By Glenn MolletteI've heard a lot of discussion about political profiles in recent days.
The Republicans supposedly are the corporate greedy CEOs and the Democrats supposedly are all those standing in the government entitlement lines. Not true.My father was a republican. For thirty years of his life he drove an older model truck almost two hours one-way to Holden, W.Va. where he worked in an underground coal mine. He worked eight to ten hours a day and then came home to farm two to three hours before crashing into bed. We worked a small garden, cared for ten to twenty cows, had some hogs, raised a large corn patch and you get the idea. My father was always exhausted during the workweek.My mother was a democrat. For several years she worked in the school system. She raised five children, washed clothes with a ringer washer in the early years and when there was not enough rainwater we carried water from the creek. She made breakfast and had supper on the table every evening and kept the house immaculately clean. She worked with my dad in the garden, milked cows, tended her flowers and like my dad was usually exhausted. On Sundays they got dressed up and went to church. They sang in the church choir and often sang in a quartet in other churches. Life was not always easy and as with many families there were those times when we wondered if we would make it.Looking back I can say my father was a hard working Christian Republican. My mother was a hard working Christian Democrat. Together, they built a house, raised five kids, entertained family and friends and both lived to be 85. They were not wealthy in retirement but with a thirty-year miner's pension, Social Security and a balanced lifestyle they did fine.If only all Republicans and Democrats today could be as blessed. Imagine what our states and nation might accomplish if we worked together? These are tough times. We have to make some unpopular decisions in this country. People are hurting, stressed to the max and even in the streets hungry.We cannot go on with the "Us against them" syndrome. If we do we are only going to lose more jobs, incur more national debt, lose more corporations to other countries, increase taxes and watch our communities drown in drugs, violence and poverty.Abraham Lincoln was quoting the Bible when he said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."Glenn Mollette is an American columnist read in all fifty states. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette
He is the author of American Issues, Hear him each Sunday night at 8 EST on XM Radio 131.
By Glenn Mollette Everybody needs medical insurance. Without it you are headed for the poor house or a shorter life. Here is what our government should do:
Make Medicaid available for American citizens in poverty. Citizens receiving some type of monthly government check or making poverty wages should pay "something" for their medical insurance. The payment might be a small amount each month but medical insurance is worth some kind of effort. We can't afford free rides. Make Medicaid available for the sick with preexisting conditions. When my wife was eliminated from medical insurance because of her multiple sclerosis we were living on about $35,000 a year. The elimination of healthcare for the sickest member of our family was devastating. We would have scraped and skipped meals to pay almost any premium but it wasn't available. Let the sick with income pay for their Medicaid insurance coverage. They don't mind if they have jobs. Let the rest of America buy health insurance through private companies. We've covered the poor and the sick in points one and two. Let's get the government out of the rest of our healthcare purchases. Healthy working Americans have to pay their car payments, house payments, utility bills, etc. We can pay our insurance premiums. The real need is for government to eliminate the 48 billion dollars of medical provider fraud that we had last year in America. This is only the fraud that we know about. We have to bring the cost of medical care down. This will not happen unless our government cracks down on fraudulent Medicare/Medicaid charges. With increased enrollment, these fraudulent charges will skyrocket further. Next, you and I must be involved in the process of bringing costs down. Negotiate with doctors. Make several calls and find how much they are charging for office visits, surgeries and other procedures. For example, one Washington Post article revealed that the Las Colinas Medical Center just outside Dallas billed Medicare, on average, $160,832 for lower joint replacements. Five miles away and on the same street, Baylor Medical Center in Irving, Tex., billed the government an average fee of $42,632 for the same procedures. In downtown New York City, two hospitals 63 blocks apart varied by 321% in the prices they charged to treat complicated cases of asthma or bronchitis. One charged an average of $34,310; the other billed, on average, $8,159. Finally, every day we have to fight the battle of taking care of ourselves. We can't smoke our brains out, eat fat and a pound of sugar every day and be healthy. With our best efforts, health problems are inevitable, but we all must become responsible for our health. Glenn Mollette is an American columnist read in all fifty states. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette
He is the author of American Issues, Nursing Home Nightmares and eight other books.
