Sunday, September 06, 2009

Republicans on the side lines

A vote is a vote is a vote. According to the law we all get a vote. What makes us Democrats or republicans is the person who agrees witCheck Spellingh our beliefs at the time and voices what we are wanting to say as a nation. That then determines which candidate wins the election. Yes it come in waves, but we as a people create the waves in which they come. How do we tell the difference between a lie and a truth, pure research and not just what the runners want us to hear. So, if the republicans are upset because the democrats are in the house now, the wave of the people put them there. Don't be upset, but get in there and mix it up. Vote put you there let your voice be heard and let the vote keep you there to continue the fight.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Healthcare Plan

Let me come clean and tell you which plan was written by whom:
Plan A is the House Democratic Bill. Plan B is the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee's Bill. Plan C is a plan under discussion by a bipartisan group of six senators on the Finance Committee. Plan D is the House Republican proposal. All of these can be found here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090813/NEWS/90813006/-1/NEWS04 It is the news site where I found them.
Now, I try to stay positive about all of the plans, but I have to say I'm highly disappointed in Plan D – the House Republican proposal. It pretty much leaves things as they are and that bothers me. I know Republicans don't want a government run plan. I know Republicans think that government interference is a bad thing and I can understand that. But, what I can't understand is how they can just continue to ignore the fact that the system is broken. 47 million American citizens have no health insurance. That is 13% of the population. It is a high enough number to swing an election. On top of that, those 47 million Americans leave the rest of us paying a much higher price. Hospitals, when they provide care and aren't reimbursed, have to make up the money loss somewhere and that means charging more for the care those of us who are insured receive. Which means the insurance companies pay more and the premiums go up and so on and so on. We all suffer.
Now, I'm not saying I'm extremely happy with any one of the four plans, but I think combining them might not be a bad idea.
First, the who is covered: the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill aims to cover 97% of Americans, as does the bipartisan, Finance Committee's plan. This is very important. The whole point is to get as many people covered as possible.
Second, the cost: I think the Senate plan at being only $650 million over ten years and covering 97% of the people is a little unrealistic. I think the $1 trillion mark sounds about right. This doesn't mean I think we should spend that much, but that it is a reasonable to believe the healthcare plan will cost that much over ten years.
Third, how's it paid for: Let's face it, a plan with this much coverage is going to cost us some dough. The Republican plan, which didn't even offer a proposed cost, states no new taxes. Boy, that sounds good. The plan implies that by reducing Medicare and Medicaid fraud, the plan would be paid for. Unfortunately, I don't have the numbers for the amount of money lost due to Medicare and Medicaid fraud, but I'm thinking it probably isn't enough to pay for any plan. Now, I would be interested in hearing or reading someone's idea on how it could. I wrote Paul Ryan regarding his plan and I still don't have an answer. (Which I'm very disappointed, he is usually right on the ball.)
I think a combination of all four plans might be the answer to how to pay for this. Raising taxes on singles who earn more than $280,000 a year seems reasonable to me. Most of the people I know don't come anywhere near that figure. Raising taxes on families that earn more than $350,000 isn't a bad idea either. The highest tax bracket in this country is 33%. We jump from 15% to 25%, but after 25%, the jumps are much smaller. Trust me, a single person earning $280,000 a year will be able to afford a two percent tax raise. I'm also for raising the taxes on other items, such as cigarettes or liquor, but I think I'm alone in that regard.
I'm not for cutting Medicare nor am I for cutting Medicaid. No cuts. The elderly have enough problems. No cuts, but rooting out fraud -- that's a good idea.
Further – charging companies a portion of the insurance costs the government pays is a terrific idea. I think that it is only fair. Companies benefit from their workers' hard work. More and more companies are expecting more from their employees – especially salary employees – without offering raises. Being penalize if they allow employees and employees' children to be on a government program is a good thing. Penalizing companies such as, oh, I don't know, Wal-Mart, could help pay a great deal toward the program.
I think the combination of rooting out Medicare and Medicaid fraud, a small tax raise on the wealthy and penalizing large companies for not providing affordable health insurance should be able to pay for the plan. I think not purchasing the F-22 from Lockheed, which has cost us the taxpayers over $351 million in overruns is an example of government waste we could cut and use to help pay for the plan.i
Fourth, the mandates: I know the government mandates a lot of different things and that's not always a good thing, but the only way any healthcare plan will work is if we all have insurance. The healthcare costs of those people who are uninsured are staggering. This is not to say that we all have to have fancy group coverage. The bare minimum should be catastrophe insurance, along with a pre-taxed Health Savings Plan. I know that some people say, well, rich people don't need health insurance, so they shouldn't be forced to carry it, but even a rich person could have their entire wealth wiped out by the cost of cancer treatments.
To support my argument further, let's consider this: everyone of us who has care insurance has coverage that includes uninsured and under-insured motorists. And, why do we do that? So, we can still be protected if someone that doesn't have insurance slams into our car. Hospitals will need the same protection. There are some people out there who can cover $3200 out of pocket expense for a cardio-test, but I'm not one of them. Had I had to pay for the test myself, I'd still be making payments. And, the hospital would still be waiting for their money, which is one of the reasons hospitals have to charge so much. If everyone is covered by health insurance, hospitals wouldn't to write off unpaid bills, thus reducing their overhead. Of course, I'm notoriously cheap and I probably wouldn't get the test. I would be the type of person who would take chances with her healthcare. In interest of full disclosure, in this case, I would be okay without the test. My heart is strong, like bull.
Fifth, how to choose the health insurance plan. I like the exchange idea, but I was just reading an articleii that in Massachusetts the exchange isn't working. That being noted, I think if the Massachusetts plan isn't working, we use it to take what does work and throw away what doesn't. I, also, like the idea that the exchange is state run, with Federal standards. Each state should know what its citizens need and is better prepared to make changes for what doesn't work more quickly than the Feds.
Sixth, for the benefits, I like the Democratic plan, so I just copied it verbatim: “A committee would recommend an "essential benefits package" including preventive services, mental health services, oral heath and vision for children; out-of pocket costs would be capped. The new benefit package would be the basic benefit package offered in the exchange and over time would become the minimum quality standard for employer plans. Insurers wouldn't be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.”iii
Finally, the government run plan, I like the idea of a government run plan to a point that competes with private insurers. I think private insurers deserve a little unfair competition. However; I think it should be limited to cover those who don't qualify for any other plan or subsidy. Let's not create a huge fiasco here. Also, I like the part in the Senate where the plan would “would pay doctors and hospitals based on what private insurers now pay.”iv
Okay, that's it. That's my plan in a nutshell. I think it works better and is better for all of us than the four plans.
This is a pretty long blog post, but I wanted to include as much as I could. I'm posting this as a PDF, as well, so you can print it out and share it. If you like my idea, please feel free to post it on your own blog – as long as you link back to mine. Further, send it to your representative and say you support it. I'm sending it to mine. We need to improve healthcare in this country, but none of those four plans mentioned are going to cut it. If you don't like what I've outlined, I'd love to hear why and I encourage you to come up with your own plan. I, also, encourage you to make sure you write your representative. Healthcare is too important to leave up to the politicians and lobbyists.
God Bless
iMother Jones September / October 2009, page 41
iihttp://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/08/obamas-insurance-plan-comes-right-wing-think-tank
iiihttp://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090813/NEWS/90813006/-1/NEWS04
ivibid

