Politics


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       Listening to the Republican rhetoric on ‘Obamacare‘, one would think that the end of the American economy is  at hand. Unfortunately, the republican message is the only one being heard at the moment, and I’ve discovered  it’s the most widely understood. Having world in healthcare for many years, I know the need for universal  health coverage. I’ve written about the disparities in our commercial healthcare system before. I know a change  is needed. With the release of healthcare plan details to companies (and thus to their employees), dialog about  what’s next in health insurance payments has, for once, become a hot topic.  The disturbing thing… the Republican talking points are almost exclusively the ones echoed by my fellow  coworkers and friends. And it’s not a local phenomena. (more…)

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kathy&doug2

For almost a decade, she’d helped seniors and their families find services for healthcare, mobility, and estate planning. For what she went through with her own mother, she knew the pitfalls and problems that can happen when wills aren’t executed properly, family disputes explode, and corrupt courts see green. She thought she took all the diligent steps to ensure I would never have to endure the same. And now, at her funeral, I’m seeing the same ‘mistakes’ force me into the same process she had to do. Death is difficult enough. Why do we allow laws that make it so much worse?

A will gets thrown-out. Family member’s identity is questioned. Family history gets analyzed. People who specialize in taking money from others see blood in the water. Unscrupulous family members see an opportunity for quick cash. Government agencies start poking around looking for a payday. Your lawyers are fighting lawyers half-way across the country. Property is put in legal-limbo for years, costing your estate money each month. In the end, no one even remembers the deceased. How could it go so wrong?

I’ve seen it happen in my own extended family, and I’ve heard stories of much worse. Luckily, I didn’t experience half these evils when my mother died. A sole survivor with no siblings, a notarized will, and no major debts but a mortgage, it should have been easy. Not even close. An old probate lawyer, ready to retire, took my case and let slip some tips the rest of you should heed.

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With the boy graduating soon, I’m thinking more about the state of our higher educational system. My son’s fiance received a Liberal Arts BACHELOR’S degree from a local university. Not by mistake or default- it was RECOMMENDED. Of course, she’s a waitress now.

With the educational spotlights in out country on early education quality and higher education cost, it looks like higher education content may be slipping. Even with the political punditry piled on job preparedness in the ‘new economy’, little seems to translate to changes in out college’s guidance counseling or curricula. IT degrees with no practical programming? Early childhood education degrees with no teaching certificate? Pointlessness, institutionalized. If this country is serious about growing our economy, endless bickering, polling, special-interest recommendations, sociology studies, none of these can be tolerated anymore. Talking is not a ‘solution’. A solution is action. We (which includes college department heads) have been given all the information we need for decades. We (the general public), have gotten nothing for our money. It appears forcing incompetence out of our university’s administration can only be done through law. (more…)

Don’t get too excited. Fewer people will be killed now, but we still are under the thumb of healthcare for profit. This is the beginning of a process towards relief, not the end. It only took 100 years to start. Everything else, I’ve already said.

I can only imagine what’s next.

UPDATE…

What’s next was lawsuits. Really? Lawsuits?

The talking-heads on TV wanted us to believe that being governmentally- forced to pay for private insurance was unprecedented, unconstitutional,  and unreasonable.

What? Did these idiots forget how to drive?

We are forced to purchase CAR INSURANCE to be allowed to drive. Remember CAR INSURANCE?  I guess that little fact is easy to overlook when your driver takes care of those ‘plebian’ issues and you don’t have to drive yourself anymore.

Oh..what’s this, State’s Rights, now? More complaining!?  I’m very skeptical that these tea-party fools are all that patriotic toward their particular state, if they even know which one they’re in.  It isn’t 1790.  We don’t negotiate individual state treaties with other countries anymore. We have a functioning central government, whether you like it or not. State’s rights aren’t at issue. Remember, our government, whether it be township, state, or federal, has the opportunity to organize creation of those necessary goods and services to the public that business can-not or will-not provide.

Only one state out of 50 provided it, and it works (sorry FoxNews). The rest of us are still were dying.

I was hoping to see what the next piece of legislation  would be. More healthcare reforms? Campaign reform? Bank reform? Did I just hear whispers about prepaid credit cards???

Nope. Just Lawsuits.

Republicans have until November to ensure no one sees any benefit from healthcare reform. If they can delay the process until then, the public will forget the process and be more than happy to believe Republican party line. But, if the public sees real, tangible benefits from the law, and increases in GDP allow the deficit to stabilize, the insane rhetoric and lies of the republican media machine will be shown false in front of the entire country. This will kill the party in the elections for a long time to come.

Expect a 6-month media push from Republicans unlike anything this country has ever seen before.

With so many things wrong with out government today, I was wondering what kind of reform would be needed to take care of it all at once. Impossible, I know. But with the filibuster-fun republicans were having recently,  I find I can’t help thinking about it. I’m not an economist, sociologist, teacher, or politician. Come to think of it, I’m not particularity useful at all. Still, I’ve tried to compile everything I could think of here. But, I could use your help. Please add what you know. For lack of a better name, I call it: “Bill of Responsibilities.(more…)

Here’s a note I wrote with my signature for support for Rep. Lee Fisher’s Petition to dismantle the Filibuster.

“Though a long tradition and tool for demonstrating public and meaningful discontent with the majority, representatives have now organized and corrupted this tool into something making our own government destructive of its own ends.  In a country that puts its political hopes and blames into a national  party (instead of their local representatives), we must give the party-in-power the tools to enact what they see fit, for better or worse. This will provide the people a political track record of that party, without excuses of interference by other parties. It’s a real metric for making decisions in voting day. Unfortunately, its time for the filibuster system to go.”

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It seems that the health care insurance industry is doing everything it can to ensure there is a public option in the new federal healthcare bill. A relatively rare insurance plan, common across all insurance carriers, is suddenly becoming more and more popular with employers- and driving more and more employees into medical debt.

An old 2000/4000 deductible plan (aka. catastrophic coverage), originally created with supplementary insurance in mind, is increasingly being used as the primary insurance offering for many Americans. These plans offer partial coverage (usually 80%) above a $2000 deductible ($4000 for family), with copays ranging from $50-$100 per visit. I first had contact with a plan like this in a municipal job that included a health-based supplementary insurance to occasionally take-up the sizable gap in coverage. Now I’m seeing these plans being forced on other companies’ workers with no supplementary offerings. What’s worse, these plan’s cost more than what was ‘normal coverage’ just 6 months ago. Normal coverage is now simply unaffordable.

Now, instead of just going along, many people who would never consider living without insurance are opting-out completely. People who were not interested in political antics before are now actively supporting the democratic public option. I’ve seen some professed republican factory workers, now thrust into this situation by their employers, backing democratic plans. It might not be enough for them to claim DEMOCRATIC on their voter registration cards, but enough for them to stop donating hard-earned cash to the republican party. Medical savings accounts are suddenly becoming an economic necessity. Odd that insurance companies would want to force more people into supporting socialized medicine in the middle of the debate, but that’s exactly what’s happening.
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