Category Archives: Government Control

Chet Edwards Town Hall–August 26

From our perspective, the town hall was an enormous success. Even though printed signs and recording devices were banned, we made signs in line at the event and ensured that the voices of those who do not want the government to take over our healthcare system were heard. The questioning was carried out fairly and honestly; by our count, of the twenty questions asked, 13 were explicitly against the H.R. 3200 bill, 5 were for it, and two were undecided or asked questions that were not directly related to the bill.

Obama supporters hold up supposedly banned printed signs

Obama supporters hold up supposedly banned printed signs

Congressman Edwards himself showed up right on time but was not greeted by a standing ovation as has been reported elsewhere. It is true that many supporters stood to greet him, but they were the minority of those attending. In the minutes leading up to the event, our group and other concerned citizens held up signs and a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. These signs ranged from criticisms of “Chedwards” to criticisms of the reform package in general (“Obamacare is assisted SEIU-icide”). Edwards answered most of the questions as we expected: he dodged many, twisted some statements into things they were not, and used the entire thing as a campaign event. He must have mentioned the VA clinic in Bryan that he has “saved” after every election about ten times. When asked whether he saw himself as a delegate or a trustee, he answered that he was a “representative.” He kept his cool until near the end, when he was visibly angered at the accusation that he was “allowed” by Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders to vote against Cap & Trade. While we would like to take him at his word, it is very suspicious that he was the second to last person to vote on the bill. Had the bill’s passage rested on his vote, would he have voted differently?

Chet Edwards insists that he has not yet decided how he will vote on this bill. He also made it clear that he had not yet read it during the town hall. Now is the time to make calls and pressure him to vote now. You can call his Brazos Valley office at (979) 691-8797. Make it clear that if he votes for this monstrosity, you will not vote for him in November of 2010.

Obamacare is Assisted SEIU-icide

Obamacare is Assisted SEIU-icide

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Filed under Abortion, Capitalism, Government Control, Liberal A&M Professors, Obama, The Conservative Movement

Three Myths About Health Reform

One thing all Americans can agree on is that it is important for health care to be affordable and accessible to the maximum number of people. Since the Obama Administration and Congress began work on health insurance reform, there has been a vigorous debate about the best way to cover the maximum number of people. Many facts and ideas have been advanced by both sides that have little basis in reality; here I attempt to find the truth about three issues in this important national conversation.


47 million uninsured Americans?

According to the Census Bureau’s 2008 figures, the number of Americans who do not have health insurance is now 47 million(1), an amount that has been steadily rising over the past few decades. Many proponents of reform point to this number as evidence of a serious health problem in this country, but it does not tell the whole story. Over the past ten years, 90% of the growth in the number of uninsured has been among non-citizens, mostly illegal immigrants(2). Furthermore, it has been estimated that 25% of America’s uninsured are already eligible for existing public coverage (ACORN should really work on signing these people up) and 20% are able to afford health insurance but choose not to buy(3).

We cannot assume uninsured noncitizens, who account for 9.7 million of the uninsured(4), do not fall into either of the two above groups. This means that there are really anywhere between 16.2 and 25.9 million uninsured US citizens who do not have access to coverage.

Health insurance is a necessity?

One often repeated fallacy in this debate is that in order to be healthy, one must have health insurance. This is not the case. If a person has enough money to pay for any health issue that arises, he should not have insurance at all. On an infinite timeline, a person will pay more to an insurance company than will be spent on his own health, since the company wants to make a profit. Even the government, which does not work for a profit, will have to spend extra money on administrative costs. We buy insurance because, in the real world, most people do not have that kind of money and only have 78.1 years to live(5). An insurance company spreads the risk of a catastrophic accident among a large group of people so that, instead of a few paying exorbitant sums for chance occurrences, everybody pays a guaranteed smaller sum. Unfortunately, modern health insurance has moved away from that concept and toward total coverage of all health expenses, even routine doctor visits. By definition, an expense that is “routine” should not be covered by an insurance company! This would be like having car insurance that paid for the gas bills.


