There Must Be A 28th Amendment

While Main Street USA struggles to make ends meet, our elected representatives continue with their lifestyle, complete with full staff and expense accounts. 

Curious that I have never heard of layoffs happening on Capitol Hill. Perhaps there have been during this economic downturn, and, if so, this American missed the notices.

But, more to the point, our leaders create rules and regulations that apply to everyone but themselves. The most blatant was when they voted to exempt themselves from last year’s healthcare reform bill.

If it is such a great piece of legislation, why are they not taking part with the rest of us?

Another why-on-Earth-do-they-get-this-perk is that staffers of Congress members and family are exempt from having to pay back student loans. That, quite frankly, is unjust and criminal.

More annoying, perhaps, is that those sitting in Washington DC can mandate a retirement age for all, except, of course, themselves.

To ensure that all citizens are on equal footing, there should be a 28th Amendment.

It should read (not my wording, it was received in an email forward):

Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.

Unfortunately, as Congress would have to pass this, it more than likely will never come about.

Perhaps it could be an initiative voted on by the people to become law.

One can hope.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

"Culture Crisis" NOT "Health Care Crisis"

The below is posted on Facebook.

It provides an interesting point of view from an emergency room doctor treating someone on Medicaid.

 Dr. Roger Starner Jones

Dr. Jones recently wrote a short, two-paragraph letter to the White House where he accurately puts the blame on a “Culture Crisis” instead of a “Health Care Crisis” . . .

It’s worth a quick read.

“Dear Mr. President:

“During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.

“While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as “Medicaid”! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one pack of cigarettes every day, eats only at fast-food take-outs, and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer. And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman’s health care? I contend that our nation’s “health care crisis” is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a “crisis of culture” a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that “I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me”. Once you fix this “culture crisis” that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you’ll be amazed at how quickly our nation’s health care difficulties will disappear.

“Respectfully,
ROGER STARNER JONES, MD

“If you agree…pass it on.”
 
Very well and accurately stated by Dr. Jones.
 
Food for thought.
 
Over For Now.
 
Main Street One

How Polls Can Be Skewed

A recent poll released just prior to the House of Representatives’ vote on Main Street USA’s Health Care Right bill shows what can be accomplished when enough rhetoric is thrown at a topic.

According to HealthDay News, “Nearly half of Americans are ‘extremely’ or ‘very worried’ about rising costs for health care and health insurance, and a majority place the blame on drug and insurance company profits, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds.”

There were many on Capitol Hill who had assailed the insurance companies and their profits, in particular, for rising healthcare costs, making them, in essence, the “bad guy.”
 
The article in HealthDay News continued by saying, “Some health economists say insurance and pharmaceutical company (PhRMA) profits amount to only about 2 percent of total health care spending.
 
“Instead, fees charged by doctors and hospitals, as well as expanding use of increasingly sophisticated and expensive health-care technologies, are the primary cause of escalating health-care costs, these experts contend.”
 
The article, interestingly enough, does not elaborate on the fact that 44% of those surveyed felt that higher costs were due to “more tests, treatments and procedures ordered by doctors due to malpractice worries.”
 
Aside from the possibility of more tests, there is clear and present evidence that escalating malpractice insurance premiums are caused by astronomical punitive damages awarded.
 
Tort Reform should definitely play a major role in health care reform.
 
Nowhere in the poll does it mention fraud or corruption within the medical industry as contributing to higher costs, yet it does exist.
 
More than likely many Americans know that medical offices have two sets of charges. A lower price if someone is paying their own way and a higher price if the care is billed to an insurance company. This is, in reality, fradulant.
 
The reasons given often have to do with payments not being made in a timely manner or even that payments for those services do not ever arrive.
 
Regardless of the reason for the disparity, that is just another of the many causes for the higher costs of medical care.
 
In this fairly balanced article, there is the point made by Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, a service of Harris Interactive. He said, “These findings show how little most people understand the economics of health care. Increased profits of insurers and drug companies (if they have increased at all) cannot possibly account for the increases in premiums. Many health-care economists attribute the increased cost of care to increased demand and utilization, increased prices and the increased use of expensive tests and treatments. Most people, as shown here, do not think of these as the main drivers of increased health-care spending.”
 
The poll results do show that if enough high-profile people speak out against something often enough that polls can, indeed, be skewed by incorrect information disseminated.
 
Over For Now.
 
Main Street One

The Concept of Rights

In this case, the concept of the Rights of Main Street USA.

Following is the lead paragraph in an Associated Press article published after the ONE TRILLION DOLLAR* health care reform was signed:

“Claiming a historic triumph that could define his presidency, a jubilant Barack Obama signed a massive, nearly $1 trillion health care overhaul on Tuesday that will for the first time cement insurance coverage as the right of every U.S. citizen and begin to reshape the way virtually all Americans receive and pay for treatment.”

Let us take a close look at a critical portion of this paragraph.

“…cement insurance coverage as the right of every U.S. citizen…”

According to the dictionary, right, as used here, is defined as: “a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral.”

The interesting fact about the so-called Health Care Right is that if one does not exercise said right the IRS will come calling to collect a fine for not passing go (i.e., obtaining insurance coverage whether you desire to have it or not, such as the ten million Americans right now who can afford it but have elected not to purchase it).

So, yes, that does reshape how we will pay for treatment, as mentioned in the paragraph above.

The question all Americans should be asking is: How is that a “right?”

According to the Bill of Rights, Americans have the right to/of:

-Freedom of speech. Our Founding Fathers, however, did not see fit to fine anyone if they did not exercise their right to talk.

-Freedom of Religion. Have never read about a person being fined for not exercising their right of practicing a religion.

-To petition. When was the last time someone was fined for not submitting a petition?

-To keep and bear arms. We know darn well that no one is fining us for not having firearms in our possession. Fact is, there are those seeking to destroy this particular right.

You get the idea, I am sure.

Politicians cannot have it both ways.

They cannot, sanely and logically, promote to the populace that something is a right if a person will be fined for not exercising that right.

That is an interesting encroachment upon the rights of Main Street USA.

A reversal of the norm.

What comes next?

As it is every citizen’s right to vote, will there be legislation (or better yet, a simple earmark to a larger bill) allowing the IRS to fine people who do not exercise their right to vote.

What a concept.

Great fundraiser for the IRS.

Actually it is a double-barrelled fine…you would also pay for not registering to vote.

Food For Thought.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

* to spend One Trillion Dollars you need to buy a million dollar house each and very day for One Million Days (or slightly over 2,700 years).