GOV’T HEALTH CARE WOULD BE A BIGGER FAILURE THAN S.S. AND MEDICARE

by Lloyd Streeter

An argument advanced, time and time again, by Democrats in their Town Halls is that Social Security and Medicare are successful government programs. “Therefore,” they say, “we should have government health insurance, also.” But both SS and Medicare are failures. Both of these forced government annuities are broke.

Why is Social Security a failure? First, because, if, at age 66, you had all of the money you paid to SS, plus interest, you would have far more than the average person ever collects from SS. And, you would still have enough money left over to purchase an annuity to give you a SS-like income after your savings is expired.

Secondly, remember, that you now pay 12.4% of your income to SS. That is equivalent to paying to SS one full year’s salary out of every eight. If a worker’s wages are less than $106,800.00 per year, and he works from age 20 through age 67, SS will take the equivalent of 100% of that worker’s wages for seven of those years. Imagine that! Seven years labor to pay for Social Security. Most people never draw out of SS the amount they paid, plus interest. Those who die before age 62 get nothing back from SS except $200 toward their funeral. Most men are dead before age 70. Those who die at age 70 will have received less than $100k on average. Women tend to live longer, but their average monthly payments from SS are less than what men receive.

Thirdly, there have been many cuts in SS, contrary to what politicians would have us believe. Survivor benefits have been cut. Full retirement age has been raised. Eighty percent of benefits are now taxed by the Federal government and by some State governments. Cost of living payments have been suspended for at least the next two years. These are all cuts. Politicians do not want to admit that these are cuts because anyone favoring cuts in SS would not be reelected. So, they have brought these cuts in through the back door.

And finally, SS is broke. No surprise, with all of the government abuse of this program. If the President and Congress cared as much about our seniors as they do about the irresponsible big banks, the radical false environmentalists, and the greedy automobile labor union executives, they would find money to rescue SS and Medicare.

Government’s mishandling of SS and Medicare is typical of the ineptitude and inefficiency of any government bureaucracy. It would not be any different with government run health insurance.

If the SS taxes had been saved and invested instead of raided and spent, how much better it would have been. Through the magic of compounding, the money paid into the system, over the 45-50 years of the average beneficiary’s working career, would have been so great that SS would be solvent, and no one would have found a reason to make cuts.

As it stands today, SS is certainly an example of poor government planning and poor government management. Government management of our health care would be even worse. It would be a disaster.

Medicare is a similar example of mismanagement. It is unfair to medical providers, approving only a fraction of the cost of treatments and diagnostics. The result is that Medicare patients and the taxpayers are the losers.

How are patients the losers?

  1. Patients may have trouble finding a doctor. Doctors, and other providers, are losing money on medicare patients. Therefore, some doctors will not take any more medicare patients. Probably all doctors will keep all of their patients who turn 65 and go on medicare. But, if the patient moves, or for any other reason, is looking for a new doctor, he may not be able to find one
  2. Medicare patients may not be able to go to the doctor of their choice. They can only go to a doctor who will agree to take them as patients.
  3. Medicare patients may not be able to get the tests, treatments, or surgeries that their doctor says they need. Medicare decides what procedures it will cover. Of course, private insurance companies also decide what procedures they will pay for, but these decisions must be according to the policy, and the patient can shop for the best policy. The Medicare patient does not have that option.
  4. There is another way that Medicare patients and all tax payers are the losers. When hospitals and other providers are forced to take less than the procedures cost, the real high cost is passed on to other insured patients, and, in the case of public hospitals, to the tax payers. This, in turn, drives up the premiums on all private health insurance. This premium busting cost is often overlooked. Indeed, the liberals are now using the cost of health insurance as an excuse for a “government option.” This is ironic because the Federal government is one of the biggest reasons for the high cost of private insurance.

And now, Mr. Obama is saying that he plans on helping to pay for government health insurance for all Americans by taking the “waste” out of Medicare, five hundred billion dollars of “waste.” By “waste,” he means those “unnecessary tests and procedures” that our doctors think we need to keep us alive and keep us walking. Obama and the liberals in Congress do not believe that seniors are worth the expense to the Medicare system (which the seniors bought and paid for). To Obama, it is a “waste” to keep these old, non-productive people alive.

The Federal government is breaking faith with its seniors. Social Security and Medicare are “bait and switch” programs because the rules have been changed in the middle of the game. These programs are not what seniors thought they would be, and not what seniors were told that they would be at the time that those seniors were forced into them.

These programs are no longer what seniors paid for. America is indeed turning its back on its seniors.

Now the liberals want the government to take over the entire health care insurance business and the entire health industry. Those liberals want a government panel to decide health care standards and treatments for the various “classes” of people. They want the government to have power to hand out penalties to individuals, employers, insurance companies, and providers that do not do as government wants. They want a Federal Health and Insurance Commissioner with enormous, unimaginable power.

