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McNerney: 'Reform will make health care more affordable for Americans'

Original post made on Nov 8, 2009

Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) released the following statement and information in response to Saturday night's passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, November 8, 2009, 12:20 PM

Comments (66)

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Posted by Alanc
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm

We have seen so much in the debate on health care about the cost of health care and the need to reduce that cost. We have heard nothing about the fact that over 60 percent of Americans are over weight and over half of those are obese. The over weight and obese population consumes a hugely disproportionate amount of the health care dollar. There is a tremendous opportunity to save money on health care by addressing the causes of obesity. In the recent past we have seen class action law suites brought by state attorney generals to recover health care costs from tobacco companies because their products are so damaging to a person's health, why do we not see the same type of class action law suites to recover some of the health care costs that are caused by the products made and sold by McDonalds, Bugger King, Jack In The Box, etc? Nutritional education at a very early age could save a tremendous amount of health care costs.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 1:34 pm

So Jerry, sounds so good that I am sure you are going to switch from your private insurance to accept this new government plan...correct? If not, why? Do tell (you flaming hypocrite).


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Look fellas...can't we all just get along?

Obesity is about malnutrition and it's a life threatening condition. I understand that there will be a major emphasis on prevention and hopefully, enough people will get the message about junk food and the inecessity of exercise to maintain good physical and emotional health.

I have a feeling that maybe even what you eat is all about FREE SPEECH! Hmmmm...I'll have to think about this! anybody that thinks that eating a double bacon cheese is not about FREE SPEECH can just EAT IT...and i don't mean maybe!




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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Look fellas...can't we all just get along?

Obesity is about malnutrition and it's a life threatening condition. I understand that there will be a major emphasis on prevention and hopefully, enough people will get the message about junk food and the necessity of exercise to maintain good physical and emotional health.

I have a feeling that maybe even what you eat is all about FREE SPEECH! Hmmmm...I'll have to think about this! anybody that thinks that eating a double bacon cheese is not about FREE SPEECH can just EAT IT...and i don't mean maybe!




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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 8, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I believe as a member of Congress Rep. McNerney is already on a government sponsored health plan.

Perhaps the term "hypocrite" could be more aptly applied to all of those in Congress who, while enjoying their government sponsored health plan, voted against their constituents being able to take advantage of the same type of benefit. Of course, that might have meant going against the wishes of the health insurance and drug cartels that have paid them thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Just a thought. . .


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Posted by Stephen
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Jerry,

Thanks for showing your true stripes as a tool of Nancy Pelosi. This health care plan will not reduce costs and improve quality for people who have insurance today. Yes, it will expand coverage. Its also a great boon for the new government run bureaucracy included in the legislation. Don't even get me started about the debt and tax implications of this monstrosity. I'm sorry you have such little faith in the free market, since as a former small business owner, you obviously see some value in capitalism.

While you and your supporters are entitled to feel good about your political accomplishment, please note that there are many of us that are gearing up to oppose your campaign in 2010. I hope this vote was worth your seat because you have no idea how fired up your opposition will be next year.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Nice post, Stephen.

My guess is that Jerry won't have to worry about what he'll do after he loses in 2010. Barry Huessein will at least make sure there is a spot for Jerry with ACORN, given their mutual dislike for freedom and capitalism.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Looks like not all in the Senate will agree with this bill:

"If a government plan is part of the deal, "as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote," said Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent whose vote Democrats need to overcome GOP filibusters.
"The House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said dismissively.""

Full article: Web Link

I am disappointed in McNerney, but I did not expect much of him, given the conversation I had with one of his staff members. I voiced my opposition to the bill, and so did many people I know. McNerney's office, at least when I called, did not seem to care, and I got the impression that McNerney had already made up his mind to go with Pelosi's bill (my opinion, of course).


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Rae...one point of clarification.

McNerney's current health plan is a blue-chip private insurance one. Yes, we pay for his plan...but it is private (you know...the type that he and Obama are against since it is "so awful").

Fyi...a Republican earlier this summer submitted an amendment to the national health plan which would require all of Congress to sign up for the government plan that all American citizens must accept. However McNerney and his colleagues voted against this amendment. After all, it would be "unconscionable" for the Congress to abide by the rules for "ordinary" citizens!


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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Jerry could have saved some time and just said, "Nancy made me do it!"


