Posts Tagged 'Affordable Care Act'

Keep Your Hands Off My Margaritas

The great lime crisis is upon us.

The intentional destruction of lime trees in Florida in 2001 and adverse climate conditions in Mexico  have coupled with our insatiable appetite for Margaritas and brought us to our knees.

Things are so bad that even the Ventura Star was forced to abandon its favored front page regimen of people who haven’t a clue about the Affordable Care Act and instead published a headline feature about the travails suffered by lime eaters and those who supply them with this highly essential food item.

The Star alerts us to the impact on local businesses of the inflated price of limes and the ways entrepreneurs are coping with this industry threatening malady.  Blessed with little or no government intervention, these men and women are making do on their own.  Thinner slices and a limit on the number of such slices in one’s Margarita are effectively propelling businesses to even greater creativity without the aid of government lime use regulations or inflated never-to-be-recovered  cash subsidies.

Nevertheless I felt sorry for folks like Alessandro Tromba, owner of a couple of local restaurants, who bemoaned the additional cost for the two forty pound cases of limes that he purchases every week.  The additional cost of about $130 a week prompted Alessandro to say “I don’t think most customers realize the cost of doing business has escalated so much.”  Yes, ten bucks a day for each of his restaurants is a bitter pill to swallow.  Surely some government intervention, other than health care benefits for all his employees, is warranted.

I trashed the Star after carefully extracting the New York Times crossword puzzle and sighted in on Meet the Press with David Gregory.  Taking a page from our resourceful lime entrepreneurs, Jason Chavetz, a Republican congressman from Utah, no doubt still smarting from a years’ ago nasty airport incident involving the Transportation Safety Agency, insisted that the way for this country to get back on its feet was to have government get out of its way.  Over-regulated, over-taxed and over-nannied, Congressman Chavetz, pausing to take a quick breath from accusing the White House of high treason for the Benghazi affair, was eloquent in his description of what this country will look like once a Republican was back in the Oval Office.

He was at the same table as William Adams, better known as the celebrity, Will.i.Am, a seven time Grammy award winner.  For most of the hour, Will had not smiled, giving one pause to his credentials as an entertainer.  Will, however, rolled his eyes and was obviously roused by Congressman Chavetz’s statements about the lack of any clear reason for government intervention in the lives of its better-left-alone citizens.

Being black surely influenced Will’s thoughts as he no doubt wondered if slavery would still be legal in Utah if not for thirteenth amendment to the Constitution.  Or if blacks would still have their very own water fountain in Mississippi.  Or if seniors would be residing in debtor’s prison if not for Social Security and Medicare.  Or if Wall Street would be looking out for its customers’ welfare without the SEC.  Or if Exxon would care about grounded oil tankers without the EPA.  Or if poor people and those with uninsurable disabilities could not get help without the Affordable Care act.

But one thing’s for sure.  Better that the government stay out of the lime crisis than to cast its long shadow over our Margaritas.

Leave us alone…We’re doing just great

Bobby Jindal.  There’s a name that rolls off the tongue.  Governor of Louisiana and one-time Republican vice-presidential prospect.  Champion of the free market, conservative philosophy, Tea Parties, and Cajun food.  The leader of the only state that still refers to the Napoleonic Code in its state law.

With 25% of Louisiana’s population living in poverty, Governor Jindal vowed on Fox and Friends to forego any federal funds that might, god forbid, improve their lives.

Smarting from the Supremes’ decision to give the Affordable Care Act a free ride and urged on by Republicans on Capitol Hill, Bobby and other NRA supported governors vowed to retain their purity by spitting on the additional federal funds available through ACA (aka Obamacare) to expand Medicaid.  Starting in 2014, the Feds will provide 100% of the funding to add millions of people to Medicaid.  Rich lazy people earning less than $14,000 a year (about $6.50 an hour) are eligible. Three years later, the states gotta  pick up 10% of the cost.  Financially ruinous if not downright Socialistic.

But, more importantly, he rails against the intrusion on his prerogative to handle these poor folks as he sees fit.  Appearing on Fox… It seems to me like the president measures success by how many people are on food stamp rolls and government-run health care. That’s not the American dream.  We’re going to do everything we can to elect Mitt Romney; to repeal this bad law and then replace it with a more patient-centered health care reform that puts patients, not the government, in control — not the government.

Right.  After all, for a century we’ve allowed the free market relatively unfettered access to everyone but us old folks and we’ve enjoyed the results that health care capitalism and unlimited consumer choice has brought us.  Like these…

 …CNN says that during the past year, 41 percent of young adults have forgone health care and treatments because of rising costs.

…The US spends more than two-and-a-half times on health care than the average of the thirty-four countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

…We rank 50th in the world for life expectancy (Bosnia and Herzegovina are 45th.)

…Per Amnesty International, the US spends more than any other country on health care, and more on maternal health than any other type of hospital care. Despite this, women in the US have a higher risk of dying of pregnancy-related complications than those in 49 other countries, including Kuwait, Bulgaria, and South Korea.  In 2009, the US had one of the highest infant mortality rates of any developed country.

…Depending who’s counting, up to 50,000,000 people in this country have no health care coverage.  A fact that just doesn’t exist in every other developed country.

But Bobby would rather continue this impressive record of achievement by doing it himself without interference from Washington carpetbaggers.  Reinforcing this macho stance, he and other like-minded neanderthals are raising the drawbridge and refusing to implement the health care exchanges, a key feature  of the ACA.

The Exchange is a simple way for those seeking health care insurance to find the best fit.  And the Act allows each of the states to set up their own version of the Exchange.  Alas, Bobby’s xenophobic attitude compelled him to offer the following warning to those of who just might find the Exchange beneficial…

I’m determined to stand up and say no. It makes no sense. This is a bad law. Obamacare, it doesn’t do what the president promised. Governors have the right, now with the Supreme Court ruling. They should stand up. We’re not expanding Medicaid. We’re not implementing the health exchange.

And there you have it.  No to helping more poor folks and no to giving anyone else a way to be more intelligent about their options.   A succinct expression of why, as Bobby says, we need to dump Obama in November and replace him with someone more like Bobby, more like Mitch, more like John,…maybe more like Mitt.

     


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