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McNerney, Garamendi join Democrats to pass historic health care reform

Original post made on Mar 22, 2010

A bill reforming America's health care system, what one Bay Area congressman called "a critical step," was approved Sunday night by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 22, 2010, 10:35 AM

Comments (106)

Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Once again, the liberals have passed a bill that will adversely affect hard working Americans who live within their means and were prudent and purchased their own healthcare, and reward those who have money to purchase cigarettes and alcohol but claim to be "uninsured" and need us to purchase their insurance. Most Americans can afford to purchase some type of simple health plan, similar to Kaiser, but simply did not value healthcare insurance over their other expenditures and elected go go "uninsured". This bill clearly shows the difference in ideology between Republicans and Democrats, and hopefully will lead to Republican victories in the upcoming elections.


Posted by OnebyLand..., a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm

two if by Sea...the socialist are coming...the socialist are coming.


Posted by TL Nelson, a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Never before in my life have I been more ashamed of our nation's government. Congressman McNerney's vote to support the health care reform bill is a direct slap in the face to his constituents in District 11 and to the American people. This bill benefits only a small percentage of Americans while hurting the vast majority. With the passage of this legislation:

The 85% of Americans who have health care insurance will see their costs increase and their access to health care reduced.
The 10% of Americans who are uninsured by choice will be forced to purchase insurance they neither need nor want.
Senior citizens on Medicare will see their access to health care disappear as Medicare reimbursements are cut to pay for the new entitlements.
Hardworking taxpayers will be hurt the most because their tax dollars will be used to subsidize insurance for others while their own insurance costs go up.
Far from being budget neutral, the legislation will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt over the coming years. The cost of this new entitlement is is $5,000 - $7,000/yr per taxpayer household. This is in additon to what these overburdened taxpayers already pay for their own health insurance.
Only 50% of American households pay income taxes. This bill will shift the balance even further resulting in the tax burden carried by an increasingly smaller percentage of the population.
The legislation does nothing to reduce or slow the growth of health care costs.

Congressman McNerney has propagated a lie about the true cost of this legislation and who will ultimately bear the cost. In the end, it will be those Americans who work hard, pay taxes and are struggling to support their families who have to bear the burden through increased taxes.

How could he do this to us?


Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm

jrm is a registered user.

TL and american....with all due respect your shallow "talking points" are hogwash. The VAST majority of individuals that work within the healthcare system wholeheartedly supported this reform. You guys need to stop scaring people with phrases like "senior citizens will see their access to healthcare disappear" and moralizing about alcohol and cigarettes is not at all relevent to the discussion. How can you reconcile the fact that the American Medical Assn and practically all the rest of the professional organizations (Pediatricians, OB/GYN. Internists, Oncologists and others) all supported reform. Not to mention the American Hospital Assn. as well. You both are narrow idealogues who will oppose anything not on your conservative agenda in spite of learned folks advancing needed changes. This is america and that is your right, but this bill was a great step forward. I bet you two think the "pre-existing conditions" issue is terrible as well...don't you guys go to church or have a small measure of compassion? Next time you see a little old lady with a portable oxygen cannister in her shopping cart struggling to breathe as she shops do not dismiss her as one who made bad choices and should simply have her needs ignored. I think you two would the one of the first ones to cast your elderly off on the floating iceberg as the eskimos used to do.
With this reform we are finally joining the civilized world.


Posted by Craig, a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm

jrm...with all due respect, I don't think ramming this healthcare sham (that the polls CLEARLY show the people do not want) down the throat of the American people is what a civilized nation does.

This whole process has been an exercise in backrooms deals and slime. This is NOT the 'hope and change' we had in mind. I eagerly look forward to November elections.

And jrm...as for your comment " I think you two would the one of the first ones to cast your elderly off on the floating iceberg as the eskimos used to do." that is just childish and not productive.


Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm

JRM: That "little old lady" had health care covered by medicare. Indigent children were covered under medi-cal. The majority of people who now "are insured" were people who had sufficient funds to purchase a basic healthcare plan, but choose not to. Unfortunately, now hard working, prudent people who purchased their own health plans, now also have to pay for those who had the funds but chose not to purchase insurance. Where is your compassion for the hard working people who pay taxes, to purchase their own health insurance, and live within their means? I have compassion for the elderly and poor children, and they already had health care covered under medi-cal and med-care. I have no compassion for people who have the funds for health insurance but do not value self reliance and prudence but expect us to pay for their poor decisions. I also have no compassion for misguided liberals like yourself who seek to bankrupt our great country with debts that our children will never be able to repay.


Posted by Alamo citizen, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I wonder if Garamendi and McNerney are going to cancel out their Congressional (fully paid) health plans and join us who are being forced into the new Obama-Pelosi farce. -- I sort of doubt it.


Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 22, 2010 at 9:13 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Well...the left is unhappy with the bill and the dittoheads are as well, my instincts tell me that is a good thing. Thanks to the opposing view for the lively debate...I hope you will take away the fact the that the Docs and Hospitals all think this is for the best. Trust in them. Ask Mayo Clinic, ask Cleveland Clinic, ask Oschner Clinic... And for TL and American's peace of mind, I and my employer pay premiums to United Healthcare every month amounting to $1,585.00 for my family of 4 and we are totally healthy thank God. My mortgage payment is $1,877.00 per month excluding taxes...the trend is not sustainable. This the beginning of a fundamental overhaul.


Posted by Roark, a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm

We are gradually turning into a nation where the people who work hard and are successful are punished and the people who just do enough to get by are rewarded. I think this must be President Obama's vision of the future. It seems un-American to me.


Posted by D. Wilson, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm

One thing that bothers me about his legislation is the game our politicians have played with the Medicare program in order to justify this new entitlement. Americans who have spent their entire lives paying into the Medicare trust fund with the expectation of receiving retirement health care benefits will not stand by and allow this program to be tampered with.

A large part of the justification for the new health care coverage comes from savings generated by cutting Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals and new revenue generated by increasing Medicare taxes.

However, these savings and revenues must accrue to the Medicare trust fund. They are not to be used to pay for other spending programs as if they were part of the general fund. The government already owes Medicare $500 million, a debt accumulated from borrowing from past surpluses. I believe Jerry McNearny is part of the conspiracy to raid the Medicare program.

We have the same situation with Social Security where the government owes the Social Security trust fund $2.5 Trillion. This money from past surpluses is meant to be used to pay for future benefits, not to be spent on whatever new initiative comes along. The government must repay the debt it owes to Social Security in full.


