The Cost of the Affordable Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act is coming into play for 2014 when the law goes into full effect. Unless you are an Obama crony and have been exempted. I am not and must abide by the laws as they are written. Fortunately for 2014, I can still get health insurance though my employer.

Every year, with inflation, I accept a slight increase in the cost of this health insurance. There is dental insurance, vision insurance and medical insurance. And this year, since it is the “open enrollment” period I find myself looking at this coming costs for 2014.

Across the board of all 3 insurance sets. Deductibles have increased as have out of pocket costs for co-pays and any other expenses the consumer has to pay that the insurance will not cover.

But here are the numbers for those that want to know just how the increases break down, many thanks to the “Affordable Care Act”.

My vision insurance has an 8% increase in cost per month of coverage. My dental insurance has a 23% increase in cost per month of coverage. And my medical insurance has a 109% increase in cost per month of coverage. Plus the increase in the deductible and the increase in co-pays.

So overall, my insurance costs have gone up by 97%.

Tell me, how is this supposed to be “affordable” again? I’m confused.

The Unaffordable Care Act

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With this horrible piece of legislation coming into full force on Jan 1st. It is long past time to scrap it. This is not the answer to the health care question in the United States. This is another large grab by the Government to take our hard earned monies and to further control and influence our lives. The Founding Fathers would be appalled at our general attitude of apathy on this issue alone.

Health care in the United States needs to be reformed. The Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare is not the answer. As the health care exchanges come active, more and more people are experiencing what was said about it. The prices are HIGH and not affordable by many of the poor. And even the notion that the Federal Government demands that every citizen have health insurance is a gross violations of our freedoms.

Those in favor of this Constitutional violation, repeat the line about we are mandated to have Car Insurance. And yes we are, if we own and drive a car. But if we don’t then we are not mandated to carry car insurance. This was not the intent of the commerce clause, and this abuse can be taken further now that it’s been opened.

Here are two simple things that can be done to change health care in America.

1) Using the commerce clause, the Congress can pass legislation allowing insurance companies to operate across state lines. So that message of “not available in all states” becomes a thing of the past. This allows a bigger pool of people to draw upon and thus lowers rates.

2) Medical billing needs to be changed. Right now it is the only thing we purchase without knowing the cost of it in advance. There is no comparison shopping and no price negotiations. Bring medical costs into the free market place. It will drive the cost down or the hospitals and doctors that overcharge will simply go out of business.

Scrap “ObamaCare” and implement these 2 changes and watch health care become affordable to all without exchanges, government mandates, and higher taxes. Then we can go about getting down to real business.

The Shutdown

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This morning we woke up to a government shutdow since no budget has been passed by Congress and any attempt at a budget has been crushed by the Senate. The House keeps passing a budget. Now of course that means that the government shutdown is somehow the fault of the Republican Party but they are incontrol of the House and not the Senate. Yet the Senate is where the budget gets tabled and not voted on and it is controlled by the Democrat Party. Explain to me how its the Republican’s fault again? I’m confused on that bit.

The Whitehouse announced yesterday that in the event of a government shutdown that non-essential workers would be the first to be let go. Hmmm if I ran a buisness, would I have non-essential workers? I think not. I mean that’s like paying the guy who stands at the water cooler all day a nice salary for standing at the water cooler all day. I say let him go.

When the Republican’s are in control of the WhiteHouse, you don’t see the Democrats in Congress going, “Well since we lost the last election. I guess we have to do what you say now.” Which is EXACTLY what they are expecting the Repulican’s to do. The street runs both ways my friends. No the Democrats fight the Republican’s on every measure, every step of the way. There is no difference now.

Also anytime there is a government shutdown, on any level, the ruling party states it will affect the people in a the worst possible ways. I mean come on. There are coins in the coffers still. You send these funds to whichever department is necessary. But the government never does what is necessary. Only what advances their own agenda and ideology, no matter which party is in control at the time.

Shut it down is a good thing. The government should not be in our lives as much as it is already. Having it gone for a few days or weeks will be like a breath of fresh air. And for those whiny people who have their hearts out on their sleaves who are worried about all these people who are being sent home. They will all get their back pay when the government shutdown is resolved. There is no loss for them really.

 

Syria

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Only 9% of American’s believe that the US should get involved militarily with Syria. I am not part of that 9%. Syria is not an ally of the United States and removing Assad will only pave the way for a Islamist leader from the rebels to take control. Thus further destabilizing the region. And that will cause serious trouble for the only true ally the United States has in the Middle East. Israel.

So we should not put our young men and women on the ground. We should not put our planes in the air. We should STAY OUT of Syria. Islam has been fighting among itself since Muhammad died in 632 AD. We will only tip the balance towards someone we cannot trust even more that we cannot trust Assad.

The European powers and Russia are correct in this situation. We must stay out of Syria and wait and see what happens. If the fighting threatens Israel then we should get involved. But not until that happens.

GenCon

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Well I’m back from GenCon. This is the first time I’ve been to GenCon in the last 10 years. I was there back in 2003 and life events prevented me from returning to the game fair over the last 10 years. It was good to return.

I mainly attended seminars this year at my return to GenCon. I did play in a few games as well, including an RPGA event for DnD Next. And also was happy to see 2 of my favorites from FASA picked up by Catalyst Game Labs … BattleTech and Shadowrun.

I also talked with several people in the gaming industry and passed out my IRC Network’s business card. After all my IRC Network OtherWorlders is built by gamers for gamers. And it would be fantastic to get more users on the system.

I saw a lot of old friends whom I haven’t had the privilege of seeing over the past 10 years due to not being able to get to GenCon so the shout out goes to Eric Mona and Russ Morrissey. It was good seeing you guys again. And plenty of new faces at GenCon every year.

I will return to GenCon again. Probably not in 2014 but possibly 2015 or 2016 as time and funds permit of course. And I’m considering running a seminar myself and possibly some games as well.

Workplace Violence

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“Workplace violence” is what the US government is calling the cold blooded murder of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood by Major Nidal Hasan. A confirmed Islamist who has renounced his US citizenship, repudiated his Army oath to the Constitution and calls himself a “Soldier of Allah”.

This is not workplace violence. This is premeditated murder and an act of terrorism. And it should be treated as such. 13 US soldiers lost their lives to this Islamic terrorist and 32 others were wounded in an attempt to murder them.

Hasan has called Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in 2011 by a drone strike, a teacher, mentor and a friend. You are the company you keep. And if al-Awlaki was these things to Hasan, it is only rightly to define Hasan as a terrorist.

Since Hasan has renounced his US Citizenship and has turned his back on the oath he took as a US solider. Then by all means he should be treated as such. An enemy combatant without rights other than those imposed by the Geneva Convention. Ship him to Gitmo and forget about him. Or better yet, execute him for his crimes against the United States and the murder of 13 servicemen.

On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

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The August 1st issue of the Rolling Stone shows a very good picture, perhaps a college photo, of the younger Boston Marathon bomber terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This image is generating a lot of flak in the media and social networks across the US and around the world.

In many places, the magazine is being pulled from shelves and not sold by entire chains. Other groups are urging readers of the Rolling Stone to contact all of the advertisers to express their out rage at the choice of covers by the magazine. Some even call for boycotting the advertisers as well as magazine. I’m sure that the Rolling Stone will loose a number of subscribers as well. And some magazine copies may end up getting “lost in the mail.”

The article is available online and free to read by anyone who wishes to do so at this time. The article is located here: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/jahars-world-20130717

The article covers a number of sources, including exclusive interviews by the Rolling Stone of some of Mr Tsarnaev’s friends from his neighborhood, his high school and college days. It’s not the point of the article to make Mr. Tsarnaev or his brother into a hero or a rock star. No, the article attempts to uncover how a young man who seemed to have a bright future and had the chance at the American Dream can fall so far so quickly.

It is worth the read. And there are several factors that did lead to the brothers becoming terrorists. The city they lived in is very liberal, “progressive” as it is called in the article. Their Islamic heritage. And being abandoned by their parents return to Russia. Those would be the top 3 factors that pushed them to becoming terrorists.