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Posted by No Clue
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm

For a bunch of people who clearly have no clue about how this is all going to work, or the intent of the bill for that matter, most especially the private option, you sure do spout off a lot.


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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm

The second paragraph of this article is such bull-dung. How many of you have received any response from this bozo that made any sense, or addressed your concerns? I've written him twice -- once, no response whatsoever -- and the second was the usual Dem talking points. Like Mr. McNerney, I have also owned a small business. I've also watched every government agency I was forced to come in contact with make a mess of their jobs. Government bureaucracy is a terrible thing to deal with.

There is little doubt that something needs to be done to rein in medical costs, cost controls, and a government sponsored safety net needs to be in place. However, government CONTROLLED and mandated health coverage, such as that contained in this plan, is not the answer.

It will be interesting when Congress decides to deal with the "cadillac" health plan participants. The union workers in this country enjoy some of the best health insurance policies in existence. Let's wait to see how the hypocrital Dems in Congress (who owe their souls to the unions) handle the "cadillac" policies currently in existence for the union members. It should be interesting.


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Posted by Honest Abe
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Republicans Senators Are Trying To Kill 45,000 People Each Year!


The republican Senate is trying to kill the Health bill !
If so the Blood of 45,000 people dying each year is on the
the Repub (Lie) Cons hands. Money is their god. The heartless cowards!
If their love one was dying they would not even think twice about the cost.
The senate has free health care my taxes pay for it, the ones who suffer are, low salaried workers, waitresses, mechanics, farmers, shirt factory workers, cashiers , restaurant workers, minimum wage workers, house cleaners all make to much for government help & not enough to buy insurance.
Hard working people are the ones suffering, how could our senators become so heartless
and non caring about their fellow man.


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Posted by activeCD11voter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Thank you Representative McNerney for voting in the interests of your constituents, rather than in the interests of the Health Insurance Companies. It is widely known that they are generous to those who do their bidding. Thank you for your courage and your thoughfulness. I, for one, am proud to have you as our representative, and I will be proud to support you if you choose to run again for Congress. Thank you for choosing public service when you have the education and skills to enrich yourself monetarily in the private sector, while probably working fewer hours, and spending more time with your family.


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Posted by Carl
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 8, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Ha! The last post must have been made by Nancy Pelosi herself!

Voting the will of your constituents? When have you done that? Your constituents are almost 40 % conservative, yet your voting record is nearly 98% along Democrat Party lines!

McNerney is an Alinsky-ite thru and thru! Let's spread middle and higher class wealth around, regardless of how hard it was to build that wealth!


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Posted by No thanks!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 8:05 pm

I just received an email asking me to write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper, expressing thanks for McNerney's "corageous" vote.

Well, it looks liks not just McNerney, but all the folks in Washington including the White House are choosing to ignore what the majority wants, and it is not their idea of health care "reform"

I would not thank McNerney for his vote. In fact, I am very disappointed that he chose to ignore the wishes of his constituents. We keep hearing that the polls show that the majority of americans want this health care reform... I think it is nonsense, interviewing 1000 people means nothing. '

The majority of americans are happy with their healthcare, let's have a real poll, interview EVERY american, and let's not have Pelosi interpret the data for everyone else.

McNerney: I will never vote for you again. Not sure it will matter, California being a blue state. But you have lost not just my vote but that of all my friends and even my spouse (who by the way, has been a registered democrat forever and is now going to go to the registrar of voter to change to no party affiliation)

Way to go democrats, let's see what happens in 2010, so even if McNerney and Pelosi stay on, I predict a shift in party leadership, just like in 1994.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Original Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 8, 2009 at 8:51 pm

To "No thanks!" "McNerney:I will never vote for you again. Not sure it will matter, Cakifornia being a blue state."
California may be a "blue state", but this valley isn't. The last time I looked, and things may have changed, but the State Reg. showed that Pleasanton and Livermore both stood at 39% Dem. and 35% Rep. (hardly an overwhelming Dem. lead) and 26% Independent or non major party. Nancy McNerney can and will be unseated.


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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2009 at 8:58 pm

To No Thnaks: You must be pretty sure you won't lose your job...that would zap your health insurance...then you would be on COBRA which costs twice as much...and you wouldn't be so happy with your health insurance anymore. Actually, I can't think of any jobs that are secure in the current economy - aside from being a doctor - are you a doc? Then you pretty much wouldn't have to worry. Everyone else - well, I think most people don't feel that secure right now.

