Wednesday, June 24, 2009
It does not matter what party or political interest you choose - all of us should be outraged that a bill, of almost 1,000 pages, without "escape" clauses, is being voted on, without being read.
that alone is enough reason to call your congress person.
by the way - the number is 202-224-3121
Congress is going to push another package of legislation without reading and comprehending it
what follows is a 2008 summary, before it got Congressional-ized
It's called Cap and Trade, or the Waxman-Markey bill
now is the time to call Congress and voice your position, but be better than a Congressperson, and at least read the summary before you call
Please especially note:
the possible barring of imports - including FOOD - they are working to exempt American farmers
the possible fines on you and I at 25,000 per day
the projected increases in cost for electricity
a nice place to start
Note - the last part was the summary, done in 2008, before it had swelled to almost 1,000 pages
the following link gives a general overview of the points
note that there will be new Federal Agencies established to control state issues
current articles include:
which points out a cost per household per year of 1,600.00 more
here is the Congressional Budget Office's comments to Kerry, addressing the 1,600 per household cost
This week, submitted amendments allowing the bill to be nullified if
too many jobs are lost,
if electricity prices go too high,
or if China and India do not rein in their emissions,
The Lieberman-Warner Cap and Trade Bill: Quick Summary and Analysis
by Casey Lartigue and Ryan Balis
Introduction and summary
The United States Senate will soon begin debate on America's Climate Security Act of 2007, popularly referred to as the Lieberman-Warner bill after its chief sponsors, Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA).
The legislation ostensibly is intended to cut U.S. industrial emissions of greenhouse gases in an effort to reduce the risk of catastrophic global warming. Senator Lieberman has estimated the bill would reduce overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by up to 63% by 2050.1 The policies the legislation would impose, however, have little hope of meeting this target and would likely have little impact on the climate even if it did.
Lieberman-Warner would, however, significantly slow the U.S. economy and increase the cost of energy and consumer products. It also would disrupt international commerce.
America's Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191) was introduced in the Senate on October 18, 2007 by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA). The bill states as its purpose: "[P]rompt, decisive action is critical, since global warming pollutants can persist in the atmosphere for more than a century."
Congress is demanding "prompt, decisive action" even though there is still disagreement among scientists about the level, cause and consequences of global warming. On May 19, 2008, for example, Dr. Arthur Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine announced that more than 31,000 scientists had signed a petition rejecting the theory of human-caused global warming. A significant number of scientists, climatologists and meteorologists have expressed doubt about the danger of global warming and whether or not humans are having a significant impact for the worse on the climate. Others, including renowned scientists, have suggested that there are approaches to deal with global warming that would not necessitate slowing the economy.
S. 2191 was approved by the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee on December 5, 2007 in an 11-8 vote. On May 21, a substitute bill incorporating America's Climate Security Act, S. 3036, was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Senate debate on that bill is expected to begin June 2.
The Act would fine any person who violates any part of the law $25,000 per day for each violation and make it easier for the government to take citizens to court for not complying with new global warming laws.
The legislation would require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish:
(1) A federal greenhouse gas (GHG) registry to monitor compliance with the Act;
(2) A GHG emission allowance transfer system for covered facilities;
(3) An international reserve allowance program.
The bill would create a national "cap and trade" policy for greenhouse gas emissions. Companies would be allocated right-to-emit credits based on how much greenhouse gas they currently emit.
The proposal -- frequently referred to as a cap-and-trade plan -- would establish an emissions trading system that would permit companies that emit fewer greenhouse gases than they are allowed to sell the excess portion to companies that exceed their allowances. The Act's sponsors estimate the bill would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by up to 63% by 2050. The initial limits between the years 2005 and 2012 would cap emissions at 5,200 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent to estimated levels during 2005. Between 2012 and 2020, emissions would be further reduced two percent per year, resulting in a 15% reduction below 2005 levels.
