Archive for the ‘Hurricane Harvey’ Category

Two things that unite us as Americans: One is the start of the Football Season. The Other is Catastrophic events like 911 and hurricanes.

September 14, 2017

This week’s Post about PCORI, established in 2010 by the ACA, was printed, polished and ready to go until about 6am this Monday morning. That’s when I started watching the news that was showing the various memorial services to 911 on the East coast. It reminded me again of how united and how resilient the people of the United States are when times are tough.

Recently, we have all been saddened and heartened with the stories from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The pictures and interviews display how Americans of every race and origin willingly help out other Americans of every race and origin when the time comes.

The 911 memorials today may become a bit smaller in years to come but if and when the next event occurs we know that Americans will not hesitate to jump into the fight to help others when needed.
To quote the famous philosopher and great fiddle player Mr. Charles Daniels: “you just go ahead and lay your hands on a Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan and I think you’ll finally understand”.  Which means, that Packers fans and Cowboy fans or Dolphin fans alike will step up to help a fellow American when outsiders bring trouble to the United States.

As I watched a few of the speeches this morning it made me start to think about how, as Americans, we are resilient and we are resolved to the actions needed to protect ourselves and others from future harm. Americans will do what needs to be done if given good leadership and good planning.

However, over the past 16 years, plus the 10 years prior to 911, it seems that politicians often forget this aspect of our citizens and instead start thinking about their next election. Political correctness, identity politics, and a complacent culpable media add to the danger we face.

But this week instead of PCORI, the ACA, the media or politicians I want to focus on the core strengths we have as Americans. Those strengths that led our ancestors to leave their original homes to traverse across great oceans and  mountain ranges to build the greatest country the world has ever known.

The past 4 weeks have shown us how we come together when times are tough. The memorial ceremonies for 911 show us how we come together as a nation when attacked. Now, we just need to maintain that steadfast resolution on a day-to-day basis. Help your neighbor when they need it, forgive that careless driver that cut you off this morning, and continue to pray, praise and donate to our fellow Americans who need our help.

Let me finish with a thought about the idea that the football season being a factor of unity. Some may disagree (probably soccer fans) but for six months each year three hundred of million American come together to root for their favorite team or teams. Whether its high school, college, the NFL or even Pee-wee or arena one must admit that we are avid fans. Heck, look how many people watch the Super Bowl each year (without any rioting in the stands).
So, back your favorite team which I know for all of us is Team USA.

Next week, we’re back to common sense solutions for healthcare, OK?
And remember, we’re all in this together.
Until next week,

Mark Reynolds, RHU

Promoting “polls” that suggest a change in “favorable vs. unfavorable” opinions is the new technic to support the ACA. Can we trust these polls?

September 7, 2017

You’ve probably seen them, too. Polls that show the “favorable” opinions about the ACA increasing dramatically. Since the introduction of the failed House and Senate bills to replace the ACA more articles are stating that opinion polls are showing the “favorable” attitude about the ACA increasing.

Who in the world did these polls approach. And I do mean “in the world”, because if anyone likes the ACA better now than before January 2017, they must have been people from other world counties. Another likely scenario would be that the polled population was previously uninsured who are now covered by either Medicare expansion or a state exchange with full or nearly-full subsidy.

Who could find the ACA more favorable after 7 years of:

  • Double digit premium increase (100%+ in many areas)
  • 50% fewer providers in the PPOs
  • Crappy benefits with higher out of pockets
  • Limited number of insurers

The answer is that no one would find the ACA more favorable unless:

  • You paid premium before but now it’s paid for you.
  • You were uninsurable before and had no coverage.
  • Had no coverage before but what the heck – its free now.
  • You are Harry R or Nancy P or Z Emanuel or J Gruber.
  • Or one of their relatives (even that’s unlikely, though).

The key to the outcomes in these kind of polls is often the format in which questions were formulated to meet the desired outcome of the pollster. In a sensitive issue such one’s health care it is easy to ask a yes-no question in a manner that leads the subject to the answer desired.
For instance: if I asked you “Do you think it’s fair for insurers to decline an applicant for coverage?” you could easily say NO. But, would your answer change if you knew that the applicant had several opportunities to enroll before but chose not to until just recently after a negative diagnosis was received?

Our citizens are smarter than politician think, or want for that matter, so they know what should be done. However, if they are polled with questions impossible to answer then it skews the outcome. As Ms. Vido, in My Cousin Vinny, said “It’s a bullshit question”. By that, as she goes on to explain – “It’s a trick question. No one could answer that question.” So how are we to believe these polls?