If it becomes a reality, the “government option” and government health care program will be a bigger failure than Social Security and Medicare combined.  (9/23/09)

AARP PROPAGANDA

by Lloyd Streeter

AARP sent out an email to it’s members asking them to promote it’s talking points about health care.  The talking points are just propaganda.  I am going to discuss here the AARP talking points, but I am not going to say what AARP wants me to say.

“FACT #1: Medicare will not be ended, and no benefits or services will be cut.”

My Response:  There is no final bill as yet.  It is still a work in progress, and no one knows exactly what will be in it.  So, neither AARP nor anyone else knows if Medicare will be ended or cut.  What some members of congress have suggested, however, is that there should be a new federal health insurance and that people presently receiving Medicare should be shunted into that new program.  The idea is that all of the problems with Medicare could thus be solved.  In that case Medicare would end.  The real question is: Will America break faith with its Seniors?  After all, Seniors bought and paid for Medicare.  Will there now be a “bait and switch?”  Medicare should be looked upon as a form of annuity, a financial instrument that is bought before the time of need.  If seniors had not been forced to buy Medicare, they might have had money to buy some other plan.  There have already been many cuts in both Medicare and Social Security, and there are many in Congress who want to make more cuts in benefits.

“FACT #2: No legislation currently in Congress would mandate the rationing of care.  Period.”

My Response: Of course there isn’t.  Why would anyone in Congress write that into a bill?  The real question is:  Will rationing be the logical consequence of national health insurance?  The answer is, YES.  Under a national health insurance program, providers (Doctors and hospitals) would be told that the pay schedule for various procedures will be so much, about 1/3 of what the providers are now charging.  The consequence of the government’s pay schedule will be that in the future there will be fewer and fewer providers, and far fewer QUALITY providers.  You ask, “How do you know that the government program will pay far less than Doctors now paid?”  Answer: Because that is what has happened with Medicare.  The result of having fewer providers will be rationing of health care.  It is inevitable.  In every socialist country, this is what has happened!  Nationalized care leads to a cut in remuneration for providers, and that leads to rationing.

“FACT #3:  There is no provision of (sic) any piece of legislation that would promote euthanasia of any kind.”

My Response: No.  It would take a real idiot of a Congressman to write something like that into a proposed bill, provided, of course, that he wanted it to pass.  The real question is:  Will the inevitable rationing of health care result in the government refusing to pay for procedures that might keep seniors alive?  Some in the Administration and in Congress are on record as being in favor of turning down care for old people when the money and resources are needed for young people.  These are the horrible realities of health care rationing.  Rationing can best be avoided by letting the free market system work, resulting in both young and old alike receiving the care they need.

“FACT #4:  We have not endorsed President Obama’s plan.”

My Response:  Words are tricky, sometimes.  Endorsed? How about promoted?  Obama does not have a plan yet.  But is AARP pushing for a nationalized health care insurance program?  Yes.  And does Obama have AARP “in the tank” for a nationalized health insurance program?  Yes.  In fact, the President said as much yesterday.  The AARP leadership and Board does not speak for a majority of it’s membership on this.  That is why AARP is speaking out of both sides of it’s mouth on this issue.

FACT #5: “So what is AARP fighting for in health reform?  1. Stopping insurance companies from charging older Americans unaffordable premiums because of their age.  2.  Ending the practice of excluding people from insurance because of pre-existing conditions.  3.  Holding down health costs and making insurance coverage more affordable for all Americans.  4.  Making prescription drugs more affordable by narrowing the Medicare doughnut hole, bringing generics to market faster, and allowing Medicare to negotiate better drug prices.”

My Response:  Comprehensive nationalized health care is not needed in order to achieve  these worthy goals.  These are worthwhile goals.  And you could add, 5. Give financial incentives to medical schools and prospective new doctors.  6.  Kick some of the illegal border jumpers out of our country, because they are bleeding the health care system dry.  7.  Fix the tort system.  It should also be added that the 4th item above has already been achieved through the cooperation of the drug companies who are going to narrow the doughnut hole by making drugs cheaper for those who reach the $2,700 limit.  The other goals mentioned here could be reached with out having a nationalized health care system.  We do not need a government takeover of the health and insurance industries.

WHAT I OWE BARACK OBAMA

by Lloyd Streeter

He has won the presidency. Barack Obama will become our 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2009. I did not vote for him. Barack was too liberal for me. He will not support a right to life for an unborn child. He wants to redistribute the wealth by taxing the “haves” and giving the money to the “have nots,” just as his liberation theology teaches. There are other things about his character, his demeanor, and his philosophy with which I strongly disagree. But he has been elected. My fellow countrymen have spoken.