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What's Wrong With America

We are. That's right, it is us citizens. You see, not only do we want things to be perfect, but we're not really wanting to work for it. I'm not talking about people who go to work to earn money. I'm talking about the work it takes to keep our great country great.
Case in point, on Facebook, I challenged someone's statement that President Obama had promised to fix Iraq and Afghanistan in 6 months. I hadn't heard that in a campaign speech and I said so. Instead of responding with an intelligent response to back up the claim, the response was "whatever".
I get that a lot. You can't have an intelligent debate anymore in this country -- on the right or the left -- because there aren't enough intelligent people to go around. It ends in name calling or shrugs. There is middle ground, not every issue is black and white. If you take out the ones the right-wing Christians care about -- abortion, gay rights and the death penalty -- the rest are things we can discuss, debate and come to a consensus on, but we don't.
We all just make blanket statements and we don't do any research to back them up. I'm all for everyone having their own opinion, but I think we've gone too far.
And, I blame Rush Limbaugh. Seriously, I think he was the start of no debate. Callers who agree will just say Ditto and callers who disagree don't get a chance to say anything at all and/or they get made fun of. Admittedly, I haven't listened to Rush Limbaugh in well over 15 years, so he might've changed.
It's really too bad we've come to this because no President stands much of a chance and if we keep it up, we as a country don't either.
God Bless

