Sunday, October 18, 2009

Democrat's Health "Reform" - Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

The Washington Times re-iterates a fundamental goal of the Democrats in the "health care reform" bill: "Young Adults Could Face Sharp Rise":

Young adults, a group that helped elect President Obama last fall, could have the highest costs to bear but the most to gain under the health care overhaul proposals in Congress.

The reform bills require insurance companies to reduce the disparities between what they charge the young and the old, with potential to dramatically raise prices for young adults.

Young people don't need health insurance as it exists today. They mostly just need catastrophic coverage, to cover for the really unexpected event like a car accident, a heart attack, or some other rare medical problem.

But state insurance regulations often force policies to cover all sorts of things that young people don't care about -- like a single male having to pay extra to cover Erectile Disfunction, Birth Control pills, abortion and gynecological services, and long-term nursing care.

This is why so many people are uninsured -- the kids just don't see a benefit worth the cost:

Young adults have often been overlooked in the battle to extend health insurance coverage to all Americans. They have the highest rate of uninsured status of all age groups, either because they can't afford it on fresh-from-college salaries or they hope that their age will save them from high-cost medical care. A 2008 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that young adults, ages 19 to 29, make up 29 percent of the uninsured population in the United States.

But at least the insurance companies are allowed to sell the over-blown policies to the young people at a cost less than that for people who will actually USE their services.

Americans understand the principle. If you are a young driver, you pay more for car insurance because you will tend to have more accidents. Life Insurance costs more as you get older, or if you have a history of heart disease, or are a smoker, because you will likely die sooner. Homeowners insurance gives you discounts if you have smoke detectors, better locks, and a fire hydrant nearby, because your house is less likely to burn completely.

But medical insurance is already skewed, mostly by employer-based programs. Because while many companies DO charge more for their older employees, it is generally based on salary, and isn't nearly enough of a difference to reflect the actual costs. That's because it isn't offered as a cost-effective insurance, but as an EMPLOYMENT BENEFIT.

Now, the democrats want to force the same thing on ALL MEDICAL INSURANCE.:

"Allowing insurers to charge older Americans vastly higher premiums simply because of their age is discrimination, pure and simple," Mr. Kerry said. "Insurers must compete based on price, value and customer satisfaction, not by avoiding Americans based on their age or health."

But in true socialist government form, the democrats insist that charging young people a lot more for their insurance won't be a problem -- Because they will get taxpayer-funded subsidies:

But proponents say that much of the new costs young people would face would likely be picked up by tax subsidies that are being designed to help low- and middle-income people buy coverage.

The current plans call for subsidies to be available to individuals and families with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. This year, that level is $10,830 for an individual and $22,050 for a family of four.

If this wasn't going to increase the deficit, the end result instead would be that government regulation would drive up costs for everybody, but force insurers to take less money from old people and more money from young people, while old people had to simultaneously pay more taxes so that the government could take the money and give it to young people so they could pay for the higher insurance costs.

The key being that this has nothing to do with health care, and EVERYTHING to do with having 85% of the people in this country dependent on the government giving them money. Because once everybody needs the government to survive, the Democrats will have all the power they crave to tell people what to do, like forcing them to by unncessary medical insurance.

McDonnell gets two endorsements

The one is a positive endorsement from the Manassas News/Messenger.

The second endorsement is that the Washington Post endorsed Creigh Deeds. Since the WP endorsement is based solely on the willingness to raise taxes, that's one endorsement McDonnell neither could get, or would want.

The Post tries to also make their endorsement about McDonnell's "thesis". But their hypocrisy on that point makes their argument for Deeds worse -- just three months ago the WP said the opposite things about McDonnell, based on his record, from what they say now.

Since the WP has been writing for the past month for the sole purpose of providing quotes for Creigh Deeds to use in his advertisements, there really was no question they would endorse the man they endorsed in the Democratic primary -- in for a penny, in for a pound.

More on the endorsements later.