Posted by TL Nelson, a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 11:24 pm

To JRM: I have no problem helping the needy and those who cannot afford health care, but this legislation is not the way to do this.

On a subject as important as health care our government should not lie to the American people about the cost and who will ultimately pay the bill. Playing a financially irresponsible shell game to justify a new entitlement is just simply wrong. In the end, it will be the average American who will pay the $1 Trillion bill for this legislation through higher taxes. There is simply no other way.

"If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something that he did earn. Reaching into one's own pockets to assist his fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else's pockets to do so is despicable and deserves condemnation." --economist Walter E. Williams


Posted by Judy, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:17 am

Thank you John & Jerry for your votes. There are people in this district who also work hard but haven't been so lucky in the health area. This bill allows those of us who work without benefits access to the insurance system.


Posted by BB, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 23, 2010 at 8:11 am

Of course the medical and health care profession approved of this bill. It did nothing to reduce the outrageous amounts they charge for medical care. There is no provision to curb the very high premiums that insurance companies charge and there is nothing that required the insurance companyies to pay claims submitted to them for health care. Medicare determined my 96-year old mother was "past the natural life expectancy" and refused to pay her medical bills. How does this bill correct this? HealthNet refuses to pay claims until they are past the time for payment, and then denies the claim saying the charges are too old and were not submitted timely. What does the bill do for doctors who continue to order tests, scans, surgeries, physical therapy, etc in facilities they own so they can become richer. Like all the other Obama legislation, it does not fully address the issue and "exclusions" for special interests.


Posted by Duffy, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 8:41 am

To all the supporters of the Health Reform bill........ what part of Socialism don't you understand?


Posted by Karl, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 8:56 am

McNerney can't be trusted. Whenever there is an election our extended family of eleven voters (soon to be twelve!) discusses the issues & the candidates. The past few years we decided to vote as a bloc.

In 2006 we felt there was a need for a change and a message to be sent. We gave our votes to Rep Gerry McNerney. We were "blinded by the light" in 2008 and gave McNerney our votes again along with the "hope" talked about by Obama.

Unfortunately, we are more than disappointed in both Obama & McNerney. We look at McNerney's voting record and I see Barbara Lee's voting record. We did not vote for Barbara Lee.

So, Rep McNerney is immediately seeing a 22 vote swing in November from our family (the 11 votes he won't get that he received in 2008 and the 11 votes his opponent will now receive.)

This is democracy ..... not a socialist society he is trying to FORCE upon us.


Posted by Bud, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 23, 2010 at 9:12 am

These politicians will pay a heavy price in November for defying the will of the American people. Let's throw the bums out!!!


Posted by Peter, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 9:12 am

What's interesting to me is that the same conservatives that are against this domestic health care plan to eliminate for profit health insurance and to cover every person in the US are the very same ones that voted for the trillion dollar war in Iraq that ended up being a total waste of our tax money with no benefits of any kind, I repeat, of any kind.

Can anyone explain this to me? Is that what you guys call fiscally conservative?
Why would a misguided war that claimed thousands of American soldiers be more of a priority than a domestic health insurance crisis we have been dealing with for years that will only get worse of time with the massive amounts of obesity and resulting sky rocketing rate of new diabetes just around the corner?
If we don't control health insurance costs now, what will it look like a decade from now? Disease does not discriminate between liberals or conservatives.


Posted by ralph, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 10:02 am

party rubber stamp votes from both McNeirney and Garamendi are all we can expect from these two. Let's change them in November.


Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 10:25 am

I have one simple question for anyone who supports this bill:

(1)Explain to me WHO is going to pay for this?


Posted by Steve--27 year resident, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 23, 2010 at 10:45 am

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they don't pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that passed Sunday. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

What should occur is that Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.

Of course with the idiots we have in Washington, including McNeirney and Garamendi, that would never happen. They don't care about "We The People." They don't care that 61% of people polled were against the Health Insurance Reform as the bill exists. They wanted Congress to start over. But did Washington listen? Heck no.

Come November, I'll be voting against Garamendi, Boxer and Brown. We need new blood in Washington and Sacramento. Let's all vote these crooks out of office in November!


Posted by TL Nelson, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 10:51 am

To Peter: I did not vote for the war in Iraq. I never supported it and I still don't support any foreign involvement for our troops. As far as I am concerned, we should get out of both Afghanistan and Iraq today if not sooner.

Where in the world did you get the idea the health care bill will lower insurance costs? For anyone that has insurance today, their costs will go up. This will be inevitable impact of the rule requiring insurance companies to insure all regardless of their risk category. There is no such thing as free health care. The cost will be born by the average American. Get ready for a big increase in your premiums.

I am also upset about the games Pelosi and her cronies are playing with the Medicare trust fund in order to justify this new spending. Why can't our politicians be honest with the American people?


Posted by Kathy, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:07 am

I am in my 50s and have never before in my life been involved in politics. However, it now seems that our government has now gone way off track. It is as if they have all gone nuts. What other explanation can you give for elected representatives acting against the wishes and best interests of the American people?

Never before have I felt compelled to get involved. If I don't stand up and try to do something, who will? We need to fight to have this health care bill repealed. We need new representatives in Washington who will bring some sanity back to our government.


Posted by Tony Geisler, a resident of Diablo
on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:21 am

A sad day for America. Let us join forces to show Congressman McNerney to the exit.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm

For those that would like a credible source on "who is going to pay for this" and what it's likely net impact would be federal expenditures, the Congressional Budget Office reports on the recent legislation are a good place to look (see Web Link). They report a net reduction in Federal expenditures (i.e. a reduction in the deficit).


Posted by Peter, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm

The comments I made earlier reflect the frustration of dealing with Anthem Blue Cross, my health plan for over 22 years.
This company keeps on watering down my coverage and consistently raises my premiums year over year. I have a chronic illness, and I will soon be without coverage the way this is going. This seems to be the objective of most health insurance companies. With billions of dollars in profits coming in, they are slowly but surely eliminating any and all risk to their bottom line.
With no previous federal control to rein in these insurers prior to Sunday 3-21-10, thousands of Americans were losing health care coverage on a daily basis, and were being priced out of the market.

No matter how you look at it, this unethical and unfair way of doing business has got to stop.
I think it's premature to look at this as a financial disaster in the making. Let's give it some time to see how many people will actually benefit and how increased competition between current carriers will allow people to obtain coverage for much less than they are currently paying.


