ACA-Health-Care-Reform

HEALTHCARE REFORM: Freedom Is Its Own Indispensable Goal

The healthcare debate in D.C. is following predictable form: Miles off track with the media hyperfocused on the politics, rather than the substance. The coverage focuses heavily on the daily ins and outs of the political struggle, the D.C. winners and losers.

Will Republicans be able to placate the Freedom Caucus and still keep moderates? Will they put together something that can get through the House and have any life in the Senate? Is Ryan back-peddling? Is Trump? Will McConnell detonate the nuclear option? Is it Trumpcare or Ryancare?

The thing is, most Americans outside of political junkies don’t really care about that.

They do care about whether they will be able to afford health insurance. They do care about whether our country will drowned itself in unsustainable debt. They do care about their children’s future. But those are rarely the story. Because the truth is that in Washington, D.C., Americans are basically pawns to be played in the furtherance of personal agendas.

On the rare occasions when the substance of the proposal is actually explored, it is mostly along the lines of how many people are covered, will be covered, won’t be covered, how much it will cost, how the changes will play out politically for each party, etc. Those are fine in their place, and should be regularly reported on. They are not.

What Washington and the media never, ever talk about is the principle of American freedoms, which is at the heart of this. Virtually no one wants to talk about it.

So, status quo in the swamp. And for Americans.

The Old Liberties for Security Trade

But here is the whittled down nub of the issue: How much personal freedom are we willing to give away to get a little healthcare security? Because the reality of the human condition always and forever is that some people will be irresponsible with their life decisions — from relationships to finances to health.

So there will always be a percentage of Americans who do not want to purchase, or simply will not purchase, health insurance. Here’s the thing: They should be free to not and that point of freedom should be argued strenuously.

Because the only way to stop that dynamic is to give government total authority to force every single person to have health insurance. That was what Obamacare attempted to do, require every American to either buy a product — health insurance — or be fined increasing amounts by the government to financially force them to to buy it.

In an enormously tragic precedence, the Supreme Court made a political calculation and approved the forcible purchase requirements under Obamacare by calling it what it was not, what is authors including President Obama argued it was not, so as the court could rule it “constitutional.” Truly, a constitutional travesty.

Among the many things wrong with Obamacare, this was perhaps the most egregious because it went to undermining fundamental freedoms. It wasn’t just bad policy, or inefficient, or expensive — which are all true. It was a denial of basic liberty, the concept upon which our nation was founded and thrived to be what she is today.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Franklin was looking at the real physical and economic threat of a distant tyrant.

And so are we, though not so distant.

The Real Cost

Obamacare undoubtedly reduced the percentage of uninsured Americans, or more accurately, uncovered Americans. This was accomplished by expanding Medicaid — direct welfare — subsidizing plans in the state exchanges — indirect welfare — and forcing every American to participate — coercion. Even then, the total number of Americans not covered in some fashion, only declined a few percentage points.

Trillions of dollars, catastrophic rises in premiums and deductibles, loss of health care insurance options — often down to one in an entire state — all to pick up a few percentage points. About 9 percent of Americans remain without health insurance.

If Republicans did nothing more than simply repeal the Obamacare mandate, at least 10 million people would no longer have coverage, according to the Office of Management and Budget estimate of the repeal measure. The media reports this as Americans who will “lose” their coverage, but this particular 10 million will actually choose not to have coverage.

Whether that is a good idea or not is debatable. What is not debatable is what it represents: Freedom.

Because unless the government forces people by law to have health insurance, some will not. Freedom calls us to allow them to not and accept the consequences. Otherwise, with this precedent in place, the government could also make the case for regulating what we eat (because eating healthy is good for us) and forcing us to exercise (because exercising is good for us.) It could also require us to buy, say, solar panels and electric cars, because it deems those to be a good thing like health care insurance is a good thing.

You see the problem here. There is really no end to it, which is why it was a line that should never have been crossed.

So yes, Obamacare is costing hundreds of billions of dollars and would continue to until its complete failure. But it’s real cost is the loss of American liberty. And precious few seem to care.

Alas, Republicans fighting on Democrat ground

Republicans however, will not fight this on the grounds of freedom, the high ground and the right ground. They allow Democrats and the media to define the terms and put Republicans on the defensive on bad ground.

Republicans are doing what they always do, and part of it is the swampy D.C. mentality. Republicans end up abandoning conservative principles and going with Democrat-lite. They are willing to expand government, just less so. They are willing to raise taxes, just not as high. They are willing to trade rights for securities, just not as fast. But inexorably this moves in the same direction: More government control, more “free” giveaways, fewer American freedoms.

The health care coverage debate is a perfect example.

Democrats built it on the Democrat ground of heavy-handed government control and giveaways, and dared Republicans to come after it. To boil it down, in Obamacare, Democrats gave more Americans more free stuff that was not their’s and that we cannot afford — at the cost of lost freedoms — and Republicans now want to take some of that free stuff and restore those freedoms.

Meanies.

This of course is rough politics for Republicans, as so many Americans have lost the sense of liberty, self-reliance and personal responsibility. Too many are willing to trade a lot of liberties for a little security. But part of the reason for that is that no one is making the case for this and other issues on the grounds of freedom.

But in reality, Republicans aren’t even making the freedom case — or do so rarely. They want to make sure enough Americans get enough free stuff so they can be re-elected.

Taking away an entitlement once in place is just never done, and Democrats knew that in 2010. A big part of Obamacare is the entitlement portion. But that is only a problem if Republicans fight this on the grounds of coverage and giveaways, and not on the grounds of essential liberties.

Republicans hold every nationally elected office of power and there is one window for fixing the Obamacare debacle. If it does not happen now, Obamacare will be a permanent fixture of our health care system until it totally fails, and sucks the healthcare system into its death swirl.

The final step will be nationalized healthcare.

And the result will be an even greater loss of freedoms, and precious little in the way of securities. The worst of trade-offs.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

GOP leaders unveil changes to healthcare bill

Nearly 200 State Lawmakers Are Pushing for Changes to GOP Obamacare Repeal Plan

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

Repeal-and-Replace-Obamacare

GOP Repeal/Replace Bill Cuts Taxes By Nearly a Trillion Dollars

On the White House website one of the key accomplishments of President Trump’s first 50 days in office is:

PUTTING PATIENT HEALTHCARE FIRST: After years of false promises, rising costs, and shrinking accessibility, President Trump is championing reforms to put patients first.

  • President Trump has supported efforts by Republicans in Congress to repeal the worst parts of Obamacare and replace them with the American Health Care Act.
  • President Trump acted on his first day in office to instruct Federal agencies to minimize the burden of Obamacare on Americans.

Katie Pavlich in a Townhall article titled ATR: Obamacare Replacement Cuts Taxes By Nearly a Trillion Dollars reports:

Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office released its official score for the Obamacare repeal and replacement bill, better known as the American Health Care Act.

Reaction to the scoring, which estimates an additional 21 million Americans will become uninsured by 2020, was mixed. House Speaker Paul Ryan said last night he is “encouraged” by the score. However, the Trump administration is hardly pleased.

“We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out. We believe that our plan will cover more individuals at a lower cost and give them the choices that they want for the coverage that they want for themselves and for their families, not that the government forces them to buy,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said at the White House Monday evening.

