Thursday, July 30, 2009

Compare Health proposals

Pass the word - summary level information on all of the health proposals

Sites Compare Proposals

If you want to keep tabs on the major congressional health proposals but are starting to get dizzy, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has a chart for you.

The Menlo Park, Calif., foundation has posted a frequently updated health proposal comparison chart here.

The chart includes President Obama’s health reform principles, the Senate Finance Committee proposal, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee proposal, and the House “tri-committee” Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.

The chart also includes a number of other proposals, such as the Patients’ Choice Act of 2009, which was proposed by Sen. Thomas Coburn, R-Okla., and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and the American Health Security Act, which was introduced by Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Congress exempt from the Public option?

any plan that allows Congress to exclude themselves should be refused by the people

If it’s not good enough for Congress to take it as their own coverage, it’s not good enough for the people

you should all wonder why Congress does not take it for their own coverage, just like they do not take Medicare

if they have their way, the elite government worker will have a super plan, and the masses will be stuck with something doctors already do not like - Medicare

How can anyone expect Congress to fix and maintain a program they do not live by

they have no skin in the game, and so really do not care how poorly or well it works, compared to if they actually lived by the laws of the land

after all - they are the Government, there to help you


with friends like that - who needs more enemies.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Health Care Reform - why so expansive?

Can someone tell us why Congress is making this issue so expensive and complicated?

Look at how the cost has come down and the quality has gone up on vision correction surgery, with no federal or state intervention
Only basic regulations are in place, and tort laws were not reformed
think about that example, while you read this

Part of the problem is that Congress wants to take 500 - 1500 pages to establish some simple, 1 to 2 page issues.
They seem to like 1500 pages, because they can then slide other things into a bill, and leave parts unwritten, like with Cap and Trade

what would change the whole system in a gradual manner, and not add tons more debt would be the following:

- eliminate the pre-existing clause for health issues, like has been done in multiple states already
now people can get coverage - no matter what the issue

- allow reduced premiums for healthy lifestyles, so smoking and unhealthy lifestyles only penalize the ones who have them, such as the industry already does
If you want to be a chain smoker, and gain 300 lbs - go for it - the only one you hurt is you

- mandate coverage on all citizens, using a basic catastrophic plan as a minimum, such as the existing HSA approved plan structure, which are high deductible and no cap plans
now no one goes bankrupt because they have no coverage, or capped coverage

- phase out employer health plans, since the overall cost per person is higher than individual plans, and layoffs and terminations cause so many to loose coverage going from employer to individual coverage
Now no one looses insurance because of job issues - it's your coverage, so you pay for it
mandate Disability riders in the policy if need be - so a permanently injured person has coverage for the 36 months it takes to go on SSI
Employers are free to compete on the global economy, employees do not have salary caps that automatically factor in health care costs - even when they decline coverage

- make transference of cost illegal, so that private plans are not forced to pay the non-reimbursed costs that Medicare and Medicate do not cover: I should not have to pay for the federal government's refusal to pay.
If Medicare and Medicaid's payment schedule is not enough, providers can choose not to participate, which is the free market system

- set up a fail safe program, that allows people to move to Medicare and Medicaid when legitimate changes in income happen.

- keep the existing COBRA rules in place until the laws take effect

- Keep SCHIP in place to cover lower income children,

- keep means testing, so only people with a real need qualify for assistance

those simple changes will eliminate all but about 16 million uninsured,
those 16 million are here without legal documentation, and that is a different issue to resolve first

net cost to the tax payer - almost nothing

the states can continue to manage plans and benefits, but some federal intervention will be needed to keep things like hair transplants and fertility treatments for 60 year olds of of the mandated coverage list, so that costs stay in line

If you think this is crazy - and it can't be this simple

remember what happened when it really is a free market - like vision correction surgery, like cosmetic surgery, with no federal or state intervention

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our leaders are missing the issue

Our leaders are missing the issue

the economy is in the tank because people do not spend

People are not going to spend
they can not, until an outside force gives them more cash

we have primarily a service based economy

a service based economy can only operate for so long -

to explain the point to your children, try this

envision a self contained community
the baker uses the barber that uses the laundry that....etc

even if everything one needs for day to day function is available in the community,
and utopia spending is reached, where no one holds a dollar

only if the value of purchased breads, haircuts, washes matches perfectly will it work perfectly
there is a natural lag and lid on the community controlled by the least spending person

if: something has to be sold out side of the community, and something has to be bought and brought into the community, then the dollar flow also has to balance

the moment the bought items exceed the sold items (trade deficit) a financial disparity exists

soon the dollars passed around the community decrease, so the community has to print more

since there is a natural loss of value, when that happens, it creates a cycle of printing more, and them having less value outside the community

that's what we have

and we are progressively eliminating our manufacturing options, thru legislation, higher scale of wages, etc

so - although we could delay the inevitable, and print more dollars

unless this country produces something the rest of the world will pay for,

we are done - the only discussion is when

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

what does the Cap and Trade really do?

let's hear it from a Congressman:

Thank you for contacting me about The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which includes a cap and trade system to address climate change and a Renewable Electricity Standard to increase the generation of electricity from renewable sources. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

As you may know, I have been recognized as one of our nation's strongest advocates of renewable, domestic sources of energy. I have led efforts to change our national energy policies to encourage energy conservation and improve energy efficiency to reduce threats to our national security, economic prosperity and environment. During the last Congress, I worked closely with Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Ensign (R-NV) and succeeded in extending tax credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

I'm a scientist and I've studied this issue very carefully. I agree that emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning fossil fuels to produce electricity and for transportation, damage our global environment. However, our dependence upon oil, especially imported oil, poses a far graver and more urgent threat to Americans' economic prosperity and our national security.

