Category Archives: election2010

Behind the healthcare debate

All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida

Long last, the decision everyone was waiting for. The Supreme Court voted 5 – 4 on Thursday to uphold President Obama’s healthcare law, the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA).

Since ACA was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, quite a few very important parts have already gone into effect.

• Providing small business health insurance Tax Credit

• Relief for millions of seniors in the Medicare Prescription Drug “Donut Hole”

• Providing access to insurance for uninsured Americans w/ pre-existing conditions

• Extended coverage for young adults to stay on parent’s plan till age 26

• Providing free preventative care

• Eliminating lifetime limits

• Prohibiting denying coverage of children based on pre-existing conditions

• Prescription drug discounts

• Free preventive care for seniors

Much of this has been overshadowed and misunderstood due to continuous debates and the ongoing effort to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act better known as, “Obamacare”.

The Republican Campaign in 2010 focused greatly on a total repeal, signing pledges and stating their mission if elected would be this repeal and making sure Obama was a one term President.

As they campaigned, it wasn’t about what they could do to improve our nation, their states or what jobs they would actually focus on once they were seated in Washington. Their focus was on what they could undo and how they could use tactics to somehow tarnish Obama’s first term in office to hopefully make it his only term in office.

The way this Congress has been operating is exactly the way the 2010 candidates presented themselves during their campaigns. They ran on misinformation, desperation and what became a popular and easy idea because of them, REPEAL!

What did the American people get? Voter’s remorse maybe? But, a large number of Americans are also getting insurance benefits they did not have and that is due to the Affordable Care Act these same Republicans have and are still trying to in some way repeal.

As the Supreme Court’s decision came in, it was clear there would be statements from both sides. This debate has gone on for this long and is a topic that not only has an effect on the lives of so many Americans but has also caused such an ongoing divide amongst a large number of individuals as well. The idea of that should be troubling but it seems to be feeding an ongoing debate that often times the media is playing into.

The divisions are often based on misunderstandings of the law or due to social and economical differences. These differences are not new and often come up in other issues as well. The idea is to bridge gaps not feed into the source causing them.

The first need is to understand what the Affordable Care Act is and what it is not. Stay informed.

The second thing is to not only consider the needs of the American people now but also in the future. Understand that things happen in life that people could never plan on.

Example: One day, without notice a person can suffer a massive heart attack, have a stroke or be diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, cancer or come down chronically ill with something that makes them unable to work, continue day to day activity or even be given the news they are facing death. Most people do not want to think this can happen to them and certainly one would hope this doesn’t happen to anyone.

When something like this occurs however, life takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly the focus is on the illness, treatments, doctor and hospital visits and most everything else is on the back burner. This is a time of extreme uncertainty.

This situation happens all across America, everyday. This affects working families, single income families with or without insurance, every economic level, any race, any religion and at any time.

Things that should not be happening are insurance companies taking advantage of people getting sick by denying treatments and/or medications ordered by the doctor, hiking up rates on patients because they are receiving treatment and/or setting annual or lifetime dollar limits on a patient’s coverage.

These tactics make medical cost for insured patients unaffordable. They also shouldn’t be able to deny someone coverage because they happened to survive their heart attack, stroke, cancer or are living with asthma, diabetes or other illnesses they consider to be “pre-existing”.

Everyone should agree to this. That is simple.

Healthcare is a must for everyone. It shouldn’t depend on your age, your economic status or whether you are coming down sick or in really serious condition. A person is more likely to stay behind their health with health insurance than without. Chronic conditions need to be managed or they can become life-threatening. Many viruses could be better managed if more people received flu shots and many conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol could be kept under control before more serious conditions arose due to either a person not knowing about the condition or the lack of available treatment.

Overall, people do not like getting sick, enjoy feeling better even if they may dislike or are nervous to visit a doctor.