New Soar Logo is Unveiled by Rep. Rogers and Gov. Beshear
HAZARD, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2013) – In an effort to focus on the future success of southern and eastern Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers today announced that they will host a summit with hundreds of citizens from across the region to share new ideas and recommendations about how to move Kentucky’s Appalachian region forward. The summit, titled “S.O.A.R.: Shaping Our Appalachian Region”, will be held on Monday, Dec. 9 at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville. “Eastern Kentucky is a brilliant, storied region that enriches the fabric of our Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Yet for several decades, the region has seen a decline in growth and development, hampered by a lack of infrastructure and other resources that communities need to grow and thrive. We know that government alone cannot solve these issues, and that is why Congressman Rogers and I are launching this summit – we believe that to make real progress in Eastern Kentucky, we need the input, collaboration and involvement from the people who live and work hard there every day.” “We are in uncharted waters in southern and eastern Kentucky, where the future of coal faces new regulatory challenges and economic uncertainty is daunting for our small communities,” said Congressman Rogers. “But time and again, the people of our region have proven to be resilient. Over the years, we’ve expanded infrastructure and vital resources to the most rural parts of the Commonwealth, we’ve united in the fight against the prescription drug abuse epidemic, and we’ve partnered across county lines to clean up our hillsides and streams. I am confident that together, we will rise above these new challenges we face. We will overcome!”The nation’s recent recession and economic restructuring have hit the Appalachian region especially hard. While overall rural manufacturing and job growth have improved, the region’s number-one industry continues to decline. In less than two years, more than 6,000 coal miners have been laid off or furloughed in Eastern Kentucky alone, resulting in unbearable economic hardships in many communities. “There is an urgent need for change and a new way of thinking about the issues in Appalachia,” said Gov. Beshear. “We must work together to attack our regional obstacles from many angles – by emphasizing public, private and philanthropic partnerships to address and implement improvements in education, health, work-readiness, infrastructure and more. Most critical, these solutions must be driven and championed by the individuals who call Appalachia home, because it is their enthusiasm and support that will carry these visions to reality.”“Eastern Kentucky is my home; the people here are family,” said Senate President Robert Stivers. “Re-energizing the economy in Eastern Kentucky is going to require thinking ‘outside the box.’ I believe this is a tremendous step in that direction.”“Those of us fortunate enough to call Eastern Kentucky home are deeply committed to seeing it thrive in the future, which is why I believe this summit will prove to be a welcome guide for the direction our region needs to take,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo. “I want to thank Governor Beshear and Congressman Rogers for their support, and call on others throughout the state to join with us in this effort. I cannot think of a more pressing issue affecting the Commonwealth.”The Governor and Congressman have secured the assistance of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), a national policy institute dedicated to fostering public dialogue and solutions to the challenges facing rural regions and communities. RUPRI has coordinated similar regional efforts across the nation and globe, and will help facilitate discussions at the SOAR summit. RUPRI facilitators support the summit’s goal of gathering the many disparate voices of Appalachia and merging their ideas into a cohesive strategy for the region’s success.“Economic growth is the overriding global imperative of all nations, and the key to success is to unlock the unique potential of regions, through collaboration, asset-based development, innovation, and ultimately wealth creation. RUPRI is honored to be working to advance that agenda in this region,” said RUPRI President and CEO Chuck Fluharty. The SOAR Summit will host hundreds of attendees from across southern and eastern Kentucky with varied occupational backgrounds and interests– including individuals representing education, business, nonprofits, arts, finance, tourism, local government and more. The summit is open to any Kentuckian with an interest in the strength and future of Kentucky’s Appalachian region. Interested individuals are invited to attend the SOAR Summit by registering athttps://kydlgweb.ky.gov/A SOAR planning committee of approximately 40 members will meet in advance of the summit to suggest discussion topics and possible goals. “The leadership and participation of southern and eastern Kentucky families and citizens is critical, not only to supporting the summit, but also to ensure the summit’s long-term impact in the region,” said Congressman Rogers. “The summit is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long-term initiative to bring new opportunities and renewed prosperity to the people of this region, and the Governor and I pledge to be part of the work.”Other national and regional agencies supporting the SOAR effort include the USDA Rural Development and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
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