But Americans For Tax Reform sees some good news. If passed, the bill will cut taxes by $883 billion. Here’s where the cuts come from:

Medicine Cabinet Tax on HSAs and FSAs
Flexible Spending Account Tax
Chronic Care Tax
HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike
Ten Percent Excise Tax on Indoor Tanning
Health Insurance Tax
Employer Mandate Tax
Surtax on Investment Income
Payroll Tax Hike
Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers
Tax on Prescription Medicine
Elimination of Deduction for Retiree Prescription Drug Coverage
$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives

You can read more about the details and specific amounts behind this list of tax repeals here.

As we have said, this bill is out in the open. Now is the time for every citizen to read it and then contact their U.S. Senators and member of Congress and tell them what you think about this bill.

We’ve come a long way to get to this point, we’ve got a long way to go to make sure it gets done right.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

After Paul Ryan Admits Obamacare Plan Needs Changes, Conservatives Hope to Strike Deal Uniting Party

House Leadership’s Health Bill Is Not What Republicans Promised. We Can Do Better

Which Parts of the Obamacare Replacement Face Trouble in the Senate

Conservative Lawmakers Join Rally Against GOP Health Care Plan

natural turmeric

Cut Down on Synthetic Antibiotics and Go Natural With Turmeric

Just like tomatoes can help to maintain a good skin tone and avocados can fight aging, turmeric can be applied on different parts of the body to promote wound healing. You can make a turmeric paste; apply it on the affected area to accelerate healing. We’ll show you how.

How to make turmeric for wound healing

You’ll need two things to make this work for you: some ground turmeric and a bandage. Start by mixing two (2) tablespoons of ground turmeric with water to make a thick paste. Make sure your hands are clean when applying the paste on the affected area. Don’t expect the dough to appear like cream. Once you’ve used the paste on the wound, cover it with your choice of a bandage. Leave it for about 12 hours. You can repeat this process for 3 to 4 days.

How turmeric promotes wound healing

Turmeric has an active phytochemical that is known as curcumin. Curcumin is the responsible ingredient for relieving inflammation and alleviating pain. This potent compound is also known to aid in healing in many different ways. First, it has high antibacterial properties. Any bacteria that are found on the skin can be eliminated when you apply turmeric paste. Turmeric reduces the risks of the wound getting infected and slowing down the healing process.

Secondly, curcumin also helps the blood to clot. It will ensure the wound doesn’t continue bleeding so that it heals faster. Last but not least, curcumin treats the skin around the wounded area. You will experience minimal, if any scarring, after treating the area with turmeric.

Even though you can get all these benefits from chemical-based creams, turmeric offers the benefits of natural ingredients. Introducing chemicals in your skin, especially a wounded area can have adverse side effects. These chemicals may travel to the bloodstream and get to your organs. You can use turmeric as a topical medication and stay away from any of those side effects. These are just some of the benefits of turmeric that you can get.

Extra tip

When turmeric is mixed with coconut oil, as opposed to water, it offers you more anti-bacterial benefits and further accelerates healing. You can even apply the turmeric paste as a face mask or cream if you are suffering from scarring or redness on your skin. Prepare the turmeric paste with coconut oil and leave it in your bathroom. You can use it a few times a week to keep your skin young and healthy.

20170310_ADM_working-for-the-people_blog-header

President Trump’s First 50 Days of Action: Achieving Results for the American People

JUMPSTARTING JOB CREATION: President Donald J. Trump is looking out for the American workers who Washington has left behind.

  • President Trump has worked with the private sector to deliver tens of thousands of new jobs for Americans.
  • President Trump ordered the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and negotiations.
  • President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete its construction.
  • President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to help ensure that new pipeline construction and repair work use materials and equipment from the United States.

CUTTING GOVERNMENT RED TAPE: President Trump has quickly taken steps to get the Government out of the way of job creation.

  • President Trump directed each agency to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to identify costly and unnecessary regulations in need of modification or repeal.
  • President Trump has required that for every new Federal regulation, two existing regulations be eliminated.
  • President Trump directed the Department of Commerce to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens on domestic manufacturers.
  • President Trump signed legislation, House Joint Resolution 38, to prevent the burdensome “Stream Protection Rule” from causing further harm to the coal industry.
  • President Trump ordered the review of the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States,” known as the WOTUS rule, to evaluate whether it is stifling economic growth or job creation.

REFORMING WASHINGTON: President Trump has taken actions to reform the old Washington way of doing business and to ensure that his entire Administration are working for the American people.

  • President Trump put in place a hiring freeze for Federal civilian employees to stop the further expansion of an already bloated government.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing new ethics commitments for all Executive branch appointees, putting in place a five-year lobbying ban and a permanent ban on lobbying for foreign governments, so that appointees serve the American people instead of their own interests.

PUTTING PATIENT HEALTHCARE FIRST: After years of false promises, rising costs, and shrinking accessibility, President Trump is championing reforms to put patients first.

  • President Trump has supported efforts by Republicans in Congress to repeal the worst parts of Obamacare and replace them with the American Health Care Act.
  • President Trump acted on his first day in office to instruct Federal agencies to minimize the burden of Obamacare on Americans.

PRIORITIZING AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY: President Trump has taken action to ensure the safety and security of the United States homeland, its borders, and its people.

  • Under President Trump’s leadership, the Department of the Treasury sanctioned 25 entities and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program.
  • President Trump implemented new protections against foreign terrorists entering our country.
  • President Trump has proposed increasing the military’s budget by $54 billion so that it can begin to rebuild.
  • As a result of a Presidential Memorandum President Trump signed on January 28, he has received a plan to defeat ISIS designed by the Secretary of Defense and other members of his Cabinet.
  • President Trump ordered a review of military readiness and made it the policy of the United States to rebuild the United States’ Armed Forces.
  • President Trump has negotiated to bring down the price of the F-35, saving millions of dollars.

DELIVERING ON IMMIGRATION REFORM: President Trump has made enforcing the Nation’s immigration laws a priority of his Administration.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to start work on a southern border wall.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to enhance the public safety of Americans through enforcement of immigration laws.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to halt funding to jurisdictions in the United States that do not comply with Federal immigration rules.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to begin the removal of illegal immigrants who have committed certain crimes.
  • Following through on President Trump’s direction, the Department of Homeland Security will hire 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and agents and 5,000 border patrol agents.

RESTORING PUBLIC SAFETY TO AMERICAN COMMUNITIES: President Trump is following through on his promise to restore public safety for all Americans.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who engage in crimes against law enforcement officers.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to establish a task force, led by the Attorney General, to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across America.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order re-focusing the Federal Government’s energy and resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations, such as drug cartels.

HELPING WOMEN AND MINORITIES SUCCEED: President Trump knows the country cannot reach its potential unless every American has a chance to prosper.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order strengthening and repositioning the Historically Black Colleges and Universities initiatives within the White House to foster better opportunities in higher education.
  • President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.
  • President Trump signed into law the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act to encourage the National Science Foundation’s entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world.
  • President Trump signed into law the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act to encourage women to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), pursue careers in aerospace, and further advance the nation’s space science and exploration efforts.

KEEPING HIS PROMISE TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION: President Trump promised a U.S. Supreme Court justice in the mold of late Justice Antonin Scalia selected from his previously announced list of 20 judges

  • President Trump nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court because of his consistent record defending the Constitution.