Posted by Downtown Danville Resident, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm

In all seriousness, it's both sad and amusing to read the supporters of this fiscal abortion huddling together for warmth and reassurance that they have not royally screwed themselves, and searching the internet for stories of new villains to ridicule in a desperate attempt to continuously reiterate the now-moot "people who hate universal coverage are evil" debate. Some of you are simply politically obstinate, inseparably wedded to an agenda. Others probably have problems with your own finances similar to our government's spending addiction; so that for you admitting the folly of HCR requires a deeper reckoning for which you are not yet ready. But down inside deep down under that cancerous organ "just wanting what you want because you want it and you're American and that's always been reason enough hasn't it?"- you all know the truth, that eventually money-in must equal money-out.

In this nation of all nations, where opportunity is still rife and risk so widely unappreciated, there are more stories than are countable of people who marched headlong into dangers they didn't understand, solely because they were blinded by their own sense of self. We're America. We're invincible. We can quit spending any time we want to. We just don't want to yet - this shiny new thing is too important. It is, after all, the shiniest new thing yet.

Bunch of sheep.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

The last post contains not a shred of factual argument. Who's the sheep.


Posted by Factcheck, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Posted by Steve--27 year resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, 2 hours ago

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they don't pay into Social Security...

They probably "had no idea' of those things because they aren't true. Steve, here's some advice: before you go repeating some bit of alarming hogwash that you read in an e-mail someone forwarded to you, check it out on snopes.com, Try this one first: Web Link

Unless you like looking foolish as well as self-righteous. In that case - carry on.


Posted by JL, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Kathy, our representatives did not act against my wishes. I am near 50 and I have worked in health care for almost 30 years. I don't know of any reputable health care provider that doesn't agree with a need for an overhaul of our health care reimbursement system.

My only complaint is that this didn't go far enough - where is the public option?


Posted by Ashley, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I couldn't agree with you more, Tony. Can't wait for November to toss these fools out!


Posted by TL Nelson, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm

The people who support this legislation are those who would rather not to pay for their own health care, preferring instead to have someone else pay for it. There is no such thing as free health care. President Obama has, in effect, legalized reaching into someone else's pocket to take money they have not earned from someone who has earned it. I am all for charity and I donate as much as I can afford to charities every year, but his bill is not the way to help the uninsured.

This legislation is also quite different from Social Security and Medicare where people pay into the respective trust funds all of their working lives with the expectation of receiving benefits from these funds when they retire. With this health care reform, benefits are received without any contributions.

President Obama wants to create a society where those who just do enough to get by are rewarded while those who work hard, live within their means, save money and are fiscally responsible are punished.

But what happens when everyone decides to do just the minimum so they can receive the rewards they have not earned? Who is going to pay the bill? This legislation is change alright, but it is the kind of change that that will destroy our nation.


Posted by psmacintosh, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm

"JRM- .....I and my employer pay premiums to United Healthcare every month amounting to $1,585.00 for my family of 4 and we are totally healthy thank God. My mortgage payment is $1,877.00 per month excluding taxes...the trend is not sustainable. This the beginning of a fundamental overhaul."

I'm not following you:
What "trend" do you mean?
What "fundamental overhaul" do you foresee?


Posted by JL, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm

TL Nelson: you are off-base with this comment: "The people who support this legislation are those who would rather not to pay for their own health care, preferring instead to have someone else pay for it."

Jrm does not appear unwilling to pay for his own health care, and if you have seen his posts on other threads you know that he is painfully aware of just how little his premiums will provide when serious illness strikes a family.

I have no problem paying my considerable premiums, and you know what? I don't mind paying a bit more so that families who have lost benefits due to job loss or other life circumstance can receive benefits.

I have seen many families lose everything in order to continue to receive health care after benefits were capped, or worse - died while insurance companies stalled life saving treatment in order to ponder whether they would provide an approval.

There are days I truly regret working in health care. But not today.


Posted by Peter, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm

psmacintosh

by "the trend" he means the ever increasing premiums for basic care.

by "fundamental overhaul" he means legislation to stop the ripping off of the American patient, by the multi billion dollar health insurance companies. These companies are over charging, limiting or denying access, capping pay outs, excluding people from coverage for pre-existing conditions. Behavior that borders on the criminal. Need I go on?

I know what I am talking about having grown up in a country in Europe where health care was a right, not a privilege, over forty years ago!

I will tell you that they are still doing well under this system of care, while premiums are much, much lower than they are over here, and access to care is available to everyone!

Health care is a right, not a privilege!




Posted by Rose, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm

What a bunch of porkers!!!! This rotten attitude of "I have mine so the hell with you" is nauseous!! What happened to caring about others??

Stop including all the American people in your diatribe!! All the decent people I know, in good conscience, are proud to be an American and finally can applaud our government for caring about ALL Americans, not just a privileged few!!


Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Obama's bait and switch "health plan" in the long run is just stealing from elderly people who have paid into Medicare for years, only to have it "redistributed" to those who have not paid anything into it. "Redistribution" of benefits from those who have earned it, to those who have not earned it, is the theme of this administration. It sends the wrong message to the youth of today, that success does not come from hard work, but rather from being the beneficiary of others hard work. I have faith that the American people have finally seen Obama's true colors, and now realize that the emperor has no clothes, and it is time for new leadership that values capitalism and the American way.


Posted by Resident 48 years, a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Your comment is so wrong on so many levels its mind boggling!! Geesh!!


Posted by Dennis, a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:40 am

As a former internal auditor for the government I have a news flash for everybody. The government numbers debated are merely guesses. The government, at any time, has no idea what their financial status is. Costs, savings mean nothing in the public policy debate. Given this reality, nobody can trust anything policy promotion put forth by the current administration. E
Personally I feel that most of the Obama agenda is taking us down a dangerous road. One only need look at Europe as a vision of the future. Underfunded pension plans, excessive lobbying of labor unions have put many European countries at the door of economic collapse. If I were a Democratic representative I would be worried about November. Stay involved and make your voice heard.


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 24, 2010 at 7:44 am

As presidential advisor Al Sharpton said Monday, "People knew they were voting for socialism when they elected Obama". How can anyone be surprised?

Everyone agrees, except for Insurance and Healthcare companies, that the system is broken. This "reform" mandates that everyone buy into a broken system, no wonder Healtcare and Insurance stocks are up over 10%.

