Governor David Paterson’s problems are entirely of his own making. Interfering with a woman protecting herself from a physical abuser? It was both an arrogance of power and a devaluing of women. It was also thoughtless, because his actions were just the open opportunity for any number of forces in the state to pounce on and that’s before you factor in the ever-present racism, which is always intertwined in there somewhere.
The upcoming redistricting, the allocation of the state budget, the private money that is made or lost based on relationships with who occupies the governor’s mansion, all involved are working their contacts and rumor makers to fill the atmosphere with their chatter in order to force the governor to resign before the investigation by the office of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo can run its course.
How long he and his family can withstand the strain of the constant questions is uncertain, but Paterson appears for now to feel he will be exonerated and is trying to hold on until the investgation completes but he may not have that long. As we go to press we see that the New York Times is reporting that “Gov. David A. Paterson falsely testified under oath during an ethics investigation into his acceptance of free World Series tickets last fall, according to the State Commission on Public Integrity, which announced on Wednesday that it had asked prosecutors to determine if criminal charges should be brought against the governor.” Things don’t look good at all for the governor.
They are looking good for probable candidate for governor Andrew Cuomo who must also see the downside of being under two microscopes: one looking at how his office handles the investigation of Governor Paterson and the other on where he stands on state issues such as state Senator Schneiderman’s legislation on where prisoners reside for redistricting purposes. And if he’s going to be the candidate for governor, he has to tell us his thoughts now, and not in May after he saw which way the wind blew.
The Democratic leadership may hate it but they’d better have a primary because there’s nothing like a good fight to see what arguments are out there and if your candidate can take the hit. And after Spitzer, Hevesi and Paterson, they may need to find a plan B, just in case plan A for Andy blows up in their face as all the others have.
Paterson’s holding on but Congressman Charlie Rangel has had to let go of the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee in the wake of a report from the House Ethics committee that admonished him for ethics violation in accepting corporate-sponsored trips.
Will this health care horror never end? The problem is that the simplicity of single-payer has not broken through the wall of health industry noise and their political contributions. It helps to remember that every time you see a health plan truck on the street with their insurance vendors stopping passers by, those are health care premiums at work. We’ve said it before and will again that it is the health premiums that pay for the district managers, the area managers the regional managers the vice-presidents, the presidents, and the stockholders. And this is for each insurance company. And at these insurance companies they use premiums to pay people to find reasons to override doctors, deny care and pay the doctors, technicians, nurses and hospitals from what’s left.
In a single-payer system, with no insurance company involvement, a patient goes to the health provider, receives treatment and uses a health card to confirm the visit and services. The provider informs the Medicare-like system, and is paid. By cutting out the health industry jobs program for managers and executives, there is finally money to pay decent fees for services because the entire population is in the insurance pool.
With a full-blown single-payer program, the insurance companies, except for high-end boutique providers, will go the way of the tuberculosis wards and the polio-equipment supply houses. This is an end they will rail against to the very end, but when it comes, the nation will be healthier and wealthier for it.