Health Care Reform -- Bribes and Punishment

All you need to know about the corruption of Washington DC, and the danger of allowing the Federal Government to meddle in our private affairs, can be found in a Washington Post article (Sunday, October 18, 2009), mockingly headlined "Medical Device Makers Court Unlikely Allies". I say "mockingly" because the facts reveal something more of a shotgun wedding born out of spitefulness, hatred, and anger rather than mutual respect:

But the two camps have come together to defend a powerful home-state industry in the political doghouse: medical device firms.

The companies, whose products range from $3,000 heart stents to $30,000 implantable defibrillators, refused to offer direct financial concessions earlier this year to help pay for health-care reform, unlike drugmakers, hospitals and other health- care players.

The move angered Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, who view the industry as a key contributor to soaring health-care costs, and led the panel to approve a $40 billion fee on device makers over the next 10 years.

So a private industry providing useful services to the people of our country was "asked" to "voluntarily" change what they charged for their product, and they rightly told the feds to stick to their constitutional authority.

And the democrats got ANGRY, because someone dared to stand up to their authority. And they decided to punish those who made them angry, by using the power of government to tax them, thus driving up the costs of the medical devices to the people who need them most.

And what will those taxes paid for by the citizens be used for? To pay off those other industries who bowed down to the democrats and did what they were told.

This article also reveals the inconvenient truth about rising health care costs. Our costs are going up not because things are getting more expensive, but because we have businesses offering NEW treatments and NEW hope for people with medical problems.

In the case of the medical device manufacturers, their devices are making people's lives better, and people are willing to pay money for the new treatments. Nobody is forcing anybody do pay for this, you could always pretend it was 10 years ago and the devices weren't available. But why wouldn't you pay money for something better? Well, the democrats don't think that makes any sense at all:

The industry's efforts are made more difficult by evidence that the push to sell pricey medical devices, from artificial joints to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, has been a significant contributor to skyrocketing health-care costs in the United States. One manufacturer, New Jersey-based ReGen Biologics, has come under fire for aggressively lobbying the Food and Drug Administration to gain approval for a knee-surgery device.

It makes it sound like we don't need or want these devices. But another dirty little secret -- state governments force medical insurance plans to cover things like this, because of lobbying pressure, and then since it "doesn't cost anything", doctors will approve the devices.

But instead of actually reforming how we deliver health care, the democrats are pushing more regulation, more distortion of the costs. They don't care that medical devices may be unnecessary -- instead they are going to TAX them, which means the government will be MORE LIKELY to include these devices in health insurance requirements, because the government will need the tax dollars.

Steven Nissen, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, called device makers "a Wild, Wild West" industry that uses aggressive marketing, including confidential payments to doctors, to drive up demand for its products. "Given the way they have encouraged overutilization, it makes sense that some of that should be given back to help bend the cost curve," he said.

Why not ban "confidential payments" to doctors? Because the suggestion that doctors are doing unncessary surgery against their patient wishes simply because they get bribes has already been shown to be false -- it's just a canard used to argue that there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

This is the democrat's message. You can't trust your doctors, they area on the take. You can't trust the companies that have made life-saving drugs for you, they just want to make money. You can't trust your insurance company, you can't trust your nurses, you can't trust the hospital.

But you CAN trust 58 democrats in the Senate to do what is right for you, because they would never act out of anger to punish their adversaries. Oh wait, they just did.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Creigh Deeds -- Tearing down Virginia's Universities.

Creigh Deeds, desperate to get liberals in Northern Virginia to vote for him, while not turning off the rest of Virginia, is running targeted ads attacking a solid Virginia University in Virginia Beach.

In the ad, Creigh Deeds claims that we should vote for Deeds rather than McDonnell because McDonnell attended Regent University, which Deeds derisively misnames.

Regent University is an accredited university which graduated over 1000 students last year, including many Virginia residents, all of whom must wonder what Creigh Deeds has against them, since Deeds is telling prospective employees that in Deeds' opinion, they shouldn't be hired.

Regent University (its undergraduate school and graduate schools) is accredited or certified by the following bodies:

Regent University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associates, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of Regent University.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)—certification of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS), accredits the School of Divinity. The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools, 10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275.

