Republicans take aim at California’s retirement dream

So much for Trump looking out for the little guy huh?

Republican lawmakers and financial industry lobbyists argue that the state auto-IRA programs put an extra burden on employers, could end up charging high fees, and improperly skirt strict regulations governing retirement plans.

Oh and notice they now concerned about regulations on retirement plans???  So, it’s all the Republicans again…sticking their holier then thou believes in our personal space.

In the final days of President Barack Obama’s administration, the Department of Labor issued rules making it clear that states, and even large cities, had the authority to create such programs. Last month the Republican-led House of Representatives voted, almost entirely along party lines, to rescind those rules.

Even if the states ultimately win, the controversy could discourage other states and cities from starting their own retirement programs. Meanwhile, more than 100 million U.S. workers continue to go without a workplace retirement account.


The Trump administration isn’t defining “sanctuary cities” the way they’re commonly understood

Most cities — and critics — have defined “sanctuaries” as places where local police and jail officials don’t always comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to hold immigrants in jail (after they’d normally be released) so ICE officers can pick them up.

Under federal law, state and local governments can’t prohibit their employees from sharing information with the federal government (if they so choose) about someone’s immigration status.

The Supreme Court doesn’t let the federal government tell cities and states which laws to prosecute, and it can’t force them to help enforce federal law. That’s called “commandeering,” and the Supreme Court has ruled it violates the 10th Amendment. This is why President-elect Trump can’t just decree that all police officers in the US have to assist federal immigration agents whenever possible.

Aurora doesn’t do that.  Anyone who is arrested, is fingerprinted and that info is shared (from what I heard) with the FBI and ICE as a matter of routine.  If ICE wants the person, they call and say so. The person is then adjudicated, either pays the fine, bond or if jailed is transferred to the appropriate county facility. Of the 10’s of thousands of arrests last year?  only 14 did ICE request to pick up.

Hope that clarifies.

Secret Service begs another $60 Million

the agency recently requested a $60 million increase in its budget for the coming year.
But The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the request was turned down by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), headed by director Mick Mulvaney. The Secret Service was told to try to find the money through savings in other areas of its budget.

was an urgent plea for more resources after Trump and his family’s travel and lifestyle had begun to stretch the Secret Services resources to the limits.

The government spent an estimated $10 million on Trump’s first three trips to Mar-a-Lago in late January and February, according to a recent investigation by The Washington Post. At that rate, travel and security for Trump and his family could run up hundreds of millions in costs by the end of his term.

Ironically, Trump more than once criticized the cost of President Obama’s travel, saying it was “unbelievable” that Obama’s trips were “costing taxpayers millions of dollars.”

Read the full article here:

Alabama Got All Those Automotive Jobs

Some of the quotes from this article:

Alabama, the nation’s fifth-poorest state, had wagered a quarter-billion dollars in tax breaks and other public giveaways to land the first major Mercedes factory outside Germany. Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai followed with Alabama plants of their own. Kia built a factory just over the border in West Point, Ga. The auto parts makers came next. By the time Elsea and her five siblings were teenagers, the country roads and old cotton fields around their home had come alive with 18-wheelers shuttling instruments and stamped metal among the car plants and 160 parts suppliers that had sprouted up across the state.

She worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, hoping to move from temporary status at Ajin to full time, which would bring a raise from $8.75 an hour to $10.50.

Whatever she did to Robot 23, it surged back to life, crushing Elsea against a steel dashboard frame and impaling her upper body with a pair of welding tips. A co-worker hit the line’s emergency shut-off. Elsea was trapped in the machine—hunched over, eyes open, conscious but speechless.

The rescue workers finally did what Elsea had failed to do: locked out the machine’s emergency power switch so it couldn’t reenergize again—a basic precaution that all factory workers are supposed to take before troubleshooting any industrial robot. Ajin, according to OSHA, had never given the workers their own safety locks and training on how to use them, as required by federal law. Ajin is contesting that finding.

An ambulance took Elsea to a nearby hospital; from there she was flown by helicopter to a trauma center in Birmingham. She died the next day. Her mom still hasn’t heard a word from Ajin’s owners or senior executives. They sent a single artificial flower to her funeral.

This factory growth, after the long, painful demise of the region’s textile industry, would seem to be just the kind of manufacturing renaissance President Donald Trump and his supporters are looking for.
Except that it also epitomizes the global economy’s race to the bottom. Parts suppliers in the American South compete for low-margin orders against suppliers in Mexico and Asia. They promise delivery schedules they can’t possibly meet and face ruinous penalties if they fall short. Employees work ungodly hours, six or seven days a week, for months on end. Pay is low, turnover is high, training is scant, and safety is an afterthought, usually after someone is badly hurt. Many of the same woes that typify work conditions at contract manufacturers across Asia now bedevil parts plants in the South.

The pressure inside parts plants is wreaking a different American carnage than the one Trump conjured up at his inauguration. OSHA records obtained by Bloomberg document burning flesh, crushed limbs, dismembered body parts, and a flailing fall into a vat of acid. The files read like Upton Sinclair, or even Dickens

Please read the full article and see why OSHA is critical to keeping these businesses in line…and even they aren’t enough….


