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February 26, 2010
The Baehr Essentials
It is worth noting that Massachusetts adopted an Obama care plan of sorts, and now has, by far, the highest health insurance premium rates in the country. Massachusetts was not a state with a high percentage of uninsured before their health reform plan was adopted. So they got some more people insured, at a cost of much higher premiums for everybody else.
Anyone wonder why most Americans are not enthusiastic about a national plan modeled on this one?
Liberals want more access for the 45 million uninsured. That number is a fiction; about 2/3 of those who are uninsured today will have insurance the next year. Others will join their ranks as uninsured. In other words, a very small percentage of the population is uninsured on a permanent basis (12 months), and some of these people are uninsured by choice (choosing to spend their money on other things). The people who cannot buy insurance due to pre-existing conditions are not 45 million, but a small fraction of that number.
A program to deal with this group, does not require a new middle class entitlement covering people earning up to $90,000 a year, and costing over $2 trillion in the first ten years it would be in effect, to address this issue. The President talked enough yesterday (for 2 hours in total, more than all the Republicans combined), but his supporting cast of Democratic elders was far less impressive then the Republican speakers.
Barack Obama may have looked like a change figure in 2008, but trotting out the not very gracefully aging Democratic leaders of the House and Senate to make any kind of case is poison for any chances of success for the Democrats. The Obama team decided to let Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi carry the ball on health care this year. They catered to the ideologues on the Democratic left, particularly in the House, and produced a really bad piece of legislation that Americans reject by large margins. If the Democrats try to jam this through using budget reconciliation, they could face an even bigger disaster in November than what is already likely to occur if no bill is passed. In case anyone did not notice, the weekly total of new claims for unemployment insurance are up for 3 straight weeks, and are back near the 500,00 level, after dropping below 450,000. Jobs are where the country wants the Congress to focus, not a giant new wasteful, special interest laden entitlement program. . Any wonder why the Congress has a 10% approval rating in one recent poll?
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, one of the stars of the Summit, makes his case on why cost control is the big issue to address:
The latest Rasmussen daily tracking numbers- Obama's worst day ever.
Clifford Asness on how the Democrats think about health care.
It gets harder all the time to defend the notion that Democrats are as supportive of Israel as Republicans. The New Gallup poll shows a striking difference between the two parties. The good news is that support for Israel , overall, is quite high in the latest Gallup Poll.
There are also specific situations this year where ardently pro-Israel candidates are running on the Republican side, and somewhat more "challenged" candidates on the Democratic side. Here in Illinois, there are several such cases: Joel Pollak is challenging J-Street's queen bee Jan Schakowsky in Illinois 9.
Pollak on what to do about Iran in the Jerusalem Post.
Mark Kirk is running for the Senate against Alexi Giannoulias. Turns out the Giannoulias family, and their failing Broadway Bank are big fans of a foundation that finances the Nakba Day celebration, Ali Abunimah's Electronic Intifada, and pretty much every other radical pro-Palestinian group you can find in Illinois.
In New York, Dan Senor, co-author of a recent book on Israel's economic achievements, may run for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate . I am sure Democrat Kirsten Gillenbrand has a long history of passionate support for the U.S-Israel relationship. I just can't remember anything she has done. For the record, former Congressman Harold Ford, who is challenging Gillenbrand for the Democratic nomination for the seat to which she was appointed after the Caroline Kennedy flameout, had a very strong pro-Israel record in the Congress.