Pelosi makes Tom Delay look like a choirboy. This "deal" abuses the Commerce clause and is blatantly Un-Constitutional. Never before has an American citizen been mandated to buy a product from a private company. For those that want to cite auto insurance, please cite a specific example of someone you know that chooses to not own a car but DOES carry auto insurance.

"From those based on ability, to those based on need". Get used to it or vote these bums out...


Posted by Bob, a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:48 am

I agree with JRM
TL and american....with all due respect your shallow "talking points" are hogwash. The VAST majority of individuals that work within the healthcare system wholeheartedly supported this reform. You guys need to stop scaring people with phrases like "senior citizens will see their access to healthcare disappear" and moralizing about alcohol and cigarettes is not at all relevent to the discussion. How can you reconcile the fact that the American Medical Assn and practically all the rest of the professional organizations (Pediatricians, OB/GYN. Internists, Oncologists and others) all supported reform. Not to mention the American Hospital Assn. as well. You both are narrow idealogues who will oppose anything not on your conservative agenda in spite of learned folks advancing needed changes. This is america and that is your right, but this bill was a great step forward. I bet you two think the "pre-existing conditions" issue is terrible as well...don't you guys go to church or have a small measure of compassion? Next time you see a little old lady with a portable oxygen cannister in her shopping cart struggling to breathe as she shops do not dismiss her as one who made bad choices and should simply have her needs ignored. I think you two would the one of the first ones to cast your elderly off on the floating iceberg as the eskimos used to do.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:49 am

latest poll is 49% for
40% against

So some of you are using old stuff.


Posted by BOB, a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:54 am

TO BUD
WE DID THROW THE BUMS OUT.
POMBO IS GONE. YOU WANT HIM BACK.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2010 at 9:05 am

To Bunch of sheep poster.

Yeah I saw them. THE SHEEP

I heard Boehner's whiner speech and watched the Republicans continually vote no and do nothing.

Boehner ...................Claims Student Loan Reform Will 'Eliminate Every Bank In The Country'

THEN I SAW PELOSI AND OBAMA ram thru a huge bill that will end up helping this nation while the sheep sat on their hands and did nothing.

I saw Republican women vote down a bill that will help many Thousands of women in the future.


Posted by Geezer, a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2010 at 9:22 am

JRM--Your profound naivete is astounding. Do your homework and come up to speed.


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:02 am

Bob - We get it, you agree with Al Sharpton and got the socialism you expected when you voted for Obama. Either that or you're knee-deep in insurance and healthcare stocks.

McNerney claims to support the troops, sending reps to military welcome homes and then votes for this bill, gutting healthcare for military families (Tricare) by $1 billion.

Am I surprised? No. Am I dishearted? Absolutely.


Posted by klat_wols, a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:18 am


Progress=1 Status Quo=0

Time to move to next big thing -- Immigration Reform. Finally we are making progress and getting things done after 8 years of lies and stupidity under the previous administration!


Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:25 am

jrm is a registered user.

Geezer, I have been called many things but "naive" about healthcare is not one of them. I certainly do not have a monopoly on common sense and try to see both sides, I just felt industry veterans who have worked on the device, provider and payer enterprises can shed extra light on this very complicated and contentious subject.
Here is a very important fact, there is no transparency to the actual total costs a hospital charges. As I wrote previously, suppose you have benign prostate hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate) and your urologist suggests surgery to eliminate your enlarged tissue. Try to get a total cost from John Muir versus ValleyCare versus San Ramon Regional so you can make an informed choice where to go. The data is not avalailable for the healthcare consumer to seek the best value.
Indeed just this week Eric Schultz, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare (a large HMO in Boston) submitted testimony before the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy hearing on Tuesday that stated some physicians and hospitals are paid upwards of 300% to 400% for some services compared to others. This is called transparency of costs and this visiblity to the consumer will be a big part of our needed reform.


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:25 am

klat_wols - Nice content free post from the entitlement class.


Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:34 am

jrm is a registered user.

And the "gutting" of Tricare? Come on Aubrey, this is another falsehood. I'm open to all facts on this if you have them, I may learn something, but it is incumbent on those opposing and reacting now do need to speak factually. Emotional reasoning is defined as believing something is true just because you want it to be. Everyone should watch Anderson Cooper's segments on CNN titled "Keeping them honest"...he tracks down all these outlandish statements and researches them thoroughly. He dealt with the Tricare talking point 2 nights ago. I respect both sides and I know those opposing mean well, some are my neighbors, but they really haven't taken the time to educate themselves on the issue. Lastly, we need to stop saying "most Americans are opposed to this bill"...that is simply not true and you know it as has been pointed out in a previous thread.


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

The Tricare number comes from the CBO evaluation dated March 18th. If you believe the CBO is incorrect, take it up with them.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Mar 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I'm sorry folks but the Mandatory purchase requirement is Unconstitutional(if The Supreme Court has the guts to toss it out). If you really want this or Single Payer, be honest and propose a Constitutional Amendment.


Posted by JL, a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Social Security, Auto Insurance....We're paying for those. How do you figure mandatory health insurance will be tossed out?


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Social Security is not purchased from a private company, auto insurance is only mandatory if you own a car (unless you know someone without a car but carries auto insurance) and is regulated at the state not federal level.

Bottom line, mandating purchase of ANY product from a private entity is Unconstitutional or at best an abuse of the Commerce clause.

Suppose I have a vegetable garden and never bought vegetables at Safeway, but suddenly the government mandates that I shop at Safeway for my vegetables. Would you find that mandate acceptable as well?


Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Aubrey...have you been smoking items from your vegetable garden? The notion of mandatory auto insurance is mitigate the risk of you being hit by an indigent uninsured motorist, resulting in you having to have potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses due to no fault of your own. The same logic is true for mandatory healthcare insurance, if one refuses to buy coverage and come down with an unexpected chronic illness (who plans for cancer or cardiac arrests?) you will spend down all your assets and then make people like me pay your Medi-Cal bill via my taxes. Can I make it any simpler for you?


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm

jrm - nice content-free post. Nice of you to bypass the whole Unconstitutional part as it completely negates your position.

I don't carry auto insurance if I don't have a car. Using your logic, I should have it anyways.

While I agree the current system is broken, the answer is NOT to mandate everyone buy into it. Even YOU can't believe that's good idea (BTW, Congress explicitly exempted themselves).