RELATED ARTICLE: How President Trump Is Performing on His Promises Halfway to First 100 Days

us congress building repeal and replace

U.S. Senator Rand Paul Introduces Bill to Repeal/Replace Obamacare

The Obamacare Replacement Act (S. 222) introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, M.D. accomplishes the following:

Repealing Obamacare

Effective as of the date of enactment of this bill, the following provisions of Obamacare are repealed:

  • Individual and employer mandates, community rating restrictions, rate review, essential health benefits requirement, medical loss ratio, and other insurance mandates.

Protecting Individuals with Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Provides a two-year open-enrollment period under which individuals with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
  • Restores HIPAA pre-existing conditions protections. Prior to Obamacare, HIPAA guaranteed those within the group market could obtain continuous health coverage regardless of preexisting conditions. Equalize the Tax Treatment of Health Insurance
  • Individuals who receive health insurance through an employer are able to exclude the premium amount from their taxable income. However, this subsidy is unavailable for those that do not receive their insurance through an employer but instead shop for insurance on the individual market.
  • Equalizes the tax treatment of the purchase of health insurance for individuals and employers. By providing a universal deduction on both income and payroll taxes regardless of how an individual obtains their health insurance, Americans will be empowered to purchase insurance independent of employment. Furthermore, this provision does not interfere with employer provided coverage for Americans who prefer those plans.

Expansion of Health Savings Accounts

Tax Credit for HSA Contributions

  • Provides individuals the option of a tax credit of up to $5,000 per taxpayer for contributions to an HSA. If an individual chooses not to accept the tax credit or contributes in excess of $5,000, those contributions are still tax-preferred.

Maximum Contribution Limit to HSA

  • Removes the maximum allowable annual contribution, so that individuals may make unlimited contributions to an HSA.

Eliminates the requirement that a participant in an HSA be enrolled in a high deductible health care plan

  • Currently, in order to be eligible to establish and use an HSA, an individual must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan. This section removes the HSA plan type requirement to allow individuals with all types of insurance to establish and use an HSA. o This would also enable individuals who are eligible for Medicare, VA benefits, TRICARE, IHS, and members of health care sharing ministries to be eligible to establish an HSA.

Allowance of Distributions for Prescription and OTC Drugs

  • Allows prescription and OTC drug costs to be treated as allowable expenses of HSAs.

Purchase of Health Insurance from HSA Account

  • Currently, HSA funds may not be used to purchase insurance or cover the cost of premiums. Allowing the use of HSA funds for insurance premiums will help make health coverage more affordable for American families.

Medical Expenses Incurred Prior to Account Establishment

  • Allows qualified expenses incurred prior to HSA establishment to be reimbursed from an HSA as long as the account is established prior to tax filing. Ø Administrative Error Correction Before Due Date of Return
  • Amends current law by allowing for administrative or clerical error corrections on filings. Ø Allowing HSA Rollover to Child or Parent of Account Holder o Allows an account holder’s HSA to rollover to a child, parent, or grandparent, in addition to a spouse.

Equivalent Bankruptcy Protections for HSAs as Retirement Funds

  • Most tax-exempt retirement accounts are also fully exempt from bankruptcy by federal law. While some states have passed laws that exempt HSA funds from being seized in bankruptcy, there is no federal protection for HSA funds in bankruptcy.

Certain Exercise Equipment and Physical Fitness Programs to be Treated as Medical Care

  • Expands allowable HSA expenses to include equipment for physical exercise or health coaching, including weight loss programs.

Nutritional and Dietary Supplements to be Treated as Medical Care

  • Amends the definition of “medical care” to include dietary and nutritional supplements for the purposes of HSA expenditures.

Certain Providers Fees to be Treated as Medical Care

  • Allows HSA funds to be used for periodic fees paid to medical practitioners for access to medical care.

Capitated Primary Care Payments

  • HSAs can be used for pre-paid physician fees, which includes payments associated with “concierge” or “direct practice” medicine.

Provisions Relating to Medicare o Allows Medicare enrollees to contribute their own money to the Medicare Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).

Charity Care and Bad Debt Deduction for Physicians

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a physician a tax deduction equal to the amount such physician would otherwise charge for charity medical care or uncompensated care due to bad debt. This deduction is limited to 10% of a physician’s gross income for the taxable year.

Pool Reform for the Individual Market

  • Establishes Independent Health Pools (IHPs) in order to allow individuals to pool together for the purposes of purchasing insurance.
  • Amends the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) to allow individuals to pool together to provide for health benefits coverage through Individual Health Pools (IHPs). These can include nonprofit organizations (including churches, alumni associations, trade associations, other civic groups, or entities formed strictly for establishing an IHP) so long as the organization does not condition membership on any health status-related factor.
  • Requires that the IHP will provide insurance through contracts with health insurance issuers in fully insured plans and not assume insurance risk with respect to such coverage. Allows the IHP to provide administrative services to members, including accounting, billings, and enrollment information.

Interstate Market for Health Insurance

Cooperative Governing of Individual Health Insurance Coverage

  • Increases access to individual health coverage by allowing insurers licensed to sell policies in one state to offer them to residents of any other state.
  • Exempts issuers from secondary state laws that would prohibit or regulate their operation in the secondary state. However, states may impose requirements such as consumer protections and applicable taxes, among others.
  • Prohibits an issuer from offering, selling, or issuing individual health insurance coverage in a secondary state:
  1. If the state insurance commissioner does not use a risk-based capital formula for the determination of capital and surplus requirements for all issuers.
  2. Unless both the secondary and primary states have legislation or regulations in place establishing an independent review process for individuals who have individual health insurance coverage; or
  3. The issuer provides an acceptable mechanism under which the review is conducted by an independent medical reviewer or panel. Gives sole jurisdiction to the primary state to enforce the primary state’s covered laws in the primary state and any secondary state.
  • Allows the secondary state to notify the primary state if the coverage offered in the secondary state fails to comply with the covered laws in the primary state.

Association Health Plans

  • Association Health Plans (AHPs) allow small businesses to pool together across state lines through their membership in a trade or professional association to purchase health coverage for their employees and their families. AHPs increase the bargaining power, leverage discounts, and provide administrative efficiencies to small businesses while freeing them from state benefit mandates.
  • While AHPs currently exist, strict Department of Labor standards exist regarding the types of organizations that may qualify as a single large-group health plan under ERISA. The standard stipulates that the association must be a group of employers bound together by a commonality of interest (aside from providing a health plan) with vested control of the association to such an extent that they effectively operate as one employer. This is considered a difficult standard for most associations to meet.
  • Amends ERISA to define AHPs and allow for their treatment as if they were large group single employer health plans. This definition would allow a dues-collecting organization maintained in good faith for a purpose other than providing health insurance to benefit from the insurance regulation exclusions currently afforded to large-group health plans under ERISA.
  • Requires solvency standards to protect patients’ rights and ensure benefits are paid. o Requires AHPs to have an indemnified back-up plan in order to prevent unpaid claims in the event of plan termination.
  • AHPs must undergo independent actuarial certification for financial viability on a regular basis. o Requires AHPs to maintain surplus reserves of at least $500,000 in addition to normal claims reserves, stop loss insurance, or indemnification insurance.

Anti-Trust Reform for Healthcare

  • Provides an exemption from Federal antitrust laws for health care professionals engaged in negotiations with a health plan regarding the terms of a contract under which the professionals provide health care items or services.
  • This section applies only to health care professionals excluded from the National Labor Relations Act. It would also not apply to contracts or care provided under Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, the FEHBP, or the IHS as well as medical and dental care provided to members of the uniformed services and veterans.

