Woman denied health insurance coverage after being raped

This kind of outrageous behavior from the insurance industry must be stopped. It’s strange to hear people express their fear of the government being involved in health care when we see the abuses byt the insurance industry. Private insurance companies care about profits – that’s it.

Christina Turner was drugged and raped by two men in 2002. After taking anti-HIV drugs prescribed by her doctor as a preventative measure, Turner was denied health insurance. The HIV drugs, Turner was told, raised too many health questions for her insurer.

Follow the link and watch the video. It’s stunning that we’ve been allowing this stuff to happen in this country.


Don’t listen to conservatives for stock advice

I’m not suggesting that Obama policies alone are driving the stock market. Many factors, particularly earnings, drive the overall market.

But, many conservatives were quick to blame Obama when the market slipped in the spring, implying he was to blame as opposed to the economic crisis he inherited. Melissa Francis and some of the other conservative market worshipers at CNBC were just a few of the examples. Well, the market is now up, and we’re not hearing conservatives talk about it much any more.


The death of supply-side economics

One of the original supply-siders, Bruce Bartlett, explains in a brilliant op-ed why the ideas that worked so well in the early 1980’s are irrelevant today. Bartlett is promoting a new book, The New American Economy.

I continue to believe that what the supply-siders did was good for the economy, good for the country and good for the advancement of economic science. The best economists in the country were pretty clueless about our economic problems during the Carter years. It was widely asserted that the money supply had no meaningful effect on inflation, that marginal tax rates had no incentive effects, and that it would take decades or another Great Depression to break the back of inflation.

As all economists now know, these ideas were wrong. All economists today accept the importance of the money supply–perhaps too much; during the recent crisis many asserted that fiscal stimulus was unnecessary because an increase in the money supply was the only thing necessary to restore growth. (How this would have been accomplished when interest rates were close to zero was never explained.) All economists now accept the importance of marginal tax rates to economic decisionmaking, and organizations like the National Bureau of Economic Research publish vast numbers of papers on this topic.

During the George W. Bush years, however, I think SSE became distorted into something that is, frankly, nuts–the ideas that there is no economic problem that cannot be cured with more and bigger tax cuts, that all tax cuts are equally beneficial, and that all tax cuts raise revenue.

These incorrect ideas led to the enactment of many tax cuts that had no meaningful effect on economic performance. Many were just give-aways to favored Republican constituencies, little different, substantively, from government spending. What, after all, is the difference between a direct spending program and a refundable tax credit? Nothing, really, except that Republicans oppose the first because it represents Big Government while they support the latter because it is a “tax cut.”

Bartlett exposes the caricature that has taken over conservative economic thinking, the slavish devotion to dogma that makes it impossible to consider the circumstances of our new reality. Think about it. Talk to a conservative about economic policy, and the answer, regardless of the circumstances, is usually the same – spending bad, tax cuts good. I can teach a three-year-old to repeat that.

Bartlett goes on to explain why massive spending was necessary with the economic collapse we faced last year, and the obscenely stupid response of many conservatives who suggested addressing the problem with more tax cuts.

Bartlett was an adviser to Jack Kemp and helped write the Reagan tax cuts. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the history of supply-side economics and why one of its chief architects is arguing that it doesn’t apply today.


Bob Dole calls out GOP obstructionists on health care

Bob Dole is stating the obvious, which is a very rare thing in Washington, particularly among Republicans.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kans.) told a group of local Kansas reporters on Wednesday, that opposition to the president’s health care package had been driven by knee-jerk partisanship and urged Congressional Republicans to get on board a version of reform.

* * * *

“Sometimes people fight you just to fight you,” he said, according to The Kansas City Star. “They don’t want Reagan to get it, they don’t want Obama to get it, so we’ve got to kill it…

We’ve also seen an AP poll today that shows a rebound in President Obama’s approval rating and the approval for health care reform, along with a score from the CBO that shows the Senate Finance bill would actually reduce the deficit by over $80 billion, which would give plenty of negotiating room for liberals who want to expand certain parts of the bill.


Conservatives gloating about Chicago’s failed Olympics bid

Here’s a good article detailing all the childish gloating from the right. This is another example of how low our politics have sunk in recent years. Conservatives used to rail against liberals for alleged “Bush Derangement Syndrome,” but the contempt and hatred for Barack Obama has reached bizarre levels on the right. Frankly, they sound like a bunch of dumb teenagers taunting a rival team.


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