Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tax Credits to Help Society Balance the Physician Supply.

Here's to your health America. Tax credits were used to help spur Hybrid Car sales, but were limited to a specific amount per car model, so as not to just be a giveaway once that model's market was established. What does this have to do with health care? Or is this just another post about the bailout? I'll tell you, and no. We need more General Practicing Physicians and we need to slow the growth in specialists. So, once again, enter the tax credit. Every year, for 15 years from when a new physician would enter medicine, and of course they would have to verify they have remained a general practitioner, they would get a tax credit equal to 3.5% of what they paid for medical school. After 15 years they would have saved over half of what they paid. Practice generally for less than 5 years and owe back whatever credits they received. 5-10 years they owe back half of what they received. 10-15 years, they owe back a quarter of the benefit they received. Within a decade we should have corrected the imbalance. If after 2-3 years of the start of this program, we are finding the credits do not outweigh the perceived benefits of being a specialist, we can increase and accelerate the credits. Once we have the proper balance, we can use credits to address whatever new areas need to be adjusted, or to keep people continuing in those practice areas most beneficial to society. The risk of physicians who practiced 10-15 years wanting to then change course to pursue a specialty would be small.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Don't let MotorCity Stall.

Surprise, the Republicans are opposing bailing out the car companies. Unlike financial jobs and companies, they don't seem to worry about the ramifications and human costs of losing union jobs and manufacturing, especially when they reside in a state that just voted democrat in the presidential election. As Satan said about this Republican opposition: "That's my boys!" Sure, dating back to the days when there was little competition and the car companies were flush with cash, the unions won contracts loaded with high costs for health care, retirement and hourly wages that during the more recent times of intense competition, have helped to derail the car companies. Of course, it was also the manufacturers own lack of foresight in the areas of quality and hybrid technologies, that also cost them dearly in the competitive marketplace. True, also, the public continued to ask for, and buy, gas guzzling SUV's, which did little to encourage the manufacturers to make the changes to better fuel economy that manufacturers in other countries already had to contend with because of the high price of oil in their local markets. Now, of course, the public changed its tastes very quickly in the face of high gas prices, and the manufacturers have to play catch up. It is important to note, that the situation was not ignored, and the manufacturers did not remain stagnant. In recent years they were winning concessions from the unions, improving quality and updating their green technologies. Because of all of this, the car companies were in the midst of a promising turn around when this terrible economic slump derailed them. It is the combination of the sagging economy and tight credit that has halted car sales in their tracks, and all the manufacturers are suffering. These conditions were brought on as much by bad government policies and poor stewardship of the economy by the financial services sector that has now received its own bailout, as any missteps by the car companies. Don't let this temporary economic upheaval, exacerbated by factors outside the control of the automobile manufacturers, permanently impair manufacturing in America. We would lose hundreds of thousands of jobs, both automakers and the companies that support them, erode the tax base of the middle of this country, reduce our exports to other countries, completely cede our personal transportation choices to foreign manufacturers and give up the ability to innovate and recapture global sales in entire sectors of the economy. There is more at stake here than 3 irrelevant companies and a few over compensated line workers, whatever some conservatives would have you believe. I know I am asking you to write a lot of letters to politicians lately, and, well, write another one!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Don't Let the Bailout Leave These Behind!

Whether Bush does it (unlikely) or Obama has to do it (likely?), it is imperative that one group not be left out of the financial assistance. Failing to assist them will lead to rising unemployment, a rising number of uninsured, escalation of the recession and further financial pain and instability for most Americans. It would cost less than $170 billion to provide complete aid to them for two years! I am speaking, of course, about the States. Many states are looking at budget deficits, cuts to necessary services, often health care and education, and will be forced to cut drastically, lay off, or at least cause layoffs in the industries effected by the cuts. Compared to the bailout of finance and business, whose real cost, especially if you factor in the coming assistance to the automobile manufacturers, is already fast approaching $1 Trillion dollars, this would be economical and wide ranging. The effects of ignoring the states would be a dire progression of the recession. The effects of helping the states would be an instant upsurge of consumer confidence and easing of recessionary pressures. Write to your government officials. Even Satan gives this plan '2 horns up', because, as you know from reading this blog, unlike President W. Bush, Satan hates to see more uninsured kids roaming the streets of out great nation. Just another difference he likes to point out because during this election season he has continuously heard a comparison that causes him a great amount of personal distress: "George W. Bush is the devil!" So please, let your politicians know you support bailing out the states. And if you hear anyone calling W. Bush the devil, please, let them know that Satan finds that very offensive.
Thank you.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tomorrow: Triumph and Regrets.

If Obama loses, though polling would tell us the Bradley effect is as bad as ever it was, I think he can regret his ultimate mistake of not asking Hillary to be his running mate. She attracted just about as many people as he did, they were different people, which together made a formidable base, and she beat him in most of the states he needs to win the election. If John McCain loses, then he can regret taking Palin as his running mate. Picking a right wing W. Bush apostle may have helped with his base. Picking an unqualified, lying (can you say bridge to nowhere), unintelligent (is pollution really caused by people?, she does not think so!)person was an obvious pander; believing that choosing a woman was more important to the women of America than picking someone qualified. Tomorrow night we shall see who regrets what.

Barack Obama for President

I have been working on this endorsement for a while, and scrapped it several times. I have made the case here for months and did not think I needed to say much more here and now. Nevertheless, I hear a lot of things that don't seem so optimistic in a Presidential election for the greatest nation ever on the face of the earth. Also, I do not think everything I hear is accurate. I do not think that in this election it is about choosing the lesser of 2 evils or the devil you know over the devil you don't know. First, these are 2 basically good men. One has a longer history of time in politics, but if you visit his own website, that of John McCain, you will find little about his record. It is not nearly the extensive history we used to see at Hillary Clinton's website. This is because, except for campaign finance reform, you cannot find much John McCain has accomplished. He has reached across the aisle and usually aggravated Democrats as much as Republicans. He is a maverick in the sense that as a politician you usually need to get along with someone, even if it is just your base, but he actually gets along with very few, or at least agrees with them, and gets them to agree with him, equally little. This is not really the mark of someone who can bridge gaps and get things done. I have been told by conservatives, that McCain only agreed with Bush for expediency, and would be his own man if elected. They seem comfortable with this postulated dichotomy, but not with the idea that Obama is not an unknown but actually says what he means (as opposed to what Republicans say Obama "really meant"). I'll try out his ideals and new ideas, as opposed to what John McCain has done lately (agreed with George W. Bush a lot) or what John McCain used to be like (nice guy who did not get along well with others or get much accomplished). When he was so much one way, and then sold himself to another direction to try to get a nomination, how can anyone know what a President McCain would really be like? What would a President Obama be like? I don't know. Obama has not had as many years in office to prove he won't get much done, that is true. He says a lot of good things, and when McCain supporters ask me how I can trust that he means those things, I can only assume they are mistrustful from personal experience with their candidate. That's why I endorse Barack Obama for President. There's no reason to think he is the lesser of 2 evils. He might actually be good. Next up. My election night with Satan---2008! (Then maybe we can get back to all that health care stuff on the back burner, and catch up wih some of the other promised posts that I have fallen behind on, as well as those promised from guest satanic bloggers.) Until tomorrow night then!