Cherish your job. Without it...there's no health insurance.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 8, 2009 at 9:57 pm

I've known several doctors and they are vulnerable. I know one now that doesn't make tons of money. Doctors worry about the things that concern other citizens in the US.

As for No Gracias...might get hit by a Mac truck tomorrow morning! You never know...pray on it.


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Posted by No thanks!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 7:28 am

Karen:

Yes, the current economic situation is bad, that is why it is NOT a good idea to pass the plan Pelosi proposed.

So who do you think pays for the government subsidized care and unemployment? Once the govt kills the private sector, who is going to subsidize all the people on welfare, unemployment, healthcare?

Your argument is simply silly, you are obviously buying into Pelosi's dumb arguments. Yes, unemployed people are vulnerable but once employment hits most, who is going to be subsidizing all these "wonderful" govt plans? Would that be you? Ha!

Obama et al should focus on the economy, on making sure we come out of this recession and people stop losing jobs, that is the only way to ensure financial stability, and once you have that, guess what? people can take care of their own health insurance.


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Posted by no thanks!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 7:29 am

"once employment hits most"

meant to say: once UNemployment hits most


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 7:36 am

An interesting opinion about the health care bill that just passed:

Web Link

To those in support of this plan: have you read it? do you really know what they are proposing?

In the opinion, the following is stated:

"It's Section 2531 of the bill -- to be precise Section 2531(4)b -- and it provides as follows:

The new health bill will empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to states that reform their medical malpractice systems. There are just two conditions: Those reforms must not "limit attorneys' fees or impose caps on damages."

Now that is interesting, not limiting attorneys' fees. I wonder why?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Scio me nihil scire
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Nov 9, 2009 at 8:12 am

I struggle now to pay insurance - how is paying for someone elses going to make mine less expensive? If the insurance companies are so well off, why did Blue Cross almost go bankrupt at one pt? Lastly, the government plan is 100B/yr. Is this fixed or does it float? Could it actually be multiples higher than that?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OutDa Moron
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 8:29 am

OK, NOW DO YOU GET WHY IT IS CRITCAL TO VOTE THIS MORON OUT OF OFFICE IN 2010!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dominic
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 9, 2009 at 8:41 am

Let's wake up folks, we need to vote McNerney out of office...This is nothing but democratic rhetoric...this bill is not good for small business as Mecnerney earlier indicated would need be for him to vote for this...He is part of the democratic machine that on the surface say they care about individuals, but their actions and polices take away more individual rights, raise our taxes, and create more government control ensuring their own security...I don't want the Government controlling healthcare as choices will be more limited and quality will suffer...Let's make Mcnerney toast in the next election...we need to make him an example of when representatives don't listen to their constituents....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Nov 9, 2009 at 8:48 am

Funny how I will be so much better off when my Medicare Advantage Plan with witch I am very happy with is trashed..I wish some people would just read the bill and get an idea of what it entails before they so heartily endorse it...
And I have both emailed his site and called his office staff...just get the Pelosi talking points back..frustrating..the only option is to work to get him out of office in 2010...


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 9, 2009 at 9:16 am

"How is paying someone else's going to make mine less expensive?"

Everybody contributes in different ways. Thousands upon thousands citizens have lost their lives for the USA. You are better off because of their sacrifices. How did losing their lives in any war benefit them? They're dead and they are not going to come home. Their lives are over so that you can have a life. Now get a life!


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Posted by Reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 9:36 am

How is it possible that we, the richest country in the world, are one of the few that does not ensure all its citizens health care, is absolutely mediocre on any health measure (lifespan, infant mortality, etc.), and still manages to spend about twice as much on health care as any other developed country?

Our current system DOES NOT WORK. I like my employer coverage too -- but if I wanted to start a business, retire early, or became unemployed me and and my family would NOT be able to get health insurance at all, due to pre-existing conditions! (we looked into it). So under the current system I MUST work for a large corporation until I turn 65 and can enjoy that PUBLIC OPTION known as Medicare that doesn't turn anyone away.

As for the taxpayers paying for the uninsured.... don't you think we are paying for them at the emergency room, at $1000 a pop, for things like ear infections?? Either through taxes or high insurance premiums, or in the form of emergency rooms shutting down because they lose money. But these people ARE being treated (do you see them dying on the street? -- do you want to??), at a much higher cost than if we just put them all on Medicare.

