Health Care Reform that Works


I know a woman who had a baby girl. The baby was born with a life threatening birth defect. Correcting the birth defect required multiple surgeries. The woman asked every doctor with whom she talked if they could save her little girl. She asked about the risks of recommended surgeries. She asked which doctors were the most skilled. She asked which hospitals offered the best care. She asked about alternative treatments. She never asked what saving her daughter would cost. Whatever it cost, she would find a way to pay it. The only thing that mattered was saving her little girl. For this woman, her daughter’s life had infinite value.

Free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between people. The market is “free” because choices, at each step, are made freely and voluntarily. Two factors determine the terms of any agreement: how much each participant values each good in question, and each participant’s bargaining skills.

Insurance is a way to spread the cost of a good or service that is used infrequently or may not be used at all. Insurance companies earn money by betting that the people that buy insurance will never need to use the insurance. For insurance companies to be able to pay when a service is necessary, insurance premiums must be high enough to cover the cost when someone uses the service for which they are insured. If the cost of the service goes up, the cost of insurance goes up. Insurance cannot control the cost of the service for which it pays. It merely spreads the cost among a lot of people who may have to use the service.

The value of life and health are infinite. Consequently, the free market doesn’t work for health care. Because insurance is based on free market principles, insurance cannot control health care costs. More insurance will not control health care costs. It is likely to have the opposite effect.

Requiring all Americans to have health insurance will not solve the problems delivering quality health care. Insurance does not address the root problem. Health care in America costs too much because it based on free market principles. The problem is, because the value of life and health are infinite, health care providers are free to set any price they choose for their service. Those that need health care have no bargaining power. Few, if any, people will voluntarily choose to risk dying rather than seek treatment because the treatment cost too much.

When the free market breaks down, some alternative to the fee market must be found. Fortunately, an effective and affordable alternative to the free market for health care exists.

For 50 years Medicare has been providing quality health care to Americans aged 65 and over. Medicare controls costs by using a formula based on usual, customary, and reasonable charges. This system is imperfect. It is, however, better at controlling costs that the free market.

The Federal Government needs to expand Medicare to cover all Americans beginning with prenatal care. Expanded Medicare would work much like the current system.  No one would be required to participate in Medicare.  However, it would be available to all who choose to use the system.  Deciding not to use Medicare would not relieve a person from paying taxes that support the system.

Expanding Medicare will:

  • Provide quality health care for every American.
  • Promote growth by eliminating the need for private health insurance. Health insurance costs are one of the biggest barriers that entrepreneurs face when deciding to start a business.
  • Allow resources that are now being wasted on fraud, insurance, and lawyers to be redirected to providing care.

Expanding Medicare eliminates the need for:

  • The Affordable Care Act “Obamacare”;
  • Medicaid;
  • Direct payments for Social Security Disability;
  • Tax incentives for private insurance;
  • All other Government subsidies related to health care.

The cost savings from ending these programs would pay for the Medicare expansion.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

America’s Chance to Lead


I have been watching the spread of, and response to, Ebola since the first outbreak was reported in Lofa County Liberia in March 2014.  The hysteria about Ebola has spread much faster that the disease.

The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. The first outbreak was in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo, a village near the Ebola River. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines.

Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. People remain infectious as long as their blood and body fluids, including semen and breast milk, contain the virus.

The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). It is often fatal if untreated.

There is as yet no proven cure for Ebola. Supportive care, rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival. A range of potential treatments including blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies are currently being evaluated. No licensed vaccines are available. Two potential vaccines are undergoing human safety testing.[1]

Facts about the current Ebola outbreak:

Ebola cases have been confirmed in six Countries.[2]

Country Suspected Cases Laboratory Confirmed Cases Deaths Mortality Rate
Sierra Leone 4,862 4,149 1,130 27%
Liberia 6,919 2,514 2,766 110%
Guinea 1,760 1,479 1,054 71%
Nigeria 20 19 8 42%
United States 4 4 1 25%
Spain 1 1 0 0%

Why is Ebola so deadly in Liberia and Guinea? The most severely affected countries have very weak health systems. It is fair to say that the average ambulance in the U.S. is better equipped to handle Ebola than the best hospital in Liberia or Guinea.