While I do carry health insurance, this "plan" will increase my cost exponentially. Healthcare is no more a "right" in this country than owning a home. By reducing lending standards to "fogging a mirror", effectively making people believe it was their right, look how Congress orchestrated the biggest financial bubble in history. Now they're on to healthcare.

It's you who should get sober and see this fiasco for what it is.


Posted by Joe, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:57 pm

JRM you are spot on.

What are the others afraid of?

Maybe we should give billions to the banks again...to pay out in bonuses for making a mess of our finances?

Joe


Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Awbry...last direct response to you. To get auto insurance you must provide your vehicle make and year, the premiums are based on your response, at least that is how it is done when I buy car insurance. No car, no insurance needed. Your logic falls short because while one may choose to not own a car, they are alive as a human, subject to healthcare challenges that are not anticipated, and we as a society have decided to not close to emergency doors to folks like you when they arrive in an ambulance. Indeed hospitals get sued for "patient dumping" and you probably don't even know what that term means. I can't speak to your knowledge of how this is "Unconstitutional" to use your punctuation, at my logical gut it seems simple to me. How did you arrive at this unique understanding of constitutional span? You have a right to express your opinion of course but would you share with the thread your professional expertise as I have done?


Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:05 pm

jrm is a registered user.

And, I am not interested in proving you wrong or deriding you in any means..I know you will not say, "by golly I did not see it that way"
It's all good...we are neighbors( I guess, unless you are a Tombo shill who lives somewhere else) I mean well. BTW, I have negotiated a number of deals with "Tri-Care" going back to their "Champus" days and I know many folks there...they are not at all uptight about this week's developments.


Posted by JL, a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:50 pm

jrm - thanks, I'm catching up on this thread after a very long day at work, and was forming a sleepy response to Aubrey but I could not have done a better job than you.

The option to not own or drive a car to avoid paying auto insurance is akin to choosing not to live in order to avoid buying health insurance. Realistically we all need medical care at some point and by refusing insurance, we pass the cost of that care on to others.


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm

jrm - JL made reference to auto insurance, I was merely responding that it was NOT a viable example.

The purpose of the Commerce clause of the U.S. Consititution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) gives the federal Government power to "regulate" foreign, interstate, and indian commerce. It in no way, either explicitly or implicitly grants the authority for the federal government to mandate commerce between private entities.

Mandate versus regulate is a huge difference. If you're inquiring as to whether I'm a Constitutional scholar and/or lawyer, the answer is no, but then again, neither were the Founding Fathers. They were just really smart guys.

I am merely a college educated, Bay Area native having resided here for almost 50 years (the last 17 in Alamo), and watched as liberals have run this once great state into the ground.

At the end of the day, this is bad legislation for which Congress has deemed themselves exempt (THAT should tell you something right there).


Posted by David Brower, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 25, 2010 at 7:56 am

With JRM and the others who see this as a legal, natural step made by the majority of our duly elected representatives, and supported by the majority of Americans in the majority of polls. Given the history and trend of healthcare costs, I would rather try something that is not perfect and change it later than do nothing at all.

And yes, we paying many thousands a year for my perfectly good coverage, that we will not be losing. And our parents are consuming Medicare benefits that they will not be losing either.

In a Democracy, the adoption of something you don't like doesn't mean it is unconstitutional. It means your viewpoint isn't in the majority, and your recourse is at the next election.

When it comes to being shamed by America, I worry more about things like engaging in unnecessary aggressive wars, or attempts to justify illegal torture done in my name than I do about reasonable efforts to ensure healthcare.

-dB


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 25, 2010 at 8:46 am

By that reasoning, in a Democracy, unpopular speech can be outlawed if the majority disagrees. Oh, that's right, the Constitution gets in the way again, but that's OK, the majority overrules it.

Progressives prove once again that the ends justify the means and the rule of law is inconsequential.


Posted by Disgusted, a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2010 at 8:55 am

Obama's health care bill mandates that viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications are covered, even for registered sex offenders!! Republican Senator Tom Coburn proposed an amendment to Obama's healthcare bill, that would exclude coverage of these medications for registered sex offenders, but the Democrats, by a vote of 57-42, rejected this amendment. Thats right Danville, Obama's healthcare bill even makes us taxpayers pay for viagra for registered sex offenders! Clearly, the Democrats are not being objective and independent, but rather are just going along with Obama on this bill, and ignoring common sense. Shame on Obama, shame on our elected officials, and shame on us for voting these people into office.


Posted by Factcheck, a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2010 at 8:59 am

"Suppose I have a vegetable garden and never bought vegetables at Safeway, but suddenly the government mandates that I shop at Safeway for my vegetables."
Aubrey, this Supreme Court has already held that growing and consuming plants from your own land does come within the ambit of the Commerce clause, even if you never sell them or buy any from anywhere else: Gonzales v. Raich 545 U.S. 1 (2005 - Scalia concurring)


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:00 am

factcheck - another progressive misses the point, what a surprise.


Posted by Reader, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:17 am

Disgusted

You need to stop watching the nightly news for information and look at the bigger picture. Coburn's proposal is menial compared to the greater healthcare issues. Its a scare tactic and last resort to drum up opposition from the minority and get heard on the corporate news channels to reach people like you.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:19 am

As I stated before, if you love this plan so much why don't you go for the Constitutional Amendment and that will end all of the controversy.
While it is unconstitutional for the Fed's to mandate this, it clearly well within the rights of the fifty States to do so if they so desire. So again if you really want it get Sacramento to pass it or put an initiative on the ballot. What are you afraid of?


Posted by Dave, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:50 am

BTW, I am not afraid of "Change" to the Healthcare system. But let's have an honest and open process, let's bring the people together. This bill is so full of disingenuous crap it's no wonder so many people are disgusted. I personally believe that "Single Payer" will eventually be adopted because the Politicians are setting the stage for the current system to fail. So lets have a real debate and a democratic process, not the Democratic process we have had.


Posted by Jeff, a resident of Diablo
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:50 am

If you check the history of health reform in this country, you would see that the current law is almost identical to the one the GOP fashioned under Nixon but couldn't get it done because the Democrats thought it didn't go far enough.

It is now the law of the land, the people have spoken, get over it, this is a democracy, 51% wins, period!


Posted by Dave, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:12 am

Hi Jeff,
"It is now the law of the land, the people have spoken, get over it, this is a democracy, 51% wins, period!"
So at the next election if the Republicans take control and pass a bill to repeal it, then Obama should sign that too?
P.S Thanks for the Ad Hominem attack, it shows your true colors.


