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Health Care Break-through!

There seems to be a break-through on health care reform? What do you think? Read the following news from the NY-Times:Welcome to TimesPeople
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Democrats Clinch Deal for Deciding Vote on Health Bill
Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times
Senator Ben Nelson announced his vote for cloture on a health care bill on Saturday.

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LinkedinDiggFacebookMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalink By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and CARL HULSE
Published: December 19, 2009
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats said Saturday that they had clinched an agreement on a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s health care system and forged ahead with efforts to approve the legislation by Christmas over Republican opposition.

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A blog from The New York Times that tracks the health care debate as it unfolds.

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Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times
Sen. Ben Nelson, right, agreed after hours of negotiation Friday to back the Senate Democrats’ legislation, making him the pivotal 60th vote.
As the Senate convened in a blizzard, Democratic leaders hailed a breakthrough that came when Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, agreed to back the bill after 13 hours of negotiations on Friday, making him the pivotal 60th vote for a measure that President Obama has called his top domestic priority.

“Change is never easy, but change is what’s necessary in America,” Mr. Nelson said at a morning news conference. “And that’s why I intend to vote,” he said, “for health care reform.”

Mr. Obama, appearing on television from the White House, said: “Today is a major step forward for the American people. After nearly a century-long struggle, we are on the cusp of making health care reform a reality in the United States of America.”

The legislation, the most significant overhaul of the nation’s health care system in more than a generation, seeks to extend health benefits to more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

The blinding snow outside the Capitol added to what had already been a chaotic few weeks for the Senate, which has met every day since Nov. 30 and was working through its third consecutive weekend. The sergeant-at-arms had four-wheel-drive vehicles at the ready to bring lawmakers in for votes. And while senators wore the jackets and ties required on the Senate floor, dress shoes gave way to boots.

Mr. Nelson committed his vote after winning tighter restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions, as well as increased federal health care aid for his state.

With Senate leaders increasingly confident that they would pass the bill, Mr. Nelson pointedly warned that he would oppose the final version if negotiations with the House, which approved its bill last month, result in changes that he does not like.

But House liberals are expected to resist some concessions made in the Senate. To secure the votes of centrist holdouts, Senate leaders dropped a proposed government-run health insurance plan, or public option, and an alternate plan to let some people ages 55 to 65 buy coverage through Medicare, both favored by liberals.

Because the Democrats nominally control 60 seats in the Senate — the precise number needed to overcome a Republican filibuster — every senator in the Democratic caucus effectively has veto power over the bill. No Republican is willing to support it.

“The lines are drawn,” said Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina. “He has to get 60 votes. If he doesn’t get 60 votes, the American people win. If he does get them, America’s payback will come in the form of the 2010 elections.”

Not all Democrats have publicly said they will vote for the bill, but Senate leaders and senior White House officials believe they have agreement.

“All Senate Democrats stand shoulder to shoulder with President Obama and the American people, who know that inaction is not an option,” the majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, said at a news conference.

Faced with Republican resistance that many Democrats saw as driven more by politics than policy disagreements, Senate Democrats in recent days gained new determination to bridge differences among themselves and prevail over the opposition.

Lawmakers who attended a private meeting between Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats at the White House on Tuesday pointed to remarks there by Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, as providing some new inspiration.

Mr. Bayh said that the health care measure was the kind of public policy he had come to Washington to work on, according to officials who attended the session, and that he did not want to see the satisfied looks on the faces of Republican leaders if they succeeded in blocking the measure.

The measure would extend health benefits by expanding Medicaid and providing subsidies to help moderate-income people buy private insurance. It would require nearly all Americans to obtain insurance or pay financial penalties for failing to do so.

By redrawing the health care sector, the legislation stands to reshape roughly one-sixth of the American economy.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the legislation would cost $871 billion over 10 years, with the expense more than offset by revenues from new taxes and fees and by reductions in government spending, particularly on Medicare.

The budget office said the bill would reduce future deficits by $132 billion over that period.

Republicans have accused Democrats of using accounting tricks to hide the true cost of the measure, which they predicted would be huge, particularly if Congress did not follow through with the Medicare cuts.

In place of the public option, the Senate bill would create at least two national insurance plans modeled after those offered to federal workers, including members of Congress. The bill includes a new government-run long-term-care insurance program. And it imposes tight new regulations on the health insurance industry, barring insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions and limiting how much extra they can charge based on age.

