Visual source: Newseum
Former insurance company executive and author of Deadly Spin Wendell Potter says Paul Ryan's plan would be a windfall for insurance companies:
The more health plan enrollees have to pay out of their own pockets, the less insurers have to pay for medical care. The money that insurers avoid paying out in claims goes straight to their bottom line—and into shareholders’ pockets. Insurers have been shifting more and more of the cost of care to their policyholders over the past several years by enticing—or pushing—them into plans with ever increasing deductibles. This trend is part of what Yale professor Jacob S. Hacker called “the personal responsibility crusade”—making people more responsible for the management and financing of the major economic risks they face—in his 2006 book, “The Great Risk Shift.”
David Frum takes a stab at telling us why a 62-year-old Republican would ponder Donald Trump for President:
So maybe you'll give him a try. Or somebody else. You need help. You need help from somebody who understands what it's like to be you: not poor, not black, not Mexican, but still hurting, still scared, still looking at a future suddenly a lot bleaker than you ever expected. Somebody. Anybody.
Linda Chavez thinks Donald Trump's trashing the Republican "brand" may guarantee Barack Obama's reelection whether the birther wheeler-dealer actually runs or not.
In Libya, Syria and Yemen, writes Patrick Cockburn, the police states suppressing Arab freedom are not going the way of Tunisia and Egypt, nor are they likely to. In Bahrain, the protesters have lost and Saudi-backed tyranny is terrorizing the mostly Shiite population.
David Ignatius calls use of armed drone in Libya "not a good idea":
My quick reaction, as a journalist who has chronicled the growing use of drones, is that this extension to the Libyan theater is a mistake. It brings a weapon that has become for many Muslims a symbol of the arrogance of U.S. power into a theater next door to the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, the most promising events in a generation. It projects American power in the most negative possible way.
The Miami Herald editorial board disses two proposed immigration laws as "harsh and harsher":
The problem with all such proposals is that they invite intrusive questioning of any person that any law enforcement officer may consider to be here illegally. Regardless of whether the bills ostensibly ban racial profiling, Hispanics, Haitians and anyone else deemed “different” are at risk. In South Florida, that would include not only tourists from Latin America and the Caribbean, but hundreds of thousands of legal residents. Not to mention anyone with a tan and an accent.
Charles Krauthammer calls Paul Ryan the de facto head of the Republican Party and says somebody should rustle up a posse to corral him into running in 2012 as the anti-Obama.
[S]omething else struck me as I looked at Republican arguments against the board, which hinge on the notion that what we really need to do, as the House budget proposal put it, is to “make government health care programs more responsive to consumer choice.”
Here’s my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as “consumers”? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car — and their only complaint is that it isn’t commercial enough.
Many progressives have become exasperated by NPR’s timidity, on air and off, and its seeming over-capitulation to the right. But when verbal food fights are what pass for news on TV, we need to support NPR more than ever.
Bolivia's climate summit has had moments of joy, levity and absurdity. Yet underneath it all, you can feel the emotion that provoked this gathering: rage against helplessness.
It's little wonder. Bolivia is in the midst of a dramatic political transformation, one that has nationalized key industries and elevated the voices of indigenous peoples as never before. But when it comes to Bolivia's most pressing, existential crisis--the fact that its glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, threatening the water supply in two major cities--Bolivians are powerless to do anything to change their fate on their own.
That's because the actions causing the melting are taking place not in Bolivia but on the highways and in the industrial zones of heavily industrialized countries.