San Francisco's Pelosi is in her second term as speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected first woman to serve in this capacity.
President Obama has lauded her as "an extraordinary leader for the American people," and following the passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, England's Guardian observed that "Pelosi is being heralded as the most powerful woman in American history and the most powerful speaker of the House of Representatives in a century." Come and ask your questions of one of Washington's most powerful insiders.
Gloria Duffy is President and CEO of The Commonwealth Club of California.
Gloria Duffy previously served as US Special Coordinator for Cooperative Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton Administration. Her mission was to convince the countries of the former Soviet Union to give up their weapons of mass destruction, and to prevent the spread of their nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and material.
In years prior, she was the first Executive Director of Ploughshares Fund, a public charitable grant making foundation in San Francisco; Assistant Director of the Arms Control Association, a public interest group in Washington, DC; editor of Arms Control Today, and a resident consultant at the RAND Corporation.
A San Francisco native, Dr. Duffy holds M.A., M. Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Columbia University in New York, and an A.B. magna cum laude from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Gloria has also worked with the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, and been a member of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation since 1980.
Representative Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress. From 2007 to 2011, she served as the first woman Speaker of the House and was also the first woman to lead a major political party in Congress, having served as House Democratic Leader from 2003 to 2007. Leader Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California, in the House since June 1987.
During the 111th Congress, then-Speaker Pelosi worked in partnership with President Obama to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. She also led the House effort to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the historic healthcare reform legislation aimed at providing insurance for 32 million more Americans while lowering healthcare costs over the long term. Other recent legislative achievements have included passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to improve the ability of women to fight pay discrimination and repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi emphasizes the importance of the Democratic Party's "pay-as-you-go" policy in reducing "heaping mountains of [government] debt." The healthcare reform bill will also work to reduce this debt, Pelosi argues, by $1.3 trillion dollars.
System for the advance financing of medical expenses through contributions or taxes paid into a common fund to pay for all or part of health services specified in an insurance policy or law. The key elements are advance payment of premiums or taxes, pooling of funds, and eligibility for benefits on the basis of contributions or employment without an income or assets test. Health insurance may apply to a limited or comprehensive range of medical services and may provide for full or partial payment of the costs of specific services. Benefits may consist of the right to certain medical services or reimbursement of the insured for specified medical costs. Private health insurance is organized and administered by an insurance company or other private agency; public health insurance is run by the government (seesocial insurance). Both forms of health insurance are to be distinguished from socialized medicine and government medical-care programs, in which doctors are employed directly or indirectly by the goverment, which also owns the health-care facilities (e.g., Britain's National Health Service). See alsoinsurance.
Branch of law dealing with various aspects of health care. Health law was traditionally known as legal medicine or forensic medicine and included primarily forensic pathology and forensic psychiatry, in which pathologists were asked to determine and testify to the cause of death in cases of suspected homicide or to aspects of various injuries involving crimes such as assault and rape. Today health law is applied not only to medicine but also to health care in general. Health law is especially important in cases with complicated ethical implicationsfor example, in the case of comatose patients who are kept alive by mechanical ventilation, when physicians and families are forced to decide whether or not it is more or less ethical to remove the ventilator. Other important aspects of health law include patients' rights and medical malpractice.
I too am disgusted. You sit by as "pay as go" expires under GW, his VP says deficits don't matter, surpluses become huge deficits, not because of the war, those were hidden under special appropriation which Obama had to put in his budget, but you sit by as the deficit hits 1 trillion under bush and you've got the nerve to beat up Pelosi and Obama for trying to fix this mess. Your part of the problem, you sat by and did nothing for years, most likely on purpose. Two wars and two tax cuts for the richest, you don't have to be very smart to figure out that this isn't going to work out in the end. As a disabled combat vet, those tax cuts took 2 billion away from the VA, 2 billion. That's how bush and the country thanks us. Lots of money due to deficit spending, none for the vets. So I too am disgusted with people like you when you beat up anyone trying to help others and bring down the deficits that the chickenhawks created. It's not too late for you to go see your friendly marine recruiter and get your butt over there........of course I've talked to too many of your type to know that you won't, this country is not at war, only about 200,000 families are.
