Archive for Monday, July 26, 2010

Republican candidates talk health care reform, immigration

July 26, 2010


Derek Schmidt and Ralph DeZago — the two Republican candidates running for state attorney general in the Aug. 3 primary — share many views.

Both candidates promise to bring a more professional and open style of leadership free of political crusades. They also want to emphasize strong consumer protection policies.

Schmidt and DeZago disagree with Attorney General Steve Six’s decision to not join 21 other attorneys general across the country in a lawsuit that challenges the federal Health Care Reform Act.

“The more states that don’t join in, the better chances that (the U.S. Supreme Court) will not take (the lawsuit). And that is what I think is happening here. And the suggestion that the decision not to get involved is political, I think is ridiculous. It is a pro-Obamacare decision,” DeZago said.

For Schmidt, not challenging the Health Care Reform Act allows for unchecked federal powers at the expense of state authority.

The two candidates also back Arizona’s immigration law that would require authorities to question and possibly arrest illegal immigrants in the course of enforcing other laws. Ten other attorneys general have joined together to support Arizona and oppose the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit against it.

“I think the decision by the federal government to spend resources trying to block Arizona from exercising their police powers within its borders was outrageous,” Schmidt said. “Whatever one thinks about the immigration policy ... surely we can agree our federal government should not be spending our tax dollars to prevent states from enforcing public safety.”

DeZago believes the Kansas attorney general should be in support of Arizona’s immigration law.

Both men have had experience as assistant attorneys general.

DeZago was appointed under former Attorney General Phill Kline and mainly defended the Kansas Department of Corrections against inmate lawsuits during his time in the attorney general’s office.

Schmidt was an assistant attorney general in the consumer protection division.

Schmidt, 42, has been a member of the Kansas Senate for nine years, the last five of which he has been the majority leader.

“I have the broadest experience of any of the candidates in the race,” Schmidt said. “I think it is important as attorney general to understand the client, and the client is state government and the citizens of this state.”

This is the first time that DeZago, 61, has run for office. DeZago is now the city prosecutor for Junction City. In his early legal days, DeZago was the state’s chief public defender for the 8th Judicial District of Kansas and then for north-central Kansas.

In more than 29 years of practice, DeZago said he has handled thousands of criminal cases and done hundreds of trials from misdemeanors to first-degree murders. That background is what prompted him to run, DeZago said.

“The things I see about the attorney general aren’t so much questions of issues, it is really questions of experience and competence to do the job,” DeZago said.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

California Nurses Association First-of-Its-Kind Study

January 14, 2009

First-of-Its Kind Study: Medicare Insurance for All (Single-Payer) Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy with 2.6 Million New Jobs, $317 Billion in Business Revenue, $100 Billion in Wages

Establishing a national single-payer style healthcare reform system would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs, and infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy, according to the findings of a groundbreaking study released today. It may be viewed at .

The number of jobs created by a single-payer system, expanding and upgrading Medicare to cover everyone, parallels almost exactly the total job loss in 2008.

"These dramatic new findings document for the first time that a single-payer system could not only solve our healthcare crisis, but also substantially contribute to putting America back to work and assisting the economic recovery," said Geri Jenkins, RN, co-president of the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association, which sponsored the study.

"Through direct and supplemental expenditures, healthcare is already a uniquely dominant force in the U.S. economy," said Don DeMoro, lead author of the study and director of the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, the NNOC/CNA research arm.

"However, so much more is possible. If we were to expand our present Medicare system to cover all Americans, the economic stimulus alone would create an immense engine that would help drive our national economy for decades to come," DeMoro said.

Expanding Medicare Insurance for ALL to include the uninsured, and these on Medicaid or employer-sponsored health plans, and expanding coverage for those with limited Medicare, would have the following immediate impacts:

Create 2,613,495 million new permanent good-paying jobs (slightly exceeding the number of jobs lost in 2008)

*Boost the economy with $317 billion in increased business and public revenues

*Add $100 billion in employee compensation

*Infuse public budgets with $44 billion in new tax revenues

*Further, moving to the new system comes with an unexpectedly low price tag, given the economic benefits and the far-reaching consequences of genuine healthcare reform, DeMoro noted.

P Allen Macfarlane 7 years, 10 months ago

Let's see, both men don't believe in pursuing political crusades and yet if they were attorney general they would join the lawsuit to block health care reform and they would jump on the Arizona-bandwagon to stop illegal immigration, which are both Republican crusades.

Oh, I get it, they want to not take on crusades, unless of course they originate from Republicans.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago


IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for ALL costsfar less than the Wall Street bailouts plus creates jobs instead breaking the economy and forcing millions out of work.

Adding all Americans to IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for ALL could be achieved for $63 billion beyond the current $2.1 trillion in direct healthcare spending. The $63 billion is six times less than the federal bailout for CitiGroup, and less than half the federal bailout for AIG. Solely expanding Medicare Insurance to cover the 47 million uninsured Americans (as of 2006 data on which the study is based) could be accomplished for $44 billion.

