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Obama delivers change

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, March 23rd, 2010 - 36 comments
Categories: health, us politics - Tags: ,

It has taken nearly a year and cost President Obama a lot of his popularity, thanks to the spineless behaviour of many House Democrats, but the final barrier has been passed to the US getting universal health-care.

Obama’s health reform bill passed the House yesterday by a narrow margin. It now needs to win a vote in the Senate, which is expected to be much more convincing, and then it goes for Obama’s signature.

Once the law comes into force, insurers will no longer be able to exclude children from coverage because of pre-existing conditions or put limits on pay-outs. The policy will expand until in 2014 it will become compulsory to have health insurance, which will be heavily subsidised for the poor.

It’s universal health-care. Not as we or citizens of other developed countries would recognise it, but a huge advance for a country where 50 million have no health-care coverage and many millions more are under-insured.

Until now, many millions of Americans have been cut out of the health system while private insurers have spent billions denying them coverage. This is why the country’s health statistics are so appalling. Hopefully, that will now start to change and Americans will get a health system that is actually focused on delivering health-care to all, rather than avoiding insurance pay-outs.

It’s stunning to realise how backward the US is on something so basic as access to health-care. Finally, the US is catching up with the 20th century.

So congratulations to Obama. Even if this was his one great achievement it would be worthwhile. I expect now that the issue is settled the fire will go out of the Right’s hysteria and Obama’s reputation will go from strength to strength.

36 comments on “Obama delivers change”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Huge victory for Obama. But the real victory is for Nancy Pelosi.While the right and the left have attacked her leadership of the house. The passing of this bill largely comes down to her. Perhaps it’ll hurt them at the mid-term elections. But while the opposition to this was real. To actually pass the thing secures Obama’s Presidency. And I have no doubt that in time that opposition will subside. Enough for the Democrats to not lose as many seats as is currently expected.

  2. Bill 2

    Insurance Industry Reform. Not Health Care Reform.

    Q. How many people get to die from lack of medical care before 2014?

    A. “45,000 Americans (..) die each year because they cannot afford coverage”
    “The bill will not expand coverage to 30 million uninsured, especially since government subsidies will not take effect until 2014”

    Q. What happens to illegal immigrants or their kids?

    A. No medical cover.

    Q. How the fuck are the poor to afford even the cheapest cover?

    A. “Families who cannot pay the high premiums, deductibles and co-payments, estimated to be between 15 and 18 percent of most family incomes, will have to default, increasing the number of uninsured.”

    Q. How much extra profit is the Insurance Industry looking to make out of all this?

    A. “Insurance companies can unilaterally raise prices without ceilings or caps and monopolize local markets to shut out competitors.”

    Quotes from this piece… The Health Care Hindenburg Has Landed by Chris Hedges

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      The US only has republicans to blame for the watering down of the bill.

      Quote from Slashdot:
      “It was the “right to life” people that threatened to block life-saving medical care for millions.”

      Even if this bill doesn’t go far enough, it sets the ground for a better bill in a few years time when it can be widely seen that the sky hasn’t fallen and that people are actually healthier under the new system.

      captcha: mistakes

      • Lew 2.1.1

        This is exactly right. Now the bill is passed (I believe it’s already passed the Senate); so now any further reform is a matter of amendment, rather than building the whole damned pyramid again. That’s a much more straightforward task, and this is Obama’s great achievement.

        L

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          The bill first went through the house, then through the senate back when they had 60 votes. The senate changed the bill substantially (due to republican pressure), so it had to go back through the house again, which is what the latest voting was about. Now the bill has to go back through the senate, because the house added some changes this last time as well.

          They are going to use a technical process of “budget reconciliation” that allows them to get through with 51 votes to avoid filibustering, instead of the usual 60 required, as they currently only have 59 democrat senators. At this stage it appears they are expecting that the senate will pass the bill as adopted by the house, so they aren’t expecting any further hurdles (especially as they only need 51 votes, so some democratic senators can still be against it).

          • Bill 2.1.1.1.1

            So in the beginning, what was the Obama administration proposing as far as health care went?

            And did they or didn’t they have a majority in both houses?

            And what did the Obama administration finally deliver?

            And how many Republicans voted for the reform as it now stands?

            How many Republicans will vote for any further proposals in the future that would shift health care back towards the initial proposal?

            How many Democrats are going to get their arse handed them in mid term primaries because of ‘protest’ voting ( or non-voting) over this and the banking bailout fiasco?

