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Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Obama – Forgetting About America

January 6, 2010 Leave a comment

The sad thing about this song is that this song tells the truth. You realize that if McCain and Palin would have been elected we wouldn’t have senators buying off votes for the single biggest bill in the last 50 years. We might have some bribes for little bills that don’t realy affect anyone but the state that wants them, but it wouldn’t be on a bill that is going to ruin America for our kids and grand kids. Sure we need health care reform, but we don’t need the government controling the entire health care system. If the U.S. government wants to reform health care and loser cost for the American people then they need to just put stipulations on how much can be charged for health services. They need to cut down on malpractice lawsuits. They need to stop the drug companies from raising prices to where the average American can’t afford them. What we need is a government who helps American citizens not one who wants to control them. I’ve stated in my other articles how I feel about government control. We are suppose to be a free country, but at the same time the government dictates what we do everyday. Where is the man that ran for office who was supposed to bring change and listen to the American people?

Another thing! What ever happend to the redistribution of wealth? All Obama has done since he got into office is hand money out to the leaders of corporate America, and line their pockets even more. If a corporation can’t keep doing business the way they always have then they need to either fix the problem or go bankrupt. The tax payers money is not for saving some rich mans company from bankruptcy. If they can’t run their company then they need to step down or close down, and let someone who can handle doing what needs to be done. If GM and Chrysler would’ve went under then someone with fresh ideas and determination to produce something better would step up. I fully believe in America and it’s people that we have enough brilliant young people who will step up and create new companies which will create new jobs, and we don’t need the president giving away tax payers money to save companies that haven’t moved ahead with the times or are to greedy to take a pay cut in order to save their own jobs.

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Obama’s Executive Order 12425 (interpol)

January 2, 2010 Leave a comment

” A few days ago Recliner Commentaries commented on President Obama’s quietly-passed executive order allowing Interpol to operate in America, unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution or American law.

Today, Larry O’Connor wonders aloud if any reporters would ask our president:

“Mr. President, is it true that due to your amendment to Executive Order 12425, INTERPOL may break into a home without a warrant, seize private property of a US citizen, hold a citizen for questioning without the right of legal representation and not be subject to any legal or criminal repercussion?”

I have to wonder, under this executive order, what would prevent a future corrupt President from exerting influence on Interpol to have his or her political enemies arrested and deported for trial, let’s say, for example, for hate crimes violations due to “defaming” Islam or speaking out against homosexuality?”

Quote from The Recliner Commentaries

Ok now our suppose to be great leader is taking our rights away without anyone knowing about it! How can this be legal? Interpol has no right to just barge into my house and take what they want, or imprison me without some set of rules to follow. If interpol was aloud to treat American citizens like this, then what’s stopping our president from having complete control? I do believe Obama is trying to take over our country and all he really cares about is the power he has and how he can get more of it. Since he’s been in office he has done nothing to help Americans, but has taken sides against America every chance he has gotten. If we don’t stand up against this tyrant now then soon we won’t have the ability to even question his doing without being thrown in jail or executed. We can not sit back and watch this mad man take control of our country any longer. He should be impeached for not upholding the constitution, not receiving a nobel peace prize. America is on the verge of becoming the next Roman empire with Obama playing the role of Caesar.

Reasons Democratic Governments Need Separation of Powers

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Separation of powers is the term that describes the independence of each of the branches of a democratic government. This was first practiced in ancient Greece and it later spread to the Roman Republic and became part of its constitution. Also known as trias politica, separation of powers commonly refer to the independence of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government.

* With separation of powers, the rule of law is properly enforced.

With each branch of government focusing on its duty to create laws, execute the laws and facilitate the judicial process to implement the penalties for the violations of the country or state laws. Without separation of powers, each of the three divisions of the government will not be able to focus on its specific participation in the maintenance of peace and order in the country.

* Through the separation of powers, there is check and balance in the government.

Since each division of the government takes part in upholding the law, it is possible to catch any loophole in the process that was overlooked by the other divisions. This gives the government a form of self-regulation in case there are things that are being challenged regarding the creation or implementation of the laws. Having an independent judicial system also permits the citizens to present their side regarding the violations that are filed against them. This also allows the judicial branch to study specific laws and the decisions of this branch can be used to further strengthen or clarify the laws created by the legislative branch.