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:17 am

OK, show of hands. How many people believe that Unconstitutionally mandating people buy into a broken healthcare system a reform of that system?


Posted by Sheila, a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2010 at 11:25 am

I am sure that President Obama sees this legislation as a first step towards complete nationalization of the health care system in the United States. This would certainly make sense. If we are going to enact this government intrusion into the health care industry, then we should be prepared to go all the way.

With complete nationalization, the entire health care infrastructure, including hospitals and clinics would become property of the government. All health care professionals would be salaried employees working for the U.S. Public Health Service. With this system, the entire insurance industry could be disbanded since pay for service would no longer apply. The U.S. Public Health Service would simply treat whoever walks through the door. No billing or payment would be needed.

In effect, nationalization would save the overall economy a lot of money by cutting out the insurance industry completely. If we have gone this far, we might as well go all the way. Of course, taxes would have to raised to cover the cost, but this would be offset by elimination of insurance premiums.

I am not necessarily in favor of this, but going half way is certainly not the right answer either.


Posted by TL Nelson, a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I believe that we are now engaged in the great struggle of our age ... whether our nation will be a capitalist free society or a socialist state. I am sure socialism appeals to many. After all, life becomes much simpler since the government controls many aspects of our lives, leaving fewer decisions the people have to make themselves.

The ultimate result of socialism is to eventually enslave the citizens to their own government. As it spreads over time more and more freedoms are given up. Carried to an extreme, all income would become property of the state and the government would decide how to allocate the nation's productivity to its citizens.

It is certainly one way to go ... but I am not in favor of this personally.


Posted by factcheck, a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm

TL, capitalism "carried to an extreme" leads to a few individuals controlling all wealth, which the rest live in squalor, dependent on the largess of the privileged class. I doubt you would consider that the "way to go" either.

I know it's easier to see everything in black and white, but this is not actually a quantum step in any direction. Our nation has always operated on a balance between the private and public sector. This bill is primarily dominated by the private sector (no single payer, no public option) and represents at most a **very** minor shift in the balance of power over health care - and that's from large corporations to the government. Individuals have little control now, and that's not going to change for anyone who doesn't have enough money to pay for open heart surgery out of their own pocket.

This isn't the "great struggle of our age" or anything like it. I know the reality doesn't fit the apocalyptic rhetoric from Fox news and the rest of the right wing propaganda machine, but I doubt that the reality would get the wingnuts out of their chairs and into the streets, shrieking and spitting on elected officials and waiving signs around on overpasses like grinning marionettes.


Posted by Reader, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Mar 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Its amazing how uneducated and ideological your statements are. You see things as black and white, right or wrong, left or right. If you even began to understand the healthcare reform you would know that there is no government provided healthcare option, no bureaucrat deciding your coverage, and no changes in hospital management or infrastructure.

Where do you get your information? Oh wait, let me guess.

You just need to stop with the fear mongering and violent spittle that resolves no part of our country's ills. Moreover, it is your stubborn ideology that feeds them.


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm

This legislation, if left as written, will bankrupt insurance companies within 3 years. Progressive wingnuts like factcheck and reader will blather on about scare tactics, but they've never run a business or had to meet a payroll, like most members of Congress.

This legislation requires the insurance companies to operate on a 15% gross margin, requiring them to pay 85% of gross revenues (premiums) out in reimbursements. That will lead to the final government takeover/bailout of the industry and you've got your first step into socialism.

But don't worry, trust the government, they know what's best for you.


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm

This law robs Peter to pay Paul. It may be the "right" thing to do, but it is financially reckless and settles nothing on the govt. healthcare spending battles that are to come.

It collects 10 years of taxes to pay for 6 years of subsidizing poor people's health insurance. So we've now made a new big financial commitment and we're going to need to figure out how to pay for it once the financial gimmicks they used to get it passed run out.

No one currently has the political will to make serious cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Those programs are underfunded by over $50 trillion anyway.

We're not going to be able to pay for it with new income taxes. If we tripled everyone's income taxes right now, that still wouldn't be enough to cover our current budget deficit, let alone this new healthcare spending obligation, or heaven forbid pay down the national debt.

Stopping those stupid wars will save a few hundred billion a year, but that's not going to make a big enough dent in spending.

One way to stop the financial bleeding might be to adopt a VAT like Europe. A VAT, like all consumption taxes, are regressive and so hurt the poor the most, as the poor will pay a proportionately higher amount of their income on VAT than other consumers. Those on fixed incomes, like retirees, will be most affected, as a VAT will cause the prices of consumer goods to rise, busting household budgets. But even if we adopt a VAT, that still likely won't be enough to cover govt. spending, and its negative impact on economic growth will further depress govt. revenue and job opportunities. It is also easily susceptible to fraud.

At some point the govt. credit card will max out and our national debt will prevent us from borrowing our way out of trouble.

Eventually, we will have to cut govt. spending. Our biggest expenditures will be Medicare and Social Security and now this new healthcare entitlement for the poor. No doubt the cuts will be brutal. We'll have to explain to our elderly that we will need to cut their healthcare and retirement benefits in order to fund this new healthcare entitlement for the poor. No doubt they will understand when they go to the ballot box.


Posted by me, a resident of another community
on Mar 25, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Today, the day that Social Security pays out more than it takes in (6 years earlier than expected), the Health Care bill passed it's final hurdle ... how apropos!



Posted by Kathy, a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm

To SPCWT: This legislation is not an entitlement for the poor ... they are already covered under Medicaid. This bill is an entitlement for everyone else ... particularly those who earn less than $88k/yr.


Posted by republicrat, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Mar 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm

'Critical to our country's prosperity,' says McNerney ... uh, did we hear you right, was that ... 'Critical to you and your Congressional cronies' prosperity'


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Kathy,

No disrespect, but if you make less than $88,000 a year, uh, you're kind of poor. Here in the Bay Area, if you earn less than $188,000, you're poor.


Posted by Andrew Gardner, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Mar 25, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Guess its a good thing I have healthcare coverage as a teacher in SRVUSD or else I would be on medicaid too. I only make $52,000 per year after 5 solid years of being a fully credentialed teacher since day one.

According to spcwt, I AM BROKE. Which plan would you prefer me be on then. SRVUSD benefits plan (local taxes), state mediCal (state taxes), or the federal medicaid plan (federal taxes)? According to spcwt, at $52,000 a year, I can't support a health insurance plan for my family.

