Monday, October 13, 2008

"Rah Rahs" Must Translate into Pulling The Lever or Pressing The Button on Election Day

We must make sure that all of the vocal support and excitement translates into people actually pulling the lever or pressing the button for Senator Obama. Unfortunately, we must keep it real and acknowledge that the fact that Senator Obama is an African American is a factor in this political campaign. I am speaking specifically of our European brothers and sisters who may on one level show outward and loud verbal support for Senator Obama and then when the rubber meets the road and it is time to actually cast the vote, they won't be able to bring themselves to actually vote for a black man. In other words, the reality and magnitude of what is happening kicks in.

I was watching Ted Koppel being interviewed by Charlie Rose and was happy to hear him bring up this same point. It could be the unseen surprise factor that could cause Senator Obama to lose the race even though on the surface it appears he is winning. I write this to bring this issue to the attention of Obama-Biden supporters around the country. We must do everything we can to ensure the authenticity of our supporters. Let's make sure we keep instilling in them that the lever or button being pressed or pulled for Senators Obama and Biden is what counts. Ted Koppel cited how Tom Bradley appeared to have had a large lead in his race for Governor of California and still not receive the necessary number of votes to win. Let's all be sure that does not happen to Senator Obama and Senator Biden.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Profits Over People

Senator John McCain says he will reform the tax code to offer more choices beyond employer-based health insurance coverage. Under Senator McCain's plan the option of employer-based coverage will remain and every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit - effectively cash - of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance. His plan will allow families to be able to choose the insurance provider that suits them best and the money would be sent directly to the insurance provider. Those obtaining innovative insurance that costs less than the credit can deposit the remainder in expanded Health Savings Accounts.

Senator Obama says he has a three part plan to build upon the strengths of the U.S. health care system, including innovative state efforts, and address its glaring weaknesses, such as affordability. Through partnerships among federal and state governments, employers, providers and individuals, Senator Obama believes his plan will save a typical American family up to $2,500 every year on medical expenditures by:

(1) Providing affordable, comprehensive and portable health coverage for every
(2) Modernizing the U.S. health care system to contain spiraling health care costs and
improve the quality of patient care
(3) Promoting prevention and strengthening public health, to prevent disease and
protect against natural and man-made disasters.

Senator Obama believes his plan will guarantee coverage for every American through partnerships among employers, private health plans, the federal government, and the states.

I provide an overview of both presidential candidate's health care plans to give us another possible alternative to critically think about (I am fully aware of that this question would require us to be in Utopia). What would happen if the entire medical industry had to roll back their pricing? (This question does not only apply to the medical industry by the way).

According to Senator Obama, health insurance premiums have risen 4 times
faster than wages in the past 6 years, and increasing co-pays and deductibles threaten
access to care. Many insurance plans cover only a limited number of doctors’ visits or
hospital days, exposing families to unlimited financial liability. Nearly 11 million
insured spent more than a quarter of their salary on health care last year. And over half
of all personal bankruptcies today are caused by medical bills. He goes on to report that one-quarter of all medical spending goes to administrative and overhead costs and reliance on antiquated paper based record and information systems needlessly increases these costs.

Isn't amazing how wages/salaries pretty much have flat lined while EVERYTHING ELSE has risen? Which brings me to my topic today. This culture of profit over people is what has gotten us into this economic mess that we are experiencing. Earlier this year, Exxon Mobil made history by reporting the highest quarterly and annual profits ever for a U.S. company. Similar to the health care industry, people are forced to choose between a necessity and a necessity. We have moved beyond choosing between a "want" and a "need," to having to choose between a "need" and a "need. Profit over people. Long story short; People are quickly finding themselves unable to keep these industries afloat. In another report earlier this year, New Yorkers unable to cope with rising prices are falling behind on their utility bills, and a rising number are seeing their service shut off. This is not an exclusive issue to New York.

Someone please explain the math to this critical thinker. How can wages flat line while EVERYTHING ELSE increases? For a real interesting look at one possible reason that the cost of pharmaceuticals are so expensive, I recommend reading the book OUR DAILY MEDS by Melody Peterson.

Shall we talk about pork programs in government? Even in the recent bailout; an additional 150 Billion dollars in pork.!!!! Nah... We'll save that for a future submission.

Maybe the situation that we are in economically is God having His version of a Boston Tea Party. Something to critically think about.