Trusted groups AARP and Consumer Reports fight for healthcare

I've already praised Consumer Reports for standing up for Americans, taking on some really powerful and ruthless politicians.

Now the AARP has taken up the fight on behalf of us, adding its voice.

Consumer Reports and AARP are two of the most trusted organizations in the U.S., having earned that trust, and they continue to earn it.

I've been an AARP member for almost seven years, as the card shows. I'm hoping the expiration date on that card refers to my membership only ...


Government healthcare

We can all agree that healthcare reform is needed. As currently constituted, the healthcare system is full of perverse incentives that drive up costs and penalize those most in need by denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

But the answer is not a government takeover of the healthcare system. This is precisely what the Obama administration’s healthcare proposal would accomplish. By forcing all Americans to buy health insurance while unfairly regulating private plans, the public option would drive private insurers from the market and eventually bring a government takeover of the healthcare system.


Historic vote on healthcare reform

Here we go again. It’s one of those good news, bad news days.

The bad news is how much Democrats in the House had to give up in order to pass healthcare reform legislation.

They had to settle for a weak public option. And they had to accept an amendment — dictated by the Catholic bishops! — that even further tightens existing restrictions on abortion funding. What country is this, when you first have to consult religious leaders before voting on legislation? Iran?

But let’s keep our eyes on the prize: The good news on healthcare far, far outweighs the bad.


Pelosi bill: Jail for no insurance

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation reported that the House version of the healthcare bill specifies that those who don’t buy health insurance and do not pay the fine of about 2.5 percent of their income for failing to do so can face a penalty of up to five years in prison!

The bill describes the penalties as follows:


ObamaCare endorsements: What the bribe was

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

As the suicidal Democratic congressmen proceed to rubber-stamp the Obama healthcare reform despite the drubbing their party took in the ’09 elections, the president trotted out the endorsements of the AMA and the AARP to stimulate support. But these — and the other endorsements — his package has received are all bought and paid for. Here are the deals:


The 10,000-hour rule

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, has a basic theory about what makes people truly successful. He says that if you have the right education, the right timing and the right experience, combined with a truly extraordinary work ethic, you can be an outlier, somebody who succeeds beyond everyone’s expectations.

One of the nuggets in this very interesting book is Gladwell’s reciting of the 10,000-hour rule. Gladwell repeats the theory that for someone to be truly proficient in a complex task, that person must work at it for 10,000 hours or more. Ten thousand hours is a long time, about 10 years.


Why healthcare must move this weekend

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her congressional lieutenants were burning the midnight oil last evening, preparing for a whirlwind few days in order to get her trillion-dollar health reform bill to the House floor. To the pure political observers, it’s her best strategy. She can’t afford to wait a day longer. As each hour passes, red-state Democrats are waking up and realizing, “What happened on Tuesday night could happen to me next year.” 

Keeping her flock in town over the weekend is not by accident. Pelosi’s henchmen know that if they release the rank and file back to their districts following Tuesday’s shellacking at every level of government, they will certainly get an earful as to why they are stubbornly ignoring the will of the electorate and moving forward.


Gerson off target

Michael Gerson has distinguished himself in the past as a protector of the vulnerable in society. However, he seems to have lost sight of his own ideals in his column today in The Washington Post. Instead of commending young people in this country for recognizing the importance of shared rights and responsibilities, Gerson tries to pit the young and old against each other.


Buying a car

Let’s say that your car is constantly breaking down and you know that you have to buy a new one because you need a car to get to work.

You just bought a house, you have some credit card debt and you are worried about the economy. You are not too certain that your job will be there next year.


It's time liberals drop public option

This piece is also published in The Washington Times.

It's time for liberals like me, who favor the public option or its functional equivalent, to give up on the idea and move forward to enact historic, landmark national health insurance legislation. And to do so now — not next week or next month.

Without the public option, the votes are there, with at least some Republican support, to do what Democrats have been trying to do since Harry Truman and pass national health care legislation that would accomplish the two goals that have always been the Democratic Party's priority for more than 60 years: First, virtually universal health insurance, including those who are too wealthy to qualify for Medicaid, but too poor to afford health insurance; and second, mandatory coverage for all — meaning insurance companies must insure everyone regardless of status, age, or pre-existing conditions. (Both go hand-and-hand, since insurance would not be affordable unless there is a broad mix of healthy younger people with less healthy older people in the customer mix.)