Lieberman-Warner would establish:
(1) A domestic offset program, allowing regulated facilities to meet up to 15% of their compliance obligation in any given year with allowances generated through domestic offset projects certified by the EPA. They could meet their emissions limits, provided they receive approval from the EPA, by purchasing credits on the international emission trading market or by borrowing from credits they would normally receive in future years.
(2) The Bonus Allowance Account, established using 4 percent of all emission allowances for calendar years 2012 through 2035, that would be used to reward firms that sequester their carbon emissions in geological formations.
(3) The Carbon Market Efficiency Board to monitor and report on the national GHG emission market.
Within the Treasury Department, it would establish:
(4) The Energy Assistance Fund to provide funds to the low-income home energy assistance program and to the rural energy assistance program;
(5) The Climate Change Worker Training Fund to provide job training to any workers displaced by this Act and assistance to workers in need of training or re-training;
(6) The Adaptation Fund to help various fish, wildlife, plants and associated ecological resources in adapting to and surviving the effects of climate change;
(7) The Climate Change and National Security Council to submit annual reports to the President, Senate and House of Representatives the extent to which other countries are reducing greenhouse emissions through mandatory programs; the threat of climate change to sensitive populations, national resources and political stability; and potentially destabilizing impacts of climate change on national security;
(8) The Climate Change Credit Corporation to auction emission allowances.
International Reserve Allowance Program
The Act would require the President to establish an interagency group to determine whether foreign countries have addressed GHG reduction. Before being allowed to trade, any U.S. importer of covered goods must submit approved international allowances. With a few exceptions, failure to make a CO2 emissions declaration (in writing to the administrator of U.S. Customs and Border Protection) for each import would result in the import being barred from entry.
Futility of Lieberman-Warner
The sharp GHG reduction requirements are dependent on significant technological innovations -- innovations that simply can't be mandated.
Even if they could be, Lieberman-Warner would have virtually no effect on the climate, according to Dr. Patrick Michaels, a former president of the American Association of State Climatologists and now senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute: "Say the U.S. actually does what the law says, though no one knows how to. The result is an additional 0.013 degrees (C) of 'prevented' warming," says Michaels.
According to Michaels, such a small change is too small to measure, as natural temperature variation from year-to-year is many times higher.2
Furthermore, China has surpassed the United States as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases and its emissions growth is currently several times larger than the emissions growth of the United States. The emissions of other developing nations, such as India, are also growing at a rate much higher than those of the United States.3
Meeting the goals of the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade plan would impose enormous financial strain on Americans, according to four independent econometric studies.
A study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) projects that by 2014 retail gasoline prices would increase between 13 and 50 percent; residential electricity prices would rise between 13 and 14 percent; and natural gas prices would increase between 18 and 21 percent. The study, "Analysis of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (S.2191) using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS/ACCF/NAM)," also projects that the U.S. economy will suffer employment losses of 850,000 jobs by 2014 and between 1.2 and over 1.8 million more lost jobs in 2020.4
Moreover, households stand to lose between $1,010 and $2,779 of income each year by 2014. The economy would suffer Gross Domestic Product (GDP) losses of between $135 billion and $269 billion by 2014.5 Estimates are based upon 2007 baseline energy prices and produced a range of estimated price increases depending on the future availability of energy technologies and various socio-political constraints.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change projects that, if Lieberman-Warner becomes law, in 2015 gasoline prices would increase 29 percent, electricity prices would jump 55 percent, and natural gas prices would be pushed up 15 percent. The MIT study, titled an "Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals," is based on 2005 baseline energy prices and accounts for subsidies for carbon capture and storage (CCS), as well as 15 percent of emissions covered by the trading mechanism.6
An assessment by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University estimates that in 2015 gasoline prices would cost up to six percent more, electricity would be roughly 18 percent more expensive and natural gas prices would increase about 15 percent.7 Moreover, the study projects economy-wide GDP losses of $75 billion in 2015 and $245 billion in 2030.8 The 2007 study, "The Lieberman-Warner America's Climate Security Act: A Preliminary Assessment of Potential Economic Impacts," considers credit trading as well as domestic offsets in its projections.
