Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Common Sense Colorado Solution to Health Care

This story makes sense.

We need some sense right now regarding the health care debate and practical solutions. While our political leaders fight in D.C. about Obama care, Coloradans are enjoying new health care options in local Walmart stores or other storefronts.

Here is an encouraging story about the burgeoning growth of health care clinics in retail store outlets here in Colorado.

Increasingly, retail store health clinics (found in many Walmarts and Walgreen's) are offering low cost services which fill one of the major gaps in our current health care system.

The gap- access to reasonable pay as you go primary health care, like shots, care for broken bones, fever, etc.

Our political leaders need to take note. It shows American ingenuity and innovation without government interference.

What I like even more about these services is that the government has no role in them. Let free market entrepreneur's establish these services where customers receive quality care and a reasonable profit can be made.

The winners: Colorado families.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Colorado Republicans Claim They Are Back-We'll See...See My Checklist!

We will see if Colorado "R's" are back.

Colorado Republicans have taken their lumps over the last three election cycles. But, according to insiders, a fresh wind of hope, direction and palatable ideas are re-invigorating the GOP.

From my angle, I hope so. But, to make dreams become a reality, there is a short checklist that should be discussed before any victory laps:

-Money. Colorado Dems have a seemingly un-ending stream of money from a dedicated core of big-monied sympathizers. Unless the Republicans can trump the money gusher with superior candidates and ideas, they will be outspent and lose.

-On message. The "R's" have lacked a palatable statewide message on key issues like health care, taxes, jobs, education, transportation, etc. I think you get the picture. To their credit, good folks like State Senator Mike Kopp and others have tried to get the party apparatus on the same page saying the same thing. But, its not gained traction yet. No message equals no wins in 2010.

-Unity. There's an old Colorado proverb that goes like this- there are four parties in Colorado: Democrats, Independents, Liberal Republicans and Conservative Republicans. The bottom line is this: the Focus on the Family "R's" must make peace with the liberal and libertarian "R's" and decide that they do have common ground. Dems have exploited this breach for years, playing both sides off each other.

-Independents. They are now the majority party in Colorado. To win, the "R's" must address their concerns which are: health care, good jobs, the environment, education and fiscal restraint. If your ideas don't play here there will not be wins in 210.

2010 could be the year of the return of conservatism in Colorado. But it will only be carried in by a unified, on message Republican party...

Lack of Common Sense: Florida Teacher Finger Prints Her Students!

There's nothing like being accussed of something you did not do particularly when you are a youngster.

This is one of those see it to believe it stories....Click here.

I was not aware that teachers were really undercover law enforcement agents.

The teacher should have been fired.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Problems with New Health Care Lite

Democratic Montana Senator Max Baucus, a genuinely good and thoughtful man, has offered a new healthcare alternative.

Unfortunately, it still sounds like and looks like a duck.

The issue: the resurrection of the "co-op" versus the public health care option. Senator Baucus wants to replace the government option with a community based co-op system. This system has been tried before.

It's DNA is this: regional groups of employers and community leaders would use Federal subsidies to setup a health care co-op. They would then negotiate costs and services with local health care providers. They also would build a membership base many of whom would be poorer families buying policies with new federal subsidies. These members would in turn own the co-op. Costs would be controlled by emphasizing preventive and primary care versus expensive emergency room services.

Sound good? Not so fast. Here are some historic problems with co-ops. Problem one- since co-ops will not be mandatory, it will take years for these entities to gain enough membership to have any cost-cutting power in the marketplace. Problem two- they will attract patients who have expensive medical needs and are unable to secure coverage elsewhere. Finally, it will likely cost more money and procure less medical services that traditional plans.

These historic problems remain.

Sounds like another bad idea for your family.

World's Tallest Man Looking For A Wife

A quick sidebar fun story:

Let me preface this one by saying that marriage not only transcends race, ethnicity, age and economic status, but now height.

