Hobby Lobby

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, but at least do so based upon sound reasoning.

 

Coming To a Town Near You

It was recently announced that retailer Hobby Lobby is building a store in Traverse City.

Within seconds of that announcement came the negative comments regarding Hobby Lobby’s right to exist, and Traverse City’s despicable choice of allowing Hobby Lobby to set up shop.  There were repeated indignant declarations of refusing to shop at Hobby Lobby due to things like religion, women’s rights, and reproductive freedom.  However, as the day went on, the positive comments and welcoming statements began to outweigh the negative.

All of this is of no surprise, and is actually one of the beautiful things about a free-market capitalist system.

In the interest of complete transparency, I don’t shop at Hobby Lobby.  I’m just not a bolted fabric, faux flowers, macramé and vases kinda guy, and I simply cannot get excited about a sale on miniature garden gnomes.  Give me a bike shop, a home-improvement center or a music store any day.  But I digress – back to my original purpose.  To the fervently indignant folks who choose to publically “take a stand;” at the very least, let’s all be crystal clear (and hopefully reasonable) about why we do what we do.

The “Issue(s)”

In response to one man’s expressed appreciation that Hobby Lobby was run by Christian people, one woman wrote: “Except most Christians are asshats I’d rather not be around.”  Of note – the US Census reports that over 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christians.  Therefore, by her own admission this woman thinks that at least 38% of Americans are asshats.  That seems a bit overly condemnatory.

Another woman wrote: “I definitely won’t be shopping at Hobby Lobby due to the owner’s policies toward women and health care.”  I think it’s safe to presume that this is based (at least in part) upon Hobby Lobby’s very public position with respect to certain forms of contraception.

Pertinent Facts and Relevant Questions

For the record, the US FDA has approved 20 birth control methods, 16 to which Hobby Lobby has no objection, including the most effective and most commonly/widely-used methods.  Hobby Lobby’s employee health insurance plan pays for those 16 options because they believe doing so does not violate their US Constitutionally-protected religious freedoms.  In 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s position.  In addition, I think we can all agree that “health care” involves considerably more than just contraception, and I am unaware of any other aspects of common health care to which Hobby Lobby objects.

Hobby Lobby has a workforce of 34,000 people, 69% of whom are women.  Why would over 23,000 American women willingly choose to work at and support the mission of a company that is allegedly anti-woman?  Of equal importance, I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of Hobby Lobby customers are women, to the tune of more than $4 billion in revenue in 2017.  Again, if Hobby Lobby is so terrible, why would independent, free-thinking American woman give to Hobby Lobby $billions of their hard-earned income?

Take an Educated Stand

We are all encouraged to shop where we wish, just as we are free to be angry with whom we wish.  However, it is in our collective best interest to be rational and factually-driven in our reasoning, especially in this day and age of what seems to be an agenda-driven mainstream media offering spin from every direction.  We need to dig deeper to learn more, increasing our knowledge beyond that which is being reported by those with whom we are comfortable.  If we’re going to be part of the discussion, let’s at least be erudite in our passion.

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Siblings Day 2018


Surprise!  Prior to a few hours ago, I’d never heard of Siblings Day.  However, upon learning of this, my first thought was the irony of the name: Siblings Day.

I have siblings.  Unfortunately I can’t make a qualitative description any stronger than that because lately our relationships have been…, let’s say less than ideal.

My wife Shari has two awesome Brothers.  In more ways than I can count I am blessed they have become a part of my life.  The three of them support each other unfailingly.  They talk with each other, laugh with each other, and cry with each other.  They kid and tease each other, and occasionally will team up two against one, recounting with great hilarity both embarrassing and ridiculous moments from days gone by.

However, they never raise their voices, must less their ire with each other, and while it’s evident they love each other, what’s even more clear is that they genuinely like each other.  Though they are dramatically different from one another, they are unified in spirit.  For their parents, they are a source of immense pride and happiness, and together the three of them are an absolutely formidable force.  Again, I am extremely fortunate they have come into my world, and welcomed me into theirs.

But back to my siblings and I…  Through the course of normal life, most families have to deal with a broad range of issues, challenges, failures and even tragedies.  Some manage to usually get it right, but I think they are the fortunate exceptions.  The more I read and learn, the more I realize that my siblings and I are probably pretty normal.  We’ve had our successes and failures, individually and collectively.  We have our pride, and our regrets.  Each of us has numerous achievements.  We want for little, we meet our needs, pursue our desires, and even manage to realize some of our dreams.

