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Brits put the foot down

No American-style health care!

Cutting

As my buddy Dave points out, cutting government spending at this point may crash the economy – and lose the election. Wheee!

Whew

I’m happy to announce that last night, with the help of Tech Sensei Chris, I finally got my printer working and now have a real live boarding pass.

He’s mentioned before that he hates HP printers with a passion, and now I understand. Four days of this torture…

Three down, one to go

If I lived in Seattle, I’d leave. Of course, it’ll spread to the rest of the Northeast eventually, so there’s no place to run:

June 12 (NHK) – The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been forced to reconsider its plan to cool the spent fuel storage pool of the No. 4 reactor.

Water injection from a special vehicle has not been intense enough to cool the water in the pool, allowing the temperature to remain at more than 80 degrees Celsius.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, aims to install a circulatory cooling system that will pump water out of the pool and return it there as coolant. The utility originally hoped to put the system in place next month.

On Friday, workers entered the 4th floor of the No. 4 reactor building where the pool is located for the first time since the nuclear disaster took place.

They found a large hole in a wall created by the March 15th explosion. They also discovered that a nearby pipe necessary for the cooling system had been mangled.

TEPCO says the repair team found it hard to work near the pool as equipment had been destroyed and debris was scattered on the floor.

Fixing the damaged pipe is expected to be extremely difficult. In addition, it remains unclear if there is another pipe that can be used for the cooling system.

Medicare saves money

Krugman:

Well, as the health economists Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll document, right now Americans in their early 60s without health insurance routinely delay needed care, only to become very expensive Medicare recipients once they reach 65. This pattern would be even stronger and more destructive if Medicare eligibility were delayed. As a result, Mr. Frakt and Mr. Carroll suggest, Medicare spending might actually go up, not down, under Mr. Lieberman’s proposal.

O.K., the obvious question: If Medicare is so much better than private insurance, why didn’t the Affordable Care Act simply extend Medicare to cover everyone? The answer, of course, was interest-group politics: realistically, given the insurance industry’s power, Medicare for all wasn’t going to pass, so advocates of universal coverage, myself included, were willing to settle for half a loaf. But the fact that it seemed politically necessary to accept a second-best solution for younger Americans is no reason to start dismantling the superior system we already have for those 65 and over.

Now, none of what I have said should be taken as a reason to be complacent about rising health care costs. Both Medicare and private insurance will be unsustainable unless there are major cost-control efforts — the kinds of efforts that are actually in the Affordable Care Act, and which Republicans demagogued with cries of “death panels.”

The point, however, is that privatizing health insurance for seniors, which is what Mr. Lieberman is in effect proposing — and which is the essence of the G.O.P. plan — hurts rather than helps the cause of cost control. If we really want to hold down costs, we should be seeking to offer Medicare-type programs to as many Americans as possible.

Suburban soccer mom values

Yes, I’m sure there are some exceptions, and sorry if you get lumped in with the rest of them, but yeah, I pretty much agree. The only thing she missed are those annoying little stick figure decals of Mommy, Daddy, Little Boy, Little Girl and a dog that infest the back window of every fricking minivan.

WTF? People have been reproducing for a long time — do you want some kind of an award?

Crystal vases

The Last Royals:

Hospitalized

Clarence Clemons has had a stroke.

Virtually speaking

I’m on tonight with Amato and Niewart, right this minute. Tune in!

Memories

I see from my Facebook page that I graduated high school 39 years ago today. Strange, it seems like yesterday!

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