Guess I am just another entitled individual in this country. Sorry I can't make as much as you spwct, just trying to make a difference instead.


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 6:41 am

Andrew,

Pardon my hyperbole. I did not mean it as a pejorative. I thank God every day my kids in the SRVUSD have good people like you as their teachers. And I am thankful for the great people in the California public school system who taught me as a kid. I grew up as one of 13 siblings, my dad had a H.S. education and my mom did not work outside the home, so I know what it's like to be poor. I also did not mean to take this thread off topic by my feeble attempt at humor.


Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 7:53 am

And the insurance lobbyists look on proudly, along with Faux Noise, for they have done their job and may take the weekend off.
Though none of you Bushies and dittoheads and teabaggers will cop to it, none of you did anything to protest the fiasco in Iraq, as at least one poster had already pointed out. You're worried over Palin's imaginary death panels, but have no problem with the deaths hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's or our own sons and daughters. Where was your wallet clutching outrage when the PNAC was foisting this aberation upon us? Oh, that's right, your side was in control so it was all A-okay.
This bill is vastly flawed, that much is certain, but the hypocrisy on display here truly boggles the brain cells.


Posted by William, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 8:55 am

In McNerney's District, He has one of the highest Unemployment Rates and Home Foreclosures. With all of the political power California has
whith Dem's in high places. How come we have had no relief? Bad Roads,
No Jobs, Nummi Plant Closure. They have taken us for granted. They could at least cut a backroom deal for California. Please join me in voting out everyone currently in office. I guess the only good thing is when we have no job or home, we have healthcare. Let the Dem Politician's pay for it. Oh they have their own heath care plan! I am going to make it my second job to get McNerney voted out! What a Light Weight!


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:38 am

Derek,

Your reference to Iraq war spending is akin to a husband pointing to his wife's spending habits in order to justify his own reckless spending. For everyone sake, we need to stop the finger pointing and get our financial house in order.

Bush was an idiot and a liar. I'm sorry I voted for him. I had no idea he was going to start that war. I fell for all his "compassionate conservative" crap. Sorry. I tried to make amends by voting for Kerry, but Kerry lost. Apology accepted?

This new healthcare entitlement is one more high priced item we're going to struggle to afford. Hopefully it will be worth it. It reminds me of the Colombia House record deals I used to get in the mail in the 1980's, where you get 10 music tapes for a penny and all you have to do is buy 3 at the regular price. When you read the fine print, it turned out to be not such a good deal.

My parents have no money and in their late age are struggling to survive. It's going to be tough on them when Social Security and Medicare are eventually cut in order to balance the federal budget. Without this new healthcare entitlement, the cuts probably wouldn't need to be as deep. We kids will likely need to chip in even more than we already do. It's the right thing to do.

I understand the need for Medicaid. But it's hard to justify in my mind why my parents need to have to further stress in retirement just so some guy earning $88,000 a year can have a healthcare tax credit.


Posted by 11TH Congressional District, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 10:01 am

Election Day, November 2, 2010: 'Bye Jerry!


Posted by Chet, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 11:34 am

Thank you Jerry Mcnerney for voting YES doing the right thing for us in District 11 and the right thing for America. It is no longer Yes we can for America it is now Yes we did the right thing for America.

Just as a start a few of the many benefits for us just in in District 11 alone that will come because of the passage of the Health Care Reform.

-- Ban discrimination against 11,000 residents with pre-existing conditions;

-- Provide tax credits and other assistance for up to 123,000 families;

-- Extend coverage to 35,500 uninsured residents;

-- Save 1,500 families from health care related bankruptcy; and

-- Get full prescription drug coverage for 90,000 seniors on Medicare.


Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm

AT&T will book $1 billion expense in 1st quarter due to Healthcare legislation. Just the first of many companies that will follow suit.

This will most likely lead to more job cuts, change you can believe in...


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Aubrey,

That's a one-time earnings hit resulting from the loss of tax deductions for providing tax-free subsidies to their retirees, right?

As I understand it, the govt. gave companies a $1,330 subsidy per employee, per year, tax free, to subsidize retiree prescription drug coverage. The companies received the subsidies even when retirees paid some or all of the costs of the prescription drugs. On top of that, the companies were allowed to deduct the cost of the benefits that retirees pay for.

Now, under the new healthcare legislation, the companies will still get the subsidy, they just won't get to deduct it. Thus, the one-time charge to earnings.

That subsidy created a loophole that benefited only certain companies and put other similarly situated companies at a disadvantage depending on whether they had collective bargaining pacts. Now that loophole is closed.


Posted by Ben, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Never before have I seen a government act so irresponsibly. Shame on President Obama, shame on Nancy Pelosi, shame on Senators Boxer and Feinstein, shame on Congressman McNerney, shame on the Democratic Party.

With record breaking deficits going out as far as you can project and a soaring national debt, they vote for a bill that will spend 1 Trillion dollars in the first 10 years and 2.2 Trillion dollars for each decade thereafter. I have studied the CBO report on the offsetting cost savings and revenues line by line. This analysis is purely hogwash and involves playing games with the Medicare program, transferring costs to corporations and states, and making up savings programs that will never materialize. Who do our legislators think they are fooling?

The President already owes the Social Security trust fund $2.5 Trillion. This is money that Americans have paid into the trust fund over decades to pay for their future benefits. It is now time to start paying back that money. If the President even thinks remotely about defaulting on this debt, he had better have his running shoes on.

I am outraged, I am mad and I am fed up. We need responsible leadership and we cannot wait another three years.


Posted by bz, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm


I feel that the taxpaying public has been left in the dark on this whole thing! I must be concerned about a bill that not only impacts 1/6th of our budget, but a bill that impacts the quality of life for every citizen! Why was it necessary to "buy off" votes from the president's own party? Why was it necessary to rob Medicare? Why did the bill require 2000 pages? Too many "red flags" for me!
The final straw for me was that I tried for three days to call McNerney's offices. I could never get beyond a busy signal regardless of the day or time of the call!! When at last I finally DID get through (the day before the vote), I was met with a recording that the mailbox was full! Is this yet another way he is able to ignore his own constituents?! Is this how he was able to say that 50% of his constituents called in support of the bill? If you believe that.....


Posted by Ralph N. Shirlet, a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Ralph N. Shirlet is a registered user.

Dolores, as a journalist, you need to fact check this nonsense:

Posted by Aubrey, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, 2 hours ago

AT&T will book $1 billion expense in 1st quarter due to Healthcare legislation. Just the first of many companies that will follow suit. This will most likely lead to more job cuts, change you can believe in...

