Sunday, February 28, 2010

Health Care Summit Fiasco

What was the real reason behind the Progressive's televised Health Care Summit? If you even watched just the first hour (all I could stomach) you realized it was not a "Summit". Was it a photo-op? Maybe, but I think that it was all part of the "Smoke & Mirrors" distraction of Obama the Magician's show. Why, well first there was and still is no acknowledgement from the Progressives that the GOP was left out of the whole Health Care Legislation crafting within both the House and Senate. All I hear is how the GOP only wants to include their ideas and scrap all of Obama's because they insist on stating anew, as the majority of Americans wish. Just more propaganda from the left.

Let's state the facts...Until Brown won AND was sworn in as the 41st GOP member in the Senate, the GOP might as well have not existed as far as the Obama Administration was concerned (Except of course as a well-worn whipping boy). The GOP could not have successfully filibustered any Legislation because they did not have the required votes without a Democratic defector. The House and the Senate Democrats could not even agree on the same items and if Obama just wanted the Senate bill to go through because he truly believed it was needed by the American people he would have used the Reconciliation process at that point and not threaten to use it now. But that would prove to the People that the Democrats themselves were spilt between the Progressive party members and others.

So, we had this Dog and Pony show where the GOP did not even get as much time to speak as the President alone and where there were lies spewed by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, The President and others about only the GOP holding up the progress on this issue. Don't fall for the lies any more. Remember, the Progressive motto is "You are too dumb to know what is good for you and that the ends justifies the means". If this law is passed I for one will not obey it because it is unconstitutional in the first place and against the wishes of the American people in the second.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When is someone going to stand up

I am waiting for just one politician to find their spine by standing up and asking, "Why do we need a huge, pork & earmarked bill for health care reform?" Wouldn't reform be easier and quicker to pass if Health Care reform legislation consisted of multiple, small bills devoid of earmarks (why would any be needed in National Health Care reform?). For that matter, why would you need a bill to remove waste and fraud from Medicaid/Medicare? Just do it.

I personally believe that three ideas would go a long way to reform health care and then this administration can put the damn thing to bed and start working on the issues that really require their attention...our Economy, along with Iran and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

First, we need to allow Interstate Health Insurance and remove the Intrastate monopoly. This would stimulate competition and help lower every one's costs. Since Interstate commerce is one item the Federal Government is supposed to regulate this item is a No-Brainer. It may also help relax some requirements (preexisting conditions and coverage not wanted or needed) that are harmful. This would require no earmarks because it should require no money allocations. Everything is already in place. An added benefit is that we can easily see how Congress votes on this issue and it would not be influenced by other issues.

Second, we need to also allow Insurance portability. By that I mean allow the insurance a person signs up for at work stays with them even if they do not get another job. again, since the first item is in place, insurance companies would want more business and offer better deals to individuals whether they are self-employed, working for a large or small business or not working at all. Portability should also be almost cost free and should be overseen by the first reform, Interstate Insurance availability.

Thirdly, we need to establish tort reforms. This is the murkiest suggestion as far as being Constitutional is involved, but don't let the Progressive and other Big Government proponents fool you about this would not save on medical costs. The huge insurance premiums that doctor's have to pay need to be recouped and are passed along to their patients. This extreme cost has driven some doctor's out of medicine and has caused many perspective doctor's to ignore medical school altogether. Especially when you look at the lower pay that Medicaid and Medicare doctor's are paid. Of course is hikes up doctor's bills because many bills are inflated due to the known reduction that Medicare and Medicaid will pay. I am not talking about caps on actual damages but on, what I believe are called, Punitive damages or payment for pain and suffering. Along with the other reforms, this change should help cut out some Bill Padding (which will help reduce waste in the Medicare/Medicaid systems).

Of course, these changes might require a beefing up of the Interstate Commerce Commission employees but that cost is much better then the money being bandied about now for Health Care Reform. Like Glenn Beck asks "Where has common sense gone?"

