Ty: Okay, now health care and I'm jumping to it because we might run out of time and I want to be sure to get Trina in here. ObamaBigBusinessCare is what Ava, C.I. and Trina have dubbed Obama's 'plan.' Reader George wants to know if we -- and Trina specifically -- are saying we'd prefer nothing happen on health care?
Trina: Yeah. If the alternative is the plans being proposed in Congress, I would prefer nothing be done. It's going to be a lot harder to take on the insurance companies when they've got everyone's business and that's what a mandatory measure would do. Mandating that everyone purchase health insurance means the inusurance companies get a ton of new customers and, watch and see, if that happens we will never have single-payer because they will not let go of those customers.
Ruth: I agree with Trina. There is nothing in it for the American people. There is plenty in the plans for Big Business. I do not believe we do something, anything, just to say we did something. I believe we do something that helps. Barack Obama has said that we cannot have single-payer because it is too dramatic of a step. However, there is nothing in his proposals that lays down steps that could lead to single-payer. As Trina pointed out, everything about the plans being discussed guarantee that single-payer is shut out for good.
Cedric: Ruth and Trina are correct. It is better to have nothing than to add even more barriers to single-payer. It's really amazing that we were so offended under Bush that we could not negotiate pharmacy prices but with Barack offering the same crap people won't even call out Barry O. Barack has blown the chance not only for single-payer but also for something as modest as health care reform. At this point, the best thing would be for the whole thing to be scrapped. Barack blew it. Allowing the proposals to go forward and become law would mean we the American people blew it.
Janet Hook (Chicago Tribune) reports:
Underscoring the divisions within their party, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday split decisively over a central issue in the healthcare debate as centrists teamed with Republicans to reject creation of a public option for medical insurance.
The committee voted 15-8 against establishing a public program after a sometimes emotional debate that stretched over half a day, revealed tensions between liberal and conservative Democrats and laid bare the chasm between the political parties over how to repair the nation's troubled health care system.
The public option they were pushing was a joke that would have helped very few if any; however, even that was too much for them. These 'plans' are not plans that the American people need. It is better to scrap the whole thing at this point than to move forward. Doing so now would mean erecting new road blocks for single-payer, universal health care.
That is reality. It was obvious back in June. Those who continue to delude themselves need to stop.
Thank you to everyone who e-mailed about last night's post. I am glad so many of you enjoyed it. I enjoyed writing it. It was like when I used to take on NPR. (I started "Ruth's Report" as an entry at The Common Ills in 2005 and it was my weekly report of what took place on NPR.)
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Barbra Streisand has a new album out today. If this elderly, Jewish grandmother can download it on the computer this morning from Amazon while having her first cup of morning coffee, what is your excuse for not doing so?
Seriously, it is a wonderful album. I have listened to it all day. This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Reports have come in from clergy in the north of the country that in the past few months, a slow but steady emigration has got under-way from the villages and towns close to Mosul city, which trace their heritage back to the earliest Christian centuries.
It comes after warnings of another blow to the Church expected in the immediate run-up to the January 2010 general elections.
With government ministers publicly expecting a surge in violence as people prepare to go to the polls, Church leaders fear that a new security crisis could spark another mass exodus of Christians, which in some areas may mean the departure of the last remaining faithful.
In an interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, leading Iraqi priest Fr Bashar Warda made clear that Christians in the Nineveh region are now beginning to feel threatened by the kind of security problems which have blighted the lives of people in so many other parts of the country.
"We are not seeing -- at least not yet -- a large emigration from places like Alqosh and other [Nineveh] villages but it is definitely happening."
Fr Warda said he could not give precise estimates of the number leaving the region but he said that a number of exclusively Christian villages have each been losing 30 or 40 faithful every month, sometimes more.
The news has added significance because the many almost completely Christian villages in the region had become a refuge for faithful under threat in other parts of the region.
Reuters notes the corpse of a man ("hanged, with the rope still around his neck") was discovered in Mosul.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has authorized checks for up to $3,000 to be given to students who have applied for educational benefits and who have not yet received their government payment. The checks will be distributed to eligible students at VA regional benefits offices across the country starting October 2, 2009.
More information on emergency checks.
Information on VA regional benefits offices.