And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Middle Wednesday Thoughts

Charlie Stross on what is really sold when you sell your book. I haven't made it through this yet, but thought it might be good to share (really long post). (grokked from Jay Lake)

And, because we're talking about healthcare (or will be soon), a new use for 3d Printing technology, the printing of body parts. Serious SF geekery. And, another example of why medical expenses are going up. However, are you going to be the one who tells the quadruple bypass patient who has collapsed veins that they're going to die because we can't afford the new tech. (also grokked from Jay Lake)

Saw the President's address this afternoon. I kept flipping between channels. Is it me, or does FoxNews intentionally darken the President's complexion? It's not that way on the local Fox affiliate, which is using the same feed (by camera angle). Nor is it that way on C-SPAN or CNN. And the difference is more than noticeable. It's not the surrounding colors (the local affiliate has the same color scheme as FoxNews, including the red scroll bar and the silly, "Alert" message). Oh, and damn good speech. Que up the "President Gives Good Lectures" and "Did all those people really deserve to wear their white coats" crowd in 3.. 2.. 1... And what the President said, "It's time to finish the work." Because you've got a hell of a lot of other work to do (and, IMHO, part of the whole "Start all over" argument to keep Congress from doing anything this year).

And to restate the reasons why I support reform. Because the major difference in competition between the US and other nations isn't business taxes (when you add in all the taxes they really aren't different, other countries just tax differently). It's the cost of health care. In the US our companies are drowning in the costs of insurance. Don't see it. Okay, part of the proposal is to tax health insurance benefits that are over $28000 a year. $28K. Take your salary and add $28K, also add in Social Security and Medicare parts paid by your employer and that's each employee's cost to their employer. For some people that's nearly double what they're being paid. For our public employees in the village it's nearly $18000 a year (on average). That again, almost doubles their pay. Without reforming this industry (the insurance industry) employers will not be able to afford to add jobs. And those who still offer insurance won't be able to continue to offer it in the future.

Get it done, damnit. And then get on to the various economic programs (of which you'll notice, other than tax cuts, the Republicans also have not offered any substantial ideas on).

And, frankly, this is the present mental state of affairs of the conservative moment (TPM article of Michelle Bachmann's very recent conversion to support of the US Census, you know, once she figure out it would probably mean her Congressional seat to stick to her ideals and convictions).


vince said...

Rep. Bachmann. I do apologize for her, but sadly I couldn't vote against her - I'm in the wrong district.

And while I have some significant issues with some parts of the current health reform bill (subject to change without notice - the bill, that is), we desperately need reform. And I'm flippin' tired of the far right and their take on reform.

Steve Buchheit said...

Bachmann would be easier to take if everybody understood her role in this Congress was that of the plucky comedic relief and stop taking her seriously.

And, well, yes. But any legislation is subject to change until it's in final form on the way to the President's desk. There are plenty of things I'd want to change (Public Option for instance), but I'll take the whole "no lifetime limits" and "no recession" and "no pre-existing conditions" as that's what will be real important in the short term.

The canned talking points are growing hoary as we go forward. Although I'm more tired of the conservative side's "Oh sure, you put some of our ideas in, but we won't support it anyway because it's not bipartisan." (Their definition of bipartisan being "do it our way or no way at all").