Election Woes

Confusing Voters

We are 18 days out from the 2018 midterm election with Democrats and Republicans locked in a desperate struggle to control the Legislative branch of our Federal government. Things start to get very confusing for voters right about now. The Democrats might be turning into Socialists. The Republicans are now claiming that they are the protectors of health care in America, although they voted at least 60 times to overturn the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). We are apparently thick as thieves with Saudi Arabia right now and may be inclined to ignore the assassination of journalists by other dictatorships or “illiberal democracies” if we have advantageous economic arrangements with these nations. Apparently sword dances are also very helpful in this regard. Voter suppression is rampant because Democrats encourage voter fraud (what?). Democrats are a violent mob paid to resist by a Jewish billionaire (George Soros). And thousands of immigrants are on the way to violate our southern border and create mayhem. If all of this is true I say how could 45 allow our nation to get in such bad shape?

Health Care

Ask yourself, who is likely to offer Americans the best health care for the least amount of money, the Democrats or the Republicans? Well, first there is the evidence available for all voters to see in the various health plans that have been offered during the Obama administration and the Trump administration. Obama’s plan was demonized by Republicans for allowing “death panels” to decide who lives and who die (which never came to pass), and was declared unconstitutional by courts that skew to the right because of the individual mandate (you cannot force Americans to buy something or pay a penalty for not buying it even if it would accomplish a larger goal of bringing down the cost of health care for everyone). The Republicans ripped all the teeth out of the ACA and backed the private health insurers (so unfair to billionaires, who are considered sacred even if they are making enormous profits from people’s pain, because they provide jobs and have generous lobbyists). Red states proved their bona fides to the party by refusing the Medicaid expansion, making their poorest citizens do without to keep a greedy party in power. And yet the ACA still worked pretty well and it has provided health care for millions of Americans who never had it.

We also saw what was on offer from Republicans in the Better Care plan which was in no way better than the ACA, and would cause millions to lose coverage. The “skinny repeal” was not their finest hour either. Republicans know insurance companies do not want to cover preexisting condition without being paid big bucks (and who will pay those big bucks, government or individuals). Since all Republicans really care about is the bottom line and backing corporations/businesses, they are trying to help out the insurance companies, not the American people. We have also been learning that almost anything can be classified as a preexisting condition. And yet I hear Republicans telling voters in commercial after commercial that it is Democrats who plan to take away coverage of preexisting conditions and, incidentally, also end Medicare.

Democrats Will End Medicare (what?)

Their claim is based on a cynical argument about linguistics, I guess. They argue that if everyone has “single-payer” health insurance then seniors will lose their Medicare and coverage for preexisting conditions will prove either skimpy or outrageously expensive. Of course if we call “single-payer” Medicare-for-all their argument falls apart. Republicans think that Americans will accept a “catastrophic coverage fund” that people contribute to separately from their health care plan. That will mean that health care only covers people who are healthy. People who are sick will be covered by the catastrophic plan if there is enough money in it. I am guessing that limits will be set on how much help people can expect from this catastrophic plan and then they will be on the hook for the balance, which still may be enough to wipe out their personal finances.

Why Democrats Should Have the Con in 2018 (and beyond)

Does your head hurt? Mine does. But I am not fooled by Republican obfuscation ( in plain language; lies, truth twisting). I know that in the matter of health care the Democrats need to have the con. I don’t care if Republicans keep referring to the idea of single-payer health care as socialism. A label will not kill you; inadequate health care, or health care that excludes because it is too expensive will put many people’s lives or lifestyles at risk. Republicans do not like the government to contribute to any programs that benefit citizens. They truly believe this is not the province of government. However, as world populations increase and climate change (which is real) affects things like food supplies and clean water and rising rates of disease, the government (our taxes) may need to contribute more to our comfort and protection rather than less.

Republicans are Bipartisan (what?)

As for the nonsense in some ads that claims our Republican representatives in Congress are bipartisan it is all I can do not to throw something weighty at my TV. There are many people in America and in my community who believe that these claims are accurate. If you followed the votes on Countable or listened to any news channel other than Fox or the local channels now owned by Sinclair then you know the facts. Once in a while, when Republicans had enough votes to pass legislation without requiring everyone to vote yes they excused some congress people in contested districts to allow them to vote no so they could later claim to be bipartisan. But voting with Trump 90% of the time is hardly a valid claim to bipartisanship. In this case this is just lying. Aren’t we sick of such blatant lying? Is bald-faced lying more honest than less-obvious lying? Can lying come out of a President’s mouth and be classified as “just a game”?

