To The Daily Sun,
There has been no greater political, social or economic disaster this century than Obamacare. The bungled roll-out wrapped in never ending horror stories, millions of canceled insurance policies, ultra narrow provider networks with monster deductibles has overwhelmed the logic of voters. The noisy, nut case supporters that filled this paper have become all but silent.
Democratic lawmakers at high risk of losing their jobs in November are running scared and speaking out. Even Democrat Carol Shea Porter is said to have ripped into Obama last week for not having left a trail of fired bodies over the mind-numbing failure of Obama care. Note, Porter now trails her Republican opponent in the polls. She and other Democrats find themselves between a rock and a hard place after their yes vote uttering you could keep your insurance and your doctor. These people know Obamacare stinks to the high heavens. More scary for them, they know the public smells the stench.
The main purpose of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to get the uninsured, insured. It isn't working. Only 11 percent of the people signing up were uninsured. The Congressional Budget Office ( CBO) now predicts there will still be 33 million people uninsured six years from now.
The statistics all skew the older and sicker are signing up. Why not, They are getting a good deal. They are going to consume far more health care than they pay for. The young folks, staggering under record college debt are not signing in numbers required to stop future premiums from rising by double digits, annually.
We needed the ACA to stop the uninsured from using the costly emergency room for routine care. The ACA has only worsened that problem. The vast majority of people getting insurance are being thrown on to Medicaid. Medicaid patients are 40 percent more likely to use the emergency room than an uninsured person. Emergency rooms now are being overrun with new ACA/Medicaid patients demanding to be treated for colds, sore throats, head aches and rashes at costs 15 times greater than being seen by a primary care physician. These people cannot find doctors who will treat them and doctors won't treat them because the government pays them a meager pittance to do so, below their actual cost.
The CBO just announced that the ACA was going to kill employment by the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs. Why? Because the ACA produces an incentive to work less, especially at the bottom third of the income ladder. The person who gets a $1 an hour raise or promotion pays higher taxes. In addition the person will likely lose all or a portion of their insurance subsidy making the person worse off financially. The person gains nothing by working harder to get a raise and get ahead. Obamacare destroys the work ethic of Americans and will keep doing it into eternity. Obama has made working less the better strategy.
Wasn't the ACA implemented to cut health care costs. The CEO of Aetna said last week unless the data changes his company would be required to increase premiums by double digits in 2015 to reflect the poor health risk pool of the ACA. Tens of millions are already paying far more for insurance than they were a year ago simply because of the ACA. All with higher deductibles and a much narrower network of providers produced by the ultra low reimbursement rates from government. Doctors and hospitals demanded protection from competitors in order to participate. The result: Less choice for you.
Before the ACA stock holders took the losses on the chin when insurers lost money. Not now. Can you believe it? Obama has promised billions in taxpayer bailouts to insurance companies that lose any money participating in the ACA. Obama demonized insurer profits before the laws passage. Now he guarantees their profits with your money.
Who can deny that Obama care turned an already poor situation into something far worse, now with endless billions of wasted taxpayer dollars for good measure. The same result we get every time government sticks its nose into private enterprise claiming it can do things better and of course to produce equality. All it does is create disasters of biblical proportion with pain and suffering for millions that is incalculable.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:35
To The Daily Sun,
In Wednesday's paper, Toni Piper responded to a recent letter of mine where I suggested Republicans need to have a plan to transition people off welfare and dependency. Toni said it isn't government's job to get people out of poverty. Right, absolutely right. But then there is the reality we smash our heads up against if we don't consider finding some realistic transition vehicle.
I don't think it is reasonable to shut off all support systems, like turning off the lights. Such would result in starvation, homelessness, riots, crime rates soaring. Heck, it would cost more then it would save.
Okay, so I at least put out an idea. What ideas on the subject do others have? Toni, what is your thinking for some realistic plan?
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:30
To The Daily Sun,
Have you heard that Common Core is the next great thing in education? Have you been told that this curriculum will better prepare students for degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)? Believe it or not, you'll have to take that on faith.
Common Core is the latest "faith-based initiative" in top-down government education programs. Robert Scot, former Texas education commissioner, stated that he was urged to adopt the Common Core standards before they were even written. Perhaps his leap of faith was given a push by federal Race to the Top funding ($4.35 billion), the usual carrot-becomes-stick Washington ploy to impose its will.
Proponents of the one-size-fits-all curriculum claim that Common Core will better prepare students for careers in STEM fields, but they have no proof. Their federally incentivized replacement for local control of our public schools was not pilot-tested before being steamrolled into our classrooms.
As with supporters of other big government programs, advocates of Common Core act with unnecessary and unseemly urgency, as if recognizing a narrow window of opportunity to impose their will. Desperate to avoid the inconvenience of having to get buy-in from parents — the ultimate authority in a child's education — they prefer fait accompli to factual debate.
Education historian Diane Ravitch wrote, "The Common Core standards have been adopted...without any field test." Proponents push ahead "despite the fact that no one has any idea how they will affect students, teachers, or schools. We are a nation of guinea pigs, almost all trying an unknown new program at the same time."
The irony of this process — especially for STEM standards — is that it runs counter to the scientific method, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses." Would you allow your child to be a guinea pig for an untested medical procedure?
I'm reminded of a conversation with my doctor about treatment alternatives. After presenting and immediately dismissing two options, he told me that surgery was the right choice. I told him that while I valued his expert opinion, the choice was ultimately mine to make. My non-surgical procedure was successful, didn't keep me out of work for two weeks, and cost two-thirds less. Whether as medical consumers or education consumers, we must never abdicate our role as decision-maker.
