Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care Reform

Here's my two cents worth (more like a dollars worth). The United States is the only high-income nation out of 27 that does not have universal health coverage/socialized medicine. Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Great Britain among other nations all have it. America now pays about twice as much per person for health care among other industrialized nations and yet we have the lowest life expectancy among those same nations (click here for source). According to the CIA and United Nations, the U.S. is ranked 45th in life expectancy, while Canada is 14th and Japan is 3rd. I'm not saying we should copy what other nations are doing, but we certainly should take a very good look at it. And I believe that is what the government is trying to accomplish with the town hall meetings.

The United States already has some socialized programs, and many of them were/are the best in the world. Even our military has socialized medicine. Some say it's the best, others say it's the worst. But since I never served in the military, I do not know whom to believe. I believe many of the socialized programs in America have suffered due to a lack of funding. In my opinion, I think there has been a trend toward much of our government (both Republican and Democrat) being more concerned with serving the needs of private interests (big business) than the needs of the public.

I lived in a country with socialized medicine for 4 years (Japan, the world's 2nd largest economy), and I never paid for a doctor's visit, ever. The only thing I paid for was medicine, and it was very cheap. Personally, I didn't see any difference in care, but I can only speak from the perspective of a relatively healthy adult in his 20's while living in Japan. My wife's grandmother recently passed away in Japan at the age of 93, and according to her family she received quality health care.

I am not one to rush to take sides, but I do not believe we can continue down the path we are on without some reform. My wife and I along with her employer pay a certain amount (not cheap) to an insurance company each month for coverage. On top of the monthly insurance premium, there is a deductible. And there is also the co-payment for each visit to a doctor. And then there is the issue of pre-existing conditions not covered by the insurance company. And on top of all that, if your insurance plan has a lifetime limit (and most do), the insurance company will stop paying if you are unfortunate enough to get an expensive illness and run up the bills. And the number one reason people go bankrupt is because they can't pay their medical bills. At the very least the government should get rid of pre-existing conditions and lifetime limits.

For the record, the reform proposed by the Obama administration is not full-blown socialism (but instead a public option) (source) and there are no "death panels" (source). This doesn't mean that the Obama administration or others supporting health care reform haven't made false claims, they have (source).

I am not a big fan of Michael Moore, but his documentary "Sicko" about health care is worth a look.

Now is the time to stand up and let your voice be heard no matter which side you support. We do live in a democratic republic after all. If we were truly communist/socialist as some have suggested, then the bill would have already been passed behind closed doors without any public discussion.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Official!

Congratulations President Barack Hussein Obama! Best wishes to you and your administration.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's A New Day!

The people have spoken. What a phenomenal victory for Obama! The best way to put this historic victory into perspective is by looking at some facts:

First minority president in U.S. history
Most votes ever for any president: 69 million (53%)
Largest percentage of popular vote for Democrat since 1964
Largest percentage of popular vote for any president since 1988
Margin of victory: 10 million (7%)
States won: 28
Republican States Won: 9
Electoral votes: 365 (68%)
Control of House: Democrats +78
Control of Senate: Democrats +17 (1 race pending)
The World Celebrated Obama's Victory: click here, here, and here.

Comparison with Gore (2000):
Gore only won 20 states, 266 electoral votes, 48.4% of popular vote (51 million)
Obama +8 states, +99 electoral votes, +4.2% of popular vote (15 million)
Obama outperformed Gore in 45 states
Gore didn't even win his home state of Tennessee

Comparison with Bush II (2000):
Bush won 30 states, 271 electoral votes, 47.9% of popular vote (51 million)
Bush + 2 states
Obama +94 electoral votes, +4.7% of popular vote (15 million)

Comparison with Kerry (2004):
Kerry only won 19 states, 252 electoral votes, 48.3% of popular vote (59 million)
Obama +9 states, +113 electoral votes, +4.3% of popular vote (7 million)
Obama outperformed Kerry in 44 states

Comparison with Bush II (2004):
Bush won 31 states, 286 electoral votes, 50.7% of popular vote (62 million)
Bush +3 states
Obama +79 electoral votes, +1.9% of popular vote (4 million)

Bush II claimed a mandate with his win in 2004, so I guess Obama has a super-mandate with his victory in 2008. Unfortunately, the next four years will be difficult for Obama. Here are just a few reasons:
Record deficits and debt
Unemployment rate 6.5% (highest since 1994)
47 million uninsured Americans
Failing banks and insurance companies
Falling stock market and retirement funds
"Our entire economy is in danger." Not my words, not the media's words, but President Bush's words.
$10 billion per month of taxpayer's money to an unneccesary war
4000+ US soldiers dead in Iraq

Lackluster campaigns by Gore and Kerry in 2000 and 2004 paved the way for an Obama victory in 2008. And Bush's bad judgment and lack of leadership also helped, not to mention McCain's embrace of Bush and his administration. It's certainly nice to have Obama as our President, but Gore could have saved many Americans a lot of pain and heartache if he had just taken care of business in 2000. But like the Rolling Stones said, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you just might get what you need."

Click here for post-election political cartoons.

PS. This will be my last post for a while, especially from the political perspective. This doesn't mean I won't disagree with Obama or his administration. I already have. I simply feel better about the future and direction of our country. Like the title says, "It's A New Day!" Plus, my wife and I have our first little one on the way, so our lives will be too busy to follow the political landscape regularly. Peace and Love.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Congratulations President-Elect Obama!

I really don't know what to say. I admire John McCain. As I've mentioned before, he is a good man and I wish him well.

To Barack Hussein Obama...Congratulations! You ran a well-organized campaign, you stayed on message, you stayed calm, you worked hard, and you won.

The face of America is no longer just that of white males. The face of America is a composite of all the people who live here, and it's my hope that a female will win the presidency next time. Best wishes to Hillary Rodham Clinton and all women fighting for equality in this country.

More reflection to come once I've had time for all of this to sink in...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Whatever Happens...

it's not the end of the world. Both Barack Obama and John McCain are good men, and I wish them well in the election tomorrow. It's time to let the people speak and may the best candidate win.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Three Scenarios and One Prediction

Scenario #1: Some Democrats have been talking about an Obama landslide (375+ electoral votes). I seriously doubt that will happen. In my opinion, the best Obama can expect to do is 338 to 200.
Click the link below for map:

Scenario #2: The consensus is that McCain is unlikely to win the election. Nonetheless, McCain's path to victory might look something like this: McCain 273 Obama 265.
Click link below for map:

Scenario #3: The final possibility is a worst case scenario for the American people. One that involves settling the winner by means of the US House of Representatives as dictated by the 12th Amendment.
Click the link below for map:

My prediction: Obama 291 (52% popular vote) McCain 247 (47%).
Obama's path to victory has always been hold Kerry states + Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado. I believe he also picks up Nevada and Virginia. This election always has been and still is a close race. In the end, Obama wins by a margin of victory similar to Bush in 2004.