“Wow! Huffington Post is really milking the Affordable Care Act's website's computer glitches into big news. What exactly is the point of all this? To imply that the whole ACA system wont work?”
locnar70-1lives on Oct 5, 2013 at 07:50:01
“Well so far as to follow the law of averages,obamacare is a complete an utter piece of failed or soon to be known as failed shiiit.How many things need to be wrong with this before you people see that even though it is a grand idea to have health care for all Americans this plan of obamas just isn't good and never will be.And to be for it just because the boob you voted for is responsible for it is just plain stupid,its a good idea but not in this form”
dtmfman on Oct 5, 2013 at 07:41:00
“it appears that way....I've often wondered what AH's REAL agenda is...”
“The poll citing little support for air strikes is misleading. The way its questions were worded implied a broad military intervention. When the question is worded to specifically describe what the President is proposing 50 percent support it and 44 perecent oppose.( See results from Hart Research Poll of August 29 below)
Q8X Now, more specifically, if U.S. military action in Syria were limited to air strikes using cruise missiles launched from U.S. naval ships that were meant to destroy military units and infrastructure that have beenused to carry out chemical attacks would you support or oppose this U.S. military action in Syria?*
Support ................................................................. 50
Oppose ................................................................. 44
Not sure .............................................................. 6
* Data reflects responses among 291 adults interviewed on 8/29”
“The issue of cutting back hours appears to be another case of false infromation about the Affordable Care Act. It is correct that the penalties only apply to businesses with 50 or more full time employees. But the IRS is defining full time employee here as one who works more than 30 hours a week or to a “full time equivalent employee”. The number of “fulltime equivalents” is determined by adding up the total number of hours per month worked by part-timers and dividing by 120. For example, if six part-time employees each work 25 hours per week, they would be the equivalent of five fulltime employees. Thus, these part-time employees would be counted toward determining whether the employer has 50 employees and is required to offer health insurance. So the ACA significantly limits the ability of employers to avoid paying penalties by using part-time employees.
So, any company that is cuuting back on hours here better check with their accountant. In addition to accomplishing litttle to escape the ACA penalties they risk losing skilled and experienced full time employees. Once the dust clears this just isn’t going to materialize.”
Engineerbiz on Sep 1, 2013 at 16:06:38
“They may be able to lower their risk by forcing more out of their employees. Maybe lawmakers need to think about this.
I do admire Obama for trying to fix healthcare. I really do. However, the solution he proposed really doesn't seem to be ideal at all. I think we should move towards a single payer system instead. That wouldn't be perfect either, but at least we wouldn't run into problems where employers were trying to destroy jobs in an already terrible economy. That is not a sensible way to reform healthcare. I know people want to bash greedy corporations and acknowledge that many of them could certainly afford to pay healthcare. However, we can't say we didn't see them taking these steps.”
“As a democrat I don't agree with many of Senator McCain's policy positions but at least he speaks from his own heart and personal convictions, not from some absurd talking points prepared elsewhere, which many of his colleagues seem addicted to. He deserves respect.”
Amalek on Jul 21, 2013 at 11:04:35
“Agreed. He is generally a reasonable man. He has made some serious mistakes (like Palin) however, when he feels threatened by the right. ”
al mostonest on Jul 21, 2013 at 11:02:13
“I lost respect for McCain after he abandoned his early stance on election campaign contributions. He got savaged by Bush in SC (where else?) in 2000 and learned to go along to get along with the neo-cons. Sarah Palin was just icing on the cake...”
robertLewis on Jul 21, 2013 at 10:20:28
“Sorry Bob, but McCain hasn't spoken from his own heart since he ran for U.S. Pres. He is, perhaps more than any other Senator, a pre-prepared, molded, polished and shined News camera groupie. Nothing he says is spontaneous or his own thoughts.”
HonestBrokerBoston on Jul 21, 2013 at 10:19:01
“Even after what he and Lindsay Graham did to Susan Rice? I don't recall either of them apologizing for the outright assassination of her character prior to any facts coming out.”
Baron von Brentford on Jul 21, 2013 at 10:15:38
“McCain will say anything to keep himself in the spotlight, period.”
