Thursday, February 26, 2009


It's a bit dizzying. President Obama and his administration are going to propose big changes in health care funding explicitly aimed at "getting health-care reform done this year" as White House domestic adviser Melody Barnes said.

I really want this to work. But I still can't be sure it will. GOP leader John Boehner says "Everyone agrees that all Americans deserve access to affordable health care" then immediately starts carping about taxes on small businesses. Hey, a lot of small businesses will be relieved to be out from under the stress of having to support health insurance for their employees, a situation where sometimes a catastrophic illness for an employee can become an insupportable burden on the business as well.

And lo and behold, the budget includes revenue from a cap and trade scheme on carbon emissions in 2012. To finish that this year, as well as health care and doing whatever it takes on the banks and economies, would be a challenge. Republican Senator John Barrasso (who's he? Wyoming) called the climate thing "a trillion-dollar climate bailout."

Dude, if we could bail out our climate for only a trillion dollars, it would be the single best investment in humanity's history.

I think David Broder is actually right for once - it is a bit of a gamble. But I don't think Obama has much choice. The tanking economy makes the current health care "system" even WORSE for Americans as many of us are laid off and therefore at exposed risk of bankruptcy and worse from medical conditions no longer covered. And we may be too late on the climate anyway - Congress needs to do something realistic, especially before the year-end UN climate change conference in Denmark.

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