Questions

May 23rd, 2011

In response to Jennifer Roback Morse’s remarks to the Minnesota house I have asked them the following questions. I post a screen shot of them here since NOM and the Ruth Institute are generally not interested in open civil debate. I don’t expect them to provide any answers to them.

New Picture

Gay and Lesbian people exist. We always have and always will. Regardless of what NOM, the Ruth Institute, or any of the other discriminatory organizations that continue to turn our own government against us hope to achieve. Sometimes I truly wonder what their goal really is. Is it to try and somehow cure us and eliminate us? I don’t think that there really is a clear answer to that question and frankly if that is the goal, it’s a fool’s goal because it can never be achieved. More Gay and Lesbian Americans are born everyday. Trying to rid America of us makes about as much sense as trying to get rid of everyone with red hair.

So if we aren’t going away what sort of protections do we deserve if not marriage? The reality of the mater is that we do fall in love. We do have children. We do build lives and families together. We buy homes together. We go on vacations together. We worry about paying the bills together just like any other family. Is it right that when one of us dies we have no say over burial or that we have to pay gift taxes on the things we bought together as a couple? If one of us becomes sick do we not have a right to visit our partner? Should we not have any rights to the children we may have spent years raising together simply because the state won’t allow us to adopt our partner’s biological child?

These are questions that can’t be answered by a simple contract other than that of civil marriage. Contracts other than marriage can be and often are challenged in court by family members that may not approve of the same sex relationship.

Without marriage are we just supposed to live a life without love, in solitude, and unhappiness? If you deny us marriage, then what will you allow?

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Posts Tagged ‘Cost Of Health Care’

The Open Market Option

One of the biggest problems I see within the nation?s health insurance industry is lack of competition. In 2007 the American Medical Association released it?s last update to it?s report on Competition with in the Health Insurance market and it gave a rather grim picture.

For example?

Here in Iowa, Wellmark was reported to control 71% of the state market, with United Health Care (John Deere) the next highest in market share with 9%. While I?m no expert in business, a 71% market share sure seems like having the ability to basically set your own rules with very little care or concern about consumers.

While just about everyone agrees that there must be some sort of health care reform and soon, few can agree on how that should be done. Some argue that the best way to encourage competition within the health insurance market is to lift the limitation and allow consumers to cross state lines to purchase their health care policies. While at first glance this seems like a great idea and a workable one at that, there are some hidden problems that this unleashes.

Currently each state regulates the health insurance industries within the respective states. Groups who argue that the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate health insurance companies often site states rights and the 10th amendment. Many of these same people are also in favor of allowing consumers to buy their insurance across state lines. While I personally haven?t entirely made up my mind on whether or not that would be a good way to go it there are a couple of possible results from this that don?t really sit well with me.

First of all, while allowing people to buy insurance across state lines would create a burst of competition in the short term, in the long term it doesn?t address the history of unregulated mergers and acquisitions that up until now have only really been contained by the state line rules. So instead of having monopolistic companies on the state level, we could quickly end up with them on the national level. How long would it be before a company like Wellmark controls 71% of the health care market nationwide? Should we really accept a short term fix that creates a long term problem?

Secondly, allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, effectively robs the states of regulating the health insurance markets within their states. Mirroring what happened with credit card companies, health insurance companies would quickly seek out the state or states with the fewest regulations and move there. So if for example, Texas has the fewest regulations on health insurance and all of the companies move there, then Texas state health insurance regulation agency is effectively setting the regulation policy for the entire nation, and what is good for Texas may not necessarily be good for Iowa.

As I?ve stated before, I do not support HR3200 (Open Congress) and I also do not support the plan that was put out by Max Bacaus in the senate. Both of them contain a mandate the requires all Americans to get health insurance regardless of whether they can actually afford it or not and if they don?t get the insurance they face a significant tax penalty of about 2.5% of their income. In my opinion what this does is create an artificial victory that Democrats will be able to point at in 2012 or beyond and allows them to claim that their health care plan worked because the lowered the number of people that are uninsured, which would be true only because they took away the choice of the people to make the decision of whether or not to get insurance away from them without actually fixing anything within the system. The Bacaus plan is even worse, because it contains the mandate but not the public insurance option. At least in HR3200, there is a public insurance option that gives consumers a tool to force insurance companies to lower premiums to something that is reasonable and affordable to working class people, you know, those of us making less than 50k a year and for who an insurance premium of $500 a month is not affordable.

My views on the public insurance option have changed somewhat since my review of HR3200 at the end of July. I currently see it as a tool to be used to get to the ultimate goal. I am no longer convinced it is the best option, but I have yet to see any options that feel are better.

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