“The problem is not with the players but with structural flaws in our- supposed to be- will of the majority democratic system. The sad fact is that we do not have any body of Congress that represents the popular will. This is why initiatives are repeatedly defeated despite polling indicating that large majorites of Americans want them.
Regarding the Senate, the Constitution provided for ample protection for smaller states with the 2 Senators per state makeup. The 60 vote requirement carries this to absurd extremes. Forty-one Republican Senators from the least populated states can block anything even though they represent less than 1/3 of the general population.
In the House, the drawing up of House District boundaries in 2010 by Republican State Officials for purely partisan gain, or gerrymandering, results in a House that doesnt represent the popular vote. As a result of a well planned and financed Republican redistricting effort many States elected more representatives to the House than was justified by the popular House vote . In Michigan for example, Republicans lost the House popular vote by 300,000 votes but won 9 Congressional seats compared to 5 Democratic ones. Nationally, Republicans secured a 33 seat advantage in the House even though they lost the overall House vote count by 1.4 million votes.
Unless and until these root causes of an undemocratic system are corrected there is little point discussing other facets of why things dont get done despite their popularity with the general public.”
Xcarpenter on May 5, 2013 at 10:25:58
“Well said, f&f”
G8tor on May 5, 2013 at 10:09:16
“So basically The four or five overpopulated cities in America should have more power than the more rural areas... HMMM Seems that was the issue a long time ago.”
“Aside from the monetary impact on seniors, cutting Social Security payouts through a chained CPI would have enormous program and political implications. This would make President Obama the first president in the 75 years of the program to basically condone taking FICA payroll tax money out of the Social Security Trust Fund and not paying it back in full from general revenues for the Social Security purpose it was intended for . This undercuts the basic inter generation contract of the Program. Politically it plays right into the Republican line that payroll taxes being paid now by younger workers cannot be counted on in the future for retirement, and the only way to correct this is to have private Social Security accounts. Extremely shortsighted of the President and his staff and something the Democratic Party will regret in the future.”
“If the economy and jobs are the main priority then why is Washington focused almost exclusively on the federal budget, immigration and gun control. This makes no sense as these issues have only a small effect on overall U.S. jobs and wages.
The money to fix our deteriorating standard of living problems (a few trillion a year) already resides only in the private sector;larger banks, corporations and wealthy investors. Federal spending is a small % of what is actually needed. Why arent we looking at putting incentives and disincentives in the tax codes to get the private sector to invest in the U.S?”
“Of course Romney is a bit conflicted on his health care plans. If he did explain the real pocketbook expense of his plans, especially on future Medicare vouchers, even his Tea Party supporters would jump ship faster than you can say Obamacare.
Based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis, the added new cost to a 65 year old entering his system to buy private health insurance, above the voucher amount, would be about $6400 a year. As they stayed in the Ryan Medicare system, their health care costs and premiums would increase and this new out of pocket cost would grow to $14,000 a year for a 77 year old. Common sense would bear these numbers out; buying health –or life insurance- on the private market when you are 65 plus years old is not the situation to put yourself in.
Obviously, the vast majority of future seniors could not afford this leaving many uninsured. In addition, there is no requirement in the Plan that private insurers have to offer a policy to a particular senior, especially those with preexisting health conditions. Therefore the Ryan Plan would fail to provide seniors with health care. In stark contrast the current Medicare Program provides prompt payment of claims for over 49 million seniors at very low administrative overhead.
So, the Romney/Ryan Medicare Plan won’t provide for senior health care; how can he possibly explain that to working voters looking ahead to retirement?”
“The Romney Individual and estate taxes reductions alone would decrease federal tax revenues by $360 billion in 2015.
According to statements by Mr. Romney,to avoid making the deficit worse, he will offset this revenue loss by ending certain(unspecified) deductions on upper income households. But offsetting a $360 billion revenue loss would require deep reductions in many popular middle and lower income class tax deductions, including the mortgage interest deduction, the exclusion for employer-provided health insurance, the deduction for charitable contributions, and benefits for low- and middle-income families and children like the Earned Income Tax Credit and child tax credit. There are simply no other tax preferences out there that involve this much money, and this is true even if these tax deductions and credit reductions were first applied to upper incomes and then worked downward.