The American Bar Association (ABA), accredits the School of Law. The Accreditation Committee and the Council of the Section, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610.

The American Psychological Association (APA), accredits the psychology programs of the School of Psychology & Counseling. Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242.

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), accredits the counseling programs of the School of Psychology & Counseling. 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304.

The Regent University School of Education's educational leadership and teacher preparation programs, which are designed to prepare competent, caring, and qualified professional educators is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council for a period of five years, from January 9, 2009 to January 9, 2014. This accreditation certifies that the educational leadership and teacher preparation programs have provided evidence that they adhere to TEAC's quality principles. Teacher Educational Accreditation Council, One Dupont Circle, Suite 320, Washington, DC, 20036, phone 202.466.7236.

Apparently, Creigh Deeds thinks he knows more than these organizations, and believes that people who graduate from this Virginia University should be treated as 2nd-class citizens, held up to ridicule and mocking by political candidates who want to be Governor.

This is rediculous. How could we put a man into the Governorship who has so blatantly attacked thousands of our young men and women who worked so hard to earn college degrees from our own universities?

Creigh Deeds - Unfit for Duty

Does Creigh Deeds hate Virginia's universities?

How else would you explain Deeds telling his campaign to launch an attack on the graduates and leadership of an accredited Virginia University?

In a commercial that Deeds must pray is only seen by liberals in Northern Virginia, Deeds attacks McDonnell for attending Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Deeds then attacks McDonnell for serving on the board for the University for 7 years. Imagine any other candidate trying to attack someone for serving a Virginia institute of higher learning.

Here are the current list of trustees. I'm guessing none of them are going to vote for Deeds, after he essentially put them all down:

Mr. G. Conoly Phillips, Chairman
Bishop Wellington Boone
Dr. Benjamin S. Carson
Adm. Vernon E. Clark (USN Ret.)
Dr. Chauncey Crandell
Mrs. Roberta Eldred
Mr. Jim L. Funari
Mr. Joseph R. Gregory
Mrs. Roberta P. Hromas
Mr. Thomas J. Knox Jr.
Dr. Kay Peng Khoo
Mr. Michael D. Little
Mr. Howard W. Long
Mr. William L. Maynard
Mrs. Cheryl McLeskey
Mr. David V. Melilli
Mr. Lowell W. Morse
Mrs. Dede Robertson
Dr. M. G. Robertson
Mr. Timothy B. Robertson
Mr. Thomas M. Saltsgiver
Dr. Jay A. Sekulow
Mr. Daniel C. Sellers Jr.
Mr. Robert O. Snelling Sr.

Let's just look at one of these people that Creigh Deeds apparently thinks is unfit for duty because he's a trustee at Regent University -- Admiral Vernon Clark:

Admiral Clark served aboard the destroyers USS John W. Weeks (DD 701) and USS Gearing (DD 710). As a Lieutenant, he commanded USS Grand Rapids (PG 98). He subsequently commanded USS McCloy (FF 1038), USS Spruance (DD 963), the Atlantic Fleet's Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center, Destroyer Squadron Seventeen, and Destroyer Squadron Five. After being selected for flag rank, Admiral Clark commanded Carl Vinson Battle Group/Cruiser Destroyer Group Three, Second Fleet, and United States Atlantic Fleet.

Let's skip ahead:

Admiral Clark has also served as the Deputy and Chief of Staff, United States Atlantic Fleet; the Director of Operations (J3) and subsequently Director, of the Joint Staff.
Admiral Clark became the 27th Chief of Naval Operations on July 21, 2000, relieving Admiral Jay L. Johnson. In 2001, Clark was considered to be on the "short list" of choices for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the eventual pick was Air Force Gen Richard Myers [1]

Wow, he was almost the Chairman of the JCOS, but Creigh Deeds thinks he's unfit for duty because he's a trustee at Regent University.

