Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

WHAT SHOULD REPLACE OBAMACARE?

With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) the question arises what to replace it with. Democrats constantly accuse Republicans of having no plan, but Republicans in Congress and conservative think tanks have proposed numerous common sense approaches to health care reform.

Before Obamacare, the laws and regulations that govern the healthcare industry, like state and federal tax codes, were a complex patchwork of legislation and decisions stacked one on another after decades of special interest lobbying, partisan political wrangling, and honest attempts to correct real problems. Both Democrats and Republicans in the United States Congress and state legislatures are responsible for the current situation.

Obamacare only made the problem of health care in the United States much worse with a 2,700 page law that no one who voted on it read before Congress passed it. Even Justice Anthony Scalia said it would be a violation of the Eighth Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) to be forced to read it.

So what can Congress do to replace Obamacare?

Republicans have put forth numerous serious proposals. None of them get any traction because Democrats control all Senate and the White House.

If a Republican wins the presidential election in November, however, here’s what they can pass to truly reform health care and make it more efficient and affordable for all.

Allow people to buy healthcare insurance across state lines. Currently, employers and employees must choose from a limited number of healthcare insurance plans offered on a state-by-state basis that include coverage for benefits most Americans will never need that drive up policy prices. If people could choose coverage that satisfies their families specific needs from the approximately 1400 plans available nationwide, interstate competition would drive the cost of all healthcare insurance down.

Tort reform. Frivolous malpractice law suits and excessive damage awards by juries force doctors to order unnecessary and duplicative tests and drive up the cost of malpractice insurance. Comprehensive tort reform legislation would contribute greatly to reducing healthcare costs. Trial lawyers are major contributors to the Democratic Party and are the principal obstacle to tort reform.

Low-cost catastrophic coverage. There was a time in the United States when healthcare insurance was called “major medical.” It covered hospitalization and prolonged illness. Millions of young, healthy Americans choose not to buy health insurance because they can’t afford it and don’t believe they need it. Offering them low-cost catastrophic coverage and incentives to buy it, either through their employer or on the open market, would greatly decrease the number of uninsured in this category.

Pre-existing conditions. Forcing insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions without waiting periods in a non-universal-healthcare environment has its challenges; but they’re not insurmountable. As with auto insurance, government can require healthcare insurance companies to share the risk for people in this category.

Subsidies for the truly needy. A principle of American democracy that the overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans agree on is that there must be a safety net for those people not capable taking care of themselves. Federal and state governments should provide subsidies and tax credits for those people to buy private health insurance. There has always been a tug of war over where government should draw the line in defining the truly needy, but this also isn’t difficult.

Filed under: Healthcare

DON’T CONFLATE THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD WITH THE EGYPTIAN ARMED FORCES

Critics of President Obama are condemning his administration’s decision to waive legislative restrictions related to Egypt’s democratic transition and allow Egypt’s annual Congressional appropriation of $1.3 billion in military assistance to go forward. There is much about the Obama administration’s Middle East policy to criticize; but in this case it made the right decision. (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE HUNGER GAMES

I saw The Hunger Games at 9:50 AM, Friday, March 23, having only made it halfway through the novel before seeing the movie. I have to agree with the positive reviews that it’s an excellent movie. Jennifer Lawrence is exceptional as Katniss Everdene; and unless you’ve seen her great performance in Winter’s Bone, it’s difficult to reconcile her coal-miner’s daughter appearence in the movie with her sexy-woman look in X-Men: First Class; but that’s the magic of Hollywood.

I agree with the reviewer who wrote that his only complaints were that the movie wasn’t long enough and that it couldn’t be told in the first person like the book. I would add to that, Hollywood too often these days gives in to eye-popping computer-generated imagery effects at the cost of story, climatic tension, and buildup. The Hunger Games has it all without overdoing the CGI.

Of course, not everyone will like The Hunger Games. I still speak with people who have never read a Harry Potter book or watched a Harry Potter movie–their loss.