These are the faces of deportations under Trump

Think about this.  Is Trump creating a new generation of terrorists?

As his attorney scrambles to halt Ortiz’s deportation, the construction worker has become the latest face of President Trump’s deportation program, which calls for rounding up non-violent undocumented immigrants who would not have been deported under former president Barack Obama’s policy.
“When my son watches the news, he says, ‘Look, the people who took my papi,'” Ortiz’s wife Francis said, referring to their son, Angel, 6. “He is everything to this family. My whole world is missing. Trump has destroyed the lives of many people in my situation.”

My Feet and Shoes!

Ok, so I buy cheap shoes….my bad.  Now my feets hurt and I need to buy a decent pair.  Have bought Sketchers before and they aren’t bad. Have friends who invest $100 t0 $200 on “sneakers’ but that’s a bit much for me.  I only need two things.  One: comfort for my left foot which I self diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis.  Inserts help immensely and seem cost effective to some degree.

The second thing I want is a shoe that self laces lol.  I envision someone coming up with a shoe that allows you to slip it on then shrinks to conform to your foot.  That means no more trying to tie a shoelace or having your ‘slip-ons’ stretching to the point where they are loose again.  Is that too much to ask for ?

Getting old sucks sometimes 😦



OK! Interstate Fees for the National Debt?

Got to thinking.  What would be a great way to raise dollars towards reducing the national debt?

One way that might be feasible is to set up cameras on all the interstates so that whenever you accessed one of them your tag would be captured and sent to a data base.  At the end of the year it is totaled and with held from your tax return OR you are simply sent a bill.  Perhaps with a monthly email telling you where you stand so there is no surprise!

47,000 miles of Interstates. Millions of drivers. You only pay when you use…yeah, sorta like a toll but not, more of a use fee towards a specific goal.

Of course, we’d have to ensure that there is real action on reducing spending which would drive up the debt.  More on that later.

I’ll give this up to the congress and senate to work out the details.

What do YOU want in your healthcare plan? Really…Part 3

Aha!  Getting to the meat now!

Americans Don’t Feel the Slowdown in Health Costs

By Drew Altman
The Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2015

National spending on health care and insurance premiums has risen at historically low rates in recent years. But… even when spending and premiums experienced record-low growth in 2013, only 3% of Americans said health costs had been rising slower than usual, and 52% said they had been growing faster than usual. The American people are not out to lunch; their view of the problem of health costs is very different from that of experts.

In more than 20 years of regular polling on health-care issues by the Kaiser Family Foundation, I have found that Americans with coverage care about:

Their premium costs, or the share of premiums they pay if they have employer coverage;
Their deductibles and other forms of cost sharing, especially when deductibles have been rising steadily;
Their drug costs (this is particularly an issue for the chronically ill, who use a lot of drugs);
Whether their insurance covers the services they think they will need;
Whether they can go to the doctor or hospital they want without having to pay more. People are more willing to accept a lower premium for less choice if they do not have a regular doctor or hospital;
The hassle and red tape in health care and health insurance. Increasingly, people care about getting information to be informed about their health and make smarter insurance and health care decisions.

Two other things stand out:

Seniors care a lot about Medicare and sometimes vote on the issue.
And Americans overall don’t care as much as experts do about improving quality and eliminating unnecessary care. In general, people think that quality is good and they want more care not less.

Drew Altman is president and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

They also want reasonably comprehensive benefits and they want to be able to select their own health care professionals and hospitals for their care without being financially penalized for doing so.

Uh Oh!: People would be more satisfied if they received the health care that they need when they needed it, and they knew that it was being paid for through a tax system that was fair to everyone. Of course, that is the way a single payer national health program would work. Let’s start taking care of the health needs of the people instead of the business needs of the insurers.

And this:

What do Trump voters want?  Well, If Trump voters could write a health plan, it would, many said, focus on keeping their out-of-pocket costs low, control drug prices and improve access to cheaper drugs. It would also address consumer issues many had complained about loudly, including eliminating surprise medical bills for out-of-network care, assuring the adequacy of provider networks and making their insurance much more understandable.

Republican health reform plans would probably increase deductibles, not lower them. And providing the more generous subsidies for premiums and deductibles that these voters want would require higher taxes, something the Republican Congress seems disinclined to accept.

And this is a must read:

So, enough…..hopefully I have given food for thought and the pros/cons of plans and what you, the consumer really want in a health care plan.

Let me know what you think.

What do YOU want in your healthcare plan? “deuxième partie”

So, the GOP?  What they WANT you to have?

The GOP makes no bones about one part of its healthcare plan: Kicking millions of poor people off Medicaid
For example, sponsors tout a “patient-centered healthcare system” instead of explaining that the bill would encourage insurers to isolate people with pre-existing conditions …

And:  In an interview about healthcare with Stat News, Obstetrician Roger Marshall argued that the Affordable Care Act could not be structured to only benefit those with low incomes.
“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us.’ … There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves,” he told the publication.
“Just, like, homeless people. … I think just morally, spiritually, socially, (some people) just don’t want health care,” Mr Marshall continued. “The Medicaid population, which is (on) a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising.
“And I’m not judging, I’m just saying socially that’s where they are. So there’s a group of people that even with unlimited access to health care are only going to use the emergency room when their arm is chopped off or when their pneumonia is so bad they get brought (into) the ER.”

