What Health Care Reform Actually Does 03/22/2010
Hint: killing Grandma with government death panels isn't included.
1. Insurance companies may no longer deny customers because of preexisting conditions or pull coverage back when people get sick.
2. But you can't just do that for free. If you are going to ban preexisting conditions, then everyone would just wait till they got sick, get insurance, and bankrupt the system. So everyone has to purchase health insurance if they dont already get it through their work.
3. But lots of people couldn't afford that. So you subsidize the insurance for people who can't afford it based on their income.
4. To pay for the subsidies, you take fraud and waste out of Medicare, restructure some service delivery in better ways, and tax people making over $200,000 per year.
5. People seeking to buy insurance currently have to deal with a really byzantine system. It's near-impossible to cross-shop equal plans. So, you set up an Insurance Exchange in each state, with minimum standards of what insurance is, so that people can cross-shop based on price and insurance companies are given incentives to be efficient so they can have lower prices to offer to consumers.
End result: $1 trillion off the deficit, 32 million people get health care.
For Mayor of Newton:
Setti Warren. As a former Ken Parker supporter, I was looking for somebody who a. recognized the need for change in Newton, b. had an analytical mind and was a quick study, and c. had the capacity to lead this city. That's Setti Warren.
He got me and Ted Hess-Mahan; Dori Zaleznik and Geoff Epstein to agree on his candidacy -- polar political opposites are coming together in support of him.
I know he'll be a great new leader for Newton. www.settiwarren.com
School Committee Races:
Ward Two: Margaret Albright.
This race will be very close and was very tough for me to decide. I have great respect for Reenie Murphy and her good work with BC and on the lunch program. In the end, however, I've been swayed by Margaret's good sense, educational and leadership chops, and strong work ethic. www.margaretalbright.org
Ward Four: Dan Proskauer (Newton TAB endorsed).
Dan is an incredibly strong thinker and doer. His website (danforward4sc.org) is chock-full of valuable information, incredible analysis, and detailed plans for the schools. He understands that we need to use data to make decisions and that the status quo is not a good option.
Ward Five: Steve Siegel (Newton TAB endorsed).
Steve is another incredible thinker. A local leader on educational issues, he would bring his engineer's analytical perspective to all discussions. An engineer would be a valuable addition to the SC as it makes critical decisions about elementary- and middle-school construction. www.stevesiegel.org.
Ward Six: Olivia Mathews.
Olivia is an educational and managerial dynamo -- a whirlwind of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm about our schools. In a time when we'll need to make tough decisions about teachers' contracts, her educational background -- she will be the only educator on the SC if elected -- will be incredibly valuable. oliviafornewton.org.
Ward Seven: Matt Hills (Newton TAB endorsed).
Matt has a strong financial background, a head for common sense, a passion for and stake in our schools, and experience serving on corporate and nonprofit boards. He will be a great member of the School Committee. matthills.org.
Ward Eight: Margie Ross Decter (Newton TAB endorsed).
This (along with Ruthanne Fuller for alderman from ward seven) might be the biggest no-brainer race in the city. Margie is intelligent, capable, experienced, and has good leadership skills. rossdecter.biz.
Ward Five: Bill Brandel (Newton TAB endorsed) and Deb Crossley.
Bill Brandel is one of the best and most effective members of the Board right now. He's worked effectively for real change in the city and for data driven management. He's risked his position on the board to run for an at-large seat to reflect his city-wide focus -- an admirable move. He should be elected to the Board. billbrandel.org.
Deb Crossley is an architect and her experience will be useful on the Board as it redoes zoning. She's smart and sensible. www.debcrossley.org
Ward Seven: Ruthanne Fuller (Newton TAB endorsed) and Jeff Seideman.
Ruthanne Fuller might be the other biggest no-brainer in the city. Her signs are up all over the place and it's easy to see why. As a leader on the CAG, she understands the problems of the city and how to fix them. She's soft-spoken but firm, works well with others, and is easy to see chairing the Finance committee or acting as a future President of the BOA. www.ruthannefuller.org
Jeff Seideman was difficult for me to endorse. He's divisive, brash, and while he's often right on the issues his difficult personality can make it hard for him to get anything done. But his opponent, Sydra Schnipper, is just as personally distasteful -- and she's been wrong on everything from NNHS to the city's finances. www.jeffseideman.org
NEW!: School Lunch Survey, please take it! 09/26/2009
The future of food service is being decided this year...PLEASE take this SHORT (10 multiple choice question) survey to help me understand what is most important to YOU my constituents...click here to take the survey. Thanks so much!
Click here to vote if reading this on facebook, or if reading this on my site vote to the right. Then comment below!
Setti Warren for Mayor 09/23/2009
He convinced me at tonight's debate with smart and specific answers to the tough questions. I know he 'gets it' and hope Newton voters will join me in supporting Setti Warren for Mayor of Newton.
Debate TONIGHT! 09/23/2009
Because of high demand, the debate has moved to the Lasker Auditorium. Come one and all-- especially students!
Mayoral Debate: Balser v. Warren
Moderator: Peter Wu
Panel: Brian Goeselt, Molly Kaufman, Jonathan Levine, Ben Miller
See you all there!!!!!!!!!
New URL 09/21/2009
Thanks to Paul Batchelor and his magical website tools, you can now access this website through www.benmillerblog.tk
Thanks to Paul for his help with this and for pointing me to dot.tk, a really cool website where you can get a free domain name at .tk
There appears to be no catch (its a Government of New Zealand program) but if there is I'll say so.
My Dan Proskauer sign stands proudly on my lawn tonight.
There are so many of them now around Newton.& I support all the above 3 so I think thats great.
Campaign Signs Apparently Being Stolen 09/20/2009
There are reports in that many of Olivia Mathews' campaign signs were stolen last night.
Making me think: really? We're going to run this election like 13-year-olds?
Campaign Signs Go Up 09/19/2009
The strongest correlation I have seen so far is Susan Rosenbaum-Ruth Balser.