete in a global economy and will provide only marginal, if any, benefit.

    Ernie

    June 9, 2009 at 3:22 p.m.

  • Ernie
    You have been gone so long, I completely forgot, thanks for reminding me that only Ron Paul conservatives like you, have the ability to do any critical thinking…How many delegates did he get? Was it 42?

    The election is over the majority elected this president, his vision and politics….If the economy does not come around in the last quarter as projected, the Democratic Party will pay a price.

    It is easy for you and your party to throw stones if you are not actively engaging on finding solutions to our current problems. Name calling, negativity, and superiority, will only get you so far, you still have to win at the ballot box ,implement your truth certain policies and then suffer the consequence if they do not work,again…..2000-2008 comes to mind.

    June 9, 2009 at 3:04 p.m.

  • Well Ernie how much confidence do you have in a 35 year projection?

    Besides of accusing me of trying to lie,what do you have to offer?..I did not try to leave anything out in fact I left the source so you can make up your own mind and I said "The key word is “estimated”, so if you are against the cap-and-trade so the higher $3,100 will suit your need and vice versa."

    June 9, 2009 at 2:46 p.m.

  • It seems each side "spins" the facts - or in this case, the estimates - to his or her own advantage:

    Mike:"Even the right wing conservative Heritage Foundation figure’s the average families’ would only increase by $1500 a year."

    But you fail to mention that same study (Heritage) estimated the *direct* cost of cap and trade would be $1500 / year but further estimated that the *indirect* costs could approach as much as an additional $4000/yr through 2035.

    oops

    Good argument for getting as much information as possible and using a little critical thinking instead of just parroting one's favorite political hack.

    I agree that Obama has stated that he favors continuing to allow people the choice to keep their employer-provided health insurance and that he disagrees with the single-payer alternative. But I agree only insofar as that's what I've heard Obama *say.* I believe that the fact of the matter is that the private insurance industry will be pushed out and/or regulated to death so that the inevitable conclusion is the same - a single-payer health industry with the government at the helm.

    One has to be a bit more subtle with the socialism when overtaking a society that prides itself on it's independence - even if the majority of them only preach it rather than really want to practice it.

    Ernie

    June 9, 2009 at 2:37 p.m.

  • Well BigJ , even if that four years were so, what happens when you make more oil available on the open market. The price goes down and it will take longer to pay off the debt because of the lower profit margin. Four years from now, does not take care of today’s recession. That is what President Obama is working on.

    The democratic party is thinking about 2010, 2012 and 2014 because they just plucked an up and coming republican leader, Jon Huntsman as ambassador to China, and one of three remaining republicans from the northeast John McHugh to be the secretary of army.

    Yea,paying off the debt will make the dollar stronger but right now it is not feasible to even think in those terms.

    I guess we will have to disagree again.

    June 9, 2009 at 2:33 p.m.

  • Not unusual how you like the factcheck bend and spin site….

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Ph.D. is the Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania which is the organization behind the FactCheck.org “truthfulness” website.

    Dr. Jamieson's newest book entitled “Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment” is a MAJOR HIT PIECE against the Conservative voices in the media on television, radio, and in print. View the book’s Table of Contents: http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycente...

    The Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC), the sponsoring agency behind FastCheck.org, is itself supported by the same foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, that Bill Ayers secured the 49.2 million dollars from to create the Chicago Annenberg Challenge “philanthropic” organization in which Barack Obama was the founding Chairman of the Board for and Ayers served as the grant writer of and co-Chair of for its two operating arms.

    Since you constantly dismiss things that you consider right wing sources...factcheck's source must be thrown out the same. But it is amazing that you bring up Heritage. I know you don't read it, or you wouldn't post what you do. But, Heritage is one of the BEST source's on the web. Makes CNN look like kindergarden kids.

    Now let us use Heritage.Org also to tell some of the total cost of cap and trade, tell the whole truth.

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Ener...

    Told ya so…;)

    June 9, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.

  • BigJ
    Evidently you have not been keeping up with the current Health Care Reform debate.

    Right now if the taxpayer is happy with his/her insurance policy they will get the remain in such. Many democratic legislators want to bring in single payer (public option) as leverage, so we can see what the insurance company’s bottom offer will look like. Without that competition, the insurance companies do not have a reason to lower their prices, other than 47,000,000 new customers.

    To compare 1835 to 2009 is ludicrous and not even worth debating.

    Haven’t you noticed that China, Japan, India are our economic competitors ;so striking a deal with Russia and the Middle East for cheaper oil would be to their benefit. Japan does not need that much oil.