So what exactly do you all love about the current system?? Thank goodness McNerney is voting to change the ridiculous system we have now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patricia
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

Patricia is a registered user.

I called and wrote to McNerney, too. And I thank him for listening and voting to expand affordable health insurance to those who are not members of congress, are not old enough for Medicare, and are not fortunate enough to have employer-provided insurance. Not that any of you see it that way, but I just wanted you to know that many of Mr. McNerney's constituents called and wrote urging him to support this and threatening to throw him out of office if he didn't. So it's not like he's not listening to his constituents just because he didn't vote the way YOU wanted him to.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bruce
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

I heard Jerry McNinny speak to a business group when he first ran for office. There was not one question asked of him which he was able to answer. The think the only reason he ran for office was that he was not sucessful running his own business. It is blatantly obvious that he has no knowledge of economics, and if he believes the financial data being put forth by the democrats, he hasn't studied the activities of the Federal Government when it comes to their business accumen (USPS, Social Security, Medicare,etc.

He was the only democrat dumb enough to run against Pombo and got extremely lucky that Pombo got caught doing what every politician does for lobbyists. This last election he got lucky and rode the Bush backlash to a second term. You can rest assured that there will not be a third term for Nancy's boy.


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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 10:13 am

Whether McNerney gets reelected, or not, depends on the quality of his opposition. If the Reps can find somebody with the personality and credentials to satisfy our comfort level, McNerney is toast...!!
When I voted for McNerney, I actually voted for Nancy Pelosi in absentia, and that will never happen again....!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Scio me nihil scire
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Nov 9, 2009 at 10:18 am

very strange(and Freudain) that you would say that Cholo
get well


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Posted by Scio me nihil scire
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Nov 9, 2009 at 10:38 am

Web Link)
Before bringing medicare into the equation Reasonable - you might want to take a look at the link from wikipedia above, especially the last part dealing with the financial aspect of it.
I just don't believe that the government has the compentency to run
health care.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 9, 2009 at 10:50 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Thank you Jerry.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No thanks!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:01 am

Not a single thing this administraton has done, worked for the middle class. Let's see: cash for clunkers, what a joke; the tarp bailout, another joke, banks are seeing their executives get fat checks, yet the banks are still not giving out credit and they are making it difficult for most to refinance; this health care will be no different: the poor will benefit at the expense of the middle class. The middle class will see their tax, insurance go up, all so we can insure everyone else.

It was wrong in 1994 and it is wrong now.

The only difference now is we have an incompetent congress doing what Pelosi says, and an arrogant president (I voted for him but what a regret) - our president only wants to earn noble prizes he did not deserve, get his wife on Vogue, talk about how cool they are for eating organic food (that most people CANNOT afford), the list goes on.

I will not vote republican if Palin or Huckabee are picked in 2012, but other than that, I am ready to go for a straight republican ticket in 2012, and in 2010.

Brown vs. whoever, whoever gets my vote.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:10 am

Forget about McNerney, we can worry about not re-electing him when the time comes.

Right now, please email, write or call your senator. Whether this health care reform passes or not is up to the Senate, and there are quite a few people against it (not just the republicans).

Read this article:

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:24 am

Sorry to disappoint you Scio...you're BUSTED! You want what you want and it's your way or the highway and those that don't have the means to purchase health care at a reasonable price suffer? NOT! I've had a great adult life; a successful painter, fine classical guitarist, loving family & friends, like medicare, walk my dogs daily, love the USA but despise the immoral folks like you who want others to die so that you can benefit in some way? Po baby that you're alive and have a struggle...others who have died in a war should have been just as lucky. Don't forget the thousands and thousands of vets who are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan so that you can enjoy your benefits. get well...soon! one more thing...mission accomplished!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Scio me nihil scire
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:51 am

you lost me Cholo but am curious what happened to you.
are you in pain?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I have yet to see one post against McNerney or the health plan that articulates why the current system is better than one that would expand coverage.
- Why it is better to treat the uninsured in expensive emergency rooms.
- Why it is better for those with pre existing conditions to impose their expenses on an employer rather than an independent plan.
- Why it is better for people to lose their insurance and then declare bankruptcy when they get sick or injured, rather than to pay premiums to a government plan.
- Why healthy young adults should have the "choice" to be uninsured but then be treated for free (i.e. taxpayer expense) when they have a car accident.

Please elaborate your positions on these inconvenient details..not about Pelosi, Obama or any other "politically correct" scapegoat.


