Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Health Care Thoughts

Why must everything be so complicated? Sure there is a problem in this country. How can we ignore some 45 million people not having access to affordable care? I am concerned as are many of you who I receive e-mails from that the reforms planned are ballooning out of control. The legislation being debated will probably contain a thousand or more pages of details which no one in the Congress or Administration will ever review much less understand. Health care in America today is complicated enough as it is. I am always frustrated with the myriad of forms I must sign no matter how routine the procedure might be. Have any public officials taken the time to review the systems in place in other countries, many of which have been in effect for decades? Why must we start from scratch? If there are flaws in any of these, then it should be relatively easy to make whatever changes are necessary.
This is what I truly believe.
The Insurance Community and the Drug Companies will come out stronger than ever and more obscene profits will be theirs for the taking. Our Congress and Administration will do their bidding, where to my way of thinking they should be bypassed and in the case of the insurance industry they should be redundant, completely put out of business. Why would we need insurance if a Medicare type system was made available to all instead of just seniors? Perhaps their role could be to supplement just as my former company does for me now. Those who could not afford, at least would have basic care.
I would rescind the Drug Companies right to advertise to the public as they so obscenely do today. Every time I am watching some program, on they come with Viagra or some other miracle drug that you must talk to your doctor about. Most of the ads tell all the bad things that the drug could do to you. It is just sick. In a recent article written by Christopher Lane he reveals that only two countries around the world allow this; New Zealand and America. He quotes an August 2007 New England Journal of Medicine article that the total cost for 2005 for all drug-related marketing in 2005 was $29.9 billion, with $4.1 billion spent on Direct to Customer advertising. The authorization to allow DTC advertising was granted while Clinton was our President. Think about that as you contemplate which political party has your best interests at heart. This should not be construed as an endorsement for the Republican Party. If that party means so much to you, then tell me what wonderful things they did during the eight years when they had total control.
One pillar in the plans being discussed is mandatory benefits to be paid by employers. Doesn’t anybody understand that this is totally wrong? I have harped on this subject for years now without result. My basic premise is to relieve businesses in America from this cost burden, particularly their obligation to retirees like myself. The burden to cover my medical expenses has to be paid out of product sales for which I no longer contribute. Eliminating these would immediately increase the profit they could make while producing goods and services here in America. Jobs would come flooding back that were lost to China and elsewhere, tax revenues would increase dramatically enabling our country to afford health care, pay down the debt or whatever else is deemed important.
I would rein in the huge costs the Doctors and Hospitals pay to protect them from excessive law suits. There undoubtedly are abuses which should be punished but there are also frivolous law suits, many of which are settled out of court to limit the cost, even when completely unfounded. The Democratic Congress is indebted to the Trial Lawyers for campaign funds and I can assure you this will not be discussed. President Obama at a medical convention recently told them that it was off the table.
Medicare fraud is rampant. I have seen a report that so far this year alone it exceeds $33 billion. Putting more people and resources to work to drastically reduce this amount would provide billions to be put to work helping people instead of enriching thieves.
Do not provide government paid procedures having anything to do with sexual enhancement, cosmetic surgery, tummy tucks, etc.
Limit free or subsidized health care to citizens and legal immigrants.
I have one final thought, why must it be all or nothing? Why not chip away at it? People without insurance can still be served at the Emergency Rooms. Not preferable and terrifically expensive but still it is an option. Why not take the creepy crud approach and lower the age to receive Medicare by one year each year until it covers all age 50 and older while at the same time covering children up to the age of 18. That would leave those in their prime working years not covered now but perhaps later. I only suggest this as the Trillions in costs being discussed will no doubt derail any meaningful program and something is better than nothing.
I am mailing a copy of this to my elected officials as well as e-mailing to friends and others. If you agree in part or all, I request you let your voice be heard as well. Sitting back and hoping for the best just won’t do.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Challege to Arizona's employer sanction law

US Chamber of Commerce
Asks justices to kill Ariz. Rule
Article written by Howard Fisher-Capitol Media Services
In the Arizona Daily Star-July 28, 2009

