Obama's Health Insurance Reform

The president's proposals for health care reform do not do nearly enough to control premium increases for those with insurance. I fully expect my premiums to continue to go up under an Obama-type plan. It seems very likely that they would go up even more rapidly for many folks with insurance because now higher-risk people will be added into the risk pool. In addition, it is odd to me that the President's plan continues with allowing age discrimination in premium rates (although it does put some limits on that age differential). I am overall very disappointed. I also feel that the emphasis on a bipartisan bill, with Republicans marching in lockstep opposition, is in reality a shrewd scheme to provide cover that will allow the Democrats to pass more conservative legislation. I don't buy it. We have 57 Democrats in the Senate, and if we use reconciliation we only need 51 of them for a better plan. I think LBJ would have done that, and many other things as well.


Howard Zinn

It was very sad to learn that Howard Zinn has just died. On the good side, he accomplished a tremendous amount. I just bought his People’s History book a few weeks ago and have been reading it in spells. I really admired Zinn very much, and I’ve thought of him as a voice of sanity and sorely needed balance in a culture of nationalistic propaganda supporting militarism and elitism. It's good to know that his People's History of the United States has so far sold over a million copies.


Nobel Peace Prize

What do you think about Obama getting the Nobel prize? I didn't care for it. I think the Afghan war is a disaster, and I don't think our effort there will improve the outcome. I would rather the prize had gone to someone like Howard Zinn, a famous American historian and anti-war activist among other things, to which he has dedicated his life. He is also brilliant and fun to listen to. I am currently reading his A People's History of the United States.