To The Daily Sun,
There is much dithering about the "Conservatives Have No Plan" to replace Obamacare. Why don't we try a capitalist approach to the system with minimum government interference?
We should model health insurance on the same proven system that offers life insurance. It could be a stand-alone policy or an adjunct to a life insurance policy. Policies could be either whole health or term as they are for life insurance. Rates would reflect either the current risk in a term policy or the life-long risk for whole health. Rates would be lower the earlier you buy the policy. For whole health, premiums in excess of the immediate risk pool requirements would be invested to provide for the more expensive late-life incidents.
Rather than only three options, all of them expensive, as there are for Obamacare, the health policies would have multiple options. There would be a bare bones low cost policy, there could be paid-up options. Special situations would be covered by a la carte options. The options would be priced separately. This would create a forest of opportunities and it would be a challenge to select the right mix. Most citizens are competent to make rational decisions to meet their needs because they are familiar with their particular needs. Insurance agents could be helpful in selecting an appropriate program.
I suspect that there would be legitimate functions for the federal government. There ought to be some percentage limit on the amount of "excess premiums" that can be invested in the company that issues the policy. The balance of the premiums would be invested in domestic or foreign stocks, bonds or hard assets (real estate, minerals etc.). Customers should receive annual accounts on the profitability of investments. Profits in excess of actuarial needs could be used to reduce or eliminate premiums or rebated to the policy owners.
Those who decide not to buy health insurance should be required to post a bond and to establish a Medical Savings Account. Those who need care and cannot purchase coverage would receive essential treatment. These humanitarian treatments would be passed on to the paying clientele as they are now.
I have not mentioned obvious steps that could reduce the cost of health care.
The logical first step would be to establish tort reform. This will not happen. Lawyers contribute heavily to political campaigns, and too many congressmen (forgive the transgression) and senators are lawyers.
Another step toward sanity would be to allow purchase of health insurance across state borders. Some states have created artificial and expensive barriers to efficient competitors coming in state to compete. The best requirement is financial soundness of the competing companies.
It is apparent that strides in medical treatments have outstripped the traditional methods for approving new protocols. (I'm under the impression that allowing the quest for perfection, delays adoption of what is merely better. Perfect is the death knell for better. People are saved from some problems and others die while waiting.)
Employer sponsored health care should be taxable, and the employer should determine how much, if any, contribution will be offered. Of course, policies will be portable because they belong to the employee. People are naturally more careful when they spend their own money.
There are already clinics that are less expensive than emergency room and perhaps preferable to co-pays to physicians. (Physicians should not be dealing with minor cuts, bruises, and colds.) We will have to see how this trend develops, or will government bureaucracy and tort lawyers stifle this logical step.
Of course, I am a cynic. If these steps were offered to Congress, they would pay enthusiastic lip service, but by the time they polluted them with adjustments they might be just as screwed up as Obamacare.
Dale P. Eddy
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 December 2013 11:42
To The Daily Sun,
Oh my goodness L.J. Siden, if Rosa Parks were alive, she would throw you in the back of the bus and wash your mouth out with soap. You sir, seem so full of progressive poppycock and covered with the liberal disease known as "white guilt", that I fear you know not what you do or what you say. At least when it comes to the issue of racism. You end your recent letter by asserting, "we can't talk about it honestly, because that would mean it EXISTS". Did Bob Meade say that it didn't exist in his column? No he didn't. However, you were happy to paint a bigoted picture about Bob and perhaps others on the right when you said, "but he still experiences privilege based on his white skin color". You silly, silly, arrogant and misguided man.
You also jumped to a mammoth conclusion, like a kangaroo hopped up on methamphetamines. Because Bob noted that Oprah's show was a great success, in no small part because of a large white, female audience, you concluded: it meant placing success of people of color at the feet of white people. Thus taking away their power of self-determination and that any criticism of Oprah Winfrey (and also Barack Obama) "is still about white control". You silly, silly, pompous and guilt-ridden man, shimmering with progressive paradoxes. How else to explain your baseless name calling? I believe that those white females were lying, adoringly at the feet of Oprah, a deservedly, rich and successful woman.