There are many things the government could do to reduce the cost of medical insurance. They could allow people to buy medical insurance from whatever company they want. They could stop forcing insurance companies to cover things that many people do not want or need. We could loosen licensing requirements which force people to have expensive medical training even if it is not necessary for the level of medecine they practice. We could have some sort of real tort reform.
Yes it is true that there are many things that the government could do to provide cheaper, higher quality health care. Its just that those things are rarely related to what the government is actually doing.
I suppose one could find a loophole in the 14th Ammendment, or see emanations and penumbras allowing the Federal Government to provide Medical Care, but I see no specifically enumerated powers for this. Federal involvement in this, like its involvement in public education, will end badly - higher costs and lower quality.
Remember, most Americans are happy with their medical care. Most Americans opposed this Federal reach into our lives. Remember, few, if any members of congress and even fewer citizens read this law prior to enactment.
Our Federal Government has a 200+ plus year history of failure when interevening and grabbing power it has not been specifically given in the Constitution. Their continued arrogance in forcing this law upon us is stunning to me. How could they possibly have the necessary information to manage the medical care of a diverse population? This is clearly a case where the citizens are not in agreement, so the congress will make the decision on whose interests must be sacrificed and place them all in a hierarchy of value and importance. A lot of people will get screwed.
This, like Federal involvement in public education, Amtrak, agriculture, energy, NASA, the FAA, the EPA and all other Federal power grabs will end in nothing but waste, will pit citizen against citizen, and will lead to a reduction in the number of those gifted persons who will consider becoming physicians.
HEALTHCARE is a personal issue - what we eat, do we wear seatbelts, do we engage in violent or risky behavior. Do we get enough sleep, etc. WE are responsible as individuals for our own health.
MEDICAL CARE is a spectrum of specialized services provided by trained personnel using high tech equipment, pharmaceuticals and other technology to assist us when we do not care for our health properly or we are unfortunate vistims of an accident or random violence. Why on earth would we not be responsible to pay for this service for ourselves?
I see no justification for the Federal Governemnt to be involved in HEALTHCARE as I have defined it. I also see neither enumerated Constitutional powers nor practical reasons for Federal Involvement in Medical Care.
Just one free citizen's opinion.
On the contrary, you indeed attempted to establish dominion and intellect implicitly, if not explicitly (in an attempt at a successful bolstering of an argument); notwithstanding, your “notwithstanding”, comment. But again, I must smile because I enjoy reading your words.
You won’t find anyone more in agreement with you than I am that deficits are extreme in all territories, including Europe. Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain—the acronym, PIIGS—are not failing based upon healthcare, per se; they are failing just as the States did without universal healthcare in place. All of these countries are failing through deceitful, fraudulent and bad business practices. (As you've stated.)
I liked Milton Friedman and I periodically disagreed with him; yet, his loss, and the loss of other great minds, is frightening. It’s frightening for me because I am not certain that those of us who are left behind can complete the this cycle successfully.
One thing I disagreed with Friedman about was business ethics—sometimes he worded arguments intent on a listening audience from the perfect societies, living in a perfect world, with perfect business practices-- and we are by far not perfect.
I believe he stated something to the effect that corporate officers have no obligation to support social issues, reduce poverty, pollution (I supposed he would use healthcare subsidies through taxes, as well)— he continued, beyond that which is mandated by law, the rules of the game; the assurances of an “open and free competition without deception or fraud”—we know, that management exists solely to increase the wealth of the shareholders (not necessarily the stakeholders—including United States Citizens, or we wouldn’t have US companies overseas dodging taxes and dodging hiring our workforces) and when everybody else is doing it, that becomes the rules of the game.
