Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hiring Politicians

It’s a shame that both political parties have adopted a “Divide and Conquer” attitude towards attaining power.  History has proven that a “unite and prosper” philosophy is much better for the nation.  The media seems to revel in this fray as they have the liberals convinced that conservatives believe in “I’ve got mine, screw you”,  and the conservatives convinced that liberals only want to expand government giveaways.    Those who have not partaken of either the red or the blue cool-aid tune out politics in order to lead a life not driven by negatives.

We should remember that election campaigns are a republic’s method of employment interviews.  We generally don’t hire people who badmouth the employer.  We also avoid hiring employees that spend their interview blaming others and calling them names.  We do hire those that talk about what they are going to do to bring value and also have a track record of doing what they say.  The job description of representative includes taxing, spending, and compromising.  Those that claim they will not partake in one or more of these activities should not be considered as a serious candidate.    We can only get rid of all this negativity if we as voters don’t fall for it.  America has always been about working with those that are different from us.  We can better solve problems if we look at them from several viewpoints and this won’t happen until we listen to each other again.  This will happen only if we replace that single issue that’s important to us with a look at the real integrity of the candidate.  Please vote with wisdom and not anger.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Nattering Nabobs of Negativism

When I try to reason how our great country’s political state has come to represent nothing more than Spiro Agnew’s “Nattering Nabobs of Negativism” I can only conclude that it is the quest for personal power that is driving it.  One path to power is “divide and conquer” .   When I listen to politicians, I don’t hear of solutions, I hear blame and anger.  A well known debating devise when reason won’t do, is to hurl insults, create fear and call names.  Is this what is really happening?  Or has the media found that the only way to get customers is to hone in on the divisive?
  I hear a lot about how the baby boomers are responsible for the mess we’re in, but hear nothing at all about our accomplishments:  You can see blue sky in Pittsburg.   The Cuyahoga River and River Rouge are no longer fire threats and actually produce fish that people are eating.  Bald eagles and Canadian Geese are abundant.  Most poor people in this country would be considered rich in much of the world.  I see no black smoke coming out of stacks,  and we are closer to energy independence than we have been in a long time. 
The key to these gains come from a “Unite and Prosper” philosophy that seems to have left the country.  The 13 colonies united to win the Revolution despite drastic differences in belief and situation.  The greatest growth this country has ever seen was after WWII when we united with our enemies and helped Japan and Germany turn into great allies.  The family value that allowed this to happen is called “Tolerance”.    Tolerance allows us to learn other viewpoints and get different perspectives on situations that we wouldn’t get otherwise and that is how problems are solved. 
We’ve delegated our power to special interest groups that are bureaucracies and unfortunately bureaucracies don’t die.  When they have achieved their means they must find or create another cause to keep their jobs. Many of these don’t hold water when held up to the light and unfortunately, because they were our cause we fail to recognize the change.  The gay marriage group in Minnesota is still going strong despite their win.  The pro lifers keep going after Planned Parenthood even though Planned Parenthood has prevented many more abortions than they have carried out and abortion numbers are even with estimates of when it was illegal.[1]  I still want to know which suicidal Federal employee is coming to your door to take your gun away?   
 The divide and conquer group think that in order for one group to gain, another has to lose.  This is not the American way.  As President Kennedy stated “a rising tide raises all boats”.  When we look at who we are going to vote for, I feel we should be looking to those who will unite us in what we all wish for; security, prosperity, love and happiness.  We should reject those nattering nabobs of negativity that don’t have any solutions other than vote for me.  The “loyal opposition” should be working to make a better country and world and not be solely focused on gaining power by any means.  Most of the vitriol can be reduced to bureaucracies whose leaders have decided their personal survival is more important than their mission.  We need to find a way to correct this.

