Monday, September 28, 2009

Single-Payer Health Insurance

In case any readers doubt the intent of the Obama Administration, please take about 2 minutes to watch this video, then tell me why the intent is NOT Single-Payer Health Insurance

Have I mentioned I'll go to whatever means necessary to prevent my family from having to rely on Socialized Medicine? If they're so dishonest now about their intents, why would anyone trust them going forward?

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Monday, September 21, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama's misguided priorities

I was stunned on Friday when I heard First Lady 's remarks on Health Insurance reform:

I will never forget the time eight years ago when Sasha was four months that she would not stop crying. And she was not a crier, so we knew something was wrong. So we fortunately were able to take her to our pediatrician that next morning. He examined her and same something's wrong. We didn't know what. But he told us that she could have meningitis. So we were terrified. He said, get to the emergency room right away.

And fortunately for us, things worked out, because she is now the Sasha that we all know and love today -- (laughter) -- who is causing me great -- excitement. (Laughter.)

But it is that moment in our lives that flashes through my head every time we engage in this health insurance conversation. It's that moment in my life. Because I think about what on earth would we have done if we had not had insurance. What would have happened to that beautiful little girl if we hadn't been able to get to a pediatrician who was able to get us to an emergency room? The consequences I can't even imagine. She could have lost her hearing. She could have lost her life if we had had to wait because of insurance.

And it was also fortunate that we happened to have good insurance, right? Because if we hadn't had good insurance, like many of the panelists up here, we would have been saddled with costs for covering that emergency room visit for her two days in the hospital. We would have still been paying off those bills.
While this blog, clearly, is happy her daughter recovered from the ailment referred to above, I am taking exeption to a few things that was said above and beyond that good news.
  1. [W]hat on earth would we have done if we had not had insurance:  Are you kidding me?  Do you mean to tell me that a parent would say well, she's clearly sick, the doctor says go to an ER, but we have no insurance, so I guess we'll stay home.  I defy anyone to produce a person so cold hearted to suggest that absurdity!   And if you find such a person, the state should move to take the children away from them.

    I can speak first-hand that when a child needs an ER, you don't give a damn how much it costs.   This speech - and in particular this passage - is a rather lame attempt at pulling heart-strings in the name of getting a socialized medicine bill passed.

  2. This blog has never and will never condone the media or punditry using the children (specifically: under 18 years of age) of politicians as fodder for stories or blog posts.   The President and First Lady have gone on record many times echoing that sentiment.   The questions that begs to be asked: is Mrs. Obama guilty of violating this simple principle by invoking a specific issue concerning her daughter?  Is it fair for her to specifically insert her daughter and cite a specific episode into a policy discussion but then chastise everyone else who does comparatively less?

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Thought question: President Barack Obama, Don Imus, and ACORN

Come with me now as we go back in time for a few moments:

ABC NEWS 11-Apr-2007: "I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude.

"What we've been seeing around this country is this constant ratcheting up of a coarsening of the culture that all of have to think about," Obama said.

[A]s a culture, we really have to do some soul-searching to think about what kind of toxic information are we feeding our kids," he concluded.

OK, so as we all well know, said a stupid remark that was a poor attempt at humor in 2007. He was fired, and has sort of a resurrection in his career. When asked if he would ever appear on the Imus show again, then-Senator Obama said that he did wish to be an enabler or be encouraging in any way with the unbelievably offensive remarks made by a radio host (see video).

In the last few days we've seen several blockbuster exposes of the organization wherein investigative journalists and have revealed the organizations willingness to do business with child prostitution (see video at HotAir).

So, the question on my mind is simple: since President Obama was so clearly outraged at a bad joke involving 'hos', prompting him to avow never to enable the person who made such an offensive remark, will he now avow never to enable ACORN after their obvious and undeniable enabling of child prostitution?

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Never forget the attack

And where the offense is, let the great axe fall.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Act IV. Scene V.)