* Separation of powers prevents the concentration of power in a single person or entity.

A democratic country would like to prevent tyranny from taking place. The possibility of tyranny can occur when too much power is given to a person or a division of the government. With the power of the law divided among the three branches of the government, the chance that a person will easily get full control of the government is diminished. This is one of the most important benefits of distributing the legislative, executive and judicial powers to different branches in the government.

Because of the value of having independent divisions of the government, many societies will not permit changes in their government that will reduce the independence of each of the branches. It is interesting to note though, that while there are countries that elect their executive officers from the members of the legislative body, once the leaders have been elected, they create a space between the two branches in order to limit each other.

It is Politics As Usual – A Book Review on Taking Sides

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

How much do you know about world politics? Geopolitics can be one of the most interesting subjects, and if you’d like to learn more, perhaps you need to dive into the challenges of our time, and understand all sides of the debate. I believe that’s the best way to approach it, and if you agree, there’s a very good book I’d like to recommend to you, the name of the book is;

“Taking Sides – Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in World Politics” by John T. Rourke.

In this book the author asks some pretty tough questions, about some of the most challenging and problematic issues of our time. Each chapter adds to the chaos and controversy of world events in our present period. And there are many questions, which perhaps have no answer, however are debated by scholars and academics alike. In fact, one of the tough questions is frequented by those that write articles in foreign affairs, the economist, and in letters to the Washington Post and New York Times.

“Is the Capitalist model for Third World development destructive?”

This is a very tough question, and one that is always discussed at the Davos World Economic Conference. But there are more comments, questions, and concerns in this book for instance;

“Is economic globalism a positive trend?”

The international monetary fund or IMF suggests that globalism should serve all, but countries and corporations often exploit the labor. Everyone benefits if we are all on the same page, even if it undermines their national sovereignty temporarily. The debaters also discuss international cooperation and choice in trade. And they discuss issues of global governance, and if it is right if it is forced? One debater suggests that the European Union is in danger of a revolution of culture and economics, however the academics of Europe have an answer for that as well.

If you want to get at the heart of the debate of the new world order, how to run the United Nations, a global currency, or a global trade free market place, there is probably no better book to start out with to hear all the different sides of the chaos and controversy surrounding these topics. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this.

Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank. Lance Winslow believes in smart dialogue.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lance_Winslow

Health care fight is on.

December 23, 2009 2 comments

WASHINGTON – The public option is gone. Expansion of Medicare is dead. But an intense fight continues over a crucial issue in the proposed health care overhaul: how far Congress should go in emulating the type of insurance marketplace that is at the center of the pioneering Massachusetts insurance program.
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Called “exchanges’’ in the federal health bills and modeled on the Massachusetts Health Connector, they would enable people to compare and purchase insurance as easily as they shop for airline tickets at an all-in-one travel website.

The concept of such comparison shopping is generally backed by insurance firms, but exchanges are also controversial because Democrats in Congress want to use them to impose greater oversight and cost controls on insurance companies, requiring them to provide certain levels of coverage at lower profit margins.

The fight over how much regulatory power to give the exchanges “is at the core of the health care reform package,’’ said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s lobby.

The debate over the exchanges has taken on greater urgency now that the Senate has purged a government insurance plan from its bill and killed the idea of expanding Medicare eligibility. If the Senate approves its health care bill tomorrow morning as expected, how the exchanges will work in the historic insurance coverage expansion will be a central element of negotiations to meld the House and Senate bills next month.

Insurance companies want fewer costly rules in the exchanges, contending that greater restrictions will reduce the number of providers willing to participate in the program and limit consumer choice.

But advocates say that, without the public option to compete and put pressure on private plans to reduce premiums, strong exchanges remain the only good way to promote competition and prevent insurance companies from profiting excessively under the new national program.

Former Vermont governor Howard Dean, who has become one of the most vocal opponents of the Senate health care bill, said the exchanges could be “sort of a backwards way of putting the kind of regulation on insurance companies that the public option would have done,’’ while emphasizing the public option would be more effective.

Similarly, Senator Paul Kirk, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in an interview that robust exchanges are the “next best thing’’ to the public option.