    Whenever I a post my belief, it is an not a true certain and neither are yours but I have confidence in economic giants like Warren Buffet, Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Krugman, Ben Bernanke, Paul Volcker and Eric Schmidt will continue to give this president good sound economic advice.

    And I think you’re confusing recession economics’; with an economy with a balanced budget that can afford start paying down on the debt.

    Number #1, the country’s literally broke and, so what will we use to pay ourselves off with? How long will it take to make those oil fields in Montana and Dakota start paying off? In the meantime, what do we do with the high unemployment and the problems of today….. There is a reason Ron Paul or no one else, will ever seriously consider your proposal.

    Yes, President Obama numbers will go down the longer the economy remains unstable but he won by a 52% and even if he would have won by 65%, a bad economy will always bring down numbers. He is only five months into it, it wasn’t that long ago that he would just as senator; so he cannot be compared with veteran politicians like Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. It’s an apples and oranges thing.

    June 9, 2009 at 2:01 p.m.

  • I believe the word liberal is often misused because it is just a political mindset that leans toward progress, reform, and civil liberties. Liberal is defined by the conservatives as being for abortion rights, gay-marriage and all the other things conservatives may not agree with. Liberals are not obsessed about the social issues, and they don’t use it as a wedge issue in their politics.

    In Texas, Republicans will raise fees and Democrats will raise taxes to balance the budget. One party will lower property taxes to get elected; then faced with a budget to balance, will either raise taxes or fees to repair the badly needed infrastructure or other priorities. You really need to read California’s proposition 13 to get a feel for the need to have equilibrium, when it comes to raising or lowering taxes….. California is a perfect example of voting into place a permanent tax structure that did not take care of its future needs; nor was it feasible because it takes a 2/3 majority to even consider overturning the terrible proposition. Proposition 13 was an idea brought forth by anti -tax conservatives like yourself.

    I really don’t know what prayer in school has to do with anything economically but we are barely in the top 40 worldwide when it comes to education, so I think the emphasis should be on math and science; not social issues.

    June 9, 2009 at 1:24 p.m.

  • Now, Mike...you'll notice my left knee jump when the topics turn to abortion rights, gay marriage rights and other social issues. When it comes to money, I'm REAL conservative. As for governmental intrusion into our lives, I believe that less is better.

    It used to be that Democrats wanted to butt into our finances and take as much money as they could while Republicans wanted to butt into our bedrooms and make everyone missionaries -- so to speak. :)

    Now, they BOTH want to get every dime they can so there isn't much to choose from monitarily between the two parties. Socially, republicans are more like a revival tent meeting and I just can't abide their telling everyone how they should live their lives. They want to INject prayer into schools but it's always christian prayer they want. Heck, even when I was in public school in the 50's and 60's there was no prayer in our school district in southeast Texas except prior to a football game. We did pledge allegience to the flag and I'm old enough to remember the pledge without "under God" as part of it. But, I don't think that prayer will ever be eliminated from school. As long as there is algebra, there WILL be prayer in school.

    June 9, 2009 at 12:17 p.m.

  • Sorry Wayward wind but as usual my brain lags behind my fingers, so you are correct that should’ve used injecting…Thanks {blush}

    I do believe that GM is just a jobs program right now and government takeover is just temporary ,we will never recoup our money because in all reality our Health Care and labor cost cannot support three automakers that would be profitable, even in the good times.

    Japan did not factor reserves because like Brazil they had a vision of not dealing with unfriendly countries that might hold them hostage for a finite source of energy. Japan is also a leading supplier of batteries. The Prius and the Honda depend on battery technology.

    We had that “drill baby drill” mentality in the seventies, leading us to the predicament we are in today. We will always have a need for oil, but just not as a main source of energy. We need to get fossil fuels down to where we don’t have to depend on foreign sources.

    BTW that left knee of years has been numb for least two years, that I know of… Every time it jerks, it jerks on the right side… Not literally rather figuratively.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:32 a.m.

  • Mike..."Republicans and democrats alike, believe that ejecting capital into this sick economy for a short term is the right thing to do,"

    I'm not trying to be the picker of small nits here, but did you mean INJECTING capital? The reason I'm asking is that ejecting and injecting are sorta polar opposits and I want to make sure I understood your post correctly.