[1] Guttmacher Policy Review, Spring 2014, Volume 17, Number 2

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Supreme Court Likes Big Money

It is clear that the Constitution needs amending to return our Republic to the voters after the Supreme Court enshrined big money with free speech rights given by our Constitution.  The framers of the constitution never anticipated the way our political parties have become the key money part of deciding who gets elected.  When a foreign millionaire can buy an American Corporation and then have it donate unlimited amounts to help the election of anyone that pleases them and then have no disclosure of where the money came from, it shows our system has become corrupt.  When men from Kansas fund long broadcast messages, that contain any number of lies, to slander ideas and politicians in Minnesota,  something is awry.  Hot button agendas are pushed to the public, while hidden ones are kept secret.  Divide and conquer is the mantra of both parties.  Hate mongering is the result.  There is one way to get back to the ‘unite and prosper’ attitudes of the 50’s and 60’s.  Electioneering is a special form of speech.   The 28th amendment should read: “Notwithstanding the First Amendment, efforts to influence elections to public office in the United States and its’ subdivisions shall be limited to those who are able to vote in said election.  Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. “  This would provide a massive reallocation of power in this country and would get special interests back to advising and out of contributing money.

Monday, February 24, 2014

All These Health Insurance Experts

After 40 years insuring human beings, I am amazed at the sudden appearance of hoards of health insurance experts as it relates to Obamacare.  The word ‘Insurance’ usually puts people to sleep, but all of a sudden everyone seems to like their insurance company?  The Health insurance industry’s lobbying is the most effective in the United States.  No politician can fight an industry that  can put a dozen agents in every congressman’s office with just a few hours notice.  I still don’t know how America’s Health Insurance Plans, (AHIP) was able to participate in the writing of ObamaCare while at the same time donating $83 million to The US. Chamber of Commerce to run ads attacking the plan using the Chambers name rather than their own.  They can use one side of a story to make people angry, and it’s obvious that angry people don’t think with clear minds. Consider:

1.     Announcing that ObamaCare will increase insurance premiums.  What else is new.  Insurance premiums have gone up virtually every year in memory.  Now the insurance companies can blame someone other than themselves for this.

2.     Scaring people that a government bureaucrat will be deciding the type of medical care you receive.   Right now you have a private insurance company bureaucrat deciding what medical care you will receive.  Not only that, but he may get pay increases by keeping claims down.

3.     Health insurance company profits have been huge in the two years since the  passage, and analysts generally are bullish on future profits.

4.     With the exception of large self insured plans, all insurance is regulated by the states.  Each state has different rules and procedures for insurance companies.  That Obama didn’t know this is deplorable.

5.     Social insurance is provided by the government and allows us to manage risks that pertain to all of the population.  The Armed Forces insures the country’s security, covers all risks and is paid for by all of us.  Social Security, The FDA, OSHA, and Medicare are other examples.

6.     Private insurance companies are formed to manage risks of groups of people, over and above what the government covers, and does this by underwriting , (selecting the best risks and not covering the worst).

7.     The Canadian system is in fact at least 10 separate systems.  One for each province.  Some do a great job, others not so good.

8.     The insurance companies are allowed to keep 20% of premiums for “expenses”.  Medicare is able to do it’s administration for 4% of premiums.

9.     ObamaCare has Republican roots that can be traced from Romney to Nixon.  It is nothing like what the Democrat’s had ever proposed before.

10.  Because all 50 states have laws that require hospitals to serve the uninsured in their emergency rooms, we’ve had the most expensive kind of universal health insurance coverage for a decade or so.

11.  The way most hospitals pay for these uninsured ER visits has been by corrupting their billing system by charging different prices for the same procedures, because of deals they make with separate insurers, causing the highest billings to go to the uninsured.

12.  Because the government under ObamaCare will take care of the catastrophic claims, the private insurance companies have no risk to manage.  Without underwriting, the insurance companies are not taking part in the practice of insurance, they are simply transferring money.  Is it any surprise that United Health Care is putting so much effort into their Optum Bank?

Until the American Voters realize that the special interests are interested in maintaining their power through divide and conquer tactics I see little chance for positive change.  The biggest problem with health insurance today is the insurance companies.  As long as they are at the table in the discussion of Americas Health we will be spending 15-20% more than we need too.  The real problem should be finding jobs for those who are currently employed in this frequently highly paid and unnecessary industry.