Kirk said the exchanges would be especially effective at holding down premiums when coupled with other provisions in the House and Senate bills requiring that insurance companies devote 80 to 85 percent of their revenue to patient care, a measure that is designed to limit profiteering.

“It is the kind of thing that insurance companies would resist,’’ Kirk said, referring to the regulations that insurance companies would have to follow to participate in the exchanges, in addition to restrictions on profit margins.

Differences between the House and Senate visions for the exchanges are significant. The House bill, for example, envisions one major national exchange, with an option for states to set up their own, overseen by a national administrator. The Senate version, preferred by the industry, calls for individual exchanges set up and operated by states, under federal guidelines.
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Proponents of the exchanges say that – despite the furor accompanying the death of the public option – the key to greater competition and billions of dollars in savings for consumers and government is the ability to offer a government-administered menu of insurance programs.

The discussion about the public option “was much ado about little. The transformative piece here is the exchange. That’s what matters,’’ said Jonathan Gruber, an MIT professor on the board of the Massachusetts Health Connector.

Jon Kingsdale, executive director of Massachusetts Health Connector Authority, estimated that the state’s program has cut the annual premium increase in some insurance plans in half. Translated to a national level, that would mean a $30 billion savings over 10 years if a similar plan is adopted for all states by Congress, Kingsdale said. The Massachusetts Connector, with about a half-dozen providers participating, has helped increase the number of Bay State residents with insurance to 97 percent as of last spring, according to the authority.

One of the top worries of health insurance companies is that the bills before Congress would increase regulation of health insurance companies through the exchanges, while simultaneously requiring them to spend 80 to 85 percent of their premium revenue on health care services. That spending requirement would apply to companies whether or not they are in exchanges.

Zirkelbach, of America’s Health Insurance Companies, said forcing insurance companies to spend 80 percent or more of premiums on direct health care is “not viable,’’ saying it would make it difficult for companies to spend on innovative measures.

Currently, some for-profit companies spend as little as 60 percent of premiums on health care services, with the rest going to administrative costs, a variety of expenses, and profits, according to a report by Families USA, a nonprofit that favors health care reform. Some nonprofit health plans spend about 90 percent on health care services; for example, Tufts Health Care of Massachusetts says it spends 89 percent on such services.

Democratic lawmakers see the exchanges and the minimum patient care spending threshold as working in tandem to hold down premiums.

“The Senate bill goes a long way toward lowering costs and increasing affordable options,’’ said Senator John F. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, in an e-mail yesterday. “This was a big damn deal to make national reform honor the best innovations already succeeding in Massachusetts.’’

Insurance companies could be expelled from the exchanges if rate increases are deemed excessive, under both versions of the bill.

While details remain to be finalized, it is expected that the exchanges would be used mainly by individuals or small businesses that do not have insurance. Those categories of consumers face sky-high premiums in the current insurance market. The exchanges would be open to both lower-income people who are eligible for federal subsidies as well as people of all income levels who are shopping for insurance.

The exchanges would not be created for three or four years, depending on which version of the legislation is adopted. However, White House officials said this week that insurance companies that arbitrarily increase rates before then will be excluded from the exchanges, which they said will provide an incentive to keep rates lower in the meantime.

The Massachusetts exchange program, which was set up in 2006 to expand coverage, has wide support.

Mario Motta, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said the Health Connector program “has worked well. . . . It has helped keep costs down.’’

James Roosevelt, president of Tufts Health Plan, also praised the Connector program as “very successful’’ and said it can be a model for other states. But Roosevelt said he objected to the House proposal that would establish exchanges with strong federal control, saying that decisions are best kept at a state entity, as happens in Massachusetts.

The exchange program has been so popular that Bay State officials have convinced Congress to insert language allowing the Connector to continue as the state’s exchange program.

“We are the model for national legislation,’’ said Kingsdale of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “It would be ironic if they put the model out of business.’’

Michael Kranish can be reached at kranish@globe.com.
© Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.

New health care benefits come at a price

December 11, 2009 1 comment

New health care benefits come at a price

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/12/09/national/w142701S32.DTL#ixzz0ZPMg947r

(12-10) 00:14 PST WASHINGTON (AP) —

President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul — now looking like a real possibility — should give uninsured Americans options they’ve never had before. But it won’t be a free ride.

