“Canceling Policies was Built Into Obamacare”

A month or so ago my youngest daughter called,  her insurance company had cancelled her because of Obamacare.  She has some major health issues and getting cancelled was very scarey.  What if she couldn’t get another policy?  Was the coverage the same? How expensive would it be?  Should she just pay the penalty?  All good questions, but I had no answers.  She had spent hours trying to get into healthcare.gov, to no avail.  What now?
She ultimately decided to go ahead and sign up for the new policy at higher premiums just to be sure she had coverage, but she was not happy about the hit to her budget.
The President is now so concerned about his credibility that he’s willing to “allow” insurance companies to sell the old policies, but he has no authority to alter the terms of the law, only Congress can do that.  But just what the emporer wants, nothing more and nothing less.  He knows the right answer, even if he never asked the right questions.
This week’s Bloomberg Business article on page 37 tells the truth, the part President Obama doesn’t want to tell – Cancelling policies was built into Obamacare – or the insurance companies weren’t interested in playing.
As the article states, “In Obamacare’s central bargain, insurance companies agreed to stop turning people away or charging them more for costly health conditions in exchange for everyone buying a minimum level of coverage.”  Plain and simple, more Robinhood.  We’ll take from the rich and take care of the poor.  That only works in fables.  Once Americans realized they were going to pay for coverage they didn’t need, want and couldn’t afford the President’s credibility dropped like a rock.  And since that’s more important than what happens to average, hard-working Americans, he’s trying to get it fixed.
Frankly, I don’t see Congress playing along.  Because the President is just playing more politics instead of concentrating on policies.  It saddens me to watch Pres. Obama continually downgrade the creditbility of our country.  His lack of ability to create and enforce policy and procedures and hold people accountable is pitiful and a disgrace to all those who came before us to work hard to establish the credibility of our Country.
All these outcomes from his failed leadership will come back to haunt our Children and Grandchildren.  His election was a popularity contest, not a discussion about his ability to lead and that’s what voters got – not policy, not procedures, not accountability.  So now that the country wants to hold him accountable he hasn’t a clue what to do.  How about admitting that all the President had to do in 2009 was tell the truth.  As Bloomberg’s article ended – “The Bottom Line – Months ago the administration hinted that some health plans would be canceled but played it down.”
As for the end result – will it be better as they claim?  We won’t know that for many years.  But be prepared to pay more for health care, have more restrictions on what kind of care the insurance companies will pay for and how often you can have your drugs.  That’s all going to be determined by Obamacare.

Control or Leadership?

Control

  • – to exercise authoritative or dominating influence over
  • – to have power over
  • – to direct the behavior of

Leadership

  • a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”

In psychology, Control Freak is a slang term that refers to a person who attempts to dictate how everything around them is done – usually those with Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder.  Judith Orloff, MD,in her new book “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life”  describes it as a person “who feels out of control and tends to become controllers.  Deep down, they’re afraid of falling apart, so they micromanage to bind anxiety”.  You can read her blog post at Psychology Today.

Compare that to the definition of leadership and the key word becomes accomplishment. Unless control is your ultimate goal and not  problem resolution, I guess you could say thats leadership. I don’t believe most Americans believe that. I believe they want leadership from their members of Congress and the US Senate, but most of all from President Obama.  Years of standing at a podium lecturing on legal issues and topics of the day have left him believing his title as Commander In Chief does not require compromise, discussion, or accomplishments.  All he seems to understand at this point is “a red line in the sand”.  Add  535 Members of Congress and the Senate and you get a recipe for the very disfuction we’re living through now.  Control – not leadership.

After 11 years of working in a Congressional office I know first hand the difference between control and leadership.  For instance, a CBS reporter asked Senate Pres. Reid if he has walked across the building or made any attempt to communicate with House Speaker Boehner.  His answer after he hemmed and hawwed for over a minute, with a smile was “I have done what I was asked to do”.  That is control not leadership.