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Experience with Unions

My father was a Union Painting contractor for whom I worked until I married and moved away from home. I worked for over 16 years at General Tire & Rubber Company, which ran a Union Factory in "The Rubber Capital of the World" Akron , Ohio. I received "How to deal with Unions"course as part of management training for a Semi-conductor manufacturer in Silicon Valley. This basically taught that you could report "Suspicious" Union Activity but not impede any Organizing Attempts. I only actually belonged to a Union (The OCSEA AFSCME Local 0011) when I worked for the State of Ohio later in 2003.

I'd like to address my latest experience first. I normally would not even consider the need for a Union as a Computer Programmer, but I was told that the political aspects of working for the State Government made it imperative to one's continued employment to Unionize the working force. Of course, membership was not mandatory but I joined anyway because they were going to deduct Union Dues from my pay whether or not I joined. They said the "Only" difference between a Union & Non-union member of CIS was voting privileges and if I had to pay I wanted to be able to vote. This, above all, proved to me how insidious Unions have become. They are not "Bad" because of their members but because of their power Hungry Leadership, even when their existence is justified.

During my training class in California about Unions, I learned that although a company cannot fire you for participating in a Union Strike, they can permanently "Replace" you. You are not fired but you are out of a job and will be even after the strike ends as long as your replacement does not terminate. Of course, if termination does occur, then you must be rehired but only IF that position is to be re-filled. Also, although Unions do provide strike funds (from your dues) they also must pay all Non-Production Union officials their salaries so the funds do run out very quickly if a strike lasts very long. In that case you must still respect the Picket Line or be fined a great sum of money (I forgot how much but it was steep).

While working for General Tire I discovered how inflexible Unions could be and actually how damaging to a company as well. An example is the way the Factory Workers were paid...In cash envelopes (that were a real pain in the rear to print I might add). These were stuffed by staff in the Treasurer's office and then delivered on payday. Of course the overhead associated with this payment was outrageous, so General Tire continually asked the Unions to accept checks, like Salaried workers, instead. When I started working in 1968 a box of checks was in the Computer Center Forms room. When I left in 1984, the same box was still there even though the Company offered them 10 cents per hour more in wages and would have an Armoured Brinks Truck on site to cash checks so that the workers would not even have to stand in line at the company cashier's window for their money. The older union workers rejected all offers...they didn't like change. Of course now there is no General Tire factory in Akron anymore. In fact ALL the big four Tire factories in Akron have long ago closed and the "Rubber Capital of the World" no longer produces tires..with the possible exception of a few Goodyear experimental tires.

I will not discuss the work I did for my Dad because I don't have the time but both he and my Grandfather (his Dad) belonged to Unions for years. Since he was basically "The Company", being a small business partnership, he knew all of the payment terms. In 1962 he paid Unions Workers $5.25 an hour...Unless they were using a paint roller...then it was $5.35...or if they used a spray gun, then it was $5.50...or if they were doing any specialized work, like Wall-Paper Hanging or Gold-Leaf work...which cost even more. He had to be a math expert just to be in business and could only make money on a job if he worked...Especially at the more expensive work. However, he usually did the dirty work, with my help, like painting the outside of homes in Miami, Florida during the Summer or painting the ceiling over the ovens in Holsum's bakery and the acetate basement floor in the Kodak building, both also in Miami during the Summer, but I digress.

Therefore, due to the issues I encountered in my working career with Unions and due to the restrictions placed upon employers concerning Union Organizing, I appose today's Unions (as well as their Slush fund for Mobster activities) and really object to the "Card Check" euphemism for discarding our American values and our right to a secret ballot. This president has been following the Union's agenda and the SEIU's goal of Global Unionization and control. Remember their president's, Andy Stern, quote: "...we will use the power of persuasion and if that doesn't work, the persuasion of power..." Sounds like a typical strong armed goon tactic doesn't it?