A CENTRAL feature of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was an aggressive plan to expand health insurance coverage by subsidizing low-income Americans and preventing discrimination against the ill.
Given the present need to address the economic crisis, many people say the government cannot afford a big investment in health care, that these plans are going nowhere fast. But this represents a false choice, because health care reform is good for our economy.
Any opportunity to relieve the under-insured of the costs of medical insurance will free up consumer spending. On top of that, providing the funds to subsidize the purchase of health insurance will increase revenue for insurance and health care, two huge industries. The more we invest in universal health care, the more we boost our economy.
The chorus from the right-wing against any universal plan is unfounded because of the increase in spending toward actual medical care, more sales for pharmacuedacals, and and increase in sales for insurance companies. This is a win-win.
Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a board member of the Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority.
The shift in administrations _ former President George W. Bush was back home in Texas _ was underscored in far-off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where a judge granted Obama’s request to suspend the war crimes trial of a young Canadian. The judge, Army Col. Patrick Parrish, issued a one-sentence order for the 120-day continuance without so much as a hearing, possibly the beginning of the end for the former administration’s system of trials for alleged terrorists.
First, BHO issues an executive order, “request”, to suspend the implementation of the remaining Bush regulations pending a review. Then he issues another request to delay the hasty, last minute Bush presidency, Military Commissions war trials in Gitmo.
He signed three nomination documents, a proclamation declaring a day of national renewal and reconciliation, as well as his cabinet and sub cabinet nominations. They are necessary before the full Senate can confirm them.
All nominations were presented to the Senate Tuesday afternoon after the inauguration. Wednesday morning he issued the request to Gitmo.
Not a bad start for the morning of day 1. He even found time for a prayer breakfast. It makes me think that maybe these “requests’ were drawn up before the inauguration. I love prior planning.
The comments by the newly installed U.S. president veered into politically sensitive territory for China’s ruling Communist Party, which maintains a tight grip over the Internet and the entirely state-run media. Beijing tolerates little dissent and frequently decries foreign interference in its internal affairs.
At one point, Obama said earlier generations “faced down communism and fascism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.” He later addressed “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent _ know that you are on the wrong side of history.”
Whew! I’m glad I’m not one of the umpteen trillion Chinese communists right now! I suppose they do realize that a lot of the stuff in their media is censored. They get to peek at the uncensored stuff through other than state-run websites and independent news services, but those too are sniffed and fought over by the Chinese government.
The Chinese are in a better situation than Russia was when they switched to a capitalistic economy. Chinese are given “favored nation” status and get all the benefits of capitalism without actually going there making any sudden upheaval difficult.
The government gets to act as a trading entity and has the freedom to do business however they wish. If we could switch that favored status to Mexico, we could do for Mexico what we did for China i.e. make them rich. The citizens of Mexico could enjoy a new prosperity and we would enjoy a new era of reduced population growth.
But China has yet to realize that they are moving like those huge ice flows in the Antarctic. They have no control. Slowly, sometimes shakily, they drift ever closer toward human rights and economic freedom and cannot, even with all the censorship they can muster, stand against the flow.