And yet, together we’ve only managed to achieve siblinghood, falling well short of brotherhood and sisterhood.

This probably makes us no different from millions of others.  I used to wonder, “How did we get to this point?”  But I’ve come to believe that question is not helpful, because depending upon whom is answering, there will be innumerable different answers, and probably even less agreement on the relative importance of any one answer.  No…, though we’re definitely lost, “How did we get here?” won’t help.  A much better question is “Do we want to fix it?”  Given our circumstances, our personalities, and a lifetime of interactions, this may actually be a much more difficult question to confront, much less answer, for any answer will spawn a long list of what could be even more difficult questions.

Life is hard.  In fact, I’ve heard psychiatrists and psychologists say life is suffering.  Perhaps.  I don’t believe that any significant amount of time in my life was spent suffering, especially when you see the kind of truly horrible suffering that takes place in other parts of the world, and even in the poverty- and crime-ridden parts of our country.  In our case, “life is complicated” is probably more apropos.  That being said, I think we have to concede that even our most fervent complications are nonetheless, First World complications.

My Mom would attest that each of her children are all very different from each other, which again, makes us more normal than not.  Sadly, we have allowed our differences, and perhaps our pride, to evolve into passionate disagreements, resulting in seemingly enormous barriers.  Though Shari and her brothers sometimes disagree, they refuse to let their disagreements rise to the level of divisive.  They too have passion, but that passion also fuels an ongoing quest for an abiding, respectful understanding of each other.  One outcome of today for me, is realizing that the real barriers that my siblings and I must overcome are not between us – rather, the real barriers are us.

According to some, the purpose of Siblings Day is to honor the relationships of siblings.  In the case of my wife and her brothers, “honor” is indeed spot-on.  Unfortunately, in my case, honorable would not be at all accurate in describing my sibling relationships.  However, in that I’ve spent a good portion of today thinking (positively) about my brother and sisters, then perhaps the day is somewhat of a success after all.

Or, at the very least, a beginning.

Christopher Columbus – An Historical Figure

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I think Columbus Day is legit, and should remain as-is. Sadly, on this day over the past few years I’ve read with great interest a number of pieces about Christopher Columbus. Until this year I had not read A SINGLE ONE that had anything good to say about him.  However, Michael J. Knowles of The Daily Wire has an excellent piece, replete with numerous historical citations: http://www.dailywire.com/news/21968/historical-record-shows-christopher-columbus-michael-j-knowles It is well-researched and worth the read. However, the rest of the Columbus “lessons” in the media are not so kind, and suffice to say are considerably more emotionally-charged than fact-based. Funny how that seems to be more and more the case when the media has an agenda.

The most mild characterization of Christopher Columbus was that he was “lost,” which in and of itself is interesting since he was sailing uncharted seas. The most severe likened him to Adolph Hitler.  Though I am not a Columbus defender, I am unaware of any historical evidence that points to him deliberately and systematically leading concerted efforts to exterminate an entire category of human beings.  I think it is at least fair to say that he was an adventurer, a risk-taker, an explorer, but in our culture those are typically positive attributes, and as a result nobody mentions them.

A recurrent theme promoted by most of the complicit media is that we should do away with Columbus Day.  There are also movements to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day.  Personally, if I were a member of the indigenous people race (provided of course we can agree on exactly WHO were the very first to get here, and also agree on just where “here” is), I would want an entirely different day.  Nobody wants a hand-me-down Holiday, anymore than they want hand-me-down underclothes.

So it would seem that every October for the foreseeable future, we are going to examine not only should we celebrate Columbus Day (if in fact taking a weekday break from personal banking and receiving mail qualifies as “celebrating”), but should we recognize or even have a Columbus Day.  Personally, I really don’t think the good citizens of Genoa, Italy care much either way.

However, at the risk of being regarded as, at the very least, politically incorrect, and at worst, culturally insensitive and even shamefully racist, I firmly believe that if we as a society do in fact choose to move in a direction to rid ourselves of any recognition of Columbus Day, then let’s be sure we examine ALL of the pertinent evidence in order to be historically thorough and honest.

