Look At It This Way (#LAITW)

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Top Ten Problems with the American Health Care Act

by on Mar.21, 2017, under Uncategorized

The American Health Care Act is supposedly the ObamaCare repeal/replacement. But, it…

1. Doesn’t Improve Care. Obamacare expanded the federal bureaucracy at the expense of quality care. Tax dollars were taken from providers and used to pay administrators, consultants, lobbyists, insurers, and regulators. The House bill does nothing to change that dynamic.

2. Raises Insurance Premiums. The Congressional Budget Office believes that the bill will raise insurance premiums by 15-20 percent on average in the next two years, with even higher spikes in some areas. Americans care most about lowering health costs and making coverage affordable—yet the bill falls short on that count, retaining all but one of Obamacare’s costly mandated benefits and insurance regulations.

3. Doesn’t Repeal Obamacare. Lost in the question of whether or not the bill’s replacement provisions represent “Obamacare Lite” is the fact that the bill as currently drafted represents “Repeal Lite”—when compared not only to full repeal, but even to the 2015 reconciliation bill that passed both houses of Congress. The bill retains all but one of Obamacare’s benefit mandates, some of its taxes, and keeps Medicaid expansion to the able-bodied in perpetuity.

4. Expands Obamacare. Rather than repealing all of the law, the House Republican bill instead expands Obamacare’s subsidy regime—extending it to millions of individuals off of insurance Exchanges for 2018 and 2019—and revises the subsidy regime for 2019. Some conservatives may question the need to “fix” Obamacare, when House Republicans’ legislation should revolve around repealing Obamacare.

5. Creates New Entitlement. Beginning in 2020, the bill creates an entirely new entitlement—advanceable, refundable tax credits—replacing Obamacare’s form of subsidized health insurance with another.

6. Fiscal Gimmicks? Under the bill, the transition from the Obamacare subsidy regime to the new system of tax credits, and a reformed Medicaid program, will take place beginning in January 2020—a presidential election year. If Congress or the Administration delay or abandon the transition due to political blowback, the cost of the House billwill soar.

7. Permanent Bailout Fund for Insurers? While failing to repeal Obamacare’s risk corridors and reinsurance bailouts, the bill also creates a new “Patient and State Stability Fund,” designed to provide most of its $100 billion in grants to subsidize health insurers. Some conservatives may question whether this grant program will end in 2026 as scheduled
under the bill, or whether health insurers instead will make claims on Washington for federal bailouts to the tune of billions of dollars annually.

8. Federally Controlled, Not Patient-Centered. Notwithstanding some important structural changes to Medicaid that respect states, the House bill claims to be patient-centered but still denies a 60-year old the ability to opt out of paying for maternity benefits. Supporters of the House bill talk about giving more flexibility to states, but leave all the federal insurance mandates in place.

9. Perpetuates Medicaid Expansion. The House Republican bill allows states to keep their Medicaid expansion to the able-bodied in perpetuity—a major change compared to the 2015 repeal bill. CBO concluded that many states will, in fact, keep their expansions, diverting funds from covering the most vulnerable to expand Medicaid to able-bodied adults. Moreover, the House bill maintains Obamacare’s enhanced Medicaid match for nearly three years, encouraging expansion states to sign up more able-bodied adults between now and January 2020 to receive additional federal funding.

10. Inadequate Verification. By relying on Obamacare’s system of verifying eligibility for the new tax credit entitlement, the bill requires verification of citizenship but not identity—continuing Obamacare’s problems of fraudulent applicants obtaining subsidies. In addition, some conservatives may be concerned that even these inadequate verification provisions could be stripped due to procedural concerns in the Senate.

Prepared by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

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Be careful with your name calling

by on Feb.24, 2017, under Uncategorized

“Once in office, his first order of business was an economic stimulus plan to spur on the economy and he moved quickly to adopt a universal, government-funded healthcare plan. His [key people] advocated organic farming and a reduction in chemical pesticides. They blamed major corporations for a decline in quality food. They wanted to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund greater social welfare programs for the poor and needy. They wanted to provide more affordable, if not free, access to college education. Just like…”

Who’s quoted? If you know your political history, you may have more than one name in mind. Tread carefully.

Read the article.

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Rain

by on Feb.09, 2017, under Uncategorized

We’re getting a lot of it in Arroyo Grande, CA this season. And guess what, NO ONE was talking about a big rain year. There were no announcements last Fall of a big el nino or el nina or el nada or el anything{o|a}. But the year before… OMG. We were going to get an El Nino, hope was in sight. Batten down the hatches! And what happened that year – half of average, almost.

So what makes anyone think weather, let alone climate, can be predicted worth a damn?

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Be careful with what you think you know, for sure…

by on Dec.16, 2016, under Uncategorized

In politics, in health, in sports, in everything… Much of the advice that gets dumped on us is worthless. And that’s hard to remember when “EVERYBODY AND EVERYONE” starts preaching something as gospel. Take antioxidants, for instance. Are you going to argue with the self-righteous, vegan, art history major at Starbucks that you need to get your antioxidants. Heck, look at how the food and supplement businesses have jumped on board that crusade – because you’ll buy it, literally. And guess what? It’s not only bogus, it might actually be UN-healthy.

