cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
As we wend our way down the trail of national health care reform, we really ought to reform those areas that are the biggest causes of problems. The blog, Health Care Policy and Marketplace, today had a thoughtful discussion that I felt needed to be shared in that it mentioned the three biggest flaws in our present system.
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday found, in a five to four decision, that the appearance of bias in judges must be avoided. In this case from West Virginia, there was a single person who spent some $3 million dollars to get his favored candidate elected, and that judge then found in favor of that person's company in a trial.
The breadth and depth of the non-budget items that continue to be "found" in the state budget are almost beyond belief. The Journal Sentinel published an article yesterday that delineated some of those:
- Drivers licenses for illegal immigrants- why would they want this when they're driving now? Could it be that these would permit some to vote illegally? If they're illegal, shouldn't something else be happening if they're stopped for a traffic offense?
- Increased minimum auto liability insurance- this will significantly increase the premiums we'll have to pay, it will add money to the pockets of trial lawyers, and it will ultimately cause more uninsured motorists, which will raise our rates some more. Sounds like a great idea, huh?
- QEO abolished- this is obviously a pay-back to WEAC, the teachers' union; it was interesting to see WEAC come back and tell the legislature to delay this until 2010; it must mean that the QEO will be better for the teachers this year during our recession, and then the teachers can begin to negotiate for the larger increases. Arbitrators will be involved when QEO dies, and that'll assure bigger settlements as the economy improves.
- Arbitration language is opened up- thus permitting much larger settlements than would be the case under the language formerly relied upon.
- Choice schools are to be hindered even more and will likely be forced out of business- it is interesting that Rep. Pedro Colon (D) was the one who stuck a stick in the choice schools' eye, even as his constituents want what they have today, total English immersion.
- Traffic stops for no seat belts in use- this will lead to more complaints by citizens who believe they're being targeted.
- Racial profiling data base tracking- this will be coupled with seat belts in the minds of many. Trial lawyers will likely benefit from this, as well.
- State agent access to personal bank accounts- this will require that banks permit the state to determine how much you have in the bank so they can collect their tax money more easily.
- Early release of felons- if they meet the "good behavior" benchmarks. Given a recidivism (return to prison) rate in the high double figures, this makes a lot of sense. We can get the prisoners on the streets sooner so that we can lock them up again. Sounds like a real winner so far as reducing costs, huh? Again, trial lawyers will probably benefit.
- GPS monitoring cutbacks- this will help the bad guy sex offenders work their magic better since they'll no longer be monitored 24/7, but simply once a day. Again, another really neat cost-cutting measure.