Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Alright, let's get something straight. I am not deaf. I hear, listen, and process what Obama and all of these Dems at the town hall meetings are saying about health care and their plans. Once again, it is not what they are saying, but the eventualities I think will come from their actions that disturbs me. And I am not alone on this.
For example, Obama has said numerous times that he will not take away private insurance and if you have coverage and you like it, then you can keep it. Well that's great, exactly what we all want to hear, right? Wrong. I'm not disagreeing with his statement. I'm disagreeing with what I and lots of other people perceive to be the start of a chain of events that will lead to the destruction of private insurance. How can private insurance compete with a government plan who can control costs? Better yet, why would a company opt to pay for health insurance for its employees when they could cut everyone loose and let them use the government plan that will be coming out of their taxes anyway? In my opinion, there is no incentive for companies to keep their current group plans that cost them millions of dollars each year when they could dump those and let their employees fend for themselves. So, I like the promise Obama is making, but I don't think he can keep it.
Secondly, there is all of this talk about the death panels. Obama and the Dems say that the medical advisory boards would be there only to evaluate and weigh cost vs. results ratios and their role isn't to prevent Grandma from getting the treatment she needs later in life. While I appreciate the analogy and the concern for my Grandmother (which is the example they continue to use I guess because it plays well in soundbites), I don't see how the result of a panel like that is going to do anything but result in denying elderly people from getting the care they need. I understand they are saying that is not their intention, but I think inevitably the plan is headed that direction regardless of their intentions. The reality is that it is not cost effective to give cancer treatment to an 80 year old person because they are nearing the end of their life anyway. I think most people would agree that when it comes to medical care for your friends and family, cost is not really what you're most concerned about. So regardless of their intentions, if you put into place a national medical advisory board, you have then built into place the infrastructure and the possibility for denial of care to anyone deemed not worthy of living. The insurance companies already do this to a certain degree, but this plan is talking about doing it on a much larger scale.
Thirdly, apparently Obama and the Dems have uncovered "huge" wasteful practices in Medicare that could save us 1.8 billion dollars. That's great. So why don't be go ahead and pass the Medicare reform bill on its own if everyone agrees that its going to save us money and not change any of the care given? Why do those savings have to be packaged with a larger more controversial plan as a carrot? It's a rhetorical question, you don't have to answer. The answer is politics. If Congress were really dedicated fully to our best interests and saving all of this wasted money then they would have separated this from the rest of the package and already passed it by now. Also, I love how in Obama's latest speeches he talks about all the things that could be done with a whopping 1.8 billion dollars over the next 10 years. This is all happening right after we just passed a second stimulus bill for 787 billion dollars. These numbers are making my head spin and unfortuntately I'm having a hard time taking him serious when he talks about how much money 1.8 billion is.
In summary, I like what they say, but I don't see how they can back it up. The proof is in the pudding. I stand by the opinion that government-run anything is inefficient, wasteful, and too beaurecratic to succeed. The proof lies in social security and Medicare. Our generation continues to pay into the system, but by the latest estimates, social security will run out by 2040 and Medicare will be bust by 2018. We absolutely cannot continue to spend money we do not have. We are financially killing our country. What health care needs is reform, not a completely new system.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Excerpt from a John Cornyn letter to the President:
"Yesterday, in an official White House release entitled "Facts are Stubborn Things," the White House Director of New Media, Macon Phillips, asserted that there was "a lot of disinformation out there," and encouraged citizens to report "fishy" speech opposing your health care policies to the White House. Phillips specifically targeted private, unpublished, even casual speech, writing that "rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation." Phillips wrote "If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com."
I am not aware of any precedent for a President asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed "fishy" or otherwise inimical to the White House's political interests.
By requesting that citizens send "fishy" emails to the White House, it is inevitable that the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House. You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program. As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights...."
What the hell??? Is this for real? The white house is asking people to become "informants" on other Americans if they express disagreement with the current proposed health care policies? You're right Brett, this is nothing like Socialism. We've skipped right past socialism and thrown ourselves into the bottomless pit of communism.While we're at it, why stop at people who disagree with health care reform? I can think of a lot of reasons to report people (yes, including friends and family - sorry, it's for the good of the country and it's Obama-law) :
- bad drivers because they cause wrecks
- people with bad breath because its gross
- architects who wear bow ties because they look stupid
- anyone who says anything negative about Democrats, liberals, or Obama - because they must be radical conservative extremists and should be silenced
- people who save money because they hurt our economy
- people who are anti-debt because they hurt our economy and because not having debt is just plain stupid
- legal citizens because they make illegal aliens feel bad about themselves
- white people because they are the root of all evil
- Republicans because they are not Democrats
- Conservatives because they are not liberal
- anyone who buys something not organic or all-natural because they hate the planet
- anyone who drives a car because they are personally and single-handedly causing global warming and killing Mother Nature and her entire family
- anyone who ever makes the slightest implication that our country should try to balance the budget and stop spending so much damn money
- people who don't smoke because they make the fifteen 15 minute smoke break a day smokers look unproductive
- Brett because he keeps putting so much pressure on me to write additional blogs when he knows I'm still on vacation
Sometimes I feel like I'm making really good points about things and then I get completely side tracked, take my points to the extreme, and lose the entire audience reading it. So in summary, here is my problem:
- liberals protest anything and everything including the war, ban on stem cell research, ban on abortion, ban on gay marriage - and all of that is ok - it's just Americans expressing their opinions, man
- conservatives protest health care reform and they are characterized as angry extremist rich heartless SOB's that should be shot on sight...or at a minimum reported to the federal government so that surveillance trucks can be deployed...wait a second, what's the strange van doing parked outside my office? "Hey, who are you peop...................