Let’s Not Forget

As things look up for Obamacare and those getting covered, let’s not forget the almost 8 million who could get insurance if all the states expanded Medicaid.  The failure to expand is expected to cause between 7 and 17,000 thousand unnecessary deaths, not to mention who-knows- how-many unnecessary instances of people ending up with an amputation, going blind, etc.

Care delayed is care denied.

Christie the Clueless

“The entire thing, from hiring politically connected Christie-allied lawyers to paying for the pricey investigation with public funds to crowing about the transparent snow job like it will actually convince anyone, looks like a stupid unforced error by Christie.  Even the ‘objective’ press is highlighting the attorneys’ links to Christie and the fact that New Jersey taxpayers are on the hook for $1 million spent solely to help their governor recover from a scandal. Starting with the New York Times’ initial story on the review, nearly every news organization has (appropriately) treated the report as an unconvincing attempt to venerate Christie and pin everything on a few obvious scapegoats who, conveniently, didn’t cooperate with the investigation.  No one is buying it, and in thinking he could get the political press to play along, Christie just insulted a class of people who were formerly among his most valuable allies.

“Perhaps the single dumbest aspect of the report and its unveiling is how it invites a backlash from the people the report blames for the scandal, especially the already pissed-off David Wildstein and former top Christie aide Bridget Kelly, who is subject to shockingly sexist treatment in the review.  Painting your once fiercely loyal aide as an unhinged emotional wreck is probably a good way to get her to start opening up to the press and the less friendly investigators at the U. S. attorney’s office.  Kelly’s lawyer has already all-but-declared that Kelly will cooperate with the U. S. attorney in exchange for immunity.  Chris Christie’s stunt probably helped her make that decision.

“If this is the best Christie can do, he doesn’t deserve to get anywhere near the presidency. And the sorts of Republican elders who were once his biggest fans probably feel the same way. Christie would’ve been better off shutting up and waiting it out instead of trying to exonerate himself on an accelerated schedule. Once he decided to hire some lawyers to issue a report, he should’ve made sure that the lawyers put forth a better show of independence and objectivity. Better stage management — a report that took longer to prepare and that assigned some sort of responsibility to Christie, for appearance’s sake — could’ve salvaged Christie’s future. Instead, he just showed the country how lousy a politician he actually is.”

Alex Pareene,  “Chris Christie flunks Scandal Response 101:  Why he’s handling it disastrously,”Salon

We Like It, We Really Like It

“Consider these numbers from a Kaiser Foundation poll from last week. Percent who like the ACA’s extension of dependent coverage: 76. Percent supportive of the act’s closing of the Medicare drug “donut hole”: 73. Percent favoring “guaranteed issue” of coverage to people who are already sick: 69. Percent who back the Medicaid expansion: 62.

“Oh, wait. Those are the Republican percentages. The overall percentages, respectively, are 80, 79, 70, and 74.

“It’s the same old disconnect. Just as majorities of even rank-and-file Republicans support things like restricting the gun-show loophole (indeed a majority of NRA members support that), majorities of Republicans back these and other basic common-sense provisions of the ACA. And yet these same Republicans keep reelecting to Congress a horde of dishonest and ideologically driven harlots who’ve voted 50-whatever times to do away with all these positive changes.

“Here are two other numbers from the Kaiser poll. They gave people four options: keep the law as is, keep it and change it where needed, get of it and replace with a GOP alternative, and simply get rid of it and replace it with nothing. The first two and the second two can be reasonably grouped together as “basically support the law” and “basically oppose the law.” The numbers are 59 to 29. Not against—in support of the law.”  Italics in original.

Michael Tomasky, Obamacare Crosses the Finish Line,” The Daily Beast

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that HealthCare.Gov is overwhelmed with folks trying to sign up today, the last official day to get Obamacare.

The bad news is that the site was down far longer than usual for routine maintenance last night and this morning, so people couldn’t get on, and now the part of the site for creating new accounts isn’t functioning due to the high demand.

But anyone who tries today and can’t complete his enrollment can legitimately check the box that he tried and failed (under penalty of perjury) and come back after the deadline to finish.

 

Christie Steps in It

So Chris Christie went to Las Vegas to speak to the Republican Jewish Coalition and suck up to Sheldon Adelson, the biggest GOP donor in 2012.

It didn’t go well.  We’re talking Amateur Hour at the Bijou.  Adelson’s biggest cause is Israel, and Christie committed a shocking faux pas by referencing Israel’s “occupied territories” in his speech.  There was an audible gasp, people.  The politically correct term for the RJC and Adelson (and Christian Evangelicals who love them some Israel so Jesus will come back and send all the Jews to Hell and them to Heaven) is “disputed territories.”  Even Sarah Palin knows that, it’s probably written on one of her hands.  Christie could have just said the West Bank, and not gotten himself into trouble.

But to get Adelson to open his checkbook, Christie should have said the magic words “Judea and Samaria.”