Finally, the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis projects that Lieberman-Warner would cripple the future economic health of the United States. GDP losses are estimated to be between $45.7 billion and nearly $170 billion in 2015 (2000 dollars)9 - totaling as much as $4.8 trillion of lost GDP by 2030.10 In addition, Heritage analysts estimate annual employment drops could be as high as 901,000 as early as 2016 and will exceed 500,000 per year before 2030.11 By 2030, skyrocketing energy prices will mean the average household will spend an extra $608 for heating oil, $647 for electricity and $303 for natural gas per year from projected 2012 levels.12
Regardless of which one of these studies is closer to the mark, the Lieberman-Warner proposal would impose costs unacceptable to the American people. Public support is presumably critical to any government program, but especially one that is intended to govern economic activity over the next 42 years.
A recent survey conducted by Wilson Research Strategies for the National Center for Public Policy Research found that 65% of the public is unwilling to spend more for gasoline to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Another 13% say they are unwilling to spend more than 5% more for their gasoline. That's less than the amount projected by the Duke University study, which provided the most optimistic forecast of the Lieberman-Warner proposal's effect on gas prices of the studies noted above.
The poll also found that 71% of Americans are unwilling to pay any more for their electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with an additional 16% opposed to paying more than 12% more. This amount, again, falls under the most optimistic projections of electricity price increases from the studies noted earlier.
When gasoline and electricity prices are taken together, 90% of Americans reject the Lieberman-Warner plan's costs - even the low-range projection.13
Imagine if, in 1966, then President Lyndon B. Johnson had tried to determine what the emissions levels of America should be 42 years into the future. Even if he had gotten together the best and brightest minds of the day, it is unlikely that his advisers would have come up with data that could have anticipated either our energy needs or our standard of living today. Although some lawmakers may be reluctant to admit it, policymakers today are similarly handicapped when it comes to predicting our future needs, technologies and circumstances.
Lieberman-Warner would embark Americans on an unprecedented and large-scale manipulation of the national economy that would depress economic growth and have both short- and long-term unintended consequences. Lieberman-Warner's "cap-and-trade" could hamstring Americans for decades.
- Casey Lartigue and Ryan Balis are policy analysts at the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Webmaster note: Due to a production error, this paper was originally posted without one of the author's names. We regret the error.
1 Joseph Lieberman, "Fighting Global Warming the Right Way," Hartford Courant, October 22, 2007.
2 Patrick Michaels, "Cato Scholar Comments on Warner-Lieberman Climate Security Act," The Cato Institute, May 30, 2008, available at http://www.cato.org/pressroom.php?display=ncomments&id=34 as of May 30, 2008.
3 Ben Lieberman, "Five Myths About the Lieberman-Warner Global Warming Legislation," The Heritage Foundation, May 30, 2008, available at http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm1940.cfm as of May 30, 2008
4 The National Association of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Formation, "Analysis of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (S.2191) using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS/ACCF/NAM)," March 2008, p. 8, available at http://www.accf.org/pdf/NAM/fullstudy031208.pdf as of May 28, 2008.
6 Sergey Paltsev, et al., "Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals," MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, Report No. 146, April 2007, Appendix D, p. D21, available at http://w3.mit.edu/globalchange/www/MITJPSPGC_Rpt146_AppendixD.pdf as of May 28, 2008.
7 Brian C. Murray and Martin T. Ross, "The Lieberman-Warner America's Climate Security Act: A Preliminary Assessment of Potential Economic Impacts," Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University, October 2007, p. 10, available at http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/institute/econsummary.pdf as of May 28, 2008.
8 Ibid., p. 5.
9 William W. Beach, et al., "The Economic Costs of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Legislation," Heritage Center for Data Analysis, Heritage Center, May 12, 2008, p. 4, available at http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/upload/cda_0802.pdf as of May 28, 2008.