In his brief to overturn our program, Attorney Carter Phillips makes the point that there were over 1,000 immigration bills and resolutions introduced in all 50 States so far in 2009 alone. He complains that they place an undue burden on employers and all should be found to be interfering with the Federal government’s immigration program.
I would predict that the Chamber will be successful. What the Court should review is the complete lack of commitment on the part of the Federal government to do their job. They should review the underlying reason why citizens, state and local governments are taking matters into their own hands to resolve because the Federal government will not. I was upset with President Bush and Senator McCain when they pushed for amnesty. The response from citizens was enough for them to back off and wait for a better time. Now I realize that President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest want the same thing.
Further, I have read that the health system revision being proposed does not specifically deny coverage for illegal immigrants and therefore they will be covered.
The State of California has the largest illegal population. The cost to support them has nearly bankrupted the state, but even there, they pretend that all is peaches and cream.
The Court, the Administration and Congress had better understand the anger building in American citizens, 10% of whom cannot find employment. There will be an up roar if amnesty and complete surrender to special interests is tried.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
July 28, 2009

Response to opinion by Eugene Robinson

Your opinion article in today’s Arizona Daily Star, entitled,” Rising number of Powerful minorities change race mix”.
You ended the article by throwing down a challenge. “Any body wanna bet”. I accept. I am 81 years old and white. Any time I have ever had the occasion to talk to a police officer, I always addressed him as “Sir”. This is my way of letting them know I appreciate all they do for me, putting their lives on the line, never knowing if they are dealing with a crazed person.
Your precious professor took offence at the officer questioning him, as if to say, I am important, you are just a lowly peon. How dare you challenge me? I know Obama personally, etc, etc.
You know that in the past there were lynchings, blacks had separate drinking fountains and were told to move to the back of the bus. That was then, this is now. It is time for you and other educated, articulate people of color to put that aside and deal with the here and now. We are getting tired of being told how bad whites are. By the way, to my knowledge I never dealt with a black man any different than a white man, so don’t put me down as a racist. Put me down as someone who believes we should all be treated the same regardless of race, or for that matter standing in the community.
President Obama is doing the right thing trying to close this episode, but I will not forgive him for jumping to the typical black position that race was involved.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
July 28, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A book review

Write It When I’m Gone
By; Thomas M. DeFrank
Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford

Mr. DeFrank is a reporter who was assigned to follow Vice President Ford in 1974 during the time leading up to the resignation of President Nixon. He became a trusted friend who did not betray confidences. As the years passed by during the Presidency of Ford and the years following they began meeting on numerous occasions’ right up until President Ford’s death at the age of 94. The only proviso was that the content would be held for publishing after his death.
For those of you interested in American history and politics, you may be surprised at the opinions he held for other political persons. For example, right up until the death of President Reagan, Ford held him responsible for losing his bid for re-election to Jimmy Carter. There had been a bitter nomination battle between them, and after Ford won, Reagan did little to help Ford get elected. In contrast Ford worked tirelessly on Reagan’s behalf when he ran against Carter.
I won’t share more than the above. Read it and you will better understand this wonderful, courageous, loyal person who worked hard for his party, his country and the numerous charitable endeavors he supported.
For recreation, he was an avid golfer, which proves that he was OK.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
July 22, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

America and the World

A book report

I found this new book at the Wilmot Public Library. It was published in 2008 before the election for president had been completed. It was interesting for a number of reasons. The first was that it wasn’t written. It consists of taped interviews. The moderator was David Ignatius. The principals were Zbigniew Brezezinski and Brent Scowcroft. Both of these men served many years for different presidents as National Security Advisors. The second is that even though they were of different parties, they agreed on the main issues of concern. Topics discussed were the Cold War, the Middle East, relations with China and other immerging powers, mistakes made over the years and the successes. They have advice to give to the incoming president, whoever he or she might be.
From my lofty position of knowing all things, I found I disagreed on a few of their positions such as;
They feel that those of us critical of illegal immigration are racists. We don’t agree. We believe that for a government to exist there must be rules and laws to follow, otherwise you have chaos. These people flooding into our country, deliberately breaking our laws, have caused great financial distress on law enforcement, medical facilities and undercut the wages that citizens could be earning. We just want order not wanton disregard.
They believe that those of us who want to preserve employment in manufacturing are protectionist. Nothing could be further from the truth. We just want a level playing field. China, in particular breaks every rule in the book with impunity.
They champion our military involvement in the Middle East, whereas I want an orderly withdrawal so that the people of those countries can choose their own destinies without having to suffer under our military occupation.
What I did agree with was their hope that the incoming president would reverse the damage done by our last president and vice president. A statement made was,
” The new president will come into office in a world that is very angry at the United States. I can’t remember, in my lifetime, a time when the world was more hostile to the country”.
All in all, if you are a person interested as I am and keep searching for the truth; you will find this book informative, particularly as they recall decisions made during their tenure.
Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
July 9, 2009