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durrett.scott 397 posts  |  Last Activity: Sep 17, 2014 7:54 PM Member since: Aug 28, 2013
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  • durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 4, 2014 3:49 PM Flag

    In another column, Barone notes, "A freer market in health insurance means eliminating this tax preference, presumably through a tax credit for those purchasing health insurance on their own."
    This is what Sen. John McCain suggested in 2008 when Obama accused him of yanking the string to unravel employer-based coverage. Which brings us exactly to where we are today thanks to ObamaCare: the unraveling of employer-based coverage, only this time, dishonestly and covertly.
    As imperfect as this coverage may be, it’s undoubtedly better than the debacle we are only really beginning to suffer, and eliminating employer coverage is hardly how Obama billed his plan. Then again, his advertising isn't known for accuracy. Far truer were the warnings that from the beginning ObamaCare was little more than a Trojan horse for a single-payer system. Just watch out. As things on the health care front get even worse, the Left will undoubtedly swoop in with the "real" fix. Forget Greeks bearing gifts. Beware of Democrats bearing promises.

  • durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 4, 2014 3:01 PM Flag

    I would very much like to understand the liberal mindset on this. Perhaps an ACA and/or Obama supporter could answer a few questions?

    Why must my PPO that covers myself, my wife, and my daughter be cancelled when we like the plan and it's very affordable through my company?

    Why was Obama so critical of the Republican plan saying it would "lead to the unraveling of the employer based health care system"? He obviously knew Obamacare would lead to the 'unraveling of the employer based health care system'. Unless he thinks 80% (or more) of these plans will be cancelled in the next 10 years is not 'unraveling'.

  • durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 4, 2014 2:41 PM Flag

    Alas, a lot can happen between campaign promises and government takeover. And politicians developing a penchant for truth-telling typically isn’t one of them.
    The reason so many employer-based plans will be going the way of Obama’s campaign promises is, under ObamaCare, companies pay a $2,000-per-employee penalty for not providing a government-approved health care plan -- far less than the cost of actually providing coverage. But that’s okay, supporters argue, because those who lose their employer-provided coverage will be dumped into the ObamaCare exchange. Of course, that's exactly where Democrats planned for them to be all along -- a government run health care system with “more choices," as long as those choices are within the limits of what the government deems Americans should want to choose. It's for your own good.
    That truth made it all the more laughable when Obama declared, "[P]eople want more control over their lives, not less." He's the one taking that control away.
    This isn’t to say employer-provided insurance plans are perfect. Written into our tax law for the past seven decades is a provision (born from Word War II wage freezes) that gives tax preference to employer-provided insurance, making the cost of the insurance deductible for employers and not counted as income for employees. The problem, as political analyst Michael Barone points out, is this: "High-earning employees with gold-plated, employer-provided health insurance get deductions that are worth many thousands of dollars. Those without employer-provided health insurance, or low-earners who are among the 40 percent of earners who do not pay income tax, get exactly zero."

  • But it looks like I have a good chance of losing it in the next 10 years thanks to BO and his cronies.

    When then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously declared in 2010 that Congress had to pass ObamaCare in order "to find out what’s in it," who knew that the contra-factually named Affordable Care Act would be the unwanted gift that just keeps on giving (or, rather, taking)? Well, actually, everyone who opposed the bill knew -- and warned against it. But it’s become increasingly obvious that even the ObamaCare-loving Democrats knew. Only they lied about it. And that’s putting it nicely.
    According to Ezekiel Emanuel, a former White House special adviser on health policy who was in the inner circle of designing ObamaCare, 80% of employer-provided health coverage will be gone within the next 10 years. And according to research by S&P Capital IQ, that number will be closer to 90%. This isn’t an "oops" side effect of Obama’s health care plan -- it was the plan all along.
    Of the disappearing health plans, Emanuel, “It’s going to actually be better for people. They’ll have more choice. Most people who work for an employer and get their coverage through an employer do not have choice.” Of course, what he leaves unsaid is that Barack Obama’s White House firmly believes the government knows what’s "better" for Americans more than Americans do.
    Recall, if you will, that Obama criticized a Republican health care proposal during his first campaign, arguing it “would lead to the unraveling of the employer-based health care system. That I don’t think is the kind of change that we need.” Then again, he also repeatedly said, "If you like your plan you can keep you plan." And we’ve all seen how well that turned out.