Or let’s say you were asked – “Sir, do you still beat your kids?”. Of course you don’t because you never have but you must answer yes or no. The point is that professional pollsters conducting polls for entities with certain agendas can make the American public seem like it supports or does not support an issue based on the specific outcome desired.

So, don’t you find it difficult to believe that any American would answer that he/she is more favorably inclined toward the ACA today than they were 1 or 2 years ago? Unless, it was because they were among the citizens outlined above.

I know I can be a skeptic or even a cynic, as I’ve mentioned before, but some things are beyond giving the benefit of the doubt.

Now, if you were to ask people the following questions you could be sure of people’s true opinions:

  • Do you think premiums increasing 100% per year is reasonable?
  • Do you think insurers should be subsidized by the government.
  • Do you think PPOs with half the Doctors carved out provide good service?
  • Do you think the premium you pay should be tax-deductible?
  • Do you think people who choose not to enroll should be GI with no Pre-ex later?
  • Do you want your plan to cover pediatric dental if you are a single 50 yr. old male?
  • Do you think healthy working-age people should get their coverage for free?
  • Do you think the Congress should have been better prepared to offer a replacement plan for the ACA?
  • Do you think calling the House or Senate’s bill a “repeal” was an assault on your intelligence?

I guess I got on to another rant there for a moment but you get my meaning. It is very difficult to believe that tens-of-millions of our hard-working premium-paying citizens would find the ACA more favorable today than they did a year or two ago.
But, what do you think?

Until next week, just remember that we’re all in this together.

Please keep praying for the folks in south Texas and Louisiana. They have a long haul ahead.

Mark Reynolds, RHU

Compassion with Action: why are the people of the United States never properly acknowledged for their compassion. And more importantly the actions they take to help others both home & abroad!

August 31, 2017

Is it a dopey question or do I identify a fact that all Americans know is true. This week we’re taking a break from healthcare reform out of respect for those suffering and assisting in the catastrophe of South Texas and Louisiana. I want to acknowledge and praise the great people of the United States for their consistent history of being there when others need help. Our people are always willing to help but seldom are they properly acknowledged.

Over the past 100 years, you can’t name a catastrophic event across the globe in which Americans did not lead the efforts to help the poor souls suffering from it. Often our own US media does not acknowledge our citizen’s efforts and too frequently it’s because of political reasons. Also, we don’t often hear other nations acknowledge our nation’s compassion and heroic actions to assist.

To name just a couple; the relief in Indonesia and SE Asia for tsunamis victims, earth quakes in Italy, Pakistan or Turkey, drought, starvation and disease in Africa, volcanoes all over, and of course the countless times our military has stepped in to provide relief, protection or freedom. That’s the short list but you know what we mean.

But at home, here in the US, we consistently rise up to help each other as well. We saw the American spirit during countless hurricanes and tornadoes, earth quakes in Ca, perennial blizzards and sub-zero temperatures in the northern states, Spring floods in the mid-west and east coast, wild fires across the West, poverty in rural  areas and inter-cities, and of course national crisis such as 911.

The point is that it’s the honest hard-working compassionate American citizen that steps up to lend a hand. Politicians usually just make speeches and pass out money, or at least low-interest loans, and too often try to take credit or cast blame.

But when you look close its the average citizen stacking sandbags, handing out food, water and blankets, donating desperately needed money and materials, and wading through waist-high flood-water to reach fellow citizens stranded by circumstances.

It’s hard not naming scapegoats and culprits while looking at these natural or man-made disasters. But not today, because we want to praise the good folks of our United States of America who are always willing to step up when the need is greatest.

Everyone cares, it’s human nature to care. But people taking action when action is needed is what makes the citizens of the United States so great and why the rest of the world relies so heavenly on us.

People who put others ahead of self and sacrifice their own comfort to help others are the backbone of the United States. I don’t wish to imply that people around the world in the UK, Europe, Asia and further aren’t willing.  But if one looks at the ledger of history and does a tally from where the most aid and comfort comes, one will see that the United States of America is the leader by far. Both in volume and percent of aid America sets the example to which all others should strive.

Anyway, this was on my mind. I hope you agree.

Next week, God willing, we’ll be back to offering our thoughts on the repeal, reform or repair of the American healthcare finance and delivery system.

Until then, please donate your time or treasure and say a prayer each day for all those in need. They are in Texas and Louisiana now but there are also people in need right there in your own neighborhoods.

It’s always true; but Hurricane Harvey is life’s proof that we’re definitely all in this together!

Until next week.

Mark Reynolds, RHU