While the “Indigenous” people were, in many respects very different from the people from Europe and elsewhere, they were also much like humans everywhere.  There is substantial and irrefutable historical evidence that tribes waged war upon each other.  They attacked strangers without warning, and often viewed any form of mercy with contempt.  They killed and enslaved those they believed to be lesser-than.  Warring tribes killed enemy tribes’ women and children.

In other words, in addition to embodying numerous admirable traits, they too were human, and not without their own set of behaviors that so many today decry as reprehensible and inexcusable.  Make no mistake, there was indeed a significant amount of despicable behavior and violence present on this continent long before the arrival of the “white man.”

There is almost always some value, and perhaps even on occasion, honor in recognizing all of the history and cultures that have been part of creating what we now all call home, provided we do so in an intellectually honest manner.  Virtually every culture has admirable traits which we all might benefit from embracing, just as all cultures have their less-than-desirable elements.  We can learn from each, embracing and discarding accordingly.  But let’s not embark on any initiative under the premise that ANY culture (Indigenous or otherwise) is entirely superior to any other, anymore than ANY culture (Columbus-era or otherwise) should be ignored or abandoned simply because it makes some of us “feel” better.

The Betsy DeVos Challenge

US Secretary of Education Elisabeth DeVos is NOT anti-public schools, she’s anti-FAILING schools, and so am I, and you should be too.

Regarding the nomination and confirmation of Secretary DeVos, during the past nine months I’ve read numerous quotes from incensed teachers, parents and students from across the country, including a huge dose of negativity from right here in Michigan.  Some of the strongest objections have come out of Flint, Detroit, Pontiac and Saginaw.  They all pretty much spit the same generalized talking point: that she is going to “destroy” Public Schools.  Quite frankly, the hard data would seem to indicate that in many places, the politicians, public school leaders and advocates have already done a fine job of destroying public education all by themselves.

Challenge 1:  To the anti-DeVos public education “advocates,” I challenge you to stop Secretary DeVos dead in her tracks by impressing her with your school’s success record.

Hard Data – What’s Not Working

The Michigan Department of Education maintains a database that displays each public school’s 2015-16 statewide percentile ranking based on measures of student achievement and student improvement.  Each school district is assigned a number on the scale of 0-99, with 99 being the highest relative performance and 0 being the lowest.  For the cities mentioned above, the numbers are sobering:

  • Detroit Public Schools      11th percentile
  • Flint Public Schools          8th percentile
  • Pontiac Public Schools     9th percentile
  • Saginaw Public Schools    9th percentile

By the way, these numbers have been relatively consistent for more than a decade, and in some cases two or three decades.  And please spare me any claim that the MDE database has clearly been hacked by the Russians.  Or the NSA, or Republicans, or the 1%, or a Nigerian prince.

Challenge 2:  Set aside the political ideology and quit echoing the ridiculous, divisive and deliberately misleading ATF, MEA and DNC talking points.

We’ve heard them ad nauseam: “She didn’t graduate from a public university!!”  “She clearly supports charter schools!!”  “She was never a teacher, she’s not even a degreed educator!!”

  • It is true that Secretary DeVos did not graduate from a public university (Calvin). Neither did either one of her predecessors, President Obama’s Secretaries of Education, Arne Duncan (Harvard) and John King (Harvard, Columbia, and Yale).
  • She does indeed support charter schools, as did both Duncan and King. John King spent part of his career as a Charter School Principal.
  • It’s also true that she is not an educator by trade or training, though neither were former Carter Secretary Shirley Hufstedler (lawyer, judge), Clinton Secretary Richard Riley (lawyer, politician), and again, Obama’s Arne Duncan (basketball player, sociologist).

If these traits are so objectionable, then why was there NO similar outcry about the Secretaries chosen by each of the most recent Democrat Presidents?

That being said, what’s especially interesting is the one talking point we’re not hearing, which also happens to be the only consistent aspect of all of the opposition to Betsy DeVos; nobody is claiming “Our public schools are doing a GREAT job!!”

It’s All About the Money, Or Is It?

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development involves (and studies) the world’s most developed countries for the purpose of stimulating economic progress and world trade.  The OECD has reported that US teachers are better paid (avg = $53k) than most of their counterparts elsewhere in the world (avg = $46k).  The average first year high school teacher in the US earns around $38k compared to OECD nations at $31k.