Which Party Actually Serves We the People?

Democrats may not be able to deliver on their promise of “single-payer” health care right away, or family leave, or guaranteed employment programs that cover people when jobs are scarce, but they will govern in such a way as to begin to move our federal government in directions that offer more to we the people and that stop pandering to the wealthiest among us. I really have nothing against wealth but I have a real problem with stacking the deck, with the rich legislating in favor of the rich, and with hoarding. Do people not hear the vastly overconfident Mitch McConnell daring to talk about cutting Medicare and Social Security right before an important midterm election? Doesn’t it get you riled up enough to vote this old man right out of his position at the head of the majority in the Senate. Vote in a new majority, get a new majority leader and end the drumbeat against programs we pay for.

Don’t let these ads confuse you. Vote anyway. Vote wisely.

Graphic: From a Google Image Search, Phys.org

The Supreme Court Horror Flick

The day’s events have made many of us disconsolate and distraught all the way back to when Trump won the 2016 election, but for some reason the retirement of Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court tipped the scales towards grief, and a resignation to the reality of these destructive events. Until that point it seemed as if the damage could be easily undone if political attitudes shifted to the center, left, or even further left. Having a court that leans hard right for decades means that right wing extremists will continue to have a decisive edge far into the future. It means that we the people have a lot to lose.

Roe v Wade

Everyone talks as if losing Roe v Wade, losing the right for women to control their own bodies is the only thing we stand to lose. And it is a big loss. Many have no memory of pre-Roe truths in women’s lives. Younger people have always had contraception. Abortion has always been an option. Without control of their own reproductive rights women’s lives will either cycle backwards into more archaic patterns or women may choose to rebel and practice sexual abstinence, at least in situations where pregnancy might result. This would all be life-changing for women and for men too.

Health Care

However Roe v Wade is not the only staple of modern American life that could be curtailed or overturned. Health care is being pared away by this administration. They are joyful at the prospect of ending coverage for people with preexisting conditions and replacing lifetime caps for coverage. They can make these changes without the court, but there will be no Supreme Court to rein them in. As state after state offers health care plans that are just grabs for consumer dollars, plans that offer no protection in the event that the insured actually gets sick, cases that go to the Supremes will uphold the insurance companies right to giant profits over the needs of ailing people every time.


There will still be Federal district courts and there are still liberals on those courts. They have been very helpful in stopping the most inhumane practices of an administration intent on racial cleansing through closing America off to asylum seekers. We are told that every one of these people seeking refugee status is telling a “fake” story and that they do not deserve our compassion. These people may actually be gang members coming to kill you in your beds, coming to rape your daughters. Fearmongering.

But, taking children away from parents is just a bridge too far. None of us signed on for this. The entire world, except for a few interested dictators, is aghast. Not saving data that would allow these children to be reunited with their parents is unimaginable. We knew mass deportation would feel Nazi-esque, but we were Trumped. He owns the levers of governance. This feels like we may be worse than that Hitler crew because we swore we would never, ever repeat those atrocities and yet we are well on our way. With a Supreme Court that is partisan and loyal to the President rather than the Constitution we could well uphold even worse behavior.


Some people, Trump’s people don’t seem concerned about these things. They seem to be happy with the idea of “white” America. However, mostly they seem to think that Trump is some kind of economic genius. They love the tax cuts. Why? They believe in the tariffs. Most economists are very worried about a trade war and think the tariffs will work against American business and trade. Trump and the GOP believe that there should be few to no regulations on businesses and corporations so they are throwing out decades of rules that helped end the worst practices of Capitalism. Unfettered Capitalism can be as brutal as it wishes. Trumpers love to see Trump dishing out restraints against China. But studies prove that endeavors that include only “yes” men (and this includes a one-sided Supreme Court) usually fail. Dissent is essential to the health of a business and, even more so, of a government.

Pollution and Climate Change

Donald Trump just made asbestos legal again. Since when did American laws respond to the whims of one, possibly nutty, man. He says that if we had used asbestos in building the World Trade Center those buildings would still be standing. And what he doesn’t say, because he doesn’t care, is that the workers would all be dead or dying of mesothelioma. He loves coal but people’s lungs don’t. He has a picture in his head of times when smoke was pouring into American skies and industry was booming along. All that matters to Trump and his people is money. There is a lot more to a society that functions well for all than just money. If people lose all their safety, their health, and their rights what will be left to make life worthwhile? The whole world of trade will just be one big company store. If the Supreme Court cannot rule against the administration when concerns are placed before it, or when the Court refuses to take cases so it will not have to buck the system, then there is no democracy, there is only the illusion of democracy.

