Do you like Sweet and Sour Shrimp?

December 22, 2009

According to the last Rasmussen poll, 55% of Americans oppose the healthcare bill that is being considered in the Senate and 41% support it. Yet, the Democrats are chugging along ignoring the will of the American people.

The current healthcare bill in the Senate is giving most Americans a “sour” taste in their mouths. But for a few number of Americans this healthcare bill is satisfying their sweet-tooth craving at the expense of the majority of Americans. The “sour” taste is coming from the increase taxes, lower healthcare quality, pay now get later scheme, long-term price tag, and the payoffs/bribes to get the votes of certain Democratic Senators.

Who are those few Americans who got a “sweet” deal out of this?

  • Sen. Ben Nelson – D and Nebraska, population 1.78 million, will get $100 million plus an exemption from paying for Medicaid cost forever and ever, amen.
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu – D and Louisiana, population 4.41 million, will get $300 million to offset the Medicaid cost
  • Massachusetts, population 6.5million, $1.5 billion in Medicaid money
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders – D and Vermont, population 0.62 million, will get $10 to $14 billion
  • Sen. Chris Dodd – D and Connecticut, population 3.5 million, will get $100 million
  • Big Pharma got a deal from Obama      
    • White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada — and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.

 Holy cow! The second least populated state will get BILLIONS!!! That’s $16,129 to $22, 580 per Vermont resident. I am sure the millions of Americans who are unemployed would love to get that kind of money invested in creating jobs instead of paying off politicians for their votes. 

All in all 24 million Americans in those states mentioned above will get the “sweet” taste in their mouths while the remaining 280 million will get the “sour” part. 

What are the parts of this healthcare bill that gives the 280 million Americans a “sour” taste in their mouths?

  • Insurance mandates that will raise premiums by 30% (no wonder the insurance stocks skyrocketed)
  • Employers will have to pay 3x more to insure their employer (just like in California)
  • One levy would take $15 billion from sick patients with high out-of-pocket medical expenses, including elderly and low-income patients. (I wonder if that is where the $10-14 billion that Vermont will get come from??)
  • health savings account or flexible spending arrangement, there are taxes specific to those health plans, plus a third tax that would apply to all “consumer-directed” plans. (Kiss you HAS goodbye!)
  • Another levy would tax medical devices, and another would tax prescription drugs; those two taxes would increase health insurance premiums by about 1 percent, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
  • $149 billion tax on those with high health insurance premiums; yet many face high premiums simply because they have expensive medical needs, making this yet another tax on the sick.
  • $43 billion in cuts to nursing care and therapy for homebound Medicare beneficiaries
  • health care coverage will be limited to what the government bureaucrats decide
  • for low-income women will no longer screen women below age 50.
  • government’s budgetary concerns, not patient’s health, is the determining factor for quality and access to health care
  • overcharge young individuals’ rates to cost-subsidize older individuals’ rates and if you don’t pay it, there’d be a fine of about now is 2.5 percent of your income
  • trillions of dollars in hidden tax increases (Yup. HIDDEN TAXES that will hit you like a freight train from behind.) 

SO, after all Obama’s promises of hope and change, transparency in government, fiscal responsibility, and political remaking of how government operates, after one year of Obama, it is business as usual. Just like how they have been doing it. This time in grander scale of  screwing hard working Americans. 

The Most Transparent Administration Ever. 

The Most Ethical Congress Ever.

What a joke!!!


If you only know… it will scare you, too!

December 18, 2009

If you just know…it will scare you!