When the math is done, those making less than $200,000 a year loses money and only those making more than that receive a net benefit.”
“The hypocrisy here is incredible given what the Ryan medicare Plan would do to future seniors.
The premise of the Ryan plan for Medicare is that Medicare spending is “breaking the federal budget” and needs to be “reformed”. Actually the part of Medicare funding that comes from the general tax revenue budget (where the deficit problem is) is now at 15% of those annual revenues. That budget cost will increase but so will revenues, so Medicare spending remains at that 15 percentage; not breaking any budgets at all.
Nevertheless, under the Ryan Plan, Medicare insurance (cover your health costs when you need it) would be replaced with an annual voucher (initially $8000) going towards the cost of buying private health insurance. The elderly would have to put in their own additional money and buy private health insurance. The new cost to a 65 year old to buy such health insurance would be about $6400 a year. As they stayed in the Ryan Medicare system, using the CBO approach, their health care costs and premiums would increase significantly and this new out of pocket cost would increase to $12,000 for a 75 year old and $14,000 a year for a 77 years old, the average age of a senior.
The vast majority of seniors could not afford this leaving many uninsured. Common sense would tell you that buying health –or life insurance- on the private market when you are 65 plus years old is not the situation to put yourself in.”
“Romney claims budget cuts of $750 billion over 10 years. That amounts to about a $75 billion cost savings in one year by 2015.But his tax breaks cut revenues by $456 billion in 2015. So if he is serious about making his plan revenue neutral and not adding to the deficit he has to make up $381 billion a year.
To make up that much you would have to eliminate deductions like home mortgage interest, charitable contributions, employer health care insurance , and a lot more -not just for the wealthy but for all.
He needs to trade in his etch- a -sketch pad for a calculator.”
“Actually Obama's case is sound when you consider the alternative which would be an unchecked growth in the use of poison gas. In addition, when the question to the U.S. public regarding a military strike is framed accurately as it was below in a recent Hart Research Poll,it gets good support.
Q8X Now, more specifically, if U.S. military action in Syria were limited to air strikes using cruise missiles
launched from U.S. naval ships that were meant to destroy military units and infrastructure that have been
used to carry out chemical attacks would you support or oppose this U.S. military action in Syria?*
Support ................................................................. 50
Oppose ................................................................. 44
Not sure .............................................................. 6
* Data reflects responses among 291 adults interviewed on 8/29
So I'm afraid that Ms Huffington's comment is what's anemic here.”
“This is still a necessary effort by the Justice Department to reduce minority voter suppression. But they should also be filing lawsuits to redress the vote suppression that has occured because of manipulation of House district boundaries for partisan gain-or gerrymandering. Due to that manipulation, the House of Representatives no longer reflects the popular vote as called for in the Constitution.
In the 2012 House elections nationwide, 1.4 million more Democratic votes were cast for House representatives than Republican ones. Based on that popular vote, Democrats should have a 6 seat margin in the House yet Republicans secured a very large 33 seat advantage. In effect this 39 seat swing represents the suppression of about 9 million popular votes cast, which is likely a far greater vote suppression than that ocurring due to race.”
“The outrage is there Richard; simmering, you just need to talk to regular people. The problem is that there is no accepted peaceful way for folks to express it.
The House of Representatives now represents the minority of right wingers due to gerrymandering of House Districts. Reactionary Republicans control the Senate due to filibuster rules. Broad demonstrations are difficult ot organize, will be strictly contained and confined by the police (look at the over reaction to the Occupy wall street effort) and marginalized by the press.
Our Democracy has been stolen from us. The problem is a structural one, not a people one .”
Would it be possible in the MA case to redraw certain Districts so that Republicans had a voter registraion advantage in those districts and could win some seats in proportion to their overall state vote?”
dsws on Jul 1, 2013 at 14:28:44
“I should add that I would prefer an approach that doesn't use districts at all: just let people register to vote for whatever seat they want to. Then if the Republicans want to all register for the same two seats, they could get their two representatives. (Or whatever the numbers come out to.)”
dsws on Jul 1, 2013 at 14:26:54
“I don't know. My guess is that you could, but you would have to do some pretty extreme gerrymandering to bring together that many Republicans here. And even then the Republican districts would have fairly narrow pluralities.”
