Good question

In a rant worthy of the Rude Pundit, James Wolcott rightfully asks:

Where the fuck are the Democrats?


Franken on healthcare reform

Judging by the video, “Angry Mob” is a misleading title, but Franken is definitely facing some skeptics. He does an excellent job of discussing the issues and addressing the concerns raised.


Social Security and Medicare

Stumbled across this today, and thought I’d pass it along since it’s relevant to a conversation Chandra and I had a few days ago– a summary of the 2009 reports on Social Security and Medicare. Not incidentally, it also reinforces why it’s so important to do something about healthcare. Key bits from the introduction are below:

Each year the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds
report on the current and projected financial status of the two programs.
This message summarizes our 2009 Annual Reports.

The financial condition of the Social Security and Medicare programs
remains challenging. Projected long run program costs are not sustainable
under current program parameters. Social Security’s annual surpluses
of tax income over expenditures are expected to fall sharply this
year and to stay about constant in 2010 because of the economic recession,
and to rise only briefly before declining and turning to cash flow
deficits beginning in 2016 that grow as the baby-boom generation retires.
The deficits will be made up by redeeming trust fund assets until reserves
are exhausted in 2037, at which point tax income would be sufficient to
pay about three fourths of scheduled benefits through 2083. Medicare’s
financial status is much worse. As was true in 2008, Medicare’s Hospital
Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is expected to pay out more in hospital benefits
and other expenditures this year than it receives in taxes and other dedicated
revenues. The difference will be made up by redeeming trust fund
assets. Growing annual deficits are projected to exhaust HI reserves in
2017, after which the percentage of scheduled benefits payable from tax
income would decline from 81 percent in 2017 to about 50 percent in
2035 and 30 percent in 2080. In addition, the Medicare Supplementary
Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund that pays for physician services and
the prescription drug benefit will continue to require general revenue
financing and charges on beneficiaries that grow substantially faster than
the economy and beneficiary incomes over time.