  • The assault on the Second Amendment is prompting thousands of business owners across the nation to launch a counter move of their own -- openly welcoming gun owners to their establishments. Bryan Crosswhite, a Virginia restaurant owner, hosts Second Amendment Wednesdays and tells The Washington Times, "We definitely see more traffic since we started this. It's been an overwhelming response." But White has taken his activism beyond the local establishment, the result of which is a vast and growing group of business owners proudly showing support for gun rights. "Mr. Crosswhite has started an organization that lists other pro-Second Amendment companies nationally, called www2amendmentorg," the Times continues. "He started the venture this winter and already has 57,000 businesses signed on." And it's paying handsome dividends for folks like "Sharma Floyd, owner of Shiloh Brew & Chew in Maryville, Tennessee," the Times explains. Floyd "has gained national media attention by putting a sign in the window of her restaurant welcoming firearm owners with permits, and business has been booming." Which option do you think deters more crime: A business packed with lawfully armed citizens, or the "gun-free zone" next door that prohibits guns altogether?

  • Reply to

    Higher electricity prices...nothing new here

    by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 3:14 PM
    durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 4, 2014 2:24 PM Flag

    What does that have to do with allowing Oregon to export coal to China? The governor is killing jobs in his home state because he doesn't want to EXPORT coal to China. It is not being used in the US and only brings in more money and jobs.

    China will not do anything about their pollution problems or implement regulations like BO and the EPA are implementing in the US. China does have a serious smog problem but they are going to continue to import coal and other fossil fuels regardless of who it comes from. Why not let the US economy benefit from it?

  • Reply to

    Higher electricity prices...nothing new here

    by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 3:14 PM
    durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 7:06 PM Flag

    He isn't paying much attention to China and their blatant disregard for the eco fascist agenda then. China doesn't care about the current administration's environmental agenda. They will get their coal one way or another. Why not let Oregonians benefit from China's needs?

  • Reply to

    President Speaks, What Could Be Clearer?

    by fred357mag2000 Sep 3, 2014 9:47 AM
    durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 6:32 PM Flag

    I am shocked libs aren't protesting Biden's 'gates of hell' reference. Afterall, no biblical references allowed in this administration...

  • Reply to

    Walter Williams

    by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 3:50 PM
    durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 4:14 PM Flag

    Then there are the “do not take internally” warnings. Most often, the product containing this warning isn’t something one reasonably takes internally, such as butter, soda or cough syrup. The warnings are on products such as paint, bleach and other cleaning fluids. I’m wondering how many grown Americans actually took a swig of something like Minwax, bleach or paint thinner. Then there’s a warning label that appears on some automobile windshield sun screens, which people purchase to keep their cars cool: “Do Not Drive With Screen In Place.”
    Here’s my take. The warning labels are all a waste. A person dumb enough to drink Minwax, bleach or paint thinner or drive with a sun screen in place is probably also too dumb to read. Speaking of warning labels, there’s a debate about whether mother’s milk is good or bad for infants – a preposterous debate, considering the historical success of nursing manifested by a world population of 7 billion. If government authorities, such as the Food and Drug Administration, conclude that mother’s milk is hazardous, I’m wondering where they’re going to put the warning label.

  • Reply to

    Walter Williams

    by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 3:50 PM
    durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 4:14 PM Flag

    Sticking with medical issues, Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population.” If one cannot contract Ebola, as the CDC claims, except through exchange of bodily fluids, then why were millions of dollars spent transporting Ebola patients Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol from Liberia to a U.S. hospital under extreme isolation procedures? The CDC’s Ebola claim strikes me as fishy. To use a line spoken by Marcellus in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” “something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
    There are warning labels that puzzle me, engendering considerable disrespect for my fellow Americans' intellect. How about the warning, “Do not hold the wrong end of a chain saw.” On packaging for a clothes iron is the warning, “Do not iron clothes on body.” A Superman costume contained the warning, “Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.”

  • Reply to

    Walter Williams

    by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 3:50 PM
    durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 4:08 PM Flag

    Then there are the “do not take internally” warnings. Most often, the product containing this warning isn’t something one reasonably takes internally, such as butter, soda or cough syrup. The warnings are on products such as paint, bleach and other cleaning fluids. I’m wondering how many grown Americans actually took a swig of something like Minwax, bleach or paint thinner. Then there’s a warning label that appears on some automobile windshield sun screens, which people purchase to keep their cars cool: “Do Not Drive With Screen In Place.”
    Here’s my take. The warning labels are all a waste. A person dumb enough to drink Minwax, bleach or paint thinner or drive with a sun screen in place is probably also too dumb to read. Speaking of warning labels, there’s a debate about whether mother’s milk is good or bad for infants – a preposterous debate, considering the historical success of nursing manifested by a world population of 7 billion. If government authorities, such as the Food and Drug Administration, conclude that mother’s milk is hazardous, I’m wondering where they’re going to put the warning label.

