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Political extremism strikes again

Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010, at 2:05 PM

Looks like the political extremists have claimed another victim.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) said earlier this week he's not running for re-election.

His comments need to be heard:

"There's just too much braindead partisanship...The extremes of both parties have to be wiling to accept compromises."

How true. Too bad politicians have become too party-oriented to do what's best for their constituents. Compromise is good in politics up to a certain point. Get some of what you want, even if you don't get the entire package. Completely caving in is wrong. So is being totally unyielding.

I'm so tired of hearing that Democrats are trying to turn America toward socialism and that Republicans are so totally oriented toward the rich that no one else matters. Actually

Of course, the opposing party is already shrilly proclaiming that Bayh's leaving because he knows he can't beat a Democrat.

You never really know what to believe anymore because those in charge, or who want to be in charge, put such a spin on things. Democrat, Republican, it doesn't matter.

Too bad America is set up so that a third party has no chance of succeeding. Because that may be the only way to return reasonableness to Washington -- if it was ever there to begin with.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

It amazes me how, regardless of which side of the fence one sits on, the other side is always wrong. It doesn't matter who is speaking, it seems all anyone in Washington wants to do is sling mud and personal insults at the person on the other side of the aisle.

What is good for you and I and America seems to be irrelevant amoung our elected officals. It is all about special interest groups and personal face time on the evening news.

I am so sick of hearing all of this partisan bull that most of the time I just turn off the TV or radio when they start in.

It occurs to me however that by becoming disillusioned and not paying attention I am playing right into their hands. If I don't listen.... If I let my frustration keep me out of the voting booth.... If I just look the other way.... They will be allowed to carry on business as usual. Business as usual being, not to actually do anything but to just make a lot of noise.

The American Dream is becoming a nightmare.

I feel like I am watching a train wreck in slow motion. I know the end result is going to be horrific. What I don't know is how to stop it.

-- Posted by goose2008 on Sun, Feb 21, 2010, at 8:18 AM

Two good editorials in today's (Feb 21) New York Times; one from Evan Bayh and the other from Tom Friedman. Senator Bayh maps out problems with today's senate, and Tom makes one prophetic statemnt that sticks out - "We simply do not have another presidency to waste".

-- Posted by Grit on Sun, Feb 21, 2010, at 9:53 PM

Ok, let's see what President Obama proposes for the upcoming summit meeting at Blair House.

As one who is conservative, and tends to vote republican, am willing to seek a middle ground solution.

I agree that insurance companies should not be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Nor should they be able to raise the rates on people who have catastrophic illnesses.

I agree that affordable health care should be made available to all Americans and, one place to start is to make it affordable to small business's to offer health care to their employees.

In the news lately is Anthem Blue Cross of California, a subsidiary of Well Point Inc. They are making news because they have sent out a notice that they are increasing premiums by as much as 39 per-cent. Here is a story of a mother who experienced a 69% and 65% increase in premiums on her two healthy college age sons, 18 & 21 yrs. old respectively. Here is the link:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/health-...

The reason given to the mother is that the company was making sure that premiums collected would be enough to offset future claims. Fair enough, insurance companies should be able to make a profit.

However, it seems that maybe the increase is not related to the premium/claims offset according to another story, Well Point's Net Income was down 14%, primarily due to a $759.6 million charge for investment losses. Even so, they still made a $2.5 billion net income.

Now, I have not read the 10k report to fully understand the companies business, but the above is what has been given to business writers as the reason for a drop in profits.

http://losangeles.bizjournals.com/losang...

Like I said, I think insurance companies should be able to make a profit, but, I think that maybe some regulation is in order so that policies could be affordable to ordinary folks.

Maybe, requiring health insurance providers to return a percentage of those profits back to policy holders in order to keep premiums affordable. Something along the lines of what USAA insurance company does.

If you don't like that idea, how about making sure that insurance companies are raising their rates strictly on the need to offset claims?

So, I guess what I am saying is that there needs to be some sort of regulatory agency for health insurance providers.

But, do we need a 1000 page bill to bring about health care reform? The Republicans need to study the proposal that Obama will post, and they need to come to the summit with some solid proposals of their own. If the only thing they come with is that "we need to junk everything and start over", they will be made to look like the party that is unwilling to move forward on this issue.