Some details of the Health care bill:

  • The Reid bill (in sections 3403 and 2021) explicitly empowers Medicare to deny treatment based on cost.
  • An Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the bill — composed of permanent, unelected and, therefore, unaccountable members — will greatly expand the rationing practices that already occur in the program.
  • Medicare, for example, has limited cancer patients’ access to Epogen, a costly but vital drug that stimulates red blood cell production.
  • It has limited the use of virtual, and safer, colonoscopies due to cost concerns.
  • And Medicare refuses medical claims at twice the rate of the largest private insurers.
  • Section 6301 of the Reid bill creates new comparative effectiveness research (CER) programs.
  • CER panels have been used as rationing commissions in other countries such as the United Kingdom, where 15,000 cancer patients die prematurely every year according to the National Cancer Intelligence Network.
  • CER panels here could effectively dictate coverage options and ration care for plans that participate in the state insurance exchanges created by the bill.
  • The Reid bill depends on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in no fewer than 14 places.
  • This task force was responsible for advising women under 50 to not undergo annual mammograms.
  • The administration claims the task force recommendations do not carry the force of law, but the Reid bill itself contradicts them in section 2713.
  • The bill explicitly states, on page 17, that health insurance plans “shall provide coverage for” services approved by the task force.
  • This chilling provision represents the government stepping between doctors and patients.
  • When the government asserts the power to provide care, it also asserts the power to deny care.

Source: Dr. Tom Coburn, “The Health Bill Is Scary; Government guidelines would likely have forbidden the test I used to discover Sheila’s cancer,” Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2009.

For text:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703514404574588842779569168.html

The mandates in the Health care bill:

Insurance coverage mandates refer to the restrictions each state sets on which type of policy can be sold legally within that market.  For example, fourteen states now require all insurance plans sold to cover infertility treatments, regardless of the patient’s need or desire for these services.  Other states ban the sale of insurance plans unless they include coverage for massage therapy, obesity surgery, pastoral care, and wigs.

Needle-phobic consumers cannot buy plans without acupuncture coverage, and teetotalers must pay for plans that include inpatient drug rehabilitation, says Dr. Linda Halderman, a General Surgeon and policy adviser in the California State Senate.

What effect do mandates have on the cost of health insurance?

  • According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, just 12 of the most common insurance mandates currently in place raise premium rates by as much as 30 percent.
  • The State of California forces over 50 such mandates on the employer-provided (group) insurance market, but not on individual plans; consequently, it costs three times more for California employers to offer insurance than if a plan is privately purchased.

In mandate-heavy states, consumers are denied the option of buying low-cost, basic health insurance plans to cover major illness or injury.  They cannot choose to save money by paying out of pocket for ten-dollar pneumococcus pneumonia vaccines and ninety-dollar mammograms, thereby reserving health insurance for significant expenses, explains Halderman.

In those states, insurance is not insurance at all — it is expensive, prepaid health care.  In other words, when Hummers and Ferraris are the only vehicles sold, people on Toyota budgets can’t afford transportation, says Halderman.

Source: Linda Halderman, “Senate’s Solution: Consumer Choice Is Dead on Arrival,” American Thinkers, December 16, 2009.

For text:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/senates_solution_consumer_choi.html

The possibility of losing your health savings account:

For an individual government mandate to compel the purchase of health insurance, another government requirement for something called “guaranteed issue” must first be enacted.  “Guaranteed issue” forces every insurance company to sell health insurance to every applicant regardless of age, health history, lifestyle or risk factors. 

In theory, this appears sound.  If health insurance companies can’t “just say no” to high-risk applicants, no one will be left without access to coverage.  Unfortunately, the law of unintended consequences trumps this logic.  Under guaranteed issue mandates, “access to coverage” becomes “access to higher premiums,” says Dr. Linda Halderman, a General Surgeon and policy adviser in the California State Senate.

For example:

  • In New Jersey and Massachusetts, unlike in California, laws were passed to force every insurance carrier to sell plans to every individual applicant; individual insurance premiums in New Jersey and Massachusetts are three times higher than those in California.
  • Washington State tried guaranteed issue, but with no way to mitigate risk, insurance carriers in the state suffered severe financial losses related to high-risk patients; they then exited the individual market; no individual health insurance plans were accessible to Washington residents at any price.
  • Sen. Hillary Clinton was not a New Yorker in 1993, the year New York State forced guaranteed issue on the health insurance market; as a result, rates for a third of all those insured increased by 20 percent to 59 percent, causing 500,000 New Yorkers to cancel their health insurance plans.

