J.C. Moore Online
Current Events from a Science Perspective

Posts Tagged ‘obama’

Bits and Pieces 7: The President and the National Debt

Tue ,02/08/2011

This link is to a Tulsa World Cartoon showing Congress playing President Obama like a fiddle. Many who commented on it used it as an excuse to criticize Obama. They need to stop and think.

Yes, Congress is playing Obama like a fiddle. However, it reminds me of the story of Solomon. When two women came before him, both claiming the same son, Solomon ordered the boy cut in two and each woman given half. When one woman, cried “No”, she would give up her claim, Solomon awarded her the child, as she obviously cared more for it.

When Congress demanded Obama extend the tax cuts or they would cut benefits to the unemployed, Obama compromised. When Congress would have let us default on our debts, causing untold damage to our financil institutions and our citizens, Obama compromised. You may criticize Obama for compromising, but I think it is clear who cares more for America.

Coffee, Tea, and Civility

Wed ,31/03/2010

There was quite a contrast between the Tea Party and the Coffee Party meetings. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck were at the Tulsa Convention Center this month to kick off their “Take Back the Country Program.” In front of about 6,000 enthusiastic Tea Partiers, they criticized President Obama’s administration, Washington politicians, progressives, journalists, Democrats, liberals, moderates, and conservatives who actually want to conserve something. The ex-governor of Alaska took shots at Obama — whom the crowd booed — and made fun of the Democratic congressional leaders. An animated Beck attacked progressives, saying they are for revolutionary government intrusion and they misinterpret the Constitution as a living document. (He is apparently unaware of the 27 Amendments). The crowd was really upset that they are subject to taxes and regulations and they want to take their country back. A small group of protesters stood outside the Convention Center holding American flags and signs saying “Take our Country Forward” and “Say no to hate and fear-mongering.” That’s not likely as Palin and Beck have found the power of hate and fear -and also the profitability. They each received a large, but undisclosed, fee for their performance.

In contrast, across town was the organizational meeting of the Coffee Party. They are people also unhappy about how things are going in Washington, but they have a very different plan for addressing the problem. The Coffee Party is a National movement being formed from citizens who think that government has a proper role in our lives and who just want it to function. The goals of the Coffee Party are to end the partisanship that has kept the government from functioning, to halt the flow of misinformation, and to end the hate some people have against those who disagree with them. To join the Coffee Party, you just have to agree with the pledge:

I agree to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.

Issues brought up at the Coffee Party meeting were partisanship, health care, the environment, banking reform, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, job creation, corporate lobbying, the national debt, and the flow of misinformation. The group agreed that an individual could not solve these problems alone, but that we should take “E Pluribus Unum” seriously. We may have very different ideas and viewpoints, but we must put those aside and work together to solve the problems facing us as a country. The most important thing that we can do as individuals is to abide by our pledge and to support candidates, both Democrat and Republican, who are willing to work with the other party in a civil fashion to solve the problems confronting us.

Can Kids with Preexisting Conditions Be Excluded?

Fri ,26/03/2010

After a year of wrangling over the Health Care Reform Bill, there are claims that the bill may not cover kids with preexisting conditions until 2014. That is not so. The Weekly Standard has championed this idea with an article titled Oops: Health Care Bill Does not Cover Kids Preexisting Conditions.(1) The language of the Bill was written by the Senate but the focus of the article is to blame President Obama . There seems to be some ambiguity in the way the bill is worded and insurance companies may be trying to use it as a loophole. One might wonder why this is just now being brought up. But, there is more to the story.

The Weekly Standard took its information from an AP news article. It is an example of cherrypicking as the Weekly Standard didn’t tell the whole story. The AP news article also goes on to quote HHS spokesman Nick Papas who said: “To ensure that there is no ambiguity on this point, the secretary of HHS is preparing to issue regulations next month making it clear that the term ‘pre-existing exclusion’ applies to both a child’s access to a plan and his or her benefits once he or she is in the plan for all plans newly sold in this country six months from today,” (2)

In spite of all the hullabaloo created by the Weekly Standard, the Christian Science Monitor says denial of insurance to kids with preexisting conditions will end this year. They say ” Six months from the day the bill was signed (let’s see … that’ll be Sept. 23, by our calculation), insurers will no longer be able to exclude children with preexisting conditions from being covered by their family policy. For current policies, that means insurers will have to rescind preexisting-condition exclusions.” (3)

The medical information site, WEB-MD has some answers about what reform will mean to consumers: Question: “What provisions begin soon? “Answer: “Starting this year, children up to age 26 would be allowed to remain on their parents’ health plan. People with pre-existing medical conditions would be eligible for a new federally funded “high-risk” insurance program. Small businesses could qualify for tax credits of up to 35% of the cost of premiums. Insurance plans would be barred from setting lifetime caps on coverage and would no longer be able to cancel policies when a patient gets sick. Health plans would also be prohibited from excluding pre-existing conditions from coverage for children. “(4)

So there is no “Oops” as the Weekly Standard claims. Kids with preexisting conditions will be able to get insurance coverage this year.

Update, 03/29/2010:  Apparently, this has been completely straightened out:

“After Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote a letter warning insurers against using loopholes to avoid covering children with pre-existing conditions, AHIP President Karen Ignagni wrote back to say insurers will comply with all regulations.”(5)

(1) http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/oops-health-care-bill-does-not-cover-kids-pre-existing-conditions
(3) http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0324/Health-care-reform-bill-101-rules-for-preexisting-conditions
(4) http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20100322/faq-how-health-care-reform-will-affect-consumers-employers?ecd=wnl_day_032410

(5) http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/ahip-responds-to-sebelius-letter-about-kids-with-pre-existing-conditions.php

Research credit: Barbara Moore