The US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics reports we spend about $12,300 per student, compared to the OECD average of $9,300.  The OECD reports that the US spends over 7% of its GDP on education, compared to an average of 6% in the other OECD countries.  So, we’re paying teachers more, spending more on the students, and spending a greater portion of what we have.  What exactly is all of that buying us?  The answer…, a lot less than one would hope.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study that compares levels of scholastic performance in 72 developed nations.  In the 2015 PISA study, US students’ scores ranked them as follows:  Math – 39th, Science – 25th, Reading – 23rd.  Just how are US graduates going to fare in the global workplace when their critical skill levels aren’t even in the top 20?

Challenge 3:  Either admit that what’s been tried in many schools isn’t working, or roll out the data that shows it is.

What IS Working

I don’t know (and quite frankly, neither does anyone else) whether Secretary DeVos will be great for American schoolchildren (and their parents) or not.  But I do know two things:  First, that continuation of current practice or maintaining status quo in failing schools will NOT solve the problem, especially when many of the people directly involved refuse to even acknowledge – much less take responsibility for – the implications of the percentile rankings listed above.  Second, Secretary DeVos and her family have a long history of education advocacy and philanthropy, for both private and public schools, including those schools in and around her hometown:

  • Holland Public Schools           45th percentile
  • Hamilton Public Schools        66th percentile
  • Saugatuck Public Schools       87th percentile
  • West Ottawa Public Schools   74th percentile
  • Zeeland Public Schools           76th percentile

It would seem that if anyone had a legitimate complaint about public schools being “destroyed,” it would be the folks from those schools listed immediately above.  Yet, I’ve seen no concomitant outcry of concern from the teachers and parents of these schools.

I can hear my detractors already: “Of course they’re not worried, they’re doing great, she’s not going to destroy them!”  And the problem with that is…?  Shouldn’t schools that are underperforming indeed be the focus of efforts to revamp the current model and rebuild from the ground up?

Why Not

The real question for my hometown and our I-75 corridor neighbors north and south is, do you want public schools like those west of Grand Rapids, or not?  Because based upon many of the actions for the past 30 years, and especially the vehement objections since November 23rd, it sure seems like your answer is… not.

Challenge 4:  With all due respect, give Secretary DeVos a chance… you’ve had yours.

 

 

Why? This is Why

I’m often asked, usually by Shari, why do I do this?  Somedays I’m not sure myself, but I think it may be because for many years, though I felt as though I had something to say, I had not neither the skill, not the patience to say it well.  I’ve worked very hard to get better at that, and by your responses it would appear that I’m at least making some progress in that direction.

I’m about to post another article, and this one has more hard data (and sources) than usual.  I apologize, because I know that can be boring.  However, I’m once-again addressing an emotionally-charged topic (like so many others), and I believe we are all better served by dialing back emotions and simply examining available data.  We are living in a culture where lately, it seems that the more one “cares” about something, the more they feel compelled to render their “expert” opinion, and the less they are asked to produce genuine evidence in support of their position.

What we end up with are interactions between opposing sides that, while provocative and possibly “entertaining,” are increasingly less productive.  This fundamental change is pushing our society off into (at least) two dangerous directions: the first is that more and more, we substitute fear for reason, and second, people are abandoning thinking in favor of feeling because they are no longer challenged to discern the difference between the two.

We live in a great country, and I am both grateful and proud to be here.  And though we may disagree on whether it needs to be made great again, we should completely agree that we each have a responsibility to make it better (and greater) everyday.  I don’t want what’s best for me.  I want what’s best for US, me and my fellow citizens.

This is our country, and our President, and our Congress, our media, our Constitution, our culture, our environment…  we are in this together.  But if we continue to increasingly view those with whom we disagree with contempt, we will fail, horribly.  “My way or No way” is a collective death sentence.  I want the United States of America to be truly united, for US to collectively flourish and prosper, and each of these writings is part of my humble effort toward that outcome.

Executive Orders on Immigration

June 26, 2017, the ultimate legal authority in the country, The United States Supreme Court, has ruled.  I don’t know every single one of the intricate aspects of this Administration’s Executive Order on Immigration.