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Posted by Scio me nihil scire
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm

and these are good pts Reasonable. What's missing though, are the costs associated with the pts you made. Could you find? - i will try as well.
Also, I'm not against ways of controlling costs but i am wary of giving the government the level of control it's looking for.
They are saying that they intend to compete with private insurance but they are making and changing laws that the private sector, for all their power, could never do.
Finally, can you also address the following? Do you think any of these other pts regarding this health plan are incorrect?

Cut $500 billion from Medicare
Kill the Medicare Advantage choice for seniors
Ration care to the elderly, and even tax wheelchairs and other medical devices
Tax health insurance benefits deemed too good by government bureaucrats
Raise income tax rates
Cut physician and hospital payments in rural areas by moving more patients under Medicaid with the lowest pay schedule in America
Create a government-run healthcare plan that will drive private insurance out of business over the next decade
Provide free healthcare to illegal aliens
Provide federal funds to pay for abortions
Mandates the purchase of health insurance, with tax fines for failure to buy, and up to a year in jail for those who can't pay the fines, which directly targets middle-income Americans.


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Simple answer to reasonable, the questions you ask are not the real questions, i.e. the status quo vs. Pelosi plan, the answer to your questions is it should not cost trillions and trillions of your kids (because we will not be able to pay for this) tax $ to fix the problems. There are problems, and solutions are needed. The Dems have the wrong answers to the problems, and the majority of Americans do not trust the US government to efficiently address this (or any other) problem .


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Posted by Tommy G.
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 9, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Congressman McNerney,

Thanks for voting for REAL change in healthcare. Although there are bitter redneck tea baggers that love to spread their ignorance on this post, they are in the minority on this issue. They are also an embarrassment to Pleasanton.

Long live McNerney!!!


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Posted by Mark
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm

I couldn't have said any better Tommy


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Posted by Reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Scio -

I don't all the answers but here are a few:
- income tax increase is on those with AGI over $500M
- House bill specifically excludes coverage of undocumented immigrants
- House bill agreed to exclude abortion coverage as the "price of passage".
- I'm sure some of your other points are valid (i.e. adjustments to Medicare/medicaid benefits). However, if reimbursements become unattractive to doctors, people will try to avoid government plans which will help ensure that private insurance (add-ons, etc.) remain in the market.
- Most countries with public health care also have a thriving private insurance industry. They coexist side by side because those that can afford private (better) coverage continue to be willing to pay for it. Public coverage (yes, that includes Medicaid)is a safety net so no one gets into desperate situations. Public coverage should be a minimum coverage plan, not a cadillac plan -- if you call that rationing, so be it.
- This will be like the requiremenet we have now for auto insurance. I don't see anyone screaming and yelling about that, nor do I see a whole lot of people going to jail for nonpayment. Yes, some healthy, careful people will pay more than they use so their dad with cancer and their friend who got in an accident can get care. That's the whole point.
- I'm a dem. but also fiscal conservative. But some things are more important than taxes and won't get taken care of by market forces (anyone for private roads? police?). That's why I think we need the gov't to get involved in health care, for better or worse.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm

This article is on CNN Politics - you may want to read about the penalties, the cost, and the difference between the senate and house bills:

"November 9, 2009
House, Senate differ sharply on health care reform
Posted: November 9th, 2009 04:04 PM ET

From CNN's Alan Silverleib
President Barack Obama now stands closer to realizing the Democratic dream of universal coverage.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Where does the battle for health care reform go from here? More importantly, what does it mean for you?

Democrats made history over the weekend when the House of Representativesapproved the biggest expansion of medical coverage since Medicare was enacted over four decades ago. President Barack Obama now stands closer to realizing the Democratic dream of universal coverage than any of his White House predecessors since Harry Truman after World War II.

But top Democrats know that it is far too early to celebrate. The road to final passage of health care legislation is still long and bumpy.

The more conservative Senate - where it is much easier for the GOP minority to stifle the will of the Democratic majority - has yet to pass its own version of a health care bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada last week signaled uncertainty over whether that will happen this year.

If the Senate manages to pass a bill, a congressional conference committee will need to merge the House and Senate proposals into a consensus version requiring final approval from each chamber before moving to Obama's desk to be signed into law.

That said, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have already reached agreement on a broad range of changes that could impact every
American's coverage.