Increasing State Flexibility to Conduct Medicaid Waivers

  • Provides new flexibilities to states in their Medicaid plan design, through existing waiver authority in current law.
  • For many years, including under Obamacare, States have had the option to request a waiver from HHS to allow states to test new coverage rules under Medicaid and other programs. This provision would allow states to make changes to their Medicaid plans without interference from Washington.

Self-Insurance Protections

  • Amends the definition of “health insurance coverage” under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), and parallel sections of ERISA and the Tax Code, to clarify that stop-loss insurance is not health insurance.
  • This provision is designed to prevent the federal government from using rule-making to restrict the availability of stop-loss insurance used by self-insured plans.

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Breitbart.com: Sen. Tom Cotton says Paul Ryan’s healthcare bill does not deliver on GOP, President Trump’s promise to repeal, replace Obamacare

Mulvaney: GOP healthcare plan a ‘framework’

Adviser: Trump willing to accept improvements to healthcare proposal

trump healthcare illegals

GOP Healthcare Plan Allows Illegal Aliens to get tax credits

Numbers USA has reviewed the American Healthcare Act bill and found that illegal aliens are eligible for tax credits. Here is what Numbers USA published:

Healthcare reform legislation unveiled by GOP Leaders on Monday night would, at best, leave in place a verification system that allowed up to 500,000 illegal aliens to access taxpayer-funded benefits over the last several years. According to a 2016 Senate report, the government issued $750 million of Obamacare subsidies to individuals whose immigration status couldn’t be verified. The GOP plan would leave in place that failed verification process, or worse, eliminate the verification process altogether.

According to the 2016 Senate report, the Obamacare framework gave benefit of the doubt to illegal aliens when they applied for subsidies, but if the alien failed to file the necessary paperwork, the IRS was supposed to retrieve the funds. A lack of cooperation between Health and Human Services and the IRS, however, prevented the money from being recouped.

But according to multiple Hill contacts, GOP Republicans may not even be able to get the failed verification process, which would leave their entire plan open to illegal aliens. Under the plan, subsidies for health insurance would no longer be awarded, but individuals could receive tax credits for purchasing healthcare on the government exchanges.

For more on this, click here.

As we have said, this bill is out in the open. Now is the time for every citizen to read it and then contact their U.S. Senators and member of Congress and tell them what you think about this bill.

We’ve come a long way to get to this point, we’ve got a long way to go to make sure it gets done right.

RELATED VIDEO: Representative Mike Kelly Discusses Process of Repealing Obamacare w/Charles Payne on Fox Business.

coca cola gay ad

Coca-Cola Puts Out Gay Ad: Brother/Sister Fight Over Boy

Coca-Cola Co has launched a gay-friendly ad in a recent campaign that is winning “praise” for diversity and inclusion.

The minute-long ad features a brother and sister vying for the attention of a handsome pool boy and fighting for the right to offer him an ice-cold Coke.

The ad is a part of the company’s global ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign, and features a teenage girl eyeing the hunky pool boy from a downstairs window while her brother lustfully watches the boy from upstairs.

The two then race to the refrigerator in an effort to be the first to offer him a cold Coke.

Despite the best efforts of the brother and sister, Mom gets there first and has first dibs on the pool boy.

In a complicated statement, the Coca-Cola PR agency said:

‘We are managing culturally relevant messages organically within our spots not as the main subject of the story but as sub-text.”

Okay, enough of that gibberish.  Here’s what you really need to know about this ad campaign. And it’s more than you think.

Most older Americans will be perplexed at the purpose of this new Coca-Cola ad.  As well as they should be.

Is this an ad to attract more gays into buying Coca-Cola?  Or an ad to indoctrinate young Americans into accepting the gay lifestyle? No doubt this is part of the objective by Coca-Cola’s advertisement team.  But those reasons are not the complete, or perhaps even the main, answer.

Young adults run ad agencies, nowadays.  And as we all know these young adults have no qualm about using other people’s money (company money) to push their own political/moral beliefs and worldviews on society

But even this is not the compete answer.

Corporations view older Americans as an established, but dying, breed of purchasers.  Even if they are offended, they will remain loyal to the product.  They key word is “loyal.”  That is the objective of ad agencies: to get loyal purchasers.  Once you have a loyal buyer, the reasoning goes, that purchaser will ultimately withstand many offenses down the line.  You may lose some, but not enough to make a significant dent in profits.

Ad agencies, therefore, must focus on young Americans because they are not yet ‘loyal’ to the product.  Being gay-friendly, the reasoning goes, will win over the ‘loyalty’ of the young.  And with that loyalty, they will be Coca-Cola purchasers for decades.

And what about those who HAVE ALREADY BEEN loyal for decades?  Well, Coca-Cola already has their money…which can now be used to promote an immoral lifestyle to gain the acceptance, love and loyalty of an immoral people.

Most major companies don’t sell you on a product any more; they are in the business of selling you on their beliefs.

Perhaps what’s really sad is that people would buy a product, not because “Coke adds life,” but because “Coke adds perversion.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Homecoming at University of Minnesota Bows to ‘Gender Inclusivity’

woman crying

ANSWERING FACEBOOK: Playing Dodgeball with Abortion Realities

The abortion debate inevitably travels in the same issue-avoiding circles. I was recently on an ABC panel debating the courts blocking Florida’s 24-hour wait period for a woman to get an abortion after receiving counseling, providing time for her to weigh more information into her life-and-death decision.

Naturally enough, it devolved into a debate on abortion — as it always should. I was debating a pro-choice feminist and board member of the ACLU. And a friend. Our debate was feisty but civil — an important goal.

However, the debate continued on Facebook, where it became decidedly less civil. One of the great canards thrown at me all the time is that I cannot have an opinion on this because I am a man. This is so easily cut down and burned that there is never a response to my point. It’s just reiterated that I can’t. I’m male.

What this and so much of the rest of abortion debate dodgeball suggest is that rational thought, morals and, more than ever, science, make the pro-choice position completely indefensible. There is simply no way to defend a woman’s “right” to end the life of another human being for any reason she chooses, at any point in the pregnancy she chooses.

Canards flying everywhere

Hence we have the dodgeball arguments that this is a “choice”; that this is about “reproductive health rights”; that this is about “health care”; that a man cannot have an opinion.

No, the first and central issue is whether that which is in the womb is a human being with rights inherent as a human being. Most people actually see that is the case, at least after a month or two. Science gives us evidence with brain waves, heartbeats and in-womb pictures.

So when I make these points, they are really never refuted head-on. This is demonstrated with painful clarity in the Facebook debate that followed. It’s linked below.

Here is a sampling from Facebook, from both men and women:

“I watched it last night. I still don’t understand why men think they have a say in women’s health.”

“The next segment should be on prostate health. I’m looking forward to (a woman) expressing her opinion on that.”

“A man’s opinion on a women’s health and body issue is just not on equal footing with (a woman’s), no matter how eloquent and reasonable it may be.”

“What if women were up in arms because of men’s selfish refusal to get vasectomies?? What if we tried to FORCE men to get vasectomies for the safety of women?”

“Another man chimes in, lol.”

