The Rogers Plan for Health Insurance

I’ve been gone awhile, but not long enough for Congress to agree on a Health Insurance plan. Oh, we’ve heard plenty of complaints from all sides. Republicans say that the Affordable Care Act, passed 7 years ago, is a total failure and going bankrupt. Democrats say that with the Republican plan 20 million people will die.

There is a clear divide in the country. Half the people get health care without paying for it; the other half pay for their own health care, plus for the other half. (Yes, I know that’s exaggerating.)

Here’s a suggestion. Do it like they decide salaries for some baseball players: Go to arbitration. In that case the player picks a salary he believes he is worth, say $5 million. And the team picks a salary they are willing to pay, say $4 million. Then the Arbitration Judge picks one or the other. No compromising.

So, Republican Senators need to agree on their best plan. Of course the reason we’re going to Arbitration is because they haven’t agreed.

Democrat Senators have to agree on their best plan. Their plan seems to be keeping the ACA, only adding piles and piles of tax money to keep it afloat. And they can’t just tell us, “Pass it, then we’ll tell you how much.”

Since the goal of each is to come up with the most desirable plan, I’ll offer two ideas. One, take the trial lawyers out of the health business. If a doctor or hospital messes up, pay the victim a reasonable amount, not millions. That’ll reduce costs in multiple ways. Second, let insurance companies compete across state lines. The CEOs make millions in salary; let ‘em earn it by competing. Let Amazon into the insurance business. Facebook, too; have you noticed how much medical and health advice you see on Facebook without ever asking for it?

You may be wondering, who gets to be the Arbitrator? Well, that’s the secret to success for the Rogers Plan. We don’t announce it ahead. Keep each side in suspense; that way their plan might be reasonable enough to get accepted.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

          “One day I was laying in the hospital [recovering from gall bladder surgery] and I just happened to have the only bright thought that had come to me in weeks. ‘Say, this thing I’m doubled up here with comes under the heading of sickness.’ … So I thought of those policies I had been paying on for years. This sickness is going to turn out all right at that…
So when my wife called I broke the good news to her. I says, ‘If we can get a bona-fide doctor to say that I have been sick and couldn’t spin a rope and talk about Coolidge, we are in for some disability.’  Well, I noticed the wife didn’t seem so boisterous about this idea….
Then the truth did slowly out; she told me the sad story of cutting down on the insurance. It read like a sentence to me. She said my physical condition had misled them….
So if you want to stay well, just bet a lot of rich companies that you will get sick; then if you can’t have any luck getting sick, have the policy cut down, and before six months you’ll be saying, ‘Doctor, the pain is right there.’”
  Ether and Me,  1927

Weekly Comments: Common Sense, Black Lives, and Honesty

This was a bad week for America. Two men were shot and killed in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis. Instead of waiting for a trial, Black Lives Matter folks immediately organized protests, and not just in those two cities. One in Dallas ended with five dead cops and seven injured.

Of course it was not the peaceful protesters who fired the shots; it was a lone gunman who was determined to kill white police officers.

So, did the leaders of the Black Lives Matter groups decide to stop protesting because of the dead policemen? No, they were back in force, and in Minneapolis the result was 30 injured police. In that case, the police, who were there to protect these peaceful protesters, were hit by glass bottles, rocks and pieces of concrete which were thrown by the “peaceful” protesters.

I won’t pretend to know what it is like to be black. I’m just an old white guy. But I do know what it is like to have common sense. And the leaders of these protests do not have it. They are instigating their followers to be more like a vigilante mob than civic-minded protesters. They are protesting against the cops who are there to protect them and their communities 24 hours a day.

The gunman in Dallas was eventually killed by a robot with a bomb attached. First time ever. I suggest that police who are assigned to clear protesters off highways, like I-94 in Minnesota, be given these robots. Let the remote-controlled robots move toward the crowd and order them to disperse.