And this is SOOO GOOD:

In Ryan’s speech, he said a mandate requiring everyone to have insurance was arrogant and paternalistic. “Yes, telling people what to do is arrogant and paternalistic,” Colbert said. “By the way, ladies, no Planned Parenthood for you.”

So, in short, the GOP could give a rat’s butt about your healthcare.  So what is it you want?

We sought to investigate the experiences and perceptions of people who have not necessarily had exposure to health care settings, and who may not self-identify as being patients. We used an innovative methodology of the “street study” that literally took us to the streets to find out what people want from their health care.

So what did they find?

First it sounds like they want someone who can communicate with them properly.

Having a doctor who will listen to them….sounds easy enough.

Having a doctor who is caring and compassionate…..ok.

Having a doctor who explains well….

OH, But: now they want convenient and quick access to healthcare. Don’t we all?

Having pleasant interaction with the doctor’s staff…yeah, that’s commonly referred to as customer service I think.  Sometimes tough to achieve but if I’m not happy with staff, guess what?  I let the doctor know!

People want to be able to talk to the doctor about costs, tests, need for those tests, etc

22% want to know about the doctors ‘conflicts of interest’..hummmm….I can see that I suppose but that’s asking a lot to see their financials while being treated….probably better to be handled by the State Medical Association.

You want holistic options…from a Medical Doctor (MD)?  well you should be able to talk about it at least.

Lower on the lists: coordination of care,  doctor from the same culture and language, doc to provides ‘choice’

But none of this tells me what it is a person WANTS from their health care…

SO? Let’s go to Part 3 in my quest.















What do YOU want in your healthcare plan?

Listening to Mr Trump now. The Republicans seem to think all you are interested in “access” so you can buy what insurance or coverage that you feel you want or need?

SO, what are we concerned about? Do we care ‘where’ the coverage comes from? I doubt it. Do we want it convenient? Yeah, I would think so. Do we want it simple? Not a lot of filing of paperwork?  That’s a bit more difficult, however!  There is a model that would work! Kaiser Permanente! (here’s a snapshot from

As a disclosure, I have had Kaiser since 2002.  I have been totally satisfied with their personnel, coverage and facilities! So:

While it is understood that most organizations have nowhere near the resources Kaiser has (not to mention the luxury of being a closed system), it’s still notable what the system has been able to accomplish. As healthcare reform initiatives start to take shape, hopefully more healthcare systems will be able to roll-out programs focused on the prevention of chronic diseases. As Kaiser’s results have shown, these programs could be just what the doctor ordered to help curb the growing cost of chronic care management.

“By leveraging IT systems and focusing on disease prevention, Kaiser is looking to redefine the way care is practiced.”

I have heard the Republicans complaining about Dr’s being reduced to data input clerks.  But, come on! The doc sees the patient and by LAW has to record his findings.  If there were no lawyers or conscious’s or malpractice?  Hey, no need for records!  But there is! SO! It used to be that doctors would write in the record (which no one could read, right?)  Then when dictation came into being, the doc would go to an office and dictate notes which someone had to transcribe into a written record. But, Kaiser went a step further. The while the doc is interviewing and examining the patient, he/she is inputting the data directly into the record. Quick efficient and paperless. I have access to it from my home computer and also can email Kaiser Departments with questions and get answers with going to an office.

All services for the most part are under one roof.  Meaning you don’t have to go far to get an Xray, Lab or Rx.

Now for those who ‘hate’ Kaiser: a 2017 5-out-of-5-Star Rated Medicare Health Plan today!

Here is a link to complaints:

I’ve never experienced anything like these complaints here in Colorado. You have access to specialists without having to have a referral!  So I really don’t know what’s happening in some of these instances.  If I were them I’d be calling Kaiser Corp though and ask them what the hell is going on. Like this lady says:

I have been using Kaiser for 40 years and they constantly improve their services. You as a consumer need to learn how to be a patient. Manage your doctor. When a doctor tells you “Oh, you have this, and you need to take this”. DO THE RESEARCH TO FIND OUT. That is called cookie cutter medicine. The Doctor should research your family history and your medical history before making a diagnosis. My sister died of Multiple Myeloma Bone Cancer. If you feel you are not getting what you need, kick it up the food chain. You can ask for a 3rd party Eval. Yes, you can get an Evaluation from another hospital and Kaiser will pay for it. I thank Kaiser for my new Titanium Ankle which removed years of pain. They helped me prevent Diabetes, and kept my Cholesterol in check.

So, naturally, I see a reference to United Healthcare and I look them up on the same complaint page I used for Kaiser.  Check them out:   Not even close…all one star and two star

So again…what do YOU want in your Healthcare?