The Hunger Games is different from Harry potter, although both series have plenty of violence. The violence in Hunger Games, while toned down from the book to obtain a PG-13 rating, is still more realistic and true to life. A sword, spear, or arrow inflicts a much different wound than a magic wand.

What he Harry Potter and Katniss Everdine series have in common is that they speak to fundamental human emotions and values–fear, love, loyalty, hope, and the resiliance of the human spirit. That’s why both are blockbusters. Contrary to Hollywood’s operating principles, the American moviegoer wants more than entertainment and special effects. They want to be moved and inspired.

The Hunger Games should appeal to both conservatives and liberals. Conservatives will find the anti big-brother government theme appealing; both liberals and conservatives should like the strong female protagonist. If anyone is contemplating a “war on women” they should consider that there are a lot of Katniss Everdene’s in real-life America. You don’t  want to mess with them.

I never figured out what was appealing about damsels in distress. We’er all a lot better off with women that can take care of themselves and us when the need arises. If The Hunger Games inspires more young American women to be like Katniss, the country will be a lot better off.

I give the movie four and a half stars out of five. I highly recommend it. Everyone now has time to  read all three books in the series (Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) before the second movie comes out in about a year or so.

I believe you get a lot more out of the movies when you read the books first. It allows your mind to fill in what the movies necessarily leave out. I read Gen. Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur as a child before I saw the 1959 version of the Movie with Charlton Heston. The dozens of times I have watched that move since in 55 years, I can still fill the rich story about Ben Hur’s experiences in Rome and his other romance that the movie left out.

Filed under: Books, Movies-TV, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

AFGHANISTAN: THE BUCK STOPS WITH THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF

The American generals that now command and have commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan are among the best warfighters in U.S. history. The U.S. troops under their command are the most skilled, battle-hardened warriors America has ever put in the field. So what went wrong in Afghanistan that’s making victory so elusive if not impossible?

The answer to that question is not the violent reaction to Quran burnings or the massacre of Afghani civilians by a U.S. soldier. Neither is it that “Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires,” “it’s a tribal society immune to a strong central government”, “the real problem is in Pakistan,” or “the government of President Hamid Karzai is corrupt.” All are facts, but they are not the principal reasons the NATO effort in Afghanistan, despite success on and off the battlefield, is floundering. (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CONSERVATIVES VS. PROGRESSIVES 2012

As conservatives prepare to do battle with President Barack Obama and progressives in the 2012 election campaign, do conservatives really know what they are up against, or are they setting themselves up for another defeat?

Judging from the way the battle is shaping up so far, despite the lessons learned from Barack Obama’s defeat of John McCain in the 2008 election and three years of the progressive army at work, you have to question if the Republican candidates for president and the conservative cognoscenti yet really know their “enemy.”  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE FREE CONTRACEPTION STALKING HORSE

On Mar 1, in her testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made it clear why the Obama administration is pushing free contraception for women and seeks also to curtail religious freedom and force certain Catholic institutions to provide free contraception against their religious doctrine.

She said; “The reduction in a number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception.” To which Tim Murphy (R-PA) responded, “So you’re saying by not having babies born, we’re going to save money on healthcare?”—a remark Ms. Sebelius did not take issue with.

Free contraception, of course, isn’t the only way to prevent the birth of more babies; the next step is free abortions.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ANDREW BREITBART RIP

I didn’t personally know Andrew Breitbart, although I did have the honor of speaking with him at CPAC 2010. He was an inspiration to conservative bloggers like me. My impression of him when I met him was that he was a down-to-earth guy who  believed deeply in the conservative cause and taking on the deceit and propoganda of the far left. As others have said about him he was fearless. I’m not surpised at the hateful things those who hated and feared him are saying about him after is death. But as Andrew Breitbart himself said, when they are calling you names, they are loosing the argument. His legacy will live on in the many who will follow in his footsteps and take up the conservative cause. It is the measure of the man that so many who knew and admired him are speaking up for him at this sad time. Prayers and condolences to his family and friends.

Filed under: Politics, , , , , ,

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