Mueller Investigation

Perhaps we place too much hope in the possibility that Mr. Mueller will eventually reveal how corrupt our President truly is, perhaps even proving that he has dabbled in treason in order to “win”. But our concerns that the Supreme Court could take the sting out of this investigation in any number of ways adds to the difficulty of getting to the bottom of Russian meddling in American politics, of whether that meddling affected the outcome of the election, and whether or not Donald Trump played a role in the Russian behaviors in 2016. We are not really convinced by assurances that this will not happen from the current nominee

Foreign Affairs

For the most part I don’t think the Supreme Court rules on our role on the foreign stage. I don’t think they can insist that we stay in NATO or on the committees in the UN that we have recently resigned from (having to do with human rights) because that is a duty of Congress. But once again the dissent that exists in Congress is powerless right now to place restraints on a leader intent on running roughshod over our friends and allies and cozying up to authoritarians. It was demoralizing and embarrassing to watch our President’s behavior in Europe and in the UK this week. (He liked it better when they called it England – smack your head.)

As I prepare to watch America’s future unfold with this party and this President in control and swollen with the power of it all, I believe I will have to do it the way I watch a horror flick. I will have to place my hands over my eyes and peak out through my fingers every so often.

I Trust Obama More Than I Trust Insurance Companies

What insurance companies have done since “Obamacare”
registration went live, using loopholes in the law to cancel or raise prices on
insurance policies people liked, has most likely been done deliberately to
cause chaos and hopefully make the ACA look like a bad law. I am guessing lots
of strategy meetings happened in health insurance circles to discuss how the
industry could continue to maximize profits under the ACA and how they could
make sure that the President’s promises (which admittedly he probably never
should have made in the first place) were broken. I’m also surmising that this
could have been devised as a campaign to undermine the law and put private
insurers back in the driver’s seat. In fact, given the collusion among health
care insurance providers in the old insurance market, colluding to deal with
this new threat to profits seems more than likely.

We must steel our hearts and minds to resist these attempts
to put health care back in the private sector. I know we are sort of fickle
these days, with rather short attention spans, but surely we remember the way
benefits under private insurers had been getting narrower and narrower with
risk management winning out over good coverage. If insurance companies truly
cannot cover patients with pre-existing conditions because they cannot make a
profit, then we will get a chance to see this more clearly under the ACA. We
may have to come up with a fund for catastrophic health care which we all pay
into in the same way we pay into Social Security or Medicare. We just cannot go
back to totally private health insurance again.

The bottom line in any privately owned company always has to
be the profit margin, not the people the company serves. We know this by now
and we know it well. How many companies have left our communities because they
had to please stockholders and pay attention to profits? We aren’t happy about
it but we are good little Capitalists and we understand it. We even believe
that Capitalism presents the best environment for entrepreneurs and for
competition and for overall economic health.

However, in the case of private health insurance the spiral
of coverage went consistently downward and the prices spiraled consistently
upward. Health care should not be a for-profit business in the same way that
other businesses which sell products or services are. We need to hang in there
for a while with the ACA because the advantages, if we can get this thing to
fly, outweigh the disadvantages under the health care insurance marketplace
that existed previously. As for the newest demands to delay the ACA for six
months, we just cannot take that chance. Given the extreme opposition from the
GOP and knowing that they will somehow turn a delay into the demise of the ACA,
we have to try to fix the website while it is live.

I’m not absolutely sure who is to blame for the fact that
people who did not want new insurance and who wanted to keep their doctors are
finding that they must get a new policy or pay more for their old policy and that
they may not be able to keep their doctor, but if I had to choose among the
blameworthy, however, I would cast my suspicious eye on the private health
insurers. I find it hard to believe that Obama wants to derail his own plan,
and I find it hard to believe that he would lie quite so loudly and often to
the American people when it is clear that such public lying always rebounds
against the liar. I am guessing that Obama believed he was saying something
that was true. Actually now, although no one ever likes to be told lies, it
doesn’t really matter whether he lied or not; it is beside the point and the
only person who really knows the answer is Obama. But, because the ACA looks
like a step forward in terms of affordable and comprehensive health insurance
that will provide almost all Americans with the medical care that allows us to
stay healthy and solvent as medical costs rise and rise we have to stay with it
and hope that it either works or that we get Universal Health Care if it
doesn’t. It would seem to be in the interests of the private health insurers to
help the President with the roll-out of the ACA because most of us are
convinced that going back to all private coverage is not the answer.