Ebola provides America with a unique opportunity to lead.  We know very little about this disease.  We do, however, know that it can be successfully treated. It is a serious disease. The lack of health care in West Africa makes a deadly disease there. We need to be able to study it to find a cure.

America’s response to Ebola is an opportunity show true leadership.  We should fly every Ebola patient to a designated medical facility in the U.S.  The Air Force has a fleet of hospital planes and multiple bases that would be perfect for this mission.  There are multiple closed and abandoned hospitals near the CDC in Metro Atlanta.  Any one of those could be easily converted to an Ebola isolation center.  If more beds are necessary, Army mobile field hospitals could be set up.  This strategy would put the best medical minds and the best medical research facility in the world to work on finding a cure for Ebola.  It should not take long before they come up with a cure.  I am confident they could also develop a vaccine.  This strategy would save lives and effectively eradicate Ebola.

The world needs bold American leadership.  We need to stop listening to the counsel of our fears.  Courage, and bold action, will save African and American lives.  We have a chance to save the world.  All we need is faith in ourselves.

[1] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/case-counts.html

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

An Unnecessary Evil


Dams on America’s rivers serve three primary purposes:

  • Energy Production;
  • Flood Control;
  • Water Storage.

Dams are not necessary.

Energy Production

Electricity generated at dams is not stored. It is delivered to homes and other users across hundreds of miles of power lines. This is least efficient, and most expense, way to produce and deliver electricity. It is more efficient, and cheaper, to produce, store and use electricity at your home. The technology for each homeowner to generate and store all the electricity the household needs is available now. Producing, installing and maintaining household power systems are potential growth industries.

Why don’t homeowners generate power? Buying the appliances needed to produce electricity at home is expensive. Power companies would have to change business models. We need to create tax and other incentives that make it possible for homeowners to be energy independent. This would eliminate the need for dams to produce electricity.

Flood Control

Dams degrade or destroy the health of rivers and the coastal areas. Removing dams will allow rivers to return to their natural width and depth. Rivers will be larger. They will flood periodically. Healthy rivers may change course over time. Riverbanks and coastal areas are environmentally sensitive areas that must be preserved and protected. Effective flood control must protect private property from the rivers. It must also protect the rivers from development.

Expanding Federal flood insurance will mitigate potential impacts on private property from the flow of healthy rivers.

The system could work as follows:

Private property owners should not have to buy Federal flood insurance. Flood insurance should not be limited predefined flood plains.

A river floods and destroys private property. The State Government petitions for Federal flood insurance funds. The petition authorizes the Federal Government to offer to pay private property owners for property destroyed by flood. The payment offered would equal fair market value. If the owner accepts the payment, the Federal Government would own the property. An owner could refuse payment. State and local Governments would also be eligible for payment.

The Federal Government would then remove any permanent structures and impermeable surfaces on the property. The Forest Service would then protect the property as wilderness. The newly created wilderness areas would protect the health of rivers, coasts, and other environmentally sensitive areas. They would also form a buffer against future loss of property by flooding.

Water Storage

The average American uses about 100 gallons of water per day. A sustainable atmospheric water system pulls water from humidity in the air.  A unit about twice the size an air conditioner can provide all the water a family needs. These units are available now.

Farms use enormous amounts of water.  Sprinkler irrigation uses more than 5,000 gallons per acre.  Flood irrigation uses up to 27,000 gallons per acre.  Drip irrigation uses only about 1,000 gallons per acre.  Large sustainable atmospheric water systems can provide all water a farm needs.

Making, installing, and maintaining sustainable atmospheric water system are potential growth industries.  Using these systems will eliminate the need for large dams and reservoirs.

Dams are environmentally disastrous. They are not necessary.

We should remove all dams that meet one or more of the following criteria

  • The dam is on a river that flows through more than one state;
  • The dam was built by the Federal Government or with Federal funds;
  • The dam is built on Federal land or it backs water onto Federal land.

Removing dams will restore the health of America’s rivers.  Healthy rivers have a positive impact on the health of coastal areas.  Removing dams will also create thousands of well paying jobs.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ebola


We Can Save the World!

I have been watching the spread of, and response to, Ebola since the first outbreak was reported in Lofa County Liberia in March 2014.  The hysteria about Ebola has spread much faster that the disease.