President Barack Obama proposed a cap and trade system for C02 emissions in order to reduce threats from climate change and a Renewable Electricity Standard to require 25% of electricity to be generated by renewable sources by 2025. It is a shame that the House majority chose to pursue a purely partisan process that produced a complex, convoluted, monstrosity of a bill.

On March 31, 2009, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) released a 650-page draft of H.R. 2454. Centerpieces of the draft were mandated reductions in C02 emissions in the United States through a cap and trade system and a Renewable Electricity Standard. Significant details in H.R. 2454 were purposely omitted. These details became the subject of intense lobbying by special interest groups.

After a series of hearings, the committee approved a 900-page version with four Democrats opposing it and only one Republican supporting it. H.R. 2454 requires CO2 emissions to be reduced 20 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. It also includes a Renewable Electricity Standard requiring utilities to produce 6% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2012 and 20% by 2020.

The requirements under H.R. 2454 to achieve emissions reductions through a cap and trade system in combination with renewable electricity generation are significantly more aggressive than Maryland's existing commitments. Estimates of the amount vary, but H.R. 2454 would increase the price of energy for households and businesses in Maryland. Rep. John Dingell (D-Michigan) observed, "Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax, and it's a great big one."

Unless there is an international agreement with mechanisms for measurable and verifiable reductions in C02 emissions, self-imposed C02 emissions reductions by the United States will not necessarily reduce global emissions that are contributing to global warming. Increasing energy prices in the United States from capping emissions could very well encourage energy-intensive manufacturing industries to move these factories and their jobs to countries which don't or won't reduce their emissions. Lower emissions from the U.S. could be more than offset by increased global emissions from as a result of higher emissions from other countries. Affected industries include automobiles, steel, cement, glass, industrial/medical gases, pharmaceuticals and aluminum among others.

H. R. 2454 includes tariffs that would result in a lose-lose dilemma for the United States. The new tariffs would impose tax increases upon the imports from countries that did not impose similar emissions reductions upon their industries. The tariffs would attempt to level the playing field to protect American jobs and factories from being outsourced to countries, such as India or China, where top officials have said they won't reduce their emissions unless the U.S. pays them to do so. However, such punitive tariffs would likely spark a debilitating trade war that would reduce trade and economic growth worldwide. That is what happened after Congress approved Smoot-Hawley tariffs that provoked the Great Depression of the 1930's. Perhaps that is why President Obama said that he opposes these tariffs in H.R. 2454.

There were hundreds of pages of changes in the two days before the House voted on H.R. 2454. A 1,201 page version, H.R. 2998, was published on June 23, 2009. Members offered 224 changes. However, only a single manager's amendment by Rep. Waxman was allowed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. This 341-page list of changes was made to the bill at 3:09 am just hours before the House voted on H.R. 2454 on June 26, 2009. The final 1,428 page version of H.R. 2454 deserves to be rejected because of the political games and back room deals that produced it.

I've never voted for a tax increase. That is the main reason why I could not support H.R. 2454. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimated that H.R. 2454 would force a massive federal government-imposed redistribution of approximately $1 trillion over the next ten years. Specifically, CBO/JCT estimated that over the next ten years federal tax revenues would increase by about $846 billion while federal government spending would increase by about $821 billion. The net result, CBO/JCT estimated would be an increase in federal government revenues of $24 billion. Most of the increase in revenues would come from the cap and trade system in H.R. 2454. CBO found that H.R. 2454 would also impose annual unfunded mandated spending increases of $69 million upon state and local governments and $139 million upon private businesses and individuals beginning in 2009.

My constituents clearly understood that H.R. 2454 is a gigantic hidden tax that they would end up paying. That's why they were overwhelming opposed to it. H.R. 2454 was narrowly approved 219 - 212. 211 Democrats and 8 Republicans voted yes. I was among the 44 Democrats and 168 Republicans who voted no.

The Senate has taken a completely different approach to energy and environment policy legislation. Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have led a bipartisan consensus in approving more than two dozen energy-related bills. They intend to combine them into a comprehensive energy bill that would not include a cap and trade system. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said that she hoped to use the cap and trade system in H.R. 2454 as the basis for similar legislation.

It remains to be seen how the Senate will act concerning energy and environment legislation. However, President Obama and House Democratic leaders favor a single bill similar to H. R. 2454 that would include a cap and trade system. In any event, a conference committee of House and Senate members would have to resolve differences between H.R. 2454 and any legislation approved by the Senate. That compromise Conference Report would have to be approved by both the House and the Senate before a bill could be sent to the President for his consideration.

I believe it is important that legislation to reduce C02 emissions complements rather than conflicts with policy changes to reduce America's oil imports. I also believe that legislation to reduce C02 emissions must not make American workers and businesses less competitive in the world economy while failing to reduce global emissions. I will continue to support policy changes that will encourage energy conservation, increase energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, promote domestic, renewable sources of energy, and reduce reliance upon fossil fuels, especially oil for transportation. I am hopeful that bipartisan efforts in the Senate will lead to legislation I can support that will reduce CO2 emissions and our dependence upon fossil fuels, especially imported oil, without the federal government taking more money from taxpayers.

Thank you again for sharing your views. I look forward to hearing from you regarding any issues you may find important in the future. I encourage you to review more facts about energy at http://www.bartlett/ You may also sign up for email updates at my website:

Sincerely, Roscoe Bartlett
Member of Congress