What I do know is this:

  • December 2015 – 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12) – President Obama placed restrictions for on certain travelers who had visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011. In Feb 2016, he added Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the list, trying to address “the growing threat from foreign terrorist fighters.”
  • This list of countries matches exactly the countries named in the current Executive Order.
  • The Obama restrictions took place without public outrage & protests, without screams of racism, without lawsuits, without the Press and the Left excoriating the President, and without any of the general hysteria we see today.

These are not three of my opinions, these are irrefutable facts.  Sadly, these days one can be denigrated as being racist, bigoted, xenophobic, uncaring and even un-American simply for stating relevant facts.  THAT is a big problem in America today, we can’t even have rational, fact-based discussion when it involves divergent views.

I’ve just listened to yet another leftist do-gooder venting their self-righteous indignation about the “Muslim” travel ban, and how it constitutes “bigoted, religious persecution by a white-supremacist society.”

With all due respect, if you make the “Muslim” or “religious” claim, you have absolutely NO credibility, NONE!!!

Once again, I’m a data guy, and given the choice of facts vs feelings, I’ll take facts: There are about 50 Muslim-majority countries in the world.  The six most-populous countries contain more than half (53%) of the entire world’s Muslim population.  They are (in order): Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria & Egypt.  Well Mr. Do-Gooder, remind me again, which of these Muslim countries is included in the Executive Order (your “Muslim” travel ban list)?

I’m waiting…

Yeah, that’s what I thought.  So please tell me again (this time without all of the hyperbole and emotion-based rhetoric) how this is a religiously-motivated action against Muslims?

You want to peacefully protest, fine.  You want to passionately exercise your First Amendment rights and respectfully debate a difference of opinion, also fine.  But in the interest of intellectual honesty, and perhaps even doing genuine “good,” do us all a favor, and at the very least, get your g**d*** facts straight!!!!!

PRE-EXISTING HYSTERIA – Perhaps Soon to be Known as Kimmel Syndrome

Are Facts Even Important Anymore?

It’s just my opinion, but I think that if you are going to go on TV and perform a very personal rant in a very public way, please do your fellow citizens a favor and know what the **** you are talking about.

Jimmy Kimmel recently stated, “Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition, you were born with a pre-existing condition.”

This statement is largely false – or better yet, this statement is 87% false.  Why, you ask?  Because according to the US Census Bureau, in 2013 87% of Americans had health insurance.  If parents have health insurance, a child born to the mother is covered under the parents’ policy whether or not the child has a health problem.

In addition, just because someone doesn’t have health insurance does not mean that cannot receive health care.  The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTLA) of 1985 mandates that all hospitals provide treatment to anyone and everyone in need of emergency medical care regardless of the patient’s insurance status.  Moreover, this obligation applies to anyone entering the hospital through the ER, or the front door, the loading dock, or even standing in the parking lot.  Once they are on the hospital property, the hospital is obligated.

It’s called Charity Care, and last year my local hospital provided about $4,000,000 worth of it to individuals with no insurance.  Four million dollars!  Note the hospital still had to pay the doctors and nurses, and do the x-rays, and lab tests, and provide medications… and in the end could not collect a dime in fair compensation despite having performed all of that work to make people better, and even save lives.

I absolutely appreciate Jimmy Kimmel being an involved, concerned father, and he has every right to speak passionately about the challenges of that role.  However, is he a credible source for the promotion (accurately or inaccurately) of the alleged “benefits” of the ACA?  Given his entirely well-earned socio-economic success, I sincerely doubt that he bought his health insurance policy through one of the ACA exchanges.  Something tells me that his health insurance policy, just like the policies of everyone in Congress, is probably juuuusssst a bit better than that.

Modern Day “Hate-Speech” From an Old White Male

As I write, I am preparing myself for the onslaught of pejorative comments about my lack of character, intelligence, empathy and concern for my fellow man (or woman, or womyn, or genderless being, or gender-fluid human, or non-binary entity, or whatever the hell it is we’re supposed to call each other nowadays).  In 2017, my age, race and chromosomes immediately qualify me for passionate negative, invective-laden politically-correct response.

So here it is:  Unrestricted Pre-Existing Condition coverage clauses have absolutely NO business being in ANY health care legislation.  NONE!!

If your house burns down, can you then go out and buy fire insurance in order to have the insurance company build you a new house?  No.

If you crash your car, can you then go and buy comprehensive collision insurance to have the insurance company pay for the restoration of your car?  No.