Show me an expert supporting Common Core and I'll show you an expert who supported "new math" or any of the dozens of other discredited education "reforms" foisted on students, parents, and taxpayers over decades of decline in public education. Each did its own harm, wasting precious education funding before being abandoned. But at least damage from those failures was limited; Common Core's universality could fail us all.
George Will recently wrote of Common Core, "It is the thin end of an enormous wedge. It is designed to advance in primary and secondary education the general progressive agenda of centralization and uniformity." He continued that national standards extinguish federalism's creativity, since "...it is more likely there will be half a dozen innovative governors than one creative federal education bureaucracy. And the mistakes made by top-down federal reforms are continental mistakes." Will also pointed out, "Fifty years of increasing Washington input into K-12 education has coincided with disappointing cognitive outputs from schools. Is it eccentric that it is imprudent to apply to K-12 education the federal touch that has given us HealthCare.gov?"
Common Core advocates erroneously conflate consensus with correctness, touting conformity and uniformity over creativity and the uniqueness of each community and student. The American experience is the triumph of choice over consensus for consensus' sake, one of trusting decision-making at the local, family, and individual levels. Those we hire to advise us should not be allowed to usurp that authority.
The key issue of Common Core implementation (and the inevitable alignment of college-prep testing and teacher assessments with this single curriculum) is the marginalization of parental empowerment, community involvement, and creativity in the learning process by those who may have ideological or financial reasons to support this program. Don't take "expert opinion" on faith. Judge for yourself: Opposition grows as more people learn the details about Common Core.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:27
To The Daily Sun,
Well, the progressive nonsense machine is already beginning to crank up the heat in advance of the years upcoming elections. Anyone who doesn't tow the liberal-progressive political line is "an extremist" The Tea Party, Republicans, conservatives, Libertarians, anyone who doesn't follow the narrow-minded, regressive, authoritarian governmental program gets labeled and smeared by the all-knowing, all-wise, elites of socialism.
For example the Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already): these folks want low taxes, smaller less intrusive government, our laws to be enforced as intended by Congress, and the Constitution to be followed. Extreme?
Just what the heck is extreme about that? Nothing that I can see, yet these progressives sink to name calling, racist, anti-women, anti-union, anti-poor, redneck anything to try to discredit the people rather the engage in honest debate of ideas.
Now what I think is extreme is a national debt of $17.3 trillion and instead of trying to even slow the rate of growth or, my gosh, try to reduce that debt, the always smarter then you progressives just want to keep on spending and spending and spending. That my friends is extreme. They act like spoiled children at Disney World throwing tantrums when it's time to go home. How much more of this will it take of putting our unborn children into insurmountable debt before their futures will be that of economic slaves to our own or even foreign governments?
I would also suggest that it is extreme to design a health care reform law that increases the cost of insurance to working families, raises the deductibles and co-pays, sometimes by thousands of dollars, to a point that it is nearly impossible to use and then threatens to fine those who can't afford it. I should also mention that it creates something like 18 new taxes, one of which is on new medical devices. A sure way to keep wanted or needed treatments for being affordable or perhaps available. Liberals pass over these things as though they are of no importance, below them to even consider the impact they have on people. That is extremism in attitude to me.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 11:48
To The Daily Sun,
An environmental disaster is brewing on the banks of Newfound Lake and its problem is blowing in the wind. The proposed Wild Meadows Wind Farm project is just a few miles off the lakeshore — the second of its kind on the Newfound Lake — and it has residents fuming.
It's a totally different vibe from what took place in Groton back in 2012, when the Iberdrola company erected a similar project at the north end of Newfound Lake. The Groton Wind Farm was rammed into fruition with little warning to residents.
Local politicians quickly took note after intense political pressure from a well-organized group of local residents came forth in November 2012, when three additional wind farms were proposed.
The questions that remains are: can this area support nine renewable energy projects? Will turbines outweigh potential collateral damage to wilderness, birds, bats and fish — not to mention aesthetic and noise considerations, as well as possible watershed pollution?
Should projects like wind farms in the Lakes Regions be allowed or should they be fast-tracked? Are the lakes in the region worth protecting? Was the word "scenic" removed from N.H. license plates for this very reason? Will wind turbines now be referred to as the state's birch tree on steroids (the great white birch)?
These next few wind projects will bring 100+ turbines, as high as 500-feet tall, to the shores of Newfound Lake. Will this spell disaster for our tourism? Resident are leading an effort to quash further wind development. There are environmental hazards with locating these turbines too close to our watersheds and the lake.
Several lakeshore towns are on the official voting record for opposing them. Town votes have grown exponentially in opposition from first-and-second town hall votes.
Many of us have spent our lives taking care of Newfound Lake and its environment. And we understand that wind developers want their turbines everywhere — it's a simple corporate strategy tied to corporate greed. Investors want more turbines in operation so they can collect more federal subsidies. More federal subsidies equals higher profit margins.
Residents see it a little differently. We view the skies around here as a superhighway in the sky. And we believe a scientific study needs to be performed to analyze the effects of wind turbines on birds, loons and eagles along with other lake ecology tests first.
We simply don't believe that there won't be any negative environmental impacts on our community, especially with Groton residents now identifying their problems.
One Groton resident outlined his simple "bird death formula" for me: He said imagine if each wind turbine kills two birds per year. Groton has twenty-four turbines and Wild Meadows will have twenty-three turbines — over 20 years — that's an estimated 1,900 birds killed. And if all four wind farms are built the "bird death calculator" jumps to 4,000 birds killed. He later identified his formula as being extremely conservative, saying it's more likely a bird or bat is killed monthly by each turbine.
Food for thought...
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 11:45