Remember this next time you’re so sure of something…

Reference article about Linus Pauling and anti-oxidants.

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Judging Cultures

by on Dec.01, 2016, under Uncategorized

Cultures aren’t equal. And the more we pretend they are, the worse things will get. Judgment is called for.

As Kira Davis (RedState.com) noted:

“If your culture promotes or tolerates old men marrying child brides, your culture is not equal to ours.

If your culture stones women when they have the audacity to get raped it is not equal to ours.

If your culture forces women to marry their rapists as an alternative to being stoned, your culture is not equal to ours.

If your culture welcomes the idea that anyone who draws a picture of your god is a blasphemer and deserves to be murdered, it is not equal to ours.

If your culture is so amenable to wife-beating that a local news crew does a story on make-up techniques to cover bruising, it is not equal to ours.

If your culture believes that a woman should be forced by law to cover every inch of her body so as not arouse the passions of a man, it is not equal to ours.

If your culture believes that disabled children should be euthanized or left to die after birth, it is not equal to ours.

If your culture believes that you are not entitled to the fruits of your own labor and your only purpose is to support a murderous dictator living in wealth and excess, it is not equal to ours.

If your culture believes in strapping down a 12 year old girl, cutting off her clitoris and sewing her vagina shut to prevent her from becoming a “slut” it is not equal to ours.

If your culture enforces homosexuality laws by throwing gays off of rooftops, it is not equal to ours.”

I concur.

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Pennsyltucky

by on Nov.09, 2016, under Uncategorized

I enjoyed my early childhood days in Pennsyltucky. My Mom and Dad used that word all the time to describe where we were from. If you’ve never been through the forested rolling hills of Pennsylvania, enjoyed collecting and jumping in the Fall leaves, hunted for sassafras roots to munch, a genuine earthy place, well, you should give it a go sometime. Some great historical sites, too, by the way.

Pennsyltucky is the “T” in Pennsylvania. Picture the rectangular state. In the lower right corner is a Philadelphia box. In the lower left (roughly) is the Pittsburgh (with an “h”) box. Both areas trend left. What remains is the “T”, the central band running from top to bottom and another band across the top. You might call this rural Pennsylvania. It’s the conservative Pennsylvania. It’s where my grandmother lived her entire 101-year life, in the same house since married, in Shamokin, PA. As my Mom would often mention to us kids learning to spell, “that’s Nikomahs spelled backward.” Reynoldsville. (By way of) Paxinas. Our last home in Pennsyltucky before leaving for Kansas was in Butler, an hour north of Pittsburgh. Not a long drive, but it was enough to shift political leanings from the left in Pittsburgh to the right in the “T”, Pennsyltucky. I always thought my parents were Republicans, and I actually think they were registered that way, but they definitely leaned more and more left as time passed (or at least that was my perception). Maybe they’d have stayed more “right” had we stayed in Pennsyltucky.

Until this morning, I didn’t know that Pennsyltucky is/was used to (often jokingly) refer to this “T”/rural/conservative area of PA. It was just where we were from, and I half-thought Mom and Dad coined the name somehow. I’m feeling oddly proud of that heritage today.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t vote for either Trump or Clinton. Being in California, I had the luxury of using my vote in a totally principled fashion without worrying about affecting the outcome. CA was going blue no matter what.

But it was Pennsyltucky in the spotlight last night. Who’d a thought.

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If Lies were Dynamite

by on Nov.08, 2016, under Uncategorized

If lies were dynamite, the top two candidates for President would have been blown to kingdom come long ago.

This was one obvious point in an interesting article by Susan Wright on RedState.com. The title is “How Do We Vote The Bible?”. It runs down the Ten Commandments and “rates” each of the Donald and Hillary one by one. It’s about as bad as you might expect, though there are some landmines neither has really stepped on yet (or at least not very publicly).

But who is so old-fashioned to use the Ten Commandments as a measuring stick?! I am. And I don’t care what religion you are, or even if you’re religious at all. It would be pretty hard to beat this list as a “rules to live by as a good person” – no matter your world view.

So check it out. And if you’re really brave, take stock of how you’re doing as well.

Here’s the entire article. And here’s the Wikipedia rundown of the Ten Commandments.

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#NeverAgain

by on Nov.05, 2016, under Uncategorized

Mickey White (at RedState.com) suggested #NeverAgain be a battle cry we can ALL get behind. We should ALL get behind. Eighty-plus percent of us are going to vote for a blustery amoral slimebag of a man or one of the most corrupt politicians of our time. THAT is despicable.

#NeverAgain. I support that.

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Marketplace Fairness Act

by on Nov.04, 2016, under Uncategorized

Watch out. The lame ducks in the Senate (led by Mitch McConnel) seem to be planning to put through the Marketplace Fairness Act after the election. Sounds good, right? Who could possibly oppose marketplace fairness?! Be ye not fooled. Like lots of crap coming from DC, the gotchyas are under the hood. In this case, what is meant by fairness is that internet retailers will have to collect and pay sales tax to all the states from which their customers come.

There is no pot of money that will remain untaxed when a leviathan government is out of control.

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Fall Back…

by on Nov.01, 2016, under Uncategorized

We’ll set our clocks back by one hour come Sunday morning.

I wonder how far we’ll have set the country back by Tuesday evening?

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