Soon after the Supreme Court’s decision, Mitt Romney made a statement. Part of his statement was this. “If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that. That we return to the American people the privilege they’ve always had to live their lives in the way they feel most appropriate. Where we don’t pass on to coming generations massive deficits and debt, where we don’t have a setting where jobs are lost.”

The problem with that statement is a great number of people are not able to live the way they feel “appropriate” or even acceptable. Many people have to decide between getting prescriptions filled or to putting gas in the car, paying utility bills or buying groceries. A large number of families have lost homes due to medical bills or living expenses while overseeing a loved one’s medical care. Others skip going to the doctor at all together because often times they can’t afford the visit, are without insurance coverage, or the deductibles have become so large due to adjustments made trying to bring the monthly premium down.

On the idea of passing down “deficit and debts, plenty of Americans have taken out multiple mortgages on homes to pay for medical cost and/or cover expenses for time out of work during medical treatments for themselves or their loved one. That is a huge financial crisis for a family and a burden that will pass along to their children most likely.

Often times it is said that to know what someone else is going through, you’d have to walk a mile in their shoes. It shouldn’t take a mile or a “pair of shoes”. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats, winners or losers and it isn’t about the rich or the poor or the ones in the middle.

This is about all Americans and humanity.

It is also about looking ahead and being prepared.

A person or a family should not have to go broke to take care of medical expenses.

More sadly, a family shouldn’t have to lose a home while going through the loss of a loved one.

Anyone should be able to take their child to the doctor and receive quality care when they are ill.

Everyone should be able to receive quality care for chronic illnesses and not worry they may be dropped from their insurance company because they are sick.

When a family or anyone is facing a tragedy, our Country should have in place a system that shows we are a Nation with high quality care and we value each Citizen as well as our morals, unity and integrity. It should be a standard we set and a statement we are proud to stand by. It shouldn’t be an issue fought over in Washington but instead a value protected year after year.

After all, looking after the American people is their job and our future.

112th Congress – Now what?

Speaker of the House, John Boehner
Photo by: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

This week marks the beginning of the 112th congress. As of noon on Wednesday, January 5th, the House of Representatives is now a Republican majority and Rep. John Boehner was elected Speaker of the House.

Throughout the campaigning in the summer and fall, many promises were made by the GOP as to what they would do if the American voters would just give them another chance. The American voters not only gave them another chance but the GOP has the majority vote, at least in the House.

In a speech made from his hometown in Ohio on October 8, 2010, Rep. John Boehner vowed the GOP would get people back to work. He told those in the crowd, “This speech is about jobs, because this coming election is about jobs.”

Was it just the election? Since the election and their big win, not much discussion has been about jobs and the desperate need of the American people getting back to work.

A major goal of the GOP going into congress seems to be focused on repealing healthcare, which for those who deal with healthcare, need healthcare and/or have taken the time to understand Healthcare Reform know this is a big mistake. If the GOP wants to do anything with healthcare, work together and build on what is there to make it better, stronger.

Just today, the CBO – Congressional Budget Office has said in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) repealing healthcare will add $230 billion to the deficit over the next decade and leave 32 million fewer people with insurance and raise cost for those covered by insurance. See the CBO Director’s detailed report on his blog here.

Millions of Americans are driven to bankruptcy each year due to not having health insurance or their health insurance carrier working against them through “loopholes” such as saying their condition was pre-existing or they had reached their lifetime payout amount so the insurance company is no longer required to cover anymore costs.

These are just two examples of “loopholes” insurance companies have used. There are plenty of stories of how insurance companies have basically ripped off their customers after years of paying premiums only to leave them without coverage when it was time to pay a claim.

Currently there are millions of Americans needing jobs. They need jobs and healthcare. This will help the American economy, American families and help get America back on track.

Why is the new congress coming in and trying to undo one of the greatest advancements that have been made over the past few decades instead of helping the American voters as they promised? Is it due to not having a plan on how to do what they have promised?

Help create jobs. Help promote hiring of jobless Americans.

Instead of working to repeal healthcare, work to make things better for those who elected you into office, the American voters in the towns across America.

