Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity

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No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why Have a Huge Health Care Reform Bill?

Recently, I read about a novel idea. Instead of taking on health care in one huge bill which no one could possibly understand and runs to a couple of thousand pages...why not produce a se series of bills that take on one small part of the problem as once? This way incremental reforms could be implemented that don't screw up the system in ways that will not just be difficult to repair, but the results of each action could be far easier to measure.

The first bill could end the health insurance industry's anti-trust protection, as well as eliminating the barriers that keep the 1300+ health insurance companies from competing across state lines. For instance, the state of California only permits 6 companies to operate within the state. By eliminating the barriers that forbid that would bring down premiums naturally as the companies compete for customers.

The next bill could initiate Tort reform. Most of the tort lawyers are parasites, and oddly enough, like John Edwards many are Democrats and contribute heavily to the Democratic party. Limit damages to actual loss, and only with gross negligence. Loser pays the winner's legal bills. A large reason why health care costs so much is that doctors order unnecessary tests in order to "cover their asses" from law suits. While doctors do make mistakes, many are quite conscientious about their profession and don't desire to kill their patients...after all that's bad for business.

Another bill could sever the link that has developed since the labour shortages of World War 2, when factories who were short of workers, and weren't permitted to pay more due to wage freezes, began to offer "free health care" to their employees. In the same bill, reauthorize health care cooperatives (insurance exchanges). The moment you do this, people go out and join co-ops and get great rates.

Still another bill could mandate that pharmaceutical companies must sell their wares to other countries at the same rate as they charge here. This would end the American de facto subsidy of the rest of the world's pharmacies.

It would then be possible to actually take on some the problems with Medicare. The amount of fraud is stupendous. Today's Medicare costs run upwards of $400,000,000,000.00. Under the present system, it's estimated that somewhere between 10 and 20% is lost in waste and fraud. That's more than the GDP' s of a number of countries! Decree that those now under the age of 50 will no longer be eligible for benefits upon early retirement. Move the retirement age back a couple years, since people are living far longer (I would move the age to 70, unless health reasons interfere, as a minimum for eligibility for Medicare). Prosecute all the fraudulent disability claims vigorously.

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