Health care wunderkind Ezra Klein has a fine column on how the landscape for universal health care has changed. Giving some historical context of why we don’t have universal care in this country, unlike just about every other industrialized country, Ezra makes a pro-business case for universality: [ ... H]ealthcare was simpler in the 1940s, and far less expensive. In the 21st century, it’s not simple at all. Once a perk of employment, health insurance is now a necessity, and a structure that dumps such power, complexity and cost in the laps of employers is grotesquely unfair to both businesses and individuals. There’s no logic to an auto manufacturer running a multibillion-dollar health insurance plan on the side; it should stick to making cars. There’s no excuse for pricing the self-employed and entrepreneurial out of the market. And there’s no reason the owner of a three-employee start-up should have to go to bed with a heavy conscience because his coffee shop can’t pay for chemotherapy. Of course, the cancer-stricken coffee-shop employee should not be made to go bankrupt because the new “universal health care” law somehow didn’t manage to cover him. Goes without saying, right? Hah. Anyway, I hope Ezra’s [...]
On a totally personal note … Usually at Christmas-time, you find out about your relatives via form letters. This year I found out from NPR. My cousins Joe, Janice, and Jonathan Day, who between them run a couple of Hopi crafts stores in Flagstaff AZ and on the Hopi Reservation, were the subjects of a nice profile on Morning Edition today. (My cousin Joe is married to Janice, who’s Hopi; Jonathan is Joe’s son.) Joe Day has lived on the Hopi reservation for over 20 years with his wife Janice, who is Hopi. He considers himself one of the reservation’s token bahanas — the Hopi word for white man. “I live on the edge of multicultural confusion,” he says. When I was 12 I spent a couple of weeks in AZ with Janice, Joe and Jon, splitting time between Flagstaff and “The Res”, i.e. the Hopi reservation. (“Camp BackOfTheTruck”, Joe called it.) It was a singular experience. It doesn’t sound like they’ve changed much — they’re interesting people in an interesting situation. Give it a listen.
From the blog of Greg Mankiw, a Harvard economist and former Bush administration official who thinks he can teach the Governor-elect some basic econ: Deval Patrick is no Pigovian A reader emails me a story about the new Massachusetts governor: GAS TAX HIKE CLASHES WITH TRANSPORTATION, ENERGY GOALS, PATRICK SAYS By Michael P. Norton and Jim O’Sullivan STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE BOSTON, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 20, 2006 Raising the gas tax, an idea contemplated by a state commission eyeing ways to address a huge backlog in transportation maintenance problems, runs counter to the push for energy efficiency and independence, according to Gov.-elect Deval Patrick, who nonetheless backed off a campaign pledge against such an increase. “We need to be much, much more efficient in the use of hydrocarbons for energy reasons, for reasons of independence, for reasons of our dependence on foreign oil and gas, on hydrocarbons generally,” Patrick told the News Service during an interview at the waterfront law office he is using as a staging area for his administration, which moves into power on Beacon Hill in two weeks. “If we’re trying to cultivate here in Massachusetts an energy-smart economy, then the notion of relying for additional revenues on [...]
The Patrick/Murray Transition Team has posted all of the final reports from their transition working groups at the Transition website. Also posted on the same page are links to all the comments to the working groups that were received via the Transition website. If you’d like to see what we came up with in the civic engagement working group, here are links to our final report and to the comments we received at the transition website. I also took into account the comments posted on BMG. And you can read transcripts of four of our five public meetings here (sorry, Peter – I still haven’t got Dartmouth). Kudos to the Transition Team (with whom, incidentally, I no longer have any affiliation) for going public with these reports much faster than many expected – especially, I’d wager, those who moaned about the confidentiality agreements (yes, I signed one, as if anyone cares). Anyone worried about whether those agreements reflected a return to business-as-usual and a backing-off of Deval Patrick’s oft-expressed commitment to openness and transparency in government should, I’d think, be able to sleep a bit better tonight.
BOSTON – Pulling the plug on its television broadcasting, the House instead will webcast its formal sessions off a link on the General Court Web site, an aide to House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi said.
The state Senate flirted briefly with webcasting formal sessions in 2001, but the initiative fizzled after a short time.
Closed-circuit, inside-the-building coverage of the Lower Chamber’s formal sessions will continue, and the House expects to save $300,000 over the next two years by not contracting with WGBH, the aide said.
Massachusetts is one of only 10 states that do not offer webcasting of legislative sessions, with three quarters of the nation’s 99 legislative chambers already having made the leap.
Legislative sessions were once commonly broadcast throughout Massachusetts but coverage has become more sporadic in recent years. Sessions are often marked by long recesses, which doesn’t always make for stimulating viewing.
The aide said the House would try to work with local cable access stations to ensure the sessions are televised.
- By the State House News Service
Hey! Mr. Speakah! We didn’t mean either/or!
More after the jump!
How can we be complacent about the demise of Air America even if the station was sold for Spanish catholic broadcasting. I am curious.Are others concerned? In the meantime, there is serious withdrawal amongt fans of one of the greatest media developments in the history of commercial broadcasting. Not to hear Randy, Tom, Al and Bobby kennedy is very hard to do. Sure I’m not the only one. Madison Wisconsin was able to return the program. Why can’t a metropolis like Boston get a few people together to work on this? Maybe because there are so many brains in our area that they are too smart to need progressive information. I feel differently. Do you?
Just a quick reminder that BMG extends a warm welcome to celebrants of every political and religious persuasion — whether favored or not by the political winds of the moment. If yesterday was a day of delight for your family and you — with, perhaps, presents and a groaning holiday table — remember it was not ever thus. As our estimable Foundation for the Humanities reminds us, on 25 December 1659, “a law was passed by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony requiring a five-shilling fine from anyone caught ‘observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way.’ Christmas Day was deemed by the Puritans to be a time of seasonal excess with no Biblical authority. The law was repealed in 1681 along with several other laws, under pressure from the government in London. It was not until 1856 that Christmas Day became a state holiday in Massachusetts. For two centuries preceding that date, the observance of Christmas – or lack thereof – represented a cultural tug of war between Puritan ideals and British tradition.”
So, now we get to bathe in the dribble of the MSM coverage of His Absence’s (allegedly) four-year stint as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
People, pundits and polls will assess the pros and cons of the Romney adminstration.
When asked what they would miss about his personality or presence when he was gone, even some of the strongest Romney supporters shrugged.
The post, I mean, not the town. We had a nice discussion going, and all of a sudden the link disappeared from the right-hand column. I was hoping to see some more thoughts on this important issue of universal access to telecom services.