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Thursday, March 18, 2010

PRESIDENT TO SIGN HEALTH CARE BILL NEXT WEEK

I'm back home in my Manoa office, but have moved from the fourth floor of Post to 103B. I'm now in the midst of Hawaii Natural Energy Institute researchers, with Boryann Liaw, Michael Cooney and Jian Yu as neighbors.

Well, the Democrats got what they wanted: the Congressional Budget Office reported today that the $940 billion bill will reduce the deficit by $1.3 trillion....in twenty years. In addition to everything else, this is now being called a deficit reduction program.

Thus, the House will still deem the Senate Bill, then have an up or down vote on Sunday (March 21). The legislative process is such that the Senate will still need to vote, but because of that somewhat arcane reconciliation pathway, a filibuster will be avoided, and it could take Vice President Biden to cast the 51st affirmative to clear Congress. Why so many Democratic defections? A few Democrats will not like the House amendments and a few will be allowed to vote no to preserve their re-election potential. President Obama will then sign the measure later next week. He, of course, postponed his Indonesia/Australia trip until June.

You can gain all the details by clicking on HealthCare Repair. While the speculation is as above, the Republican rhetoric will be particularly loud to improve their numbers in the Fall, and at least they can take some personal pride in that the version to be passed HAS NO GOVERNMENT HEALTH PLAN.

The more affluent will, of course, now need to add a supplemental insurance policy to get to the head of the line for treatment. But coverage improves from 83% to 95% of our population, and like social security and medicare in the past, improvements will be made over the next few years. Final passage will go a long way in insuring for Obama's re-election in 32 months.

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The Dow Jones Industrials went up 46 to 10,779, with world markets mostly down. Gold increased $4/toz to $1126 and crude oil is at $82/barrel.

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Tropical Cyclone Tomas has left Fiji and is headed for extinction. Information has been sparse on the damage, but, apparently, there was only one confirmed death.

Tropical Cyclone Ului has weakened to 90 MPH, and should make landfall in Queensland over the weekend with hurricane force winds. There must have been considerable damage, but no deaths have been reported in the Solomons. Similar to Tomas, feedback has been sketchy.

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