  • durrett.scott by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 3:50 PM Flag

    There are things that really puzzle me. Some life insurance companies charge lower premiums if you haven’t made a life-shortening lifestyle choice. Being a nonsmoker is one of them. Actuarially, that makes sense because the life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for nonsmokers.
    Insurance company policies charge higher premiums to those who are obese. The National Institutes of Health reports that those with a body mass index greater than 40 have a six- to 14-year lower life expectancy. Again, actuarially, that makes sense. Indeed, there’s a strong advocacy for higher life insurance, as well as health insurance, premiums for those whose lifestyle choices impose a greater financial burden on society, which obesity does. But there’s one important exception.
    According to the International Journal of Epidemiology, life expectancy at age 20 for homosexual and bisexual men is eight to 20 years less than for all men. That’s a lifestyle shortening of life expectancy greater than obesity and tobacco use. Yet one never hears of insurance companies advertising lower premiums for heterosexual men. You say, “That would be discrimination.” You’re right, but why is it acceptable for insurance companies to discriminate against smokers and the obese but not homosexuals? After all, they are all Americans and protected by the Constitution. It’s really a matter of politics, as seen by the journal’s publication of an article titled Gay life expectancy revisited.” The publication had to soft-pedal its study results because of complaints that pointing out life expectancy differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals had become fuel for homophobia. The bottom line is that homosexuals have far greater political power and sympathy than smokers and the obese.

  • Under the Obama administration, energy prices have steadily risen thanks to the war on coal and an expanding regulatory state. This year has been no different. In fact, consumer costs are increasing at the fastest rate since Obama took office. The Washington Examiner reports, "Electricity prices for the first half of the year increased the most in a year-over-year basis since 2009, according to the Energy Department's statistics arm." Nationally, the index rose by 3.2%, but "New England led much of the spike, as prices there jumped 11.8 percent," the Examiner notes. "The region faced a brutal winter, leading to a natural gas supply crunch that caused prices to soar." And that's a huge concern. Meteorologist Joe D'Aleo writes, "Last winter, residents of many parts of the North paid as much for electricity as in all of 2012. Some power plants came within two days of running out of oil in New England [emphasis added]." D'Aleo's company, WeatherBell Analytics, believes this coming winter could rival -- perhaps dwarf? -- last season's cold. New EPA regulations coming down the pipe only add to the concern of a possible energy crisis in the making -- all thanks to eco-alarmists' obsession with "global warming."

  • Reply to

    Another BOcare mess

    by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 1:56 PM
    durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 2:21 PM Flag

    Federal health officials indicated consumers like Bastola are receiving multiple requests because staffers are still processing the documents. The officials said they're working as quickly as possible to sort through them, but didn't give a timeframe.
    In other cases, healthcaregov used the information it received from consumers and checked it against databases with other government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, where the information isn't updated as quickly or may contain errors, especially for naturalized citizens. For example, the Department of Homeland Security often mistakenly lists African immigrants with their last name as their first name, advocates said.
    Consumers who have submitted the requested documents but have not received confirmation by the deadline will remain covered while their application is being processed, said Health and Human Services spokesman Benjamin Wakana.
    He says only those who don't submit documents are at risk of losing coverage. Those who lose coverage may be liable for paying back at least part of any subsidy they received, up to a cap.

  • Reply to

    Another BOcare mess

    by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 1:56 PM
    durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 2:09 PM Flag

    "They had their certified mail receipt with them to prove that they sent it," Tucci said.
    However, even those who uploaded the documents by computer to healthcaregov must still call the government's helpline to see if they were received.
    Bhagawat Bastola sent in his documents when he first applied for health coverage. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old from Nepal recently received two letters asking for them again. He re-sent them, but Jones' agency was unable to confirm whether the government had received them. Without confirmation, he worries he may lose coverage.
    "I feel frustrated because it's the same letter every time," said Bastola, who works at a Philadelphia supermarket and was previously uninsured. "It's just a waste of time coming here time and again," he added, during a visit to Jones' office.