    I also think the auto industry needs an overhaul. I believe, though, that the best place for the money from the feds is in R & D developing new technologies -- your 300 mile batteries, for example. I think that hydrogen fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from sea water would make a wonderful replacement for fossil fuels. Clean and unlimited. The billions poured into GM are lost forever and would have been better spent elsewhere, Do you remember John Kennedy telling the country that our national goal was to send men to the Moon and return them safely to Earth before the decade of the sixties was out? We did it with a combination of government spending through NASA and private industry and developed new technologies that are now integral parts of our lives every day. Things like Velcro, personal computers and inertial guidance were all products of the space exploration days of the sixties and seventies. It was a heady time. But one thing the government did not do was take over Martin-Marietta, Lockheed and Boeing. The money that was spent went to create good paying jobs not try to fill a bottomless pit. We don't disagree that things need to change, we simply disagree on how to go about it. I look forward to wind, solar and biomass generated electricity and believe it to be the wave of the future. I also think we should drill for oil where we can find it to bridge from now to the future fuels and renewable sources of power. Our situatiion is considerably different from that of Japan. We do have oil reserves -- they don't. Unfortunately, we have a lot of people here who don't want us to use our reserves.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:07 a.m.

  • BigJ
    Let me explain why the United States government cannot stay out of the Health Care Reform debate.

    1.Any solutions to reform and Health Care will affect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Medicare part D (prescription drugs).
    2.We have we have approximately 47 million people that do not have Health Insurance but they will tap our emergency rooms. We cannot afford it.
    3.Health Care cost affects the GDP and our trade deficit.
    4.Tax incentives for electronic recordkeeping, cost saving initiatives and tax credits will come from the tax revenues.
    5.Status quo is not an option.

    If you meant to say that a public option, single payer should not be on the table, then it is a different matter altogether.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:50 a.m.

  • Thanks Alton
    Did you will feel did you feel you were being left out of the conversation? Looks like you went on blog binge...:-)

    Kenneth
    Thanks again. A plant operator friend of mine told me that his plant has been installing scrubbers, purchasing additional detectors, and installing software enhancements in anticipation of congress’s efforts to curb greenhouse gases. This may have been what you were talking about. I was not really arguing just try to point out that the legislation is still about two years away but thanks for pointing out that anticipation costs, do matter.

    Yes, I heard about the complications the wind tunnels are having but I also heard the repositioning of the blades and tunnels might solve their problem. I believe the environmentalist should have a seat at the table, just not all the seats and a compromise should be met.

    I agree the green jobs that will come from wind tunnels and solar panels are good paying jobs.

    I think the GM bailout is just a jobs program for now, to keep the unemployment figure’s down and that’s a good thing for the short term. In the long term, those empty GM manufacturing plants should be put to use to maintain and build the wind tunnels and solar panels. The welding robots and a good work force in Michigan are available.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:29 a.m.

  • BigJ
    I don’t know how to put this gently, but have you seen the national debt? Do you know anything about economics’?

    Unemployment is at 9.4%, the Health Care cost is at 2.2 trillion a year, the two wars figures are astronomical, and you want this government to ignore the main factors that are keeping our economy down.

    The government could cut all spending for the next five years and we would not make a dent on the national debt, what we would have is 25% unemployment, GDP would be way out that range, that we would be kicked out of the G20 summit, Social Security would immediately go bankrupt because of lost tax revenues and we would be on our way to being third world country.

    Republicans and democrats alike, believe that ejecting capital into this sick economy for a short term is the right thing to do, they disagree on the amounts and targets. Imagine you just got married, a week later your wife tells you that WE have a $125,000 credit card debt. Sure, the answer would be paid it off. IF YOU HAVE IT…. We’re not going to have a garage sale by selling off our national parks, businesses, or other assets.

    BTW President Obama is at 67% approval and if this economy improves as projected, he will not have any problem running against a Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, or Mark Sanford.

    Now, once unemployment starts to come down, the housing situation stabilizes, and the banks start lending, then the government needs to rein in spending and start practicing fiscal restraint.

    Remember this is a world financial crisis, so unless the International Monetary Fund helps the countries we trade with, we will not have any place to ship our goods. Economics’ is too complex to merely say" pay off the debt."

    June 9, 2009 at 10:09 a.m.

  • Waywardwind
    For argument’s sake, let’s agree that liberals are despicable and the root of all evil.

    What is the position of the “holier than thou” GOP? Lately it has been to have weekly gatherings to redefining their message, searching for a leader, being the party of no, and entertaining the media with outrageous comments.

    I cannot take credit for that $4.00 a gallon comment because it comes from Tom Friedman. Tom Friedman got it from the Japanese government. Japan kept the price of gasoline high and insisted on high mileage automobiles. As you say, initially it will hurt those that are more vulnerable but in the long run it freed Japan from a dependency on Middle-East oil and it made them the automobile industry leader they are today.

    That’s an old message of “let the liberals pay for it, just keep our taxes low.”

    June 9, 2009 at 9:42 a.m.