Have you actually read The Wealth of Nations? I realize many like to hunt and peck through Smith's thesis of what is good about Capitalism—but many need to reread this book. Read the whole story and read it today; because it will mean a lot more then having read it 10-20-30 years ago.
As for the law of diminishing returns—this is the simple formula for let’s say, M-Theory. At what point does an investment in knowledge or technology return nothing—my answer, every time, until it doesn’t.
Question: “Were did you find your keys?” Answer: “The last place I looked.”
Should we have the road map and the costs tacked down prior to taking off up the road with an idea and an abundance of enthusiasm—Ideally, Yes.
However, when I think of George Washington and his handfuls of misfits attempting to fight a well armed and organized military force—I realize that this man led with bravado and inspiration; he had no money to give the troops, no money for uniforms or ammunition, they tied rags to their arms to indicate ranks—the US hadn’t been established and taxes were not officially authorized, yet…to say it was a gamble to fight the British would be an understatement.
But we won.
We are the United States of America—and because of (in this case) a man like this, we won.
In addition, I would like to agree with your comment that—we are ruled… what is it..? Our fate is determined by 100 Senators, 435 Representatives—that is 535 people run a population of approximately, 307,000,000. Not including the Supreme Court Justices, and the Executive Branch.
I don’t know about you, but I no longer require this system of governance. I think the only disagreement you and I really have is that you still believe there is a system (or maybe you are trying to keep what you see); whereas, I think there isn’t. You believe this system, if used “correctly”, will bring about the answers; whereas, I know it won’t.
I agree with you in something else too—just about all the ‘isms’ have serious flaws; because humans are flawed, and this is why we set laws and policies which are greater than ourselves—because we will always fail to measure up 100%, 100% of the time.
I believe it is time to invest in another form of governance to be used the world over—a governance which does not exploit workers or deplete resources; a governance which concerns itself with harmful byproducts and waste—a governance which does not include only the wealthy, in its benefit packages.
It’s not impossible that we can find this—but it is highly improbable; we could use a little luck and a lot of work, and uniting.
You’ve met Americans right (rhetorical)? Being one myself let me say that most are not accountable for something as simple as their own credit card debt or weight gain (as you’ve mentioned).
Accountability is no longer our strongest suit—consumerism, is; and, it works only for the stockholders (no need for ethics)—we can’t even get people to stop eating themselves to death, as we look on.
There is war in our Nation.
If we must address your concern for affording healthcare, I’ll take a stab at where I would hit: This war on drugs is a bottomless money pit; and all we do, is set the market.
I would use these funds to fund healthcare—we need healthy Americans and Americans to be; and we need our peoples to help rebuild what a few took down the world over.
This is my long-winded way of saying—Yes, to medical coverage, as a start.
I’ll join the others and take that staunch George Washington approach, we’ll look this obstacle in the eye and we will move forward and find a way to ensure that our people are able to pursue health, as they pursue happiness.
But I do hear what you are saying.
Riki, I'm glad you enjoyed my comments. However, you misread my 'European friends' comment; I said "notwithstanding" their assessments of how fabulous European social democracy is, i.e., I'm not using them to bolster any argument, and I cite the problems with the PIIGS to support an argument to the contrary. Moreover, although I didn't cite it in my previous comments, Europe also has the problem of longstanding deficit spending to contend with. Some may remember that what brought Thatcher to power in Britain, was their near bankruptcy in 1976. Today their NHS has ballooning cost overruns that may be the undoing of the Labour coalition later this year. Even much touted Sweden has built up a soon to be crippling debt problem.