Circle, Circle, Dot, Dot

Now you have your Cootie Shot
Guess who the cooties are?

US – The American People


If Republicans manage to shut down the
Affordable Care Act, then all many Americans will be eligible for is guess what?


A Cootie Shot!
Yesterday I reached a milestone. My blog has now passed the 100,000 visitor mark. Thank you to all who have visited my blog.



What will the Supreme Court decide about The Affordable Health Care Act? This is the week that the court will deliberate, hear evidence, etc about this issue which has been at the center of debates for the past two years. Will they decide that there are no really serious constitutional problems with the health care mandate or will they declare it unconstitutional?
The mandate is only part of the Health Care Act but it is a very key part. Making sure people who were using expensive emergency room treatment because they had no health care provider will be covered by health insurance so their care will not be as huge a burden for taxpayers, was the raison d’etre for the entire plan. Will there be enough value left in the plan without the mandate?
How much does the Conservative agenda inform the Supreme Court? Here is the breakdown

Conservative        John Roberts              G. W. Bush Appt.           Chief Justice
Conservative        Antonin Scalia             Ronald Reagan
Cons/Swing          Anthony Kennedy        Ronald Reagan
Conservative        Clarence Thomas         George HW Bush  
Liberal                   Ruth Bader Ginsburg   Bill Clinton
Liberal                   Stephen Breyer             Bill Clinton
Conservative        Samuel Alito                  George W. Bush
Liberal                    Sonia Sotomayor           Barack Obama
Liberal                   Elena Kagan                    Barack Obama    

There are 6 male justices and 3 female justices; there are 6 Roman Catholics justices and 3 Jewish justices. In light of these demographics it will be interesting to see the results. The Court is not dominated by Conservatives in the way it is dominated by Roman Catholics but as “court followers” try to decide which way each justice will decide there are certain justices who seem to be unpredictable and none are perfectly predictable. Justice Kagan has recused herself from most decisions since she was confirmed because her questioners were worried that she had dealt with some of these cases outside of the Supreme Court or some such conflict-of-interest concern. It sounds like we will remain in suspense until the opinions are handed down in June.
I have butterflies in my stomach; how crazy is that? Whatever decision is made life will go on. Will the Obama presidency go on? I don’t know and it does mean a lot to me to reelect Obama so he can save us from the extreme revisions the GOP wishes to impose on America. I don’t think most of us will fare at all well if the Supreme Court decides against the mandate and therefore against Obama and the dominoes start to fall like those well-planned displays, until America belongs to the wealthy and the rest of us are left to shift for ourselves in the muck at the bottom of the empty pond.

How Will Democrats Save Medicare?

Paul Ryan, our very serious Republican extremist (who is looking a little less possessed and edgy these days) has designed a budget which includes all the usual GOP requirements – no tax increases (in fact it suggests only two tax brackets, 10% and 25%) and it cuts the corporate tax from 35% to 25%. It also includes unspecified changes to unspecified loopholes. Mr. Ryan would restore all the monies that Obama cut from the military and would put the military back in the active mode that is it currently expected to stand down from. He would change Medicare completely and give it to a private entity to manage. He would subsidize our payments to this insurance conglomerate (with our own money) and, if I remember correctly there would be an oversight group.
This plan is not new. It includes all the delights the Republicans have been promising us. Unfortunately this budget makes us feel like this is Paul Ryan’s government instead of the people’s government. Fortunately we are assured it should not pass in the Senate.
Of course, I don’t favor this budget and I am crossing my fingers that it absolutely will fail in the Senate. However, it does bring up the constant worry we all have about Medicare. Everyone tells us that Medicare cannot continue forever as it is. I often think that I would like to see a version of Medicare for all of us. Right now, with such high levels of unemployment, putting everyone in the health insurance business and everyone who supports the health insurance business out of work is probably not a good move. Obama’s Affordable Health Care Plan was not really designed to save Medicare; it was designed to insure the uninsured. Perhaps the savings we get from this plan will be enough to rescue Medicare, but we’re not feeling it and I think we need to hear many more specifics about this from the Democrats. They need to reassure us by sharing how the “Affordable” plan will save Medicare or they need to come up with their next installment of a plan that will save Medicare. If they don’t speak up people might think the Republicans are the only ones who have any idea what to do, even if their plan will include forcing women to rediscover primitive ways to take care of their business.  You know what they say about “a bird in the hand”.  Where are the Democrats? This might be a good time to speak up.

