Sunday, January 3, 2016
Clash of the Titans...
By Joe Armendariz

In January of 2013, Sen. Marco Rubio appeared on all four of the big conservative national radio shows to dispel the myths and discuss the principles of what would eventually become the legislative language in the so-called "Gang of Eight" bill (S-744).

All four radio hosts would came around to believe that the comprehensive immigration reforms Senator Rubio was proposing were sound public policies and would comprehensively fix our broken immigration system.

Some of these radio-talk titans, especially Laura and Rush, questioned the need to focus on the issue of immigration at all, but all of them came to understand that a lot of factually inaccurate information being circulated around by the left and the right, were just that, factually inaccurate.

Ultimately, and sadly, the legislation was doomed to the hyper politics surrounding the divisive issue of immigration reform. And so we continue to have a broken immigration system that continues to grant what amounts to de facto "amnesty" to over 11 million people living here illegally. This is the status quo.

The immigration reform bill that Senator Rubio signed onto, and would later get crucified politically for supporting, would have been a tremendous improvement over what we have today, and would have made our nation not just safer, but more prosperous economically. Stay tuned for a future column where I will lay out the facts on why this is the case.

To his credit, Senator Ted Cruz authored amendments to S-744 that would've tightened up the language in the bill by addressing some of the flaws dealing primarily with border security, as well as legal immigration, via expanded H1B visas, and increasing the number of green cards. Those amendments failed on a party line vote in a Democrat controlled Judiciary Committee of which Sen. Cruz is a member.

It's reasonable to assume had Sen. Cruz' amendments been adopted, and included in the underlying immigration reform bill, Cruz would have voted for S-744 and wouldn't be able to play the sort of political game he played at the GOP debate as it relates to granting “legal status” to those who are here illegally.  Sen. Cruz was prepared to vote for S-744 and said so on the floor of the U.S. Senate in June of 2013. You can watch his speech, as I have, on YouTube.

Those amendments and what they represented in terms of Cruz' support for, or opposition to, S-744, were at the heart of Cruz and Rubio's pointed exchange in Las Vegas. As I said, in June of 2013 Senator Cruz stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and said these words: "I support comprehensive immigration reform", and then went on to explain why he supports more immigration in the United States. A position that is now sacrilegious in the age of Trump, and the aftermath of Paris, and San Bernardino.

Today, from Ann Coulter, to Laura Ingraham, to Sean Hannity, to Mark Levin, Ted Cruz is seen as a “purist” on immigration, and Sen. Rubio is somehow considered "weak” on immigration, or in “favor” of amnesty...Rubio is not, nor has he ever been, in favor of amnesty. S-744 did not grant anyone here illegally amnesty. It is utterly dishonest to suggest as much, and Sen. Cruz knows this to be true.

It's fascinating to me that someone is able to hide behind the legislative machinery in the United States Senate to obfuscate what they actually stand for on any given issue...which often times allows them to be for and against a piece of legislation simultaneously by cleverly manipulating the Senate rules as it relates to offering amendments. Democrats do it, Republicans do it.  In other words, politicians do it.

Mark Levin said of Sen. Rubio in January of 2013 that he was a "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington"...because he was simply motivated by wanting to do the right thing. That was then, this is now. And politics, as the old saying goes, ain't bean bag. 

Posted at 19:29 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Obamacare sucks!
OK, so I spent 45 minutes on the Covered California web site today and then 30 minutes on their 800 "help" line. The result after spending 75 minutes registering/applying/shopping for good quality affordable health insurance on this so-called health-care "exchange" was access to the Blues: An Anthem Blue-Cross individual policy for $289 per-month (for just myself). Or an Anthem Blue-Cross Health Savings Account (HSA) policy for $291 per-month. These were the only two policies under $300.
Right off the bat there's something seriously wrong with the pricing of these contracts when a PPO with some, albeit very limited, first dollar coverage is less expensive than a health savings account. The HSA should be the least expensive insurance contract in the insurance company's portfolio. Why? because the low monthly premium is supposed to help free up after tax dollars that can be deposited into a tax-deductible health savings account, similar to the way you deduct annual contributions to an Individual Retirement Account. The money then grows tax free inside the HSA and can then be accessed penalty free when you pay for qualifying health care expenses. But I digress.

The better policy of the two I found, has a $5,000 annual deductible, a $6,350 out-of-pocket maximum (this includes my deductible but NOT my monthly $289 premium). So in actuality my annual out of pocket max with this policy would be $9,818. This in and of itself isn't a bad thing. I think any maximum out of pocket between $7,500 and $10,000 is cost effective assuming a functioning market place. But that is not we have anymore thanks to Obamacare. So as you will see it gets worse.

