Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bring back the Code of Hammurabi...

By now you probably have heard of the young Australian man attending college in Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship, who was senselessly murdered by 3 American teenage deviants.

It was a brutal, absurd killing initiated because the boys "were bored" and had "nothing to do" so the best idea they came up with was to pull up behind the Aussie when he was out jogging and place a bullet in his back, ending his young life.

America is bringing up young murderers and criminals faster than McDonald serves hamburgers and it needs to stop.  There is no respect for life or one another in this nation and it is killing the America we once knew and loved.

In the US we need to apply the Code of Hammurabi fast or our society will continue to raise these sort of deviants. Kill those who kill without cause. Cut-off hands of those who steal [or kill them].  Guess what we would do to rapists?

Sounds good to me.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Instead of Obama-care, Extend Medicare for Everyone

 How much profiteering does the Health Care Industry need?
Private health care insurance is bleeding Americans dry.  Approximately 40 percent of Americans are without health insurance. Another way of looking at that fact is that "You can't get blood from a stone." 

Some in the Washington Capitol want to develop and implement a totally new health care program to insure all Americans.  Obama-care is not the panacea for all our ills.  It is a major program that was passed by the majority of Congress without ever being read and considered fully.
Some critics say that all is needed to reduce current health care costs is to approve legislation that provides malpractice reform and reduces the burden of the paper work.  The message is that developing and implementing such a "safety net" for the health care industry and for doctors/providers would save significantly on the cost of health care, which is naive at best.

Five years ago, here in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry and state lawmakers pushed a bill for health care medical malpractice reform that was approved by the legislature and then approved by Texans in a special election. The "theory" was that doing so would save millions for the industry and in turn for patients to reduce their medical and health care costs.  While the new laws did protect and save money for the industry and providers, health care costs and premiums continue to rise dramatically for insured Texans.

In fact, the ever-increasing costs are causing more employers to cut back or completely drop health care plans for their employees. There are a large number of Texans who no longer can afford to keep their health plans, while the number of Texans without health insurance continues to escalate.  A major concern is that 40 percent of Texas children are without health care coverage.  Obviously, the approved medical malpractice reform legislation did little to reduce health care costs.  In fact, health plan premiums continue to increase.  It is happening in most other states as well.

Furthermore, current health care plans do NOT cover all expenses; most only cover a maximum of 80 percent and have co-pays and/or high deductions before the plans “kick in” coverage.  Consequently, a secondary insurance is needed to cover costs not paid for by the primary plan.  Very few Americans can afford to purchase and maintain one health plan, so forget about two health care plans.

One of the big concerns and a large contributing factor to high and increasing health care costs and premiums is the cost of providing health care and/or ER services to uninsured Americans, to legal and illegal immigrants and many American children, who have no coverage.  The cost of providing health services to these segments of the population is consistently more than any issues relating to malpractice pay-outs and/or the burden of paperwork issues.

In the U.S. there are 12 million illegal immigrants, who at one time or another will need medical services that they can not and do not pay for.  The result is that either taxpayers must finance those services or the burden for payment is diverted from the health providers onto those who pay for their own health care via increased premiums.  Most health care plans increase premiums every 6 or 12 months for various reason, including that of maintaining or increasing high profits.  In the state of Texas, health care providers were given more power and legislative permission to increase premiums for any or no reason and at any time.
As for health care reform in Washington, what is wrong with modifying or tweaking Medicare and extending it to all Americans?  Part of the reason may be that the medical and health care industries fear a 30 percent cut in profits. That may be the foremost reason Congress does not want to extend Medicare.   Medicare is in place and works for the majority of Americans.

Currently, many doctors will not take Medicare patients.  Many do not take NEW Medicare patients, while many doctors do not accept any new patients at all --- whether or not they may have their own private insurance.  There are reasons for these actions --- not the least being that Medicare often cuts its payment to providers by 30 percent.

There are many more significant problems within our health care system than the issues of medical malpractice and the burden of excessive paper work. Yes, these issues may be inherent in the system, but they are not the most important and more costly factors.

While Medicare may contain some problems and issues, it is a health care system that works for most Americans.  So, why not modify the program and tweak the problems and issues in order to extend it to all Americans?  And yes, there is rampant fraud inherent within the system and it is abused by many.  But there is no reason to "reinvent the wheel" to develop a completely new system, like Obama-care.

Another concern with developing a completely new health care systems is that how do we know whether Congress and the health industry could develop a new problem-free successful system?   Why make Americans guinea pigs for an untried and tested system?

In the US, Republicans vow to eliminate Obama-care but they do not provide a better alternative.  The alternative is in front of our eyes.  It is called Medicare and it works.  Extending Medicare for all Americans is the best solution to many of our health care problems.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Time Warner Cable vs. CBS and Showtime

If live in the Twilight Zone and haven't heard...

It is interesting that many of the media aren't telling readers about the action of TWC against CBS and Showtime channels.  TWC has dropped the 2 networks like a hot potato and it has to do with ending contracts and increasing costs to TWC and its subscribers.  The 2 networks are blacked out on TWC and subscribers are madder than hell.  Shows affected by the blackout are Dexter, Blue Bloods and others.

Apparently the issue has become like a 3-headed beast fighting itself, where none of the heads will win or all of the heads will win.  The entity that definitely will NOT win is the 3 million TWC subscribers who can't watch their favorite shows.  The blackouts also are affecting advertisers who may have to make urgent decisions.

Customers are angry, but may not know who to blame.  I blame everyone involved:  TWC, CBS and Showtime.  All have become too greedy and don't care who they hurt.

Many in the know are saying that the blackout may continue close to the 2013 football season.  Football season is the highest rating time for TV watching.

Some believe that this war may cause TWC subscribers to move to Direct TV or Internet entities like Hulu, Google TV, etc.  Advertisers may have to find other markets and may pay more during this urgency period.

TWC has promised refunds to its Showtime customers but none for CBS watchers.  The battle is heating up and many customers don't know who to blame.  CBS wants to double (from $1 to $2) what is termed a pre-transmission fee... a charge per customer that TWC generally passes along to all subscribers, whether or not they may watch CBS or not.

The head of the FCC has requested that the warring entities kiss and makeup and to stop hurting their customers.  That is about all the FCC can do as it has no real authority to demand anything from either parties.

So for now, the ones being hurt are the customers.