Start with improving Washington and the ability of its elected officials being able to work together and get things done in an appropriate amount of time, appropriate in the eyes of the American people, the voters. Have press conferences about solutions and advancements, not about conflicts, broken promises and how the other party is unwilling to work with one another. Make it work.

Make America work by getting Americans back to work.

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Vote for more than a win

During these last days before the elections, each race is being watched and poll numbers coming are giving a glimpse into what could be expected on the evening of November 2nd.


Across the country, there are some very close races, some races that have been fought out using extreme funding and others that have really crossed some lines on what is acceptable when it comes to campaign do’s and don’ts with some inappropriate and misleading statements.

Most often, this is all said to just be part of “politics” but it seems politics has a lot of room for growth, change and definite improvement.

In advertising, if a company has a good product to sell and their company is legitimate, dependable and trustworthy then an advertising campaign and word of mouth is the best way to first have the product seen and ultimately get the product into the customers’ hands. From there, a good product sells itself and will continue to prove itself and therefore word of mouth will continue to boost sales as well as build the customers’ loyalty and trust in the product. The company will also stand behind their product as any concerns may arise and improve their product along the way.

Right now, it seems campaigns have gone on continuously and between the parties a lot of unsettled differences, little to no willingness to work on bridging the gaps and a lot of expectations on the American people, yet again, to give them another chance based on the fact they have the right ideas now on how to do the right job. Why haven’t they been showing this instead of standing in the way of progress at every opportunity? There is such a thing as standing together as a party but there is also such a thing as standing in the way of moving in the right direction or blocking progress just to make a statement.

Over the time this administration has been in office, the ability to move forward has been delayed and blocked as much as possible. Still, since January 2009 a great deal has been accomplished, but with so much going on in our nation and with so much light being shed on the negative in Washington and on the fact so much still needs to improve in our nation, the understanding of these three reforms and their significance on the future of the U.S., not only our economy but our lives, has seemed to be overlooked.

These are just three examples of some historical bills that were signed into law recently.

Financial Reform: On May 22, 2009 President Obama signed into law the Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act. This was to make credit card companies be more transparent with simplified statements, ban unfair rate increases, have more protection for students and young people and for more overall accountability from the credit card companies. Unfair and irresponsible credit had been driving many credit card holders deeply into debt and many could no longer pay. Credit card companies were taking advantage of this, charging ridiculous fees, extreme hikes in interest rates and this law was geared to bring a halt to those practices.

On July 21, 2010 President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The purpose of this Act, according to the house.gov website is to “create a sound economic foundation to grow jobs, protect consumers, rein in Wall Street, end “Too Big To Fail”, prevent another financial crisis.”

These two pieces of legislation can be further read by clicking on the provided links but the enormous effect they will have as they are fully implemented show a great deal of forward thinking, preventative measures and actions that protect America from a repeat of what could have turned into another Great Depression had measures not been taken when they were and still that many are recovering from the losses they incurred and will take years to recover from.

Health Care Reform: While running for president in 2008, part of Obama’s campaign was healthcare reform. On March 23, 2010, he signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 into law.

This made significant changes to a broken health care system that had been fought for over decades and hadn’t been able to be accomplished or had been put on hold. Insurance companies had been taking advantage of consumers in their worst moments, while they were sick or even dying and leaving their loved ones to have to make decisions no one should have to make. Paying out of pocket or passing on care. Why should this be a question when someone has insurance and has been paying their premiums to cover them for when they sick and need their insurance most? Why should an insurance company be able to exclude a person just because they have had an illness before? Why should an insurance company be able to say they will only pay a certain amount per year or per lifetime when the consumer has no control over the charges a hospital, doctor or pharmacy is going to be billing them or to be able to foresee an illness that may occur at some point in their lifetime? With the Health Care Reform, this was no longer something insurance companies could do. Insurance companies could not collect money and then not pay causing the insured to have to pay out of pocket causing millions of people to go into debt each year or having to file for bankruptcy simply because they became sick.