            Will somebody explain to me again why the Obama administration gutted its own health care proposals when it did not need and did not get Republican support? And then explain how things get better in the future given that the Democrats had a majority in both houses prior to the slicing and dicing? A majority they probably wont have again?

            It can’t have anything to do with the Republicans, obviously. And the Tea Party mob aren’t representative of any majority opinion.

            Campaign contributions anyone? Corporate lobbying perhaps? Preferring to take his chances with a pissed off electorate that he may or may not be able to game over the inevitable political suicide he envisages if he bites the corporate hand that feeds him?

            And now can somebody explain to me where representative democracy resides in all of this?

            • Lew 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Bill, the last sentence answers your question: members of the US House of Representatives represent their constituents, not the central party. That’s what they did. The executive can’t whip the legislature: it has to gain support for its initiatives by relatively non-coercive means.

              So while the gap between idea and implementation is pretty large and speaks to a great deal of political mismanagement and the propagandisation of the issue which the teabaggers have achieved, that’s how federal politics in the US works.

              Frankly, I’d prefer in NZ if electorate MPs were not whipped to a party line and could vote their conscience. This way we’d see fewer faits d’accompli presented by the executive to the parliament based on a simple head-count. It would also promote diversity within the parties — liberal or “compassionate” Nat members could actually make that moniker mean something.

              L

              • Bill

                ” members of the US House of Representatives represent their constituents”

                But that’s the nub of the matter int it Lew. Do they represent their constituents? Or do they bend to the wishes of their financial backers? As well as represent their own financial investments before their constituents?

                From the polls that indicated the support level for single payer health care, you really have to stretch a long bow to argue that representatives were representing the wishes of their constituents.

                However, their financial backers and the health of their own investments will be just fine thankyou very much. Wonder how that can be? In a democracy, unless…

              • Lew

                If they don’t, their constituents are free to vote them out. I’ll betcha those Reps know their constituents’ views well enough to have figured out which side of the fence to come down on. Self-preservation indicates that they’ll do what keeps them in a job, and I reckon rather few will get voted out for taking whichever position they took. Are those constituents just blind fools who shouldn’t be trusted with a vote because they’re not competent to exercise it?

                L

              • Bill

                Really fucking disingenuous Lew….or naive.

                When both wings are wrapped up, sold and delivered by and in aid of corporate agendas, then where is the agency in voting?

                You think you can vote them out? How? What %age of votes do you think an independent can get in the US when the independent has no corporate backing, meaning no exposure and no debate on the issues they would seek to bring to the table. Like single payer health care for example.

              • Lew

                No, Bill, neither — just cognisant of the realities of democracy and the fact that despite them, it takes a lot of beating.

                Your initial criticisms were of the Obama administration’s inability to pass a healthcare bill which was radical beyond anyone’s wildest dreams — an opening bid, if you’re familiar with street-market bargaining; and of the executive’s inability to force its caucus to back this electorally suicidal proposal, given the other interests in play. What part of that problem you describe is within the administration’s control? Do you suggest that, since they can’t pass a perfect bill, they shouldn’t pass anything at all? If they can’t get elected on a perfect platform, they should just cede the field? That if they can’t bring the revolution they shouldn’t try? If they can’t force the vested interests to do their bidding then they should be banned?

                Meanwhile, in the real world, Obama and his administration has passed a bit of legislation the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in generations, and which — most importantly — will form the basis for future reforms. It could have been better — but up until now it hasn’t been seen at all. Progress is progress.

                L

              • Bill

                They could have passed a single payer system. Easily. The Democrats had the numbers in both houses. The majority of US citizens wanted it, including 80% of registered democratic voters So no electoral suicide. Unless of course it is not the constituents who determine US politics but the corporations and the lobbyists.

                But regardless of the obvious truth being that democracy is tucked inside the corporate wallet you want to maintain that what has passed is “a piece of legislation the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in generations” !!?

                WTF Lew. That’s just plain idiocy talking.

                And as for it even being progress, why don’t you read the Hedges column I linked way back up yonder. It explains quite simply and clearly in terms that even wide eyed deluded fools can grasp why the bill is not any progress at all and how it is that it will worsen the situation of healthcare in the US

              • Lew

                Bill, the only people who thought single-payer would fly were folk like Dennis “little green men” Kucinich — and even he pulled out. You and I might like it, but the moment it gets floated the “s” word starts to be used — as it did — and that word can torpedo even the most robust progressive campaign without a backdown. Again, this was the politics of the possible.

