Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Obama is going to pay for my Gas
Job losses left many people uninsured
Flythe, a diabetic, said he checked into buying a policy for his family, but he couldn't afford it. He recently landed another job, but the new benefits haven't kicked in yet.
"I worry day to day, honestly," he said. "I pray to make sure my child or my wife don't' get sick because, if they go to the hospital, we are looking at a couple of thousand (dollars in bills)."
Flythe was among the patients Monday at the Walltown Clinic, a joint program of Duke University and Lincoln Community Health Center that serves the low-income neighborhoods near Duke's campus. The clinic serves 3,000 to 4,000 patients a year – 80 percent don't have health insurance – and charges co-pays based on what patients can afford. "People will come in and say, 'I suddenly don't have a job. I've lost my insurance. Can you help me?'" said Kaity Granda, a physician's assistant at the clinic.Norman Rucker said he hasn't had health insurance in almost 10 years because his employers haven't offered it.
"I'm not a person who gets sick a lot, so I didn't think I'd need any medicine," said Rucker, who racked up about $100,000 in hospital bills over that period by going to the emergency room whenever he needed care. "I'm trying to pay them off. Collection agencies call me all the time.
Rucker's wife has insurance, but the couple couldn't afford to put him on the policy. Now, he's excited he may also have coverage because of health care reform.
"It'll make the world better. It'll make us all better, actually," he said.
Posted by Hollywood at 10:57 AM
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
“Nancy Pelosi is a little bit like a Forest Service warden during a particularly dry summer in which there are little blazes springing up all over the place. Some of them can be easily contained, and others could grow into pretty serious forest fires,” said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Baker said Pelosi is not weaker than before but that the dynamics have shifted for her in short order.
“Her grasp is somewhat more tentative,” Baker said. “The obstacles that face her are just much more imposing than they were as recently as two years ago.”
Those obstacles include a tough election cycle and House Democrats’ desire to retaliate against the Senate for moving too slowly or too far to the middle. But when they vote no — whether they’re angry at Pelosi, the Democratic-controlled Senate or President Barack Obama — it is Pelosi’s tally that suffers.
There’s little room for the speaker to brook challenges on the controversial overhaul of the nation’s health care system, but her spokesman, Brendan Daly, said he’s not worried about residual effects of the Ways and Means Committee shake-up.
“I don’t think any of this was a challenge. As [Pelosi] said, now that’s behind us, and we’re going to move ahead,” Daly said. “We’re on the cusp of historic health reform, and she’s going to work very hard in the next few weeks to make sure that happens.”
Thomas Mann, a congressional scholar at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, said it’s hard to say Pelosi’s grip is slipping, because she never ruled with an iron fist.
“Pelosi’s strength has always been her ability to understand the diversity within her caucus and to figure out a way to bring [people] together when the tough votes come down,” Mann said. “I don’t see any change in her standing. She never had the capacity to issue orders.”
To be sure, Pelosi has pooled an immense reservoir of goodwill over the years, first as a talented rank-and-file Democrat and later as the leader who positioned Democrats to win, and then expand, a majority. Even in tough times, most of her fellow Democrats believe Pelosi is on their side.
“People know that her heart is right,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
But that hasn’t stopped even some of Pelosi’s allies from bucking her in recent weeks.
In insisting that his resignation of the Ways and Means Committee chairmanship was only temporary — even though there is no such provision in House rules — Rangel said, “I wrote the letter and I wrote what I meant, and I said what I meant. If there’s anyone that needs clarification, it’s the speaker, not you.”
Posted by Hollywood at 11:41 AM