  • Mike, the last time you talked about my calculator, you said it didn't have a plus key. Yes, the spector of massive inflation is doom and gloom. I'm glad you don't think inflation is going to smack us in the face. As a matter of fact, I sincerely hope you're right.

    Yes, I do admire Ron Paul and lean to the Libertarians, but I am not affiliated with any party. As I've said many times, neither my left nor my right knee jerks.

    You are the first person outside of government I've come across who thinks four dollar or more gasoline is a good thing. I agree that it will cut driving. I think it might cut driving to the point that FEWER rather than more taxes will be collected. You will hurt the trucking industry. If the price of fuel wasn't so high becaue of taxes, trucking WOULDN'T NEED to be subsidized. The price of everything from food to furniture will go up so we'll buy less of that, too. Of course, that will hurt people trying to sell us stuff, but that's okay because liberals think we consume too much in this nation already. It's not fair to the poor in Bangledesh or some such place.

    Here's a suggestion, Mike. If you want to subsidize the poor, you and your liberal friends can give to charity to do it and leave my tax dollars alone.

    June 9, 2009 at 7:55 a.m.

  • Good blog Mike, personally I have never seen a government estimate to be even close to the actual final cost.
    I sure would like to see how everyone came up with their estimates. We would think that everyone would be fairly close in their estimates, if all facts were being considered--like a grid that could handle the new energy systems.

    One thing is for sure, we will not know the true cost to our households until it passes.

    For myself, I looking at going with a personal wind generator along with a tide generator.

    June 9, 2009 at 12:14 a.m.

  • Kenneth
    Cap-and-trade or carbon tax is a long way off, perhaps a couple of years away, since Congress has a lot on their plate right now...Health Care reform is the priority right now.

    I know the coal-fired electric plants are outdated and that increase you mentioned,is probably due to the recent legislation the Texas Legislation passed. As you know West Texas will be the hot bed for wind power and our state might be the leader in alternative energy...The recent bill allocated a large sum for solar panel investment…That’s a shame our country had the initial solar panel industry but our lack of vision caused us to sell it to Germany..Germany is now the world’s leader and their customers are able to afford the solar panels.

    I am not sold on cap& trade or a carbon tax but my eyes and ears are wide open for alternative energy.

    June 8, 2009 at 8:09 p.m.

  • Waywardwind
    I see you are still using that calculator without a minus key…Your projections don’t account for growth, perhaps a withdraw from Iraq and other good news.

    First of all, we borrowed about $46 out very $100 that we used for the stimulus, it was the fed (separate from the government) that did the printing for AIG etc.

    Second Heath Care costs are costing us right now, to the tune of $2.2 trillion a year and rising...Do you really think the health industry is going to reduce cost on their own? I still have that Guadalupe River bridge for sale.

    Please Wayward; you are a Ron Paul (don’t tax me) Libertarian...Not an Independent...IMO.. You do have a comment history...:-)

    I actually think if could raise the price of gasoline to $4 a gallon; it would conserver gasoline and be the catalyst an innovator needs to come up a battery that will get about 300 miles to a charge but with the fluctuations, investors won’t bite. We could use the extra money off a barrel of to subsidize the trucking industry and the poor. Some would go into the alternative energy pot…Don't worry ,they won't listen to me..:-)

    I am not a rich man but I am willing to pay more for gasoline,taxes, food etc because in about two years rom now, I believe we are going to come back strong with better saving habits, a greener nation and healthier nation.

    You are gloom and doom; I am optimistic but only time will tell…Doesn’t make me right but it doesn’r make me wrong either…In fact you might be right...:-)

    June 8, 2009 at 7:55 p.m.

  • Mike..."Although the details will still have to be worked out, we know that it will take approximately one trillion dollars over 10 years to reform Health Care at today’s dollars."

    Even though a trilliion dollars over ten years is a hell of a lot of money, you put in the caveat of "at today's dollars." It's going to be a LOT more than that because of the inflation that is going to kick in due to the printing of so much money for the stimulus. When you count the inflation, the taxes to pay for health care and the screwball cap-and-trade anti-pollution schemes, these two packages are going to cost the American taxpayer a bundle. If the Heritage Foundation is right and the increased pollution costs are "only" $1,500 a year, that's a lot of money to me. It might not mean much to liberal democrats, but to some of us independents, it means making choices we shouldn't have to make. The figures you gave vary from $98 a year to $3,100 a year. That's quite a range, and remember this is a government program. Have you EVER heard of a government program that came in around a LOW estimate? Are there any increases planned in gasoline taxes? Any government that would wish to tax sugar sweetened soft drinks won't think twice about a fifty-cent a gallon or more tax on gasoline. They'll say that increased taxes will make the air cleaner because people will drive less. Somehow, I figure that sooner or later they will tell us that "it's for the children" like that will make it easier to swallow.