One real solution to rising health costs would be to encourage plans that only cover catastrophic expenses. A young, healthy student who does not smoke might only be charged $29 per month for such a plan(6). Of course, the plan would have a very high deductible, but it would encourage people to shop for the best deals in primary care and routine visits without having to worry about going bankrupt after being diagnosed with cancer. Indeed, many doctors’ offices give lower rates to people who do not use insurance because they do not have to spend time filing with the insurance companyvand because patients can negotiate for lower rates(7).


Incidentally, the House health reform bill would make all individual, private insurance plans, including high-deductible, catastrophic care plans, illegal(8).


Tort reform will decrease costs?

In conservative circles, the establishment of caps on the award judgments from medical malpractice lawsuits, also known as tort reform, has been advanced as a solution to high health costs. In some ways, this is a good idea. Civil courts exist for the sole purpose of the redress of grievances; to include punitive damages in malpractice judgments unfairly skews the court system in the favor of plantiffs. If a doctor does damage to a person that costs a million dollars to repair, the doctor (or his insurance company) should pay a million dollars to the plantiff, plus court costs. It would be unfair to award the plantiff three million in punitive damages, but it would also be unfair for a law to limit the judgment to $500,000.


While common sense would dictate that low award caps would decrease the cost of medical visits since doctors have to charge more to cover malpractice insurance, experience shows that this is not the case. The cost of medical malpractice suits only comes to half a percent of overall health spending(9). According to the Congressional Budget Office, only 1.5% of cases of negligence even lead to a claim, and there is “no statistically significant difference in per capita health care spending between states with and without limits on malpractice torts”(10). The real problem with torts is the high legal expense. The most effective reform would be a “loser pays” rule: it would discourage people from filing frivolous lawsuits, but decrease awards by allowing lawsuit winners to keep the entirety of their awards.

Sources:

  1. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/567737

  2. http://www.ebri.org/pdf/notespdf/EBRI_Notes_08-20081.pdf

  3. http://www.healthaffairs.org/RWJ/Dubay2.pdf

  4. http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2009/07/20/daily34.html

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

  6. http://www.studentdoc.com/affordable-health-insurance.html

  7. http://www.insure.com/articles/healthinsurance/haggling.html

  8. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/07/16/ibd-individual-private-health-insurance-illegal-under-house-bill

  9. http://www.slate.com/id/2145400/

  10. http://www.justaskourdoctors.com/statistics-detail.asp?id=11

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Filed under Capitalism, Government Control, Obama, The U.S. Economy

Upcoming Texas Legislation – Smoking Ban, Transfat Ban, CHL on Campus

I know yall are busy with finals – so at the very least skip to the bottom so you can copy and paste the example letter to Fred Brown and Steven Ogden.

Gotta little story for you Ags – the federal government under Obama is taking away our liberties every chance they get; however, the state isn’t doing so well either.  It is time to stand up Ags and protect our Freedom, Life, and Property!  I know most people don’t follow through with these calls to action, but please take a minute to read through these 3 important issues and the easy steps you can take to promote freedom.

Seliger's Peeps

Seliger's Peeps - highlighting how ridiculous this bill is!

Transfat Ban –  Friday the Texas Senate Passed a bill banning the use of Trans-fats in restaurants (of course excluding several groups from the ban in order to please supporters and get the bill to pass) –SB 204.  This is a clear plunder of our liberties.  Unfortunately, a similar bill in the House – HB 1523 is up for consideration on Monday.  While it is probably too late in the ball game to stop this one, you can still contact your representative urging them to actively not support this bill.  Information on how to do this is further down in this post.

Concealed Carry on Campus – The concealed carry on campus bill – HB 1893 will be heard on Monday.  While this bill is expected to pass, contacting your representatives would still be a wise choice.  Also, the College Station representative, Fred Brown, dropped off as a sponsor of the bill, so it is important to contact him.