My thoughts on health care affordability, wider access and accountability, are that any consideration that does not start with addressing 'cost structure' is doomed to failure, although deficit spending may forestall the day of reckoning. However, it will come as surely as night follows day. In fact, I believe most, if not all, of the economic problems we experience in the boom and bust cycle are problems of cost structure unsustainability, ergo, the bust. However, cost structure, from the evidence of failed socialist attempts, cannot be addressed by a formula or computer model constructed by a bureaucrat/social scientist/economist to come up with the proper relationship of input costs. The reason is what I would call 'the Hayek Limit,' i.e., central planner never have the total picture of the economy which would be needed to make the model work, because the knowledge necessary is distributed across all the actors in a economy -- imagine trying to quantify the economic decisions made by millions of people every day, including opportunity costs. The only mechanism that does that with any semblance of efficiency is the interplay between price, profit, and LOSSES. (I emphasize 'losses,' because there seems to have develop in recent years that notion that losses are bad -- too big to fail, etc. And while they may be for bad the one experiencing them, the rest of the society benefits by having the activity incurring the losses stopped and having those limited resources allocated to more valued activities.) I think accessibility and accountability follow, they do not lead affordability.
There was a time when doctors made house calls, when the smallest town had a doctor. No, they didn't have MRIs, but then what makes anybody think that a technology that took billions to develop is going to be given away for free? Moreover, the greatest increase in longevity in human history occurred not a result of socialized medicine, but through the effect of hygiene and nutrition. Interestingly, in today's debate short shrift has been given the fact that the greatest effects on health are diet and exercise. No one has explained how a trillion dollars per year is going to make anyone exercise and stop stuffing themselves with junk.
One thing should be made clear and that is that no matter what we do, human tragedy will continue. Yes, we can diminish the amount just as we've diminished car accident deaths by requiring seat belts. However, that I'm aware of, the Law of Diminishing Returns has not been suspended. So then I think the question become how much is it feasible to spend to give someone a few more years or a few more months of life, or to save one more human life on a planet with no shortage. I know it seems cold, but this is the real world and the laws of economics, i.e., limited resources and unlimited needs, wants and desires, cares not one iota about our sentimentality. The lesson nations continually fail to learn is that no matter what great intentions we may have, there are indeed laws of economics at work irrespective of the political economic system a country may choose to adopt. In addition, I should also note, to paraphrase Mencken, that our politician's desire to save us more often merely masks their desire to rules us. Some people are driven by the desire for wealth, others are driven by the desire to control.
icouce, if your friends say so, it must be true then, that European "socialism is coming apart at the seems"?
<Kidding, but you are just as guilty of Ipse-dixitism; as you later claim others' abuse of argumentum ad verecundiam.>
Your rhetoric is great, I mean really great; I enjoyed reading it. But what are your arguments exactly? Maybe I just need you to rephrase it for me.
What was your opinion of health care reformation regarding 1) affordability for the middle-class 2) accessibility for a wider range of people and 3) accountability?
...strategic treaties and nuclear game theory? Wow, I must have dozed off at some point during this discussion because I did not hear the topic of nuclear armament or disarmament, regarding Iran, crop up at all. What time-point are you referencing?
Maybe you realize this now; however, for future reference, the word is "unalienable".
We hold these truths to be self–evident,
That all men are created equal,
That they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights,
That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Why does everybody online, even here, need to be a smart ass?
I'm not commenting on Schultz's endorsement or on his clairvoyance. I am only commenting on the discreet issues Ms. Pelosi raises in here and HER comments and justifications.
Instead of redirecting the discussion, you may want to address the issues Ms. Pelosi raised directly instead of appealing to authority, which is in any case a logical fallacy(argumentum ad verecundiam), i.e., "it's true because he says so," is not an argument. Perhaps you missed it, but over the last several years we have been living with the results of our deference to expert endorsement. I would think that by now the American people would be past hanging our hats, let alone staking our very lives, on someone else doing our thinking for us!
Reagan's former Sec. of State, George Schultz, endorsed Obama's new START Treaty.
Reagan's chief START negotiator has also stated that REAGAN would endorse the treaty.
See the YouTube:
Reagan's START1 Chief says Reagan would support Obama's new Start Treaty