Then WHY should health insurance be any different?  Not surprisingly, I’ve already had the answer to that question spit at me more than once: “Because houses and cars are things, you moron, and this is all about people’s lives!!!”  I see, how terribly foolish and insensitive of me.

So… if you die, can your family then go buy life insurance in order to have the insurance company not only pay your funeral expenses, but also provide a financial windfall for your beneficiaries?  Uh, no.

Quite frankly, the notion that anyone should be able to purchase any type of immediate “insurance coverage” for something that has already happened is absurd.  This is just one of the things clearly indicating that many of the most vocal members of American society are on the path to the complete loss of reasonable, rational thought.

The Pre-Existing Purpose of Addressing Pre-Existing Conditions

This has been a topic of serious discussion for many years.  Here’s what Pre-Existing Condition legislation was supposed to address, right up until the moment when emotion began to overrule reason.  The original intent was to protect people who were already insured by one provider, and were changing coverage to another insurance provider.  It was never intended to protect those who initially chose to not have health insurance, but now wanted it because they were sick.

Suppose you work for Employer A, who provides health insurance as an employment benefit.  During this time, you are diagnosed with a serious, expensive-to-treat medical condition.  Insurance Provider A covers your health care expenses per the terms of the policy.  Now you want to leave Employer A for a better, more fulfilling position with Employer B, who also provides health insurance as an employment benefit.  However, prior to making the change, you learn that Insurance Provider B will not cover the expenses of your specific condition, because it was pre-existing to your employment with Employer B, and therefore not their responsibility.

That situation was/is very common, and what it does is create “benefits hostages,” preventing qualified, motivated people from moving around in the job market because they need to maintain their present level of insurance coverage.   This situation is not good for individuals or society for all kinds of reasons, including limiting basic American freedoms, hindering growth and creativity, and stifling the economy, just to name a few.

KNOW The Problem Before You Try To SOLVE The Problem

One additional aspect of this that everybody (including our buddy Jimmy, and quite frankly all of Congress) seems to be missing:  In most cases, pre-existing conditions do not prevent someone from getting insurance.  Qualified applicants are typically granted the standard policy with a caveat: any pre-existing conditions will not be covered for a designated period of time, typically 6-12 months.  This enables honest people to obtain coverage for most health needs, and go forward while waiting a reasonable, defined time for the onset of coverage of the identified pre-existing condition.  Insurance companies are not unreasonable; they simply didn’t think it fair for them to immediately cover something serious that pre-dates the onset of the policy, especially for those cases in which the individual refused to purchase insurance coverage while they were healthy.

Years ago the proposed solution and rationale was that health insurance providers should, without caveat, accept insured people moving from one provider to another regardless of their health status, because those people were already part of the total insured population pool.  They were responsible enough to obtain insurance and pay premiums when they were healthy.  Over time, the number of people with expensive conditions moving between providers would balance out, resulting in no provider getting stuck with more than their typical share of individuals with serious conditions.  Simply put, every person transferring in with a pre-existing condition would be offset by a different person with a similar condition transferring out to another provider.  Given that the top four health insurance companies (Blue Cross, Anthem-Cigna, UnitedHealth, and Aetna-Humana) cover about 240 million Americans (that’s almost 75% of US citizens), basic probability alone supports this premise.

Speaking of insurance providers, we also need to understand that the primary purpose of health insurance providers is not to pay for healthcare.  Their main job is to produce positive return on investment, just like every other business in a capitalist economy.  All insurance providers must generate revenue in order to be able to actually pay the healthcare expenses they’ve promised to pay, and pay their employees, and pay all of their other business-related expenses.  For example, in 2014 Blue Cross of North Carolina paid out more than $266 million in local, state and federal taxes, and that’s just BCBS in one state!  Even the arithmetic I learned at Longfellow Jr. High was enough for me to understand that our covered medical bills far exceed the insurance premiums we currently pay.

America, Be Careful What You Demand

Mandated Unrestricted Pre-Existing Condition Coverage will ultimately bankrupt some insurance companies, drive others out of the market, and dramatically increase the cost of all health insurance.  It will eventually lead to a single-payer system run by the government.  So, if you enjoy going to the Secretary of State to renew your license, you are going to love government-run healthcare, especially when your very life – or better yet, the life of your child – depends upon it.