Contrast the national median income for a family of four -- $55,775 -- against the average bureaucrat or congressional or presidential staffer, who earns twice what the average American family does (members of Congress earn 3.2 times their average constituent), and the picture becomes clear. They can't possibly understand the daily life of the average American. In this context, the GOP proposal to "repeal and replace Obamacare" makes perfect sense. From their cushy perch -- $16000 a year for health insurance is not such a big number.
The people who are coming to town halls have a point. Their justifiable anxiety (some of it sparked by politicians and the news media) stands in the way of a down-payment on reforming Obamacare in short run and reforming our health care delivery system in the medium to long term. These vocal town hall participants are part of the 1 percent of the USA population that incur 23 percent of the cost of health care in the United States. Here's how we can help these people without raising insurance premiums for the other 95 percent!
If we want good healthcare coverage with reasonable insurance premiums, Americans must become active consumers. We must advocate for a system without hidden costs. If we want the impending debate in Congress to conclude with a better outcome than just "Obamacare2.0", we, the people, are going to have to hold our representatives' feet to the fire! We must insist they begin with a comprehensive investigation of the underlying costs of healthcare.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects National Debt will rise to at least 110 percent of GDP by 2036. Before the United States reaches the 100 percent Debt to GDP threshold, no investor, foreign or domestic, will be willing or able to purchase our debt at any interest rate. The combination of political and social instability will swallow everything – including your savings. And yet, unlike Barack Obama, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump have focused on the rising ratio of Debt to GDP or the risk it presents. No more credit card shopping for Congress and the American people. We can't pay the bill!
If I had left 5 minutes earlier last Saturday, I still would not know -- and it wouldn't have occurred to me -- the Post Office was holding my mail or considered my mail box somehow illegitimate.
VA Health System began as the fulfillment of a moral guarantee made to American veterans since Revolutionary War to care for them when they could not care for themselves. Fast forward a century. There is a strong social safety net - Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Social Security Disability, Social Security Retirement, Food Stamps and Unemployment Insurance - available to all Americans. The vast majority of our veterans are citizen soldiers. Why not consider integrating rather than duplicating these programs?
The specific issues at Veterans Administration boil down to one simple fact: The VA duplicates services other government departments provide more efficiently to the general population!
The computer in the exam room can facilitate scientific research that will help people live better, fuller, longer lives! That is, unless the science is co-opted by the government through the Institute for Patient-Centric Outcomes and the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) in 2015.