An American Right: Affordable Health Care

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 by a 5-4 vote, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  President Barack Obama in remarks said that the court’s historic decision “reaffirmed a fundamental principle, that here in America, the wealthiest nation on Earth, no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.”

The Court’s decision ensured that in Washington, DC, a city where the temperatures have already reached into the hundreds, the political debates of the summer leading up to the presidential election will only get hotter.  But as the President said candidly, “I didn’t do this because it was good politics.  I did it because it was good for the American people.”

It is now the law of the land, and an American Right: Affordable Health Care, is coming for all Americans.  There will be those who speak of costs.  But will they also mention that studies for years have placed Americans behind many developed countries in health care performance.  A World Health Organization’s study in 2000 stated that, “The U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country, but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance.” (See graph below of US in comparison to other developed nations)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in his remarks, that if elected, his first act as president, will be to repeal the law.  Yet his signature rests on the Massachusetts bill used as a framework for the ACA.  And Massachusetts ranks first in the number of people uninsured at 5% in the nation.  http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparetable.jsp?ind=125&cat=3&sort=156

There are many Americans who will be voicing their opposition to the ACA.  President Franklin Roosevelt and almost every president after him faced huge opposition when attempting to pass a universal health care law.  As with many things, change can be slow to happen.  Let’s remember Medicare and provisions of the New Deal were hotly contested.  Today, they are major staples in our Great Society.

So as the summer months pass, and Tuesday, November 6, 2012 approaches, it is important that before engaging in the political debate, we first embrace a new American Right: Affordable Health Care.  And encourage every American to learn how this Act, seeks to improve the overall health outcomes of every American. Below are some provisions of the Act you should know.

  • If you are one of the 250 million Americans who have health insurance this Act protects you.
  • Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive.
  • Can no longer discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions.
  • Can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick.
  • Can no longer increase your premium without reason.
  • Are required to provide free preventative care like checkups and mammograms.
  • Insurance companies are required to provide a rebate if they spend too much money on administrative costs and CEO bonuses and not enough on your healthcare.
  • Children can stay on their parent’s health care plans until they are 26; and
  • Seniors receive a discount on their Medicare cost, saving an average of 600 dollars a year.

US Compared to Other Developed Countries http://www.commonwealthfund.org/News/News-Releases/2010/Jun/US-Ranks-Last-Among-Seven-Countries.aspx

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“It’s Obama’s Fault”

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Plain and simple, the President and the Democrats don’t have a message!

If President Barack Obama wants the opportunity to serve four more years, his campaign is going to have to stop explaining and start telling us where we go from here?

Let’s be fair, President Obama cannot fix the economy alone.  No man or woman can.  And the government cannot continue throwing money at the problem to get the economy where it needs to be.  Who remembers the 80’s commercials, Made in America?  We have to get back to that America, the one where we make the best products and buy them proudly, because they are “Made in America.”

There’s too much going on hurting the economy here and abroad.  Europe and the European Union have decisions to make, that impact all of us.  Every time our economy jumpstarts, something in Europe brings it down.  And when theirs rebounds, something here brings theirs down.  It’s truly a global economy.

The President cannot control the market, but he can control his message.  And the message is weak.  It’s natural to want to explain the ins and outs of an issue.  But Americans have a short attention span.  That’s why Democrats tell us why, how we got here, and who is to blame.  When most of us really want to know, how are you going fix it and where will it take us?

Mitt Romney has a simple message.  It lacks substance, but it can easily be repeated, by the average American.  “It’s Obama’s Fault”. You can tweet it, and post it on Facebook.  But you can’t do anything with it on Foursquare.  On an elevator, if you say “It’s Obama’s Fault!” you can make an enemy or a new friend.  And eventually millions will be saying it, and you will find it on a bumper sticker.

The President’s campaign is stuck in 2004.  When you’re the president you don’t send emails like the one asking for a donation, in exchange for entering your name, for a chance to win dinner, with the President at George Clooney’s house?  This isn’t Publisher’s Clearinghouse.  Eventually with mass mailings, you reach all the people who are going to give you money for that.

What I want to pull from my mailbox, or read in my email, is a quick one pager with bullets of the President’s achievements.  And there are many.  Snippets of what the President is saying and where he wants to take us.  Something we can repeat.  If he doesn’t on January 20, 2013, there will be millions of American’s watching Mitt Romney take the Oath of Office saying, “It’s Obama’s Fault.”

Cognitive Relevance

Cognitive  “conscious intellectual activity.” Relevance “relation to the matter at hand.” Merriam Webster Dictionary

Welcome to Cognitive Relevance!  I hope you read the blogs, and share your thoughts, comments and  information.

For Americans, the US Constitution is a valuable roadmap to legislation and judicial decisions that impact everyone living in the United States of America.  Unfortunately, too many are unaware of the meaning let alone the history of this very important document. More importantly, unaware of its relevance to our daily lives.

This is so true when following politics.  Reaction and emotion guide far too many, and cloud our judgment because instead of studying an issue we allow  MSNBC, CNN, and FOX News to spoon feed their thoughts on issues of the day.

Don’t take the wrong side of an argument just because your opponent has taken the right side.”  Baltasar Gracian

Since the Gingrich Revolution during the Clinton Presidency we have seen our politicians divided and irresponsible leaders in our Congress.  Tea Party, left leaning Democrats, right leaning Republicans, how about sound judgment from our politicians.

In a private conversation in the White House residence, President Lyndon Johnson a Democrat said to then former Vice President Richard Nixon a Republican, “We politicians are like lawyers who get together for a drink after fighting each other like hell in the courtroom.”

As you read this blog, I encourage you to ask the hard questions.  We may have different political views so let’s debate.  But at the end of the day let’s do as our politicians of old did, let’s be friends.   My view point on social and political issues broadens by listening to other viewpoints I may not have considered. I may not be swayed by your opinion, but at the end of the day, I will know it and respect it by seeking to understand it.

Whether its Trayvone Martin, President Obama’s Healthcare Bill, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy or is LeBron worthy to be anointed King James before winning a championship, I look forward to hearing your comments.  Let’s be Cognitive.  And let’s understand the Relevance of an issue, before we jump on the soap box. #CognitiveRelevance