FYI, the response that men cannot have an opinion on this is astonishingly faulty thinking. Morals are not gender-dependent. Right and wrong is right and wrong. There is not a different set of rights and wrongs based on gender. It is not morally acceptable for a woman to steal from a man because she is a woman, because *stealing* is wrong. It is not morally acceptable for a man to kill a woman, or another man, because *murder* is wrong. Stealing and murder are wrong independent of which gender is doing it and which gender is considering its morality. In the same way, killing an unborn baby is either morally acceptable or not morally acceptable, independent of which gender is doing it or which gender is considering its morality.

Let’s play abortion dodgeball!

All of this is dodgeball. You see how all of the accusations avoid the central point. I’m convinced most know deep down this is the willful taking of an innocent human life. They know that is not defensible on any moral grounds.

So they play dodge the issue.

  • I throw out “Is it a human life in the womb?” They dodge left with “It’s a woman’s choice!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They dodge right with “It’s about reproductive rights!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They duck with “It’s about healthcare!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They spin sideways with “Pro-lifers don’t care about the life outside the womb!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They slide down with “If pro-lifers really cared about abortions, they would support better sex education!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They spin sideways with “You’re a man!”

I throw one last time “Is it a human life in the womb?” And one may finally answer with “No! It’s a clump of cells. Nothing more than a tumor.”

Finally. Someone admits to being a science-denier. But at least we can get on to debate the core issue with all the scientific evidence that it is indeed a measurable human being within weeks. We measure the death of a human with heartbeat and brainwaves. The baby has both of those in six to eight weeks.

That’s it. Dodge the ball of what abortion really is.

None of these remotely approach a defense for a state policy of allowing the willful killing of a human being with inherent rights by another human being for any reason, or no reason.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act.

american health care act read the bill

Citizens can actually read the ‘American Health Care Act’ bill Online! Refreshing

Remember this:

Speaker Paul Ryan in an email to all Americans wrote:

I want you to be the first to know: we just introduced our bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. It is called the American Health Care Act, and it is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance. It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.

Unlike the Democrats, we are not going to pass legislation to find out what is in it. The American Health Care Act will proceed through a transparent process of regular order in full view of the public.

Visit www.ReadTheBill.gop to download and read the bill.

How refreshing.

Michael A. Needham, Chief Executive Officer Heritage Action for America, in an email writes:

For seven years, Republican lawmakers have campaigned on the promise of full repeal. The American people elected a Republican House, Senate, and White House to ensure this promise was kept. For most people in the individual market, there would be no significant difference between the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the new American Health Care Act proposed by Republicans.

This is bad politics and, more importantly, bad policy.

If Republicans move forward with this bill, they will be accepting the flawed premises of Obamacare. Instead, they should fully repeal the failed law and begin a genuine effort to follow through on their seven year promises to create a free market health care system.

Let the negotiations on the proposed American Health Care Act begin.

RELATED INFOGRAPHIC:

RELATED ARTICLES:

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House Republican Health Care Bill Misses the Mark

What if there’s no affordable insurance to buy?

House Republicans Release Text of Obamacare Repeal, Conservatives Call for Action ‘Now’

GOP Unveils Obamacare Replacement Legislation

Trump’s Historic Chance to Dismantle the Administrative State

What Will GOPcare Change?

RELATED VIDEOS:

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Rep. Mike Kelly discusses American Health Care Act with Neil Cavuto.

ebola virus

The 6 Most Destructive Myths About Ebola

While fears and concerns mount in the face of the worst Ebola outbreak history, potentially dangerous myths and rumors are also being spread. Ranging from simple misunderstandings to deliberate misinformation.

burning of ebola victims source

Burning of Ebola victims.

The current West African Ebola outbreak has claimed more than 4,000 lives, but recent media coverage has also ignited a firestorm of panic and misinformation regarding the virus. In some cases, the myths surrounding Ebola make it more difficult for health workers to combat and contain it, and even harmless rumors can create unnecessary paranoia. Below are some of the most common and persistent myths about the Ebola virus.

It is Highly Contagious:

Ebola is highly infectious, but it is not very contagious. In humans, the virus spreads through close contact with infected bodily fluids such as sweat, saliva, blood, fecal matter, and semen. Ebola is not considered an airborne virus, since it cannot survive in the open air or travel long distances. Casual contact with an infected person is considered to bear a low risk of infection, which is why the majority of cases are reported amongst health care workers in constant close contact with infected patients. As viruses go, Ebola spreads at a much slower rate than most. Smallpox, which was successfully eliminated by a targeted vaccine program, was more than twice as contagious, while measles is a staggering nine times more contagious than Ebola.

Outside Assistance is Making it Worse:

One of the more dangerous myths about Ebola is that international aid efforts are making the outbreak worse. In some regions, there are even rumors that the virus was introduced by international healthworkers, creating distrust and hindering relief efforts. Some people also worry that sending health workers increases the odds of the disease spreading in other parts of the world, but current evidence suggests that this fear is unfounded.

There is No Hope for a Cure:

While there are currently no cures or vaccines for Ebola, that doesn’t mean that one won’t be developed. There are a number of promising treatments and vaccines that are being tested by the World HealthOrganization to ensure that they are effective and free of harmful side-effects. Many experts predict that a vaccine may even be developed and approved within a matter of months.

All Ebola Victims Die:

While Ebola is undoubtedly a dangerous and often-fatal virus, it is important to understand the data relating to its mortality rate in the proper context. There are several strains of Ebola, each with different reported mortality rates, ranging from 20% to 90%, making it difficult to pin down an accurate figure. Moreover, experts argue that many of the deaths attributed to Ebola could be prevented if patients were treated in facilities with better access to treatment and stricter adherence to safety protocols. With state of the art medical care, the mortality rate of Ebola may even be as low as 10-20%, making it roughly as fatal as SARS.

Travel and Immigration Pose a Serious Risk:

One of the most persistent myths about Ebola is that immigrants and foreign travelers pose a major risk of spreading the virus. The simple fact is that immigrants and travelers from anywhere in the world besides West Africa are not a threat. In countries facing the Ebola epidemic, air travel has become much more restricted, and screening processes have improved for both incoming and outgoing passengers. Since a person who does not display symptoms of the virus is not contagious, it is unlikely, though not impossible, that a serious epidemic could result from air travel.

The U.S. Isn’t Prepared to Deal with Ebola:

Much of the hysteria stemming from this Ebola outbreak is based around the idea that the United States wouldn’t be able to contain the virus. However, it is important to realize that the reason Ebola poses such a threat in West Africa is due to the lack of adequate healthcare in affected countries. Ebola is no more deadly or contagious than many other diseases, but the lack of training, clean medical supplies, and personnel in West African hospitals has created a situation where the disease is able to run rampant. In a country with strong healthcare infrastructure and state of the art facilities, the Ebola virus would be much easier to contain.

Ebola is certainly a major public health priority in West Africa, but the truth is that for most of the world, it is far from the apocalyptic threat that many people claim it to be. The persistent myths and rumors above have fueled widespread paranoia and public fear about the virus, but it is vitally important to understand the facts in order to better facilitate efforts to contain and eliminate the outbreak at its source.

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trump house speech

A Promise Kept: Trump Signs Repeal of Obama-Era Social Security Gun Prohibition Rule

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the repeal of an Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that would have resulted in some 75,000 law-abiding beneficiaries losing their Second Amendment rights each year. 