A list of the fallen of September 11, 2001.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

President Obama's lies

My analysis of President Obama's speech before the Joint Session of Congress, 09-Sept-09:

It has now been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt first called for health care reform. And ever since, nearly every president and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, has attempted to meet this challenge in some way. A bill for comprehensive health reform was first introduced by John Dingell, Sr., in 1943. Sixty-five years later, his son continues to introduce that same bill at the beginning of each session.
Hmmm... maybe the legislators of the past know something that you do not know!
More and more Americans worry that if you move, lose your job or change your job, you'll lose your health insurance, too. More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won't pay the full cost of care. It happens every day.
Really? So what has ever become of The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), signed into law by President Clinton?? If that is so inefficient, shouldn't that law be changed?
Now, these are the facts. Nobody disputes them.
Um, sorry.. plenty of people have problems with the facts you present.
First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the V.A., nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.
In the interest of full disclosure, this is not a lie. HOWEVER: SEC. 313. EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS IN LIEU OF COVERAGE in HR 3200 (PDF) states that a company must either provide health-care coverage or pay 8% of the average wages paid by the employer during the period of enrollment. Care to guess how much more than 8% your company pays for your health insurance? It will be cheaper for a business to pay the 8% and cancel your current plan. Don't be think it won't happen!

That's why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance -- just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.
...because we all know the automobile is a perfect simile for human beings. You are required to purchase auto insurance to pay for the damage YOU can inflict on OTHERS. The comparison here is foolish, at best.

Now, there are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms -- the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
OK, lets break these phrases down. For weeks, we were told there were 47 million people without health insurance (US News). Last night, President Obama changed the number to 30 million. Hopefully, someone in the media will ask him where the other 16 million went. However, when considering the US Census - an agency that knows something about counting people - puts the count at 46 million, it's easy to see how we can assume illegal immigrants will be covered. Walk into any emergency room, and you're covered. Plus, efforts by Republicans to specifically include language that would exclude illegal immigrants was rejected by the Democrat majority.
They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of- pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick.
And when the insurance companies begin to show losses at the amount of expenses they're paying for these costs that won't be regulated by the free market, they'll close up shop. And you'll be forced to take whatever is left.
Because there's no reason we shouldn't be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse.
True, but unlike the rest of the world with socialized medicine, you stand a better chance of survival in the US than anywhere else.
The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens.

Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie plain and simple.
The federal government has no business being in the business of discussing end-of-life planning. But hey, what do I know? I mean, a woman in Oregon, under the state's Medicare plan, was told her cancer treatment was too expensive. So she was offered either hospice care or assisted suicide. President Obama, himself, told a voter that the best course of action for some might be to take a pain pill. Yep, we who are opposed to the current bill are just lying.

I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit now or in the future -- period.
So, I suppose the CBO is lying, too?

In short, President Obama's last-ditch (I hope!) effort at rallying the troops will give him a poll bounce, no doubt.  That bump-up should last 10 days - 2 weeks, I imagine.   The question that hasn't been asked, however,  is this:

If this is such a great idea -- this bill is the be-all, end-all -- if the ultimate goal of the Obama Administration is to undo all of the mistakes of the last 8 years (and beyond),  then why aren't the members of his own party clamouring to vote for it?   Stick it to the Republicans now and make them suffer for not backing the bill come next election day.

Or is the goal of the administration to take control of the economy, and use as many Republicans as a shield to say they voted for it,too! when the shit hits the fan?

Final note:  Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) called out you lie when President Obama claimed illegal immigrants would not be covered.  As I've stated already, I believe much of the president's speech was lies, but I do not condone Rep. Wilson's outburst.   That much said, I find it interesting that Politico called that scene the defining moment of the night. I suppose the abject lack of specifics in Mr. Obama's speech left little for Politico to mention.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Say NO to the current Health Care proposals

Readers fo this blog aren't surprised to learn I am opposed to the proposed national health-care bills in Congress.

