Week’s End Flashback: Open ConCom Bill signed, Health Care Reform, polluter bailouts, more Monahan mashing, King v. Balderas and a Pot Poll

As we plunge into a new week, here’s a flashback on some of the stories/posts we found interesting from last week’s fare:

Governor Richardson signed Open Conference Committees bill

Marjorie at M-Pyre speculated on the Gov’s game of cat and mouse.

Steve Terrell told us so and paid tribute to the late Bob Johnson.

Peter St. Cyr makes strong  case for health care reform
Sweeping Good Government Reform Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature.

Dr. John Fogarty warns of another corporate bailout
Polluters are pushing for their own massive bailout

APS and the Office of Circumlocution
Burque Babble translates the hidden meanings in an APS press release.

Who’s Twittering?  Matt has the answers.
New Mexico Twitter users

Attorney General Gary King uses subpoena power against political rival
Haussamen:  AG, auditor engage in a legal food fight

Monahan got skewered again and again over SunCal avoidance,  anonymous sources and blogger credentials

Inkstain:  Anonymous Sources

Monahan ignores SunCal news

Linthicum-Monahan feud continues

And self-appointed defender of the blogosphere Monahan refuses to doesn’t have a NM blogroll.

National blogger Nate Silver gave us some generational polling on pot
Why Marijuana Legalization is Gaining Momentum

And finally, in the Val Kilmer for Governor Watch
Val Kilmer gets the support of fellow actor Russell Means.

All About the Health Care

Ezra nails it.

U.S. budget deficits over the next 50 years, assuming no change in current policy, will absolutely explode. Not because of Social Security, not be cause of Medicare – because of health care. If there is not a concerted effort to address the booming cost of health care, then we can pretty much bet the country will go bankrupt.

Really, this isn’t an alarmist rant. It’s a fact.

Health Care Crisis: Pricing Out Small Business

As executive director of the Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance, Rebecca Dakota communicates regularly with the owners of about 175 small businesses in the city.

Dakota’s members tell her they know that keeping their employees healthy is good for their businesses as well as for each employee and their family.

“The bottom line is that when employees are healthy, they do a better job, they are more productive and they show up at work more often. So it’s a good thing for the employer,” says Dakota.

Continue reading

“It breaks my heart I can’t insure her.”

Dena Jaramillo – a college student, a mother and the assistant operations manager at Betty’s Bath and Day Spa – lost her health insurance last month.

Her offense? She turned 22… and was summarily dropped from her father’s policy.

The practice of removing children from their parent’s policy once they become adults is common among health insurance companies.

But like almost every young person it happens to, it left Jaramillo in a bind.

As a student at Central New Mexico Community College, Jaramillo qualified for some health benefits, but found they were too limited for her needs.

So she turned to her boss, Elissa Breitbard, who owns the North Valley spa where she has worked for the last eight years.

“I didn’t know what to do, so I asked Elissa if I could get on the plan at Betty’s,” she said. Continue reading

Evidence? What a Novel Concept!

One of the most disconcerting aspects of politics is the ascendancy of policies that are without merit. Examples of this dynamic on the federal level include the 2001 and 2003 federal tax cuts.

The so-called red light program is a local example of the very same dynamic. Remember, the red light program was ostensibly developed for public safety reasons, not to pad the city budget.

When policy is made by way of blind ideology, or to mask budgetary shortcomings, we the people eventually pay the price.

Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of health care.

For years, even decades, there have been discussions about how to cover more people, while simultaneously preventing insurance premiums from outpacing inflation. Needless to say, trends indicate an abject failure on both fronts. Continue reading

McCain: “Happy Festivus, Insurance Industry!”

Over the past couple of months, a discussion on the core issues facing Americans has pretty much fallen by the wayside during the presidential campaign. Americans expect an adult debate on foreign policy, the economy and health care. Instead, the 24-hour news cycle is obsessed with one candidate’s middle name and who’s most at home taking shots at a bar.

It’s not surprising that people are getting fed up.

Fortunately for those of us who relish meaningful policy discourse, Senator John McCain is hitting the road this week to trumpet his plan for reforming the nation’s broken health care system.

As a primer for the headlines that are sure to come, I thought it might be important to highlight some questions about the Senator’s core policy prescription; tax credits to spur the purchase of private insurance.

Prior to the questions, however, let’s review some important facts about Senator McCain’s intimate relationship with the insurance industry. Continue reading

Slashing Your Purchasing Power

Over the weekend, the world almost ended (really, it did) because one of the candidates for president suggested that rampantly bad economic conditions for working people might actually breed bitterness.

Or, something to that effect.

The matter of whether or not Senator Obama’s “bitter” point was in fact offensive has been debated at length. Some of my personal favorites include Robert Reich and TPM.

I will refrain from adding to the cacophony. Instead, let’s circle around to the matter of health care costs. After all, the rising cost of health care is putting pressure on corporations and therefore affecting their ability to hire workers, right?

Well, yes and no. Continue reading