Tonight’s the Night!

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Bush Administration, Health Care

Be sure to drop by tonight for blow-by-blow live blogging of the State of the Union address. You are welcome to watch the SOTU along with me and add your commentary to the comments. Or, you can blow off the SOTU and add your commentary to the comments, anyway. I don’t know that it matters. You know the boy ain’t gonna say shit. I only plan to watch so I can see Nancy Pelosi looming in the background.

However, there are some things we can watch for, like whether the creature can pull off looking confident, or if he says something that hasn’t already been leaked. Advance word is that the creature plans to focus on domestic policy; stuff that isn’t so much, you know, Iraq.

The President is expected to announce a major health care initiative, which I discussed earlier this week, here and here. Today we have the exciting news that The Dumbest Health Care Plan Ever!™ has gotten even dumber. Christopher Lee and Lori Montgomery write for the Washington Post,

The best solutions to the problem of nearly 47 million Americans lacking health insurance are to be found in states across the country, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said Monday.

President Bush will propose in his State of the Union address tonight, Leavitt said, that the federal government redirect some money from programs such as Medicaid and Medicare into a new grant program to help states devise and implement plans ensuring access to affordable health insurance.

Leavitt, who did not specify a funding amount, said the new Affordable Choices Initiative would help fuel efforts already underway in states such as Massachusetts and California to guarantee access to basic health coverage for everyone.

“The aspiration for all Americans to have access to a basic insurance policy at an affordable price is a widely held sentiment,” Leavitt said. “There will be two diverging philosophies on how to solve this problem. One will be to have the federal government ensure everybody, and the other will be, ‘Let the states lead.’ “

The Massachusetts Plan hit some rocks recently when somebody figured out that the “affordable” insurance the plan promised would cost $380 on average per month for an individual, and “up to $580 per month for a 56-year-old.” The catch is that insurance is mandated, so poor, uninsured folks in Massachusetts are expected to scrape this money together somehow or be in violation of law

But from a wingnut perspective, the Affordable Choices Initiative would not only slice a few pennies off the cost of health insurance, it would gut Medicare and Medicaid in the bargain! Win/win!

WaPo’s Lee and Montgomery continue,

Meanwhile, another Bush health care proposal drew a chilly reception from some Democrats. Bush will urge the creation of new tax breaks for the purchase of health insurance, especially by those who do not get coverage through work. Bush advisers acknowledged Monday that the plan initially would cost the federal government millions of dollars in lost revenue, but said that would be offset by more revenue in later years and the plan would pay for itself within the first decade.

And you know that whenever a Bushie says a plan will “pay for itself” — we’ll be robbed.

[Update: Ezra has more details on The Dumbest Health Care Plan Ever!™]

Here are some links to keep you busy as we anticipate the big event:

Bush To Face Skeptical Congress

Diminishing clout presents challenges for Bush

From Hero to Goat

How chilly a reception in the House chamber?

Nearly two-thirds in U.S. have given up on Iraq

Saving Their Seats, and Maybe the Country

Stale of the Union

State of Indifference

State of the Union: Irate

[Update:] Trying to Change the Subject

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13 Comments

12 Comments

  1. eap  •  Jan 23, 2007 @11:56 am

    If his “Affordable Choices Initiative” is anything like his “Healthy Forests Initiative” or his “Clear Skies Initiative”, God help us…

  2. moonbat  •  Jan 23, 2007 @2:31 pm

    I guess it goes with the turf of being a political blogmistresss, but you’re made of much stronger stuff than I. I can’t stand to watch this twit, nor do I wish to replace my television after I’ve shoved my boot through the screen.

  3. Tom Hilton  •  Jan 23, 2007 @2:46 pm

    What moonbat said: better you than me. Even a looming Nancy Pelosi isn’t enough to induce me to watch it.

  4. Madison Guy  •  Jan 23, 2007 @3:31 pm

    It will be great having Nancy Pelosi looking over his shoulder. Keep an eye on the health insurance: Don’t have a gold-plated plan? Why not try one of the credit card plans instead? Take your pick: In George Bush’s world, Americans have too much health insurance. In Bob Herbert’s world, they don’t have enough. Which sounds like the world you live in?

  5. RandyH  •  Jan 23, 2007 @5:25 pm

    Fanatical Apathy has posted their official 2007 State of the Union Drinking Game. Hilarious! Not your typical drinking game.

  6. felicity smith  •  Jan 23, 2007 @6:02 pm

    Even French haters acknowledge that they have the best health care plan. They work it like we work Social Security. Everybody pays and everybody benefits. Of course Mr. Bush and his fellow conspirators would prefer that the middle class pays and the rich benefit. If I understand Bush’s latest flim-flam health care job, it’s a tax increase on the lower and middle classes. Just so long as the rich get a cut and benefit to boot, who cares.

    As usual it’s Mr. Bush bent on getting away with something – just like any three-year old who’s hungry for attention and knows his clueless parents won’t challenge him. I’m awfully tired of being governed by a three-year old. And I do wish Bush’s parents, it is Congress isn’t it, would challenge him – like send him to his room.

  7. sachem515  •  Jan 23, 2007 @6:30 pm

    New Orleans won’t even be mentioned tonight.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/01/23/bush-ignore-katrina/

  8. Donna  •  Jan 23, 2007 @7:00 pm

    Speaking of the state of the union being irate…..Liz Cheney had an op-ed in the WaPo that has now drawn 100+ pages of angry comments, with overwhelming numbers writing furious denunciations of her, her father, the Bush team and the neo-cons. Somewhere around page 10 of the comments, a commenter who had done a count said that ‘so far, in 250 comments, I find only one that is supportive of Cheney’s message and ALL of the rest disagree with the talking points of the op-ed.’
    BTW, how is Hillary juggling her second internet chat with the SOTU speech? Aren’t they scheduled at the same time?

  9. Donna  •  Jan 23, 2007 @7:05 pm

    Ok, I just answered my own last question. The two events are two hours apart, I guess.

  10. marijam  •  Jan 23, 2007 @7:19 pm

    Madison Guy, I have my husband’s health insurance since I’m working contract with no benefits and it isn’t golden. If something were to happen to him, I’d have to buy my own insurance from an insurance agent. Don’t know that I can afford $380 per month with all the debt we’ve accumulated from my being out of work between contracts. Even my unemployment benefits are limited now. I wasn’t aware there’s a lifetime limit to unemployment. I always thought that when you worked, you paid it back and it would return to the original amount of weeks. Now, I’m not sure that’s so any more.

  11. Swami  •  Jan 23, 2007 @7:46 pm

    The president is proposing to change to how the tax code treats health insurance, by counting employer contributions toward health insurance as taxable income while establishing a standard deduction for anyone with insurance.

    I’d trade my cow for some magic beans before I’d grab hold of that bargain. The hooks are showing.

  12. maha  •  Jan 23, 2007 @8:47 pm

    I wasn’t aware there’s a lifetime limit to unemployment.

    I wasn’t aware of that either. A lot of seasonal workers used to count on unemployment in the off season; that’s got to be hard on them.

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