Tuesday, September 30, 2003

On the Uninsured

A few thinking notes related to today's release of uninsured Americans:

  • up to 43.6 million from 41.2

  • These are people uninsured for the entire year. If you had coverage in January 2002, lost your job in February, and coverage evaporated by say, May (COBRA makes it possible to avoid this state of affairs and remain insured, if you've got the money) then you're not included in this number.

  • The uninsured are not the poor, they are not children, they are not elderly. Generally speaking. Children are uninsured, but by far less than the national average (Medicaid and CHIP). The elderly are basically insured (Medicare). The poor, through Medicaid, etc, are covered (not all, but many).
  • The uninsured disproportionately work. As in full time, regular jobs. Working just doesn't pay, their job doesn't take care of them.

  • It's an odd problem. One political analysis says the middle class won't support universal coverage because it increases their costs without upping the benefits. But this isn't quite right. The uninsured are part of the middle class (the broad middle class). The uninsured are workers who have found a net to cover their kids and parents but leave themselves exposed. It's curious.

    Bush and a "Very Serious Matter"... he's jumped the shark

    When it all gets sorted out, this article might prove useful. The lead graf:
    President Bush's chief spokesman said yesterday that the allegation that administration officials leaked the name of a CIA operative is "a very serious matter" and vowed that Bush would fire anybody responsible for such actions.

    Further, the whole impression, that Bush wants to get to the bottom of this... in a word, baloney. Where's he been on this for two and half months? What he meant to say is he doesn't want to get dragged down in this. How do they know Rove wasn't involved... yet not know who was?

    Thursday, September 25, 2003

    This article is freaking hilarious. Nothing better nor quite as rare as a reporter who gets it. And this one does.

    Saturday, September 13, 2003

    The Fiver

    Well, I'm gonna try this Friday Five thing out.

    1. Is the name you have now the same name that's on your birth certificate? If not, what's changed?
    Yep, no names changes yet or planned.

    2. If you could change your name (first, middle and/or last), what would it be?
    I don't think I'd want to. Though a better middle name than James might be nice. Maybe something more Irish to go with the rest of my name

    3. Why were you named what you were? (Is there a story behind it? Who specifically was responsible for naming you?)
    Back and forth negotiations between my parents. My younger brother got my mom's favorite name... which I guess means she lost out on my name.

    4. Are there any names you really hate or love? What are they and why?
    Hector seems mean. Forest, Madison, and all those other in names (see the most popular baby names for more examples) which, frankly are pretty androgynous.

    5. Is the analysis of your name at kabalarians.com / triggur.org / astroexpert accurate? How or how isn't it?
    Kabalarians: Calls me "practical, logical," with an "analytical approach to life and a great deal of patience." and that I "believe that what is worth doing is worth doing well." All true. But, it also says I "concentrate all your thoughts on it [projects] and do not appreciate being interrupted." Very wrong. Also off point in saying I have a "deliberate and methodical way of thinking and speaking; it takes you time to learn but, once you have mastered a subject, you do not forget it." The memory is exceptional, but the learning is quick and I'm certainly not methodical and there is no tendency for me to be "fussy" (my taking issue with the term fussy excepted). And finally, "There is a seriousness to your nature."
    Though they really miffed on my health report... or at least I hope they did.

    Triggur: Basically, nothing could peg me more accurately... particularly the crack about lawn furniture. :)

    Astroexpert: I don't even understand the site.

    Friday, September 05, 2003

    Unintended Pun?

    The Post's Dana Milbank writes, while covering a Bush speech:
    Bush, standing on a stage with banners proclaiming "JOBS," "GROWTH," and "Strengthening America's Economy," praised the "amazing resilience" of the economy but acknowledged that despite a number of favorable signs, job growth remains stubbornly sluggish.

    What exactly does Milbank mean by favorable signs?

    Tuesday, September 02, 2003

    The Permanent Campaign. Too Permanent?

    The WaPo has a story today which hints this fall's agenda will be driven by positioning for next fall's election. Which makes me wonder. Isn't this, the off year, supposed to be the time for governance? This is supposed to be the year they lead not the one in which the position and posture. For instance, Bush thinks it's a good idea (and a number of states practice) two year budgeting which takes place in the off year of the election cycle.
    So what's going on? First, the idea of an off year has probably always been a bit of a myth. Particularly in today's enivronment of the permanent campaign. And there certainly is an important positioning role- setting up what will be at the top of your accomplishments chart when voters start paying attention (as it were) next spring/ summer. All that said, I can't help but think money is involved. By bringing home the bacon to your favorite constituencies (heaping favors on big energy or big healthcare, etc) does help the money chase which lubricates the campaign season. If the cash hunt were less important, how much less would candidates be concerned about positioning for the election this Labor Day?

    Bush to unemployed: Now there are enough of you to give a damn. I really enjoyed my vacation, how has yours been? Oh, I mean...