The SSA rulemaking was issued in the waning weeks of Obama’s presidency and targeted those receiving disability insurance or Supplementary Security Income based on SSA’s listed mental disorders and who were appointed a “representative payee” to help them manage their benefits. The agency –for the first time in its history– sought to portray these individuals as “mental defectives” who were prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms under federal law. It had planned to notify them of their prohibited status and to report them to NICS.

Making matters worse, the beneficiaries would have had no ability to argue about their suitability to possess firearms before their rights were lost. Instead, they would have been reduced to filing a petition for “restoration” of their rights, an expensive and bureaucratic process that would have required them to pay for a mental health evaluation and to prove they were not dangerous, a premise the government never established in the first place.

The plan drew fire not just from the NRA, but also from the ACLU and a wide range of mental health advocacy and treatment groups from across the political spectrum. Also opposing the plan was the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. The NCD issued a statement explaining:

Since the action was first proposed in 2013, NCD has consistently taken the position that equating the need for assistance in managing one’s finances with a false presumption of incapacity in other areas of life, including possession of a firearm, unnecessarily and unreasonably deprives individuals with disabilities of a constitutional right and increases the stigma that [affects] those who may need a representative payee. The overly broad classification of “mental disorder,” includes a wide range of limitations and a shifting set of criteria relevant to whether or not one can engage in substantial gainful activity. NCD remains steadfast in our position that this classification remains irrelevant to the question of whether one can be a responsible gun owner.

The SSA received tens of thousands of comments in opposition to the rule. The NRA-ILA’s submission explained in detail how the rule was contrary to the underlying statute, to the U.S. Constitution and would function mainly to stigmatize the SSA beneficiaries and discourage others from seeking treatment and benefits to which they were entitled. It also argued that there was no empirical support for the notion that the rule would promote public safety.

The SSA, however, ignored the comments and issued the rule essentially as proposed. 

It also brazenly brushed aside proffered evidence that the targeted beneficiaries were not at any increased risk for committing violence with firearms. “We are not attempting to imply a connection between mental illness and a propensity for violence, particularly gun violence,” the SSA wrote. “Rather, we are complying with our obligations under the NIAA, which require us to provide information from our records when an individual falls within one of the categories identified in 18 U.S.C. 922(g).”

Fortunately, pro-gun majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate acted quickly to disapprove the rule under the Congressional Review Act, a federal statute that allows Congress to use an expedited legislative process to overrule administrative actions passed in the waning days of an outgoing administration.

The efforts to roll back this unjustified and legally unauthorized rule were predictably met with a withering barrage of negative and fake reporting from the anti-gun media, with supposed “news” outlets issuing such ludicrous headlines as “Senate, House hand guns to seriously mentally ill.” All these reports completely ignored the fact that existing restrictions on persons who had been involuntarily committed or adjudicated mentally incompetent remained fully intact. By acting to block the rule, Congress simply disapproved the Obama administration’s attempt to create a new class of prohibited persons by “reinterpreting” a federal gun control statute passed in 1968.

President Trump’s signing of the measure not only served to help repair the damage to the Second Amendment wrought by the Obama administration, it ushered in what many hope will be a new era of respect for the right to keep and bear arms. Just over a month into his presidency, Trump signed a free-standing pro-gun bill into law. 

The NRA, of course, was among the earliest and staunchest supporters of Trump’s presidential bid. We thank him for his quick action on this measure and look forward to working with him and the pro-gun majorities in Congress to protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

live-longer2

Longer Life, Healthier Life?

The average human being is living longer than ever before. Nearly every country on the planet has seen an increase in life expectancy since the beginning of the 21st century.

But though we are living longer, not all of us are living healthier.

Health Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE), or healthy life expectancy, is a metric used by the World Health Organization to measure the number of years a person can expect to live in good health, taking social and economic factors into account alongside disease and disability rates.

When we deduct healthy life expectancy from actual life expectancy, we see the average amount of years someone can expect to live in bad health – or ‘Bad Health Years‘.

This infographic takes a country-by-country look at the change in bad health years since 2000 to see where people are living a longer, healthier life.

Longer Life, Healthier Life?

Europe

Despite having some of the highest life expectancy in the world, the people of Europe live the most years in bad health. The majority of European nations have become even more unhealthy since 2000.
Longer Life, Healthier Life

Africa

It is in Africa where the biggest reductions in bad health years have occurred, with great progress in health and development since the turn of the century.

Longer Life, Healthier Life?

Middle East and Asia

While bad health years in most nations in the Middle East have increased since 2000, outcomes across the rest of Asia are slightly better.

South East Asia and Oceania

Indonesia and the South-East Asian nations are getting healthier, but in Australia and New Zealand bad health years are on the rise.

North and Central America

Mixed outcomes in North and Central America reflect the diverse range of economic and social conditions across the region, with the United States seeing one of the biggest increases in bad health years in the world. ”

South America

Similarly, South America displays a varied set of outcomes. Nations like Bolivia and Ecuador, traditionally considered to be among the continent’s least developed, have achieved the biggest reduction in bad health years.

Life Expectancy changes since 2000

Besides Bad Health Years, we also made some interesting findings regarding life expectancy.

The Price of Conflict

Only two nations did not register an improvement in life expectancy: Iraq and Syria.

Life expectancy in Iraq stagnated, while in Syria it has decreased by 3 years.

Healthier, longer lives

A number of countries have witnessed a startling increase in life expectancy since the year 2000. The top 10 can all be found in Africa.

How has life expectancy changed in Africa since 2000

cocaine marijuana

Time for the U.S. Department of Justice to crack down on Marijuana

President Trump said during his address to a joint session of Congress,

I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread across our Nation.

We will stop the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth — and we will expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted.

[ … ]

As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised.

In The Daily Signal article “How Trump’s DOJ Can Start Enforcing Federal Marijuana Law” Cully Stimson reports:

On Thursday last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he “believe[s] that we will see greater enforcement” of the federal laws against recreational marijuana.

While he acknowledged that the question to which he was responding was better directed to the Department of Justice, Spicer said that state legalization of recreational marijuana “is something the Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into.”

Spicer’s comments are welcome news for those advocating commonsense drug policy.

Scientists agree that marijuana is a dangerous drug, and no major national medical organization advocates legalization. Whether you agree with that or not, marijuana remains illegal for good reason.

Thorough scientific reviews by President Barack Obama’s Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration—as well as drug classification reviews by federal judges—have affirmed that marijuana should remain a Schedule 1 drug. Such drugs are defined as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

As I have written here and here, the predictable consequences of marijuana legalization are beginning to emerge in states like Colorado and Washington.

Annual reports from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, and the Colorado Department of Public Safety have analyzed the negative impact that marijuana legalization has had on health and public safety in Colorado.

Read more…

President Trump, unlike his predecessor, has not used drugs and does not drink. President Trump is concerned about the social cost of a society that finds the use, and expected abuse, of drugs and alcohol to be wrong on many levels.

Stimson presents eleven (11) commonsense recommendations which are consistent with an interest in public health and safety of all Americans.

This President can turn the tide on drug abuse and the debilitating effects and crime that accompany it. Crimes such as human trafficking,  murder, sale of heroin and cocaine and death.

RELATED STUDIES:

Is marijuana a gateway drug?

Stages and pathways of drug involvement: Examining the gateway hypothesis

Stages in adolescent involvement in drug use

Transgender+Bathroom

Moral Clarity: Get the Feds Out of Bathrooms

Sometimes it is astonishing to see where we are as a country, that somehow we cannot find moral clarity on the idea that a man should not be allowed to use women’s or even girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms and showers.

