This doesn't really fit into a post or anything, but I just want to send along best wishes for a speedy recovery to the wife and daughter of Sen. Harry Reid, who were injured in a Virginia automobile accident (particulary to Mrs. Reid).
Now, to the videos...I love the line about Fix Noise being "the meanest sorority" (and I thought humanoid anchor Megyn Kelly said polls are unreliable or don't matter, or something - that was in another Stewart clip)...
On March 12, Fox News contributor Dana Perino falsely claimed that people would "not see benefits for four to five years after" the health care reform bill passes. In fact, numerous benefits contained in the Senate bill would become available in the first year after the bill is enacted.
Perino: People would "not seebenefits for four to five years after" bill is enacted. On the March 12 edition of Fox News'On the Record, Fox News contributorDana Perino said of the health care reform legislation, "people are going to betaxed for the next several years and not see benefits for four to five yearsafter that."
Senate Democrats note "Immediate Benefits" of health care bill. According to a document put forth by Senate Democrats summarizing the "Immediate Benefits" of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the bill includes numerous benefits that would "be available in the first year after enactment" of the bill. Indeed, Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein published the following list of benefits that the Senate bill would provide "before 2014":
1) Eliminating lifetime limits, and cap annual limits, on health-care benefits. In other words, if you get an aggressive cancer and your treatment costs an extraordinary amount, your insurer can't suddenly remind you that subparagraph 15 limited your yearly expenses to $30,000, and they're not responsible for anything above that.
2) No more rescissions.
3) Some interim help for people who have preexisting conditions, though the bill does not instantly ban discrimination on preexisting conditions.
4) Requiring insurers to cover preventive care and immunizations.
5) Allowing young adults to stay on their parent's insurance plan until age 26.
6) Developing uniform coverage documents so people can compare different insurance policies in an apples-to-apples fashion.
7) Forcing insurers to spend 80 percent of all premium dollars on medical care (75 percent in the individual market), thus capping the money that can go toward administration, profits, etc.
8) Creating an appeals process and consumer advocate for insurance customers.
9) Developing a temporary re-insurance program to help early retirees (folks over 55) afford coverage.
10) Creating an internet portal to help people shop for and compare coverage.
11) Miscellaneous administrative simplification stuff.
12) Banning discrimination based on salary (i.e., where a company that's not self-insured makes only some full-time workers eligible for coverage.
Obama's plan also provides immediate benefits. According to the House Committee on Education and Labor, Obama's health care plan also provides numerous benefits that will enact immediately after the bill's passage or within the first year, including protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, tax breaks for small businesses, and aid to seniors participating in Medicare Part D. From the House Committee on Education and Labor:
Access to Affordable Coverage for the Uninsured with Pre-existing Conditions
- The President's proposal will provide $5 billion in immediate federal support for a new program to provide affordable coverage to uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions. This provision is effective 90 days after enactment, and coverage under this program will continue until new Exchanges are operational in 2014.
Access to Quality Care for Vulnerable Populations
- The President's proposal makes an immediate and substantial investment in Community Health Centers to provide the funding needed to expand access to health care in communities where it is needed most. This $11 billion investment begins in 2010 and extends for five years.
No Pre-existing Coverage Exclusions for Children
- The President's proposal eliminates pre-existing condition exclusions for all Americans beginning in 2014, when the Exchanges are operational. Recognizing the special vulnerability of children, the plan prohibits health insurers from excluding coverage of pre-existing conditions for children, effective six months after enactment and applying to all new plans.
Re-insurance for Retiree Health Benefit Plans
- The President's proposal will create immediate access to re-insurance for employer health plans providing coverage for early retirees, effective 90 days after enactment. This re-insurance will help protect coverage while reducing premiums for employers and retirees.
Closing the Coverage Gap in the Medicare (Part D) Drug Benefit
- The President's proposal begins to fill the "donut hole" by giving seniors a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the donut hole in 2010.
Small Business Tax Credits
- The President's proposal will offer tax credits to small businesses beginning in 2010 to make employee coverage more affordable.
- Tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums will be immediately available to firms that choose to offer coverage; later, when Exchanges are operational, tax credits will be up to 50 percent of premiums. The full credit will be available to firms with 10 or fewer employees with average annual wages of $25,000, while firms with up to 25 or fewer employees and average annual wages of up to $50,000 will also be eligible for the credit.
- The President's proposal protects patients' choice of doctors by allowing plan members to pick any participating primary care provider, prohibiting insurers from requiring prior authorization before and woman sees an ob-gyn, and ensuring access to emergency care. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all new plans.
Extension of Dependent Coverage for Young Adults
- The President's proposal will require insurers to permit children to stay on family policies until age 26. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all plans for young adults who are not offered qualified coverage elsewhere.
Free Prevention Benefits
- The President's proposal will require coverage of prevention and wellness benefits and exempt these benefits from deductibles and other cost-sharing requirements in public and private insurance coverage. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all new plans and all plans in 2018.
- Beginning on January 1, 2011, Medicare beneficiaries will receive a free, annual wellness visit and will have all cost-sharing waived for prevention services.