The Heritage Foundation published a 1998 study evaluating the 16 states in which the most aggressive health insurance mandates and regulations were passed between 1990 and 1994.  The goal of these individual, employer and insurance industry mandates-including individual mandates, guaranteed issue and price fixing of premiums-was to increase access to coverage and decrease the uninsured population in a given state.  The effects were than compared with the 34 states that had not enacted such regulations:

  • The two groups of states shared nearly equivalent rates of uninsured residents before the reforms.
  • But by 1996, the sixteen states with the most aggressive reforms (including New Jersey, New York and Washington) experienced a growth rate in their uninsured population eight times higher than the 34 states without such mandates.
  • Additionally, the percentage of the population covered by private or individual insurance declined.

Source: Linda Halderman, “Senate’s Solution: Consumer Choice Is Dead on Arrival,” American Thinkers, December 16, 2009.

For text:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/senates_solution_consumer_choi.html

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_Category=16


Healthcare Update 10

December 9, 2009

If Democrats Win, Seniors Lose! As reported in the New York Times, included in the Democrats’ $460 billion of Medicare cuts is $43 billion in cuts to nursing care and therapy for homebound Medicare beneficiaries. This is critical help which is needed for the health and welfare of our parents and grandparents – to be taken away by the government!

California Model, Rationing of Care! One of the principle problems with government-run health care is that the government is the customer, not you. As a result, health care coverage will be limited to what the government bureaucrats decide, not what you as the patient needs.

This Los Angeles Times article reveals just how quickly health care bureaucrats can sacrifice patient care. In cash-strapped California, public health officials announced this week that the state’s government-provided mammogram program, “Every Woman Counts” for low-income women will no longer screen women below age 50. This is what we will be facing in health care, the government will tell us what is allowed.

Officials from the California Department of Public Health claim that the incidence of breast cancer is relatively low in women less than 50. This may be true, but what if you are in that “relatively low” number? We are talking about your life! In California, the government’s budgetary concerns, not patient’s health, is the determining factor for quality and access to health care. Under ObamaCare government-run health care, budgetary priorities rather than a patient’s health determine whether you get the health care you need.

Call Your Senator, Toll-Free! Communicate your displeasure with what they are doing? In less than five minutes, you can be on the phone with your Senator’s office, communicating your opposition to government-run health care.

Just follow this Action Army link, enter your information on the right-hand part of the screen and click TAKE ACTION!

You will see a TOLL-FREE NUMBER to reach YOUR elected representatives and a PASSWORD.

Dial the number on a touch-tone phone, enter the password and you’ll be connected as quickly as you can say Free Our Health Care NOW!

Your Senators Work for You! Believe it or not, Senators get job performance reviews: they’re called elections. For this one-third of the Senators and for every member of the House of Representatives, Election Day is less than eleven short months away.

You have an important part to play in the health care debate: letting your voice be heard. Through the Free Our Health Care Now! Action Army website, communicating with your Senators is easy and convenient. Whether through an email or a phone call, please use this website as a way of letting your elected representatives know that you oppose government-run health care and plan on expressing your dissatisfaction at the polls in the upcoming election.

Senator McCain to AARP Members: It’s Time to Cut the Card. Fighting against Medicare cuts, Senator John McCain recently proposed an amendment which would protect senior citizen benefits from the drastic cuts proposed by Congressional Democrats. McCain implored his fellow senators to “preserve the solemn obligations we have made to our seniors.” However, to McCain’s surprise, the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP) opposed the McCain Amendment and, remaining true to its strange bedfellows, supported drastic cuts for seniors.

In a scathing assault on AARP’s infidelity, Senator McCain pointed to numerous AARP statements from the past renouncing Medicare cuts, including one as recently as just a few years ago. Clearly disappointed, McCain concluded by saying, “Take your AARP card, cut it in half and send it back. They’ve betrayed you.” Click here to see video of the speech.

