Archive for August, 2009

August 22, 2009

Supreme Commissioners

Re: Stabins forges own budget, Barbara Behrendt, St. Petersburg Times

Mr. Stabins should have used the term governing body when referring to the county commissions implied lack of their role in making budget and policy decisions over the last 9 months instead of returning to their “supreme authority” role.

Although, jobs are a main concern in any cost reduction plan, the reality is that someone will suffer for decisions that must be made in an economic downturn. Those employees who have decided to take early retirement have displayed a compassion for their associates by helping those who still need to earn a living. Consolidation of positions indicates a move to efficiency. Long time employees who are departing in most cases have trained subordinates to conduct business in their absence. This is called a back up plan in most organizations.

The plan to dump the counties membership in the regional water supply authority is a political decision and not a budget decision. Mr. Russell and Mr. Stabins have never supported the Regional Water Authority made up of 3 counties Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter. Rose Rocco, Diane Rowden and Chris Kinngsley did (re: Regional Water Approach is best Hernando Officials say, Barbara Behrendt, March 15, 2008). The Regional Water Authority continues to protect our water supply from over development in conjunction with SWFTMUD regulation.

Mr. Stabins has now publicly attacked Mr. Hamilton by stating “David woks for us and I reject much of what he has proposed.” Mr. Stabins lacks the ability to make the hard decisions he faults Mr. Hamilton for making in behalf of our County Government and ultimately the tax payers of Hernando County. Mr. Hamilton should keep up the good work and Mr. Stabins should be held accountable for any budget shortfalls.

August 9, 2009

Healthcare and Capitalism

The debate over a Public Option for healthcare centers on the premise that Government’s entrance into the Capitalist System of providing healthcare insurance options will decrease the overall services they will be attempting enhance. The extreme rhetoric by the opposition centers on dollars and cents rather than providing services. An example of this is the rhetoric that anyone over 70 years of age needing a procedure will have to wait and possible die because of the wait, today procedures in most hospitals outside of emergencies take from diagnosis to procedure a minimum of two weeks and even more.

I remember after two unsuccessful operations in 2004 locally being told that I would have to wait three months to see a Specialist in Tampa for a relatively common problem. I chose not to wait and had the procedure performed by a good doctor in a neighboring county. Needless to say the procedure performed by this good doctor didn’t work. I finally waited for the specialist and the last two out of five operations were successful. The point being made by opposition to the public option is that waits will be longer. It took 5 operations and 3 years to correct my problem and this was under the current system. In my opinion there is only room for improvement.

 The second argument currently being expressed through fear tactics is that employers will decide to drop their current plans so employees will be forced to take the public option. What hasn’t been discussed is that employers are currently being forced today to cut benefits and raise premiums paid by employees. Employers are also raising the number of hours needed to be worked to qualify for employer provided benefits. All of these cost saving methods continue to increase the number of uninsured in the United States. The reason for all of these actions taken by employers is a result of the cost of healthcare has doubled over the last 10 years. The question is why? Have healthcare employees salaries doubled, have provider fees doubled? The answer to both questions is no. But, Healthcare Insurance provider profits have.

 The final argument being waged by the opposition is that Government intervention into a free capitalistic system only creates inefficiencies and waste. It was Government intervention that helped bring our country out of the depression of 1929. It was Government intervention in the 1940’s that provided Social Security to millions of Americans who would have starved to death. It was Government intervention in the 1960’s that provided Healthcare to millions of retirees who could not provide for themselves. . It was the lack of Government over site that almost brought the entire world into the greatest depression man kind has ever seen in 2008. The problem with Government is the Capitalist Intervention into Government through our elected Representatives.      

 Human services must be provided for those who are less fortunate. We Americans have always provided support to those who have been persecuted. We have provided support to those who have been starved. We are a nation of people who are Humanitarians. If we continue to ignore our own citizens who will come to help us?

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