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Taxing Healthcare Benefits

Okay, if you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that one of the three reasons I didn't vote for McCain was that he wanted to put a tax on my healthcare benefits. Yesterday, a co-worker of mine mentioned that he hoped I was happy now that Obama was going to start taxing healthcare benefits. I was more than a little stunned, especially since 1/3 of my reasons for voting for Obama was that he was against this idea. So, this morning, I have set out on a mission to see if I can find the justification for my co-worker's remark. I have found one article, but then my router went down and I discovered that my archives weren't working, so I haven't finished reading the article, but trust me, I will get to the bottom of this and I will be calling Feingold, Kohl and Ryan to let them know the taxing of healthcare benefits is wrong.
One quick thought before I'm off:
The
article I'm reading states "The wealthy enjoy the biggest boon from the policy, with their better jobs and richer perks. Still, Obama and many lawmakers are reluctant to embrace a tax." Well, I don't think I would be considered among the wealthy of the country, so there might be hope. I wouldn't be opposed to paying taxes on the healthcare if, say, they had to earn a certain amount, like $100,000 for a single person and $200,000 for a married person -- that, my dear friends, would leave most of us out of it.
Anyway, I would like to formulate a better thought on this, but I want to do my research -- just like I did when McCain first proposed this idea.
Oh, I almost forgot, according to my co-worker, this taxing of healthcare is Hillary's idea and it was part of the "deal" she made with Obama last year. Where is that coming from? Anyone know?
God Bless

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

We have Nothing to Fear but the Conservatives

Rush Limbaugh wants Republicans to take back America by picking a good candidate for President in 2012. In the meantime, he wants Obama and the liberals to fail. In other words, he wants our nation to fall even farther down the rat hole.

I especially love the part of his speech where he claims that Conservatives want this: "We don't want to tell anybody how to live. "1 Really? Aren't these the same Conservatives who push for anti-gay amendments? They don't want to "tell you how to live", but they certainly want to butt in. And, aren't these the same Conservatives who are against a woman's right to choose? Again, they won't "tell you how to live", but they're going to control your body. For the record, I should disclose that I am pro-life, but I would never join the pro-life movement, because 90% of the pro-lifers I met are just jerks.

Moving on...

Rush said, "We love people"2 Really? ALL people or just the ones that happen to agree with you? Because, I don't see the love when you don't believe in programs that help the poor. I don't see the love when you want families to lose their homes, but you bailout the bankers. I don't see the love when an 8% profit isn't good enough to NOT layoff employees.

He's also claimed that Democrats have wanted all Republican Presidents to fail. He said, " the Democrat Party has actively not just sought the failure of Republican presidents and policies and now wars for the first time, the Democrat Party doesn't stop at failure. Talk to Judge Robert Bork or Justice Clarence Thomas about how they tried to destroy lives, reputations and character, and I'm supposed to say I don't want the President to fail?"3 Really? Judge Robert Bork? Isn't he the guy who worked in Nixon White House and carried out Nixon's firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox? I mean, Nixon ordered two other guys to fire Cox (don't know who Cox is? Read about the Saturday Night Massacre on Wikipedia). Those two guys, Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, resigned rather than fire the special prosecutor, but not Robert Bork. So, who destroyed his life? He's a judge now, even though he didn't have the courage to stand up to the President of the United States when he knew it was wrong.

Rush is clearly running scared, as a matter of fact, the whole conservative movement is running scared. They had this country for 8 years and what happened? Well, nevermind, we all know what happened. The problem is that they don't want to take the blame, but they're not offering solutions.

God Bless

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, September 05, 2008

I Am Woman

Sarah Palin is only the second woman in American history to be nominated to be the Vice President of these United States. The first time this happened, the lady was Geraldine Ferraro and the year was 1984 (when I was still a proud card carrying Republican). I can remember discussions at that time that Mondale would win because "them Women Libbers" will vote for a woman. Mondale lost and if I remember correctly, he only won his home state of Minnesota. Apparently, not enough women chose to vote for Mondale.

Now, here it is 24 years later and I'm seeing headlines and hearing people say things like "McCain's going to win. The women will vote for Palin."

Are we still in the dark ages? What woman is going to vote for McCain just because he picked a woman as his running mate? I'm not.

Just like I didn't cast my vote for Hillary, I'm not going to cast a vote for Palin. And, to the people who think one woman is the same as another, Sarah Palin is NOT Hillary Clinton. Palin wants us all to go back to the stone age and Hillary embraces the future, so they're nothing a like.