As with the Medicare prescription drug benefit that passed when Republicans ran Washington, consumers will face a complicated lineup of health plan choices — and they’ll be costly for some.

“People who need to buy coverage as individuals and small employers are going to have a lot more in the way of attractive health insurance options, and they won’t have to worry about whether their medical condition precludes them from being covered,” said policy expert Paul Ginsburg, who heads the nonpartisan Center for Studying Health System Change.

The downside: “Sticker shock is going to come to some.”

And get ready for a whole new set of trade-offs.

For example, people in their 50s and early 60s, when health problems tend to surface, are likely to pay less than they would now. But those in their 20s and 30s, who get the best deals today, will face higher premiums, though for better coverage.

Obama on Wednesday hailed a tentative deal by Democratic senators to give millions of Americans the option of signing up for private plans sponsored by the federal employee health system, which covers some 8 million, including members of Congress. The compromise, which also offers people age 55 to 64 the option of buying into Medicare, appears to have given Democrats a way around the deal-breaker issue of a new government plan to compete with private carriers. Senators continued to debate for a 10th day, with Democrats pushing to pass the bill by Christmas.

The 2,074-page Senate bill will grow even longer as amendments are considered, but the basic outlines of the legislation most likely to pass are becoming clearer.

The overhaul will be phased in slowly, over the next three to four years. But eventually all Americans will be required to carry coverage or face a tax penalty, except in cases of financial hardship. Insurers won’t be able to deny coverage to people with health problems, or charge them more or cut them off.

Most of the uninsured will be covered, but not all. As many as 24 million people would remain uninsured in 2019, many of them otherwise eligible Americans who still can’t afford the premiums. Lawmakers propose to spend nearly $1 trillion over 10 years to provide coverage, with most of the money going to help lower-income people. But a middle-class family of four making $66,000 would still have to pay about 10 percent of its income in premiums, not counting co-payments and deductibles.

No dramatic changes are in store for most people who get coverage through their jobs — about 60 percent of those under age 65. The Congressional Budget Office says the bill wouldn’t have a major effect on premiums under employer plans, now about $13,000 a year. Parents would be able to keep dependent children on their coverage longer, up to age 27 in the House bill.

One benefit for people with employer coverage is hard to quantify: It should be easier to get health insurance if they’re laid off.

The real transformation under the legislation would come for those who now have the most trouble finding and keeping coverage: people who buy their own insurance or work for small businesses. About 30 million could pick from an array of plans through new insurance supermarkets called exchanges.

Some people’s taxes would go up.

To pay for expanded coverage, the House bill imposes a 5.4 percent income tax surcharge on individuals making more than $500,000 and families earning more than $1 million. The Senate slaps a 40 percent tax on insurance plans with premiums above $8,500 for individual coverage, and $23,000 for family plans, among other levies.

The rest of the financing would come mainly from cuts in federal payments to insurers, hospitals, home health care agencies and other medical providers serving Medicare.

Preventive benefits for seniors would be improved. So would prescription coverage. But people enrolled in private plans through the Medicare Advantage program are likely to see higher out-of-pocket costs and reduced benefits as overpayments to insurers are scaled back.

The latest big wrinkles in the debate involve intriguing opportunities for consumers. But even there, they may be less than meets the eye.

Lawmakers have been talking for years about giving average Americans the option of coverage through the federal employee system, “just like members of Congress.” The compromise among Senate Democrats would make plans certified by the federal employee system available nationwide, bringing competition to states in which one or two large insurers now control the market.

The other big new idea is to allow people age 55 to 64, one of the groups now most at risk for losing coverage, to buy into Medicare.

Yet from the inside, the federal employee health benefits plan isn’t looking all that great these days. Federal workers do have a wide choice of insurance plans, but they’re looking at hefty premium increases next year. Individual coverage under the most popular plan is going up 15 percent.

“I don’t think you’ll ever find someone satisfied with the price,” said Jacqueline Simon, policy director for the American Federation of Government Employees.

And what about Medicare? It is widely accepted, with 74 percent of doctors saying in a recent survey that they’re taking most or all new Medicare patients. But buying into Medicare won’t be cheap, about $7,600 a year not counting out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-payments.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/12/09/national/w142701S32.DTL#ixzz0ZPMN28AU