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Archive for March 17th, 2010

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee Tells Their Healthcare Story

Posted by Charles II on March 17, 2010

Added 3/18: The CBO has scored the reconciliation bill.

Deficit hawks will love it: there are promises of saving about $14B/year for ten years, then $130B for the next ten years. Of course, these are all fantasy numbers that may be achieved or not. They give the Democrats a talking point.

The main point is that these are not the numbers we have to see. We need to see larger numbers for savings, not just on the federal side but on the business/individual side. Like, $140B this year, $280B the following year, $420B the next, and so on for six years, reducing our spending to the levels of the rest of the world. Over 10 years, that would average to something like $490B/year, with very approximately one-third of the savings being on the federal side. Call it $160B/year.

See how puny the $14B/year savings is?
The Senate has put out its story on why we should support the healthcare bill. I’m not endorsing it– I think that reasonable people can be on both sides of the issue– but it’s got features that I know will help people.

So, don’t let the unreasonable people say that it’s purely a gift to the insurance industry. It’s not. It is too timid, and brought to the table very grudgingly, but it’s not nothing at all.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a link for it, so I am excerpting from a PDF. However, similar documents are here and here:

Immediate Benefits
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes health insurance market reforms that will bring immediate benefits to millions of Americans, including those who currently have coverage. The following benefits will be available in the first year after enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Access to Affordable Coverage for the Uninsured with Pre-existing Conditions

[Continues below the fold]

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Posted in Democrats, health care, Senate | 1 Comment »

Honduran Dictatorship, Day 50

Posted by Charles II on March 17, 2010

The human rights situation continues to spiral dangerously downward.

Tiempo editorialized in part:

The High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN has given her report in Geneva (Switzerland) regarding human rights following the military coup d’etat of the 28th of June, 2009, in which she asked for an investigation of the violations committed in this period.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN, Navy Pillay, asked that “independent investigations be performed… especially in cases of violations of the right to life, torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and rape, and that judicial proceedings against the guilty be brought.

The majority of the violations, according to this report, have not been punished– those which the coup d’etat occasioned, and accordingly, it recommends that the government “formulate a national plan of action for human rights and avoid the use of military force in functions of controlling obedience to the law….

Some examples of Lobo regime’s committment to human rights:
March 16th: (Via Adrienne) Twenty seven year old Freddy Antunez, who had been kidnapped along with the child of union leader Mauro Gonzales, was found dead with hands tied and three gunshots in his neck in Olanchito, Yoro.
March 16th: The OAS human rights group CIDH denounces the assassination in a hail of gunfire of anti-coup journalist Nahún Palacios .
March 12th (Via Adrienne): Ramon Ulises Castellanos and Miguel Sauceda, residents of El Naranjo in the state of Atlantida, were kidnapped and executed as part of the terrorization of squatters (who may be legitimate landowners)
March 2 and 11: Journalists David Meza Montecinos and Joseph Ochoa, murdered.
March 8: Congressional authorities, as well as–paradoxically– authorities of the Women’s Institute, ordered the violent repression of peaceful protests by feminists. The violence appears to have been orchestrated by the Institute of Women, since they chose to hold their event at the same location as the protesters had long before announced they were planning to have their event. When the Institute for Women ordered the feminists’s power cut, the feminists protested and this was met by billy clubs. It’s hard not to see that as staged violence.

In other news, the Frente condemned the US for meddling in Honduran affairs by supporting the Half-truths and Deconciliation Commission that Lobo is assembling, and announced a convention for June 28th (among other remarks).

Omar Edgardo Rivera Pacheco asks who is the opposition in Honduras, noting that in the country, cork sinks and lead floats. Lobo has coopted his rivals Felícito Ávila (PDCH), César Ham (UD) and Bernard Martínez (PINU-SD), and “has surrendered a copious portion of the government pie to Liberal [wtf] Elvin Santos”

Brother John explains to us how he lost his hair.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | Comments Off on Honduran Dictatorship, Day 50

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