The NCPA maintains a wealth of educational and resource material including better alternatives to government-run health care:

John Goodman’s Health Care Plan:
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/health_plan112007.pdf

Health Care Solutions:
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/Health_Care_Solutions_072909.pdf

Five Steps to a Better Health Care System:
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/Five_Steps_to_a_Better_Health_Care_System_Web.pdf

Dr. John Goodman’s Blog – Current, up-to date information on the debate:
www.john-goodman-blog.com

Heartland Institute’s Health Care Solutions:
http://www.chcchoices.org


Memorial Day weekend 2009

June 4, 2009
The top of the cake!

The top of the cake!

It has been over week since Memorial Day weekend 2009. I have been busy with work and my MBA program and did not really have the time to share the great things that happened this past Memorial Day weekend. Work load has let up a bit both at work and at school. Now I can blog and post the pictures of that memorable weekend.

We were in Oklahoma City for the baby shower that my wife’s sisters are throwing for her. Actually, the whole weekend was all about celebration. Friday was a May birthdays celebration. My wife has a lot of family members that have May birthdays. Instead of celebrating a birthday every weekend, it was decided to celebrate all the May birthdays in one weekend and Memorial Weekend was ideal. Saturday, May 24, we were just planning to have a simple get together at Le’s (sister-in-law) house and Sunday was for the baby shower.

Friday was fun lots of food and drinks and birthday cakes. The boys played poker until the wee hours of the morning. The poker game started out tournament style then got really serious when it was turned into a cash game. Chips were short so lots of greens came out of pockets and bill folds.

Saturday, like I said, was just for simple family get together. But there was a surprise that we did not expect at all.

It was about 5pm when things got going. I was a bit puzzled why most of the family was wearing Hawaiian shirts and outfits. There were two rows of tiki lanterns all arranged in the backyard creating a pathway that lead to a gondola decorated with flowers. I even helped with the set up of the tiki lanterns and the gondola. I was thinking what kind of game we about to indulge that evening. The house was buzzing with excitement. Food preparation was almost finished and table being set up for the feast. I was looking forward to the poker game later.

At around 630pm, my wife and I were summoned to the study room. I have no idea what for but I thought the game has begun and we are the first victims. We were blind folded. Someone put a shirt over my shirt and did the same thing to my wife. A crown that felt like a string of flowers was on my head. My wife also had something on her head. Someone was playing the piano, same song over and over again. It was the song that is usually played at wedding, Here Comes the Bride. I thought the piano player sucked with one song repertoire.

Then I felt someone ushering us outside the study room. A female voice said something and I could tell it was Sarah. Our blindfold was taken off and a burst of loud SURPIRSE! Everyone was in front of us. Everyone was wearing as if they were all in Hawaii complete with grass skirts. I still had no clue what was happening. Then we were led into the kitchen and there was the wedding cake. That is when it hit me and realized what was this all about. It was surprised wedding reception for us complete with a wedding cake, a bouquet of roses, and candles. There was a picture of us that was taken during my wife’s MBA graduation dinner in a frame but the picture was printed in black and white. Later on, they all signed and wrote their well wishes on the matte.

My wife was in tears at this time and I was holding mine back with all my might lest get dogged by my brothers-in-law. I could see that my parents-in-law were also in tear as well as my sisters-in-law and a few of my wife’s nieces. It was really a touchy moment, totally unexpected.

Then they marched us to the gondola thru the rows of tiki lanterns that were already lit. Two of my wife’s youngest nieces were the flower girls and they were showering the ground that we would walk on with petals of red roses. Then we were parked under the gondola and the picture taking extravaganza began. Each pre determined group have to take a picture with the newly weds.

My wife and I dreamed of a Hawaiian wedding but due to her pregnancy and economic situation we cancelled. Instead, we got married in front of the Justice of Peace and ate brunch with my parents at Hilton hotel.

The whole event was truly special and very memorable. My wife and I have been trying to find a holiday to make it a traditional family celebration. I think this is it. Memorial Day weekend will be our family tradition to celebrate this surprised Hawaiian wedding and to remember the American heroes.

From the bottom of our hearts (including Leona Bella’s), thank you to everyone who were part of this memorable surpise.

The whole gang!

The whole gang!