A towering Turk was officially named the world's tallest man last week. Measuring in at 8 feet 1 inches, Sultan Kosen, from Mardin, Turkey is looking for love.

He reports that in the past women were scared of him because of his height. Now, according to Kosen, "hopefully, now that I am famous, I'll be able to meet lots of girls and get married."

Any takers? If so, carefully considered how tall the kids could be...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Public Health Care and Abortions: Do You Trust the Fox in the Hen House?

In Colorado, our constitution prohibits public tax dollars being used on abortions. Its common sense and should remain so.

Currently, there is also a federal ban on using tax dollars to fund abortions.

However for years, liberals have wanted a public health care option that would include funding abortions with your tax dollars. And they are about the business of undoing these current restrictions.

That same storm is raising its ugly head again in Congress. Despite denials by the abortions rights crowd to contrary(akin to asking a fox in the hen house if the chickens are safe), Obama himself has affirmed that he wants health care reforms to cover reproductive services.

Congresswoman Louise Capps, a Democrat from California has introduced an amendment to one of the House bills that would allow abortions to be paid for with beneficiary premiums rather than federal dollars. This plan also requires private insurers who want to participate in government subsidized policies to offer two plans- one that would cover abortions and another one that would not. But that is a shell game and either way you slice it, directly or indirectly your tax dollars are going to pay for abortions.

So who is telling the truth?

So my question- do you trust the fox in the hen house to tell you if the chickens are well?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Colorado Budget Woes Pinch State Services

We have a dilemma in Colorado. Click here for the Denver Post's latest article. The subject du jour is how state services will affect Colorado's poor and needy.

For years, many of us foretold of this day. It has now arrived. There are some very tough choices for us and our leaders.

Here is the nexus: Colorado's state expenses are higher than our current tax revenue.

My point today is not to play "gotcha" or "I told you so" but to offer three sober solutions plus a bonus idea.

Here they are:

Option One: Cut expenses at the risk of snipping state services that many Coloradans have come to be dependent upon them. These soft programs are not constitutionally protected for annual funding hikes(like public education funding and Amendment 23 guaranteed) and are subject to funding cuts. A good example is the proposed cut of a nursing unit in Grand Junction which will save the state gov $1.3 million but will also displace many fragile patients. The folks at home are not going to like this one.

Option Two: Take a page from the federal government or the state of California playbooks and continue spending and hope someday that Santa Claus, the federal government or a lucky star falls into the state coffers eliminating the debt. Unlikely, because rat holes simply get bigger.

Or Option Three: Take a page from the book of business common sense and enact policies that will increase tax revenue, like cutting corporate taxes and lowering other tax rates on job producers and taxpayers. Less taxes means more income that will be spent on new jobs which creates spending which in turn creates more dollars for the state treasury.

Finally, the bonus option: offer private charities incentives to expand their services to Colorado's needy. A century ago, public compassion was done excellently through private charities. These entities are more often than not well equipped to offer excellent care for those in need.

We need a stiff wind to blow away the fog which is blinding our state's leadership.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Give Obama A Break

Some folks on the right are acting like Barack Obama is Darth Vader. Maybe in time he will become the masked crusader for the evil empire.

But for now let's give him a chance. While the latest White House gaffe over positioning the President's desire to speak to public school students is yet another faux pas in a string of public relations fumbles, the President deserves an opportunity to speak to kids in a voluntary forum.

Many Presidents of have inspired students with the timeless challenge to succeed and for the most part their words inspired many students. There was Kennedy's speech in the 1960's; Carter in the mid- 1970's; Reagan in the '80's, etc., etc.I heard all of them and never considered their political orientation much.

Back in those days, our nation buried elections and the political aftermath the day afterwards. There were no 24 hour cable news channels and we all went back to being Americans. No one was talking then about the next presidential election 4 years down the road. Unfortunately, we now live in the future where many Americans are professional political partisans, earning a living by ripping the other side a new one.

