Amy Sherman-Palladino To Do Show For HBO


According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy-Sherman Palladino creator of Gilmore Girls, will be doing a show for HBO. Like her previous show, it will deal with mother-daughter relations:

Sherman-Palladino will write and executive produce the untitled drama, which chronicles the complicated relationship between three adult sisters, all writers sharing the same upper east side apartment building, and their mother, a domineering literary lioness who reserves most of her affections for their ne’er-do-well brother.

“It’s a story of love, hate, family — and finding the perfect opening line,” Sherman-Palladino said.

I’m glad she is concentrating on opening lines. She reportedly had the final four words to Gilmore Girls in mind for years, and then never had the opportunity to use her closing lines as she left the series in its final season.

While her last series, The Return of Jezebel James, was a flop, I’m hoping that cable allows her to match and possibly surpass her work on Gilmore Girls. The show featured rapid fire dialogue similar to that of Aaron Sorkin with frequent pop culture references. While Palladino’s work was not as overtly political as that of Sorkin, she did throw in political comment from time to time. I previously posted some examples here.

I noted a few days ago that Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham will be returning to network television this winter in Parenthood, in which she will once again play a single mother. Alexis Bledel appeared in the final episode of E.R. last season and has had several movie roles.

Guess Who Is Pushing For Mandates

Recently some Republicans opposing health care reform have been arguing against mandates on principle, claiming that the requirement to purchase health care insurance is a requirement being imposed upon them by Democrats. It is true that some Democrats support mandates, but others oppose it . After all, this disagreement over mandates was one of the significant differences between Obama and Clinton during the primary campaign. Such Democrats, however, are not the only ones who support mandates.

Until Republicans decided to use this as a last chance to argue against health care reform, most Congressional Republicans backed the individual mandate. The real driving force for mandates came from the insurance industry, which saw this as a way to increase the number of customers. Republicans, being firmly in the pocket of the insurance industry, went along.

Democrats who support the individual mandate also desired that it be coupled with a public option to guarantee that, if people are required to purchase insurance, they have at least one reasonable option. Naturally the insurance industry, and therefore the Republican Party, opposed the public option. While the claims that this would drive insurance companies out of business are pure nonsense (as demonstrated in a recent Congressional Budget Office report), the choice of a public option does run counter to the industry’s desire to have everyone in the country be forced to buy from them.

As the public option became weakened in Congress, and outright eliminated from the Senate Finance Committee bill, the mandate was also weakened to make it easier to opt out and minimize fines for those who fail to purchase coverage but do not meet the criteria to opt out. Naturally the insurance industry is not happy with such weakening of the individual mandate. A Blue Cross group was the latest to protest this. Besides putting out bogus numbers to claim that health care reform will increase costs, they called for a stronger individual mandate:

One of the report’s key findings is that a stronger individual mandate could greatly reduce healthcare costs.

“Strong mandates, beginning in year one, coupled with meaningful penalties, will help to ensure enrollment of young, healthy individuals to balance inflow of higher-cost people,” the study reads.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), so far the only Republican backing the Senate’s healthcare legislation, was the driving force behind weakening Finance Committee’s mandate and penalties during markup and has said she would rather do without the mandate altogether.

BCBSA is worried that lawmakers will dial it back even further, allowing more young and healthy people to go without insurance.

Most Americans Do Not Believe That We Have The Best Health Care In The World

Republicans argue against health care reform by arguing that we have the best health care in the world and we should not mess with it. The data already shows that this is not true. A new Pew Research Center survey also shows that many Americans do not believe this:

According to Americans the United States does not have the best health care in the world. Most see our health care as average (32%) or below average (27%) when compared with health care in other industrialized countries. Only 15% support the often-used political talking point that America has the best health care in the world; 23% say it is above average. Republicans (28%) are far more likely than Democrats (9%) or independents (12%) to say American health care is the best in the world, and conservative Republicans are even more pro American health care (66% say it is the best in the world or above average). More wealthy Americans are also more supportive of American health care. While 50% of those earning an income of $100,000 or more say American health care is above average or the best in the world, more than six-in-ten in the three income groups earning less than $75,000 say it is average or below average.

Note that while Republicans are more likely than Democrats or Independents to say that American health care is the best in the world, only 28 percent of Republicans believe this.

In many ways we do have the best health care system in the world. Unfortunately we also have the worst health care delivery system in the industrialized world. It is a problem if we are the best in the world at treating breast cancer but worst in the industrialized world at providing coverage to screen for breast cancer.

We do have some classes of people in this country who do receive health care comparable, and sometimes even better than those in European countries. This includes those who have the better employer-paid health care plans, which explains that correlation with the wealthier also believing that the United States has the best health care.

The other group which often has health care comparable to Europe is the elderly–those on the government Medicare program. You can’t see this effect on results in this study (unless there is more detail than what is in the page linked to) as I notice it breaking down by over and under 50. It would be interesting to separate out those 50-64. Those often have the worst care as they have more difficulty getting coverage if needed on the individual market, as compared to those over 65 who have Medicare.