Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Republican I would vote for:

A Republican I would vote for:  Jon Huntsman

After watching the CNN Republican Debate on 6-13-2011, I noticed one glaring fact, the current Republican field is considerably more conservative than previous primary fields and I do not believe this to be a benefit for Republicans in a general election.  One candidate which could stand out from the pack is Jon Huntsman, an experienced politician with both executive and diplomatic experience.  He has served as the Governor of Utah as well as serving in four other administrations under U.S. Presidents.  He has been an Ambassador to both Singapore and China.   He is a fiscal conservative, however a social moderate. 

Unlike Mitt Romney whose own state, during his time as governor, struggled to create jobs; Jon Huntsman has a clear record of economic success. During his years as Governor, Utah was named the best managed state by the Pew Center. Following his term as governor, Utah was also named a top 3 state to do business in. This type of accomplishment could score huge with voters on all sides of the political spectrum since “the economy” will still be the NO. 1 issue in the 2012 campaign. In 2010, Utah was awarded the prize as the best state in the country to do business in. Now as many point to his tax cuts, and yes they were apart of his overall approach, another thing to keep in mind was Utah’s state budget  rose under his watch from 16.8B to 22.8B which leads me to believe that he will solve problems with whatever tools and policies necessary, an approach critical to America’s success. 
In 2007, in response to the problem of global warming, Huntsman signed the Western Climate Initiative, by which Utah joined with other governments in agreeing to pursue targets for reduced production of greenhouse gases.  This commitment to the environment shows a moderate tone to his positions that in a general election would attract independent voters.  Huntsman is also a long time supporter of civil unions but not same sex marriage; he supported legislation that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples in the state, now this may actually hurt Huntsman initially and in some primary states he could really struggle among social conservatives but if he can win the primary his moderate positions could give Republicans the best shot at taking back the White House. 

Jon Huntsman’s foreign policy experience is also impressive, he was the youngest appointed Ambassador in over 100 years as Ambassador to Singapore. More importantly was “tapped” by President Obama to serve as Ambassador to China in 2009. Now this blade may cut a few ways; some on the far right may not want anyone linked to President Obama or any of the problems with China holding so much of our national debt. However with time to get his record and message our there I believe any prior experience in dealing with China could prove vital in a potential future President.  

UPDATED 6/22/2011 - Jon Huntsman Official Presidential Campaign Announcement

So what do you think of Jon Huntsman?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to cut national healthcare costs

Whether you are Republican, Independent, or Democrat, there are few truths that are out there regarding Healthcare reform.  Leaving seniors alone to negotiate with insurance companies is a losing battle for seniors; they (seniors) are not good investments for insurers but they need medical coverage, this puts them in a terrible position to get overcharged and under insured by the private sector. However our current Healthcare system can not simply remain at status quo, people are living longer and everyday new medical treatments are becoming available, this puts citizens on the government bill for longer and longer.   Let’s confront one thing first…changes have to be made, but there is no silver bullet, no single proposal or idea that will solve the healthcare problem. To truly solve the healthcare problem changes need to come in all aspects of our society, not just changes to Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs. 

Fraud waste and abuse – There are no hard numbers for how much fraud/waste/abuse (FWA) is truly going on because if the government knew what was FWA then it would not be approved and payments would be halted, however between CBO reports and others there is an accepted consensus that FWA cost the US billions of dollars every years. 

Obesity and diabetes – America is too fat…plain and simple. The center for disease control stated:
“The medical care costs of obesity in the United States are staggering. In 2008, these costs totaled about $147 billion”
These numbers are not getting smaller and neither are Americans, healthier living is vital to our national healthcare recovery.   Childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rising as well, obesity now affects 17% of ALL children in America, that is 12.5 MILLION children, TRIPLE the rate from one generation ago. These completely preventable diseases are killing our healthcare system and killing our nation’s young people.

Tort reform – Tort is the system of getting compensation for wrongs or harms done by one party to another.  In the medical field its basically lawsuits filed by patients against doctors for “malpractice.” There is bipartisan acknowledgment that there are far too many frivolous lawsuits filed and reform is need to curb those numbers because of the added cost to the court system, doctors, and insurances companies is just more wasted dollars

The number of uninsured – Uninsured Americans drive up hospital costs and insurance premiums because they are not contributing to the overall system but they are taking from it. Most estimates put the number of uninsured people at around 40-50 million people but nearly 37 million were employment-age adults (ages 18 to 64), and more than 27 million worked at least part time. About 38% of the uninsured live in households with incomes of $50,000 or MORE. According to the Census Bureau, nearly 36 million of the uninsured are legal U.S citizens. Another 9.7 million are non-citizens, but the Census Bureau does not distinguish in its estimate between legal non-citizens and illegal immigrants.  Nearly one fifth of the uninsured population is able to afford insurance, almost one quarter is eligible for public coverage, and the remaining 56% need financial assistance.  There needs to be improvement for the numbers of uninsured Americans.  Lets get people who CAN help themselves to do so, that will make it easier to assist those who really need it.

These are just a few of the factors that need to change to solve the healthcare crisis now and in the long term, but this list is not all inclusive, what else do you see that needs to change?