10 Ibid., p. 2.
12 Ibid., p. 18.
13 National Center for Public Policy Research, "Overwhelming Majority of Americans Oppose Lieberman-Warner Global Warming Proposal, New Poll Suggests," May 28, 2008, available at http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-Poll_Lieberman_Warner_052808.html as of May 30, 2008.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The last paragraph is the consumer's punch line.
So - the new electronic age in medicine may cut some costs, but please check your credit reports regularly.
Remember - those medical records contain birth date, ss#, address, full name, health and insurance data. These are all anyone needs to take your medical identity.
Brandon Sharp, a 37-year-old manager at an oil and gas company in Houston, has never had any real health problems and, luckily, he has never stepped foot in an emergency room. So imagine his surprise a few years ago when he learned he owed thousands of dollars worth of emergency-service medical bills.
Mr. Sharp, as it turned out, was a victim of a fast-growing crime known as medical identity theft.
At the time, Mr. Sharp was about to get married and buy his first home. Before applying for a mortgage he requested a copy of his credit report. That is when he found he had several collection notices under his name for emergency room visits throughout the country.
“There was even a $19,000 bill for a Life Flight air ambulance service in some remote location I’d never heard of,” said Mr. Sharp, who made this unhappy discovery in 2003. “I had emergency room bills from places like Bowling Green, Kan., where I’ve never even visited. I’m still cleaning up the mess.”
The last time federal data on the crime was collected, for a 2007 report, more than 250,000 Americans a year were victims of medical identity theft. That number has almost certainly increased since then, because of the increased use of electronic medical records systems built without extensive safeguards, said Pam Dixon, executive director of the nonprofit World Privacy Forum and author of a report on medical identity theft.
And uncountable, Ms. Dixon said, are the people who do not yet know they are victims. They may not know that their medical information has been tampered with for months or even years until, as in Mr. Sharp’s case, it shows up in collections on a credit report.
Medical identity theft takes many guises. In Mr. Sharp’s case, someone got hold of his name and Social Security number and used them to receive emergency medical services, which many hospitals are obliged to provide whether or not a person has insurance. Mr. Sharp still does not know whether he fell victim to one calamitous perp who ended up in several emergency rooms or a ring of accident-prone conspirators.
In another variant of the crime, someone can use stolen insurance information, like the basic member ID and group policy number found on insurance cards, to impersonate you — and receive everything from a routine physical to major surgery under your coverage. This is surprisingly easy to do, because many doctors and hospitals do not ask for identification beyond insurance information.
Even more common, however, are cases where medical information is stolen by insiders at a medical office. Thieves download vital personal insurance data and related information from the operation’s computerized medical records, then sell it on the black market or use it themselves to make fraudulent billing claims.
In a widely reported case in 2006, a clerk at a Cleveland Clinic branch office in Weston, Fla., downloaded the records of more than 1,100 Medicare patients and gave the information to her cousin, who in turn, made $2.8 million in bogus claims.
When people are not aware their medical identities have been stolen, insurance companies may simply continue to pay the fraudulent claims without the victim’s knowledge. The person might learn of the fraud only when trying to make a legitimate claim, and the insurance company informs them they have reached their lifetime cap on benefits.
Or victims may eventually discover erroneous information in their medical files during a doctor or hospital visit. And that may pose a bigger danger than the financial risks. The medical records may now contain vital information like blood type, allergies, prescription drug use or a history of disease that is just plain wrong. In an emergency, doctors could treat you based on this erroneous information.
And there are none of the consumer protections for medical identity theft victims that exist for traditional identity theft. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act you can get a free copy of your credit report each year, put a fraud alert on your account and get erroneous charges deleted from your record. If your credit card is stolen and the thief goes on a spending spree, you’re not liable for more than $50 worth of the charges.
With medical identity theft, though, the fraudulent charges can remain unpaid and unresolved for years, permanently damaging your credit rating. Under the federal law known as Hipaa — the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — you are entitled to a copy of your medical records, but you may have to pay a hefty fee for them.
