This Could Be The Best One Yet

John’s been posting the Palin excerpts as soon as they’re up on CBS so I’m snagging them from him. This isn’t a VP candidate question. This is a basic job interview question (at least I’ve been asked it before). What magazines or newspapers do you read regularly? Who can’t whip that one out off the top of her head? Unless of course you don’t read the paper, go online, or watch the news:

And We’re Back

You’re on Ms. Palin. Tell us about the choice voters are going to have to make between Joe Biden and all his experience and you and your newness. No, no. Nevermind the old guy on the top of your ticket. This is about you, love. Go to town:


Street Crime

I can’t be the only person who’s had enough of the Wall Street/Main Street routine.

How do we get everyone to stop and pick a new catch phrase?

Ok, You Got Me

What exactly is gotcha journalism?

Gov. Sarah Palin said Monday that her comment about attacking terrorist targets in Pakistan, which appeared to contradict the position of GOP presidential nominee John McCain, was a response to a “gotcha” question from a voter.


McCain, who sat with Palin, said in Monday’s interview that he understands “the day and age of ‘gotcha’ journalism. … In a conversation with someone who you didn’t hear the question very well, you don’t know the context of the conversation. Grab a phrase. Gov. Palin and I agree that you don’t announce that you’re going to attack another country.”


Asked what she learned from the experience, Palin said: “That this is all about “gotcha” journalism. A lot of it is. But that’s OK, too.”

Want to know what I’ve learned? That there really is no end to the excuses…and Thursday night can’t come soon enough.

The $300+ Mole

It’s no secret I’ve had a brush with the most common form of skin cancer. The sucker’s gone now, but I’ve got to be diligent about getting checked out every 6 months and keeping an eye on anything that looks unusual.

That said, when a new little mole brought itself to my attention last week, I made an appointment to go see my doctor. Now, even though he doesn’t accept my current health insurance plan, I know he’s one of DC’s best and I’m not about to go shopping around for someone new. I figure I will just pay up front, submit my bills, and see what comes back.

Today’s adventure ran me $300. To remove a mole and ship it off to the lab. Chances are it’s benign – no one’s worried – but I am fully aware that having the sucker analyzed is going to run me even more out-of-pocket cash.

How much? I even hesitate to guess.

But this all got me thinking. John McCain’s health care plan is based around the concept that people would be less inclined to spend so much money on health care if they knew how much health care cost. (stop laughing) McCain thinks I would actually look at the mole, think it could be cancer, go to the doctor, find out how much it would cost to take it off, and opt out? I would make the decision in that moment $300 was better spent elsewhere? Or better yet, that I would choose not to go get myself checked out in the first place because taking the risk is more fiscally responsible than protecting myself and my health?

This comes from Mister Melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer, btw) who just hops off to his dermatologist “frequently” and never sees a bill because the government takes care of his coverage.

My boss wrote a post today called “Ten Things You Should Know about John McCain’s Health Care Plan.” If you’re still confused about what McCain’s proposing, it’s worth reading. Here’s the executive summary:


  1. John McCain will tax your health care benefits at work
  2. And give you a tax credit for five months of health care. After 5 months,you are on your own.
  3. You may be one of 20 million people who will lose your health benefits
  4. And be forced to buy health insurance on your own
  5. You won’t be covered for pre-existing conditions and may not be able to get coverage at all.
  6. But you will pay higher premiums as you get older or sicker or if you’re a woman.
  7. You may have deductibles as high as $11,200 a year
  8. With barebones benefits and no consumer protections.
  9. McCain protects health insurance profits by passing the cost on to taxpayers and the sick
  10. Of course, John McCain won’t have to worry about any of this for his health care. He gets his health insurance through the federal government.

Plan for the Worst

Ezra’s got this great ability to sum it all up and then break it all down in an extremely palatable fashion:

McCain has put forward a radical plan to reform the American health care system, and the mechanism by which he’ll do that is a $3.6 trillion tax increase meant to make employer-based insurance unaffordable and necessitate that tens of millions seek an alternative option. Just as a carbon tax raises the price of carbon so people use less of it and a gas tax raises the price of fuel so people use less of it, McCain’s tax raises the price of employer-based health care so employers offer less of it. And employees will feel the effect of that in full.

I’m reposting out of order, but here’s another nugget:

The individual insurance market is not the same as the employer-based insurance market. It sacrifices the bargaining powers of numbers for the cost-effectiveness of comparison shopping. It is fractured. It has higher administrative costs. Insurers can discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions, geography, age, gender, and even simple whim. The risk pools are smaller. The deductibles are higher, as are the co-pays, and the spending caps are lower. And the individual insurance market is much more expensive…

Read the whole thing here.

Monday Stuff

Morning campers. It’s shaping up to be a busy week. I’ll probably have some new, substantive content for you later on, but in the meantime, here’s last night’s AMERICAblog post on, you guessed it, John McCain’s health care plan.

Little side note. We tested some ads about McCain’s plan and ran into an interesting snag. His plan is so crappy that people don’t believe it could be true. How about that one?

Other housekeeping notes. John won his fantasy baseball league so congratulations are in order on that front. HCAN‘s launched a new sports-themed website called InsuranceCompanyRules which you should go visit and explore (Yes, it’s a play off the hysterical video). My favorite part is the Insure-Rants section. It’s like the Post Secret of health insurance frustration. And finally, 4 days and counting until the big one. Thursday’s a two-fer. It’s my birthday AND the VP debate.

Most excellent timing.

Far and Wide

In the interest of helping this one make the rounds, I’m reposting from AMERICAblog:

Pssst. Pay attention to Jed’s work. He’s a political video rockstar.

He Who Wore The Flag Pin Won

I was going to title my debate reaction post “Storm” as in “the calm before the…”, but it’s been 15 hours, and I’m more mellow now.

I think Obama did well. Very well. I would have liked to have seen him nail McCain on a few more specifics (such as McCain’s having voted against the veterans he swears he’ll help and the fact that McCain’s $5000 tax credit for family health insurance won’t buy diddly-squat in the individual market when family premiums are now up to more than $12,500). But all in all, I was pleased.

I’m clearly biased, but I thought McCain came across as cranky and surly, and I couldn’t help but think, “Ok, Grandpa, enough with the stories of the olden days.” I don’t think the references to the past did him any favors. All it did was remind me of his age over and over again.

And he can’t really play the experience card now that he’s got Palin on the ticket.

Speaking of my favorite joke of a VP candidate, rumor online is that McCain’s camp is freaking out about Palin and the VP debate Thursday:

McCain Camp insiders say Palin “clueless”

Capitol Hill sources are telling me that senior McCain people
are more than concerned about Palin.

The campaign has held a mock debate and a mock press conference; both are being described as “disastrous.” One senior McCain aide was quoted as saying, “What are we going to do?” The McCain people want to move this first debate to some later, undetermined date, possibly never. People on the inside are saying the Alaska Governor is “clueless.”

October 2nd also happens to be my birthday.

How awesome a birthday present is that night going to be?

image AP photo

He Did It Right

Thank you for being one of the good guys.