Ebola provides America with a unique opportunity to lead.  We know very little about this disease.  We do, however, know that it can be contained.  We need to be able to study it to find a cure.

I recommend that our Ebola response show true leadership.  We should fly every Ebola patient to a designated medical facility in the U.S.  The Air Force has a fleet of hospital planes and multiple bases that would be perfect for this mission.  There are multiple closed and abandoned hospitals near the CDC in Metro Atlanta.  Any one of those could be easily converted to an Ebola isolation center.  If more beds are necessary, Army mobile field hospitals could be set up.  This strategy would put the best medical minds and the best medical research facility in the world to work on finding a cure for Ebola.  It should not take long before they come up with effective treatment.  I am confident they could also develop a vaccine.  This strategy would save lives and effectively eradicate Ebola.

The world needs bold American leadership.  We need to stop listening to the counsel of our fears.  Courage, and bold action, will save African and American lives.  We have a chance to save the world.  All we need is faith in ourselves.

If you agree that American leadership, know how, and ingenuity, can end Ebola once and for all, please forward this e-mail.  We need to make our voice of confidence in America heard over the cacophony of fear.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Where I Get My News


My favorite News Sources, in Alphabetical Order:

ABC News

AJC

Al Jazeera America

BBC

CBS News

CNN

ESPN

Fox News

Google News

Gwinnett Daily Post

National Geographic

National Weather Service

NPR

Photography is not a Crime

Politico

The Blaze

The Economist

The Huffington Post

The Washington Post

USA Today

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Health Care Reform That Works


Requiring all Americans to have health insurance will not solve the problems of the health care system. Requiring all drivers to have car insurance does not reduce traffic congestion. Insurance does not address the root problem. Health care in America costs too much. More insurance will not reduce the cost of health care. It is likely to have the opposite effect.

For 50 years Medicare has been providing quality health care. It is time to expand Medicare to cover all Americans. This eliminates the need for:

  • The Affordable Care Act “Obamacare”;
  • Medicaid;
  • Direct payments for Social Security Disability;
  • Tax incentives for private insurance;
  • All other Government subsidies related to health care.

The cost savings from ending these programs would pay for the Medicare expansion.

Expanding Medicare will:

  • Provide quality health care for every American. Access to Medicare could be limited to citizens.
  • Promote growth by eliminating the need for private health insurance. Health insurance costs are one of the biggest barriers that entrepreneurs face when deciding to start a business.
  • Allow resources that are now being wasted on fraud, insurance, and lawyers to be redirected to providing care.

Expanded Medicare would work much like the current system.  No one would be required to participate in Medicare.  However, it would be available to all who choose to use the system.  Deciding not to use Medicare would not relieve a person from paying taxes that support the system.

Leave a comment

Filed under Campaign

Pro-Union, Pro-Manufacturing, & Pro-America


Being pro-union is, in fact, being pro-workerpro-manufacturing, pro-growth, and pro-America!

  • We must reign in burdensome regulation.
    • Collective bargaining results in:
      • Safer work places
      • Higher pay
      • Better benefits
    • Without collective bargaining, Government regulators attempt to fill the void between Corporations and workers.  This always results in burdensome regulation that serves neither workers nor employers.  Consequently, we have:
      • Federal Regulation that costs $1.75 trillion each year
      • Inflationary wage policy
      • The most expensive health care system in the world
  • We must support our workforce by creating sound policy
    • Unions support our workforce
    • Without unions workers have no voice
  • We must do more to create jobs
    • Every year union apprenticeships train more than 450,000 workers for high skilled, high paying jobs
    • Government jobs programs fail to prepare workers for manufacturing jobs
    • Colleges have crushed America’s youth under $1.2 trillion in student loan debt.  Most college graduates do not have the minimum skills required to take America’s best paying jobs.  In 2011,
      • The average U.S. manufacturing worker earned, $77,060
      • The average worker earned on $56,436

I pledge to make supporting workers rights to organize my top legislative priority.
Join me in the fight to reverse the destruction of America’s middle class.
Together we can:

  • End burdensome regulation, and
  • Create high paying, high skill manufacturing jobs

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized