Monday, July 02, 2012

Star Spangled COP 24/7 Part 1

Ah, it's time again for celebrating the old red, white and blue! We are just days from noting the birth of this nation and all that has happened since that bold movement of becoming a constitutional republic. Most likely you haven't been brushing up on your "civics" lessons of yesteryear's, so I would encourage each and everyone of  you to get refreshed on the who, what, when and why this nation was formed. I find this most necessary as I keep hearing many of my fellow citizens talking about "taking their country back." So exactly who are they "taking it from and where do they propose that we take it." As a Fareed Zakeria junky, I make it a point to get my fix of his mind probing Sunday mix of guest and topics. His insightful and often problem/solution offerings make for a better understanding of today's complex issues. A round table guest ( I failed to get his name but have been on the hunt for it) cited that "life was so much better during the 1950's, etc.." He believed that the current health care passage was aligned with one those "One World Order" conspiracy theories that are running amuck and rampant. Meanwhile conspiracy theorist overload, Glen Beck has been busy with his on-line garbage rebel cry of "the end is near" is almost too much to believe that anybody in their right minds, and the pivotal word is "mind" could stomach such banter. Then we have the Capital Hill cabal of John Boehner, Cantor and their colleagues who are now racing to the bottom with yet another attempt to repeal AHCA sometimes next week. Subsequently, Governor's such as New Jersey's Chris Christie, Lousisana's Bobby Jindal and Florida's Rick Scott among others have formed the "hell-no we won't go" chorus boldly pronouncing they will not follow the new law. Just where does all this go is any body's guess and its all just in time as we prepare to say "Happy Birthday America!" Wow, what a backdrop to let the celebrations begin.

Brummet Calls It: Cause and effect of Leaving Cash on the Table

First of all if you either like Arkansas Democrat columnist John Brummet or you don't. I enjoy his columns for the simple fact that he doesn't mince, splice or teeter on what his has to say about any topic or situation. For myself, this is good reading and if we could get some more big doses of it the better off we all would really be. His Sunday column entitled, "Money Left on table?: Cause and effect" is one that speaks to an ongoing problem that Arkansas often finds itself. According to Brummet," It amount to a kind of unilateral disarmament. Arkansas stays in the Union formally, but we secede, sort of, from its financial benefits." He is referring to the recent agriculture bill voted out of the U.S. Senate that would reduce the authorized aid for Arkansas farmers and their products, yet enhance authorized aid for Midwestern farmers and their products. Thank you U. S. Senator John Boozman. So are to we take from this that Arkansas farmers especially those in the Delta didn't need any "authorized aid" for themselves or their products? Were they getting along so well that none of this support could have come in handy in the long run. Probably not.  I realize that words such as "aid," "subsidies," or "entitlements," have become engulfed in the "deficit sky is falling" rhetoric of the day which gets ballyhooed from every angle and anyone who is oppose to almost everything or anything concerning spending.

 Yet, if this scenario wasn't glaring enough, then there's Gov. Bebee's "shrug" over the federal governments dollars and sense toward beginning the process of setting up those Insurance Exchanges in lieu of the 2014 health care roll out. It seems that the state has received $2.5 million in federal grants to begin developing its health care exchange. However, a reported March 2011 Arkansas News story cited that a House committee rejected a bill that would allow the state to begin creating the rules necessary to implement a health benefits exchange as part of the federal health care law.
House Bill 2138 by Rep. Fred Allen, D-Little Rock, which needed 11 votes for approval by the House Insurance and Commerce Committee, fell one vote short. Seven members voted “no.”
State Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford later described the vote as “weird,” while Gov. Mike Beebe used the word “ironic.”

Allen said later that he plans to bring the measure back to the committee for another vote Monday.
“If we don’t do something, the feds will come in and take over our health care plan, and that’s not what the people of the state of Arkansas want,” Allen said after the meeting. “They want to be in control. If we’re not in control then we’re playing right into Washington’s hands.” So if Arkansas isn't going to deal with the exchange dollars, then what Brummet highlights as to the state preparing not to deal with the Federal government's medicaid expansion dollars at 100 percent for the first three years and ninety percent until 2020 would appear to me as more "bone headed" governing.

Haven't theses folks seen those "unhealthy state list" that Arkansas seems to always be in the Top Ten.  Didn't they see that multi-day health clinic held in Little Rock that had lines down the street and around the block? What about the various dental clinics seeing people who hadn't seen a dentist in who knows when. Perhaps they haven't seen the pleas and local fundraisers for individuals who are just not poor enough under medicaid standards to access care despite their conditions. Those living and affected by HIV and AIDS fall well within this mix of individuals who could be affected by the expansion of medicaid or allowed to purchase insurance through the exchanges. Am I to believe that none of this has been at least considered by legislators who want to "Opt-Out?"  Even if they haven't I certainly have and its not pretty by no stretch of the imagination. Yes we've got deficit problems, Yes, there's fraud and Yes, the Affordable Health Care Act will need some tweaks, but by golly I urge you as the voting public to share your opinions, get the facts and by all means register and VOTE. You need to do it as if your life depended on it and it you never know it just might...

Know Not: Voices Carry

Last weeks release of the counter campaign of "Know Not" from the STRILIE group has been met with various observations, questions, curiosity, and embrace as the video PowerPoint made the rounds of numerous contact list. This forum embedded the item in solidarity of the position that the campaign barely meets the "high impact" nature as subscribed to by the Center for Disease Control or thoroughly outlined by the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. What's even more nagging about this situation is the fact that there's an air of "censorship" being invoked by either a "faceless, nameless, yet power wielding" individual or individuals who are off stage or perhaps even sharing the stage without being recognized. The omission of same gender couples from the public unveiling wasn't just settling it sent a distinct signal that there are forces within ADH that has issues with the as one responder stated as "sexual health history."  So what the men of STRILITE want to know and certainly COP 24/7 would be interested in knowing is "what's really going on?" Who, What, When and Why, all need answers and thus far there haven't been any. I don't expect that this will just somehow fade to black. I have no doubt that someone is working on well crafted verbiage and rationale to share with us all. When it falls into the e-box or however its delivered, you'll be the first to get it. Stay tuned...Don't hesitate to share your thoughts with this forum or hit us STRILITE at 1-855-STRILITE or 501.379.8203

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