    June 8, 2009 at 5:34 p.m.

  • Barry
    Although the details will still have to be worked out, we know that it will take approximately one trillion dollars over 10 years to reform Health Care at today’s dollars. The Obama Administration budgeted about $634 billion and will use the savings from an electronic recordkeeping and other cost saving proposals in the stimulus bill, plus they will let the Bush tax cuts expire, to help pay Health Care Reform. A as you well know the economy dictates policy, not campaign pledges.

    I give him a lot of credit for remaining steadfast in trying to get to get a healthcare bill through, while other administrations continued to kick the can down the road. Will he make adjustments and compromises? I think he should.

    June 8, 2009 at 4:27 p.m.

  • WALLACE: But now the president tells Democratic senators he's willing to consider the idea of either taxing people who make a certain amount of money or taxing health care plans that are of a certain value. Isn't that a complete 180-degree policy flip?
    GOOLSBEE: Well, let me say two things about that. Number one, that -- what the health care exclusion, as they call it -- that was not in the president's plan.
    Now, the president has committed that he's going to work with Congress, and -- so they have put forward a whole series of ideas that he's willing to look at to do an achievable health care cost reduction and health care expansion for people who are uninsured.
    But that's not the president's plan, so I think it's a little unfair to attribute to the president things that he did not put forward.
    And the second is in...
    WALLACE: But he's willing to accept it.
    GOOLSBEE: He's willing to look at all sorts of ideas. That is not in his plan. It is not the president's plan that he put forward. The second is in the campaign, the McCain proposal, as you describe in that ad, moved from are the companies going to be paying taxes on the insurance to then shifting to let's have the individuals pay tax on their health insurance. And the president -- I don't think it's a secret that the president has been and will remain highly concerned about how ordinary Americans are able to foot the bills on their -- foot their tax bills.
    That's why they put in a tax cut for 95 percent of workers in the recovery package. So he's clearly going to be mindful about that in health care.

    Barry you probably know Austan Goolsbee is a prominent member of president Obama’s economic team. He was questioned on yesterday’s Fox News Sunday over the same key issue. I provided the transcript of that show. Health Care Reform has a two month window before it will have to be presented for debate. I wish the democrats would use the public option as leverage against big Pharma,the HMOs, and Aetna.

    June 8, 2009 at 4:13 p.m.

  • Mike, I don't think we can let Obama off the hook that easy. He has stated that he would support this method of taxation. If he was against it, he would have taken it off the table. Also, according to the following table, it looks like the cost would be considerably more than $100 a month:

    FACT FILE Tax benefit of employer-sponsored health insurance

    Adjusted gross income - Tax revenue lost (billions) - Average savings per tax return
    $500,000 $2.7 $4,467

    SOURCE: Joint Committee on Taxation (As posted on MSNBC)

    June 8, 2009 at 3:57 p.m.

  • One small technicality Barry, Barack Obama did not waver; it is democratic Chairman Max Baucus and Republican Grassley of Iowa who are saying that employees must be taxed in order to make this work… The democrats want to tax the upper income tax bracket, whereas the republicans refuse to tax the employer; opted instead to tax everyone as a fringe benefit. These details will have to be worked out, before the president and will even sign the bill….. Consider this: At the end of the month what difference will it make if your Health Care cost have gone up by $100 or your income taxes have gone up by $100?…. The rising cost of Health Care is killing us…. It cost this nation $2.2 trillion last year, with no relief in sight.

    But this blog was about cap-and-trade, not really about Obama but more about the compromises that must be met, so we can continue to meet our alternative energy goals. We cannot continue to dwell in the same old food fights.

    June 8, 2009 at 3:30 p.m.

  • Combine this information with the Obama administration's recent lean towards taxing employee provided health benefits and it seems that Obama has done an about face on the no taxes pledge he made during the election.

    Obama’s new openness to the idea stands in contrast to what he said eight months ago as a presidential candidate, when he harshly criticized his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, for proposing that employer-provided benefits should be taxed.

    Scolding McCain in their debate on Oct. 15, Obama said, “This is your plan, John. For the first time in history, you will be taxing people's health-care benefits.”

    Obama pledged last year not to raise taxes for families making less than $250,000, and a health benefits tax will almost certainly run afoul of that promise.

    The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation reports the US Treasury misses out on $226 billion a year because employer spending on health insurance isn’t counted as taxable income. I guess that is just too big a "cash cow" to let get away, regardless of how many people it hurts.

    Your take?

    June 8, 2009 at 3:11 p.m.