No Lifetime Limits on Coverage
- The President's proposal will prohibit insurers from imposing lifetime limits on benefits. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all plans.
Restricted Annual Limits on Coverage
- The President's proposal will tightly restrict insurance companies' use of annual limits to ensure access to needed care, effective six months after enactment for all new health plans. These tight restrictions will be defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. When the Exchanges are operational, the use of annual limits will be banned for all plans in 2014.
Protection from Rescissions of Existing Coverage
- The President's proposal will stop insurers from rescinding insurance when claims are filed, except in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material fact. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all plans.
Prohibits Discrimination Based on Salary
- The President's proposal will prohibit group health plans from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that have the effect of discriminating in favor of higher wage employees. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all group health plans in 2014.
Seems like a good night for a Japanese three-headed monster movie trailer.
Open thread below...
Riding the Diary Rescue streetcar tonight are vcmvo2, jlms qkw, jennyjem, dopper0189, Alfonso Nevarez, ybruti, and YatPundit in the motorman's chair of the handicap-accessible 400-series Riverfront car on an almost-spring New Orleans evening.
Diary Rescue is all about promoting good writers, so remember to subscribe to diarists whose work you enjoy reading.
jotter has High Impact Diaries: March 11, 2010.
sardonyx brings us Top Comments: Lamentations Edition.
Please join the Diary Rescue krewe this evening by suggesting your own rescues in this Open Thread.
House Majority Leader Kevin Garn admitted as the Legislature adjourned Thursday night to a nude hot-tubbing incident with a teenage girl 25 years ago.
In a tearful statement in a packed House chambers, Garn said the mistake has "now come back to haunt me" as the woman has gone public with the story. The Layton Republican said he entered into a confidentiality agreement with the woman in 2002 and paid her $150,000.
"I was 28 years old and I foolishly went hot-tubbing with a young woman nearly half my age. Although we did not have any sexual contact, it was still clearly inappropriate ? and it was my fault," Garn said in a statement.
The Deseret News learned of the allegations against Garn just before the GOP primary election in 2002. Garn sat down and spoke about the incident with Deseret News reporters and editors.What do you think? Newspaper acting responsibly, or newspaper influencing an election by claiming they're not?
At the time, Garn and now-U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, were in a tight primary race seeking the Republican nomination for the 1st Congressional District and Garn was the Utah House majority leader, a position he has, again, achieved.
Deseret News editors decided not to run a story about the indiscretion at that time, since the GOP primary was only weeks away and the incident had occurred years before.
The editors decided to wait to see if Garn advanced in the primary before deciding whether to publish a story.
The Way I Am from Boys and Girls
I just love the simple but infectious hooks from this song, and I find myself humming it often. I know that it's been used in a commercial, which somewhat tarnished its appeal. Singer Ingrid Michaelson thought so too, so she came up with a rap version, heard here at a radio appearance:
Which version do you prefer? And can you think of another song that could stand a re-write into a different musical genre?
For some reason, a program that enjoys the support of overwhelming majorities of Democrats, independents, or Americans as a whole?slice it any way you like?has become synonymous with ?hot potato.? No one wants to be the one who has to take the blame for[...]
Read The Full Article:
Sounds like Germany has finally come around and started to be helpful. The steady stream of insults offered little other than to show how arrogant Merkel's colleagues could be. The Guardian:
Senior sources in Brussels said that Berlin had bowed to the bailout agreement despite huge resistance in Germany and that the finance ministers of the "eurozone" ? the 16 member states including Greece who use the euro ? are to finalise the rescue package on Monday. The single currency's rulebook will also be rewritten to enforce greater fiscal discipline among members.
The member states have agreed on "co-ordinated bilateral contributions" in the form of loans or loan guarantees to Greece if Athens finds itself unable to refinance its soaring debt and requests help from the EU, a senior European commission official said.
Other sources said the aid could rise to ?25bn (£22.6bn), although it is estimated in European capitals that Greece could need up to ?55bn by the end of the year.
Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 3/8/2010-3/11/2010. Registered Voters. MoE 2.8% (Last week's results in parentheses):
Since this is now the second week since the big transition from a universe of all adults to a universe of registered voters, we can finally draw some legitimate comparisons.
Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of volatility to explore. The Democrats (with the exception of the leadership) gain a couple of points in net favorability this week, while the GOPers in question lose a point or two.
That said, some other key indicators don't show much change. The margin for Democrats on the generic ballot variation remains steady at a three-point edge for the Democrats (46-43, up a point for both sides). Meanwhile, the right track-wrong track indicator (critical for the incumbent party) only improved incrementally, from 38/60 to 39/60.
Another key stat, one we have been tracking for a long time, is voter intensity. Those numbers change only a little this week, and in the Republicans' direction. The GOP now has a 51/21 split between those who seem likely to vote versus those who appear unlikely to vote, a net improvement of two points for the Red team (49/21 last week). Meanwhile, the net Democratic voter intensity slacked off by a point (40/32, from 39/30 last week).
The latest edition of The Week In Blog is up at Bloggingheads.tv featuring Matt Lewis and myself discussing health care, the Massa resignation, and the Dodd financial reform bill. Watch it below.