Worse, Hipaa privacy rules can actually work against you. Once your medical information is intermingled with someone else’s, you may have trouble accessing your files. Privacy laws dictate that the thief’s medical information now contained in your records must be kept confidential, too.
Even when you are able to correct a record, say in your doctor’s office, the erroneous information may have been passed on to dozens of other health care providers and insurers. Victims must track down and resolve these errors largely on a case-by-case basis, Ms. Dixon says.
Medical providers contend that they are taking precautions against identity theft. At Cleveland Clinic, for example, security personnel routinely audit electronic medical record systems and all records are password-protected. Many Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers use software to screen for spikes in claims from providers that look suspicious. They also work with providers on encrypting medical files and carrying out data access restrictions, said Calvin Sneed, senior antifraud consultant at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
And some medical centers and doctors’ offices now require patients to show photo ID and attach photos to patient charts.
But privacy advocates worry that these steps do not go nearly far enough, especially in light of President Obama’s plans to spend $20 billion to increase the use of electronic medical records nationwide as part of the stimulus package. “Without aggressive safeguards, we could be building an infrastructure for massive medical fraud,” said Ms. Dixon.
Friday, June 19, 2009
points to consider - raised by a very credible source
Massachusetts is living under this type of plan now - and yet Kennedy went to the Carolina's to get care.Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A15
Dissecting the Kennedy Health Bill
No, you won't be able to keep your insurance if you like it.
Ms. McCaughey is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former lieutenant governor of New York state.
Last September Sen. Barack Obama promised that under his health-care proposal "you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves." On Monday, President Obama repeated that promise in a speech to the American Medical Association. It's not true.
The president is barnstorming the nation, urging swift approval of legislation that is taking shape in Congress. This legislation -- the Affordable Health Choices Act that's being drafted by Sen. Edward Kennedy's staff and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee -- will push Americans into stingy insurance plans with tight, HMO-style controls. It specifically exempts members of Congress (along with federal employees; the exemptions are in section 3116).
Members of Congress "enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country," according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. They "can choose from among consumer-driven and high deductible plans that offer catastrophic risk protection with higher deductibles, health saving/reimbursable accounts and lower premiums, or fee-for-service (FFS) plans, and their preferred provider organizations (PPO), or health maintenance organizations (HMO)." These choices would be nice for all of us, but they're not in the offing. Instead, if you don't enroll in a "qualified" health plan and submit proof of enrollment to the federal government, you'll be tracked down and fined (sections 3101 and 6055).
For a health plan to count as "qualified," it has to meet all the restrictions listed in the legislation and whatever criteria the Secretary of Health and Human Services imposes after the bill becomes law. You may think you're in a "qualified" plan, but the language suggests that only plans with managed-care controls such as the "medical home" will meet the definition (sections 3101 and 2707).
"Medical home" is this decade's version of HMO-style insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office, with a primary-care provider to manage your access to costly services such as visits to specialists and diagnostic tests. Medical home providers in "qualified" plans, states the Kennedy bill, will have a "payment structure" based on "incentives" rather than payments for each doctor visit or procedure (section 3101).
These requirements are reminiscent of the unpopular controls HMOs imposed two decades ago that caused public outrage and led to state laws reining in abuses. In December 2008, a Congressional Budget Office report evaluating early drafts of major federal health insurance proposals noted that "medical homes" were likely to resemble the HMO gatekeepers of 20 years ago if cost control is a priority.
That report specifically referred to a payment incentive called the "withhold." When HMOs became dominant in the early 1990s, they would withhold 10% or more of physicians' fees until the end of the year and give it back only to the physicians who met targets for limiting how many referrals to specialists or diagnostic tests their patients used.
The targets were so stringent that, if they were exceeded, what a doctor prescribed for you came out of your doctor's own pocket at the end of the year. This set up a conflict of interest between you and your doctor.
