Tuesday Open Thread

“Panic is a sudden desertion of us, and a going over to the enemy of our imagination.”

–Christian Nestell Bovee


23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Legislators and local governments, wake up – Westerners increasingly care about conservation (BizWest, paywalled):

    The poll was conducted by two research organizations — FM3, which works with Democratic politicians, and New Bridge Strategy, which works with Republicans. The surveyors conducted 3,200 cell phone and landline calls with 400 registered voters in each of eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

    The poll showed that across the region, when asked whether protecting sources for clean water and recreation should be a priority and when asked whether protecting sources for domestic energy, oil and gas should be prioritized, 65 percent of respondents agreed with the first statement supporting clean water and recreation compared with 24 percent who supported oil and gas development.


    What is more, Western voters are willing to put their money where their ideals are: 68 percent of respondents across the region said they support a small increase in local taxes in order to protect water and conserve habitat in their local area. The percentage willing to pay more taxes does fluctuate across party lines, however. Democrats are more likely to support a tax increase, but even 53 percent of Western Republicans said they supported it for the purpose of local conservation.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      It isn't all that surprising that there is such an imbalance between public sentiment and public policy. There is a disproportionate amount of money and time spent assuring that public policy is created by those who support industry, even when communities and individuals suffer unpleasant consequences.

      Until campaign reform and the displacement of "Money-as-God" are effectively attained, it will not change. 

  2. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Just do a "show page source" and you can read the entire article.

  3. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Top Nancy Pelosi Aide Privately Tells Insurance Executives Not to Worry About Democrats Pushing “Medicare for All”

    Pelosi adviser Wendell Primus detailed five objections to Medicare for All and said that Democrats would be allies to the insurance industry in the fight against single-payer health care. Primus pitched the insurers on supporting Democrats on efforts to shrink drug prices, specifically by backing a number of measures that the pharmaceutical lobby is opposing.

    Primus concluded his presentation with a bullet point that summarized Pelosi’s mission on health care: “Lower your health care costs and prescription drug prices.”

    The “your” refers to insurers, who bear costs for medical expenses covered under their plans. That puts insurers and Pelosi, at least in one sense, in alignment, as both have an interest in lower costs. Indeed, insurers regularly negotiate to lower their health care costs, but in practice their efforts have had little effect on the general trend in costs. Drug company patents give pharmaceutical giants outsized power to set prices, and hospital consolidation has also given providers more power in those negotiations. Even where insurers have been able to negotiate lower prices for their own customers, that has done little to shrink the list price of drugs for the public.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Top Nancy Pelosi Aide Privately Tells Insurance Executives Not to Worry About Democrats Pushing “Medicare for All” … while Trump is President and the GOP controls the Senate

      “Speaker Pelosi has ensured that Medicare for All will have hearings in the House and tapped Congressman Brian Higgins to take the lead on Medicare buy-in legislation. For the first time, House committees will be seriously examining and tackling some of the questions and possible solutions raised by Medicare for All legislation,” said Connelly.

      “The biggest obstacles facing Medicare for All right now are Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump,” he added.  “But in the near term, there is a window for Democrats to press Trump to help pass aggressive legislation to negotiate down the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs.”

      In the meantime the various definitions of “Medicare for All” and the pros and cons of each will get a thorough hearing, thus leading to a well-vetted solution after 2020.

      • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

        said that Democrats would be allies to the insurance industry in the fight against single-payer health care.

        Just one note.  There's only one version of Medicare for all, and it's encapsulated here, in the bill sponsored by Sanders.  There are other ideas about making coverage more "affordable" or more widely available, or attempting to reduce costs in the existing system, but they aren't that.  All that's fine, and there will, as you say, be a debate about different approaches to healthcare.

        Medicare for all, however, is a single payer system with private insurance pretty much out of the picture.  It's also true, as you demonstrate, that a lot of folks will co-opt the term for their own ends, even though their policies provide something (sometimes substantially) different.

        • DavieDavie says:

          I can live with "co-opt"ing the term if it gets us closer to "pure" Medicare for All via Public Option, Early Buy-in, etc. Private insurance will have a place for boutique services. I like my Medicare Advantage through Kaiser extremely well.

        • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

          There are multiple approaches. One summary of the various Democratic proposals is at VOX: We read Democrats’ 8 plans for universal health care. Here’s how they work. 

          3 of these 8 are "Medicare for All" .  Others of them fit into your "something different" category.

          • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

            Thanks for the link, John. Good info there.

          • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

            So, there are two "Medicare for All" bills shown there.  Sanders' and the House counterpart to that, HR 676, identified as Jayapal's bill, although originally sponsored by John Conyers.  Both include this prohibition: "It is unlawful for a private health insurer to sell health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this Act."