What should I do now? Some would say that I should speak of Mr. Obama only with disdain and contempt. Some of his antagonists will say that we should disrespect him, speak evil of him, and oppose him at every turn no matter what suggestion or goal he might put forth. Well, there is something to be said for being the “loyal opposition.” We should oppose wrong-headed politics. So, I will lend whatever influence I might have to defeat any socialistic idea, any idea that will give our tax dollars to shabbily run banks and companies that cannot compete in our free market system, any idea that will weaken the U.S. military and make it too lean to protect my children and grandchildren from U.S. hating aggressive nations and terrorists. Yes, I will write, speak, and teach to oppose any policy of President Obama and our liberal congress when that policy will result in harm to our country.

But, I do owe something to President Obama. He will be my President, the President of our country, the greatest country on earth. He will be the number one representative of our country where ever he goes in this world. He was elected by the people of my America, a place I greatly love. President Obama will be to me like the U.S. flag, a symbol of the freedom ideals that made America the great country that she is.

I owe President Obama my prayers. I have always prayed for our Presidents, the ones I voted for and the ones I didn’t. Come to think of it, if I didn’t vote for a man who becomes President, maybe I should pray more for him than for a President for whom I did vote. President Bush has often told individuals with whom he spoke that he appreciates the prayers that have gone up for him. Sometimes he has said this with tears on his face. I think that President Obama will appreciate the prayers of our citizens, too. But whether he does or not, I will still pray for him, because I am not praying to make him feel better. I am praying for him because he needs our prayers. I am praying for him because without God’s blessing there will be shame, weakness, failure, dishonor and defeat for our country.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Tim. 2:1-2).

President Obama will hold great authority. He will be the most powerful man in the world. Therefore, we are commanded, as Christians, to pray for him. We must remember that “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). God is able to change Mr. Obama’s mind. God is able to cause our new President to rule in a way that will surprise everyone; even Obama himself may be surprised to find that he makes decisions that are very conservative, capitalistic, and cautious.

So, I will pray that Mr. Obama will come under the influence of people who are pro-life, people who favor a strong military, people who believe strongly in the private ownership of property, people who believe in the right to make a profit, and people who believe that workers should be able to keep what they earn.

I will pray that Mr. Obama will set a good example in his life style, and that he and his administration will be free from scandal.

I will pray that he will make good decisions, that he will make good appointments, and that he will reject extreme internationalism.

Mr. Obama could be a good President, but if he is, it will be because Christian people pray for him, and because he listens to the voice of God. I owe it to him to pray for him.

I also owe it to Mr. Obama to respect him. He will hold our nation’s highest office. He was elected by the American people. To treat him with contempt would be to disrespect my country and the process that brought him to that high office.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. . . honor the king” (I Peter 2:13-17).

When Mr. Clinton was President, I strongly disagreed with his life style. He was a fornicator, a liar, and a licentious man, and all of this in the Oval Office. However, I was careful in what I said about the President. I did not rail against him. I did not call him disrespectful names. In the pulpit and in the classroom, I was careful to speak of him as our President, with honor. Why did I speak of Mr. Clinton with such reverence? Because the Bible says that we should honor our governmental leaders. Not the ones we like, only. Not the ones with which we agree, only. No, we must honor all who hold the office, because God says so.

This does not mean that we cannot disagree and say so. It does not mean that we can not criticize bad decisions. If the President promotes a bad policy, we ought to stand against that policy. But we should still respect the President for the office he holds. We should not call him bad names or heap scorn upon his head.

God brought Mr. Obama to the presidency. We do not know why. Some have said that we get the kind if leaders that we deserve. That was certainly true when Israel got Saul as her king. But be that as it may, it is after all, God Who placed Mr. Obama in office. God could have prevented Mr. Obama from winning the election, but He didn’t. So, we must recognize God’s choice and be respectful of God’s choice.

Paul wrote, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher power. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” (Romans 13:1-2).

Paul goes on to say that our rulers are ministers of God to us (v. 4); we should be subject not only for wrath sake, but also for conscience sake (v. 5); and therefore we should render fear (reverence) to whom fear is due, and honor to whom honor is due (v. 7).

I wish President Obama well. I pray that he will be in good health. I pray that his wife and family will be safe and peaceful. I pray that he will have a wisdom that could come only from God. I pray that he will gather to himself advisers who are sensible. I pray that he will quickly develop a maturity that is beyond his years and experience. I pray that his faith will be in the Lord (as he professes it is). And I pray that he will be a far better President than his critics have predicted. And, I am one arch conservative right winger who will respect Mr. Obama as my President no matter how things turn out.