So what was he asked to do and by whom?  One can only surmise it must be the head of the Democrats, President Obama.  Control is more important than accomplishments for the good of the people.   Directing the outcome has priority over resolution

.In United States history, the degree to which the President’s political party has control over the House of Representatives and Senate often determines his political strength – such as the ability to pass sponsored legislation, ratify treaties, and have Cabinet members and judges approved.  Moreover, it appears to have a strong effect on presidential popularity and historical ranking, especially in conjunction with years served and number of elections won.

With control over the Senate and 2 years with the House you would expect to see more accomplishments by this administration than there are.  And if POTUS spent 1/3 of the time he spends running around the country campaigning for one issue or another working with ALL members of congress he might learn how to lead so that others would follow!  I’m afraid he always gets out so far out in front he leaves himself open to get his tail end kicked – and the country with it.  How was President Clinton able to accomplish a great deal for our country without total control – he knew what leadership required.

At this rate, nothing is going to get resolved anytime soon unless Senator Reid and President Obama figure out what Leadership is.  They might look to Speaker Boehner for help.  You may not like what he’s doing, but he is leading.  So, maybe Michael Reagan is right – just wait.  By the first of the year the American people will recognize that Speaker Boehner is the only leader and they’ll be willing to follow.  You can read his article here.

PS.    Congressman DeFazio just sent via Facebook a list of agencies currently open.  Here it is:

Passports
Visas
Citizenship and Immigration Services
Veterans’ benefits and services
Active duty military members and families benefits and services
Customs and Border Protection
Patents and Trademarks
Social Security applications and appeals
IRS extensions, payments
Transportation Security Administration
Student Loans
FEMA
Overseas travel
Affordable Care Act implementation
Federal retirement services, disability claims
Workers compensation (federal)
Postal Service
Small business disaster assistance
Military Academies
Unemployment benefits

On This Day

Writing every day is part of my daily schedule. Work on my historical fiction is slow as I scan all the photos and outline the text, section by section.  Each segment tends to create its own start and stop and then I find myself without a focus for the days writing.  I decided that for the next year I’ll look to #OnThisDay to spark writing ideas and see where it takes me.

I was pulled back to a previous life when I read “#OnThisDay, Nov 21st, 1992 U.S. Senator Robert Packwood apologized to the many women he had sexually assaulted over the years.”  The Washington Post story detailed claims of sexual abuse and assault by 10 women, chiefly former staffers and lobbyists.  Over the next three years the subject of his removal, resignation and replacement proved to be the focus during hours of discussion.  Would he go, would he stay, who would run, would a replacement be appointed, etc.

Finally, in September of 1995, after the Senate Ethics Committee unanimously recommended he be expelled from the Senate for ethical misconduct, he resigned.  He had been dogged by the press, the politicos and his wife of 30 years.  Then the debate over whom the Governor might appoint to replace him or call for a general election ensued.  As Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon and staffer to Cong. Peter DeFazio, my hope was an appointment (Obviously of my boss) but Gov. Kitzhaber chose differently.  Cong. Ron Wyden ended up getting the job, I ended up resigning from the Chairmanship, and Senator Packwood ended up in divorce court.

It was that battle that generated his new nickname.  When challenging in court the amount of alimony she would get for the rest of her life Senator Packwood told the judge he couldn’t afford to pay her what she was asking.  He was so poor he could only afford a basement apartment.  At that time, basement apartments with street access were more expensive than most others.  He was known as “Basement Bob” by Democratic Party wonks from then on.  Peter went back to being a Congressman, and Sen. Packwood later married his long-time Chief of Staff, Elaine Franklin.

Wikipedia cited an article Mark Zusman did in 2009, for the Williamette Week.  The interview with Senator Packwood was short but informative.  He spoke about the rules and how when you break them you have to expect consequences.  In his 70’s he’s a lobbyist and still married to Elaine.  You can read the article for yourself at www.wweek.com/portland/article-11009-bob-packwood.html. Cong. DeFazio and Sen. Wyden are still in Congress and I live in a remote town in Southern Utah where I create beadweavings and write.