            The other concept, which is not a bill, is not called "Medicare for All" because it creates an entirely new program called "Medicare Extra."  In other words, exactly the sort of co-option I'm talking about, especially when you look at how it's structured.

        • ParkHill says:

          I don't agree with Pseudo's claim that there is only one version of MFA. Sanders' version is a marker not the "one true version". We all know that the specifics  of the bill will be modified, and that the devil is in the details.

          The Vox articles are extremely good. They describe a range of possibilities. The one I support is "MFA that leaves in place employer insurance." (Covers the 52% of Americans who don't receive employer insurance). I don't support "MFA replacing employer insurance" because it would be a huge disruption to the 48%.  I'm confident that MFA + Employer Insurance, would evolve towards MFA 100%.

          Medicare for All is a good slogan. In the most generic sense it means universal health insurance. Let's start there and make sure that such legislation is both sufficient and viable, even if it isn't perfect.

          Let's call it the promise of creeping socialism.

          • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

            There's only one plan that takes a program, universal medicare, and covers all people.  Everything else is a set of approaches, opt-ins, copays, deductibles, percentage outlays based on income, etc.

            That's all good, and it will all be debated, but folks are equating universal healthcare and MFA, and that just ain't true.  I know that's not to a lot of peoples' advantage, because they want their plan to be the hot new thing, but it's all designed to co-opt the clear message of the left, that something for all should be a single payer system, free at the point of use for everyone.  Period.

            • DavieDavie says:

              Well, the single payer model you describe may be pure, but are you sure it is implemented anywhere?  Canada's system is generally perceived to be single payer (thus reviled by the GOP), but is it really?

              The Canadian health care system was built around the principle that all citizens will receive all "medically necessary and hospital physician services." To that end, each of Canada's 10 provinces and three territories finance and run a statewide health insurance program. There is no cost-sharing for the health care services guaranteed under federal law.

              While Canadians are guaranteed access to hospital and physician services, it is up to each province to decide whether to cover "supplementary" benefits, like dental care and drug coverage. About two-thirds of Canadians take out private, supplemental insurance policies (or have an employer-sponsored plan) to cover these services.

              Here’s the link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/07/01/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-canadian-health-care-in-one-post/?utm_term=.a28e307a0d90

              • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

                I included this in my last post. " It is unlawful for a private health insurer to sell health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this Act."  Anything not covered is open for private insurers under the plan I support, just like in Canada.  I never described my system as “pure;” you're putting words in my mouth.

                I think Canada's national plan under-covers folks, because I think teeth and glasses and prescriptions are basic healthcare, but that's a fine debate to have.

                BTW, other countries solve the problem of universal healthcare without single payer. Also an option to discuss. Also not what Medicare for All is.

  4. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Please, check your leverage at the door…

    Top Progressive Firm Tells Dems to Leave Starbucks Alone

    Officials at SKDKnickerbocker, a progressive public affairs and consulting firm, have been reaching out to Democratic operatives in the last week expressing fear the animus directed at Schultz over his proposed independent presidential bid was having a spillover effect on the coffee conglomerate he used to lead.

    One operative on the receiving end of the outreach said that the firm, which lists Starbucks as a client, offered to put a top Starbucks executive on the phone to discuss concerns over the politicization of their company in response to a prospective Schultz campaign.

    “They really wanna make sure that Democrats and liberals aren’t going after Starbucks and are stressing that it’s not fair to the company,” said the operative, who relayed details about the conversation on condition of anonymity.

    • MADCO says:

      Hey, <snif> everyone couldj please just leave us alone.. (whimper)
      Our boss decided to do something – but <snif> it should not affect our business , or ya know our lives.

      Tell it to the a**holes who ran Sears into the ground and then pillaged the bk.
      Tell it to the boards who blew up the pensions at United Airlines and hundreds of other companies where the C level staff did fine but everyone else got screwed.
      Howard Schultz is about Howard Schultz. Sure, he had a business idea and executed it amazingly well. And he adopted more than his share of progressive ideas for treating his employees.

      But, he is still a billionaire (+$3.4B and counting) who thinks that because he's rich, and it wasn't inherited, that he has a right. I don't want him to be president and so I prefer he not run.
      But he can do what he wants- and if anyonth thinks that his actions have no impact on his company or coworkers – well, that's not how it works.

  5. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Oh, look!  Tanc is spotted at the border with an august crew of #MAGA greats. I must admit, their commitment to hempcrete to build the glorious wall gave me pause.

    In what amounted to a kind of MAGA field trip, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, baseball legend Curt Schilling, and former Sheriff David Clarke convened to discuss a new plan for building a wall along the southern U.S. border. Blackwater founder Erik Prince phoned in from South Africa.


  6. DENependent says:

    "Colorado runner chokes 80-pound mountain lion to death"

    This is the most Colorado headline ever. I have a lot of respect for anyone who can fight off a wild predator and then drive himself to the hospital.

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