Yes, there are right wing bloggers and a handful of radio hosts who show racist intent as you imply. They are on the fringe of society and have been for some time. Contrast that with Chris Mathews and most of the rest of the MSNBC gang who constantly bang the drum of racism for any perceived criticism of our POTUS. How about Alan Grayson (D) who keeps on claiming that the tea party is akin to the Ku Klux Klan despite absolutely no evidence. I believe it was the Democrat party who embraced former klansman Robert Byrd rather than any right wingers. Woodrow Wilson was also a huge fan of the Ku Klux Klan and he was a right, no a left wing progressive president of the Democrat Party. An elitist intellectual who knew better how people should live their lives. Sound familiar? Eugenics, racial theory and civil service segregation were progressive ideals to wholeheartedly embrace, according to our 28th President. Oh, I could come up with so much more and what have you got L.J.? A bunch of bloggers and a couple radio hosts. And by the way, what radio hosts Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have to say is so mild in comparison to what progressive politicians and the mainstream media have to say regarding racism. Their comments are often deliberately taken out of context to make them appear racist. Neither one of those two hosts is racist. Much better examples might include Ed Schultz, Martin Bashir or Al Sharpton of, no surprise, MSNBC.
Wall Street Journal's James Taranto puts it in true perspective,
"Racism is dead, and it's killers were heroes. Nostalgia for racism lives on in the imagination of liberals who only wish they could be so heroic". Victor Davis Hanson observes, "we have devolved to the point where promiscuously crying 'bigot' and 'racist' signals a failure to persuade 51 percent of the people of the merits of an argument."
Dozens of examples have pointed out the hypocrisy and damage caused by the progressive policies of the Democrat Party. One recent example is the school voucher program in D.C. which gave a tremendous opportunity for poor, black inner city children to escape "Uncle Sam's Plantation" (Star Parker) by getting a quality education. Who killed that program? Liberal, progressive Democrats who condescendingly remind them that they just will not succeed without their special brand of government help. Check out the documentaries, "Waiting for Superman" or "Runaway Slave". Or you might check out the books, "Blacklash", by Deneen Borelli and "Blackwards", by Ron Christie. You might even enlighten your guilt ridden load by viewing Walter Williams', "Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon for People of European Descent". I have already done most of the above and have been carrying on an honest conversation about race in this paper for about four years now. It's amazing how ridding myself of white guilt has allowed me to have a clearer and more rational focus regarding race relations.
The bottom line is that liberal policies, by and large, have become more unpopular due to the continued failure of "Great Society" programs despite trillions spent. Progressives can no longer win an argument on logic, facts and results. So what do they do? They scream "RACIST" louder and louder.
A perfect example of that has just now been thrust upon our consciousness by the sheer desperation of the latest and greatest progressive Democrat policy. Now, even saying "Obamacare" is considered racist according to Melissa Harris-Perry, writer, professor, TV host and political commentator. She specializes in African-American studies. With an absurd comment such as that, I have no doubt that while teaching "black studies", she has promoted the poisonous take on race that teaches black students to assume a sense of aggrieved victimhood. L.J. would want examples, so I am happy to oblige. Shannon Gibney, a black English comp teacher at a Minneapolis community college, would often remind her white students that they are racist. A group of black students at UCLA, imbued with the "victim status" belief, protested Val Rust, a white education teacher, for the alleged crime of correcting their grammar and attempting to teach them the proper use of the English language. Bruce Bawer sadly points out, "racists used to try to keep black people from being educated; now people who actually seek to educate black students — as opposed to reciting victimhood mantras — are tagged as racists". Kind of takes you aback doesn't it. Well, no more taken aback than Ron Christie was when after tutoring a 2nd or 3rd grade student for awhile, the young child looked at the well dressed and well spoken Mr. Christie and asked him if it was okay to look and act like a white person. That was in Ron's book, "Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur". I have that book, if you would like to borrow it.
So L.J., you can go ahead and try and turn Bob Meade's superb column on its' head with your insanely twisted logic. Well, it's just not going to work. In the spirit of the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, let me help you out. SOCIALISM has never worked and never will. Throwing out the RACISM card every time a progressive policy is criticized will no longer work and disgraces the good name of MLK. You want to have an honest discussion L.J. Siden? Then you might start by acting like a mature adult and really have some healthy talk about race relations. Perhaps you can knock off the juvenile, amateur psychoanalysis of letter writers who disagree with your opinion. Whadaya say L.J., okay?
It is my belief that the United States is no longer a racist nation. Notably, white on black racism is no longer the problem. Using the term "racism" to bludgeon the opposition and stifle free and honest conversations is the disease that has sickened the body of human discourse. The lefts use of this tactic has trivialized the good fight that has been waged and won by people of all colors from the Civil War to the civil rights movement and beyond. Do you really want to talk honestly about racism L.J?. Then bring it on, but come prepared to be challenged when you bring forth an altered and wholly cynical look at American history.
A hat tip to Aaron Gee, American Thinker, Ben Shapiro, Townhall.com, Daniel Greenfield and Bruce Bawer of frontpagemag.com for some of the content of this letter.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 11:05
To The Daily Sun,
One reads the letter signed by Meg Hempel in the December 18 edition of The Sun with a sense that what is required, both in budgets and opinion writing, is reasonably full disclosure. I too was at this December 16 meeting and did not witness any rudeness on the part of the Gilmanton Selectboard to anyone.