                I’m not saying that US politics isn’t subject to excessive corporate capture — I’m saying that’s how it is, and you can’t just opt out on that basis. The way it works is that the corporates and the lobbyists deliver a few voters to one, other or both parties, while other voters make up their own mind, and the vast bulk of voters are subject to lobbying but still retain some degree of electoral agency. So for political success it’s necessary to appeal — or at least be tolerably acceptable — to both. This is what the Obama has passed: a compromise which keeps the zealots of neither side happy, but which may yet prove palatable to the vested interests and to the general public.

                L

              • Bill

                Okay Lew.

                45 000 deaths a year through to 2014 due to lack of medical coverage, as lobbied for by corporate interests, is perfectly acceptable and only a zealot would think otherwise.

                And lobbyists deliver voters to parties rather than wrench policy from parties. Whatever.

              • Lew

                Bill, 45,000 deaths a year perfectly acceptable? No. Given that that’s the (apparently highballed) figure from the pro-single-payer lobby Physicians for a National Health Program from before Obamacare, that’s the reason for reform! So given that somewhere around 30 million uninsured Americans will now have access to heathcare, the number, if it’s actually that high to begin with, will come down. Perfect? of course not. Nobody gets a pony with this scheme. Better than the alternative? Yes. This is the real world.

                And thanks for providing me with an example of a lobby of which you approve. Of course they don’t just deliver voters — they also influence policy. I see you understand that they’re not all vultures.

                L

  3. r0b 3

    Excellent summary here of the rabid opposition Obama faced:

    http://www.truthout.org/true-colors57888

    • Bill 3.1

      Obama didn’t face ‘rabid’ opposition. The Tea Party stuff is stuff and nonsense…not just a little like the climate denial camp. They were not the reason for the shape of the bill.

      Obama simply faced and caved to corporate lobbyists and Republican demands for a market driven health care….ie, the insurance market. End.

      Meanwhile ordinary Americans were roundly ignored. Chris Hedges again.

      “Obama and the congressional leadership have consciously shut out advocates of single payer from the debate. The press, including papers such as The New York Times, treats single payer as a fringe movement. The television networks rarely mention it. And yet between 45 and 60 percent of doctors favor single payer. Between 40 and 62 percent of the American people, including 80 percent of registered Democrats, want universal, single-payer not-for-profit health care for all Americans. The ability of the corporations to discredit and silence voices that represent at least half of the population is another sad testament to the power of our corporate state to frame all discussions.”

      And here’s a link to what looks to me like a genuine grass roots movement. And surprise, surprise, it called for single payer system http://www.healthcare-now.org/

      But lets have the corporate media have us believe that every bugger is a teapartier why don’t we?

      • Ari 3.1.1

        It’s not Obama who caved. The reform really isn’t up to him. It’s the senate that caved- the House actually largely wanted a stronger bill.

  4. gingercrush 4

    That’s all very well Bill. But I don’t know what left critics of this bill wanted. Because they were never going to get the perfect bill. They’re rather lucky anything got passed considering the democrats have been trying this for years. The United States or at least those who vote are largely conservative. Even those on the left would be considered right-wing elsewhere. The left were never going to happy with what was passed. But it could have gone the other way and the Democrats lose the health care debate again. Clinton may have survived his second term but the Democrats in the house and senate were largely destroyed. What happened? The momentum of the left was destroyed for 12 years.

    As it is the left have a real battle in the House and Senate. Though I suspect some of that is overstated.

    • Bill 4.1

      GC

      http://www.healthcare-now.org/contact/local-contact-list/ Go through the site. It’s extensive. Then come back and tell me whether you figured out what people…not just ‘left’ critics… wanted.

      Your position speaks of the success of the corporate agenda to narrow the debate and give a false impression of general feeling that led inevitably to limited options. Obama could and should have told the lobbyists and the Republicans to take a hike. Likewise with the banks and the bailouts.

      He would most definitely have had the US population behind him. And that might have been reasonably claimed by some to be a good example of representative democracy at work.

      But, no. Because at the end of the day the public is there merely to choose which corporate bastard will run the corporate agenda for the duration of the next term.

  5. randal 5

    I dont think Obama is any more unpopular than he ever was.
    the opposition is just more vociferous, meaner and nastier than usual as they are the ones who have suffered the defeat not Obama.
    three cheers for the president.

  6. Peter 6

    I still have trouble coming to terms with the level of hatred for Obama as demonstrated by the loonies in the US.