It was a bad week for the Democrat nominee for President. At the conclusion of the FBI criminal investigation of the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was deemed to be extremely careless and grossly negligent for having over one hundred top secret classified messages on her personal, unprotected email server. After siting a few cases of Clinton lying, the FBI Director then let her off the hook by saying she did not intend to be criminally negligent and therefore should not be indicted. That was good news for Clinton as she flew immediately flew on Air Force One to give a campaign speech with President Obama who introduced her glowingly as “The most qualified person to ever run for President.” We now know what qualifications Obama most admires in a President.

Hillary Clinton is an intelligent woman. The FBI Director essentially announced, “She is not guilty by reason of temporary stupidity.”

At the first Presidential debate in September, I hope the moderator asks this question: When will you stop lying to the American public? And how will we know? Ask that of both Trump and Clinton.

In 1924, the Democrat candidate for President ran on the slogan “Honesty.” Not likely for either candidate in 2016.

In economic news, we added 287,000 new jobs in June, which kinda made up for very low number for April and May. But we still have near record high numbers of adults not working. Some are retired, but many young ones are on welfare. Meanwhile, farmers are desperate for workers to harvest fruit and vegetable crops this summer.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers (One-quarter Cherokee):

“There is a good deal in the papers about giving my native state of Oklahoma back to the Indians. Now I am Cherokee Indian and very proud of it, but I doubt if you can get them to accept it — not in its present state.” WA #59, Jan. 27, 1924

(In school) “It was all Indian kids that went, and I, being part Cherokee, had enough white in me to make my honesty questionable.” WA #353, Sept. 29, 1929

Adding Senators, Dividing Illinois, Subtracting Politics

Republican Senators are wrasslin’ with a new health insurance bill, desperate to get 50 of the 52 to agree on… something. Meanwhile 48 Democrat Senators are enjoying their ringside seats for this Comedy. Mind you, it’s a Drama for Republicans, but Democrats sit there laughing at ‘em.

According to a national poll, 27 percent of Americans like the Senate healthcare bill. And the other 73 percent have absolutely no idea what’s in it.

You’ve read about the financial crisis in Illinois. The state owes Billions in unpaid bills, plus million dollar pensions to a whole bunch of state retirees. The Legislature and Governor can’t agree on a solution. So, one proposal by the Chicago Tribune is to simply divide up the state, giving portions to each of the surrounding states. Seems logical; the rich farmland will be quickly grabbed by Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana and Wisconsin. The big argument will be over Chicago. It was a good city until Al Capone took over and it’s gone downhill ever since.  Wisconsin and Indiana are trying to pawn it off on Michigan, but Michigan already has Detroit, and one financial “Black Hole” is all any state can manage. Canada might accept it, but they would have to throw in the whole of Lake Michigan.

Several months ago the New York Times reported that 17 intelligence agencies agreed that Russia interfered in our election. High level government officials repeated it over and over: 17, 17,   17…  Last week the paper finally acknowledged what the rest of us knew all along; we don’t have 17 government agencies intelligent enough to understand Russia. They admit that only 4, not 17, agencies claim they can read the mind of a Russian.

President Trump will meet with Putin next week. I hope Trump does not agree to any deal with him. Putin might agree to leave Crimea and Ukraine and even Syria if Trump would somehow shut down our big oil and gas wells immediately. I don’t think Trump would agree to that deal, but if he did he would lose most of the 30 percent who still like him.

On Saturday I’m headed to the annual convention of the National Speakers Association. After being bombarded by political speakers, I’m eager to listen to professional speakers who know how to keep their political opinions out of their presentations. Well, maybe not all opinions, but at least they are presented fairly and with humor.

Happy Birthday America. July 4 is a great day for a birthday celebration.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

 “Did you [hear the Fourth of July speeches]?  Never was as much politics indulged in under the guise of ‘freedom and liberty.’ They was 5 percent what George Washington did, and 95 percent what the speaker intended to do.” July 5, 1935, DT #2782