Among other things, they have agreed to subsidize insurance for a family of four making up to roughly $88,000 annually, or 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

They have also agreed to create health insurance exchanges designed to make it easier for small businesses, self-employed and the unemployed to pool resources and purchase less expensive coverage. Both the House plan and a plan approved by the Senate Finance Committee would limit total out-of-pocket expenses and prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Insurers would also be barred from charging higher premiums based on a person's gender or medical history.

Medicaid - the government-run health care plan for the poor - would be significantly expanded under both proposals. The House bill would extend coverage to individuals earning up to 150 percent of the poverty line, or roughly $33,000 for a family of four; the Senate Finance Committee plan ensures coverage to those earning up to 133 percent of the poverty level, or just over $29,000 for a family of four.

Democratic leaders in both chambers agree on establishing non-profit health care cooperatives and stripping insurance companies of an anti-trust exemption that has been in place since the end of World War II.

What are the major differences?

For starters, the House bill is more expansive - and hence expensive - than the Senate Finance Committee bill. The House bill, projected to guarantee coverage for 96 percent of Americans, will cost more than $1 trillion over the next ten years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

The Senate Finance Committee bill, estimated to cover 94 percent of Americans, comes with a smaller $829 billion price tag, according to the CBO.

One of the biggest divides between House and Senate Democrats is over how to pay for the plans. The House package is financed through a combination of a tax surcharge on wealthy Americans and new spending constraints in Medicare and
Medicaid.

Specifically, individuals with annual incomes over $500,000 - as well as families earning more than $1 million - would face a 5.4 percent income tax surcharge.

The Finance Committee measure also trims entitlement programs such as

Medicare and Medicaid. It does not include a tax surcharge on the wealthy, however. It would instead impose a new tax on so-called "Cadillac" health plans valued at more than $8,000 for individuals and $21,000 for families.

Proponents of the tax on high-end plans argue it's one of the most effective ways to curb medical inflation. A large number of House Democrats are adamantly opposed to taxing such policies, arguing that such a move would hurt union members who traded higher salaries for more generous benefits.

Another key sticking point: the dispute over a government-run public option. The House plan includes a public option, while the Senate Finance Committee plan does not. Reid has pledged to add a version of the public option to the Senate measure, but would give individual states until 2014 to decide whether they want to opt out.

Individuals under both plans would be required to purchase coverage, but the House bill includes more stringent penalties for most of those who fail to comply. The Finance Committee plan would require individuals to purchase health insurance coverage or face a fine of up to $750. The House bill would impose a fine of up to 2.5 percent of an individual's income.

Both versions include a hardship exemption for poorer Americans.

Employers also face a much stricter mandate under the House legislation, which would require companies with a payroll of more than $500,000 to provide insurance or pay a penalty of up to 8 percent of their payroll.

The Finance Committee bill would require companies with more than 50 employees to pay a fee of up to $750 per worker if its employees rely on government subsidies to purchase coverage.

Abortion also promises to remain a major obstacle for both chambers. A late compromise with Catholic and other conservatives in the House led to the adoption of an amendment banning most abortion coverage from the public option.

It would also prohibit abortion coverage in private policies available in the exchange to people receiving federal subsidies.

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette and New York Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, released a letter Monday signed by over 40 House members pledging to vote against final passage of the bill if the current language in the House bill is not changed.

Both DeGette and Slaughter voted to approve the House bill Saturday night despite its strengthened abortion restrictions.

–CNN's Tom Cohen, Lisa Desjardins and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report."

Link: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sure
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Nov 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm

It might make insurance more affordable...but how will our kids be able to afford the deficet it is adding to. This bill is about politican's getting re-elected in liberal areas while the middle class get the shaft again. What, besides the military has the governement ever run right, bankrupt medicare? or bankrupt social security? As a famous pastor once said, "the chickens will come home to roost" and your kis and grandkids can blame Jerry who will be directly responsible for not having the same opportunity to live the dream as we did. He is a pathetic robot, among many pathetic robots of both parties and I for one an sick of it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm

How did McNerney look out for his constituents:
"Those individuals who would receive a government subsidy for health care under the plan -- any four-person family making $88,000 a year or less -- would also be prohibited from buying an insurance plan that covers abortions. "

Abortion aside, the fact is a family making 88K in certain parts of the country is fairly well off, yet they qualify for this subsify.

But in California, a family of four making 88K is pretty poor, yet the middle class (making above that and yet just still middle class) will not qualify for subsidies.