The IHSP projections build from an econometric model of the current face of healthcare – applying economic analysis to a wide array of publicly available data from Medicare, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and other sources.

It is the first known study to provide an econometric analysis of the economic benefits of healthcare to the overall economy, showing how changes in direct healthcare delivery affect all other significant sectors touched by healthcare, and how sweeping healthcare reform can help drive the nation's economic recovery.

Healthcare presently accounts for $2.105 trillion in direct expenditures. But healthcare spreads far beyond doctor's offices and hospitals. Adding in healthcare business purchases of services or supplies and spending by workers, the total impact of healthcare in the economy mushrooms to nearly $6 trillion.

Overall, every direct healthcare dollar creates nearly three additional dollars in the U.S. economy. In current form, healthcare:

Generates 45 million jobs, directly and in other industries. Accounts for 10.5 percent of all U.S. jobs and 12.1 percent of all U.S. wages.

*Totals 9.2 percent of the nation's Gross National Product.

*Contributes about 25 percent of all federal tax revenues. Federal, state, and local taxes from the healthcare sector in 2006 added up to $824 billion.

All those numbers would rise dramatically through comprehensive healthcare reform. But a single-payer system would produce the biggest increase in jobs and wages. The reason, DeMoro said, is that "the broadest economic benefits directly accrue from the actual delivery and provision of healthcare, not the purchase of insurance."

California Nurses Association First-of-Its-Kind Study

notajayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

"Adding all Americans to improved Medicare Insurance for ALL could be achieved for $63 billion beyond the current $2.1 trillion in direct healthcare spending."

And we'll all get free ponies and all the beer we can drink and every day will be Christmas and 15 weeks of vacation and we'll all have private beach houses and ...

What color is the sky on your planet, mertle?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for ALL is about providing medical insurance for a better price that eliminates:

  • denial of treatment
  • interference from insurance companies
  • cancellation of coverage
  • co pays
  • deductibles
  • over priced pharamaceuticals
  • golden parachutes
  • shareholders
  • CEO's
  • 2000 bureaucracies
  • over charging consumers billions of dollars

IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for ALL is about bringing 40-50 million more to help contribute to the cost thus reducing the cost to all others concerned.

IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for ALL is also about 2.6 million new jobs to the USA economy that cannot be farmed out to communist China.

If IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for ALL is the most practical and provides the most significant coverage,opens the door to choice across the board and for the least amount of money it would be foolish for me to spend more ……. in fact down right stupid.

Socialism must work. Our elected officials on both sides of the aisle love it……

Meanwhile, members of Congress enjoy “cradle to grave” socialist medical and retirement benefits that outstrip those of the old Soviet Central Committee members.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 10 months ago

merrill, your Caps Lock key is sticking again.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 10 months ago

For Schmidt, not challenging the Health Care Reform Act allows for unchecked federal powers at the expense of state authority.

And yet you have to wonder where Schmidt stands on, say, a federal "defense of marriage" act.

It is often argued that marriage laws are the domain of states, not the federal government.

Pretty typical blather from a career politician. This is a guy who once told the AP, "We have an obligation to provide health care coverage for low-income Kansans".

Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

Repubs have no plan it's all rhetroric...

Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Would Provide Real Health Insurance Reform! The United States spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on healthcare – $8160 per capita – yet performs poorly in comparison and leaves over 46 million people without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered.

Expanded and Improved Medicare for All is the solution.

  • Easy to Implement: Medicare has been in existence since 1966, it provides

healthcare to those 65 and older, and satisfaction levels are high. The

structure is already in place and can be easily expanded to cover everyone.

  • Simple: One entity – established by the government – would handle billing

and payment at a cost significantly lower than private insurance companies.

Private insurance companies spend about 31% of every healthcare dollar on

administration. Medicare now spends about 3%.

  • Real Choice: An expanded and improved Medicare for All would provide

personal choice of doctors and other healthcare providers. While financing

would be public, providers would remain private. As with Medicare, you chose

your doctor, your hospital, and other healthcare providers.

  • State and Local Tax Relief: Medicare for All would assume the costs of

healthcare delivery, thus relieving the states and local governments of the

cost of healthcare, including Medicaid, and as a result reduce State and

local tax burdens.

  • Expanded coverage: Would cover all medically necessary healthcare

services – no more rationing by private insurance companies. There would be

no limits on coverage, no co-pays or deductibles, and services would include

not only primary and specialized care but also prescription drugs, dental,

vision, mental health services, and long-term care.

  • Everyone In, Nobody Out: Everyone would be eligible and covered. No

longer would doctors ask what insurance you have before they treat you.

  • No More Overpriced Private Health Insurance: Medicare for All would

eliminate the need for private health insurance companies who put profit

before healthcare, unfairly limit choice, restrict who gets coverage, and

force people into bankruptcy.

  • Lower Costs: Most people will pay significantly less for healthcare.

Savings will be achieved in reduced administrative costs and in negotiated

prices for prescription drugs.

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