    No matter what side of the political spectrum you inhabit you have to hand it to him, he is one hell of an orator and he seems to have more of a “vision” than anything that Bush & co. demonstrated.

    Now, why don’t we have anyone of his calibre in our part of the world ??

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      I still have trouble coming to terms with the level of hatred for Obama as demonstrated by the loonies in the US.

      this explains some, but not all, of it:

      http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/real_vs_unreal_americans/

      Well, it’s simple, really. They assume, if they don’t state it outright, that large numbers of American voters shouldn’t have the right to vote. That’s the implicit argument when Sarah Palin praises white rural voters as “Real Americans’, when Birthers obsess over the idea that the first black President simply can’t be eligible for office, when tea baggers yell racist and homophobic slurs at politicians, and when they insist that you eliminate black voters from the count if you want to find out how popular a politician “really’ is. When Bart Stupak laughed out loud at the very idea that nuns have opinions worth listening to—and listed a bunch of men whose opinions were the ones that counted—you had a similar sentiment being expressed. Universal suffrage seems like a fundamental part of democracy to liberals, but it appears that conservatives think it de-legitimizes the results of elections. And that if you do something without Republicans on board, you’re eliminating those who represent the only people who count.

      • madnessinc 6.1.1

        It’s no different for the level of hatred for Key/Clark as demonstrated by those in NZ …… a large amount of it is simple moronic tribalism.

        • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1

          Let me know when you see armed kiwi protesters and signs saying the PM should be shot.

          • Peter 6.1.1.1.1

            There was a good article about the Secret Service detail that protects Obama in the weekend papers. Very educational as to the level and depth of the loonies in the US..

            For all its faults, we live in a much better place…

        • Lew 6.1.1.2

          And let me know when respected public personae such as the once-and-future mayor of a major city publicly vilify John Key on the basis of lies about his sexuality, or lies about his support for foreign dictatorships, or just general obsessive character assassination passed off as ordinary day-to-day political commentary.

          When you’ve done that, I’ll grant that your equivalence isn’t entirely false.

          L

          • madnessinc 6.1.1.2.1

            So there is no similarity between the moronic political tribalism that is exhibited in the USA and NZ…. mm OK.

            • Lew 6.1.1.2.1.1

              It’s not that there’s no similarity — it’s that your sense of proportion is completely screwed. Equivalences exist on both axes of comparison — between the two tribes, and with regard to the tribes between the two countries. But you need a fucking microscope to see them, they’re so tenuous.

              L

  7. madnessinc 7

    “No matter what side of the political spectrum you inhabit you have to hand it to him, he is one hell of an orator and he seems to have more of a “vision’ than anything that Bush & co. demonstrated.”

    There were plenty of those last century that didn’t turn out too well.

  8. Ag 8

    It’s stunning to realise how backward the US is on something so basic as access to health-care. Finally, the US is catching up with the 20th century.

    This shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. If we look past all the pro-US propaganda, we bump up against the fact that the United States has only been a genuine democracy for the past 45 years.

    Yes, people often forget that the United States only achieved universal suffrage in the mid 60s, but it’s nonetheless a fact, and goes some of the way to explaining why the US is a politically backward country (yes, people tend to forget that as well).

  9. prism 9

    Great news for USA health care and thanks to Barak Obama for a great leap forward for most people probably as improvements to their systems will have wide advantages. The country can hold up its head proudly as a place that has universal services, well almost. Bet there are exceptions here and there but the in-business-we-trust nuts, the anti-abortionist nuts, the reds-under-the-beds nuts, the freedom from government nuts, the backwoods gun nuts, the rigid religious and I’m agin everything nuts and other toxic blooms haven’t won out.

  10. Well done to President Obama.

    This bill will do more good than bad.

    Hes got himself a second term.

    • BLiP 10.1

      I see that the worst fears of the teabaggers have already begun to evaporate into the red mist of hate that they always were.

      • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1

        I’ve already got my invite to serve on the first Death Panel of the Kenyan International Socialist Islamic Front for the Fu(t)herance of making the Baby Jesus Cry. It’s gonna be sweet.

        Anyone you want offed?

  11. Roger 11

    This was a great victory for President Obama. Great news for those who were unable to afford health insurance – bad news for those private health insurance companies who enjoyed overcharging American workers. The far right assertions that government involvement in healthcare is “communism” says more about them than it does about Obama.

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    6 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    6 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    4 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
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