Although these and other environmental factors did play a role in the events that unfolded. It does not change the fact that they are ultimately responsible for their actions. The older brother has paid for it with his life already. The fate of the younger brother is yet to be determined. If Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looses his life at his trial. It would be a just punishment for his actions.

As for the Rolling Stone. It would have been better to post an alternate picture on the cover of the August 1st issue. Even if it was another picture of Mr Tsarnaev. Something a little less glamorous. Perhaps a photo of him in a prison jump suit.

Stand Your Ground

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There are cries now by the low-information people in the wake of the Zimmerman trial verdict to call for an end to the Stand Your Ground law in Florida and elsewhere. This is of course a mistake. The Stand Your Ground law of Florida prevented a double tragedy from happening.

Without this law. George Zimmerman would be spending the rest of his life in jail for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Or he may even be on death row facing his own execution. Thus 2 lives and 2 families would be torn apart. Or the other senario would have been Trayvon Martin on trial going to prison and possibly death row for the murder of George Zimmerman after bashing his head into the concrete sidewalk.

Again both of these senarios creates a double tragedy. The stand your ground law prevents this from occuring. As any individual faced with a no-retreat dangerous situation can use deadly force to save themselves from harm.

Stand your ground laws do not make it easy for a person to committ murder at will. They are very specific in the language used. And if challenged, one must prove before a jury that the use of deadly force was justified. Otherwise you just committed murder and will face the just punishment for taking the life of another man.

The stand your ground laws are not to blame for the death of Trayvon Martin. His tragic death was the end result of him pinning and bashing George Zimmerman’s head into the concrete sidewalk. Giving no choice but to use deadly force.

Justice is Served

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Like it or not. The Justice system of these United States has spoken. Around 9pm Saturday night (Central Time), the jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial reached its verdict. George Zimmerman was found “not guilty” on the charges brought against him. This was based on the evidence, the testimony of witnesses presented by both the prosecutors and the defense teams.

I know this verdict will have strong emotions on both sides. But it does not erase the fact that Trayvon Martin is dead and his parents and family mourn their loss. At this point we may never know the answers to some questions. Keep the Martin family in your prayers, they need them.

And this will profoundly affect George Zimmerman for the rest of his life as well. Within Florida law he was been found not guilty and the use of deadly force was justified. But that does not change the fact that he did shoot and kill a young man. Ask any soldier if they are affected by knowing that they have shot and killed someone, or ask any police officer who has shot and killed another human being. George Zimmerman also needs your prayers too.

Some may think that that justice system we have is broken because of the outcome of this trial. And I will admitt that sometimes our justice system fails. Sometimes the guilty are set free. Sometimes the innocent are sent to prison. But most of the time, it works the way it should work. Which is this outcome? That is for the individual to decide.

What we do know will define us as a people. Taking the law into your own hands because you believed the system has failed is not the right thing to do. Gloating about the victory of George Zimmerman is not the right thing to do. Trying to “get even” is not the right thing to do either. The right thing to do is pray for the those involved and bring peace to the shattered community of Sanford Florida.

Edward Snowden

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Edward Snowden is a hero of the American Republic. He has risked his life, fortune and sacred honor to expose the gross violations of the US Constitution and other founding documents by the current Obama Regime. And for that he is now hunted and hated by that very Regime and it’s multitude of willing and duped followers.

Edward Snowden has fled his homeland because here he is not safe. If he stayed here he would simply disappear and never seen again. We would never know when his trial, if there even would be one, took place. And Mr Snowden knew full well that it would happen when he lelf.

Every free country in the world should offer and grant him asylum. But since several European countries are also spying on their own people to the same degree at totalitarian regimes, they have refused. Only those nations who wish to piss more on the United States have offered to take him in.

But travelling across Europe, even by air would be difficult for Mr Snowden. His plane would be forced to land. And he would be arrested and turned over to the United States by those nations that refuse to aknowledge the sacrifice and patroitism of Mr Snowden.

The United States seems to be on the brink of the edge. Falling into the abyss when heros become traitors and criminals and criminals and traitors become heros. A 2nd American Revolution is just around the corner and a return to the standards and traditions that made America great, poweful, respected and honored amoung nations.