The last thing I want to say, and I have brought this up before, is that we have to stand against things like the "Cornhusker Kickback" & "The Louisiana Purchase" These sort of things have been going on far too long, on both sides of the aisle. Maybe I am naive, but these sort of deals smack of corruption.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/gop_b...

Your turn, go!

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 1:52 AM

If insurance companies were forced to accept customers with pre-existing conditions, why would anyone with any sense pay for insurance before they got sick?

Should Farm Bureau be forced to write a policy for home insurance while the fire department is on the way to put out the house fire as well?

Car insurance after the wreck?

Think about it folks, don't just blindly swallow the propaganda.

Both parties stink, because the two are actually the "Very Liberal Democrat party", and the "Not quite so Liberal Democrat party formerly known as the Republican Party".

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 3:14 AM

If insurance companies were forced to accept customers with pre-existing conditions, why would anyone with any sense pay for insurance before they got sick?

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 3:14 AM

Let's clarify this a little.

When someone gets cancer, then takes treatment, and the cancer goes into remission, that person is considered to have a pre existing condition. So, if the person wants to change jobs, they can not get insurance coverage, at least coverage that would cover their cancer, for at least a year, sometimes longer than that depending on what the disease was.

So, to answer your question about people waiting to get sick and then buy the insurance, I believe that is why some people want it to be mandatory to have health insurance. I don't really have to much of problem with that, as other insurances are made mandatory as well. States require car insurance, lenders require home owners insurance and so forth.

However, if we do that with health insurance, the insurance coverage has to be available at a reasonable cost for people/families making an average or below average income.

I am just trying to generate some dialogue to work towards a solution. Your response offered nothing in the way of seeking a solution. We can hear that kind of response all day long from our legislators. What would you propose in the way of a solution?

I would be interested in hearing other peoples ideas that would lead to a SOLUTION.

It would also be interesting, and I think enlightening to hear from some folks who have either been dropped from coverage, or denied coverage because they have been unfortunate to have been beset by health problems through not fault of their own.

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 4:13 AM

I understand your intention, but the working outcome would be the same.

States requiring car insurance or a mortgage company requiring home insurance is an apples to oranges comparison.

You can choose not to own a car or to rent instead of buying and not pay for insurance. There is no opting out of obamacare. Failure to pay for it will result in fines and/or jail time. Never mind that the feds have absolutely no constitutional authority to mandate healthcare.

As for alternate solutions, privately funded Health Savings Accounts along with a catastrophic rider would be far cheaper than most private plans and wouldn't require government meddling.

Does anyone really believe that obamacare can cover those who are now uninsurable and cover procedures that aren't currently covered, and do it cheaper than current insurance?

Anyone honest enough to admit obamacare necessarily would be more expensive to accomplish these goals must believe they are somehow entitled to the goods of others, even against that person's will.

Where does this thinking come from?

In a different century a person who was forced to work and give the proceeds to another against their will was called a slave.

I thought we ended that practice long ago.

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 2:49 PM

As for alternate solutions, privately funded Health Savings Accounts along with a catastrophic rider would be far cheaper than most private plans and wouldn't require government meddling.

Posted by quietmike on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 2:49 PM

The facts remain, that if you want to drive a car, or buy a house, which most people do, you are required to purchase the insurance.

One of the drivers of high health care cost are people without insurance going to the emergency room for health care. The hospitals have to treat them, and then have to pass the costs on to those who do have health insurance.

Yes, I know there would be fines, but can you show me where in the bill people would be thrown in jail?

Now, keep in mind I am not advocating for the passage of this legislation as it is, but I do see the need for some sort of legislation.

This is a start, but not everyone can afford this.

According to what I have read, a catastrophic rider is mandatory. So, your are still required to buy health insurance. If I am in error, please correct me.

I just got a quote, and my monthly payment would be $166.17 a month, $5,200 deductible. I am 52 and single. The price is not too bad, but at this point I can't even afford that.

The thing is Mike, people find themselves in situations beyond their control and have few options. We need to find a way to help these people. Just curious, do you have one of these plans? What are you paying, if you don't mind my asking.

But, here is another question, if these HSA's can be offered at reasonable rates, why can't other policies offered to groups be the same?

I have to go back to the lady that had rate hikes for her children. At their age, according to the story, they are known as "invincibles". Supposedly in the group of people that is the most profitable. Why the big rate increase for

them?

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/health-...

