Friday, June 19, 2009

Nationalized Healthcare a Plus for Chauffeured Car?

My feelings are clear about our ever-expanding national government who wants all of its citizens to come begging for support. I would first like to say that the proposals for Nationalized Healthcare on the table are an absolute atrocity and will most likely not pass in Congress. However, I was in the car yesterday, sitting in the greatest rush-hour traffic of Houston, thinking how many small sized companies, including Nikko's, are in the chauffeured car industry, and out of all of those, how many have health coverage for their employees.

I furthermore disagree with the term Nationalized healthcare. For one, it sounds like something from France. Two, when a total system is "nationalized," goverment has a history of screwing things up. Its a fact. I feel strongly that a public option health insurance be available with limited benefits and small premiums that relatively anybody could afford. Similar to Medicaid/Medicare, just opened up completely to the public. However, do not make this plan competitive to the better insurance plans out there. This would continue to drive the healthcare industry engine by making people want to trade up to better plans with companies like Aetna or BlueCross/BlueShield. On top of this, the authority for this should be turned over to the states with financial backing from the federal level. This would let each individual state better tailor benefits to the needs of the citizens.

I also feel that the states, as set forth by the federal government, should require people to buy health insurance, much like we are required to buy car insurance. This now gives people a more affordable option, for those who could not afford it before or did not want it, the opportunity to obtain a minimum amount of health insurance. I have to agree with the comments that President Obama has made that healthcare is costing the nation too much when it comes to the uninsured. I still feel, however, the governement should not be in the healthcare business like it has said, and private insurance is still the best bet for Americans.

I would also like to add that the proposal to tax insurance benefits of corporations is a huge mistake, however it is a catch-22. The governement knows that if it were to make it less desirable for companies to offer benefits, they will stop offering them, thus the companies dropping their programs and then leaving the employee's only option for healthcare with the government. For the companies who decide to continue the benefits, the taxes will help pay for the huge government spending that is now occuring. All I'm asking is for a little sanity. This all goes back to this terrible stimulus package (read "spending bill") and lack of funds to finance it. The government needs all the money it can get.

Back to my original point, I feel that there does need to be a public option for health insurance. Not everyone can afford a PPO, but for those who do not make enough to even afford an HMO, and for the small business who cannot afford to provide benefits, there do need to be options.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Heart Goes Out to You Greg Maddock

Hello everyone. I know that I have not made a post in over a month and I apologize for that. I have been handling a number of groups and special services and has taken up a considerable amount of my free time. So, being this my first post back, I think that the best topic of discussion is GM.

I think that finally, by putting GM into bankruptcy, the situation is going to get worked out. I however do not support 100% of the decisions. Taxpayer money has now been thrown down the toilet by GM declaring bankruptcy. That's why many supported bankruptcy in December before the government gave the struggling automaker any money, however it is what it is.

What I truly disagree with is the situation with the dealers. It seems that like always, it's who you know. Dealers all across the country who are making money and hitting their sales targets are getting shut down, while some who can call in favors are staying open for business. My thought is that dealers should not be shut down. Instead, when GM exits bankruptcy, let the dealers fight it out to see who can stay open with less supply from GM and a declining car market in the United States. But of course in this new command, pseudo-fascist economy, that won't happen.

Moreover, what makes me even more sick is the ownership percentage of the proposed new Government Motors. Unions getting 44% of the new company, while secured debt holders get only 17% is abominable. These investors (read individual investors, mutual funds, hedge funds, pension funds, retirement funds, etc.) are getting less that what they were promised not only by GM, but by contract law in bankruptcy courts. Bondholders are entitled to largest share of capital from and bankrupt company. That's how it works. However, it seems that contract law now means what is in the best interest of the controlling party in Washington law (Republicans and Dems alike). I am sure GW and TJ are rolling over in their graves.

The funniest part is that you hear President Obama speaking about these people who are unwilling to settle for the best interest of the country. However, he does not mention that these investors represent clients as referenced in the previous paragraph: retirees, pension funds, everyday Americans. These people have put their money in the hands of experienced brokers to invest for retirement, and for a long time, GM secured debt has been some of the safest bonds next to Treasuries. So, by these brokers accepting less that what they are entitled to, they are actually not helping America when a Vermont schoolteacher's retirement account loses value because President Obama commanded the investors take less. Plain rediculous.