Smoking Ban – The House Committee on State Affairs has passed out House Bill 5, the ban on smoking in all workplaces, including restaurants, etc. – just about every place besides a private residence. It is virtually guaranteed to be placed on the House Calendar for a vote this week.  While it is true that the version passed by State Affairs is “watered down,” this means absolutely nothing. HB 5 author Myra Crownover has stated that the changes, which eliminated bars and counties with 115,000 or fewer residents “are not acceptable, but {they’re} a vehicle to get this through. The authors in the house fully intend to place the original language back into the bill, either on the house floor or during the conference committee.  This is why it is important that conservatives and other liberty minded folks contact the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. The Senate version of the bill, SB 544, is currently held-up in that committee. It is important that we contact the Health and Human Services Committee members and urge them not to pass-on the bill to the Senate floor; however, this may be a long shot as all of the committee members voted for the transfat bill.

What you can do – Contact your senator/representative and urge them to vote against the Smoking & transfat bills and for the concealed carry bill.  If you are unsure who your representatives are, you can type in your address to find their contact information here.  It is important to either call or e-mail your representative (e-mail forms found on their webpages;  for Senate and for the House).  Example messages can be found below.  At the very least, send the message by e-mail to your senator and house representative.  Calling their offices is also effective and would not take long.  Also, pass this along to family and friends and have them do the same.

For A&M students, you should also contact our Senator, Steve Ogden and our Representative, Fred Brown.

Fred Brown – (link to email)

Dear Representative Brown,

With many important bills will be considered this week, I urge you to remember that freedom must be protected and fought for at all costs.  Many laws have been made in the current session that restrict the freedom of Texans.  One such bill, SB 204 – banning the use of transfats in many instances, was passed Friday in the senate.  I hope you will vote against HB 1523 or any other legislation outlawing transfat use in restaurants.

I am disappointed that you have sponsored the smoking ban bill, HB 5.  I urge you to drop off of this bill immediately.  If the smoking ban bill, HB 5, makes it to the floor this week, I hope that you will vote nay in order to protect the freedom of the citizen’s of Texas.  At the very least, I hope that you can see this as an issue for the municipal governments to decide.  This bill would further eliminate the distinction between private and public property.  To allow or not allow smoking is a decision of the property owner or tenant, not the state.

On a different note, I thank you for at one point sponsoring the Concealed Carry on Campus bill, HB 1893; however, I am not pleased that you decided to drop the bill a few weeks ago.  I urge you to vote for this bill.  Allowing CHL holders to carry on campus would create safer conditions for students and faculty.  Besides the ability to prevent a devastating shooting, allowing CHL on campus would reduce all crime – rape, assault, theft, etc.  Not supporting this bill shows disregard for the well being and lives of college students.

I would also like to remind you that you rank quite low on the legislative rankings of the Young Conservatives of Texas – a fact that deeply concerns me.  As you close out this legislative session, I hope you will fight for liberty, life, and property.

Sincerely,

*Your Name*

Senator Ogden – (link to email)

Dear Senator Ogden,

With many important bills will be considered this week, I urge you to remember that freedom must be protected and fought for at all costs.  Many laws have been made in the current session that restrict the freedom of Texans.  One such bill was one that you voted in favor of – SB 204, the bill banning the use of transfats in many instances.  This is very disappointing as I believe that the citizens and business owners of Texas are capable of making their own informed decisions and do not need the government (be it federal, state, or local) dictating every aspect of their lives.  I urge you to consider the freedom of your constituents more thoroughly in the future.

On a different note, I urge you to vote for the Concealed Carry on Campus bill, SB 1164, if it is to make it out of committee.  Allowing CHL holders to carry on campus would create safer conditions for students and faculty.  Besides the ability to prevent a devastating shooting, allowing CHL on campus would reduce all crime – rape, assault, theft, etc.

It concerns me that you have such a low ranking by the Young Conservatives of Texas legislative rankings – tying for last place among the Republicans.  As you close out this legislative session, please fight for liberty, life, and property.

Sincerely,

*Your Name*

Thanks Ags! Good luck on your finals!

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Filed under Government Control, Texas Legislature