Health care gouging
I would like to agree with some letter writers that we in the United States pay the most for our health care of anywhere. I agree that we are paying for the freeloaders who show up in the emergency room without health insurance.
But we are also paying more because of the contracts the insurance companies have with not only the employers but also the providers.
The insurance companies have contracts with all providers that set the amount they will pay for services.
Then the doctors send the insurance companies claims for ridiculous amounts of money so the insurance companies reduce the amount they will pay.
This causes an enormous amount of paperwork.
They need to do away with all the contracts and just charge the patient what the insurance company would reduce the bill to in the first place, therefore costing less at the beginning.
Also, simple care in a doctor’s office should not have to go through the insurance company if the doctors would charge a reasonable amount to begin with.
Then the freeloaders could just pay the reduced and more manageable amount.
Hurricane what if?
I am, of course, glad that Hurricane Isaac didn’t hit the Republican National Convention this week in Tampa, Fla. Yet I can’t help but wonder if the Republicans were trapped in the convention center how long it would have taken for the Democrats to send the National Guard to rescue them.
Romney helps Obama
So far in this election season, President Barack Obama seems to have a very effective campaigner out on the trail. And he didn’t even recruit him. It’s GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Everywhere Mr. Romney goes he makes headlines with outlandish claims spouting economic nonsense, embraces conspiracy theories, gets the simplest facts incorrect and can’t seem to avoid insulting the very people he’s addressing.
Attendees probably leave his events ready to vote for Obama.
You’ll notice that published pictures of Mr. Romney’s rallies are rare because of the anemic turnouts.
Handshake lines are almost nonexistent, and he seldom poses for pictures or sticks around to answer questions. It’s not a very impressive campaign for the highest office in the land.
When Mr. Romney makes a major policy speech, the president’s numbers go up. The best thing Mr. Romney could do is to go home, lock himself in his office and just wait it out until Nov. 6.
The more he keeps out of sight, the better his chances might be.
Maybe his vice presidential runningmate can get him elected.
I think that’s his only hope.
The “publicrats” (Republicans and Democrats) are at it again, demonstrating more concern for their personal status and their constituencies than for the United States of America.
One year ago, they were so serious about the nation’s economy that they decided to force themselves to accept across-the-board budget cuts (the “sequestering” process).
Now they want to weasel out of their own financial trap by playing the national defense card.
Are there no leaders in Washington, D.C., who actually care more about this nation than about themselves?
Dumping on Akin
The dispute raised by Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s remarks brings to light a problem that both political parties present for the electorate.
Namely, we get the representation they want us to have, not the representation we vote for.
The GOP brass has dumped on Akin for expressing in an altogether crass and uninformed manner what they likely believe anyway. He just didn’t use their code words.
Both parties have career politicians, a lock on committee chairmanships and gerrymandered districts to protect incumbents, and through this system public expressions that run counter to the party line are rare. Thus, there is little real debate on issues in this us-versus-them atmosphere.
The GOP is more interested in controlling the Senate than participating in governing. They have dragged out a group of current and retired party loyalists to help deny Akin’s faithful supporters their duly elected candidate.
Akin, selfish pursuits
Some high-ranking members of the Republican Party have been asking Rep. Todd Akin to withdraw his bid for the Senate race. They’re asking that he put aside his personal desires and gain and think of the good of party.
What an irony, because members of both parties seem to be doing just the opposite and thinking only of themselves and/or their party and not what’s good for the country as a whole.
History, Catholic Church
In the year 1170, a sensational murder in a cathedral sought to answer a several centuries-old question: Who has authority to punish erring clerics — church or state? That murder did not answer the question.
It raged on for more than 350 years, until another chancellor was publicly executed by another monarch in 1535 right outside the walls of the Tower of London. Again that failed to settle the matter.
Now a Catholic bishop will soon be tried in Kansas City on charges based in effect upon the same problem — who has authority over clerics?
If you think, gentle reader, that this itty-bitty trial will settle the question, dream on.
Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.
Political noise on TV
I got very tired, very quickly with the endless debates the Republican hopefuls had with one another.
It seems, however, that they got the job done without an unusual amount of money being spent, and one could always tune them out.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful now that we’ve only the two combatants to have the pleasure of seeing them only when they were on stage with the other?
Better yet, if they were forced to answer questions posed by enlightened media about how, specifically, one or the other was going to create jobs, handle Iran, tax or not the super-rich and be pinned down about how the bailout failed or not and who, specifically, was out to destroy the United States.
We might even find out how the Affordable Care Act and Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan differed. The price of admission as a participant in these debates to be held weekly on a slow-news evening would be 10 years of income tax returns revealed and details on how many jobs had been sent overseas with their financial statements.
Other advertisements would be prohibited, either ones approved by “me” or those dreamed up by a political action committee.
Keith W. Ashcraft, M.D.
Tilting political center
Although The Kansas City Star doesn’t employ Glenn McCoy directly, it often does employ his work to balance the somewhat liberal stance of other political cartoonists such as Lee Judge.
Only someone who is coming from a hard-to-the-right position could think of Judge as coming from a hard-to-the-left position.
Some of Judge’s detractors would seem to be of such a far-right persuasion. I don’t suppose they have any problem at all with the harder-than-hard-right positions that Glenn McCoy’s work consistently represents.
But in their view, we must silence someone whose position is somewhat to the left of what used to be the center in this country.
Gay marriage issue
A lot of people are really angry about gay marriage.
It does not bother me.
I just consider they saved two other people.
Country Club, Mo.
Voter fraud vs. gun laws
It seems curious to me that voter-identification laws are needed because a minuscule number of abuse cases have been filed. But when a minuscule number of assault weapons abuses result in the killing or maiming of dozens of people, the same folks argue that we have adequate laws on the books and just need to enforce them.
Voter registration was already a more stringent process than gun purchasing and had adequate laws to prosecute abusers.
What is the standard?
We see the damage from easy weapon availability, but how many elections do we believe have been turned by fraudulent voters?
Maybe it is not so curious as it is hypocritical.