Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Sad State of The Healthcare Debate

The following was found on "The Hill's pundits blog." The author, Peter Fenn, comments on "The Republicans and Small Business and Healthcare." As an illustration of the way ALL politicians spin issues, it is sickeningly accurate. The politician's rule is: ignore what the other (person) (reporter) (candidate) says or the question he or she asks. Answer the question you wanted the reporter to ask; address the issue you want to address, whether relevant or irrelevant to the issue to which you are responding. But, most importantly, never, ever let the facts get in the way.

July 28, 2009 – 9:36 am

By Peter Fenn

The Republicans and Small Business and Healthcare

I just love the Republicans’ rhetoric on how they stand up for small businesses.

Democrats propose any kind of tax on millionaires and it suddenly becomes an attack on “America’s small businesses.” We try and put together a healthcare plan that makes it possible to keep costs down for small businesses and allows them to insure employees and it becomes about “big government.”

Democrats go after Goldman Sachs for their average salaries of $900,000 when unemployment is nearing 10 percent and we are “socialists.” Democrats complain that Goldman received over $10 billion last year in bailout money, parlay that into $5.1 in first-quarter profits and prepare to shell out $11.4 billion to their executives so far this year and we are attacking the capitalist system.

Now we find out that Goldman has a Cadillac of a healthcare plan that costs over $40,000, just less than the average American family makes in a year. This plan is truly amazing — no co-pays, no deductibles, no cost for prescriptions and don’t worry about pre-existing conditions. And, of course, all free — and it is not taxed, all deductible. Now, tell me, how does that help our small businesses?

Here are the facts on small businesses: 1. Firms with fewer than 20 employees account for 18 percent of private-sector jobs but almost 25 percent of net employment growth in the past 15 years; 2. However, small businesses pay nearly 20 percent more for the same health insurance policy than larger firms because of broker fees, administrative costs and adverse selection; 3. While 99 percent of firms with over 200 employees offer health insurance only 49 percent of firms with three to nine employees do.

Furthermore, there has been a decrease from 2002 to 2008 of small businesses (three to nine employees) offering health insurance — 58 percent down to 49 percent.

Now, explain to me how this is working so well for small businesses. Since I started my firm over 25 years ago I have paid 100 percent of my employees’ health plans. I was glad to do it and lucky enough to be successful. But, like all small-business owners, I have seen those costs rise considerably. My partner and I saw first-hand how pre-existing conditions can raise the costs; we watched as our premiums went up over the years much faster than inflation or the cost of living. Again, we are fortunate that we can afford it, but many small businesses cannot.

To say that we can’t afford health insurance reform is counterintuitive — we cannot afford not to pass real change to the current system. Small business deserves it and needs it — now. Republicans should get on board and really help America’s small businesses.

© 2009 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Some Useful Articles

For those of you who have not yet filed your 2008 income tax return, here's How to Find Your 2008 Stimulus Payment.

For more information about about non-profits, here's How to Start a Non-Profit Organization.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Take Action to Support Autism Insurance Reform in Congress

Federal Action on Health Care Reform legislation is taking center stage in Congress. Even though more and more states are passing laws to require insurance companies to provide full treatment coverage for people with autism, the vast majority of states do not. Thus, there is good cause for federal legislation in this area.

Please follow this link to
Autism Speaks. You will find the telephone numbers for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, so you can call their offices and leave messages. You will also be able to send e-mails to your local representative and senators. Please take time to do this. This is very important to parents (like me) and people with autism (my son). Please spread the word.

Thank you very much.


Paul A. Nidich

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Case of autistic Marine brings recruiting problems to the forefront

Here is an incredibly sad article from the Los Angeles Times about a young man with high-functioning autism who was recruited into the Marines. Not surprisingly, he didn't quite understand the rules, being yelled at constantly by his drill instructors, and all the other matters faced by a new recruit at boot camp. So, he simply decided to leave to go home (to a group home where he had been living when he signed up) but didn't make it out the gate. When his drill instructors finally learned he had autism, instead of having him evaluated for discharge, they simply eased up on him; so he could get through boot camp successfully.

He did get through the eleven-week program (somehow). He was then sent to Camp Pendleton for infantry training. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested for desertion and another crime. That was one year ago. That's right: He has been in the brig at Camp Pendleton for one year. He is also facing another charge, FRAUDULENT ENLISTMENT. The young man is under a conservatorship and cannot legally enter into a contract by himself. A motion to dismiss the charges against him on the ground that he didn't have the legal capacity to enlist was denied. Another hearing in this matter is scheduled for July 27th.

PLEASE pass on this post to everyone else you know who might want to help this young man. Also send it to your Representative and Senators.