Not Death Panels, Just the Bottom Line

Scientists are working every day to prolong life, and to solve the thorny health problems that can make living longer expensive and perhaps miserable. I am not sure why they are doing this given the amount of frustration older folks seem to engender in the rest of the population. Old people are not really revered in this culture. Although we may love our own elderly relatives, we usually do not appreciate those who are not related to us. Old people are slow, they are sometimes cranky, they can be stubborn, they – well you know we can always find many traits to complain about. Watching my mom try to justify her existence at the age of ninety-four is sometimes illuminating and often poignant. She does not do much housework these days, but her guilt about being so “lazy” is endless. She keeps asking, “Why am I here?” But when we visit with her she is still quite good company, and it is so nice that she gets to enjoy her great grandchildren, who are very sweet with her.
However, I find myself asking a question that my mom would understand. Why are scientists fighting so hard to prolong life if no one really wants to put up with old people anyway? Many of the meds and procedures that are used to prolong life are so expensive that when people want to take advantage of them they find that their finances may never recover from the costs, or the insurance company is unhappy or totally unwilling to cover these pricey procedures. Are these life-lengthening discoveries only intended for the very rich? Is this another way we will widen the divide between the rich and the poor? If the bottom line determines who gets exceptional care and who doesn’t, it will turn out to be one way to thin out the ranks of the poor, however unintentionally. Common sense tells us that performing lots of procedures helps perfect technique and bring down prices. And the more people who test experimental meds the more data we have about their effectiveness and the price will also come down. These factors argue in favor of using the poor as somewhat expensive guinea pigs, unintentionally of course.
We probably cannot expect insurance companies to cover these procedures if they remain as expensive as they are and if they are needed by so many people in order to make it into that privileged group who live past their 90’s. What we resent is that the decision seems to belong to the health insurance companies instead of being a medical strategy planned between a doctor and a patient. Can we really be pragmatic about something that is so personal and emotional? I am sure of one thing. We won’t stop trying to figure out how to prolong life.  We are the generation that was told to “live long and prosper” after all. We are human. Our curiosity about our universe is hard-wired into us. We can’t stop trying to figure things out; we apparently must keep tinkering to change things that feel like absolutes. We are doomed to open Pandora’s Box over and over again and then we must learn to deal with both the good things and the bad things that pour out of that box into the world. Every discovery is a double-edged sword and living longer is no exception.
Based on the rising costs of health care and of the technology required for effective contemporary diagnostic tests and medical procedures most likely we will have to decide who gets to opt for an expensive procedure and who doesn’t? In fact people are involved in decisions like this every day. This decision may gradually (or quickly) become strictly one of finances. If you can afford it, you can have it. The meds or the procedure will be a luxury only affordable by the rich.
The option of a carefully designed procedure for euthanizing those who choose not to pursue expensive, radical, and/or painful end-of-life options might help level the field assuming that the rich might need to partake of this choice as often as the poor. But there is that double-edged sword again. There are so many opportunities to abuse a system like this.

The Immortal Soul

Mary Margaret and I used to sit together on the school bus when we were in high school. We talked about many things, but, occasionally we talked about “being Catholic”, because Mary Margaret was very Catholic. I found Catholicism appealing. The Catholic Church was the nicest one in my small town, all dark wood, furniture wax, and stained glass. It had upholstered kneelers that reminded me of the jump seats in Dad’s dilapidated Packard because they could be tucked out of the way beneath the forward pew. The service, the very few times I attended, was mysterious, exotic, and full of religious theater. They had these small missals, so desirable to my overly romantic younger self, and white dresses and rosary. They spoke Latin. I was already half prepared to convert.
Mary Margaret tried to help convert me but her lessons in catechism had already taught her that even if I converted the best I could hope for was purgatory. You had to be born Catholic. I listened with something between awe and disbelief. I didn’t think for one minute that this was true, but if it was I thought it was a very poor way to win converts, so they must not need to win new members, and I was awed by the arrogance of it all. We spoke often of mortal vs. venial sins and of the things that could qualify someone to skip purgatory and go straight to the place with the name we weren’t supposed to say.
Now, here, at the beginning of the 21st century I find myself again considering the difference between a mortal and a venial sin. Actually, it is no longer me and Mary Margaret in this discussion. It is Obama and the Catholic Church and, you guessed it, The Republicans, who are suddenly champions of the Catholics.
Although most women in America of every religion have caved to the lure of birth control pills and other contraceptive devices, the Catholic Church still believes it is a sin to do anything that might end a pregnancy or even prevent one. Since they believe that murder is being committed I’m sure this is considered a mortal sin. So when the Catholic Church, even in a world with 7 billion people, and despite what we know about the sad outcomes of many unwanted pregnancies, puts the souls of Catholic women in mortal jeopardy by insisting that using contraceptives is a sin, they do it quite quietly, because otherwise Catholic women might be forced to leave the church in droves.
But Obama shook up the bishops last week when he insisted that they would have to offer health plans that would supply contraceptives to any of their non-Catholic employees. Since all other women are now eligible for contraception through their health insurance plans, it seems a reasonable and fair demand. The bishops were not amused. They are, after all, the defenders of the immortal souls of Catholics (and apparently of non-Catholics who work for any church-sponsored business) and all the rest of us too (even though we can only look forward to purgatory). I must assume that the immortal souls they are actually trying to protect are their own.
You won’t believe how quickly the world population will reach 9 billion “immortal” souls. I just don’t see how any women can be at all religious. Religions are not kind to women.