Okay, I am a social conservative. I don't agree with Obama's leftist policies but it doesn't mean that I don't want him to inspire students as the President of the United States. Like it or not, he is the elected President of our nation for the next 4 years. He does have a compelling story which will inspire many young people. Now, I don't want schools to force students to watch it but it shouldn't be castigated either.

Relax, let him speak.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Honest Requiem on Ted Kennedy's Passing

Ted Kennedy's passing last week ends an era. The media tried to spin his passing as the end of a legendary statesman career, one built on his championing causes for the "little guy." But was this assessment true or was it yet another media spin job obfuscating Kennedy's real agenda and life?

One group of "little guys" that got no help from Kennedy were the unborn.

Many Catholics were appalled at Kennedy's policies and beliefs and deeply bothered that Kennedy was provided a full public Catholic funeral. And frankly, most of his ideas were no in adherence to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Reverend Thomas Euteneuer is the President of Human Life International. As a Catholic priest he accurately summarizes Kennedy's life. Here it is:

Human Life Internationale's Statement on the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy.

We must, as a matter of precept, pray for the salvation of heretical Catholics like Senator Edward Kennedy, but we do not have to praise him let alone extol him with the full honors of a public Catholic funeral and all the adulation that attends such an event. There was very little about Ted Kennedy's life that deserves admiration from a spiritual or moral point of view. He was probably the worst example of a Catholic statesman that one can think of. When all is said and done, he has distorted the concept of what it means to be a Catholic in public life more than anyone else in leadership today.

Obviously we don't know the state of Senator Edward Kennedy's soul upon death. We don't pretend to. We are told by the family that he had the opportunity to confess his sins before a priest, and his priest has said publicly he was "at peace" when he died. For that we are grateful. But it is one thing to confess one's sins and for these matters to be kept, rightfully, private. It is another thing entirely for one who so consistently and publicly advocated for the destruction of unborn human beings to depart the stage without a public repudiation of these views, a public confession, as it were.

It is up to God to judge Senator Kennedy's soul. We, as rational persons, must judge his actions, and his actions were not at all in line with one who values and carefully applies Church teaching on weighty matters. Ted Kennedy's positions on a variety of issues have been a grave scandal for decades, and to honor this "catholic" champion of the culture of death with a Catholic funeral is unjust to those who have actually paid the price of fidelity. We now find out that President Obama will eulogize the Senator at his funeral-an indignity which, following on the heels of the Notre Dame fiasco, leaves faithful Catholics feeling sullied, desecrated and dehumanized by men who seem to look for opportunities to slap the Church in the face and do so with impunity simply because they have positions of power.

It is not enough for Kennedy to have been a "great guy behind the scenes" as we have seen him referred to even by his political opponents. It is also not praiseworthy to put a Catholic rhetorical veneer on his leftist politics that did nothing to advance true justice as the Church sees it or to advance the peace of Christ in this world. Every indication of Senator Kennedy's career, every public appearance, every sound bite showed an acerbic, divisive and partisan political hack for whom party politics were much more infallible than Church doctrines. Whatever one's political affiliation, if one is only "Catholic" to the extent that his faith rhymes with his party line, then his Catholicism is a fraud.

As the Scriptures remind us, there is a time for everything under the sun. This, now, is the time for honesty about our Faith and about those who are called to express it in the public forum. If we do not remind ourselves of the necessity of public confession for public sins such as Senator Kennedy was guilty of, then we are negligent in our embrace of the Faith and we are part of the problem. As Pope Benedict has reminded us recently, charity without truth can easily become mere sentimentality, and we must not fall into that error. A Catholic show of charity for the family must not eclipse the truth that is required of all with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul. He will not be missed by the unborn who he betrayed time and time again, nor by the rest of us who are laboring to undo the scandalous example of Catholicism that he gave to three generations of Americans.