But that is where we are.

First, perhaps, it would be good to clarify what transgender actually refers to. This will take a moment, because even on this point, clarity is elusive.

According to Wikipedia’s rather extensive entry on transgenderism, there is this to get the enlightenment rolling:

“…in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer, e.g. bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender). Other definitions of transgender also include people who belong to a third gender, or conceptualize transgender people as a third gender. Infrequently, the term transgender is defined very broadly to include cross-dressers, regardless of their gender identity. Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation: transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc., or may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable.”

Ok, there really is no clarifying the absolute hash we’ve made of gender identities and sexual proclivities deemed alternatively acceptable.

However, there is some moral clarity to be had on this issue.

Fundamental right and wrong

Common sense dictates this most obvious of all statements: A male with all the physiological package of a male should use the male bathroom and locker room facilities, regardless of how he feels about himself at any given moment. Science, decency and “well, duh” normal thinking dictate this truth.

Alas, that is not what President Obama thought when he ordered the schools to open up bathrooms, locker rooms and showers — the news accounts just focus on the bathrooms — to transgender people. I suspect most Americans are not buying into this, at the moment, but enough activists are that they provided cover for friendly media coverage for the policy.

However, all we need to do is think this through clearly, stepping away from power politics and emotional appeals based on a tiny number of people, to find clarity.

These laws pose an existential threat to women and girls. The threat does not have to come from transgenders, although it may. The laws themselves open pedophile portals, avenues for voyeurism and worse. Despite what you may hear, be guided by this reality: Most teen girls are not going to be comfortable changing and showering with anatomical boys — regardless of how the boy may identify.

Rights right and wrong

The media coverage of Trump overturning Obama’s Title IX guidance on transgenders using the bathroom of their choice, and other single-sex school facilities (which would be politically translatable beyond schools) is labeled transgender rights or LGBT rights. So naturally, Trump is seen as taking away rights.

But that is the wrong label, even wrong concept.

The word “rights” invokes powerful feelings and desires. There are rights we have as humans. Thomas Jefferson and other founders called them “unalienable rights,” meaning they cannot be separated from the person. They saw them as given by God to every man (yes, a huge error, now corrected, was committed on the point of slavery for the sake of colonial unity) and government cannot give or take those kinds of rights. They are inherent in being human.

The founders embedded this understanding in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The founders did not see governments as granters of rights, but as the largest threat to squash rights. They had, and still have, history on their side in that assessment.

Government makes laws determining what is legal and illegal. Sometimes, they make something legal that abridges the rights of others. Society at times agrees that this tradeoff is worth it (taxes, for instance) while other times society is rancorously divided (legalized abortion) for instance.

These laws are not unalienable. What government can give (Obama’s guidance) government can take away (Trump’s reversal) because those are simple executive policy decisions. No one’s rights were infringed on the reversal.

However, we have changed our definition of rights in recent years — often for political gain — and split rights into special subgroups. That resulted in pitting some groups’ rights against other groups’ rights through laws and policies. Gay rights conflict with religious people’s rights. Transgender rights conflict with women’s and children’s safety rights. And so on. This has created tremendous conflict in our nation — to the benefit of a select few.

If we could return to basic rights as unalienable from every person — no subgroups — we would be in a better place to judge what is best for all in laws and policies, and gain the added benefit of increased unity.

Clarity becomes easy

With this understanding, we return to the question of transgenders — and whoever else — being allowed to use bathroom facilities opposite of their genital package.

Realistically, women using men’s bathrooms and showers would be extremely rare, and it would be even more rare to be seen as threatening to men if they did. So the real danger is men using women’s facilities, and this is where there actually is a potential rights infringement.

Under the rubric of “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness,” being comfortable in the bathroom is not a right. It is not unalienable, and being uncomfortable does not undermine the Declaration’s declaration. This is true for transgenders in bathrooms and it is true for non-transgenders in bathrooms with someone of the opposite sex. It simply doesn’t fall in the rights category.

However, any man or men being allowed in the same changing and showering facilities with women, does pose a very real physical threat. As much as we might want it to not be the case, everything we know tells us that a statistically significant percentage of men are sexual predators, primarily against women and girls, but sometimes against boys, too. The percentage of women in this category is not zero, but is negligent.

Government legally allowing potentially predatory males into women’s facilities presents a very real physical-harm threat against women and girls. That becomes an infringement of a basic human right to life, ensconced in the Declaration, throughout the Constitution, and accepted by the American public.

On this basis alone, allowing transgenders — but understand, please, that means any man who chooses — to have access to women’s bathrooms violates basic human rights we all agree on. And on that basis alone, Trump was right to reverse Obama’s policy.

RELATED ARTICLE: Plumbing the Depths of the Bathroom Debate

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act.

salem_va

Salem Virginia Veterans Hospital Lies, Misinforms, and Harasses Veterans

Over the years and currently each day veterans who risked their lives to save our beautiful country have been lied to, misinformed, and harassed by Veterans Hospital  (VH)  staff on a routine basis.  All one has to do is Google  this topic and  sadly you will see thousands of instances in which veterans were being treated as criminals by their physicians and their assistants.  I could write a book on these atrocities but for  today I am going to give readers an example of an abuse that has been committed by VH Salem (VHS) upon me over the last few years and as recent as of 21 Feb 2017.  I write this article with the intention of alerting other veterans to this form of physical and mental abuse.  It is also written so people who truly care about our veterans will step up and demand our veterans stop being mistreated at  the civil and criminal level by the government agency who are supposed to and being paid to help veterans and not treat them as useless pieces of human matter and used for experimentation.

A short bio:  I served in the USAF from 1977 until 1999.  Then I took a position with our government as a U.S. Federal Agent with our countries highest clearances until late 2003.  My last assignment with the government was in 2003 at the start of Operation Iraqi freedom.  I was in Nasiriyah, Iraq on the front lines.  I have since written two best selling books related to counterterrorism issues inside America.  During my time on active duty and as a civilian employee I suffered injuries that are well documented and I have Veterans disability for several injuries.

Throughout my military career I had severe teeth, jaw, gums, and other ailments related to this.  Again I have service connected ratings for these injuries and others.  During my years I also had been diagnosed with PTSD and have been obtaining treatment at our VHS for several years.

In late 2015 my dental rated injuries had risen to a level that I had been overridden with severe pain and infections in my jaw and teeth.  It was like having 30 awful toothaches at the same time.  Continuously for years I had requested the VHS to help me.  They refused and would not even give me medicine for the pain.  Finally in Nov 2015 I went to the Emergency room of VHS and begged for treatment because I was in severe pain and could no longer  tolerate it.  My face was swollen, my teeth and gums were severely infected, and I now suffered intolerable headaches.  The VHS did nothing and sent me home.  I am not a physician but even a child in the first grade could determine something was not right.  I immediately went to the emergency room of a local civilian hospital.  Within five minutes they realized I needed emergency treatment and as they said I was near death because of the out of control infections   I was immediately rushed to a trauma  hospital out of state (Duke University, NC).  I stayed several days and when I was getting better after surgery, I was sent to a hospital near my home in Roanoke, VA.  From Thanksgiving 2015 until Christmas I was in the hospital near death.  The infection had spread to my heart and my temperature was a constant 104 degrees.  Finally I was release but still in pain.