McNerney did not look out for his constituents, maybe people in texas should thank him, but here in the Bay Area, the middle class (which yes, makes more than 88K for a family of four) will not be helped by this at all, we will be the ones who do not qualify for a subsidy yet our taxes will have to go up to finance all those families across the country that are considered "poor"

Full article: Web Link


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Posted by Sickened and angry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm

NO surprise. He is a puppet with only a yes string, pulled by Pelosi. It's not a thinking position. They wouldn't let him have the seat if he was able to think. And he's OK with his voters who ignorantly believe 'nice' is a qualification. Nice, dumb, timid perfect qualifications for a BayArea Pelosi PUPPET..just there for his party's key votes. He is only allowed constituent representative votes when they already have plenty of votes to carry out Pelosi's plan. This one was such a bad destructive vote, so many honorable Dems were voting NO, so McWeenie was ordered to ignore his district and OBEY Ms Pelosi by dutifully clicking his heels and follow in line. No smarts needed for that. Easy to stick it to taxpayers in Pleasanton. It's our duty to rescue the Cook County Illinois unemployable....Obama promised them he'd force us to.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Connie
a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Resident, you are SO right. It amazes me that the expensive BayArea votes Democrat. We always pay higher taxes because we are higher up the pay scale. $100,000. family here has car loans, only a few months in the bank, no college funds for kids, high house payments for small house. Across America the same $100K, no car loans, fat savings & retirement, officer at the Country Club, Ivy League funds for kids, low house payment for big house. ....So Pelosi's team is telling Bay Area to pay up to subsidize mid-America. This 2000 page monster is not needed IF it is to HELP us, which it isn't. IF it was for us it would have just been a few simple bills.. One for LIABILITY reform...legal premiums the highest medical cost..nope, Dems would rather kill the golden goose than have their beloved lawyer contributors in the Bar Assoc have to stick to ethical cases. Another law requiring eligiility for PRE-EXISTING conditions. And, COMPETITION with wide open across state line medical insurance. Those 3 would drastically improve medical insurance...IF they wanted to IMPROVE it....it is NOT about that. We're going thru costly, punitive gyrations to provide coverage for inner-city unemployable....draging us all down for EQUAL treatment. Tragic...way beyond sad. In 10 years, try to explain this horror to our grandchildren "Why did you let this happen ?" Better not allow Senator Feinstein to vote for this. Sadly, leftist Boxer is beyond reasoning or hope.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Scio me nihil scire
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Nov 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm

all good info and thoughts.
One thing does stick out in my mind regarding what Reasonable wrote -
"This will be like the requirement we have now for auto insurance. I don't see anyone screaming and yelling about that, nor do I see a whole lot of people going to jail for nonpayment."

I'm just astounded - Reasonable, i know that this is going to really bug you but how do i know that you are a women?"
i also know that you really don't see a difference or think that point is a problem. Still reading so will save my other questions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by rs
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm

I agree Jerry is through as the assemblyman from our district, this VOTE FINISHED HIM OFF AT THE POLLING BOOTH. He is not representing us, he is representing NANCY PELOSI AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, HIS TRUE COLORS OUR SHOWING


 +   Like this comment
Posted by !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Dear Sickened and Angry:
You are soooo right!

Let's see, what is McNerney's salary plus benefits and travel expenses now? I don't know but I'd guess it is somewhere near ...

$175k plus lavish benefits = another 50% of his salary? Plus who knows how much in travel. (Hey Jerry, has Nancy allowed you to ride on her jumbo jet yet...which I assume leaves no carbon footprint either) Am I in the ballpark anyone?

By contrast, I went to Office Depot and saw that a rubber stamp cost $4.49.

WeThePeople could have saved a ton by replacing him with that rubber stamp. We'd receive the same results for far less.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Eventually, all Americans will be able to access quality health care. I look forward to the debate in the Senate. Yup...even the "illegals" will be able to care for their sweet families and live longer and healthier lives. That's good news! HIP HIP HOORAY!

now...peel me a grape!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2009 at 7:48 am

Read the 1000+ pages of the House bill that just passed:

Web Link:

If you have problems with that link, go to:
Web Link

and select the bill

or go to the new york times article, which includes the full text of the bill:

Web Link

Those supporting the bill, and those against, should read the bill, to see whether you truly support this, don't let others tell you what is in it, read it yourself and come up with your own conclusions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2009 at 7:49 am