Admiral Clark's personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (three awards), the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (two awards), the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and various service and campaign awards, including the Joint Meritorious Unit Award (two awards), Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Battle Efficiency Award (two awards), National Defense Service Medal (three awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (two campaigns), Southwest Asia Service Medal (one campaign), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (six awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon

But forget all those awards and honors. Creigh Deeds says that Admiral Clark is unfit for duty, because he's a trustee at Regent University.

Since his retirement, Clark has been honored with the Eisenhower Award from the Business Executives of North America and the Distinguished Sea Service Award from the Naval Order of the United States. Clark was elected to the board of directors of Raytheon in December 2005 and the board of directors of SRI International in March 2007.[

Raytheon and SRI International think Admiral Clark's an OK guy, but they must be wrong, because Creigh Deeds says this man is unfit for duty.

But you know, maybe Creigh Deeds is the one who is unfit for duty.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Creigh Deeds has a plan for Tables

If you've been listening to Creigh Deeds on the campaign trail, you might think his economic recovery plan involves encouraging the manufacture of new tables for Virginia. After all, he plans to spend a lot of time around tables, putting things on tables, and discussing what's on the tables. And with all the people he wants to get together at tables, we're probably going to need some more tables.

Of course, tables tend to stay in one place, and people around tables tend to just talk a lot. To get traffic moving, we need more than table-talk.

In this WTOP interview, Deeds apparently mentioned tables over 14 times in 11 minutes:

Democrat Creigh Deeds says in a radio interview that offering detailed positions on transportation funding would kill chances of passing it if he's elected governor. "In an appearance Friday on WTOP's politics show, the state senator repeated his familiar mantra that ‘everything is on the table' for transportation funding, including new taxes."

The magic table is expected to solve all our transportation problems:

The only approach that's worked on transportation in the last thirty years is the approach employed by Governor Baliles in 1986 and that's the approach I'm gonna take. Everything to fix transportation is on the table. And I want to bring everybody to the table to bring ... to create that solution. And I'm gonna do it next year. Everything's on the table that has a nexus to transportation,

The Baliles approach Deeds mentions from 1986 was imposing a 17+ cent gas tax. Which I guess is why the gas tax is about the only idea Deeds specifically mentions as "on the table", and why Deeds says the Baliles' approach (raising gas taxes?) is the approach Deeds will take.

More table talk:

I'm going to be the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and were going to have an open and honest discussion with Democrats and Republicans around the table and we're going to consider all the options because the bottom line is we cannot grow, we cannot prosper if we continue to sit in traffic.

Instead of sitting in traffic, we'll all be sitting around the table.

But I'm guessing that the people of Virginia want to move forward, they want to solve this problem and I've got the only real realistic solution to get it fixed and that's bringing everybody to the table, leaving everything on the table, except taking money away from education and having an honest discussion about transportation.

I wonder if there will be food at the table? And if there is, will we be able to take that off the table, or will we have to leave all the food spoiling on the table?

Mark, I said that everything is on the table when it comes ... that has a nexus to transportation. We've got a significant problem, we have to raise something in excess of a billion dollars.

I wonder how big a table you need to be able to put a billion dollars on it.

Mark, I have said that everything that has a nexus to transportation is on the table. If you look at the different approaches that have been taken by governors since Baliles to address transportation - they've all failed, and part of the reason they've failed is because they've identified, they started out with something very specific that has become polarizing.

Well, the last 8 years certainly they've failed, but I think that had more to do with the inability of the democratic governors to actually put together a plan, not because they couldn't find a table.

I think if we leave as much on the table as possible, that we bring as many people to the table as possible, we have more areas we can agree on. This is such an urgent issue that has to be addressed I think sooner rather than later - it has to be addressed next year, my first year as governor. I want the best chance for success and I think that leaving more things on the table will give us that opportunity.

I wonder if this will be an indoor or outdoor table. It apparently will have lots of stuff all over it, a billion dollars lying around, and be surrounded by as "many people" as we can possibly fit.

I think I've figured out the secret to this transportation plan. If we just get enough people around the table, it will get them off the roads so traffic will move better.