I faced a similar situation a few years back when I had TN Blue Cross through the Farm Bureau. However, my situation was age related. When I turned 46, my premiums increased 28%. Going to about $120 a month. Yeah, I know about actuary tables and such, but in the previous year I made no claims and only visited the doc for preventative care (physical exam)

Would you be open to some regulatory oversight?

So, your solution is viable for a number of people, but there are others who fall through the gap.

Here is a link to where I got my quote if anyone is interested in checking this out:

http://www.health--savings--accounts.com...

It would be interesting to here from some folks who go there to compare this with their current coverage.

Good info Mike, but lets try to leave names like obama care and party affiliations out of the discussion. I don't support the President's agenda, but I am trying to generate discussion that does not devolve into the usual rhetoric that does nothing to bring people together.

Who knows, maybe our representatives might read these discussions and, just maybe, they might even listen to us for a change (not holding my breath on that one).

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 4:41 PM

I have said, and will continue to say, those who think the system is just fine the way it is, are usually those who have not yet experienced what millions of hard-working Americans have.

Until you are dropped, denied coverage, or sent home with exorbitant medical bills that have you choosing between your home or your life, you simply won't understand. For those of use that know, even though it hasn't happened to us, we are smart enough to understand that it certainly could.

The saying "I just never thought this could happen to me" would apply to millions of people who think that profits should come before affordable health care. This notion that people can somehow "choose" not to own a car or live in a home is absurd as well. Mike, in rural Tennessee exactly how do you expect people who live outside of the city limits to get to work without a car? We certainly don't have mass transit at our disposal.

I don't have any magical solutions, but I know that partisan bickering, and stonewalling any attempt at real legislation will prove detrimental to the opposition. It baffles me that folks can't grasp the fact that the current administration won by more than 9 million votes, and the promise of health care reform was one of their biggest platforms... so to think that health care reform is not needed is to ignore the electoral college that tossed you out of office.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 6:46 PM

I don't have any magical solutions, but I know that partisan bickering, and stonewalling any attempt at real legislation will prove detrimental to the opposition. It baffles me that folks can't grasp the fact that the current administration won by more than 9 million votes, and the promise of health care reform was one of their biggest platforms... so to think that health care reform is not needed is to ignore the electoral college that tossed you out of office.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 6:46 PM

Not asking for a magical solution, just some of your suggestions. Are you 100% happy with the bill as it is? Just because one party won one election does not mean that get to pass any legislation they want. Even though Obama may have one by 9 million votes, apparently, not all of them agree with the health care plan proposed. Here is a link to a collection of 9 polls concerning the plan as proposed. The average opposition number is 52.5%. Not a single one these polls shows a majority in favor of this health care plan. Here is the link:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/...

Let's say the current health care bill passes, and let;s say that in the mid-term elections that republicans take control of the house and senate. Does that mean they get to pass legislation eliminating the bill passed previously?

So, I started with a few things that I thought I could live with to help bring about health care reform. What can you live with or live without?

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 1:45 AM

Here is one from a google search, there are plenty other outlets reporting it, if this one isn't to your liking.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/...

-- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 5:38 AM

I have said, and will continue to say, those who think the system is just fine the way it is, are usually those who have not yet experienced what millions of hard-working Americans have.

-- Posted by darrick_04

People who believe government has the answer are ignoring decades of examples to the contrary.

For one Medicaid costs are rising at three times the rate of inflation. Nevermind the obvious fact that if Medicaid, another glorious government safety net, would have worked as advertised, we wouldn't even be discussing the need for a NEW medical safety net program.

-- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 5:45 AM

Here is one from a google search, there are plenty other outlets reporting it, if this one isn't to your liking.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/...

-- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 5:38 AM

Thanks Mike, definitely not a good thing.

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 7:28 AM

People who believe government has the answer are ignoring decades of examples to the contrary.

-- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 5:45 AM

Yeah, and I think the same thing every time we go to war.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 7:16 PM

Yeah, and I think the same thing every time we go to war.

-- Posted by darrick_04

The difference is that leaders told us war was necessary, and fighting them would ensure our survival and our way of life. In many cases this turned out to be true. I challenge you to name a social program that meets the same criteria.

BTW-Wars are a constitutionally authorized function of the government-healthcare isn't. ;-)

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 6:52 AM

Well, looks like Thursday's summit meeting will be more of the same old, same old.

President Obama's "proposal" on health care is really nothing more than than the senate version with a few tweaks. Nothing new really.