The bill is H.R.3962


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OutDa Moron
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2009 at 8:30 am

Tommy G,

You get the left-wing loon of the day award. For today, you are the poster child for "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder". Since you seem to be another loon dreaming of teabagging, might I refer you to the mangy billy goat at the Oakland Zoo?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2009 at 12:25 pm



Great post by Connie about the unfairness levied on California. I would love to see cost of living adjustments applied to tax rates, poverty levels, and all kinds of other benefits. $100M here is most definitely not the same as $100M in Arkansas (or Detroit, where you can now buy a house for $10,000 -- and that is not a typo). This is a huge problem which will not be solved by this bill. However, it is NOT a reason to reject health insurance reform!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not Lazy
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Is it me or is Jerry just a little creepy when he wears his hat?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chuck
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Put whatever window dressing or name on it, what this administration wants, and will pull ALL stops to get it, is CONTROL over our very lives, and they're doing it thru a total re-working of our medical system, NOT just the reforms that are needed. This will NOT reduce any costs, but increase them by the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars, if not more in just a few years. WAKE UP NOW, AMERICA!! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LINK IN THE ROAD TO TOTAL SOCIALISM, which is what this President and his hacks -- you know who I mean -- really want!!!
Jerry McN. has obviously bought into this B.S., or is just not willing to acknowledge the pressures that must be on him and all others like him in Congress, and stand up against what is NOT right! SOCIALIST MEDICINE IS STILL SOCIALISM, AND IT IS (In dear Ms. Pelosi's words) UN-AMERICAN!!!
THE SHORT TERM ANSWER: RE-ELECT NOBODY WHO SUPPORTS THIS!!!!
NOBODY!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Have you ever seen a GOVERNMENT PROGRAM THAT MADE ANYTHING CHEAPER, NO, JERRY IS A DREAMER, JERRY FIX THE POST OFFICE, SOCIAL SECURITY,MEDICARE, THEY WERE SUPPOSE TO SAVE MONEY. GIVE US A BREAK WE OUR NOT ALL STUPID.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm

mooseturd is a registered user.

Under this new healthcare unwanted pregnancy will disappear. Abortion will fade away as an issue and billions will be saved in avoiding the need to treat abused children.

Birth Control for everyone!!! YEA!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Original Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Help me, I can't decide. What sounds better: Nancy McNerney or Jerry Pelosi? Or how about 2010 LOSER!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Has the editor gone on vacation? Or, is he busy reading the Healthcare Bill? Hello! Hello! Anybody home?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pete
a resident of Danville
on Nov 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Someone said McNerney is a tool of Pelosi. I think there was a typo as he is a stool of Pelosi. Cannot wait for 2010 to see him run out of office. What a sell-out. McNerney will rubber stamp whatever Pelosi puts in front of him without even bothering to read it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by FedUp
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 12, 2009 at 12:13 am

I will thank McNerney for his courageous vote by voting for his opponent next year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 13, 2009 at 10:04 am

Nobody has bothered to address some of the systemic internal maladies that plague the medical/insurance system & that have forced the policies & problems that have brought us to this point.

For waaaaay too long the compounded effects of physician/hospital based malpractice & class action lawsuits against drug companies have put a permanent damper on their ability to be cost effective in the face all this impending financial outflow. There's a reason why a broken leg will cost you over $5000 if you don't have insurance vs. walking in with Blue Shield, Kaiser, Geico, etc. The medical system & the doctors billing schedule itself has for way too long been programmed by the insurance companies to over-inflate their costs billed to the insurance companies & has created this whole self-perpetuating series of events that has led too all the increase in premiums, denials of service & horrendous expense overheads.

I know Cholo will hate me for this but the only real fix for this is to;

1) Pass legislation to limit or curtail malpractice/class action lawsuits.
2) Cease medical service to all illegal immigrants. (yes that means you system sucking Canadians too!)
3)Ban all advertising for drug companies in TV, print & internet based media. Sorry Viagra, we're over you.
4)Provide real cost incentives for younger people & those with healthy lifestyles to offset insurance costs & promote exercise, diet, nutrition in lieu of the current over-medication of the population.
5)Provide incentives for doctors, health care practitioners, clinics & hospitals to overhaul their cost structure & payment plans for patients. Flat rate fees maybe?

This debate is never gonna make everybody happy, I just don't want nor trust the government to have a stake in my health care decisions.


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