But, getting back to my point. What was my point?

Oh, yeah, all these crazy statements just distract from the real issues of the campaign. What will happen when either of these men make it to the White House.

So, to my female readers, please don't vote for McCain because he picked a woman running mate, just like I wouldn't expect my black readers to vote for Obama because he's 1/2 black.

There's going to be a lot of tough decisions to be made in the next four years. We need to find out how to insure the 45 million working Americans that have no health insurance. We need to find a way to walk away from the War in Iraq that won't come back to bite us in the ass twenty years from now. We need to find Bin Laden and bring him to justice -- on American soil. We need to lower the unemployement rate. We need to ensure that Social Security will be there when we retire. We have an infastructure in this country that's falling apart, we need to fix it. We need to find better ways to build cars and end our dependence on oil -- all of it, not just the foreign oil. We need to stop the ownership of our major companies from going overseas. We need to find a better way -- if we're truly a Christian nation -- to help our neighbors.

I believe that if we've learned anything from the past eight years, a divided house may keep going, but the road is easier to travel if we are united.

So, in November, when you're voting, think which candidate is going to join us together to work for a better, brighter future for America.

In the immortal words of Charlie Daniels, "this lady may have stumbled, but she ain't never fell."

God Bless

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 28, 2008

GOP On Democrats and other thoughts...

Why is any news outlet interviewing Republicans about the Democratic convention? This isn't the week of the Republicans -- it is the week of the Democrats. Who cares what the other side has to say this week. They'll have their chance during their convention. Now, so no one can say I'm being unfair, I'll just state it now: I don't care what the Democrats have to say during the Republican convention. Can we hear the messages and speeches without hearing the twisting of words from the opposite side?

Why do people still think Al Gore said he invented the Internet? How come that sticks in people's minds, especially when it isn't true?

And, speaking of Al Gore, why do people still believe that Global Warming is fake, even when there is a mound of evidence to the contrary? Plus, how could anyone be against making air safer to breath and water safer to drink? What are these people thinking?

And, why is it that when I'm in the shower, I get great ideas for things to write, but the minute my feet hit the tile floor, the idea is gone? How could I do my best thinking in the bathroom?

Why do people think that because they attend church they're good Christians? I can stand in my garage, it doesn't make me a Buick.

One last thing: why is Halle Berry the first Black woman to receive a Best Actress Oscar and Barack Obama the first Black nominee for President when both of them are each 1/2 white? Why aren't they the first mixed race Best Actress Oscar winner and the first mixed race nominee for President?

God Bless

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Integrity

Yesterday, my brother was on a roll about how Bush isn't at fault with his response to the people of Louisiana after Katrina. Then, he said, "Senator Craig would still have his job, if he were a Democrat." He went on to mention that Clinton had sex in the Oval office and kept his job.

He missed the point entirely. Craig did not lose his job for having sex. He lost his job because he approached an undercover officer for sex in a mens room at an airport. Further, Craig has publicly supported anti-gay legislation and when you've done that, you don't want to get caught trying to have sex with a man in an airport bathroom. It isn't the sex itself, it's the fact that Senator Craig is a hypocrite.

Then, my cool headed brother ranted and raved that Craig's fellow Republicans have deserted him and they should've stood by him. All right and what would they gain with that?

Fred Thompson is against an anti-gay marriage amendment. He wants one that would prevent one state from imposing its laws on another state. The Religious Right have gone shopping for another candidate because they want true anti-gay legislation and this isn't it. (I'll rant about the amendment Mr. Thompson is proposing on another day.)

Republican candidates believe - and probably rightly so - that they can't get elected without the support of the Religious Wrongs. This is one of the reasons I don't vote for Republican Candidates, I can't stand their pandering to the Religious Wrongs. So, what would make my brother thing that Republicans will stand up for Craig? And, why should they take a risk of offending the Religious Wrongs and lose their own jobs for a hypocrite like Craig?

Now, Craig probably shouldn't have lost his job until he was convicted -- rather if he is convicted. We still have innocent until proven guilty in this country. On the other hand, maybe he shouldn't have tapped the right foot of the person in the next stall in the first place. Maybe, if he has gay tendencies, he shouldn't have voted against gay rights and he could be living his life openly and wouldn't have to look for sex in bathrooms in the first place.

But, then he would have integrity and that's something we seem to have lost in this country a long time ago.

God Bless

Labels: , , , , ,