Monday, November 18, 2013

Check out health insurance cost

Here's a shortcut for checking out your health insurance options -- an alternative to healthcare.gov. To buy the insurance, of course, you'll need to visit that site or enroll by phone or mail.  Meanwhile, the calculator below may be helpful.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Don't delay Obamacare

Who do John Boehner and the House Republicans think they're fooling with their sham votes last week to wait another year to put the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into effect? They pretend to be indignant that the Obama administration won't require employers to offer health insurance until 2015. And he asserts that if employers get to wait, the rest of us should also. That's the sneakiest false-equivalence argument I've seen in years.

Here's how Mr. Boehner's claim doesn't wash. The law's requirement that we all get health insurance is the key to the whole health-care reform. Without that individual mandate, healthy Americans will be tempted to go without insurance just as so many do now. It's adding those healthy people to the risk pool that's supposed to make it practical for insurers to begin covering the millions of Americans who have been excluded from coverage because of their age or ailments.

He acts like employers are in the same position as the rest of us in regard to the ACA. That's not so at all. Why would I want to wait an extra year to be guaranteed that my age or state of health would not exclude me from health insurance? Why would I want to postpone the day when my wife and I can compare two or more health plans in plain language that allows us to choose what's best for us?

So what about the employers? On that I offer what former insurance executive Wendell Potter wrote on his blog a few days ago and said on Public Radio's "Fresh Air:" Because so many Americans already have health insurance through their jobs, the delay of the employer mandate will affect a relative few individuals. It's not a small number but it is a small share out of the millions of workers and families who stand to gain from the other, broader parts of this complex law.

Let there be no further delay or Republican posturing. The law is needed, it is overdue, and it's going to save lives and suffering. 

Monday, July 01, 2013

At home in the hills

I'm home again in the hills where I grew up.  Liz and I moved to Floyd, Va., last week, carrying out a plan we've held for most of a decade.  I awoke today to a light mist and the sounds of many birds in the nearby woods.  Once in the hours since daylight I heard an automobile -- or, more likely, a farm vehicle.  It feels good.

Friday, January 25, 2013

     Did you hear John Boehner this week charging that President Obama is out to annihilate the Republican Party? That's odd, because it's been evident for quite some time that the Republicans are trying to do the same thing to the Democratic Party. What the speaker of the House told the Ripon Society on Tuesday was just the latest example of a pattern I noticed during the recent presidential campaign: accusing your opponent of doing the same skunkly thing you're trying to do.
     Boehner's self-revealing thrust was in response to the president's second inaugural address, when he laid out the kind of agenda that American liberals have been counting on: initiatives on climate change, gay marriage, and protecting the social safety net. Contrast those ideas with the sneaky move by Virginia Republicans to redistrict the state Senate while the tie voter who would have blocked the move was attending the inauguration. Several districts now represented by Democrats would be reshaped to favor Republicans.
     How many times have we heard Boehner whining that the president and his party need to do this or that in a bipartisan way? Well, if Boehner really believes in bipartisan politics, why is it that he regularly stalls legislation in Congress by not bringing it to the floor for a vote unless a majority of House Republicans are for it.
     And what about all those vote-suppression measures that the Republicans pushed through the Florida Legislature and others in the runup to the 2012 elections?  They clearly aimed to cut down the number of Democratic voters.  And they had some impact, though fortunately there were more of us than the GOP knew.
     Let's see how many examples of Republican two-faced behavior we can think of in the past six months. You go first. I promise not to make fun of anything you write.

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