Friday, October 20, 2006

Democrats Have No Plan?

Dunno. This kinda sounds like a plan. NYTimes (10.20.06):
"Expecting to gain seats in Congress, Democrats are drafting an ambitious health care agenda to carry out their campaign promises with legislation to lower drug costs for older Americans, provide more money for children’s health insurance and expand research using embryonic stem cells. Many Democrats in the House and the Senate say they want federal officials to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to obtain lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries. The 2003 Medicare law explicitly prohibits such negotiations." Confident Democrats Draft Broad Health Care Agenda
Might be another plan here, from a guy with a little personal experience. McClatchy (10.19.06):
"Congressional Democrats, trying to draw a stark contrast to the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, laid out recommendations Thursday for a legislative agenda that would radically change the federal response to emergencies. Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi (D - MS4), who chairs the Democratic leadership-created Katrina Task Force and who lost his home in the hurricane last year, presented the findings, hitting hard on what he described as a need to overhaul the insurance industry." Democrats outline reform plan for federal emergency response
"'Number one, we have to take the antitrust exemption of the insurance industry away,' Taylor said at a news conference. 'No one should be above the law.'" "The second priority, Taylor said as he released the report, 'Katrina and Beyond,' is all-perils insurance." "With private insurers saying the hurricane damage was caused by water - which federal insurance covers - not wind - which the private insurers cover - most claims are being dismissed, Taylor said." "He said his third priority was to have some form of federal oversight. Insurers are regulated by the states. Taylor said one of his greatest frustrations as a congressman was constituents coming to him 'with their policies and tears in their eyes and not be able to do anything.'" Swamp-draining? Could this be yet another plan? AP (10.06.06):
"Day One: Put new rules in place to 'break the link between lobbyists and legislation.' Day Two: Enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Time remaining until 100 hours: Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, maybe in one step. Cut the interest rate on student loans in half. Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients. Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds 'I hope with a veto-proof majority,' she added in an Associated Press interview Thursday." Pelosi Says She Would Drain GOP 'Swamp'
"All the days after that: 'Pay as you go,' meaning no increasing the deficit, whether the issue is middle class tax relief, health care or some other priority." "To do that, she said, Bush-era tax cuts would have to be rolled back for those above 'a certain level.' She mentioned annual incomes of $250,000 or $300,000 a year and higher, and said tax rates for those individuals might revert to those of the Clinton era." Huh. For an outfit without any plans, them old Democrats sound like they've been pretty busy. Here's another plan. For the Republicans. Quit buggering the Congressional pages.


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