Thursday, August 30, 2012

The RNC and Brief Election 2012 Comments

Here's an unintended, humorous, graphic from the RNC last night, but there is plenty of truth in it.  Not much truth from Paul Ryan last night, according to most 'fact check' type websites and most commentators.  "Ryan must have amnesia, said Meet the Press host David Gregory.  “He is a man who voted for the auto bailout, he voted for TARP, he voted for both wars that were not funded, and he voted for Part D of Medicare (not funded), and he’s spent his entire life in government,” Gregory said. As a ranking GOP member of Bowles/Simpson, he voted against the deficit commission findings.

So goes the RNC.  It will be good to have the conventions behind us, which today are just large infomercials, and to get the campaign in full swing.  The debates will be critical as always, as will as voter turnout.  Hopefully voter turnout will not be impacted the concerted GOP efforts to suppress turnout.  If you have to suppress the vote to win, your ideas must be lacking and weak.

This will probably a close election.......and it is certainly an important one.  My strong recommendation is stay with President Obama, who has charted a strong course resulting in steady recovery from the 2008 Great Recession.  We really do not know who Mitt Romney is due to his very fluid positions on critical issues.  REGISTER AND VOTE.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Picture of the Day

Barack Obama singing a few notes with the great Blues artist B. B. King in the White House.

ACA Medicare "Cuts" Clarifications

As the rhetoric about Medicare continues as a part of the presidential campaigning, questions come up frequently about the reference to the $716 billion reduction in Medicare spending due to the Affordable Care Act. Many have asked for a clearer explanation about the reduction. Listed below is information supplied by Sarah Lock with the AARP Office of Policy Integration from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities about the "cuts".

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the non-partisan score keeper on federal budget issues for Congress, determined in July 2012 that the health law is expected to reduce Medicare spending by $716 billion from 2013-2022. But that DOES NOT MEAN the health reform law is cutting the Medicare program. Medicare spending will STILL increase each year, but it is growing at a slower rate than it would have without the new health care reform law. According to Kaiser Health News, instead of Medicare growing by 6.8% in 2010-2019, as it would have before the health care reform law passed, it is now expected to grow by 5.6%. Nothing in the health care reform law takes any money from the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund either.

Kaiser Health News reports that the $716 billion reduction in future growth of the program from 2013-2022 comes from reducing payments to providers:

$260 billion less for hospitals
$156 billion less for Medicare Advantage, the private insurance plans in Medicare
$66 billion less for home health
$39 billion less for skilled nursing services; and
$17 billion less for hospice.

Kaiser says the health care reform law “does not make any cuts to the amount of benefits beneficiaries receive and adds some new benefits, including closing the "doughnut hole" gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage, and new preventive services, such as an annual wellness visit with a physician.”

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney says that he would rescind the $716 billion of reductions to future Medicare spending.  In addition, the Romney campaign continues to imply that the cuts are cuts in benefits to beneficiaries.  Again, they are not.   They are cuts in provider reimbursements.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wisdom for the Day

Picture of the Day

My wonderful daughter Elizabeth and my new granddaughter, Scarlett, on the banks of the Tennessee River in their beautiful hometown of Chattanooga.  The river runs through the middle of this old southern river / railroad / mountain city steeped in Civil War history on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wyndham Championship 2012

Here I am working 'shotlink' at the Wyndham Championship greenside on hole nine.  This is a great way to spend a day volunteering at a great golf tounament in Greensboro NC.  I do it every year.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Nice beach photo!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Al Smith and Babe Ruth........As I Head to APIC Convention

I am headed out to Columbus Ohio tomorrow for the 2012 National Convention of the American Political Item Collectors (APIC).  It will be a wonderful time of visiting with collector friends, educational breakout sessions, and numerous displays, exhibits, and vendor tables of great American political memorabilia.

The picture above combines two of my great passions, baseball (Yankees baseball especially), and political  collecting (especially Democatic political collecting).  In the picture, Babe Ruth visits with New York Democratic Governor Alfred E. Smith, for whom Ruth campaigned extensively in 1928 when Smith ran against Republican Herbert Hoover for the presidency.  Great photo.

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