Mr. Obama tried to put a positive spin on such cost controls in his June 13 weekly radio address. He said "if doctors have incentives to provide the best care, instead of more care, we can help Americans avoid unnecessary hospital stays, treatments and tests that drive up costs." Fair enough -- if you want your doctor paid to police your care and to be financially penalized for that extra test or referral you get.
It is reasonable to require that people who accept a government subsidy for health insurance tolerate cost controls to protect taxpayers. But according to the terms of the Kennedy bill, you must enroll in a "qualified" plan or face a fine, even if you and your employer are paying the entire cost of the plan you already have (section 161).
The president has promised that if you like your plan you can keep it. Mr. Kennedy's bill says that too. It's doubletalk, as the consequences of nonenrollment make clear. How big a fine will you face? The bill doesn't specify or set a limit. It says the fine will be enough to "accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage" (section 161).
If legislation similar to the Kennedy bill lands on Mr. Obama's desk, he has an obligation to keep his promises to the American people and veto it. And whatever health-insurance law is passed should apply to members of Congress. If it isn't good enough for them, it shouldn't be imposed on the rest of us.
Ms. McCaughey is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former lieutenant governor of New York state.Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A15
Thursday, June 18, 2009
the American governments regulations on health care providers, pharmacies, health care facilities and ancillary services is so counter productive, that cost containment is impossible
Here is an easy way to prove it to yourself
try to get a common antibiotic like penicillin
add in the cost of the doctor's visit, and the trip to the pharmacy
those simple common meds become a 60.00 investment, if YOU PAY CASH
big pharma and lobbies had nothing to do with it
it was ALL GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS
we let it become so cumbersome in the U.S.
we allowed GOVERNMENT to CONTROL everything
all that record keeping, CYA documentation, meeting of regulations took a 4.00 prescription to a 60.00 total cost
and if you need a "controlled substance" medication - the cost doubles
You want to know why it costs so much
go look in a mirror
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
these are numbers for JUST the next 10 years, from the Congressional Budget Office.
Anyone know how we can pay for this?
And am I the only person who thinks these numbers are nuts?
1,000,000,000,000 / 10 years =
100,000,000,000 / year to provide coverage for a net gain of 16,000,000 more people
= $ 6,250 in cost /insured person /per year for adding 16 million into the coverage
(by the way - if you think 1 trillion is correct - coverage for a 52 yo male at the levels planned is close to 1,500 per month, or 18,000 per year )
and that still leaves somewhere around 30 million to go (46 million uninsured - 16 million)
these numbers could go higher, given that coverage will extend to people making up to 500% of the poverty level
|Family Size||Gross Annual Income||Gross Monthly Income|
Bill to reduce uninsured by 16M carries $1T price tag
|By Dan Bowman|
Is reducing the number of uninsured people in the United States by 16 million worth $1 trillion over a 10-year time span? That's what the Congressional Budget Office estimates a bill to reform healthcare in the United States will accomplish should it pass as is, according to the Washington Post.
A letter to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) points out that "based on major provisions" in "an incomplete draft of the bill," 23 million individuals would wind up without insurance--15 million who were formerly covered through employers, and another 8 million covered by "other sources." However, 39 million people overall would become covered through other exchanges, creating a net of 16 million individuals covered.
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf did write that the $1 trillion price tag could rise, considering the organization did not account for "proposals" offering federal subsidies to individuals making between 150 and 500 percent of the federal poverty level, according to Modern Healthcare. "Taking all of its provisions into account could change our assessment of the proposal's effects on the budget and insurance coverage rates though probably not by substantial amounts relative to the net costs already identified," wrote Elmendorf.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Why should we presume that the federal system will treat anyone else better?
American Indians receiving 'substandard' healthcare
|By Dan Bowman|
In a sad, but all too true case of healthcare negligence in the United States, the Associated Press reports that the Indian Health Service System's level of care for it's 2 million patients in 35 states is "grossly substandard" a good portion of the time. Among other reportable statistics, death rates for American Indian infants were found to be 40 percent higher than their white counterparts.