Plan Benefits:

·         $60 regular office-visit co-pay AFTER my $5,000 deductible.
·         $70 co-pay for specialists AFTER my $5,000 deductible
·         $60 co-pay for "other practitioner office visits" AFTER my $5,000 deductible
·         $300 co-pay for emergency room services AFTER my $5,000 deductible
·         $120 co-pay for urgent care AFTER my $5,000 deductible
·         30% co-insurance for hospital stays AFTER my $5,000 deductible
·         30% co-insurance for lab work, diagnostics & ex-rays AFTER my $5,000 deductible
·         $50 pcs co-pay for name-brand drugs / $19 pcs co-pay for generic drugs (probably the most reasonable feature of the plan, however the generic co-pay is a little high).
Usually a generic pcs co-pay is in the $10 to $15 range. And an important question that should be known is what happens if there is NO generic equivalent available? Or, another scenario, which happens on occasion, is what if your doctore insits on the name brand drug. Most good insurance contracts will allow the insured to pay the generic co-pay in that situation.
So frankly the benefits above are pretty awful. Incredibly high co-pays but only after extremely high deductibles. I have never seen this sort of thing before. At least not here in California.
But here's some good news. If I get pregnant and use my prenatal and postnatal benefits, I pay ZERO co-pays and ZERO deductible! Only problem is I'm physically incapable of getting pregnant as I am a male. Moreover, I am incapable of getting a woman pregnant as I had a vasectomy in 2001 after my 4th child was born. So this benefit is absolutely worthless...but very costly to include. In essence I am paying for a benefit I could never use.

As some of you know, I sold health insurance here in California in the individual and small group market between 1998 and 2006. I had over 100 small businesses insured and over 250 individuals insured. And I can honestly say this is the worst insurance policy I have ever come across. Indeed if I had come across a prospective client who had this policy I would’ve had a guarantee sale. In fact, I would've starved to death is this was all I had to offer my clients.

Posted at 20:57 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Login Login
Email Address* :
Password* :

New Registration Forgot Password?
Categories Categories
Al Fonzi
Andy Caldwell
Ashly Donavan
Bill Glynn
Dan Logue
Darin Selnick
Dr. George Watson
Dr. Jane Orient, M.D.
Dr. Mike Tabor
Dr. Wendy James
Gary Beckner
Gordon Mullin
Gretchen Hamel
Harris Sherline
Janet Cronick
Jerry Scheidbach
Joe Armendariz
Judson Phillips
Lowell Ponte
Matt Barber
Matt Kokkonen
Mike Brown
Mike Gorbell
Mike Stoker
Phil Kiver
Richard Cochrane
Richard Fryer
Richard S. Quandt
Robert Jeffers
Robyn Hayhurst
Roger Hedgecock
Rooster Bradford
Santa Barbara City Watch
Stephen Wallace, M.S. Ed.
RSS Feed RSS Feed
Top 10 Recent BlogRSS Feed
Al FonziRSS Feed
Andy CaldwellRSS Feed
Ashly DonavanRSS Feed
Bill GlynnRSS Feed
Dan LogueRSS Feed
Darin SelnickRSS Feed
Dr. George WatsonRSS Feed
Dr. Jane Orient, M.D.RSS Feed
Dr. Mike TaborRSS Feed
Dr. Wendy JamesRSS Feed
Gary BecknerRSS Feed
Gordon MullinRSS Feed
Gretchen HamelRSS Feed
Harris SherlineRSS Feed
Janet CronickRSS Feed
Jerry Scheidbach RSS Feed
Joe ArmendarizRSS Feed
Judson PhillipsRSS Feed
Lowell PonteRSS Feed
Matt BarberRSS Feed
Matt KokkonenRSS Feed
Mike BrownRSS Feed
Mike GorbellRSS Feed
Mike StokerRSS Feed
Phil KiverRSS Feed
Richard CochraneRSS Feed
Richard FryerRSS Feed
Richard S. QuandtRSS Feed
Robert JeffersRSS Feed
Robyn HayhurstRSS Feed
Roger HedgecockRSS Feed
Rooster BradfordRSS Feed
Santa Barbara City WatchRSS Feed
Stephen Wallace, M.S. Ed.RSS Feed
Archives Archives
Skip Navigation Links.
Tag Cloud Tag Cloud                      
Validator Validator