Warning: This blog is political in nature.

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please go back to my main Random Thoughts blog.

If you like political discussion, you may also like my Political Positions blog.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We keep finding more problems in the Healthcare Bill

Another letter to my Senators, before tomorrow's vote on the massive 2074-page bill:


Healthcare in the United States has some problems. The current healthcare bill seeks to address a couple of those problems, such as lifetime caps on benefits, preexisting conditions, and higher premiums or lack of insurability due to preexisting conditions.

However, the more significant issues are not addressed in the bill.

• Frivolous lawsuits and excessive damages are the greatest cost in healthcare today, but tort reform is not addressed in this bill.

• Many people have problems with their insurance denying coverage due to the cost of procedures or perceived necessity of procedures. This bill does not resolve these issues; rather, it adds another layer of bureaucracy – or several – which can deny claims.

• Some are concerned by waiting times for critical procedures. But many expects expect these problems not only not to be improved, but to in fact multiply. Most countries with highly-regulated or federally-provided healthcare have extensive waiting periods for even minor procedures, and some procedures have waiting periods of years, where US citizens can currently get most procedures within days or weeks.

• Insurance premiums are a tremendous concern to many. But the additional regulation and taxes in the bill will certainly increase the cost of both healthcare and insurance. Some experts say that insurance premiums will double within the next year or two.

More troubling, however, for every day that passes, we keep finding more problems in the current healthcare bill.

• We knew that a panel would be established with the power to unquestionably and unappealably decide what does or does not qualify and who does or does not get coverage under Medicare. Some have euphemistically referred to this as a "death panel."

o We now know that this panel will be composed of five individuals appointed by the President, without accountability, without oversight, and without any Senate ability to repeal the panel in the future.

• We knew that the bill has MANY bribes, payoffs, coercions, and other incentives for Senators who were previously hesitant concerning or opposed to the bill. This includes $300 million from the US taxpayers for Louisiana's state healthcare, for which the state, from its own taxpayers, was otherwise expected to pay itself.

o We now know that the US taxpayers will be responsible for every penny of Medicare costs for Nebraska for the rest of time.

• We knew that all US citizens will be required – and unconstitutionally so – to obtain and maintain health insurance, the first time that citizens have ever been required to purchase a service simply for the privilege of living. We also know that only Federally-approved plans will be acceptable.

o But we do not know what criteria will be placed on the acceptable insurance place. Despite the length of over two-thousand pages of the bill, criteria for acceptable insurance programs are not specified in it. These all-important criteria will be specified later.

• In addition, we also now know that abortion will be funded by taxpayer dollars. We have determined that healthcare providers who have conscientious objections to providing abortion will be required to participate anyway or else suffer punitive action.

• We also know that the current bill will institute taxes and fees immediately, but will not start any benefits for another four years. We will be paying for five years of benefits over nine years of taxes and fees. This is not sustainable and results in unrealistic projections.

We also know that you voted for cloture, to end debate and to proceed toward a vote. (In the version sent to Senator Webb:) We know that despite your opposition expressed in your emails to many aspects of the bill, you have effectively voted for it.

The majority of Americans, and the majority of Virginians, do not want this bill. The majority of your constituents do not want this bill. Please work in the interest of your constituents and work against this bill.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Snow ≠ State of Emergency

We are getting a little snow. Some parts of the state might get as much as a foot of snow. So?

And Governor Tim Kaine declared Virginia to be in a "state of emergency"?!?

Because of some snow? It's late December. It's winter. And it's Virginia, not south Florida. It's not the three feet I've seen here before, and which we dealt with without any real problem. It's not the two feet I saw in Georgia on occasion. And it won't be even the one foot in most areas; here in Bristol, we're expecting 4-8 inches.

The stores will sell out of bread and milk. Some gas stations may sell out. Both for the same reason - stupid people who think that if they get stuck at home for a few days, they might starve to death. What's the matter? Forget to go shopping this week? But it happens every time the forecast even calls for snow.

Some people will likely freeze to death. But that is a function of the cold, not the snow -- and it's not that cold, with lows maybe in the 20's; it was colder last week than now.

Some people may die from carbon monoxide poisoning, fumes, house fires, etc -- from using camp stoves, grills, etc, inside the house if they lose power for maybe a day or two. They have a gas grill and not a decent coat? Sounds like misplaced priorities to me. And a lack of common sense besides. And there are public organizations that are willing to help, if they just ask. There are public shelters with warm rooms, if the person just wants the help.

Snow happens. It is NOT an emergency.

Short addendum to my Senators

A vote to end debate is equivalent to a vote to support the bill.

New letter to my Senators

Please only vote for the healthcare bill -- or any other bill, for that matter -- if these three aspects are true:

1 - You have read the entire bill personally and clearly understand all aspects of the bill,

2 - The bill complies with President Obama's pledge that it will contain no pork or earmarks,

3 - You can clearly explain how the bill falls under the responsibilities assigned to the Federal Government by the Constitution.

If all three of these are not true, please vote and work against the bill as it is not in the best interest of the citizens of the United States.

I vote, and I actively support, both online and in person, those who work for the best interest of our country.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another letter to my Senators

Please work against this monstrosity bill that purports to "reform" healthcare. The current bill is 1.1 TRILLION dollars (and growing) of pork and regulation that will not reform. As massive as the regulation is, it does not even address the real problems, including frivolous lawsuits (needing tort reform) and lack of real insurance competition (needing interstate competition). This is a grab for power, not an attempt to solve anything. Please do all you can to eliminate this bill that will otherwise destroy our already-shaky economy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Global warming? Really?

So, lots of people are in Copenhagen for a couple of weeks to discuss "global warming".

But -

We just locally had the earliest snowfall on record?

Parts of California had their first snow since the 70's?

Lots of areas are reporting record low temperatures?

And apparently, those in Copenhagen don't really believe we are causing global warming anyway, based on all the private jets and limousines they are using. Someone in the news reported that - just in these two weeks - they are producing more carbon dioxide than many countries do in an entire year.

So, either they need to "practice what they preach", or else they don't really believe what they preach.

If that's the case, they are apparently only doing it for either money (Al Gore has made his fortunes off of global warming, but has a mansion that uses ten times the energy of the average house in the area) or power (regulation over every area of life and business).

Think about it.

Another Letter to Senators: Please REJECT any version of the current healthcare bill

I just sent this email to both of my Senators.
Subject: Please REJECT any version of the current healthcare bill

We do not want the current healthcare bill in any form or regardless of any amendments.

We do not want government-run healthcare, whether it be through a "public option", a single-payer system, or "co-ops".

We do not want government-funded abortion.

We do not want rationing of care.

We do not want any government official or committee, appointed, elected, directed, or otherwise empowered, to determine what care may or may not be appropriate over the decision of our doctors.

We do not want reduced care for seniors.

We do not want reduced choice, either of care options, care providers, or insurance providers.

We do not want increased taxes, whether they be direct, on healthcare providers, or though employers.

We do not want increased insurance premiums.

We do not want to be forced to buy insurance.

We do not want increased bureaucracy.

We do not want hesitant officials to be bought off with personal or local benefits.

We do not want personal agendas to be furthered through legislation.

This 2000-page bill is full of pork, unnecessary regulation, taxes and fees, and onerous requirements. And who knows what else is hidden in a bill that no one in the Senate has actually read fully.

Please reject this healthcare bill, regardless of any amendments or minor modifications it may have.