Let me state, once again, that I opposed to any national health-care program.  There are not 47 million uninsured people in America.   Remove the illegal immigrants, the 20-somethings that don't buy-in to health insurance because they're-young-and-indestructible (many of us were the same way at that age), and the people who are lacking insurance as they migrate to new jobs.   That leaves some 12 million people who are eligible Medicare and are very likely under-served.

So we're supposed to up-end the entire health-care system that the vast majority of Americans enjoy, because the Medicare system needs help.  

Explain that to me.

Here's my pledge: I will never allow my kids to be solely subjected to a national health-care program.  I'll do whatever side-jobs necessary, do without whatever for myself, in order to pay for private insurance/private health-care.

THAT is how frightened I am of the president's proposals.

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President Obama's speech to school kids

Now that the dust has settled...

President Obama's speech to school kids went off quite well yesterday.   Many criticize the parents who were concerned about the president might say.  I was one of those parents.

My kids didn't listen to the speech live; they had other school sessions at the time when it was live.  As important as it is to hear from the president, there was no need to interrupt their schedule.   My kids are very involved in their schooling -- the 13 year old is an honors student, and the 6 year old is as excited about 1st grade as one can expect.

Which is why the overall nature of the speech, while important, was not essential for them to hear at a designated time.   The fact remains, however, that the original lesson plans put forth by the US Dept of Education painted a far different idea of what Mr. Obama's speech would be about when the idea was first announced.

It was that initial lesson plan that drew the ire of so many parents.   That the national media largely ignored those lesson plans and instead focused on some proponents of the Obama Administration who insulted those parents is yet another case of media bias.      The same media complained that President George H. Bush  ('Bush 41') also gave a speech to school kids, but the media often failed to mention the congressional hearings that followed;  yet again, more bias.

The 13 year old agreed with the President's speech.  The 6 year old tried to look interested, but was lost to much of the speech.  Can't say I blame him, at that age. 

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Project 2996: Robert L. Cruikshank


9/11/09 will mark 8 years since the attacks of Word Trace Center I and II, The Pentagon, Shanksville, American Airlines Flights 11 & 77, and United Airlines Flight 93 & 175.

On that day 2,996 people were ripped from their lives. But as the media and society tend to do, they have focused on the killers. We’ve all learned more about them than we wanted to. On that day many of us made a pledge to never forget what happened.

The bloggers listed here are trying to keep that promise by learning about the people who died that day. Use the list below to visit their sites and read about the people they have chosen to remember.

Robert L. Cruikshank

Despite my efforts, I could find precious little about the life of Mr. Robert Cruikshank. In the interest of preserving what little I could find on Mr. Curikshank, I am reprinting the comments left by others in the event the referring website should cease to exist:

  • I knew Mr. Cruikshank from Siwanoy CC in Bronxville, NY. He was always a kind gentleman. May he rest in peace. Posted by Johnny Mastro on 2008-09-11
  • I had the privilege of working as administrative assistant to Bob Cruikshank during his tenure as CEO of Chicago's First Capital Corp., a division of the Equity Group. It's difficult to define the level of respect I have for Bob. He was one of the two true leaders I've met in my lifetime. I have framed a photograph of the two of us at an Equity Group Christmas party against a background of the American flag. Next to the photograph is a newspaper column describing his accomplishments and announcing his death on 9/11. His wife is quoted; "Knowing him, he was taking care of his staff until the end." Having worked with him, I agree with her 100%. He would have put the safety of his staff above his own. Each year since the disaster, the framed photograph comes down from its place of honor at home, and comes to work with me for the month of September. I will never forget Bob Cruikshank and the incredibly positive impact he has had on my life. -- Kelly Ripka 09/11/2006

Not being able to discover anything more about this man, it may be fair to say he was an average person. Doing his job, minding his own business. That does not mean he ought not to be remembered, for he was simply doing his job on that sad day, and like the 2995 others, his world and the worlds of his friends, family, and indeed our country, will never be the same again.

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