The reality beyond assumptions? AT&T and others were allowed to deduct the value of the subsidies our government paid such companies from their corporate taxes (financial news source):

AT&T Inc. will take a $1 billion non-cash accounting charge in the first quarter because of the health care overhaul. AT&T said Friday that the charge reflects changes to how Medicare subsidies are taxed. Companies say the health care overhaul will require them to start paying taxes next year on a subsidy they receive for retiree drug coverage. Under the 2003 Medicare prescription drug program, companies that provide prescription drug benefits for retirees have been able to receive subsidies covering 28 percent of eligible costs. But they could deduct the entire amount they spent on these drug benefits — including the subsidies — from their taxable income. The new law allows companies to only deduct the 72 percent they spent. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the tax law closed a loophole.

(end)

Note: Analysis of actual taxes due on valid expenses paid for AT&T employees was many, many times less than $1 billion in any quarter or year. But the booking of the expense allows for additional, immediate tax deductions likely needed to cover their growing profitability.

The ROFL in Ralph N. Shirlet


Posted by voter, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Wow, at last we can look forward to some help with healthcare. The only people I talk with who are against it are those who are older and very well taken care of through great retirements - of course they're happy with statis quo! Most younger folks won't have cushy retirements and will really benefit from this.

The complete non-cooperation of the Republicans is going to backfire once Americans begin to reap the benefits of this plan. I can't wait....


Posted by danvilledan, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm

To Steve: HERE'S THE TRUTH

Web Link


Posted by Mike, a resident of Danville
on Mar 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm

November. Be There! Bye Jerry


Posted by Ben, a resident of Danville
on Mar 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm

On his way out the door, tar and feathers should be liberally applied to former Congressman Jerry McNerney.


Posted by factcheck, a resident of Danville
on Mar 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Ben: "Never before have I seen a government act so irresponsibly." Really, Ben? Maybe you just weren't paying attention. Simple, irrefutable facts:
The national debt soared from 30% of GDP to over 70% under Reagan, Bush and Bush. Web Link And the reason there's no money in the Social Security "trust fund" is because R, B and B used the surplus paid in during their administrations to paper over the deficits caused by cutting tax rates below the level needed to balance the budget. There's no "trust fund" - just a file cabinet full of IOUs run up under Republican administrations. It was an intentional policy, called "Starve the Beast." Web Link

Irresponsibility has been the mainstay of the Republican party for over 30 years. But you had no idea of what was happening, did you? Have you ever wondered why?


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Mar 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm

You can't blame Democrats for passing it. Obama really turned up the pressure on them. He said if they didn't vote for it, he'd go out and campaign for them in November.


Okay, I stole that line from Jay Leno.


Posted by Rose, a resident of Danville
on Mar 28, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Factcheck, They don't want the facts, just tea!!! Where were all these malcontents all these years??? Now they come out of the woodwork spewing violent rhetoric led by the likes of Lindbaugh!!! Good Lord!!


Posted by Ben, a resident of Danville
on Mar 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Fatcheck: Suggest you check your facts as well. The Obama deficits are 3-4 times anything Bush ever had and are projected to well out into the future. I was never happy with the Bush deficits either, but to enact a major expansion of government spending in the face of record high deficits is blatantly irresponsible.

If you look at the data, Bush actually did a good job of keeping discretionary spending under control during his 8 years in office. The primary reason the budget went from surplus to deficit under Bush was the sharp decrease in tax revenue resulting from the 2000 stock market crash. It had nothing to do with spending.

Of course the tax cuts and the Iraq war, both of which came later (and which I was not in favor of ) did not help. But other than the war in Iraq, Bush did not expand government spending.

Social Security as has generated a surplus in 61 of its 73 years of existence. This surplus has been raided by both Democratic and Republican administrations to pay for other spending. Combining Social Security/Medicare revenue and expense with the federal budget masks what is really going on.

This is why both Medicare and Social Security should not be managed by the government. The trust funds should be completely separate from the federal budget so that legislators cannot play budget games or pretend they have a balanced budget when they are really just borrowing the Social Security trust fund.


Posted by Ray, a resident of Danville
on Mar 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Thank goodness we elected our fine Congressman Jerry McNerney. His YES vote was brave and correct. A lesser man would have caved to the wing-nut pressure and the sheep that buy into the anti-Obama lies. Thank you Jerry McNerney.


Posted by SCLM, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 30, 2010 at 12:31 am

After thinking it over, I have come to the conclusion that this is the most convoluted legislation I have ever seen. It completely corrupts free markets and will cost taxpayers and the currently insured much more than our politicians have admitted. How could sane, intelligent legislators pass this abomination?

There would have been much simpler ways to solve the problem without resorting to government control of the health care industry. Why not just establish a taxpayer supported high risk insurance plan? You would not need a 2000 page bill to do that.

I am a Democrat and have always been one, but I think this health care bill spells the end of the Democratic Party and the Obama presidency.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Y'all don't get it. This is not about healthcare - this is about large government taking over responsibilities that once belonged to independent American Citizens. This is about decreasing options from many to one - I predict the only option in 10 years will be the government healthcare option.

This legislation is step 1 in shutting down private healthcare in America. Regardless of what the President and congressional Democrats say today about this bill, private healthcare premiums will rise. The left is counting on it, they are waiting for the 'abused public' to clamor for relief which will come in the form of a single payer public health system, European style. Then there is only 1 choice - the government plan.

Sound crazy? As of today, the only choice for college loans is...
the federal government. Now it's illegal for private banks to loan money, because the democrats passed the law, and government has the power - not you, and not the banks.

You want choices? Choose to get involved now, campaign against McNerney and Garamendi. Convince everyone you can to vote them out of office.


Posted by Anti-Ray, a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Thank you, Ray, for showing yet again that conservatism is unacceptable, that anyone who disagrees with the Obama healthcare plan is a liar and a wing-nut! Down with dissent, silence the wing-nuts!

Ray, don't get too excited that I agree with you, the comment above is sarcasm - look it up!
:-)


Posted by Rainman, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 31, 2010 at 12:26 am

To Rose: I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh or Fox News, but I do agree with the basic Tea Party principles:

- Limited government as defined in the Constitution
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Free markets, the basis for our prosperity

I also don't listen to such left wing extremists as Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow .. but don't let my opinion affect you, I know that these are your favorite commentators.


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