Shockingly but not surprisingly, no Republicans and even some Democrats did not support this Health Care Reform because it became such a fight nationwide. With all of the fighting going on in Washington, America became divided as well.

The votes: Each of these laws that have been signed in will protect the consumers, the American people; the voters. These were not geared to protect a certain class of Americans, a certain party or to help anyone more than another.

Much of what has been argued over, especially across the nation has been over a lot of hearsay and not facts. Before voting, understand who has been part of bringing changes that have helped bring America forward. Understand there is still much to do and this cannot be done by an unwillingness to listen, negotiate and work for the American people while putting aside campaigning and the worry of what a vote may mean to a party but be concerned about what the vote will mean for America.

Excuses and arguments have not solved problems. People solve problems with determination, ideas and solutions and the willingness to work together, putting aside differences and negotiate for the good of everyone.

This election is not just a race to the finish line to see who wins or what party wins the most votes. The people who are elected have to work alongside others to lead our nation, make difficult decisions in tough times with people that have different opinions and ideas. This country needs the right people for the job. Their jobs are not just day to day jobs. Their decisions affect millions of people both now and in the future.

Help move America forward with your vote. By not voting, your voice isn’t heard and now more than ever, your voice is very important.

Vote November 2nd.

Why vote?

Twitter users have been asking and answering that question for a while now under the hashtag, #whyIvote. A “hashtag” is a way of creating a group or a theme on twitter so others can keep up with a topic or add to the topic and #whyIVote has definitely caught on. It became a way of showing party likes or dislikes, candidate approvals or disapprovals and there are those that give the reason why they just don’t vote. Of course, there will be a wide variety of differing opinions and insights as Twitter users range in age from young teens to the elderly, they can come from the Tampa Bay Area, New York, from Europe to Asia and they come from all walks of life and backgrounds.

What really draws attention is an overwhelming amount of inspirational reasons why people vote as well as some common sense reasons behind voting. For those on Twitter, go to the search area and type in “whyIVote to follow this hashtag and feel free to continue adding on. Here are just a few example tweets.

@utbrp “I remember the Joy I felt when Obama was elected President. I cried like a baby. No one can steal that”. #WhyiVote


@isthisamerica “Because I think our best days as a country are ahead of us, not behind us”. #whyivote


@TheHarrisWalker “Because I want to make a difference and you have no right to pass judgment on what happens if you don’t”. #whyivote

So, why vote? Voting has been the way this country has run its democratic process. The locally elected officials go on to represent their constituents both statewide and nationwide but somehow this system seems to be breaking down. In press conferences, the elected officials often say, “The American people want…” or “The American people feel…” but is it really what the majority of American people want or feel? Are they asking the people or… who do they ask? What or who do they follow? What plan of action sets up their goals in office? What happens to the promises they make?

Are the best individuals running for the job? Or, is it a “party against party” vote? Do parties look for individuals to run that are well qualified or do they back candidates that will get more votes, more campaign dollars and overall just get elected, which will bring them more seats in D.C.? What is most important to Party Officials?

To be successful, this nation needs elected officials that are looking ahead to build, empower and design a newer America while focusing on bettering our nation. What America doesn’t need is more politicians taking office to tear down, blame or go back to a system that doesn’t work.

A person that is elected to office is elected by each voter that went in and cast a ballot. That vote doesn’t stop there. Voters can be just as involved following the elections as before the elections. They can show that compromising and dropping the ball is not acceptable and not what the American people want. When elected officials see that their voters want more than someone that can stand up during campaigns and make a good speech and make more of the same promises that are made each year but then afterward nothing happens until it’s campaign time again, maybe it will show them to either make changes to how they are playing their “political game” or actually see that Americans don’t see this as a game at all. This is life.

So, why vote? To be heard, have a say and make a difference. Vote because people have fought for the freedom to vote and the ability to be represented and because this country is a democracy. Vote because you can.

Feel free to leave a comment below sharing why you vote.

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