Good News on Employment

Things are looking up on the employment front. We can all move forward to creating more jobs 2010. What do you think? Please read the following:

The unemployment rate is falling!
By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporterDecember 18, 2009: 1:46 PM ET

NEW YORK ( -- The balance has shifted: More states reported declining unemployment in November than posted increases, according to a government report released Friday.

The national unemployment rate improved to 10% last month as joblessness fell in 36 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Labor Department's survey on state unemployment. The rate rose in eight states and held steady in six.

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The last time unemployment rates declined in more states than they climbed in was April.

"It's an encouraging sign that something different is happening, but I still believe unemployment is headed higher from here," said Well Fargo senior economist Mark Vitner.

In a normal economy, Vitner said about 100,000 people enter the workforce each month. As the economy recovers from the worst downturn since the Great Depression, that number could double each month for at least a year, he said.

That would mean that more than 2 million jobs would have to be created over the year just to keep the unemployment rate from rising.

"We're not that far from a point where job gains will outweigh job losses, but that's not enough to reduce the unemployment rate," he said

And right now, there are still 15 states reporting jobless rates above the national average. And all 50 states and the nation's capital recorded increases in their jobless rates from a year ago.

How is the unemployment rate calculated?
In October, 29 states and the District of Columbia posted month-over-month increases in unemployment, and 13 reported rates above the national rate, which had hit a 26-year high of 10.2%.

As a result, Vitner believes that even as layoffs continue to slow, the unemployment rate will climb and peak during the middle of 2010.

But some economists are cautiously optimistic.

"We're not getting excited for sharp declines because people will return to the workforce as we start to create jobs, and that will slow the decline," said Craig Thomas, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group. "But we will see a continued drop in unemployment rates."

With 14,000 job losses during the month, Michigan had the highest unemployment rate, at 14.7%; although, that was down from 15.1% in October. This is the 12th straight month that Michigan, which has been ravaged by the collapse of the auto industry, has posted an unemployment rate above 10%.

Solution to Detroit's jobless: Move
But Michigan is still far from its recorded high of 16.9% unemployment in November 1982.

Vitner said the number of people dropping out of Michigan's labor force has rescued it from plunging further.

Rhode Island had the next highest rate at 12.7%, followed by California, Nevada and South Carolina, each at 12.3%.

North Dakota continued to post the lowest unemployment rate, showing 4.1% in November. It was followed by Nebraska, at 4.5% and South Dakota, at 5.0%.

A majority of states showed very slight month-over-month increases or decreases in their unemployment rates, but a few had significant jumps. The jobless rate in Kentucky fell to 10.6% from 11.3%, while it dropped to 8.2% from 8.8% in Connecticut. The unemployment rate in Florida rose to 11.5% from 11.3% the previous month.

Unemployment continued to be the lowest in the Northeast region of the country, coming in at 8.7%. The West again had the highest regional jobless rate, at 10.6%, though that was a slight decline from the previous month.

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Meet the long-term jobless

What Outcomes should a Jobs Summit Produce?

The White House hosted a Jobs Summit with all of the nations big corporations regarding employment. The outcomes of this meeting should produce the following results:

1. Full employment for all people.

2. Additional capital for small businesses.

3. Tax relief for six months for all people.

4. Full scholarships and jobs for anyone who wants higher education or training in job grow areas,i.e. green tech and economic and community development.

Dithering, Tiger and Gate-Crasher?

The news has been filed with calls of dithering, tiger and gate-crasher when none it creates jobs. Do you ever wonder what is rally going on in the world that reality may left about 20 years ago?

The term dither means to be weak and uncertain, to be confused. Dick Cheney (former Vice-President of The U.S.A.) has accused President Obama of dithering on the Afghan War. We just need to leave them alone. Let us dither on that. Stop War.

It is also in the news that Tiger Woods the great golfer was in a auto accident in the dead of night. There are reports TMZ that the and his wife had a spat and the vehicle was hit or the windows were knocked out by his wife with a golf club to rescue him. There is suspicion that she actually knocked Tiger out.

There are also reports in the news when a reality t.v. star crashed the White House State Dinner and bragged about it. Noe people will be fired and possible jail time.

Overall, we are living in a time when there are few things in life that makes sense when it comes to the media. We need not dither on anything. We need jobs. Tiger and his problems are his, not ours. The gate crashers in to crash a federal prison if they broke the law and then do a t.v. program on doing stupid stuff and paying for it. Let us not dither anymore, we need jobs now, we need peace, and we need all the people who want to be on t.v. go to Afghanistan and seek peace with cameras. Please tell me what do you think?