Six hours! That is how long this summit is supposed to be. It will be interesting to see if any progress will be made. I don't think so, seems as if a line in the sand has been drawn and neither side will step across it.

Polls continue to show Americans want change. According to latest Zogby poll:

"Of the more than 2,500 people surveyed from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, 57 percent agreed with a statement that Congress should start over -- which is exactly what Republicans are demanding and what President Barack Obama insists he will not do."

It goes on to say, "Moreover, 56.4 percent of people indicated they would prefer Congress to tackle healthcare reform on a step-by-step basis, not take the comprehensive approach as embodied in the legislation that passed the House and Senate last year but has stalled fore the past month."

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-r...

I agree that this is the way we should go. There are things that both parties agree to concerning health care reform. The two sides should focus on implementing these first, and then tackle other issues.

Whether the party in charge wins by 1 vote, or 9 million votes, they still have an obligation to listen to what the people want. And it is clear from the polling data that the people do not want this piece of legislation passed.

Before I link to the collection of polls again, it is interesting to note that in the CNN and PBS polls, widely believed to be Democratic and liberal leaning, that a wide majority of their viewers/listeners are opposed to this legislation as it currently stands. Here are the numbers:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls

/latestpolls/health_care.html

If you click the link, scroll down and you will see the polling data going back to April 2009. There is a clear trend to rising opposition to this legislation in all the polls. Bear in mind this is a collection of polling data from both "liberal" and "conservative" sources, indicating that Americans of both parties are opposed to the legislation as it stands.

There is talk of the Democrats trying to push this legislation through by using a process called budget reconciliation (yes, I know the republicans have used this in the past), but I think that if they desire to hold their majority, they should consider very carefully the consequences of disregarding the voice of the people.

About the only thing we can do now, and it is something that we should have been doing all along, is to pray.

Pray that God will open the ears of our leaders to His voice, and to that of the people who elected them. Pray for wisdom, discernment, and a spirit of cooperation.

Pray that they would also recognize that it is time to give the economic situation their full attention.

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 7:35 AM

I hate the thought of the Government even thinking about a health-care anything!

Didn't Tennessee come up with the Tenn-care insurance plan that bombed out!

My son couldn't get it because he only worked part time. You had to be earning a certain amount of money to qualify and didn't pay out when people needed it after paying into it for years.

A lot of insurance companies pull that off. They take your monthly premiums then skip out when it comes time to pay by saying the fine print says we don't have to pay for that.

How many people paid and paid on an insurance policy just to be dropped when they really needed the insurance to pay their medical bills with out refunding a penny of their money. Isn't that grand theft?

My electric bill went up this past month, the water bill is higher and my car insurance went up. I heard on TV that Health insurance is going up in cost also plus the gasoline at the corner station raised their price 20 cents on the gallon. Did I mention Wallmart and Krogers increased their price on most of their products, yet provide smaller packages and worse looking produce for their new prices.

What happened to their "everyday Low Prices", LOL?

Point I am making is who can afford to keep buying more and more insurance when our wages are not going up.

We are forced to pay workmans Comp Ins., Ins. on our Home, Car Ins., Health-care Ins., and another Ins. plan to help pay for our medicine, and don't forget burial Ins, and Life Ins..

And if we fly it is most important to take out a flying policy to help pay when the plane crashes with you on it, that is if you are even allowed to fly.

First, we have to dig in our pocket and pay the deductible before the Ins. will even kick in and...

What about this benefit they have that says after you have purchased their policy and paid on it, it won't pay anything if you have any other policy that would cover your injury?

Congress can charge all the money they want to, for anything they want to by just billing it to the Productivity of the United State Citizens.

Who can I get money from and bill to US Citizens to pay?

I am out of money! Congress bailed out AIG along with the Big Financial Empires and I heard yesterday that AIG is 9 billions dollars in the hole and needs bailed out again.

They should be shut down and officers imprisoned for life or at least confiscate their vehicles away!

Health-care? Don't talk to me about it.

Just so I would feel better about myself I took out a policy that would pay off if I am killed by Auto accident. They have been annoying me every since with updating and added policy protection that I am ready to tell them to cancel my policy completely the next time they call me.

My idea of Health-care:

If anything - Congress should be forced to cover all insurance claims or create a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to pay Insurance claims when the Insurance Companies file Bankruptcy to prevent them from paying off.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 1:57 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.