  • Reply to

    Another BOcare mess

    by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 1:56 PM
    durrett.scott durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 1:57 PM Flag

    "People do not know what they say or that they're important. Many have been putting them aside or throwing them away," Jones said. Her agency, which has helped 450 immigrants sign up for health insurance under the new law, is calling enrollees to see if they received a letter and help them keep their coverage.
    Of the 8 million people who signed up for private coverage through the Affordable Care Act, about 1 million immigrants originally received notices asking for proof they are here legally and nearly 700,000 have been verified. Under the health care law, immigrants who are in the country illegally are not eligible for the program or to receive insurance subsidies.
    Florida and Texas have the largest numbers of immigrants whose immigration and citizenship information on file with the government conflicts with what they wrote on their health insurance applications.
    Nearly 100,000 in Florida received letters from the feds, yet two of the largest health advocacy groups in South Florida said they've gotten very few phone calls seeking help.
    Vicki Tucci, an attorney with Legal Aid in West Palm Beach, said she's heard from fewer than 20 clients, despite meeting with thousands during open enrollment. A few thought the letter was a scam and ignored it, she said.
    Perhaps most frustrating, she said all but one of the letter recipients she spoke had already sent in the documents.

  • durrett.scott by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 1:56 PM Flag

    More than 300,000 immigrants who bought insurance through President Barack Obama's health care initiative could lose their coverage this month if they don't submit proof this week they are legally in the country, but language barriers and computer glitches are hindering efforts to alert them.
    The government mailed letters in English and Spanish last month notifying people that if immigration and citizenship documents aren't submitted by Friday, their coverage under the Affordable Care Act will end Sept. 30.
    However, few seem to be responding. U.S. Health and Human Services officials released information Tuesday showing that 239,000 of the original 300,000 were still receiving final notices.
    Immigration advocates say the notices in only two languages don't take into account the wide variety of immigrant languages. They say many who received the letters already have filed the documents either by mail or via computer, but the paperwork was lost or not processed. And they fear most who haven't responded don't understand the gravity of the situation or think they have already complied.
    A line at the bottom of the letter advises the recipients to call a phone number if they need the notice translated, said Amy Jones of the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition Inc. in Philadelphia.

  • durrett.scott by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 1:11 PM Flag

    Columnist Ed Feulner: "It’s only natural that parents would take advantage of the rise in school choice options to ensure that their kids were in the best schools possible. The idea that you have no choice but to attend the school closest to where you live, or the school that the 'authorities' assign to you, is absurd. It’s blatantly anti-American, quite frankly. When someone receives a Pell Grant to help finance higher education, the government doesn’t assign him to a college. Why should it be any different for the education that precedes college? ... Yet something far more important to us -- not only as parents who care about our children but as citizens who care about our country -- is treated as a non-negotiable, take-it-or-leave-it commodity. That’s why the rise in school choice is such a promising trend."
    Columnist Thomas Sowell: "With many people now acting as if it is time for 'a woman' to become president, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from the disastrous results of the irresponsible self-indulgence of choosing a President of the United States on the basis of demographic characteristics, instead of individual qualifications. It would not matter to me if the next five presidents in a row were all women, if these happened to be the best individuals available at the time. But to say that we should now elect 'a woman' president in 2016 is to say that we are willfully blind to the dangers of putting life and death decisions in the hands of someone chosen for symbolic reasons. ... No public official should be considered to be above criticism – and the higher up that official is, the more important it is to hold his or her feet to the fire when it comes to carrying out duties involving the life and death of individuals and the fate of the nation."
    Twitter satirist "If Jennifer Lawrence really wanted to keep her photos from ever being seen, she should've stored them with Lois Lerner's emails."

  • durrett.scott by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 1:05 PM Flag

    Kroger is the world's third-largest retailer, doing $100 billion in annual sales. That makes them a big target for anti-gun zealots like Moms Demand Action (MDA), which enjoys the backing of billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. After appeals from MDA for the grocery giant to ban guns in its stores, Kroger responded, "Our long-standing policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws and to ask customers to be respectful of others while shopping. We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue, and we trust them to be responsible in our stores." Trusting responsible gun owners -- what a novel concept. Kroger may simply want to avoid angering gun owners, which is wise all by itself, but they may also be well aware that law-abiding are not a threat. On the contrary, gun owners often provide unseen security.

  • durrett.scott by durrett.scott Sep 3, 2014 1:03 PM Flag

    Today's progressives seem intent on increasing the financial burden of the middle class in the name of "green" regulation. First, the government went after automakers and the coal industry. Now, the Obama administration is going after the appliances that cook the chicken. "The Obama administration is working on new efficiency standards for seemingly every appliance but the kitchen sink," The Hill reports. "The administration says the standards will not only help the planet but also stimulate the economy by saving consumers money on their energy bills that they can spend elsewhere."

    In reality, increased regulation means appliances will get more expensive and more out of reach for the average consumer. But the Obama administration knows better than us simple commoners or the manufacturers of air conditioners, blenders and dishwashers. So prices rise as he leads us who knows where.

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