The 2011 Republican Budget

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Me...Image via WikipediaThe Republicans want to give Medicaid to the states and privatize Medicare. I’m trying to take an objective view of this because I really want to try to be open-minded. I realize these programs cost huge dollars and require a complex bureaucracy so I can see why the federal government would want to cut these programs in size. They would, according to the plan, give grant money to each state for Medicaid and they would give subsidies to seniors that they could use to help with paying for private health insurance. I can see that this all falls right in line with the Republicans’ endless dialogue about small government. From a purely financial point of view it is attractive.

If a government really was a business it would be an easy call. A government, however, is not a business. In the case of America the government belongs to the people. We give our money to our government and then we elect people to spend our money for our needs. Government is a social contract between our leaders and our people. These Republicans are talking about spending our money as if it were theirs. That is one problem I have with this.

Another problem I have with this is what we know about the nature of private health insurance. Health insurers only care about risk management and profit. They are in the people business but their bottom line matters most. We will be back to the bad old days of services denied for pre-existing conditions, of cheaper services and inferior plans for people with less money, of out-of-control pricing and assembly line service. We have been there before. The nature of the beast is well known to us and, without regulation, the beast will rise again.

If we don’t have a reliable safety net for poor Americans then we put everyone at a risk of epidemic level illnesses, not to mention the proliferation of people living with life threatening illnesses who will flood our world. If we don’t have a reliable safety net for older Americans then people have nothing to look forward to in their old age and we can expect the quality of life for seniors to decline. I do not want our government to leave us to the un-tender mercies of the carnivorous health insurance companies. Find another plan please.

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Should we pay fines for smoking or gaining weight?

Apparently there is an article in Time magazine about a discussion in Arizona to fine people $50 if they smoke a cigarette or gain weight. CNN was asking for people’s comments about this. A number of people seem in favor of this. I am stunned. This is so obviously the work of health insurance providers that it is starting to make me agree with the people who say we should get rid of all health insurance and go back to the old pay as you go system, even though I know we cannot go back there.

This potential law should scare people. It is so against the freedom that is America’s pride, and, it won’t work. Prohibition didn’t end drinking, it made it more titillating. Obama’s health care reform would require the person to have insurance and the person would have to pay a fine to opt out or pay a fine to remain in. I don’t know if I want to live in this America. I know that “they” will say, “then leave.” But I bet you won’t want to live in that America for very long either.

We all have weaknesses and we all make poor choices. Some people are bad parents. It costs us all money to help the children raised by bad parents overcome their difficulties. Maybe they need psychological treatment, or special classes, or tutors, or they end up in the criminal justice system. There are many outcomes and a number of these can be costly. Divorced people should pay fines because one partner or the other may need job training, or welfare, or other assistance. Again children may require expensive help in making adjustments.

People who do risky things like ski, climb, snow mobile, jetski, sky jump should be fined because their risky behavior may lead to expensive rescues or costly injuries. Athletes have more injuries than the rest of us. They should be fined.

It is ridiculous to have multiple fast food options available in every neighborhood and then to fine people who eat improperly and gain weight. Close the restaurants, mandate menus, weigh people before they go in the doors and turn them away if they are off the charts. I hope you are seeing that is this crazy and I hope you are thinking that we should not do this.
We cannot make health insurers happy. It is their business to minimize risk, but almost all human behavior is risky. We can’t up their profits without drastically limiting our freedom.

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