“Demographic shifts will not overcome Republican vote surpression in the from of gerrymandering House Districts.
In the 2012 House elections, nationwide, 1.4 million more Democratic votes were cast than Republican ones, yet Republicans secured a large 33 seat advantage in the House. The Table below which compares the popular vote to the Democratic House seats actually won.
State Statewide Democratic Popular Vote (%) Democratic Seats Won
Indiana 46 2 out of 9 (22%)
Michigan 53 5 out of 14(36%)
North Carolina 51 4out of13(31%)
Ohio 48 4 out of 16(25%)
Pennsylvania 51 5 out of 18(28%)
South Carolina 42 1 out of 7(14%)
Texas 40 12 out of 36(33%)
Virginia 49 3 out of 11(27%)
Wisconsin 51 3 out of 8(38%)
It is clear that biased drawing of House district boundaries resulted in Democratic Party House representation much less than that what the popular vote would have resulted in. For example, in Pennsylvania, Democrats won only 5 (or 28%) of the 18 Pennsylvania House seats, but based on their 51% statewide popular vote they should have won 9. The total number of Democratic house seats won in these states was 39. Had the seats been apportioned based on the popular vote(rounding to the nearest integer), as they should have been, Democrats would have won 61 seats. The difference of 21 seats just in these states represents a form of vote suppression and is a staggering insult to the voters of these states and our democratic principles.”
dsws on Jul 1, 2013 at 08:05:37
“That makes it sound as though the outcome without gerrymandering would be proportional representation. But it doesn't take gerrymandering to get a result that merely exaggerates the winning side's advantage. Single-seat districts do that automatically.
Here in MA for example, the legislature doesn't even have to gerrymander: the electorate leans Democratic, and does so in every district. So we have an all-Democratic congressional delegation, even though we don't have an all-Democratic electorate.”
javagirl023 on Jul 1, 2013 at 07:39:37
“And there is the very real effect that if your vote doesn't count because you have been gerrymandered, you are less likely to show up in the first place, enhancing the problem.”
“Afraid that the media just doesnt get it regarding the Republican Party going extinct , needing to reeinvent itself etc. The fact is that the Republican Party is doing just fine, in fact better than the Democratic Party in terms of eventually achieving its goals.
They recognize they will usually be a minority Party. How else could a Party that unconditionally supports only the top 1% operate? So what do you do? Control enough press and radio to convince many ordinary Americans to support you. Control the Courts and shape policy -like campaign financing-through unelected means. Control House elections through Gerrymandering the Districts, avoiding the need to win the popular vote. Bottle up the Senate with filibusters, even though you represent only about one-third of voters. And just wait for a real or Press -manufactured Democratic mistake to take the White House, and then enact your policies.
So the Republican Party has a strategy and a pathway to get to their goals. The Democratic Party , despite more recent and growing popular support, has no realistic path to success. Secure a 60 vote advantage in the Senate? not likely. Reverse the gerrymandering ? no Plan to do so.
Which Party is in better shape?”
TuoulumneFlower on May 13, 2013 at 09:30:16
“Until the day that the self-identified "patriots" who currently support (and are played by) the Republican party understand that all you described is completely anti-American.
It's happening more and more. I have good friends who are Republicans: they hate the current Republicans almost more than I do, because they see that they've been shafted on very basic principles.
It's possible that the current fascists who make up the GOP will win in the short term. But in the long term, they will lose, and forever.
Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of fellows.”
Wilbur on May 13, 2013 at 08:14:08
“Can't undo the gerrymandering until after the 2020 elections, the next time reapportionment is allowed. Fortunately, that will be a Presidential election year, when voter turnout is so much higher than it is in mid-term election years (which is what happened in 2010).”
buster wayne on May 13, 2013 at 08:11:42
“So the Republican Party has a strategy and a pathway to get to their goals, huh?... This wouldn't happen to be the same strategy and pathway the Bushes and Republicans use would it?”
oopscdaysz on May 13, 2013 at 07:29:01
“your IQ is clearly lower than your fan totals. The GOP had devolved in to a party that only wants to obstruct everything and help do NOTHING.”