I immediately went to the VHS to see my physician (Dr. Gaylord).  He was sympathetic to the manner I had been treated by the VHS in regards to my teeth and infections which had occurred on active duty and documented on my DD 214 that upon my retirement  they had not corrected my dental issues.  The dental clinic at the VHS  still would not provide medical assistance for my teeth even after being in the hospital for a month.  Dr. Gaylord knew I was in pain and gave me a much needed pain medicine (hydrocodone).  Dr. Gaylord kept me on this pain medicine until he left for another department within VHS).  With the pain medicine the VHS mandates the patient and provider sign an opiate pain medicine contract.  Within the contract the patient has to agree to take the medicine as prescribed and mine was for as needed.  Since I had been prescribed this I had always taken when I was in severe pain and did not take if the pain was not severe (again per my prescription). This was the start of my continued nightmare with the VHS and Dr. Debra Mcginn (and her nurse and Resident Doctor).

The VHS never told me that Dr. Mcginn had replaced Dr. Gaylord.  I did not find out until I went to an appointment on 14 Feb 2017 and was told I had a new DR. (Mcginn).  I was expecting my new DR. who had suddenly appeared in my health part of my life to introduce herself and go over my years of medical records.  She did not.  Instead I was sent to her Resident Assistant Dr. in training (a young guy who could not go two minutes with me without running to Dr. Mcginns office for advise).  He seemed to be a poor chose to see a veteran with several disabilities and who did not know my past medical history.  On this date I had scheduled this appt. to be seen for a simple non emergency that had nothing to do with any form of pain.  This was a very very simple request for a medicine that was not even above the scale of vitamins.  Surprisingly I was eventually told by  this Resident and Dr. Mcginn who never even bothered to introduce herself to me to go to the lavatory for tests.  I asked what for and she told me it was for the minor reason I was there today and after the labs she would send my medication..  I was stunned. I could not figure out why lab tests were needed for such a simple ailment (again nothing was for pain).

I went immediately to the lab and was told I needed to give blood and urine.  It was getting stranger.  I gave all of my blood samples but could not urinate.  I had done so previously be fore I saw Dr. Mcginnis.  I eventually told the lab tech I could not urinate and since it was for a very simple medical issue I asked if I could come back.  She said it was fine.  From this point hell broke out in the VHS against me and instigated by Dr. Mcginn.   Finally on 21 Feb 2017, only a week later I went to the hospital to ask about my medications for the minor treatment and my pain medicine was up for refill.  I had arrived at the VHS at 0800 hours.  finally around 100 hours I was seen by Dr. Mcginns nurse.  I asked her about my medications.  She said Dr. Mcginn would no longer fill my pain medicine because I had refused a urine test for my pain medicine on 14 Feb 2017.  I was confused.  I said I had never been told about a urine drug test and I could not urinate and I had  told the lab tech.  I was shocked.  She said Dr. Mcginn had put in my records I had refused a drug test.  I told her I had never been told I was being sent for a drug test and again I had not refused, I just could not pee at the snap of their fingers!  I was very frustrated and felt betrayed by Dr. Mcginn and her staff.  The nurse was very very rude and treated me like a major narcotics offender.  After about two more hours the nurse told me to go to the lab for more tests.  I asked why, she would not tell me.  I tromped up to the lab for some unknown tests.  When I got there I told the lab tech Dr. Mcginn had sent me for more lab tests.  I asked her what the test was for.  She said it  was a urine sample for my pain medicine.  I was again stunned but not really surprised at Dr. Mcginns Gestapo tactics against me.  I was literally pissed off!  I gave the urine anyway by but only provide a small sample.

I then immediately went to the VHS patient advocates office to complain about Dr. Mcginns deceitful treatment of me.  Then I went back to the nurse.  She refused to hear my complaint about Dr. Mcginn.  She told me Dr. Mcginn would speak with me.  Finally I get to see my Doctor!!!  I knew she was only seeing me because  I had filed a complaint. When I went in Dr. Mcginn was all smiles.  Apparently she had forgotten or more correctly since I filed a complaint she wanted to appease me.  She said I had REFUSED a Drug urine test on 14 Feb 2017 and I had violated the Pain medication contract I had signed.  I tried to tell her I had not refused any tests, I simply could not urinate at that time.  Am I the first person who could not pee at the snap of a finger?  I emphasized she was also required to inform me and other vets if they were being sent to the lab for a drug test.  She said there was no requirement to do this.  I asked her repeatedly to review this contract and she will find out very clearly that a Dr. MUST inform the patient about drug urine or blood tests.  She barked at me that she does not need to do so.  She then told me I had FAILED the drug tests during the 17 months I had been on it.  I asked her how I failed because I have always used my medicines correctly to the tee.  She said I failed because on two occasions I did not have hydrocodone in my system.  I was now immune from being stunned.  I said you mean a patient fails the drug tests because even if their prescription says take as needed they still must have the med in their system?  She started mumbling and had no answer.  She said because of my failure to have no pain med in my system she was terminating me cold turkey!!!!  I thought, “God help other poor veterans who are going through tactics from alleged doctors but in reality were acting as narcotics officers!).

The day of this incident my stress and depression dramatically increased and I was sick to my stomach by the treatment of Dr. Mcginn and her staff.  I had to be seen at VHS mental health for the PTSD.  The treatment I have had at mental health for the PTSD has always been helpful, but the actions of Dr. Mcginn sent me rock bottom.  Again on 22 Feb 2017 the mental health doctor stabilized me to a degree that I could at least live with it.  He told me it was wrong that Dr. Mcginn had not informed me of the drug urine test and it is his opinion as a doctor that all actions affecting the patient should be discussed with the patient.  He advised he has seen more and more of this type treatment being used against patients and it concerned him.  I said it concerns me also.

A short message to other U.S. armed forces veterans:

  1. Understand you have a VHS mandated right to be told of any drug tests. The doctor is not given any option in this.  The doctor must inform you of a drug test, and you have the right to consent or not.  A doctor must inform you before hand of any tests outside of her office because it is and has been a medical ethical and lawful practice for centuries.
  2. Do not be intimidated by unprofessional treatment by Veterans Hospital personnel. Start with a complaint with your doctor, then patient advocacy, and then go right to your Congressman or Senator.  Also inform other veterans through the media.  If all else fails, then file a civil lawsuit as I have started and consider a trip to your local FBI office if you feel the VH staff have conducted criminal activities such as “falsifying your medical records”.  VH doctors can no more falsify and lie in your medeical records than they can in any other U.S. government record.  It is a crime for them to intentionally (doctor a document) to fit their untrue perspective.
  3. Consider lawful protests with other veterans at your local VH.
  4. Most importantly do not let VH personnel treat you as a useless human. Remember you have served your country by being willing to die for your country and other Americans.  Most of the VH doctors have never served in wartime and seem to care for their salary and playing narcotics officers than they do helping our young men and women.

I request all veterans and non veterans who care about our troops to complain to the VHS hospital for the unethical and criminal actions they have conducted against me.  The VHS number is 540-982-3463 and ask for Dr. Mcginn at Primary Care Group Clinic #2.   In addition please forward me any unfair or unethical treatment you may have received at a veteran hospital.  Veterans and their supporters must unite as one if we are to get the vet hospitals to provide positive treatment to the vets.