— It’s fall, football and political season
There’s been a lot of focus on the Cruz filibuster, how to block Obamacare, who’s the real Republican and the government shut down. Maybe the discussion should be about how to govern in a way that blocks all bad legislation shoulder-to-shoulder with elected officials from all over the country, and maybe you can change the dialogue.
Whether you are a fan of Senator Cruz’ filibuster or Senator Cornyn’s vote to cause the Democrats to go on the record with a vote against the country’s interests, please stay focused on the fact that both of our United States Senators and Congresswoman Kay Granger are fighting to defund Obamacare and get our country back on track.
In November of 2012, we had an opportunity to take back the Senate and the White House. What we did was something different. Some of us forgot that we never agree with President Obama, and the Republican nominees were the only alternative to another four years of disastrous Obama policy and at least two more years of a Democratic controlled Senate. If we had united behind our Republican nominees and fought hard for the Senate, we could have repealed Obamacare. We could be changing the face of the world with a National Security Policy from the White House that supports our allies and protects the best interests of the United States of America at home and around the world. Our president would be more concerned about the lives of our men and women in uniform than political correctness.
We had an opportunity, and many of us stayed home. Now when I say “we,” please know that I’m not talking about the grassroots activists who went to other counties and states campaigning for conservatives. I’m talking about the people who generally vote Republican who were so tired of the infighting and name calling that they just didn’t bother to vote. It’s impossible for me to imagine what would keep me away from the voting booth, but for many, it was the lack of a positive message with clear solutions to the problems that they face every day in their homes and businesses.
Our job is to tell our story and what a story it is! The Republican Party is the party of policies that promote strong families, businesses, national defense, and personal accountability. We believe that smaller government that leaves our dollars in our pockets is better for our country. We believe that all life is precious. We believe that laws matter and they apply to all of us equally.
So as you wonder what you can do to make a difference, just stay positive and tell our story. It’s not about our opposition, it’s about us. Join with grassroots activists at Republican Party and Republican Women’s meetings. The calendar at parkertxgop.org has local events. Join me in telling the Republican story, and let’s win in 2014!
Zan Prince, Weatherford
I will be happy to answer Mr. Picou’s questions listed in his Sept. 29 letter to the editor.
The reason large group medical plans were given an additional year to fully comply with the Affordable Healthcare Act is that those large plans already comply with almost all requirements of the AHA. Congress has a large-group health plan, as do all federal employees, which will only make very minor adjustments in one year, and nobody with group health insurance is required to buy insurance from the state or federal exchanges.
Mr. Picou’s selection of unsubstantiated, dreamed-up huge rate increases for young people have not been experienced by any published rates for 2013-14. The exact opposite is true, rates that have actually been published are lower than projections and nothing like these pie in the sky rate increases Mr. Picou lists.
Mr. Picou’s assertions that employers are hiring more part-time employees have nothing to do with Obamacare. The surge in part-time jobs was a result of the Bush recession and the predictable employer reluctance to hire full time when the Republican House has been doing everything in their power to delay the recovery. It appears the Tea Party crowd in the House is willing to do great harm to jobs just to keep the president and the Democratic Party from getting credit for the ongoing recovery.
Mr. Picou’s assertion that businesses are dropping family coverage is a half-truth. A few employers are dropping coverage payment for working spouses of employees that are eligible for group coverage from their own employers. These employers reason that they should not pay for spouse coverage when those spouses have access to employer subsidized group coverage through their jobs. This sounds very reasonable to me.
Mr. Picou’s reference to OECD countries spending compared to America prior to the start of the AHA has absolutely nothing to do with the Act. Spending in all single payer plans has been less than our disorganized employer based plans. This difference in cost is why we spend about 50 percent more than any other industrial nation for healthcare. If Mr. Picou wishes for us to have comparable spending for healthcare, we need to go to a single payer plan similar to Medicare.
Mr. Picou’s statement that I complained that navigators be trained and licensed by Texas to assist residents understand the new law, is a complete misstatement of what I actually wrote. These federal trained navigators do not require any state training and licensing. No more than FBI, secret service, immigration or a dozen of other federal employees need be trained and licensed by Texas. Considering Texas’s horrendous record of healthcare management, I cannot believe anyone wants the state involved in the new law.
Mr. Picou’s statement that 25 million to 30 million Americans will still be uninsured after the implementation of AHA is true. But of course he doesn’t touch on why these people will be uninsured. The largest reason is the failure of states, like Texas, to expand Medicaid to cover citizens who do not make enough to qualify for the lowest cost insurance. In Texas alone we have about 2 million citizens who will be denied Medicaid coverage, even though federal dollars would pay more than 90 percent of the costs. This financially insane and immoral act will cost Texas about $80 billion to $90 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
Additionally, some very foolish citizens will elect to pay the penalty and stay uninsured. You will be able to find these people in the future. They will be the ones overwhelming our emergency rooms and county hospitals.
Lastly, Mr. Picou’s complaint that health insurance will become compulsory under Obamacare is correct. But so is Social Security, Medicare, auto liability insurance, drivers licenses, teacher certification, police officer certification, realtors, financial advisors, insurance agents, and many, many other licenses and insurances; including home owners insurance if there is a mortgage.
Of all state or federal requirements, health insurance is one requirement that has great benefit to the person, family and society. I still cannot believe people like Mr. Picou are now against parts of the new law that were demanded by conservative Republican back in 2008-09.
Dennis Tilly, Weatherford