The selectmen stated their position that they would like to keep the position of working fire chief just that: working, as opposed to administrative only. "Give us two shifts a week and we'll be happy" was the position of the selectmen.
The rudeness on display came not from the selectmen but from the GilmantonFireman's Association, which arrived en masse in an apparent attempt to bully the board into submission to their wishes.
What I saw at this meeting was three open and honest, hard-working people doing their best to represent the interests ofall of the people in town. Perhaps it would be well if Ms. Hempel described herself as the wife of the fire chief in question.
As to the budgetary discussions engendered by the visit of a representative of the Belknap Commission, let me say that the alternative to digging into the Commission's less than candid presentation is to roll over and play dead.
Kudos to the Gilmanton selectmen for their hard work on behalf of the ordinary citizen.
Rep. Richard B. Burchell
Belknap 5 - Gilmanton
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:56
To The Daily Sun,
If you look at a map of where wind power plant developments are being proposed in New Hampshire now, you'll notice they're all in the immediate proximity of Newfound Lake. There, on the rolling mountain tops just north and west of the lake, they will stand 500 feet high. Soon the wind development map will relentlessly grow and spread across New Hampshire's countryside as it has in other states.
Our community has first-class views, second-class wind and now a third-class government. In the end, our second-class is being viewed as a new tax revenue for our third-class.
Soon we could all be gazing out our windows at more than a hundred turbines, higher transmission lines and scarred mountains for the next twenty years. But that's the least of our problems.
Few will see a steady income from them — yet the majority will not. And one thing's for sure, wind developments are about to take off in New Hampshire. Has anyone got a clue as to how many wind turbines are destined for this state? 500, 1,000, 5,000? In four years, Newfound Lake could be home to 100+ turbines — with four wind projects approved by the state. All of this on 15 miles of ridge lines.
Aren't New Hampshire's politicians concerned? Or are they drinking Kool-Aid while listening to wind developers tout: clean and renewable wind energy will sustain your rural communities.
On the roadsides, on your way into our community, there are a many yard signs that are anti-wind. They're sponsored by a local anti-wind group called the NHWindWatch.org, and they aren't the only opposition the wind industry has faced here. Voters have voted against further wind development, many businesses oppose them, many organizations and clubs have come out against them and local politicians have backed a proposed one year moratorium on wind development.
So what's going on here? Why is New Hampshire welcoming wind developers with open arms and turning a cold shoulder on residents? The answer lies in the story behind the story of wind turbines. And it has to do with federal laws loaded with subsidies. You see, it's a new revenue stream, offering carbon credits and property tax exemptions for our politicians and a few elite. Nothing more.
Fast forward 20 years. Those same residents will share our anxiety about decommissioning them. Who gets stuck with the bill? And most importantly, Who's property taxes are no longer subsidized? (That's for another discussion.)
It's true, wind developers are rushing into New Hampshire, and they're catching the state off-guard. Dictating and toying with them (if I may say so myself). And that brings us to today... where utilities are being forced to use this unreliable intermittent power source. It's a perfect storm. And it's brewing right in front of your eyes.
Utilities are being forced to accept energy from small, independent intermittent power projects, in the name of renewable energy. Utilities are charged a premium for wind power — which in turn is passed down to the consumer. And those consumers live in Massachusetts. So why are our electric bills increasing?
A circle of fraud?
A couple of arguments: First, wind doesn't always blow, and turbines don't always turn. For utilities, that varying supply can be hard to accommodate. But, remember it's always easy to charge the end user for their problems.
What can we take away from all of this? New Hampshire hasn't approached it in the right way. N.H. doesn't have much of an energy plan. And it sounds like N.H. should change its state moto to: "When incentives are hot, take 'em".
The federal tax credit for wind power is set to expire this December, like many December's before that, making this particular cycle even more dramatic - given the political landscape.
We're simply a N.H. case study with many unintended consequences... and Groton is too young to talk about... LOL.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:52
To The Daily Sun,
Ray Cunningham mentioned in his latest letter to The Sun the fickleness of the wind in regards to the operation of the Groton wind farm. Apparently the turbines have a cold temperature shut of as well. For the past week or so, The Lakes Region has been dealing with temps from -10f to +15f and it's not even technically winter yet. Seems to me the demand for energy would be pretty high under these conditions. Thankfully N.H.'s own home grown power has kept the lights on and us warm while the ugly, stark white prima-donnas could not contribute. They have not turned a single revolution for a week because it's too cold for them to work. The temperature is going to go up this week so we'll probably see them turn again to contribute the pathetically meager output they're capable of.
And we need them why?
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:46