ObamaCare, an election day issue

Some of the Republican candidates for President of the U.S. have promised various levels of elimination or at least curtailment of ObamaCare. However there is little coverage by the cable channels or major print organizations about the damage ObamaCare is causing the health care program for our country on a day-by-day basis.

Justin Haskins wrote in the opinion page of the “Wall Street Journal” about the “Medicaid Budget Trap.” In March 2015, CBO and JCT projected the net cost of the ObamaCare’s insurance coverage provision-including Medicaid expansion and health insurance subsidies provided through the exchanges – to be $1.26 trillion from 2017 to 2026. Their newest projections for the same period released on March 24, 2016 are $136 billion higher. Why, “The largest difference from the March 2015, projection,” the report states, “stems from an increase in projected spending for Medicaid because more people whom the ACA made eligible for Medicaid are expected to enroll than was anticipated.” This was not a surprise to any thinking person who examined the ACA plans. Still there is no cry from the house or senate to alter this program now and stop the bleeding or in the case of Medicaid the withdrawal of major insurance companies from providing needed services to citizens with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level.

This last Tuesday UnitedHealth Group withdrew from several states Medicaid programs claiming in affect that the losses were too great to continue to maintain the health services for Medicaid.

Rush Limbaugh claims that this failure of insurance companies to support Medicaid is part of a conspiracy by the left to move our nations health insurance coverage to a universal health care plan controlled by the federal government. This is not likely, what probably happened was that the administration in an effort to put the best face forward projected numbers that would make profits for the insurance companies and sustain the Medicaid programs state by state. You know the line; figures don’t lie but liar’s figure.

In any case the financial losses are piling up state by state and at the federal level, medical costs for the individual continue to rise at alarming rates despite the administrations assurances that individual insurance costs would go down by $2,500 on an annual basis. In a nutshell costs are going up and services are going down yet no out-cry from the public or articles on TV/Radio or in local papers cry out for change. My question is why not. Is it possible that the Republicans are only partially committed to shutting down ObamaCare or they are going to just “alter” the programs to retain some of the more attractive services? Paul Ryan has stated the Republican Party does have a replacement plan but doesn’t want to present it until the 2016 election is completed and there is a clear understanding of the support the party can get from the congress and possibly the White House.

Regardless of the Republican parties plans for health care there needs to be an out cry in the press about the structural failings of ObamaCare and the losses states and individuals are incurring as this failed health care program continues to reak havoc on our citizens.

LinkedIn

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, April 13, 2016 written by Joanna Stern and titled “Ignoring LinkedIn is Hurting Your Career” she has made some interesting observations. She says that linkedIn has dramatically improved its iOS and Android apps over the past few months with even more iPhone app changes. Although I don’t know if she intended to make the point, she does suggest users are careless in what they provide as personal and business background and that may hurt your business opportunities in the future.

As a user of LinkedIn I recognize that I have provided information or the potential to get information that may not be in my best interest. She also points out what I think may be the most important point in her article and that is that we as participants in LinkedIn click acceptance to almost anyone who asked because it is easier than looking at those reminder check marks. She also point out that LinkedIn has a hidden “remove Connection” button that can clear your connections list one at a time. I think her admonishment to pick your contacts carefully is the most important suggestion. I would also acknowledge that I’ve received more and better jobs proposals than I have had from any other service.

I urge anyone who is currently using LinkedIn or considering signing up to read this article.

Women presidents part 3

I’ve written two other columns about the success and failure of women presidents/prime ministers worldwide. Today I want to address the pending impeachment of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party of Brazil.

Rousseff isn’t being impeached for being a woman but rather for potentially being dishonest and financially irresponsible. My point in all of my columns about women leaders is that they are not “gifted” in leadership qualities because they are women or are they hampered by being a woman.

In the case of Hillary Clinton her leadership with responsibility was limited to her time as New York Senator and one term as Secretary of State. Her time as first lady gave her name recognition and a platform for promoting some of her own pet projects like the health care program she championed. The health care program she advocated fell flat even though substantial government funds were made available for her campaign to say nothing of access to every major decision maker in the government. Her time as New York Senator was a “cake walk” with little ventured and even less accomplished. As Secretary of State her judgment on Syria and Libya was terrible and she cannot defend her recommendations to the President of the United States. Hillary is a woman but that does not make her a gifted leader. Vote for someone who has the vision and judgment to lead our country not because he or she is a man or a woman.

#jihad

A couple of months ago I asked via Facebook and my BCC e-mail friends for some help in understanding what the various terrorist group were doing in so effectively using social media.

Yesterday an old friend, Bob Mitchell suggested I read the story in the U.S. April edition of “Wired.” The story beginning on page 76 and going for ten pages is simply titled #jihad.

I’ve learned a great deal from the article and too much to impart in this article but suffice to say I recommend the story.

One of the key things I learned is that I was very naive in thinking that the terrorist groups efforts were limited to social media or that there was a formula of words or messages that caused seemingly normal people to commit to jihad. The messengers of jihad use film, TV, telecom, Internet and social media in well-organized messages to “sell” their story.

I also learned that they recruit for white-collar jobs in the organizations like ISIS and many of the recruits don’t even consider fighting on the battlefield but rather supporting their beliefs by working for the cause behind the scenes. Most of all I learned that ISIS’s in particular is goal driven with sophisticated planning and effective interpretation of what works with each medium.

I believe it will be worth your while to read this article, get the magazine before they are all sold out.