Many qualified American Indians don't apply for services such as Medicare and Medicaid because they don't have access to the sign-up process, says the Associated Press. A lack of federal dollars also is a big reason for the poor health statistics of American Indians; Congress approved a budget of $3.6 billion for the Indian Health Service System for this year, not nearly enough to attract top-tier doctors, or purchase top-of-the-line equipment.
Heck, even inmates in federal prison have it better when it comes to healthcare: 2005 data points out that one-third more is spent, per capita, on the healthcare of felons in federal prison than on healthcare for reservations. While Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) has attempted to bring this issue to light, he has not had any luck getting any legislation passed. Furthermore, a problem of political "clout" exists: Ron His Horse is Thunder, chairman of the Standing Rock tribe, pointed out to the Associated Press that his tribe is "not one congruent voting bloc in any one state or area."
Thursday, June 11, 2009
why then are these NEW TAXES being researched by the current administration?
"HOW TO PAY FOR IT - Here, of course, is where the "rubber meets the road." It looks like the Senate Finance Committee will take the lead on developing strategies to pay for health care reform. Possibilities include:
* Limiting the income tax exclusion on employer-provided health care coverage.
* Either repealing the itemized deduction for medical expenses or raising the floor from 7.5% of adjusted gross income so fewer taxpayers can claim it.
* Curbing HSAs and FSAs.
* Requiring all state and local government employees to pay the Medicare tax.
* Clamping down on nonprofit hospitals.
* Hiking the tax on alcoholic beverages.
* Imposing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
VAT TAX – The Administration has launched a trial balloon for a new national Value-Added Tax (VAT) to pay for health care. Ezekiel Emanuel, whose book on health care uses a VAT to fund the new government program and brother of White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel, has been hired by the White House budget office to help design the health care plan."
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I want the United States Government to be my source for health care.
It will provide great care, and all of the services I could ever need, in a timely manner.
The Federal government has demonstrated it’s ability, with a proven record of accomplishment, it’s resume is worthy of consideration for management of any position, and that is demonstrated by:
The war on poverty
The war on illiteracy
The war on drugs
The war on crime
The war on pollution
Eliminating sexual harassment
Providing good quality health care for those over 65
Providing above average health care for the American Indian
Providing good quality health care for all who served in the military
The quality of life for those living on government programs is superb
Our seniors living on social security want for nothing
The health care for our former government workers is the best they can find, and they had to contribute nothing towards it
CHIP has made sure all children have health care
Those in prison are well cared for
They do their time with no risk
The Social Security trust fund is solvent
The Medicare trust fund is solvent
The IRS is efficient and collects properly from everyone who owes
There is no financial mismanagement
There is no corruption
The controls the government places on private financial institutions are correct and just
Special interests cannot influence the government
All laws and practices are fair and equal to all
Our government officials always serve the people
Our government officials always put the citizen’s needs first
Our government is the most efficient and productive entity that exists
Our government agencies are a pleasure to do business with
The services the government provides are timely and above average
The immigration process is the best in the world
The safety and security of its people is above any other country’s
The government’s process are transparent and above reproach
The laws apply to all equally
The members of government live under the same laws and benefits they choose for us
The justice system never makes a mistake
The executive branch makes no unjust laws
The financial branch manages monies well
The government can account for every dollar it spends
After reviewing this list, I am sure you can see why the United States Government, by the people and for the people, is the best qualified to decide what and how to provide health care for you and I
Now – to be fair – please reply and list the programs and services that I missed that are worthy of consideration.
Would you retain the services of any company that failed so often, and so magnificently?
If so - why not hire me - because I could exceed your expectations by showing up for work half the time and failing only half the time
People - hope and dreams and wishes do not make it a workable idea
Those other countries have systems that do work better than ours, they have much smaller governments
and the bureaucrats have to live in the system they create