WHY I WILL VOTE FOR McCAIN

By Lloyd Streeter

      Not long ago, it was my plan to “hold my nose” and vote for John McCain for President. It would be a vote against Barack Obama more than a vote for McCain. But since McCain has named Sarah Palin as his VP choice, I am no longer holding my nose. Sarah, the very conservative and sensible governor of Alaska, is the hope of some sanity coming back to government.

      Voting for Senator Barack Obama was never an option for me. As an Independent, I have voted for some Democrats in the past. In fact, two years ago, my ballot was split right down the middle, half for Republicans and half for Democrats. Many of the city, county, and state offices had Democrat incumbents who were good public servants, were doing a fine job, and deserved to be returned to office. I have never been prejudiced for or against any particular political party. So, why do I say that voting for Obama was never a possibility for me? The reasons are all based on principles of morality and ethics. As the most liberal senator in the US Senate, Mr. Obama is a supporter of abortion on demand, even very late term abortions known as “partial birth abortions.” Babies are persons, both before and after birth, and to kill them is contrary to both God’s law and natural law. Abortion is a heartless, cruel, immoral thing. NO Christian should be involved in it in any way; and no Christian should vote for any pro-abortion candidate for any office if there is any alternative.

      Voting for Obama was also not an option for me because he favors raising taxes on all incomes over $200,000. This would include both personal and business incomes. Of course, raising taxes on businesses means that all Americans will pay for these increases. Businesses must pass along to consumers the cost of doing business. Americans have already been hit during the last year with the biggest increases in prices in the memory of man. If Obama has his way, all of us will be paying even more for food, gasoline, clothing, insurance, and all other goods and services. Many small businesses will not be able to survive with the increase in taxes, and this will mean the loss of many jobs.

      Still another reason that Obama is not right for America is his commitment to Black Liberation Theology. Liberation Theology is a Marxist philosophy for the redistribution of the wealth of the world. This philosophy kept Obama in Rev Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years. According to Black Liberation Theology, white people are the enemy, the oppressors of the black race, and the wealth of white people should be taken away and given to the black race. This, of course, is a racist philosophy which tends to cause strife and racial hatred. This is the philosophy behind Michelle Obama’s very bitter comments about America. To Michelle, America is a mean-spirited, stingy, wasteland of a country of which she finds it difficult to be proud. Barack has tried to hide his own adherence to Liberation Theology. However, a person’s theology will always be expressed in his decisions, policies, and positions, because it is basic and at the core of who he is. So he will favor more and more taxes from the “haves” so that money can be given for the medical, educational, and housing care of the “have nots.” All Liberation Theology is anti-scriptural, immoral, and contrary to all that is true about God.

John McCain has taken some positions about which I have long disagreed. He has taken a soft stand on illegal immigration, looking for ways to allow law breaking border crossers to stay in America. He was critical of the US military’s handling of prisoners of war, calling it “torture,” even though there was no torture taking place. He sponsored and pushed through Congress “campaign reform” that put a limit on our freedom of speech. He praised John Kerry during the 2004 campaign, action that nearly cost George Bush the election. And, he has been slow to come to any support of policies that would provide America with more energy: oil, coal, or nuclear. He still opposes drilling in Anwar.

       In John’s favor, it should be said that he is a true American hero, a man of true integrity and patriotic dignity, deserving of our respect. Furthermore, McCain has always been pro-life. And, he has been opposed to “earmarks” and other wasteful spending.

       So, McCain is a “mixed bag,” and until recently, I planned to “hold my nose” and vote for him. But, when he chose Sarah as his running mate, I let go of my nose. I am now more enthusiastic about voting for John. Why? Because I am looking to the future.

Sarah will be an influence during the next four years–an influence for good in a place where a voice of sanity is much needed.

       I do not expect McCain to be running for President in 2012, if he becomes President this year. He will be 76 in 2012. He would be 80 years old at the end of a second term–too old.

But, if Sarah Palin is Vice President for the next four years, the presidential nomination will be hers for the taking in 2012. I believe she will make a better leader for our country than anyone else in sight today.

       Palin is a genuine conservative, pro-life, lower taxes, “keep-government-off-our-backs” real person from the working class. She does not just “talk the talk,” she “walks the walk.” She is true grit, Ronald Reagan in a skirt.

       She has been abused and mistreated by the liberal media, liberal politicians, and the old feminists. Her family has been attacked. The meanest things ever heard have been said about Sarah and her family. “Let the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing.” The more she is attacked, the more the common people get into her corner.

       The liberals were ready for a coronation. Obama, they thought, has already won. NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN have been campaigning for Obama every day for the past two years. Those liberals helped Obama win against Hillary Clinton, and they think to do the same thing against McCain. “And, the very idea of the first woman Vice President being a conservative! Unthinkable!”

        Our prayer for America is that voters will be wise and have enough courage to do the right thing. Our future, the future of our children and grandchildren is on the line.