DocSkull on May 13, 2013 at 06:37:36
“I agree that Republicans are the happy underdogs. Winning just gives them less reasons to stick their hands out and puts them in the awkward position of having to actually govern. However, that is a not a long-term strategy since their wealthy donors soon realize that nothing changes and they switch their money to the Democrats.”
“Have to change the corporate tax code to get the investment banks, large corporations and the top 1% to invest in jobs and wage increases in the U.S. Like it or not they are the only entities with the approx. $2 trillion a year annual incomes to support 10 million new jobs and say a 10 % across the board wage increase to create the demand for products needed to revitalize the economy.
For example, could change the “single rate fits all” corporate tax structure to provide low tax rates for companies that hire in the U.S., increase wages(based on profit margins), provide secure retirement plans, profit sharing, worker education, and day care programs. Consider better corporate governance rules could as one factor for securing the low tax rate; e.g. broader decision making, compensation based on productivity, wider scope of shareholder decisions, more democratic basis for number of votes cast.Set higher tax rates for those who do not, and for off shored or outsourced operations.”
“Am surprised that Biden isn't addressing Ryan's Medicare Voucher Plan because it is built on misinformation.
The premise of the Ryan plan for Medicare is that Medicare spending is “breaking the federal budget” and needs to be “reformed”. Actually the part of Medicare funding that comes from the general tax revenue budget (where the deficit problem is) is now at 15% of those annual revenues. That budget cost is expected to about double in 10 years but so do revenues, so Medicare spending remains at that 15 percentage; not breaking any budgets at all.
Nevertheless, under the Ryan Plan, Medicare insurance (cover your health costs when you need it) would be replaced with an annual voucher (initially $8000) going towards the cost of buying private health insurance. The elderly would have to put in their own additional money and buy private health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office(CBO) estimates that the added new cost to a 65 year old to buy such health insurance would be about $6400 a year. As they stayed in the Ryan Medicare system, using the CBO approach, their health care costs and premiums would increase significantly and this new out of pocket cost would increase to $12,000 for a 75 year old and $14,000 a year for a 77 years old, the average age of a senior. If this is what a worker today wants to look foward to in retirement they should vote the Romney/Ryan ticket.”
nativechef66 on Sep 3, 2012 at 10:10:33
“Want to fix medicare and social security? Raise the income contribution cap, plain and simple, then we'll see who screams the loudest.”
stopmakingsense on Sep 3, 2012 at 10:10:08
“Because they taking everybody under 55 out the system, thereby rising the cost for senior.”
OCCUPYHERALD on Sep 3, 2012 at 09:51:48
“"i Have a Plan, and you can see it after we get elected"
“Romney and Ryan cast themselves as willing to make hard choices to fix what ails our country, but right off the block they don’t even pick the right problems that need fixing.
The Social Security Program is actually in good shape and doesn’t use general tax revenue funds, which is where our deficit problem lies. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that, just with payroll tax revenues the program will be able to pay benefits to future retirees far into the future that is better than today’s benefits. So, no real problem there. Yes, Medicare costs are growing, as are health care costs in all sectors, but the part of Medicare that comes from general tax revenues is now 15% of those revenues, and because revenues also grow over time, remains at that percentage through 2020 and beyond. So Medicare is not “breaking the budget” . At the same time it does contribute to the deficit and cost cutting is in order, as it is in all other general tax revenue funded programs. That and can be sensibly done, without alarm and without gutting the entire Program.
So before the media and people in general, get too caught up in the glitzy bar charts in the Ryan Plan and the winners and losers from it, they should be asking whether this is a journey that should be even taken.”
slappington on Aug 12, 2012 at 09:39:12
“well said, while we are contemplating a journey, I hope someone goes back and unearths all the tax gifts given from public coffers to corporations on a state by state basis.
Chris Christie although once a Federal Prosecutor is indicative of their general amnesia.
He has admitted benefits programs that were pilfered to enrich political cronies- given in order to cash-in on the farce of trickle-down economics.
When confronted with this behavior, behavior that has stripped pensions to enrich corporate donors his cop-out is, "It wasn't me I didn't do it".
His cop-in should have made every attempt to get to the bottom of how unions were pimped to provide funding for pay-to-play”